Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When you make a conscious decision to live, life starts to take you in some strange directions that you would not have otherwise chosen.  The past 6 months have been enlightening to say the least.   I have been so fortunate, to discover new friends and reignite old friendships that continue to surprise.  I have found happiness and love in unexpected places.  I have experienced sadness and tears and although I struggled to understand the whys and wherefores (understanding things has always been important to me), I have had to learn to accept it.  

Initially I took a 6 month lease with the plan to travel in 2019.  Travel far and wide, and experience life, but a funny thing happened whilst I was waiting to get there, Life started happening to me and I was exposed to things that have changed me, opened me up to some incredible people and some amazing experiences.  I have since decided not to travel, that there were reasons to stay, but some of those reasons have changed.  Relationships ended, my son is moving to England, my daughter is moving out with friends, but I don’t feel like travelling now, there is no need to go.  I was approaching it all wrong, it was a means of escape, not adventure, but the thing I was running from was myself, a Sisyphean task to be sure and a fools errand.

For the last couple of months I have found myself drifting, not aimlessly, not lost, but letting go.  Letting go of expectations I held for myself (no mean feat, I set the bar pretty high and fell short on many occasions) and those I held others to.  Letting go of what the world should hold for me, of who I should be within it, of what I should accomplish.  Letting go of what life should be, of perceived freedoms, of the pursuit of happiness.  Letting go of the scoreboards, of the ladders, of the disappointments and the fears.  For the first time in my life, after reaching that point where I like who I am, I have given myself permission to let go of it all and just be.

So I have embraced life, with all it’s light and darkness, the happiness, the love, the tears and the pain, the quiet moments that I do love so, and the crazy frenetic pace that overcomes us at times, to truly embrace it all, and just accept it as it is, without trying to control it, to experience life in a way I haven’t before, to be open to all that the world has to offer.  Not in a crazed say yes to everything way, but in a judicious manner.  I am not chaining myself to what should be, or what must be.  At 48 I am allowing myself to let go of my ego, to let go of restraints and demands, and it is incredibly liberating.

I left my apartment on St Kilda Road two weeks ago.  Due to a number of circumstances and opportunities, I am currently without fixed abode, no, I am not living on the street, I have been so very fortunate that there are a number of people who surround me that have offered not just shelter but their homes and their kinship (not all kin is blood).  So to those people I am grateful beyond measure.  And so, in no particular order, thank you Joe, Mark, Mum, Dad, Dominique, Daniel, Deanna, John, Mia, Anna, Catherine, Amanda, Cassandra, and Saskia, you have offered your homes and your hearts and for that you have my eternal gratitude and a place in my heart.  My life would not be as rich as it is without you all, my door is always open to you, and I know these relationships will continue to grow and develop as time goes by.

With much thanks to Joe, Kensington has been home for the last two weeks and will be until the end of January.   I have already fallen for the area, strolling the old stock sale yards and the constant cooing of the turtle doves, it almost feels like I’m in a country town, with all the benefits of being right on the edge of the city.  This seems the perfect spot to deepen my patience and cement my ability to let go, my inner control freak is so quiet now, I can actually hear the world around me.  The silences are filled with the sound of the wind through the trees and the birds cooing, life is being lived without stress, even though there are still stressful things happening around me.  The days pass much as they did before, work, eat, sleep, repeat, but there is no harsh edge to them anymore, despite Joe’s best efforts to convert me to drinking Kombucha.  There is discussion and there is laughter (quite often about Kombucha), there is friendship and familial bonds, and these all lead to a level of understanding and ease that brings a simple and easy life.

3 more weeks will see me heading to Darlinghurst, yes thats right, Sydney will be home for 3-4 months as I have much to do there for work.  Beyond that there are no plans, and for the first time, I am okay with that, genuinely.  I will return to Melbourne for visits whilst I am away and I will most likely return, although I may fit in a trip to visit John in the UK at some point next year.  But I am open to whatever life brings to me.

Thomas Jefferson said “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Although, I think he got it wrong (apologies to Mr Jefferson),  happiness is too fleeting.  I think we should pursue something that has more lasting effects and a more positive impact on us and the world around us.  I think we should be pursuing contentment.

I am truly fortunate, to be surrounded by family and friends and the amazing team I work with every day.   I am alive, I am free and I am content.

And still, to this day, your words loom large. Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C. USA December 2015

And still, to this day, your words loom large.
Lincoln Memorial
Washington D.C. USA
December 2015