I’m on the train back to London. As always I’m not sure that I want to be here. I feel wobbly and strange. As though I’m moving onward to a place and time that I can’t control; back through a portal that part of me wishes I could turn back from.
Back safe into my mother’s arms. The scent of her jersey and wrapping my fingers around the warmth of her golden hair. The past two weeks were so beautiful, so precious. It was the most wonderful Christmas I could have asked for. But then, it always is.
It’s so tempting to turn back. I want to turn back. Back is safe. But I also know that I can’t; back is backward. Forward is to the future. Forward is to what, 5 years ago, was all the things I wanted. A life in London. Interesting job; friends; gaming; hobbies. What I didn’t realise was how tiring it can be. London is like a raging torrent, one that sometimes you have to pull yourself out of. I liked to think that in this life there was always someone to fly in and rescue us. But so often I’ve found, in reality, that we have to rescue ourselves.
But part of me is so tired of it. Tired of getting up every day and fighting for something that I don’t even know what it is. Money? Recognition? True love? I’m not sure anymore.
I think perhaps I need to take more time out for me. I came across a YouTube video a few days ago, when I was safe in the warm velvet glow of home, which talked about mindful ways to reduce anxiety. Painting, meditation, manifestations, affirmations, that sort of thing. On the one hand, although I enjoy watching them, I’ve always dismissed those videos as a sort of innocent filler. There’s usually something very relaxing about them, but I always wonder about the validity of what they claim. Innocent nonsense, I suppose.
Now I think that, self-indulgent nonsense it may be, but there may be something in it. In fact, I think that it’s something I should consider doing. When I was in a bookshop the next day, I bought a book of mindfulness. It’s full of tidbits on how to live more spiritually, how to find inner relaxation; pages to mindfully colour and pages to write down your thoughts and feelings. I don’t know why, but I think it could be a healthy thing for me to do. In the new timetable I’ve drawn up charting out my morning, work and evening activities, I’ve scheduled time each morning in the quiet small hours to take time for me
The truth is, I want to do what I can to increase my own satisfaction with life. I want to be happier. I want to embrace the positive side of life more. I think that being mindful, keeping in mind what I’m grateful for and trying to be more relaxed could be good first steps.
There was an interesting moment when my brother was watching videos for Knights of the Old Republic on YouTube. I love the stories of the Jedi and these were no different. But for the first time I looked at the spirituality behind the stories. I loved the idea of a warrior who was relaxed even as they engaged in the heat of battle. Just like when I was little I lay in bed and imagined myself as a great Jedi; working to bring good into the world and how I might apply that to my real life.
That’s the other thing I always notice about being home. Dreaming is easier. Imagining is easier. Mum always jokes that we all just revert to being kids when we’re back home. Perhaps that’s true, in the best possible sense.
Perhaps embracing the imagination more is the key to the healthier life I need to live. Part of me worries about the future (the book says worrying about the future is anxiety; the past is depression), about the new job and about making my life into something. I’ve made terrible mistakes in the past and I don’t want to repeat them.
The train is pulling close to London now; whether I wanted to or not I have no choice but to power forward and into this new life. My Zone 1 living, my new job, my friends and activities.
And hopefully with something else. Something special that I can give to myself.
Aristotle said that knowing ourselves was the beginning of true wisdom. I may be on the road to the career in digital marketing, hopefully on the road to success and happiness, but I think that taking time to know myself could be the smartest decision I’ve ever made. I neglected myself for so long, repressed and loathed.
But now, I think I’m ready to get to know me.