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The Journey I Never Needed (This Time Last Year)


sophia bray this time last yaer

This time last year things were very different. Although I am trying to focus more on the present moment rather than the future or the past, I do think reflection is just as important as long as our minds don’t spend too much time wandering down old paths.


“You can look back, but don’t stare.” – Take That

September 2017.

I had just returned home from Australia for the second time in the year. For some reason, during my time away in the outback I came to a decision that when I returned back to England, I was to pack my bags and move my life to a new town or city. My initial thoughts were to move to Glasgow, as one of my good friends lived there. And then I thought…why don’t I move to London? I had met so many good friends travelling the world and most of them lived in or just outside of the capital. During my travels I met so many like minded people and had built better relationships over a matter of weeks than I ever have had at home.


What was I really seeking?

Now looking back, I think it was friendship. At the time I was very career focused. I wanted nothing but to progress in my job and I would of done anything to get there. I wasn’t moving forwards as quickly as I had imagined in my current role at home, but was offered a better and bigger opportunity down south.

I pushed things forwards and made some contacts. I had meetings in Birmingham and various conversations with people higher up the ladder.


Where to next?

I was given two options. To move to North London, or Canterbury. I visited the London pub first and was happy with what I saw and thought it would be pretty cool to live in London.

I have worked full time in pubs since I was 16 years old. While the majority of 18-20 year old’s were going out every weekend socialising, I opted to work and spent my weekends serving others alcohol rather than drinking it myself.

And to be quite honest, when you do work in pubs full time, the last place you want to be on your day off is in one.

My time in Australia made me realise how much I did maybe miss out socialising on the weekends. But to be honest, I never really had a friendship group to go out every weekend with. I have some amazing friends, but each friend is very different to one another and most of them are older than me too.



The journey I never needed.

In November 2017, I packed my bags and drove to the south east of England. Although very different from where I grew up, I was seeking something other than a new home. I was seeking new relationships, personal and professional. I quickly realised that I never needed that journey to move myself forwards. What I did need was patience.

I think during all those months travelling, although I found out who I was, I was confused as to where I belonged.


I moved back home just in time for Christmas. While it was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done leaving a job so soon and the busiest time of the year to go, I knew it wasn’t for me. Sometimes you love a job because of who you work with, or who you work for. Without those people breathing the same air as you everyday, your work life is dull and boring.

I may have cried all down the M2 at 4:00am on Christmas Eve, but deep down I knew the real reason as to why this didn’t work out. I was missing my ‘power source’. In my instance, this was someone I worked with. Worked for. Someone who gave me all the power I needed to start the day and finish it when the job was done. Without that person I’ve really struggled. I thought I was a self-motivated individual, but I’m not. I do need that person working with me to motivate me. I miss that person a lot in my life and I hope to find someone like that again.

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