When a big step forward looks like a giant step back

Tonight it felt like I was living my old life, the one where I was trapped on a conveyor belt being judged on my value-for-money for a global corporation and not on what I wanted to do.

That part of my life was so necessary, but I also was ready for it to be over. So I’m sure you can see that going straight back to it wasn’t exactly my dream when I signed up for my MSc. I wanted a different path entirely, and I was ready to drop everything for it. And, in the end, I did. I dropped my job and my car and my friends and my fear and my pretence. I dropped it all and became somebody who had learned to strip herself bare and expose the scariest parts to the world. Sans context, of course, but has that ever made writing less scary?

But adventures have a way of being more stubborn than I care to admit, and so I’m back, standing on the bridge I was careful not to burn, looking back on Scotland and waving. It looks so far away from here.

What I know now, though, that I didn’t know the last time I was here, is that this is a bridge. This is not my whole life, this is not my island. This is the place I can rest and save and enjoy the company of people I love dearly. This is no longer a restless place – it is a supremely restful one. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that I am lucky enough to have a place like this, and friends like this, and a world like this. All too often we let things slip through our fingers before we even realise what we were holding, let alone that we’ve let it go.

So I will sit here and hold this part of my life gently and carefully and when the time for it is done I will set it aside very carefully so that, when I’m ready or when I have to, I can pick it up again and know that everything will be just fine.