It’s been almost exactly four years since I packed up my life in Canberra and moved back home to Brisbane. The main reason was to support my family, my dad especially. While I’ve been here, he’s had one or two scares and two minor strokes, so I can say for sure I don’t regret that move. But he’s stabilised in the past two years or so, and I thank God for that every day.
So why am I reflecting on this now? You may have seen my recent post about how my friend and I updated my resume with a puzzle. If you did, you may have guessed that I was making some changes in my life.
In fact, the decision about this change was made back mid-May. I was going to leave my job for something totally different, out of the corporate sphere. The best I could come up with at the time was to get a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) diploma and work out where to go from there.
So I told my bosses, and it was done. I was about to go on a 3.5 week holiday, and I didn’t want to leave them in the lurch afterwards, so I agreed to stay on until the start of September for a smoother transition. I assumed I’d simply become a leech at home while I completed the TESOL course, and worked one to two days a week to cover my expenses. I will admit, the thought of extra writing time was also highly appealing!
If you haven’t guessed, this is the part where my plans were shifted in a completely unexpected direction. My friend and I run a site reviewing escape rooms. If you don’t know what they are, here’s an FAQ – the really short explanation is that escape rooms are places where you’re ‘locked’ in a room and must solve a series of puzzles to get yourself out. We love escape rooms because we love puzzles (my Steam list is mostly puzzle games, you NEED to try The Swapper and The Talos Principle!), and I’m also a sucker for puzzles with a narrative that goes on in the background.
Last weekend, we were invited to playtest and review an escape room by a new outfit called Next Level Escape in the Sydney CBD. It was great because after completing the room, we were able to give feedback, talk puzzles and escape rooms in general, and just have an all-around great chat with the founders. (For the record, we loved the room we played!) During our general chat, I happened to mention I was leaving my job soon. As it turned out, they also needed a games master – someone who sets up the room, observes players during the game, and provides hints (ideally in character). There was also the opportunity to be involved in developing or streamlining puzzles and general game narrative/flow for the in-progress rooms.
For those of you who know me, you also know why this very much playing to my strengths and the things I love.
This whole post has been a very long-winded way of me saying that I got the job and I’m moving to Sydney at the start of September. It’s sudden and unexpected, but it’s something that excites me greatly. It is somewhat crazy to be moving cities for a start-up and a casual job with uncertain hours. I know this well. But there’s also the chance this could turn into something more, something bigger than I’ve ever imagined.
It’s time to embrace the crazy and leap.
(If I miss the water completely, you may find me limping back to Brisbane…)