Something really amazing has happened overnight, guys. Little Grey Box has reached 10,000 subscribers! I had seen the subscriber numbers climbing and knew we were getting close to 10,000 but it wasn’t until I saw it on the home-page this morning that it really sunk in. I felt a bit emotional. As I’m writing this we have 10,006 people who have visited my little blog and liked it enough to subscribe to it.
I started Little Grey Box on a whim, sitting on the floor of our small flat in London, cursing the cold. At the time I started it I wanted it to be a food review blog because I love food and figured I’d get a free meal or two out of it once it grew. Then I started writing short personal pieces, venting my frustrations about London and life in general. It was all fun and games until two of my posts were Freshly Pressed and people started commenting, saying they liked my writing style.
Since we were travelling so much I told Matt I ought to share our travel tips as we went along, I also told him the travel pieces were the ones I hated writing because they bored me. What an idiot (me, not him).
When we moved home from living and travelling I struggled with Little Grey Box a lot. The blog became bigger than me, it became a huge burden and I found it really difficult to bring myself to create. For the first time in my life, I’d completely lost my ability to communicate and share through writing. I’ve always loved to write and read, my mum encouraged me to do a lot of both when I was little because she saw how happy it made me. I used to love reading stories out loud to my classmates as a little kid, putting everything I had into the voices and expressions of each character.
I guess I didn’t realise it at the time but my sudden inability to communicate through writing was a huge life lesson being served up to me on a platter. In my weekly personal posts, I share a lot with you guys about life lessons I’ve learned and my thoughts on things. All of that comes directly from my experience, it isn’t made up crap, it’s stuff I’ve experienced and I share it with you guys so someone else can read it and think, “Hey, I feel that way too! Thank goodness someone else does.”
When Little Grey Box became a huge burden for me it was because it was showing me something I really wanted to have but couldn’t because I thought I was trapped. When we came back to Australia I went back to my old job, the job I had held before we went to London. Going straight back to my old life made me feel like our huge adventure had never happened like it was a dream or something I had just imagined. Sitting at my desk each day was soul-destroying and I felt like I was making all these decisions because they were what I was supposed to make.
I was supposed to have a good, secure job that paid well. I was supposed to be a hard-working 9 to 5 desk jockey. I was supposed to be unhappy in my job because that’s just life. People are unhappy in their jobs, they bitch about their co-workers, they’re tired… but they do it because we all have to. That’s what life IS. Amidst all of what I thought I was supposed to be doing, I completely lost sight of what I really wanted. Heck, I didn’t just lose sight of it… I forgot what it felt like all together.
Every time I sat down to create for Little Grey Box I would feel so sad and overwhelmed, because I would finally be sitting in front of the one thing I really wanted and I had nothing left to give it because I had already given away every little piece of myself to all the things I didn’t want. I was empty.
For the longest time, I let this happen over and over again. One day I was so angry and frustrated I told Matt I was going to delete Little Grey Box, I told him it was just ridiculous and a dream and it wasn’t possible. I should just shut up, sit at my desk every day until I either drop dead or retire and be happy with the money I earn and my 4 weeks paid annual leave. Life is tough, kid, just get on with it.
Not long after, the infamous hill-climb meltdown occurred, which I’ve shared before in this personal post. I finally broke, guys. Walking home from work one day my inner monologue had been going wild and I’d worked myself into an angry/frustrated frenzy. Climbing the hill to our place I just stopped walking, threw my hands in the air and yelled, way too loudly, “THIS CANNOT BE IT!” … Total. Meltdown.
Lucky for me I have some really beautiful people in my life including my parents, my husband and our friends Laker, Claire, Ellie, Tanya, Mindy, Joanne and Leisa. When I told these people I wasn’t happy, they each encouraged me to do what did make me happy and they supported me wholeheartedly. I don’t know if you believe in divine intervention, but Claire has been like a divine intervention angel for me, she is the person who brought intuitive living into my life and helped me find a way of living that makes me happy. Thanks to Claire I’ve learned to listen to my dreams and my heart and all the things I’ve shared with you in my personal posts over the last little while.
I feel like I’ve woken up. Walking away from the life I thought I was supposed to have and giving in to the one I really want has been like waking up from a really deep sleep. I’m finally clear on the things that matter to me most and what I want from my life. Everybody wants different things and that’s what’s so great about all of us, we each think differently and have different life objectives. I say that because I know my path isn’t for everybody, but I want people to know they should always choose the path that’s best for them… no matter what it is.
Since the big hill breakdown of 2013 and subsequent re-build, I’ve been able to gain a lot of self-confidence and trust in myself. I have the ability to tune into what I want and trust it totally and completely. That meant facing my fears and taking what seemed like really big risks at the time. Now that I look back at it, leaving my job was never a risk. It was always a sure thing. It was me finally giving in to what my heart wanted.
Even though I was terrified at the time, everything has worked out just great. Better than great! Since I left my old life things have continued to grow and I’ve connected with so many incredible people through Little Grey Box. I’ve become that same little girl again who loves to share stories with her classmates; you guys!
Hitting the milestone of reaching 10,006 subscribers means more to me than anybody could realise it does. It’s a high-five from the universe and confirmation for me that I’ve made the right decisions for my life. Hopefully, it is also an inspiration to anybody else out there who feels ‘trapped’ like I did, a way for someone else to see my story and know that anything in life is possible if it’s what you really want and you just go for it.
To every single person who has ever subscribed to Little Grey Box or has read, shared, commented, liked, followed or even trolled me, I want to say a huge thank you. You’ve helped shaped me and kept me inspired to share and create. You’ve also helped me realise my life dreams and I really want you to know how much it is appreciated.
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Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.