David Mamet wrote it beautifully in the play The Duck Variations “Nothing that lives can live alone.”
It baffled me how much society tries to convince us otherwise. In order to find your way you have to go find your way alone! Sort out your shit alone. Be happy with yourself alone before you can be happy with someone else.
That is all good and I am sure to some extend true. I would never want to give back the time I was traveling alone and found out a great deal about myself. So many do that when they are in their thirties. They go on the self-discovery journey – alone.
I am back since three months now and all this time I was constantly asked where did you go, what did you see? I would talk about the magnificent places I have been and the wonderful beaches I surfed at. I would look at the pictures and was back there in my imagination, at the beach, feeling the breeze on my skin, smelling the salt of the sea through my nose, remembering how my heart was filled with peace…
When the grey rainy sky here in London seemed to put me back in to my old stress mode I would think of all these moments. I caught myself sitting on my bed and staring at my board wondering how could I bring this feeling back in to my life here?
And then it hit me! I realised that my journey wasn’t that extraordinary just because of these beautiful places but for the people I shared my journey with. It became clear to me that I wouldn’t even have seen these places, if it weren’t for these people. I would never have had ended up in Desert Point if it wasn’t for Jay and his friends who took me along on their ride. I wouldn’t have been able to hike the difficult route on top of the volcano if it wasn’t for ‘Made’, my lovely guide. And I would most certainly not have ended up in NSW if it weren’t for my new Australian friends!
To every deep memory of these six months there is a person connected to it.
As I was thinking about all of that I became aware how often we forget that it is only because of the others support we get so far in life and how often we forget to say thank you.
I dreamed since years of creating my own theatre company. I envisioned it and in my mind I had a clear picture of how I would want it to be. Even though the time might have been right, I started to see all the little yet big factors that led me to finally take the step. If it wasn’t for one special person who not only inspired me and made me think of a play I wanted to produce but who encouraged me and made me believe I could do this, I would never have gone home that evening after having had those beers outside on that cold patio in Shoreditch and I would never have started to write down the whole concept at once.
If it wasn’t for my founding member Mischa, this company would not be where it already is. And if it wasn’t for him I believe I would have never found Michael who helped us to create the writers-room.
The January blues did get to me, and the fact that the number on my bank account consistently seemed to get smaller and smaller, started to put me into a state of anxiety.
I didn’t do it on purpose it happened far more without being aware of it, but I started to focus on all the things I don’t have. I started to worry every day more and more. I would be disappointed in everything and everyone. Which led me to have my old problem of not being able to breathe. I could feel that my mind started to tell me again to walk. Something I would do in my past whenever I wouldn’t know how to handle a situation. I just left. But I couldn’t leave anymore because for the first time in my life I realised that I started to build my life here and that I didn’t wanted to walk away. Yet my ability to trust in my instinct and be patient with myself, others and life seemed not very encouraging.
Why is it that being able to be patient and trust in the natural flow of life is so much easier when you are traveling? Is it because you are far away from your known life?
I couldn’t figure it out what it was. All I knew was that in the mode I was in I felt like I have to actively fix everything. The lack of trust in myself and life, led to a lack of trust in the people in my life as well. Which then led to see things in a negative prospective.
Finally my friend Ikuyo came back from Japan. How long I have longed for that day to come. Since water always has calmed me down and here in London even though it is a bit dirty it is the only place for me to clear my head, I suggested to go for a walk along the river.
We talked about last year, her time in Japan and what has happened in our lives since we saw each other last. Ikuyo had the beautiful talent to see something positive in no matter what I told her. I was blown away by her perspective and she said: Sarah, you need to change the filter in front of your lens again!” “My filter?” I said. “Yes, like on a camera lens. You change the filter and suddenly a picture looks completely different. You have to put back the positive filter.” She said. I smiled and had to agree with her.
I loved her for these moments when she did make me realise how many good things were happening in my life. Without knowing I started to see all the good again.
I thought of my short visit to Switzerland at the end of the year to see my mother. The motherly love and the delicious home cooked meals she spoiled me with in these four days.
I thought of my new years eve and how I had for the first time in my life no urge to have a special night. I was actually really happy with my year with everything that came with it and I knew my next year was only going to be even better.
Ikuyo laughed and said she had a similar moment at her new years eve and I thanked her for reminding me to change back my filter.
In my opinion it is a luxury if you have people in your life who challenge you intellectually and emotionally. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than to be in the company of someone by whom you feel not challenged in the slightest. I rather have once in a while a storm or thunder in my life than sail on a steady sea for the rest of my life with the sun shining bright on the blue sky.
Of course I must say that it is rarer than one thinks to have people like this in your life. Many feel like it gets exhausting with time or difficult. They tend to choose the simpler way in life. But for me it is the only way I can go about it to be able to grow. I want to feel that I am alive and I want to live life fully and not only scratch the surface of it. In order to do that, I realised I had to bring back patience in to my life and trust my instinct. No matter how uncomfortable a situation made me feel. No matter how much I would like to control it. I had to let go.
Before I left for Indonesia my friend Nyima mentioned this passage from an unknown author to me and back then I had to let go of different things in my life. Now all these months later, much more in touch with myself and at a totally different place, I feel it is again apposite:
“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t
leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about
winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you
appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go
isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn’t leave
emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up.
Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is
to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having
an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is learning
and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the
experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.
It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will
soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change,
and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It is
realising that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.”
For the people in my life who make my life extraordinary! Who make me laugh, cry, reflect and grow. – Thank you