My journey towards 'slow' - part 2

Author: Gabriella Tagliapietra   Date Posted:17 April 2019 

[Picking up the thread from previous posts]

The next installment of my journey towards a slower pace of life... the next trigger that led me to simplify my life and slow down further: the relationship bust-up in 2004. Stupidly enough I wasted a good while thinking the end of that relationship was a bad thing and then slowly I began to see it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I ended up moving up the coast to Swansea Heads (East Lake Macquarie) and it was here that I really let go of the busy-ness that kept me from dealing with one key issue that lay buried in the past. The layers just got stripped away and life unraveled in every conceivable way. I don't feel the need to go into minute details about this side of things, suffice to say I experienced some incredibly challenging years... really hard core, only to come out of it with true conviction, and a deeper sense of a wanting to lead a slow and simple life. One of the things that helped me during this time was my garden. I now know what people mean when they say they completely lost themselves in something and in doing so they found themselves. This is true of my whole time in Swansea Heads but particularly my garden. It was the inspiration behind starting my gardening blog - 727m2 - a garden diary, one that I have kept going despite leaving my beautiful home and garden in 2012. It was also the inspiration behind some of my current designs.

Another thing that happened to me during this time was that I developed an acute awareness of the thread that connects everything. I became much more aware of the world around me, particularly the natural world. There were good and bad aspects to this, as it was increasingly hard to stand by and watch the destruction of our environment, witness climate change, become aware of the suffering of animals and all that sort of stuff, but on the flip side I saw beauty in so much and this was to really charge my creative energy and finally start me on that path.

I have to add though that having parents that lived through a war we were brought up with a real sense of value on things, including food, water, etc. We were raised not to be wasteful, we were raised to be mindful and aware. So I've always been aware to a degree and we always spent alot of time outdoors, which is where my love of natural environments comes in... it's just that this mindfulness and awareness became more acute... and as one of Brooke's guests said in one of the episodes 'once you see you can't unsee...'

It was here that I also discovered my two first online communities that played a key role in providing a much-needed connection to the broader community and making me realise there are so many talented, creative and good people in the world - and with the latter, many more selfless than me... fighting the good fight. It was during my Graphic Pre-Press course at Hunter Institute of TAFE* (yes, I got to go back and be a student... and a few more times since then too)... that I discovered Etsy and I also discovered that social media, particularly Facebook, was a platform for effecting positive change through petitions and awareness in general.

*A side note about the course... as I had more space to think and gain greater perspective I realised that while my uni degree was targeted towards being a practitioner (in which there was a long road to financial security) I also realised I had the power to take that further. [These revelations may seem obvious to some but for some reason they were hidden from me until this point.] What I realised I could do was hone in on certain aspects of my degree and make them more financially viable. There were two paths I saw that I could take, both required further study. One path was to do my Dip Ed and teach and the other was to polish my skill with Adobe Creative Suite... I chose the latter.

Stay tuned for the next installment...