Katy Gallagher has spent a year watching politics from a place she hasn't known for more than 16 years - from the outside, looking in.
The former ACT Labor senator's sudden and unusual exit from parliament last year brought her burgeoning federal political career to a crashing halt. It also began what Ms Gallagher describes as a period of deep reflection.
"It was a pretty public downfall. So that had its own challenges," she said.
With Prime Minister Scott Morrison expected to call an election within days, Ms Gallagher will run for a return to the Senate.
After the High Court found her ineligible to sit in parliament because of her dual citizenship, Ms Gallagher admits she probably would have liked to hide with a stint away from Canberra.
Her roots, and especially her children, closed that option to her. It may have been for the better.
"They anchored me, they need their mother. That side of me didn't change, other than that I was around a bit more," Ms Gallagher said.
"It's a very unusual journey I've been on, and it's been pretty tough at times, but I've been through tough things before."
As Labor's David Smith replaced her, she threw herself first into gardening - "I was basically being heavy machinery myself" - and later volunteering. Ms Gallagher had her first taste of the private sector working for national health care organisation Calvary, a role she finished on Friday.
"I feel like it hasn't been a wasted year. On the personal reflection side it's been a time to get a bit of perspective and to reconnect with what I want to do while I'm in politics. Is it all worth it, those big questions I guess you ask yourself at times of unexpected events," she said.
"Being slightly removed and being in the community as opposed to being in the political circles just reinforced things for me, the importance of good government, good policy, how leaders matter, and poor leadership has effects, it's not a game.
"When you're in the political boiling pot sometimes that can get a bit lost because parliament can be such an artificial environment. So being out has given me another perspective on that. It's reconfirmed the reasons why I want to see a change of government and in that sense it's spurred me along."
Ms Gallagher was also convinced to run again by community support following the High Court decision. She attempted an incognito shopping trip in a hat and sunglasses, but found herself outed after a minute inside Bunnings and consoled by other customers.
"Even though it was a very public downfall and you couldn't really get away from it, there's a lot of kindness in this community from people through that."
Ms Gallagher can't recall receiving any messages from people angry at her over the High Court saga.
Labor's grip on at least one of the ACT's two Senate seats is strong, but the former chief minister said she doesn't believe in safe seats. Campaigns for the territory's Labor Senate candidates don't tend to attract much in the way of resources, but Ms Gallagher said she's ready to run her election bid "on the smell of an oily rag".
Two issues stood out in her talks with people on the street: years of inaction on climate change, and a decline in the standards of politicians.
Ms Gallagher said she wants to return to parliament for a chance to give Canberra a senior voice there, including against the rising tendency to bash the national capital with phrases like "the bubble".
"We don't need leaders who are watching their back all the time so they never do the big things that need to happen to re-elevate politics into a profession of honour, which is what it should be and what it started as."