I’ve found myself in a place that looks and feels familiar, and yet still takes me by surprise. I’ve remembered the existence of this blog and re-reading some of the content, I am invigorated by the memories it returns to me. The mind is an amazing thing. We are capable of storing so much information, but like computers, we cannot access this all at once. So reading back my documented memories sheds some fresh light on experiences that have been watered down by time and persistent analyzing of what was said by whom and for which reasons, which brings me to question what conclusions have been reached in order for my memories to have been re-shaped in the way that they have been.
For example – reading back my Essex adventures (or at least, the ones I have chosen to share) shows me that I did live there quite happily. I was only a couple of years into this foreign adventure, surrounded by a small group of close friends and an adopted family, making sense of this new world and trying to leave my mark on it. When I left Essex to return to London, that view of the world had shifted and my fight-or-flight response was triggered – a natural reaction. When the dust had settled, my determination to to rise from the ashes was stronger than ever and with that in mind in carried on. Now over five years have passed since my last blog post and it’s so interesting to be able to look at the person I was all that time ago. I’ve grown, developed, blossomed. In my mind, up until today, most of my memories of Essex are gray, without a lot of detail and a murkiness that I associated with a stomach ache – something that had to be experienced but would rather be avoided. Perhaps not wanting to risk recreating the disappointment I felt when departing from the place that had been my home for a couple of years played a large part in that. It did work, as despite the ups and downs I’ve experienced since the Big Move Back to the Big Smoke, the overall experience has been positive. So that may explain why my active memories of that time in my life don’t tally up with the recorded memories that I personally left for my older self.
The place that I am finding myself in again is one that I am used to, but not yet entirely comfortable in, but not terrified of anymore. It feels like I’m on the edge of a diving board. I’ve made the big climb up, past the children’s diving board and further up to the next – the one where the big kids are egging each other on to jump whilst they try to put off their own jump for as long as they can. The floor is slippery and my stomach sinks but I’ve done this a few times before and I know what’s coming. I know that I’m afraid now, but once I’ve jumped, in my own time, in my own way, I’ll hit the water as planned and I’ll feel better for it. I can lie in the water for a bit, watching the other kids jump, shouting words of encouragement whilst enjoying the warm temperature of the pool, before climbing out and making my way back up the slippery stairs. Every time I prepare a big jump (moving to the UK, venturing out on my own after a break up, deciding to go back to University), there are things holding me back, yet having persevered I feel better for having done so, and the next time one comes up, my hands and legs get steadier, my chin goes up a little higher.
It’s the end of a chapter but not the end of the book. It’s a circle that never ends. Growth, mostly. Learning about life, and living life, and love, and all types of challenges. Discovering myself. And it’s probably about a ton of other things that I haven’t yet identified because I’m not at the right time and the right place yet. But as I have been able to reflect on the Essex chapter, I may one day be able to reflect on the uni chapter, or the London chapter. Time will tell.
The beautiful thing about the deja-vu that I experienced when returning to this blog is that it’s reignited a passion that I had forgotten was there. In line with my past actions, it would seem suitable to close down this blog and end this chapter, and start a new one, for the next phase in my life. Thoughts?
Thank you for reading.