It’s been a while! And, well ... life certainly has taken a different turn for me. After 10 years of living on paradise island, working 6 days a week 12 hours a day and squeezing in a million hobbies, I find myself in Spain with no fixed abode, unemployed, unplugged and yet, eerily calm about an unknown future that has yet to unfold because I have yet to write it.
My feet haven’t really touched the ground since I got here and yet, I seem to have found enough quiet, solitary, moments to reflect.
In this new situation I find myself in, it’s become more and more apparent to me that when we have nothing to lose, we can only gain “something.” When there’s nothing left to be taken from us, we can only make new acquisitions and create new situations. When there’s nothing left to destroy we can only create something new. Yet, in reality, aside from death or theft, nothing is really ever taken from us. We choose to give things up. We choose to walk away from people, places, jobs; even our lives.
Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis, maybe it’s a fantasy or a calling but I walked away from my life (as I knew it) in search of something. Nobody forced me to. Life didn’t make me do it. Life didn’t give me a set of ultimatums. All I had before me was a set of choices. We all have them, and some are more painful than others to make because of what we leave behind. None the less, they are still our choices. For better or for worse, we need to take responsibility for our choices and stand by them.
Everything in life is a risk and if we don’t take risks, we will never know the outcome. We’ll be forever wondering: “What if ...” I would hope that each one of us knows exactly what we have, but we’ll never know what awaits us unless we’re willing to take a blind leap of faith into the unknown.
When we have nothing and manage to put our fears aside, we potentially stand to gain everything. All it takes is a strong sense of belief, persistence, perseverance, hard work and a healthy dose of optimism and faith. It also helps to have kind souls in your life who lift your spirit, look after you physically, mentally and emotionally, and make you feel loved. That, in my humble opinion, is the true essence of life; being with others and sharing with others.
I know there are some people out there who may think they have no-one, but the truth is we are NEVER alone. Solitude is a state we create. If we don’t see anyone around us, it’s because we’re not looking closely enough. It’s not the world’s fault. It’s not the circumstances we find ourselves in. We choose to wear blinkers and, until we remove them, we will never be able to open ourselves up to the world around us.
When we get down to the nitty, gritty of it life really is very simple and we can live very well with the simplest of things; food, shelter and good company. We over-complicate life because we’re constantly chasing something or other. We expend so much time and energy chasing the next big dream, the next big pay check, the next exotic dream trip, we fail to stop and really appreciate the simplicity of life.
I’ve always said that the older we get, the harder it is to break out of our comfort zone and be challenged by something new because we emotionally allow our fears to cloud our vision of potentials and possibilities.
With my move, I’ve proved to myself, that even at the age of almost 44, it’s possible to just walk away from everything and start a new life. How this life will turn out is a matter of time and my willingness to dedicate myself to it. I realise that if I was married and had children, it might not be so easy to change life, but I also believe that a family, like good friends, should be a compliment and not a burden. Hence, a change of life might be a little more difficult but certainly not impossible.
Life really is what we make it; simple or complex, it’s all our own doing.
Now, more than ever, I am consciously aware of how life is like a blank computer screen. We choose what to write, how to write it and when to write it. We can even choose not to write anything at all or we can just write a few lines of nonsense. Yet, in the simplicity of choosing between writing or not writing, with computers, we find ourselves confronted with the dilemmas of which of the million fonts to use, what size the font should be, what colour to write in, how many words we should write, what to write about, how to express our thoughts and the list goes on - and this is before we’ve even started typing.
In this nothingness that my life has, temporarily, become it’s very clear to me how the only time I hold myself back and stop myself from making a move forward is when I look back at “what was” instead of “being here now” and plainly accepting “what is.”
I, like anyone of you out there, am limited only by my memories, my imagination, my creativity, my motivation, determination, my perseverance and my lack of enthusiasm for doing anything. Every new day, and its outcome, is my own doing. My procrastination, my advancement, my whole life and its direction revolve around how much I am prepared to put into it, what I choose to do, how I choose to go about it and how focused I am.
Life is a bit like a computer ... you really can reboot at any moment in time.