This is definitely the year of new beginnings for me.
First I took part in a 30 Day ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ Challenge.
Then I created my first postcard designs (something I have always wanted to do).
Now I am about to embark on another, even more exciting new beginning, which is also something I have always wanted to do…except I procrastinated for years about doing it because I was afraid.
Let me explain:
I have always wanted to live by the sea. I have spent hours researching areas on the internet. I have holidayed and camped my way along the south coast in search of the perfect place. And I have pored over Coast magazine and enviously read about people who have changed their lives, made the leap and moved.
In short, I dreamt about this for years. But I didn’t do it. Because I was scared.
So I stayed in Surrey. Even though I never felt like putting down roots here. Even though I never felt inspired or excited by the area. Even though my soul felt restless; like it needed to be somewhere else.
I stayed here for 20 years.
It wasn’t hard to convince myself. Surrey is pretty and leafy and lovely and safe. So I stayed put and carried on dreaming some day my life would change.
God knows when I thought this would happen! When would this magical moment occur when all the planets were aligned and I had bags of confidence and money, and zero fear?! (These were the conditions I told myself I required.)
Then, one day, when I was having particularly intense conversation with myself (along the lines of, ‘OK, I’m being really serious now, I mean it this time; I’m not faffing about any longer…’), I came across this:
This made me think: did I like the direction I was heading in (staying here and living the same life)?
Then I read a post by Hugh MacLeod in which he had this to say about new beginnings:
“The meaning of life is to have more of it. And that comes from new beginnings.
The older I get, the more I see that we have an insatiable need for this. The need to start afresh, the need to see the world with a fresh set of eyes. In business, religion, or love. It never ends.
Without this, life dries up and we start to die.”
This formula etched itself in my brain: new beginnings = more life.
Then I received a ‘Love Change’ blog post from Beth Kempton of ‘Do what you love’ in which she explained that over the coming months she was going to be sharing ”a series of interviews with people who have undergone major changes in their life (often involving bravery, excitement, and no small measure of fear).”
And then the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as she revealed that she too was preparing for a major change in her life as she was packing up her home in the north of England to go and live by the sea!
And not just any old sea, mind – the very area of sea I was considering: “We have spent many holidays by the ocean, or by other kinds of water, and every time we are near it we just feel happy. I grew up on the south coast of England, and it is time to return, and start to live in the environment which makes us happiest.”
(This woman was reading my mind!)
And finally (just in case I hadn’t quite got the message), this handy little diagram popped into my inbox:
It was then that I realised something so mind-bogglingly obvious, it’s laughable:
If I wanted to live by the sea I would have to…shock, horror…actually move to the sea!
Now I know that’s blooming obvious. But it’s one thing to know it intellectually, and another to ‘get it’ at such a level that any other course of action is absurd.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results, then up until now, I have been certifiably insane.
But for some reason this time, something clicked and I made a decision: either move or shut the *bleep* up about living by the sea!
So, I have an exciting announcement to make:
This summer…(drum roll please)…I am moving to the south coast! Specifically, I am moving to Emsworth, a small town on the shores of Chichester Harbour.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that it’s actually happening. But it is! After I made my decision, I shocked myself by taking immediate action (that’s when you know you’ve really made a decision): I announced it to my family, I signed up with local recruitment agencies, I sent my CV to contacts I know in the area, I started to look for properties to rent. And now I’m announcing it to you and other friends.
One friend (Julia) said something very insightful: “This is you being kind to yourself.” She’s right. I am doing something I have always wanted to do. Just for me.
That’s not to say I don’t have wobbles. Sometimes I think WTF am I doing?! I have no idea whether this will work or not. But I have to try. Otherwise I will still be here in 10 years’ time bellyaching to you about wanting to change my life. And I’m pretty sure neither of us want to that to happen.
So here’s to new beginnings and my new-found, patented, scientific formula;
NEW BEGINNINGS = MORE LIFE!