The first time we meet Nick, he’s dressed in a pair of jeans, a shirt, and a white T-shirt, wearing an open jacket and khaki trousers.
He is still a little dishevelled, but his hair has been styled, his eyes brightened.
He has been working hard, working to get his life back on track, to make himself fit again.
Nick has worked out the way to a job that pays well and that is still within his means.
Nick and I met on a train to the office in Sydney, in August 2017, to discuss his plans for the future.
Nick’s plan was to start working full-time again and return to full-term care.
In the past few months, Nick has been doing just that.
But it has taken him longer than he had expected to achieve this goal.
“I had a bit of a mental block,” he says.
“In a way I didn’t know where to start.”
Nick has spent the past two years working towards his goal of getting a job.
But when he returned to work, it was too late.
In February, he was offered a new job in a different part of the city, on a different street, and without the support of his family.
He found it hard to put his new career on hold and decided he had to return to work.
“At first I was like, what the fuck, I’m a mess,” Nick says.
I was too busy to do anything.
I wanted to put everything back together again.
“Then I thought, OK, maybe I could get back into my old life,” he admits.
“But now I realise it would have been nice to go back to my old self.”
When Nick returned to his old life, he had already missed work for over a month.
He had to work a second shift at the local supermarket and it took him more than two months to get back to work again.
But with Nick’s family on his side, he found himself in a position where he was able to work full-day, six days a week, with full-pay, with no overtime.
Nick was still a long way from a job, but he was making good progress.
When he was back in full-terms, he would work seven days a day, six weeks a year, but now that he was returning to work he was confident he could get a job again.
It took Nick nearly six months to return full-timer and the work load was starting to take its toll.
Nick had to start a new project with the aim of getting back into full-course care.
His new project involved making sure his son, who is about two years old, had a better chance of getting on the school bus.
Nick is now back working full time and living in the same house as his family and working on his own new projects.
Nick said he was proud of himself for starting his career in the early stages.
“It’s been a great experience and a great opportunity for me to make something of myself,” he said.
“What’s great about it is, I’ve got a job and my family are behind me.”
But there was a catch, as Nick explains: “I still have work to do.”
A month after he returned home to be back in work, Nick got a call from his partner asking him to meet her at a restaurant in Sydney’s CBD.
“They wanted to know what my job was,” Nick said.
He wasn’t sure how he was going to get there, so he told her he was a full-season returnee.
“She was really interested in hearing what I had been up to,” Nick explained.
Nick got his job back at a local cafe and now he is enjoying his new life.
But Nick’s life is still in limbo.
He’s still looking for work, and he is still missing a job in the community.
He said he wasn’t expecting to have a full time job again after working so long at the supermarket.
“You can’t just get a full employment,” he explained.
“That’s not something you want to do, because it takes a long time to get a new position.”
Nick said the biggest challenge now is that he needs to be in school full-times to be able to start school full time again.
He needs to make sure his child has a better start in school, and Nick said that would be difficult for a child who is learning so hard.
“We’re not expecting that, and we’re not going to let that happen,” Nick told ABC Radio.
If you go to school with him, you’re not doing it for him. “
He’s a really good schoolgoer, he works hard, he doesn’t get into trouble, and the school’s got to make it up to him.”
If you go to school with him, you’re not doing it for him.
You’re doing it to make a living.
“Read more stories from NSW