The last 20 months of my life haven't ended up how I had envisaged them a good 5 years back. Let alone 2 years back……
A corporate flyer… I knew the wrung on the ladder I wanted to reach, the amount of money I needed to afford our nice home and the endless search for the company that I could live out my working years with to feel secure and stable …. and then I got there and let’s just say after that I spent a long, long time wondering where on earth I was going, heading, who I was being … how was I going to wake up tomorrow happy? My happiness had gone missing, as had my self belief …… what makes me happy again?
I think that’s what they call burnout — nothing but living life through work and pretending that you have a life outside of work that realistically you only dabble in once every week or two.
The constant worry to get home at a reasonable hour so I could survive the next working day and give my best to that meeting, trailing my yoga bag to work to have it sit under the desk to gather dust for another few days, my constant complaining of not enough time ..... yes the last few years of my life before my move to China. And P.S there still isn't enough time ;)
I was the woman who looked at others and thought — “gosh I don’t envy those who don’t know what they want to do — thank goodness I know”. And that’s when the first never say never moment occurred…. those moments over the last 2 years haven’t stopped, in fact they’ve snowballed.
I vowed and declared many years back that China wasn’t a destination I needed to visit - ever. I now live here happily and have extended my time here by another 18 months and I am already saying December 2016 is home time (I clearly still haven't got that never say never bit down pat).
I am a different woman…. well - really I am still the same one, but my approach to this life is changing; changing everyday. I am more wary of fighting the daily grind, stronger to take risks in to the unknown. I am learning to put myself first, not settling for just good, and learning to navigate away and around, or sometimes through the bad, the ugly…..
I know now that with darkness there is always light, and with light there is always darkness…. that this and that time shall pass and that tomorrow will never be the same as today.
I’m not sure… hitting close to rock bottom, time out from that life, having the courage not to give up on myself or coming to terms with only being here once….. actually I’m sure it is probably a combination of all these and then some.
I am far from having it all together…and I am no shining star guiding any one home… but I am persistent, determined and curious to test the boundaries. And I now know that it’s okay to not have it all together and that hiding behind having it all together is hard work.
I am more alert and in tune with my body and my thoughts, considerate and patient with how I feel, I do my best to see beyond the boundaries and try not to shy away from asking questions or seeking support. I hold on to the notion that whenever I may be stuck I won’t be there for ever, and if I am, I am the only one who can get me out.
Do I believe in myself… well that too I am not sure, I am a lot closer than I’ve ever been. Perhaps more open to knowing that we are all human, that we are all deserving of giving something a try, of making mistakes, possessing more awareness of knowing that perfection hasn’t helped me yet (you can read all about that over here).
I never thought I would find this place and time in my life, never imagined that I would have to reassess the way life was. I hated uncertainty, not knowing all the answers or having solutions, lacking control — it was a frightening place…. now; well that’s life isn’t it? I have become more equipped, my armour this time round is a lot stronger.
If you are there now, scared, feeling alone, lost - I ask that you try and find that crack of light beneath your skin. To find a wee lil’ way to be open to possibility, to try and remove some of the boundaries or find ways to work around them, to hold on to knowing that this time will pass. To be, to sit with how you feel and to learn how to breathe again— and to refrain from pushing it under the carpet or wearing that mask. And when the matters in your mind and heart start building - ask yourself - WHY?
Remind yourself that you are only ‘uman’ as one of my close friends and loNg time mentors would say.
Start wandering, get up and go to the first place your mind wanders to and try and work on removing the angel and demon from your shoulders…. stop judging where you’ve been and where your going or perhaps where you feel you should have been by now… just start with the moment you are in and be open to where it takes you….body, mind or soul….
And from one wanderer to another, never say never……. because it Might just happen…........ it was meant Just happen.
Thank you Lisa for the many moments over the years for reminding me that we are only 'uman' xx