The time and space affords us a window to start identifying the things that really matter to us. When we stop telling ourselves the same old stories, we can begin to write new ones.
There is something in that. There is a truth. A truth that is raw and exposed. That truth is us. It is who we really are, when we have nothing left to hide behind.
And as you afford yourself this time, you begin to discover things about yourself. Things you didn’t know before. Flaws, and falsities, and half-truths. But also strengths, and depth, and confidence. There is nowhere to hide. Your sanctuary must be found within yourself, and in the moment you have now. There is nowhere else. You don’t have a house full of things to retreat to, to recharge your batteries and remind yourself of who you think you are.
In that sanctuary you can begin to strip back layers. You are untethered, wild and free. And as you explore this space you may realise how big the world is, and how many different ways of life co-exist – harmoniously. There are so many beliefs, and rituals, and norms. And when you take the time to start seeing them, and learning about them, you see there are many ways to live a good life. It is sobering, and inspiring, and beautiful.
We can take with us the little lessons we learn. The long and deep chats with people we cross paths with, and the glowing smiles and genuine kindness. We can take with us the challenging moments we overcome, the tears and the heartbreak. We shouldn’t rush around trying to fit everything in. There isn’t time for that. We should create a way of life that is simple enough to enjoy the things we hold dearest, and the beauty that is accessible to us all.
But as we travel along on our different paths (for they all are different), it is so important to recognise that our way is not the way for everyone. People weave in and out of our lives as needed. Some stay for a long time, some a much shorter time. Some are learning lessons we have already learnt, and others are learning lessons we are yet to learn. We are all doing something different. But all these people and all the experiences they bring let us become something new. They allow us to be who we need to be, and to grow and change. Sometimes we move forward quickly and other times, much slower. Sometimes we are bounding with enthusiasm, other times the road is a little rockier and we hold a somber stance.
No matter where we are at, our journey continues. We rise and fall. The good and bad times are necessary to give us the skills we need to go on. Introspectively, we must learn to recognise what is right for us. We must learn the cues, and start to identify with what we really need, not just some crazy unachievable ideal of what we think we need.
It’s about being mindful. But it’s also about listening to your heart.
When I left home, I was searching. I was searching for all these things I thought would make me happy. I imagined myself coming home with the love of my life and everything resolving itself from there. This is my theme. I’m always dreaming of a new idea, a new thing I should do. And deep down I’ve always been waiting. Thinking that once I achieved this, or found that, or let go of something else, everything would be fine. And I thought I was being still, but I have always been waiting then searching, or searching then waiting.
And something happened yesterday. I met this old man. He gave me a biscuit and a cup of chai and we sat. I enjoyed that biscuit and chai more than many beautiful meals I have had on my journey so far. And this man, he told me some things. They were things I already knew. But this time I heard them with fresh ears, and an open heart. And there was a moment, where I knew it was time to stop waiting. Time to stop searching. And suddenly a plan began to emerge.
And suddenly, it was not the idea of achieving that was exciting me, but the process of creating. Creating the life I want, and have wanted but have been too scared to pursue.
And with a few simple words, this old man, with his biscuits and chai, not only made it seem possible, but helped me realise that there is no need to wait. I am already living the life I want to live. I am not living the dream. I am living my dream. And somehow, I just woke up in the middle of it.