HOW TRAUMA CAN BECOME THE START OF YOUR NEXT CHAPTER
Sometimes it takes almost losing your life to realise you only get one chance at it. Alli is one of those people who has a hunger and thirst for living life on her terms. After trauma, a solo trip to Vietnam and having a new outlook on life, Alli soon saw how many doors opened for her because of the experiences she at the time thought were the end of the world, but really they were just the beginning of her next chapter...
I took a trip to Vietnam in 2018. It was the first trip overseas I’d ever done solo and it was invigorating. I was crazy nervous before going, if a colleague hadn’t helped me book parts of my trip, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it.
But when I got back from that trip, I had this overpowering thirst to travel more and once you’ve done it once, it’s so easy to catch. The thing about solo travelling is that you put yourself in an environment where you’re forced to meet people. I met so many incredible people along the way and it was people I probably wouldn’t have me if I was there with a friend. I can’t even begin to describe the experiences I’ve had because of that trip.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is that you could literally die crossing the street one morning so with that in mind what is there to possibly be afraid of, jump on those opportunities because you don’t know if it’ll come along again.
When I was 19 I was driving along a highway at 100km when I crashed into someone who didn’t give way. After being incredibly lucky to have survived my doctor gave me 3 weeks medical leave from work.
My work environment at the time wasn’t ideal and my manager - who was pretty angry about how many shifts I had to miss told me that they weren’t going to have any more shifts for me for at least a Term.
That along with other factors had me motivated to leave my hometown. So I moved to Geelong to pick up some other work whilst I was still studying. Looking back now, it was probably the best thing that could have happened, even though at the time I thought it was the end of the world.
It was a toxic environment and a dead end job. Moving to Geelong had given me so many new opportunities. It’s funny because I later found out that she wasn’t ‘Firing’ me but she was just ‘Punishing me’ - but I’m kind of glad I got that messaging wrong!
I was very lucky, it could easily have been a different story. Woke me up a bit though, we're always under the impression that we die when we're old but reality is we could die any day. So now the one thing I think people should always invest in are experiences. Don’t waste too much time or money on items or possessions. I barely have any memories of objects but have thousands of all the things I’ve done.
I think in the last few years and after that accident I’ve started checking into my own Mental Health a lot more. It used to be something I pushed back a lot but when it became too much I realised that it’s not unreasonable to seek out and ask for help.
I slowly began to realise that having anxiety isn’t a disability or a disadvantage it’s just another way of thinking and by looking into what causes my thinking patterns, it’s helping me in my day to day and future life to manage it when it’s challenging and even use it to my own advantage in certain situations which has been life changing. So if I could tell my 14 year old self one thing is don’t be afraid to speak up.
I was at this camp a few years ago where they were building on leadership qualities and road blocks for life growth and this girl there was preaching something called the top 5 movement. It’s something I try to think about whenever I’m having a bad day. The idea is that we should never write off a whole day as a bad day because something went wrong. But we should think about the top 5 things that happened that day. It's a way to focus on all the positives in life and gain those memories instead of focusing on the things that get us down. Because if it's not going to matter to you a few weeks from now you shouldn't let it worry you a second longer. Easier said than done sometimes but it's a helpful way to check yourself with.
WORDS: Alli Towers