October 28 2015.
It was a date I had looked forward to for some time, ever since whispers of more Harry Potter had swirled around the internet and then exploded the brains of fans around the world when it was announced we’d get to hear more of the story. Nineteen years later.
|The Palace Theatre, London|
October 28 was the date priority tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went on sale. The play was to open in June 2016 and though I hadn’t quite figured out how to get to London in time for whichever performance I was able to get tickets for, it seemed an insignificant detail to be worked out later.
At eleven pm that night, my sister and I were sorted into the ticket queue at random and crossed all fingers in the hope there would still be tickets available by the time we got to the head of the line. Before I was quite ready, though it was about an hour later, I was alerted that it was my turn next. I held my breath as I clicked on the option for three tickets and waited to be told that my request had been successful. And yes! Yes it was!
With shaky fingers, and a loudly beating heart, I tapped out my credit card details. I tried to take deep breaths at the same time, but multi-tasking was beyond me by this point. Once the confirmation email arrived, stating I had tickets secured for the performances on August 31 and September 2nd 2016, I jumped up from the couch and danced around my living room as if I’d won the lottery. In my opinion, these tickets were a much grander jackpot than any sum of money…mostly. As I collapsed with happy exhaustion on my couch, I began to wonder just how I’d get myself over to the UK in time for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
At this point, let’s detour slightly from the jubilation of young wizards and cast an eye at my life. I was happy. My career was ticking away as I’d always planned for it to, I was in love with the house I’d recently purchased in what I considered to be the best suburb in Melbourne (3054) and I was about to take another fun holiday with an equally fun friend. If pressed, I could find things to complain about, but the bigger picture showed a contented life. Maybe a little too contented, but contented just the same.
All around me, however, change was seeping into the fabric of my world. My sister and her partner were looking to move overseas for a time, and my parents were running towards retirement. It seemed that within months, everyone in my family would have different lives. As I left for my holiday, I pushed away niggling thoughts that I would be the lone person to see out 2016 the same way I’d come into it. Surely that was okay? Surely I liked my life enough to live it in the same way for another year? Surely I’d make no giant life changes now that I was pretty settled and in my late twenties (read thirty-five)? Ha! Famous last thoughts.
My holiday, while being the perfect distraction, made me realise my life was too comfortable, too small. More often than not, my lower back would be sore most nights from sitting down too much during the day. Whether from my job in an office, stationed behind a desk all day, or at home in front of the television (I will never forgive you for existing, Netflix). As I made my way home from the airport, I knew something had to change.
And then I remembered Harry.
The play was five months away. London, a city I love, was calling out like a beacon. I had lived there many years ago and had always wondered if I’d come home too early. What if this was my chance to return? To have another go at living in the UK now that I was older and wiser? Could I somehow align every aspect of my life – quit my job, rent out my house, have enough savings to sort out a job only after I’d arrived rather than having to look beforehand – and make a giant life change?
The answer? Yes.
Stay tuned to find out just how I did it.