When I set out at the start of 2020 to take a sabbatical, travel and for want of a better phrase, find myself, I didn’t realise that the year would upend everything. No one could have foreseen this to be honest.
Having left my job, I had the world at my feet, a good bill of health, plans to see the world, recalibrate myself and get back to what was important. Travel plans scarpered, an operation in Q1 with recovery time needed to walk without pain and a lot of spare time I took to reading and philosophising. Philosophising is a cute way to say I was rather annoyed!
Since I’d quit my job, couldn’t travel nor work, I looked at how I could at least gain inner growth. Cue therapy which I’m still undertaking. My ex, when I explained I was going to do psychology for my degree exclaimed that it’s a subject for those that are f*cked up trying to make sense of the world. At the time a decade ago, I brushed it off, but I now suspect he’s right to some extent. The wounded healer and all. What I didn’t quite know was just how emotional and painful this process would be.
2020 meant that I took a deep internal look at what I value, how to heal, and what I can do to make the world better. It all starts with caring. I care about the people in my life, climate change & the impact humans have on the environment, and how we are able to grow in a healthier way. This, to me means feeding your mind, body and soul.
What do they mean?
Mind. As humans we have such a huge capacity to learn, understand and come up with solutions. To feed my mind is to feed my curiosity of the world, but most importantly, it is my desire to learn. How glorious is it that we live in a time that the internet provides us with near unlimited access to information? Data from experts who have spent their lives studying, so that, as a people, we can expand on that knowledge. I think I could build a dwelling and make fire, but stranded in time, I’d have no idea which mould would give me penicillin… So learning is important, the scholars provide and a quick search will give me needed answers
Body. This is self explanatory, but having had a number of operations in my life (of which I’m extremely grateful and lucky to have had), the importance of good health is paramount. I’m not going to pretend that I am a specimen of health, however I am learning about the importance of a regular MOT to ensure I can be active and participate in this thing we call life. I spent so many years being tired and considered myself lazy because everything was exhausting. I later was told that my need to crunch copious amounts of ice-cubes could indicate anaemia. Blood tests later, and they were right. Taking iron tablets changed my life. Suddenly I could breath, I had energy and the world wasn’t foggy. A simple blood test changed my whole life- please MOT yourselves!
Soul. Expression is the way forward to articulate my soul, be it in writing, art, dance or another form of taking the inner self to an outward stance. I’ve tried holding everything in, being stoical, accepting stuff that inside I rage about. This doesn’t work. I want to be free. We all want to be free to be ourselves. Authenticity is the only way to, for me, be. Some things need to be held back, others shared. Either-way being authentic is what I believe matters, makes us standout but more importantly, helps to bring us together.
FU 2020. These are all learnings I could have found out without the year going sh*ts up! What the year taught me was that we have a bigger fight on our hands. We can’t go back to the way the world was. That doesn’t work. It may not have worked for the majority of people, but now we have proof that it doesn’t work for the world.
Is this our global wake up call? There is no #planetb and so we need a new way of thinking. Because the world is beautiful.