Friday, 18 May 2012

Going into Retreat Mode

Image thanks to yvette

And so she landed back to earth with a bump

That’s right, my big trip is over, and as I imagined, real life has been a bit of a shock to the system.

Since being home to Bristol I’ve gone into what I call ‘cave-mode’; a kind of hibernation. I’ve left the house all of once to buy groceries which are quickly running out. I’ve lived mostly in my bed and watched rom-coms and fretted about my desperate need for a new job whilst only managing to apply for two. My room is still bare from having a sub-letter and I can’t summon the energy to make it pretty; I can’t summon the energy to do anything. A somewhat severe case of jet lag hasn’t helped.

New York City was 4am trains and trips to the Jersey shore and spotting Drew Barrymore outside an upper West Side Starbucks. It was writing my book in cafes and drinking chocolate shakes in diners at midnight. It was attending book launches and unbelievable vegetarian restaurants and kissing in central park in the late afternoon sun. It was avoiding all thought of the future apart from dreaming of South America and East Asia adventures. It was meeting new friends every day and having no concern other than what was the next fun thing to do. 

Now that I’m back I feel a sense of unrest; of cluelessness; of overwhelm. I need to make decisions, but I can’t. I feel disorientated, like I’ve just stepped off of a dizzying fairground ride.

And so, friends, I believe there is only one thing for it: to go into retreat-mode. In my inability to be productive, I can at least productively unwind. Leafy valleys of West Wales, here I come.

I’m going to take a stack of books and sit by the fire and write poems to myself. I’m going to take long baths and do yoga and go on evening walks with my dog. I’m going to ask myself what I want from life and then cosmic order it for myself.

Since graduating last year I’ve been tying myself up in knots trying to find the path between being practical and supporting myself, and being a creative crusader and illustrating my ideal life. I’ve done both to extremes so far this year: working a 9-5 desk job with absolutely no connection to my passions, and dropping everything to fly across an ocean and walk in forests and write stories.

So where to now? 

There is no easy answer. I know I won’t find it in one week of copious tea-drinking and long chats with my mother. But I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try. 

What do you need to retreat from? What questions are plaguing you? Have you got a way of stepping back from everything and giving yourself some recuperation time?

5 comments:

Nurul Izz said...

'What am I gonna do after I graduate and do my internship this August?' I'm reaaaally clueless. An scared. And anxious.

Anonymous said...

hi Megan! something similar happened to me two years ago when I moved to Canada for almost a year and then I came back home, I felt as you for a long time and was a bit dificult try to find the new me = the person that I used to be + the person that I learned to be in Canada, but these days I can tell you that this reflecting moment is also part of the adventure and the fist step for the new one!!!
Kisses @ksy1116

magdalena said...

Megan, I want to say thank you for such an honest blog post. Sometimes I read blogs like yours and it seems like these women have it all together, and it scares the crap out of me that I'm going to graduate with a useless degree, students loans to pay off and no employment opportunities. It's summer right now and in addition to working part time, I've decided to start a blog to occupy my time and figure out what I really want to do with my life. I just want you to know that you are not alone and that even your writing this post was very productive; I've been procrastinating on a new post all week! And I think that retreat mode is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. I hope that it helps you figure out your next steps. Sending my best wished from Canada! xo

Elimy said...

Hey Megan, hope that you get back into the swing of things soon, and in the meantime, enjoy your unwinding.

PS who were you kissing, Um ahhhhh :P

Megan said...

Thanks for all the comments, ladies!

Nurul - Congratulate yourself FOR graduating and finding an internship?! :D And know that if you can do that, you can start an amazing career too!

@ksy - your response really helped me look at things differently! Thank you.

Magdalena - You're very welcome, and best of luck with the new blog!

And, Elimy, I don't kiss&tell ;)

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