On landing in Australia for a year

Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10 pm. Landed in Sydney with two big suitcases, I slept to some good dreams of starting my new job the next day, and an Aussie winter looking up to stars in the sky — just like the very first day of landing in Melbourne two years ago.

I never really believed in fate, but when it comes to this move all the way to Australia, there was some stronger power than I had thought — and some harsh, thoughtless decisions I’ve made based on very limited but optimistic outlook to the future.

Over the past 8 years trying to manage and put my life into one piece, I made numerous decisions, large and small, crucial and trivial, without any of them I would not be the person I am today. I get to know clearer and clearer where my certain “limits” are, but I become more and more aware, and more and more thankful, for almost always being able to have turnaround spaces and to make choices.

I am a normal person, potentially with some stories to tell. I hope to be more aware of what is happening around me, and what I can get out of what I experience. What is also on my mind is to be more responsible — and sensitive — towards all possible outcomes.

On this move to Australia — I made this choice before I fully considered and researched the local environment, and was very determined to stay. Things turned up most of the time, honestly, in disappointment, but I got these difficulties as chances to uncover myself and be more aware of me as a person who wants to walk further and stand on my own feet. What are the opportunities I can still pick up given the hard conditions I cannot change? What is my cost of staying, and what can I get out of this choice?

For the past year, I’ve been questioning myself, constantly, on justifying this move to myself and understand my power to turn my life around when things are going against. “Fate” is subconscious, and is shaped by choices. It’s not something that is determined by uncontrollable circumstances, it’s something that walks out of our own mind.

Planning my own life is like convincing myself to walk out of something I’ve been thinking that can control my life. To choose — sometimes out of nothing, sometimes out of too many things — is to bear the cost of not achieving the alternative plan. I gradually start to find it easier and easier to get myself into peace when I let go of the comparisons and just follow through the choice I’ve made. Autonomy, just like other skills, needs practice.

Once you think you’ve found “the most beautiful shell” on the beach — take it and leave the beach and never come back. There is always something “better” in the front, and you’ll never be satisfied with the “most beautiful one”. They aren’t always comparable.

I recently read up on an article, talking about how intentionally fall into some dilemmas, or some conflicts, or some hard times, are essential for helping us solve some problems our minds just cannot get around.

On seeing a full day schedule, for the majority of the time, I get really excited and pumped ready to go. But sometimes when I wake up, I find myself encountering mild headaches, coughing, and experience tension. That I have to switch off and reschedule for the next time. I take pride of being fairly workaholic and usually deliver good work, but dilemmas like “dropping off at the very last minute” occasionally, do help me to realize this side of me. I am ready, but I am not ready, and my body is honest. When I come back, I find myself usually in better conditions and am more mentally aware, of what I need to commit to.

When these dilemmas, conflicts, and hard times happen, “fate” is telling me that I’m capable to deal with it. Yet how to deal with it, is another personal choice. At the beginning of thinking of ways to deal with them, I feel helpless, hopeless, and often times trapped in the thoughts of “I cannot do this”. But later on, even if the choices I’ve made are not necessarily “satisfactory”, I can sense the power on myself, being able to realize the issue, increased, than when the issues are still behind my mind. That is a big and proud achievement.

Ever since I was young, I haven’t experienced a big friend circle, filling my brain with all the gossips around what is happening in the little circle. I have vague personal boundaries because everything to me seems negotiable. In comparison to hurting the ties, I would rather give in.

Not taking certain things, for example, partner or close friends asking for personal time personally, is what I am told, and also uncovered, to be crucial. Reading upon human developmental psychology, being able to recognize and respect individual differences and beliefs, should be something that needs to start in early education. I am aware of that, but never really get to practice that on myself. I consider myself as open-minded, but prejudice has influenced my mind in many ways I haven’t anticipated.

I am biased. Although I’m starting to listen and understand what lays behind the requests. Sometimes there are cries for help, sometimes there are indeed cold boundaries, and sometimes going backward is to help better going forward. I just need to listen.

And empty my mind to accept things have been bringing in some peace in the chaotic environment, especially when the lockdown hit. I’ve been thinking about people who hurt me, who helped me, and who walked past me. A different point of view can bring opportunities. Upon experience that, I will continue to challenge my default “black and white” thoughts.

The hard conditions give me chances to check on the relationships I build with others and with myself. My firmness on carrying my choices through, and my resilience on not being beaten up by my own thoughts.

“Everything happens for a reason.” And for more and more times, I’m more firm on I can get the best out of my responsible, considerate choices. Give more encouragement, more chances to start again, fewer buzzes around things I cannot control, and start to really open my heart for things to come, are gradually becoming easier.

Lockdown has not been easy, especially even the times before the lockdown already somehow looked like it. Yet it will end.

And the sun will rise again.


Sydney, Australia



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Yingzhao Zhu

Yingzhao Zhu

Early Years Teacher | Freelance Bilingual Marketer. yingzhaozhucreates.com