When you return to the place where it all went wrong, there is a very good chance that you can fall back in to old habits and watch it all go wrong again. The thing is that life is not something for me to watch happening to myself, like rubbernecking a multi-car pile up.
Last night, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a bunch of Sydney friends. It was a typical crazy night that leaves us with plenty of stories and much to deny. There were glamourous shoes on beautiful people, who were saying intelligent things in sophisticated accents. The French champagne flowed freely like the shouts of laughter in retort to someone's witty comment. The extroverts took their positions, claiming their audience and executing tried and true enchantments to hold the watchers captive.
When this is the world you are used to living in, it is very easy to collapse back in to your usual role. The one that people know and almost expect. The closest thing I can compare it to is getting dumped by a big wave, in to the hard sandy bottom of a beach. You can struggle and fight and push up and refuse to swallow the water but the wave is king and it is going to take you down with it. Slamming in to soft sand still hurts. Being winded is never nice. The wave takes you where it always takes you.
My friend Cathie McGinn said to me this morning... "I think you can live a new life in a familiar city." She does have a way with words. One of those people who you can blabber on and on to for five sentences with all the wrong punctuation and brain dump disorganisation of a forming thought and she will summarise succinctly in response. You know she isn't just listening to you but also hearing you.
My life is blessed with these sage like people who for some unknown reason are willing to spend time with me... this jagged little pill. I've always said that you can best judge a person by the company they keep. Your pedigree is the sum of the quality of your friends and the depth of your friendships with them.
To escape the wave and avoid getting sucked in and body slammed, this chapter of my life must be approached in a different way. No more talk of things "happening to me" but instead more talk of "making decisions". Less thinking of regrets and more living life in a way that leaves me respecting who I am.
These are 3 things that I vow to do to make life different:
- Take life slowly. Absorb each moment and take from it only what is worthwhile and positive. Mistakes will be made. There will be failures but that is a normal part of the journey. Being mindful of each step will allow for better decisions and more favourable life outcomes.
- Respect yourself and others. Give the same consideration to yourself as you do to others. Be aware of boundaries and limits with each different person. Actively show that people are important and valuable. Do not take anyone for granted. Set boundaries and limits for yourself and honour them.
- Improve your mind. Spend more time reading, learning and listening. This life is short and there is so much to do and know. Chose carefully what you will spend your time absorbing and focus on goals that will bring you closer to a beautiful mind.