“Almost from the moment I boarded my flight, life in England became meaningless. Seat-belt signs lit up, problems switched off. Broken armrests took precedence over broken hearts. By the time the plane was airborne I’d forgotten England even existed.”
― Alex Garland,
What a summer, what a year! In some ways it feels like nothing has happened at all this year but looking back I can see that there have been some subtle shifts taking place and now I can’t believe that Autumn is on our doorstep and I’ve spent almost another year in London!
It’s been a summer of solitude in many ways as I’d ran myself into the ground working, teaching and basically filling every moment of my time until injury then illness forced me to slow down and take some much-needed ‘me’ time.
During this down time, I found a photo album entitled ‘My last year in London’, funny that just last year I’d been so adamant to leave, when in some ways I’m now feeling more at home than ever.
The big test of where I want to be came in March. Post-yoga course I began applying for jobs all over the world; summer in Morocco followed by winter in Nicaragua…it seemed like the dream. I’d had enough of London, (literally) running into my ex and a lack of motivation for the day job, I was ready for a new adventure. Then, as I was waiting for an email to come through about a job I’d applied for in Morocco, I went out on a date that sent my head in a spin. Tall, brown eyed and extremely intelligent, I was smitten with Joe from the beginning. I left the bar that night with a huge grin on my face and immediately text my best friend Beckie to regale all of the details of my evening with the handsome doctor.
The next day when an email dropped into my inbox ‘Re: Yoga teacher job in Morocco’ my first thought was ‘I hope I haven’t got it’. A telling sign.
It seemed someone had read my mind and the job was offered to someone else but there was still a chance to join the team a little later in the year. Phew, no decision needed from me.
It took almost a month for us to go out on our second date which may have had something to do with my stubborn refusal to make the first move, and perhaps the confusing run-in with my ex. The second time we met was much more relaxed and instead of bowling me over with his debating skills, thankfully Joe had clearly decided on the softer approach, helping me to sample every cocktail on the menu whilst listening to live music in an East London bar. Dates three, four, five and six took place in the same week and thoughts of leaving London were suddenly far from my mind. He was different from my usual type, much more calm and communicative, there were no games being played and damn it was refreshing! The resemblance looks-wise to my first love however wasn’t lost on me and perhaps had something to do with why it all just felt so natural between us.
Then almost six weeks later, everything changed. With Joe snowed under at work, we didn’t see each other all week and when he showed up to meet me and a friend for drinks on the Friday evening I could tell that he was exhausted. The next morning something had shifted and whilst helping me prepare for an interview, a comment he made ‘We’re just so different aren’t we’ sent me into a week long panic as I anticipated what was coming next. My instincts were right of course and by the following weekend it was all over. I could understand his rationale, we were very different after all, but whilst for me this was the appeal – a challenge, a differing perspective, the yin and yang – for him is was too much of a barrier and so we, or rather he, called it a day.
Obviously I was devastated but whilst my usual reaction would be to start searching for jobs on the other side of the world, this time there was something keeping me in place. I spent much of August alone, analysing over and over what it was that I really wanted and where I wanted to be. Whilst throughout the month my mind was distracted with thoughts of another life in Barcelona, Ibiza, New Zealand or Mexico, by the time it had come to a close I paused to give myself a break. I was still no closer to knowing what I wanted but I realised that whilst I’d been so distracted with one area of my life, another area was really taking off…
My yoga classes in Putney were going from strength to strength. What had started out as just my housemates coming along to support my little ‘start-up’, somehow had grown into an, albeit still small, but lovely community of yogis for my Tuesday night classes by the river. Back to feeling energized, I applied for another job abroad, this time just a week-long retreat on the sunny island of Vis and when I was offered the slot I couldn’t believe my luck!
In four weeks time I’ll be following my dream and heading to Croatia to spend the week sharing my love of yoga with the guests at Croatia-retreat.com. I’ve written a little more about what I’m most looking forward to from the retreat here. But what I’m really hoping for from this trip is an insight into my dream…is spending every day teaching yoga on a sunny island what I really want? Or is my slow-burn love of London where my heart really lies? There’s only one way to find out!
Then out of the blue came a text from Joe. Curiosity got the better of me and we met for drinks which turned into dinner and as we walked home hand in hand I began to wonder if perhaps he’d come to his senses. But the next morning the rose tinted glasses slipped from my face and I saw that not a thing had changed. Roll on Croatia!
Read about how it all went here.