In searching for inspiration for my debut blog post, Google informed me that before I started writing, I had to come up with a clearly defined subject. Apparently, just documenting my mad ravings is not enough to satisfy an audience. So, I thought I’d start at the beginning (always a very good place to start), with an insight into the inspiration for both my blog and my new business, wordly…
All too often I found myself wrapped up in, well, myself; perhaps identifying a little bit too much with Eat, Pray, Love’s somewhat self-indulgent protagonist. I fantasised about checking out for a year (or maybe two), escaping to Italy (India didn’t really grab me). Let someone else deal with the 25 year mortgage and answer all the questions about when I was getting married / having kids / finally going to do that house extension.
That’s when I started to notice the craving: today’s somewhat stereotypical mid-30s yearning for answers to all of life’s big questions. My craving started as a slow and steady simmering. The questions were endless, and oh so cyclical in nature. Surely there’s something more than this nine to five grind? Am I being selfish, focusing on my career? Am I even in the right career? Should I be having babies? Is that what I’m missing? Surely I’m meant for something bigger, better, brighter?
Then my craving reached boiling point. I got engaged. I thought that the life-changing, joy-inducing proposal from the love of my life would foster excitement, happiness, bliss for everyone around me (it certainly did for me!). That it would quiet some of the lines of enquiry I had been dodging from other people. Boy was I wrong. If anything, it amplified the inquisition.
In somewhat of a light-bulb moment (shared with the love of my life over a beer in the shed), I decided that my constant personal internal interrogation had to stop. Why did I care about other people’s misinformed opinions of my life? I was sick and tired of listening to my own internal dialogue. Of listening to the voices in my head argue constantly while I looked on from the sidelines, bemused grin plastered across my face.
I know I’m not alone. The craving is everywhere. All those inspirational, thought-for-the-day self-help platitudes tagged on every second person’s Facebook status, they’re proof. (For those you that are wondering, my particular favourite is from Oprah Winfrey: ‘Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.’) We’ve all got friends who have gone through (and some who have come out the other side) of the craving. The friend who traded in a high-profile, high-paying, high-stress executive role to work part-time in an organic fruit shop. The beer-swilling, duck-shooting cousin who turned vegetarian and traded in their 4×4 for a Prius. Different lifestyles suit different people, for different reasons, at different times of their lives.
Over ten years ago, I took a huge leap. I jetted off to London with no job and nowhere to live. No idea what might happen. I didn’t stop to check for a safety net, to second guess my decision. I just went for it. Turns out, I met my husband-to-be, made lifelong friends and became the woman I am today. Ten years is a long time between adrenaline rushes.
So, I’m taking the plunge. I’m going to try out new things (blogging being just one of many), take on challenging projects. I’m going do what I love: write. To quote Erada (and placate all the self-help enthusiasts in the audience), if it’s both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it. So I am.
Let’s find out what happens next.