This was a genuine thought I had probably about 5 years ago. London is the issue. The grey skies are the problem. If I could move to Australia everything would be better. Everything would be happier then, I’d become a surfer babe and magically have blonde hair and be super confident and everyone would want to hang out with me. I’d be happy in my job and probably just be like perfect in every way. Australia is the answer. I’ll do that.
I remember very clearly my brother turning around to me and, lovingly, saying… Lucy.. the thing is, feel free to move to Australia, but you realise that moving across the world doesn’t suddenly mean you will have had a brain transplant. You’ll still have your brain when you’re there. You can’t escape yourself.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T ESCAPE MYSELF?!! I’m stuck with this brain forever?! You mean that’s why whenever I book a holiday and imagine myself feeling free and liberated and able to strike up conversations with strangers I end up disappointed that I’m still just the same old version of me but in a different place? You mean that’s why why everyone gets excited about Christmas and then when it comes around is somehow surprised that everyone in their family hasn’t magically turned into some form of human Christmas elf with absolutely zero flaws and that for some bizarre reason the things that annoyed us in our family dynamics on December 23rd still annoy us on December 25th?!
How DARE my brain do this to me.
Brutal realisation isn’t it.
We can’t escape ourselves.
Damn you advertising industry!! You’ve spun us a lie. You told us that all we needed to do was buy that dress, go on that holiday, get a bigger house, make more money, get married, get more followers, do all the stuff and THEN we’d be happy.
It’s all a lie.
A deep. Painful. Gritty. Lie.
The only way to find peace in this little old thing called life is, rather than try to escape ourselves, is to dive deeper INTO ourselves. Dive deeper into all the grittiness, all the triggers, all the lack of self belief, the imposter syndrome, the feelings of failure, the loneliness, the disconnection. Dive into all of it and start to work WITH it rather than perpetually trying to escape from it.
You can’t escape from your belief systems. Your hurt. Your ‘stuff’. You can try, and no doubt you have been trying. But my guess is that you know it hasn’t been working. You know it in your gut. Something is missing.
The thing that’s missing is self intimacy. The deepest understanding of who you are. All the depth, the grit and the beauty of YOU. It’s only in diving into all of that that we can truly find the peace and flow that we all keep trying to buy off Amazon.
You know it in your heart, don’t you?
Everything felt infused with irritation. I was doing all the things for everyone else that I thought I should be doing. I was doing all the acts of service. I was, technically, loving those people. And yet. It felt like every act I did, rather than being infused with love, was infused with a shards of glass shooting out of every plate I stacked.
It was a Thursday back in February 2018. The rain hadn’t stopped for months and London was right in the depths of what felt like the longest winter we’d ever had. The dark, damp days had started to getting to me so I’d taken refuge in a hot yoga class to warm up. The scent of palo santo blended with the sweat of 50 people pervaded the room. It was bonus day at work. They’d told us it had been a bad year and not to expect much. I peaked into the envelope, hopeful, as soon as they slid it across the table: £130k. But there I lay, in savasana, with hot, salty tears streaming down my face: I’d never felt emptier.
I always thought it was down to my mildly intense anxious attachment stuff playing out... that and just low key hating dating apps. But then as I started to date a little bit more than I usually do... I was faced with some of the real reasons I'd been avoiding it for so long... and here they are..
It’s been 2.5 years since I hop, skipped and jumped out of the trading floor and into self employed life. In all honesty, I never thought I’d have the courage to do it - I used to wake up in the middle of the night at times in a cold sweat, equally panicked about the prospect of leaving as I was about the prospect of never fully claiming my life.