Has everyone has heard of a sea-change?
From Wikipedia: 'An Australian term, ultimately adopted from a term found in Shakespeare's The Tempest which describes a form of human migration that involves individuals abandoning city living in favour of a perceived 'easier life' in rural coastal communities.'
There are entire communities on Australia's Gold Coast devoted to the 'cause'. The term 'tree change' has also popped up for those who want the relaxed vibe with less sand.
I would like to introduce you to a new idea- the Qi Change. At its simplest, qi means energy; although there is nothing simple about the Chinese understanding of qi but I won't go into that here. My idea of a Qi change is when people choose to change the way they live, their priorities and therefore where their focus and energy sits, without the migration. It is about people choosing a way of life that is truer to self.
I think a lot about this. If you had asked me where I would be in 2014 at the time I finished school or even uni it would not be remotely where I am. I never wanted to be a Pharmacist, I originally studied Pharmacy as an entry point to post-grad medicine. Fortunately I realised before applying for medicine that that wasn't where my heart lay or I would be a fairly wealthy but probably fairly miserable doctor (wouldn't have minded he wealthy bit).
I had always loved performing so the next step was acting. I spent all my free time in community theatre for a year or two then started studying more seriously when it became clear that I wanted it to be more than a hobby. I was incredibly driven but after a sequence of unfortunate events and the need to pay my rent I slowed down for the first time in seven years and realised I didn't miss it. That in fact, what I thought was following my heart was really just breaking it.
I fell into wine. I had never thought about it as a career option, it wasn't a career option in Brisbane (at least not during the time I lived there). I found myself working as a cocktail bartender. I felt a little bit like an undercover detective in a B-grade telly movie- so this was how the other half lived. Not much responsibility, not much stress and completely nocturnal. It was quite a novelty for a while but cleaning up a bar for an hour at 3am was not really the best way to utilise my skills (for a start I am a really bad cleaner).
About the same time I had a chat with another bartender who suggested that if I was into wine I should find a course on it. So I did. I also had a chance meeting outside my gym with an old acquaintance (now a friend) who was working in a wine shop and knew of a job opening. Two years later I work more than full-time (just about full-time in the wine industry with a Pharmacy job on the side) and I'm going back to study to do a Diploma in Wine and Spirits.
I think my dad is pretty disappointed that his exceptionally bright girl is making such a mash-up of her life but it's my life to mash and I need to do something that feels right. I'm not there yet but I do feel a stronger sense of purpose than in recent years.
I am inspired by peoples' stories about their path changes so I'm going to start a new little series of posts where I interview somebody about their Qi-Change. Once a month I will showcase somebody who has had the courage to change their life, perhaps walking away from security or routine to do something a little bit different, a little bit truer to their heart.
Should I be interviewing you?