I am weary.
My head hurts.
My shoulders are stiff.
My back is aching.
My hands are dry and shredded.
I have bags under my eyes.
…I can’t stop smiling 🙂
The latest mammoth task is complete; all my stuff is gone, some to storage, some to the highest bidder, most to charity.
I’m sitting on the grass in Walpole Park in Ealing, on a sunny, warm Monday afternoon. It’s quiet and tranquil. I have this whole green expanse to myself, the type of which I probably won’t see again for a long time with the lack of traditional parks in Thailand. Beaches, jungle, yes. Glorious beauty to look forward to, for sure. But there is always a special place in my heart for a good old-fashioned park. There’s the odd cyclist drifting around, reminding me of past days spent in my local Vondelpark during my time in the cyclist heaven of Amsterdam. There are squeals and laughter behind me as children do their childish thing in the playground behind me. I’m watching a mom and her cute little 2-year old kid kicking a football around over there on the grass. I take this moment to soak up the last of this peaceful parklife atmosphere before I fly away from here tomorrow.
The last few weeks have been yet more hard work; it seems that every step on this journey so far has been hard, a series of struggles and challenges. Completing the dissertation and Masters was an intellectual feat – but clearing out my apartment and preparing to move has been an enormous struggle in its own way. There have been moments where I have despaired, crashed, even cried – but all the while, through the hard days of logistical hassles and physical and mental exhaustion, I kept my sights firmly set on the end goal, never forgetting where I was going and what all this was for.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing in your life right now, we are all striving for something, every one of us. We have a place where we want to be, a goal we are working towards – and that’s why we work so hard now. That’s what makes the hard days worth it. It is our dreams, desires, wishes we have to keep our focus on.
You are the master of your life, your existence, and whatever you are striving for, you can create. You can make it happen. And in doing so, in making your intention the motivation behind every action, in seeing each little step realised along the way – you learn to relish every challenge on the journey. You understand that it’s all part of the bigger picture which is falling into place around you. And you give yourself a pat on the back as you go! Wherever you are now, take pride in yourself for what you have already accomplished, overcome, faced, dealt with; acknowledge yourself for working so hard and getting shit done.
I have just packed up an entire apartment, a full life’s worth of stuff, all by myself! That’s something I certainly take pride in and congratulate myself for. It’s also something I accept as one of the steps I needed to take to get where I’m going. And in selling, donating, discarding all of the “stuff” that has made up my life, rather than mourning the loss, I take a little moment of gratitude and say goodbye to each “thing”, to that phase of my life. I consciously appreciate every moment of this latest chapter, and all those that came before – but ultimately my focus must lie on the now, and what lies ahead.
I am tired, sore, weary, but oh so very happy. The time has come to say goodbye to this lovely London life. The time has come to move forward, to really step beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone, to take the one bag of possessions I have left and carry it into a new life, a new world for me. I’ve never done the backpacking travelling thing, I’ve never gone anywhere exotic for longer than a short holiday. The anticipation of the unknown which lies ahead slightly scares but mostly exhilarates me. It is a new life I am consciously creating, and I am excited to see it take shape.
Home to Dublin tomorrow for a week of reunions with family and friends, and likely emotional farewells, and then off to the land of sand, sea and smiles! My own feels like the biggest in the world right now 🙂