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?