New beginnings: adulthood

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Train Campbelltown to Sydney 16 June, 2015. Photo: Leonie Elizabeth.

This is my second post on my theme of new beginnings at times of change in my life.


The second big change in my life was becoming an adult, moving from that secure world of a supportive family base and community, out into the scary world of reality.

Rather than one single change, the period from 1971 to 1979, ages 17 to 26, were for me years of transition as I slowly took the steps away from my old life, and moved into my new life. Almost everything about my old life disappeared. Those nine years were years of excitement. Yet at the same time they were filled with uncertainty and, at times, sadness.

My first step branching out into the world was leaving behind my stable family life and attending University. The photo of the train symbolizes that transition for me as this became the bridge I traversed each day between my old life and my life of change. Having been uncomfortable with many aspects of school life, I thrived at university as I had a passion for learning and the environment suited me.

My parents moved from the house they had always lived into a larger one. Sadly they were to only have one year together in their dream home.

The rock of my close family and extended family crumbled. Over an eight year period there were the deaths of my father, my grandmother, two aunts, two uncles, two cousins and a close family friend. After always having been home, my mother became a single working parent supporting my brothers through school and all of us through university. My sister married and left home. Family life changed forever.

I graduated and became a professional in the community – a huge step away from the child I had been only three years before.

I fell in love, married, lived one year locally, then spent four years in different parts of the world … New Zealand, Great Britain, Europe, USA, Canada. Life was full of excitement and adventure.

We returned home and settled in Tasmania. My new life would be away from the secure family base and familiar community I had grown up in.

In nine years I had transitioned from child to adult, girl to woman, student to professional, being one of a large extended family to being one half of a couple, moving from a life of security and stability to a life of unpredictability – yet at the same time full of excitement and adventure.


Author: Leonie Elizabeth. Written 19 June 2015. Updated December 2017.


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