The previous posts on this blog date from February and March 2020, before the Covid pandemic really swept the world, and were originally posted on my Twin Peaks blog:
In late 2019, I had finally decided it was time to put my fears behind me and get on a plane – or 7 – and finally see more of this beautiful world.
I had never been anywhere in this world, living in the North West and then the Channel Islands. My longest trips in those years were as far as Jersey or France. I was terrified of flying (and honestly, still am), but I decided to no longer let that hold me back.
I won’t recount that incredible trip here, as you can read them for yourself, beginning with:
I returned to Herm 10th March 2020, and less than a week later was quarantining. That began 20 months of island isolation, 2 three-month lockdowns, and true cut-off island living. You may read the first part of my Herm Lockdown Diary, detailing those first months of the pandemic on a paradise isle.
And so to the present, and to the winter of 2021/2022.
It is easy to put drastic change down to a mid-life crisis, but I find it deeper-rooted. My child just reached 19 and headed off to university, where they have the chance to reinvent and create and soar, and as we planned this, some little thing within me was awoken – a gentle fluttering of wings against cage bars, a longing for open seas and skies, a latent desire to fly free.
As a child, I obsessed over books about leaving. Enid Blyton taught me how easy it was to live in a cave on the beach, to scrounge bread and cheese from a friendly farmer, and to join the circus and learn how to be the girl who stands on the horses. Easy, right?? I used to pack my little suitcase with a couple of dresses, my favourite books, and my 50p pocket money, and wait for opportunity to show up, like the Famous Five seemed to encounter every week. I dreamt of being swept away to live in a castle that coincidentally was a boarding school, where I could wear long dresses that were otherwise stored in a trunk at the end of my four-poster bed. I still kind of want that. Do we ever really grow out of these dreams?
I discovered The Cure when on holiday in Devon, aged 14. There was a little park with swings by our caravan. It looked over a huge valley, filled with the lights of distant houses, and the steady stream of red brake lights from a hundred cars heading off to other adventures, other lives.
The music still reminds me of that holiday, swinging obsessively for hours in the dark, listening to the sounds and words that carried me away to another life, another girl, one whose window was lit with warmth and love and creativity. I spent most of my adolescent and adult life trying to be that girl, with creativity flowing in sparks from every fingertip as she looks out over a world that belongs to her.
Really, what it comes down to is freedom. Freedom from debt, from 9-5 work, from lifetime commitments. The aim is to eradicate stress, that stealer of health and energy, and to focus on creativity and self-care, to spend time in nature, and to swing higher than the stars until your wings take hold.
So, I have given up my idyllic island life and headed back to the real world, looking for inspiration, open seas, and the space to create freely.
Maybe now, finally, the light in the window will be mine.