14 Jun A Story About Right Timing
Written by; Andrea Britton – Mother, Singer, Songwriter, Brand & Marketer and the Founder of Gozo In The House – A Digital Platform For Gozo.
Malta became my second home nearly 15 years ago. I had a string of tunes hit the Maltese charts back in 2006 and travelled a lot performing all over the world in that time, but as my Gozitan manager of ten years will confirm, there was always an unmistakable pull to return here. Who knew I would later call the little island he grew up on, home.
Over those years, I raised a son, got married and began a second career in preparation for when I hung up my touring shoes. I learned a lot. I was always working on projects, businesses and events – mine and other peoples, and in March 2012, I launched a project in Malta, called GETMALTA, aimed at uniting Maltese businesses and creatives in one online space. The first glimmer of what has now become Gozo In The House. There was very little in the way of online hubs and resources on Malta at that time – especially when it came to the arts, culture and lifestyle. The project had huge potential and great support from all the right people, but it just wasn’t the right time.
Not long after the launch, I was asked to support Kylie Minogue on a global tour and as a young, ambitious artist, I jumped at the chance to travel around the world singing my heart out with a superstar! Leaving the GETMALTA project felt like such a big deal but it became clear my energy was required elsewhere and I knew I had to follow what had presented itself, no regrets.
By 2017, I felt I had finally reached a place in my career when I could be proud of myself. All the blood, sweat and tears were finally paying off! I was busy, I was earning. That equals success, right? [shakes head]
But at that very time, I burned out. I had reached the point of no return and felt completely lost.
The truth of it was, I hadn’t stopped for twenty years. Consistently pushing forward with little reflection had resulted with me at the bottom of my own list. I have always been firmly rooted in my heart but somehow I had found myself up in my own head and rarely in my body and at the height of this crash, I decided to follow in my husbands’ footsteps, literally, and walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. By the end of that painfully exhilarating but life-altering 300k hike, I knew I had to make some hefty changes. My London life was no longer serving me and after lots of soul-searching we ended up moving to Gozo.
Finding myself at the beginning again was such a scary process. I had to re-think my whole identity and leaving my grown-up son, and my wonderfully (comfortable) internal and external family was a big deal.
I spent the next two years, in the bosom of Gozo’s healing energy, understanding and tending to my wounds and learning to know and love myself again. Mainly, I learned the essential art of putting myself first. Having always been heavily invested in the evolution of the collective, and a feeler of energy, this was one of my biggest life lessons to date. The oxygen mask simply has to go on me first, before I could even attempt to help anyone else and deciphering the intricate differences between my own energy and the energy of others is ongoing and wonderfully fulfilling practice. Now – it makes total sense that this learning had to take place far away from everything and everyone I knew!
“Timing is everything. If it’s meant to happen, it will, at the right time for the right reasons.”
I am so grateful to Gozo, for the opportunities for such intense growth. It was time to give back. Fast-forward eight years (almost to the day) from the birth of GETMALTA, I launched Gozo In The House. The rest is a short history to most, but a long one for me! In those eight years, a lot had happened, enough it seems, for the project to be birthed and do what it needs to do now…at the right time. Looking back, especially when I feel challenged, I realise I have numerous examples of when I had to trust my inner compass. Of course, I made mistakes and circumstances were learned from, but these have proved vital for my personal and professional growth.
The classic question echoes through my mind; ‘What advice would you give your young self today?’. My answer is simply to trust your intuition, as it will never let you down. All I had to do was reconnect and start listening, once again – to mine.
That being said, it has been no easy ride starting a business in a foreign country, especially launching when the world was shutting down and the horrific effects of the Covid 19 virus were sweeping across the globe like a steam train. I have found difficulties with slowing down my pace, relearning a culture I thought I knew well, not to mention finding the right people to believe in me and help me on my journey, this part has felt almost impossible at times. There have been countless days when I wanted to give up, throw my laptop out the window and cry in a heap on the floor! But, always, within those moments, I am reminded of all the things I already know and all the things I don’t and more importantly – that my instinct is never wrong. So I stop the self-sabotage, give myself a warm inner hug (and most probably reach for the chocolate) until the storm clouds pass and I have the spring back in my step to face another day.
I have always been a deep believer in alignment, cycles and things happening for a reason. There has to be times of both light and shade, night and day, good and bad and along with the bad, there will always be a silver lining somewhere. If things are meant to be, they have a habit of finding their own way through don’t you think?
It could seem unfitting to speak about such things when we have lost so many of our loved ones due to Covid, but a bright side does exist that can honour the pain and I have found focusing on the positive aspects will no doubt cultivate more of those brighter moments. Everyone on the team at GITH started their own project during the pandemic. Aligned with heart and love, our collective aims are to serve our communities, work together and create positive change where we can.
Personally, I get butterflies at the thought of the numerous people who have aligned with their true purpose through these dark times and who have created heart-led projects and businesses. To think of the positive effects these will have on our collective future is nothing short of joyful.
To summarise, I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to give this old idea new life on Gozo. Timing is everything. If it’s meant to happen, it will, at the right time for the right reasons. I feel aligned with the island on an intensely deep level and will continue to work from a place of heart with the amazing GITH team to do it justice.