Oh what a difference a year makes…the last twelve months have seen me become Alice, transported into something of a wonderland. This time last year my life was almost completely different. Of course there are remnants which have remained consistent (the kids look pretty normal only longer, and the boyfriend is now a husband – but thankfully the same man nonetheless) but life is just… different.
I’ve shared lots about how my dad dying changed my life in ways which I am still gently adjusting to, one day at a time, but one effect of his departure was a new desire to seek out beauty.
I have more fun these days. I laugh and socialise more. I pay closer attention in art galleries. I am nicer (mostly) and things just sort of look different – like the same world only in HD. I had never noticed the way that flowers actually visibly perk up after they have been watered, or the way that smiling at strangers leaves you both with this delicious serotonin induced buzz, for several moments after the interaction.
I have a new project with a new partner in a new corporate landscape underway, and I’m intending to make a real difference in the lives of young people as a result, but the most enchanting development is that I am nine months away from becoming an author. An author published by Hayhouse, the publisher who is responsible for 10% of my book case contents and whose Ladbroke Grove offices I graced several times with clients I represented in a publicist capacity some ten years ago, looking around wistfully at the shelves lined with stories and lessons from the individuals who expressed within their pages. Possibly burying an subconscious thought that one day I too, would join their magical ranks.
I’m relishing the writing process, but most of all the observation that our path is never fixed. Just as life deals us with tests and challenges to navigate and grow through, it is also overflowing with possibilities and opportunities to explore what else, what different, what new and what more there is for us to make of ourselves – to contribute to the world.
I was so head down in the path I had forged for myself that it took grief to wake me up, and disconnect me from the life I was living. Only then did I have the space of mind to see what other unexpected fruit was ripe for the picking, just beyond my periphery.
If I have learnt anything over the past life changing year, it is that having a plan and a vision is no bad thing, but if we don’t allow space to disconnect from our path, to switch off from our busy lives and schedules, then we risk missing out on so much more that lies in store for us – the possibilities and alternative roads just beyond our line of vision.