It’s been nearly a year since I wrote last – about 11 months. Has it really been so long since we last spoke? This email may help explain why.
I have done so many things this year. Too numerous to mention. From my perspective they don’t seem all that significant anyway. Instead, what is important is the gradual shift in my focus that has underpinned them all. This feels like a completely new phase of life and it all starts with letting go.
My habit is to get too excited by too many things. I am constantly plagued by too many good ideas. An absolutely ludicrous number that could never in a million years see the light of day. My blog is a good example. No matter how much I write, no matter how many videos I make, the list of ‘ideas for one day’ just keeps getting longer and longer. What can I possibly do with all this creativity? With this desire to share my ideas with the world? With this desire for connection?
To give you an example, just within this last month I have written and delivered two workshops on Emotional Intelligence and safety. (Volunteer of course. I haven’t yet found a way to get remunerated for this work) I even put my hand up to create another one for a third conference in November.
The truth is that all this energy leaves me with no energy. Too many ideas lead me to act on none. I’m forever trying to ‘hold myself back’ because I know if I don’t I will mindlessly spend all my resources on countless projects – none of which I see through enough for them to pay me back in return. It therefore feels like I’m constantly giving and never getting anything back.
So, in these last 12 months I made a very conscious decision that has significantly altered the course of my life. I decided that, as hard as it is, I need to let go – specifically of the people who I would classify as ‘old friends’. Those with whom I used to share something significant, but who have now moved on and we no longer play a role in each other’s everyday lives.
This was especially true of all the connections I made travelling. I met so many incredible people, but how could I possibly hope to keep in touch with them all? So naturally our lives move on and we drift apart. Previously I would always put effort into reconnecting. When I was feeling lonely I would reach out to these old friends and it would work! “It’s been so long! Let’s catch up!” But I’ve come to realise that ‘old friends’ are just that. We may still care deeply for each other as human beings, but our relationship was in the past.
What I really needed was what I like to call ‘everyday friends’. This has been my primary driving motivation this past year. Who are the people in my life TODAY?! Now I have a much clearer focus.
One of my absolute JOYS this year has been a little trio of everyday friends. We go camping, we have picnics, we organise road trips. We have done so much this year just the three of us. Sometimes others join in, other times not. Extra company is nice but it doesn’t really matter. When everyone else is too busy we are still there for each other. We do not ‘catch up’. We share life together.
The world is so big these days. I have hundreds of Facebook friends. I’ve met so many incredible people on my travels. Too many. My problem is always too many. How can I let go of something, someone, so incredible? Slowly I am learning this essential skill. And the rewards are real connections, right now.
As I said in the beginning, this feels like a completely new phase of life and it all starts with letting go. So with that in mind, I’ve decided that this will be my last ‘travel update’. After all, it has been nearly four years since the end of my European Odyssey!!
That said, this is not the end and ‘catching up’ is still nice 🙂
So if you ever feel inspired to re-connect I’d love to hear from you, be it today, tomorrow, or ten years from now.