A lot has been going on.
But first, let’s look back to my Editor’s Letter exactly a year ago titled, “I just want to be happy & am I over London?“ I’d just left a living arrangement with two girls that made me question humanity, literally. Two friends who I used to share cocktails with and who saw me in my skraggy pyjamas each and every day. Two friends who in the end turned into a pack of hyenas. Great, I thought, at 29 you’re still working out who is a friend and who is a foe. I left that arrangement with the sentiments that I shall let the foes flock together. (Just a quick side note that the air has cooled between us)
Life from mid-April onwards calmed in some ways and became more chaotic in others. I moved into the type of terrace home I left in Sydney and still often think about. It was perfect. My life in London started to look perfect. I could have friends over when I wanted, I had guests stayed with me who were visiting the city and if I wanted a quick bang, no one was going to tell me who I could or couldn’t have in my bed. I finally started utilising my gym membership on Fulham Road. Spin class and yoga on Mondays, high intensity Tuesday and Thursday, Yoga Saturdays and Sundays. But I wasn’t happy and each day I woke up in London felt heavier than the last.
I could feel myself disconnecting from the life of London and focusing on my next move in my daydreams. Similarly to how I was thinking about Europe as I was slipping my way out of Sydney. I asked myself, “What was your plan when you left Sydney? Where did you ultimately want to be?” The answer was always Croatia. I wanted to come home. Sadly back then, home meant being in Osijek because I had no connections anywhere else in the country. So I decided to head back over to London, the city that destroyed my dreams when I was 21. I was still picking up the pieces of my soul and I was about to go head to head with the toughest city in the world to make shit happen. London 1, Adriana 0 was the scoreboard when I arrived two years before, now we were even, I was leaving on my own terms.
I arrived in Zagreb just cruising through meeting new people, some cool, some pathetic and others should not exist. I watched how snakes gossiped about each other, then broke bread with one another the following day. I went from living in a big city where everyone I met I’d most likely never see again, to living in a big village where everyone knew each other’s business and publicly spoke about it as though they were talking about the gluten free bread they purchased that morning. Everyone was going out of their way to be liked, literally on social media.
I didn’t let all this interfere with my game because I knew immediately that I was doing something right when my statistics on my blog started showing more eyeballs from Zagreb, a city I never saw on my analytics before. I noticed everyone was scratching each other’s backs in some sort of way, from magazine editors to influencers, to those who no one knows how they even pay their rent because they are at a beauty salon each day but were considered some type of influencer. Day trading attention in Croatia was an interesting way of living, if you were clever enough to work out how to monetize it but the thing was, only a tiny handful had monetised their perfect instagram lives.
People were and are too good to say hello to me at events but comfortably watched my daily life on my instagram story. If my goal was to be talked about in Croatia, I would have easily managed but unfortunately it wasn’t and never will be. But I could see how easily I could have gotten caught up in this egotistical facade.
“People were and are too good to say hello to me at events but comfortably watched my daily life on my instagram story.”
Just like any other entrepreneur, my mood, enthusiasm and motivation rides up and down on waves. I am not always crystal clear about my direction, nor do I wake up each and every day thrilled to have to get out of bed but I do love my life and appreciate the highs as much as the lows.
I’ve spent three years away from the safety blanket of Sydney, a city I knew like the back of my hand. I’ve spent three years learning first hand that there is no end result, no finish line, there is no top- you must constantly be evolving. And that’s the tricky part, continually shedding layers of yourself for something new and uncertain.
A year ago I just wanted to be happy. A year later, I’m happier. I understand now more than ever that this is an ongoing journey, it doesn’t just “end” when you figure out some formula for happiness, you continue to evolve as a person, spiritually and psychologically. I started this path three years ago to find myself but found myself hitting rock bottom. If you said to me a year ago that I’d be sober today and in addiction recovery, I wouldn’t have believed it but I would have hoped for the strength. If you told me a year ago that I’d have the current projects and affiliations under my belt that I currently do, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Everything in our lifetime is relative, every moment, each encounter and experience. When I left Sydney three years ago, I left it to live exactly in this very moment.