This is the first time I’ve had the chance to take some time out to really stop and think about everything I am learning / have learned since leaving the UK two weeks ago. I honestly can’t believe how much clarity I now have in a lot of things and I fully believe it’s because I’ve not only been on my own for a lot of the time, but I’ve also granted myself the permission to actually relax.
I didn’t realise how stressed out and uptight I was until it all started to slowly fade away in the last week or two. One of the biggest things that has changed is the quality of my sleep. I’m sleeping like a log, 8-9 hours uninterrupted every night – which to me, is an indicator of my subconscious starting to finally get a break. I would say that I’ve pretty much been working every single day since around the end of September 2014 (when I returned from a 3 week holiday to California and Vegas), without a day off. I suppose that’s just what you do when you’re self employed and got a business to run, but I honestly didn’t realise the effect it was having on my health and wellbeing. I rant on all the time about how important it is to take time out and relax, but I honestly never truly did it, until now. Looking back, I have probably numbed myself with a lot of things that I thought were making me happy but weren’t – like relationships, alcohol, food and ‘keeping myself busy’, without truly allowing myself to feel how I’m feeling. ‘Relaxing’ to me, over the last two years, has pretty much been opening a bottle of red wine and a bag of maltesers and watching mindless TV, staying within my comfort zone. Numbing real feelings. I believe that has contributed to my mental health problems over the last 6 months or so. That, together with constantly doing things I didn’t want to do, being surrounded by people I really didn’t want to be surrounded by and living a life based on how I felt I SHOULD.
Like I said in my first post on this blog, there has always been a part of me that hasn’t been able to settle. Something inside me that doesn’t want to settle down, have a family and stay put. I used to feel quite guilty for feeling like that, I’d almost go as far as saying that I felt unworthy of giving myself the life that I desired because it was different to the norm. I kept thinking that maybe there was something wrong with me, people often told me that I would ‘run away’ from things and avoid real life – which at the time, I thought was true. So I beat myself up for it. However, I have come to realise that ‘running away’ is not actually what I was doing – I was choosing to listen to my gut and act upon it, to live life within my own set of rules. Even if they were seen as being different and somewhat ridiculous. It has become clear to me that when somebody tells me I’m running away from something, it is actually more of a reflection of their traits than it is of my own. Perhaps it is fuelled by jealousy, this is just one of my theories. Hence the name of this blog – Running Towards. Towards me. The girl who doesn’t want to settle down in one place, who doesn’t want a house with a mortgage, who doesn’t want firm roots and association with one particular town or country. It is also the girl who until two weeks ago, thought she wasn’t strong enough to find herself again and to travel alone.
My first moment of clarity on this trip came to me as I was sitting on top of a cliff somewhere between Bronte and Coogee, looking out over the Tasman Sea which was sparkling in the glorious sunshine. It was the first time in YEARS that I would say I’ve not been in a rush. No rush to get anywhere, no rush to do anything for anybody, no rush to get back to safety because of my anxiety. No rush. Lots of thoughts came to me that morning, the biggest one being that it is absolutely okay for me NOT to want what most women want. And that I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to travel, spend money on myself and take time off. I also made some pretty big decisions about my personal and business life which I am going to act upon when I get home, I’ll keep these a secret for now… but you’ll find out soon enough I’m sure!
I have LOADS more to get off my chest, but I think that’ll do for now… I’m having a quiet day to myself today as I desperately need to recharge my mental batteries. Sometimes I see my anxiety like a battery, when it’s charged to 100% I can go for about a week without plugging myself in… but I’d say that right now I’m at around 12% battery, it’s time to charge myself up, ready to head back to Australia tomorrow for another two weeks… (poor me, I know!)
Lots of love x