Saturday, November 19, 2016
I cannot recall the exact moment, it was more a gradual build up over time. There were a period of months there when the little things started to transform into more foundation-rocking ones. Love, the perceptive little girl that she is, noticed the subtle changes in our behaviour long before we did. For us, it took more than twelve months before we came to the realisation that something quite serious was happening.
Without intention, we were in an unhappy place in our relationship. The lighter, candid moments seemed lost in a sea of darker ones. It was easy to lose myself for a while. To lose myself was to imagine myself set adrift to feel what life could be like in a different place.
I moved to a new town, closer to my work and started a new chapter. I gave myself to this new life decision. Love and I endured sickness and late night hospital visits as her little body battled new exposure to different illnesses.
I lost sleep but still I pushed myself to try harder. I created a plan to improve my body, mind and soul.
Love and I painted as the morning sun filled the sky with golden, buttery light.
I purchased a kindle and downloaded some books from my ever-growing list of titles. I decided I would actually set aside time to lose myself in the digital pages several times each week.
I set aside hours every week to be with nature. We hiked to a waterfall, sat in the park beside a giant serpent-like river; surfed at sunset and dined on a rug on the shore. We explored rock pools together, climbing over shell creatures, whilst trying not to disrupt their salty ecosystem.
I picked up the camera and thought about the composition of my images. I searched for the light and found myself bathing in it daily. I played with shadows.
I began running again, this time my regular beach jog was substituted for a lap around a horse race track after sunrise or before the night air settled. I joined a gym and worked with a former professional athlete to create a plan to strengthen my tired muscles.
I commenced yoga classes and brought my attention to my tiny joints, my belly-breathing, engaging my core and accepting every thought and sensation, watching each come and go, like gentle waves rolling in a vast ocean.
And without realising it, the reverse process began to occur. Somewhere, bobbing along in my lonely sea, I noticed the familiar flutters of happiness begin to wash over me, like a warm energy.
I was relaxing. I knew I would be happy again because I could feel it already.
I'll admit that I felt lost for some months before things began to come back into focus. I have a renewed appreciation for all that is present in my life.
I feel as though my passions have been reignited and burn more powerfully than before.
The greatest gift I could afford myself was time and distance from external pressures. I removed self-imposed labels and focussed on what I wanted, rather than what I or others voiced that I should not be doing.
I manifested positivity through meditation, positive self-talk and basked in my accomplishments.
I remembered to look back only so far as I needed to see that I was making the changes I wanted to see around me and within.
I made plans for our future. Flights. A new adventure in a foreign land, one I have not visited in 16 years. A land filled with wondrous landscapes, hills, valleys, mountain streams, great lakes, meringue-topped peaks and sunburnt deserts.
For the first time in a very, very long time I am free.
Together with my sweet girl, we will travel across oceans on our next adventure.
Love is all we need.