How much of me can you all handle?!
In April, in fact when I was still hobbling around a little from the marathon (!), I was invited by TOTAL Greek Yoghurt to be a guest speaker at their Healthy Living Masterclass in the centre of London. The edited video is now up in all its glory! I thought you might like to have a look :)
I was so nervous!! I'm ok when I'm acting and have lines I've learned off by heart, but when I'm just talking off the top of my head about me and my life, the nerves and self doubt fairies start crawling all over me. But once I got over myself I had so much fun! Everyone was so kind and welcoming! I wished I could have stayed for the cooking class in the afternoon, it looked amazing. The tiramisu especially :)
Sometimes I have to pinch myself, that this is my life, and that I have done things I never thought I could do, that I have become someone I never thought I could be. Even in the initial aftermath of getting to goal, those last few months in Melbourne, I don't think I had ever felt so scarred and so lonely. I didn't know if I truly had the courage to leave the past behind and start the life I knew was waiting for me, but somehow I knew I had to find it from somewhere. Otherwise, who knows where I might be right now. That video you've just watched would be of someone else.
And think of all the joys I would have missed out on in the meantime. The drives into burnished sunsets in New Mexico; the high altitude hike in the Rocky Mountains; hearing the haka passionately chanted in a full bar in Auckland; being moved to tears by the exquisiteness of the acting in The Yellow Wallpaper; watching my friend's baby daughter's face wrinkle with joy as a soft rain fell on her while we picnicked; a midnight motorbike ride through Central Park; the savoury taste of vegetarian haggis in a damp, drizzly Edinburgh alleyway; getting my navel pierced on one of the hottest days on record in Sydney; that wonderful unexpected night in Notting Hill four years ago; eating chocolate pudding at one am with my Swedish viola playing housemate; being proposed to on a bridge in the pouring rain; my beautiful wedding, nearly a year ago now; that week in Inverness when I knew without a doubt what my destiny was; white Christmases; the marathon; the black pepper crab in Singapore; watching a sunset on the beach in Goa; drinking spicy chai at a street stall in Bombay; making a wish on top of Mt Wellington in Hobart.
As well as the joys, there have been the sadnesses, the aches; the homesickness; the frustration of learning the intricate systems of daily life in a new country; the borders you still cannot cross; the years that pass where you still haven't taken that leap of faith you know you need to take; the pain of knowing that a few moments you should have seized are well and truly gone; the sadness of letting go; feeling a little heartbroken at the things you miss out on but feeling like you can't complain because this is the life you chose; the needing and learning to trust again after your heart has finally started to mend; the moment where you choose your future over your past.
I'm not sure who might have said it first, but I'll say it again now: give it to me all again. Exactly the same.
Even though things haven't always worked out as I've planned, I've never once regretted saying "yes" to life.