The question I’ve grown the most accustomed to over the last few months is:
“What is your plan?”
At first, I would panic mildly when people would ask me this. Plan? What plan? I have no plan! Do I need a plan? And if I do, where do I get one? And thus the questions would continue to flow while my brain drowned in them.
Yes, we all love our life plans. We’re all constantly making them, after all. And if someone doesn’t really have one, we panic for them. When you’re in a long-term relationship, your plans are mostly aligned with the other person’s. In my case, my ex and I were planning on settling down in Cyprus, setting up a business and getting married. Once we broke up a few months back, though, those plans went out the window, and I was then tasked with making new, solo ones.
Although I could insist on finding an instant replacement to marry and make babies with, I have decided to go on a much more fulfilling personal journey. Well, in all honesty, it wasn’t really a conscious decision, rather than one that just seemed to happen organically. When we first broke up I remember one of my initial reactions was “well, most people like to ‘find themselves’ when they go through a breakup, and I pretty much know who I am, so that’s out the window.” Turns out, though, I was wrong.
An Unexpected Journey of Self Discovery
Yes, I may have thought I know who I am (and thankfully I do to a great extent), but I’m finding that I’m learning a lot from this experience, too, so my initial reaction was rather naive. For one, I’m way too trusting of people who claim to be friends, when in fact I’ve come to realise I can count my real friends on one hand, and it’s taken this breakup for me to realise how I’ve been surrounded by horrible, negative energies for way too long; I now realise that getting rid of them is part of the process of ‘finding myself.’
My trip to Skyros last month, which I plan to blog about very soon, is what propelled me onto this route of self-discovery that I am now on. I enrolled on a writing course entitled ‘Writing from Life’ at the Skyros Centre as I hoped to gain some inspiration for the book that I’m writing. While I knew that the course would take place in a group and that there’d be an element of group activity to the whole thing, I did not anticipate I’d end up loving everyone that I met there. For one, I usually abhor groups; I find it hard to instantly connect with people and I think that small talk is tiresome, so I was half expecting to be on my own most of the time when class wasn’t on.
Oh how wrong was I.
By the end of the two weeks I had made lifelong friends and I can honestly say I enjoyed each and every person’s company. It was magical; I guess the retreat attracts the type of person who wants to work on their self development, which meant that we were all presenting our authentic selves while we were there. There were no pretences. We were all on this journey of self discovery together, which meant that we bonded very quickly. And it was while I was spending time with these lovely, genuine and caring people that I realised I really have a lot to work on – namely learning to truly love myself.
Books for the Soul
Since I’ve been back from Skyros I’ve put personal development on the top of my list of priorities. I’ve been reading loads of wonderful books that are opening my eyes to so much. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer was particularly enlightening. While I won’t go into too many details, one of the interesting things that he says is that we are not the ‘voice’ we hear in our heads. We are the ‘being’ that hears that voice talking. Once you realise this, it’s very liberating, as that voice says all kinds of crazy shit – it’s nice to know we can just tune it out!
So I currently find myself in Cyprus, staying with my mum, taking it easy. I started work again last week, which felt absolutely fantastic. I’m so incredibly grateful to have the line of work that I do, and to have clients and projects coming in. I’m therefore currently focusing on getting loads of work done in order to build my savings up.
In conjunction with this, I’m focusing all of my energy on myself. I’m meditating every morning and reading books that either teach me something new or help with my personal development. I’m aiming to get fit – both in mind and spirit. It’s deep, spiritual work, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Where am I Heading?
I asked myself the question “so what’s my plan?” yesterday and I realised that while I could only answer it very vaguely (make some money, make some travel plans) I realised that it was more than enough for now. I don’t need to have it all figured out so quickly. It would be odd for anyone to crazily veer from one extreme in their plans to another. Yes, my old plans are out the window, but this has given me the space and freedom to work on me and me alone. And through doing this, over time I expect the picture to become clearer. Maybe I’ll settle down here for a while. Maybe I’ll start travelling long-term again. Maybe I’ll take a job in Japan. Who knows? I have the freedom and the will to do whatever I want, and that within itself is something to be incredibly grateful for. And I want to make these decisions with a clear, calm head.
Yes, I may not know where I’m heading yet, but I’m certainly not lost.
Have you ever gone on a journey of self discovery before? If so, what led you there?