I came home to clear my head. I needed the quiet, the sun, the isolation and the clean cool air. I came to escape my life.
Seems that the break could not have come soon enough, my body gave out the day I got back. Fever, vomiting, sandpaper fire pit throat, heat stroke and the worst case of allergies I’ve ever had. My body was waiting for me to take a breath to go on strike. Such is my luck.
The last few weeks before leaving the city I’d found myself in multiple conflicts. The kind that leave you feeling uncertain, the kind that hit a nerve and become a nagging voice in your head. The kind that make you feel lost.
I was told recently that ‘you create everything in front of you.’ Initially I took that to mean that I was inviting this negativity in my life by simply being me. Cue self pity.
I felt sorry for myself. I couldn’t understand why I was being confronted in this way, and even less why I was reacting in a pathetic victimized manner.
So true to form I did what comes naturally. I sulked. I moped around and everywhere I looked people were happily enjoying their summer paying absolutely no attention to my misery.
I retreated like a kicked dog to lick her wounds and whine, tail between legs.
I found solace within the confines of paper walls. I threw myself into pages and pages of story, of prose, of imagery. I wrapped myself in solitude and occasionally ventured out only to withdraw myself again.
I trapped myself in a vicious cycle of loneliness.
People were happy and I couldn’t understand why I felt their joy spited me. But I did.
During my period of self imposed solitary confinement I came to realise that I spend more time looking out the window at people living than I do on actually participating in my own life. I was dragging my lip and stomping my feet to no avail.
I wanted out but I couldn’t see an escape.
Eventually I found her.
She’d been hiding under a sea of fear. But there she was. Glimmering under stormy skies and crashing waves. Courage. I’d been swimming in fear and I never even knew.
Courage sat confidently in my lap. With her I found bravery. Hand in hand we learnt to enjoy ourselves, to smile without reservation and most importantly to cut the chains and throw open welcoming arms.
You see, negativity is a repellent. You scream into the universe and like a good mother, she ignores you until you reign in that attitude. I had been subconsciously demanding attention whilst simultaneously patting my force field. I was throwing a full scale tantrum, inconsolable and escalating.
Last year taught me that when the compulsion to fill the void with company becomes overwhelming, that is the time you should seek solace. The pain and discomfort will transform you, if only you embrace it.
But this trek is a solo one.
I don’t know what this year has in store for me, but I have courage by my side. And we are a formidable pair.
Don’t be afraid to sit in night, because the sun will rise and you will be bathed in light.
I walked into summer intending to cover myself in a haze of social encounters only to find that what I really needed, was to escape to me.