Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Where to go, what to do, who to be? A goal
In so many ways I have reached a level of contentment in my life that I didn't think was possible given the direction I took. Aged 25, still living in the UK, with a 'husband' (for want of a better word - though as yet no contracts have been signed or expensive receptions thrown), a toddler and another child on the way, working part time in a job that really is just a job, on a relatively low income, no prestige, no glory. Not the conditions for contentment - a career, adventure, international travel, lots of money, passionate love affairs (and quite probably eventual infamy, 'cause I am that sort of girl) - I predicted as a teenager. I used to change my mind a lot about where, who and what I wanted to be - which might explain why I have arrived so far from any of my visions, such was the meandering path I took. All in all I have ended up in a good place. I know enough about myself to make where I am a comfortable place to be, whilst at the same time being able to see where things could be made so much better.
This state of contentment has crept up on me over the last year, sometime after I quit the misery inducing navel gazing and stressing about what I should be doing with my life and just got on with actually living it. I started writing this blog to motivate me and to record my progress - which it did - and we got on with the business of decluttering our lives. We have paid off thousands of pounds worth of debt. I have given up a few hobbies that no longer fulfilled me and replaced them with activities that do. Our house is mostly decluttered and vaguely tidy on 3 out of every 7 days. Progress indeed, but the biggest changes were internal - ridding my mind of the chatter that caused me to stumble at every turn was harder work. Even then, giving up giving a crap what other people thought (or even what I thought they thought) was the easy part as it turned out - I can take the most snide criticism these days and still usually enjoy the rest of my day. But letting go of all of the conflicting visions that I have held for myself over the years is a lot harder, which might explain why I had such a seemingly irrational attachment to that desk.
Yesterday we made the decision that our goal for the next five years would be to move to the county of my childhood, Norfolk, and try to build a good life. The details will be thrashed out in the next few years but it is exciting to have a direction to strike out in finally, a new reason to be living the way we do. We have discussed at length over the years where we should go when we are done with Portsmouth - home or abroad, city, town or country - an almost infinite range of exciting possibilities - and the end result of years of deliberation is that I will be returning to my roots.
Norfolk is one of the most beautiful places in the UK, has a great climate and offers us a range of options as to small city/town/village/hovel living, all of which would allow us to lead a wonderful, simple, outdoorsy lifestyle if we design it right. Going home makes a lot of sense, but up until now I wasn't able to admit it. When I left, I had no real thoughts of ever returning, fond as I was of the place. I went away, failed at everything I set out to do and eventually came to make my peace with that. All of the visions that no longer fit have been let go of and returning to my roots doesn't feel so much a failure, but an opportunity to create something new and exciting. Today is a good day.