Between the looming spectre of Brexit and the effects of the pandemic I have found myself, like so many other people across the world, occupying a state of both mental and physical flux. This uncomfortable existence has necessitated a new approach to almost every aspect of my life and, in doing so, sparked a desire to try and push these changes further. I have always used this time of year – from the balance point of the Autumn Equinox into the growing darkness of the winter – to focus inwards. But this year the need to look long and hard and deep feels more urgent. More raw. More real. More important.
Change is – no matter how much we would prefer it not to be – the default state for human beings. Our bodies and minds shift and morph continually from the day we are born to the day we die; to get the best out of life we have to move with the circumstances we are presented with, regardless of whether those circumstances are in any way close to what we hoped they would be. Yet knowing this does not make it any easier to deal with, does not smooth our path to decide what the changes should be, never mind how to manage the change as it unfolds. It does not take away the fear that we are making the wrong choices or ease the sheer terror when we have been pushed so far into a corner that there seems to be no choice, only the grim hope of survival. It certainly does not take away the possibility that some else will come along and criticise what you are doing and place the blame for any problems you may face solely at your door, despite the fact that so many of the situations we have to life in and with are in no way under our control.
Change can be terrifying but it can also be liberating. And I want to liberate myself as far as possible. I want to find a way of living that balances all of my needs and hopes and dreams and, at the same time, allows me to find consistent and useful ways of giving back to my communities, both online and in person. All of which is a rather long winded way of saying that I’m taking a deep breath and starting the process of taking my life in an entirely new direction, one that reflects who I am and how I want to live, rather than remain on a path that I chose for others rather than myself.
This will not be a quick process; I’m taking the time I need to think things through carefully, put feelers out, talk to people who may be able to help, and make sure such plans as I come up with have as much flexibility built in them as I can manage. I cannot, at this stage, explain my intentions in more detail because not only do I not have those details yet but I sense that bold declarations now will hinder rather than help. I must nurture these ideas as if they are seeds in the process of germination, give them the right conditions, food and water to sprout and grow and strengthen in the safety of the potting shed and greenhouse. And whilst they grow I must till and prepare the soil before I expose them to the air in the border I intend for them to flourish in. That said, and to utilise this metaphor as fully as possible, there will come a point when preparation must cease and they will to have to be planted carefully but firmly out in the open or they will wither and die for lack of light and air and space to bloom.
So keep your eyes peeled for some changes to this blog and various other bits and pieces in my social media spaces in the near future. And please, if you are able, please keep me in your thoughts as I take the first tentative steps on this journey.