Let me start by saying, more so now than ever, I have no bloody idea what I’m doing, where I’m going, or if I can be bothered, but I probably can.
I have one thing to stick to, just one. I have paid for it, booked everything around it, insured it and looked forward to it with much enthusiasm, but after the last month or two I am not even sure about whether that will come to fruition.
2 months ago I had a pretty clear idea of what I would be doing right now. Then Sarah and I split up, I left Mexico and she stayed, and I thought “Ok, this is new but my plans are still in place”, and with that thought bouncing around inside my befuddled brain I continued down the path I had already laid out.
I sought and bought a van to convert into a camper, said van had issues and I had a tumultuous month of heated discussion to return the van. I then had a heated discussion with the insurance company to get my money back and came off second best with a £400 loss.
Without realizing it I have obviously been in a place of much disconcert-ion, and making plans when your life has had such an enormous upheaval I now know better than ever, is not a good idea. I thought I knew what I wanted, I thought procrastination was going to be the killer, and so I plunged head first into whatever I could just to get the ball rolling. And it stressed me the fuck out!
I wish I could say that initial hiccup was the end of it, and that I learned my lesson right away. But it took a few more weeks for me to calm down and really look at what I wanted from life. I saw many more cars and vans, called up countless insurance companies. Bought and returned 2 laptops, and sold off almost everything I owned, then bought stuff to replace it. And I went to the gym a lot, which probably saved me from a complete meltdown.
And now here I am, 2 months after the initial upheaval, and finally settling into a more rational thought pattern. I stopped, took a breath, and looked at the craziness I was introducing into my life. I questioned what it was I actually wanted, what was making me feel shit, and what I could do to stop it.
And the answers came flooding in, so much so it almost took me on another death spiral of thoughtless action, the antithesis of procrastination called to me once more with a fervour almost as intense as the original.
But with my recent battle scars from a multitude of bad decisions I managed to breath, collect my thoughts, and rifle through the flotsam with a modicum of calm.
The results? Well, only doing something completely different to what I told everyone I was doing, or at least a little to the left of it. As it stand my plans have currently gone from buying a van to live in and driving all over Europe, to renting a car for a month in Spain, doing my Paraglider training while living in a quaint little town nearby, and then? Who. the. fuck. knows…
But that is the great realization I came to, the reason there was so much disquiet pervading my thoughts when I stuck to the original plan, I didn’t want to be tied to anything. I hate being stuck, I need change in my life, it is what makes me tick. Change and binging on Netflix, either one, usually both.
Buying a car, would mean that that is what I have to do, car things. And it drove me crazy because I still had in my minds eye these images of trekking Annapurna, or living in a Riad in Marrakesh for a month (I have even found an apartment and it is likely to be the next stop after Spain, probably), or heading across to India with my paraglider in a backpack and just doing whatever came my way.
I have a freedom which is incredible, and my original plans would have stunted that. I don’t know exactly what I want. I have everything booked to fly in Spain in March, but aside from that, I just don’t know.
I haven’t been a single guy in almost 10 years, and I have never been a single man. When I met Sarah my life was like most young peoples lives, all over the place. I had no idea what I was or would become. To some degree that is still the case of course, but I have a lot more mistakes and triumphs behind me to use for guidance. I have a confidence and drive now which the old me would not have believed.
I have a lot of uncertainty for sure. I don’t know how I am going to feel travelling alone. I like to share things with someone, I enjoy being able to reminisce, something which you can’t do when travelling on your own. But it is also an opportunity to do something I have never done before, to face challenges with no one but me, myself, and I to figure things out, and who knows what could come from that.
I am still fairly lost, but I am coming to terms with that and realizing that more than just being OK, it is my life blood. I spent most of my youth running from my emotions, cursing my character for not being more in line with what I perceived to be ideal. I spent my early 30’s figuring out that I am exactly who I should be, and that if I accepted that I could have everything I wanted in life.
Now I have to learn some new stuff. I have to figure out who I am without a crutch, who I want to be and what I want to do without the compromise which comes in any relationship, and how I deal with making friends.
I know people, lots of them, I like some people and some people like me, but I am terrible at maintaining friendships. I have never needed to and often don’t want to. But now it is just me, if I want to hold a conversation with someone other than my mum I have to make an effort. That part is probably going to be the most challenging for me, and probably the thing I have the most trepidation about. But this is my life now, and I will figure it out one way or another.
It is hard to feel sorry for myself at this point. The hardest thing I currently face is having too many options and overcoming my own neurosis. I don’t have to worry about my health, I am never hungry, I always have a place to live, and I have mad Web Design skillz with a big Z (though not with this website, which I might do something about one day).
Sure I am a bit lonely, but that also means I have a space which could be filled by something or someone amazing. I have lived so many polar opposite lifestyles in my 34 years that it sometimes feels like I have dreamed them. Poor, sad, scared, weak, strong, stupid, crazy, clever, rich, happy, adventurous, intense. Each life has left me better of than the one before, each one has taught me valuable lessons.
And now here I am, at the beginning again, born anew with infinite paths laid out before me. From this point I can shape what comes next into almost anything I want. I get to choose, happy or sad, intense or boring, better or worse.
I choose the good stuff. This next life is going to be awesome, because I want it to be.