Peel back the Safety Blanket

I could choose to sit back and let these days pass my by, let these thoughts float away to the furthest corners of my brain where they’ll slip away, lost in amongst all the stories I never chose to share over the years, or I could pop this gigantic procrastination bubble that I seem to have found myself enclosed in and get on with doing all the things I’ve always wanted to do but not had time for.

Things like writing this blog, writing my novel, inhaling books, practicing yoga with my stiff but grateful body. But also de-hoarding EVERYTHING in my house, and by house I mean my mum and dad’s house. There’s something about a big life change that just requires you to clear away all your old junk, your old treasures, and get rid of it. I want my life to fit into a few boxes. I know that may seem crazy, but it feels so good. I love minimalism and I’ve embraced it with wide open arms these last few months. When I packed up my life in China (oh yeah, I left China after 7 years…more on that later), I donated everything except two suitcases of clothes and old journals and some other random bits and bobs that make me smile. I donated ALL MY BOOKS. Guys, that is huge. I love reading and books are basically my babies and I gave them all away. Then I got home to Scotland and gave all my books away here too…I think they totaled more than 200. When I was struggling to do this, my boyfriend reminded me that if I just leave them to get all dusty on my bookshelves, they’ll feel upset and unloved. Well, that was enough motivation for me to send them off to new, loving homes. I hope everyone who has my books are getting as much joy from them as I did.

It’s amazing how much stuff we hold on to. It also makes me so much more aware now when I feel I want to buy something new. Do I actually need this thing? Or do I just want it because I’m feeling low and a new dress will make me happy for a day or two? I want to consume less, own less. I only want to buy things that I need and that are good quality and preferably locally made or sourced. The book addiction, however, isn’t going anywhere, so I will just need to join the library in Cape Town.

That’s right. I have moved to Cape Town! Back to Cape Town. And yet it feels like a brand new adventure, I guess because that’s exactly what it is. I quit my full-time job as a voice actor in China, gave away all my books, said farewell to Asia and headed back to South Africa. Why on earth would I do that, right?! Just kidding. Hi Dane!

I did it because why not? Because sometimes even when you love your current life, there is still something more out there. Because being too comfortable isn’t a good thing. Because change is something we need to strive for more. We need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, peel back our safety blankets and take a leap into the unknown. Or known. But a new known. Life can sometimes whirl us back around to the beginning, back to where we started, but in doing so, give us a fresh perspective, a new set of eyes to view this place all over again. The circle of life. If you delve a little deeper, this is what it all comes back to. Around and around we go, learning lessons, coming back to the beginning a little wiser, a little more disheveled, but ready for more.

My life has brought me back to South Africa and I cannot complain one bit. It must be where I’m meant to be right now. I’m just going with the flow. The Universe, my heart, my gut, they were all pushing me in this direction and even though it took me a little while, I managed to slip out of China’s fierce but loving claws, for the time being, and skip ahead to the next chapter of my life. And it feels good. I was terrified at first. No-one telling me what time to wake up at, what time to clock in to work at, no job to go to actually, but slowly things are taking shape and I’m beginning to take control of my own life, my own time, and isn’t that just the most empowering and simultaneously nerve-wracking thing? My Chinese safety blanket has been removed and it’s all up to me now.

Where to from here? Well, hopefully more writing, more creativity, more control…of my time, my days, my every little moment. I feel positive that this can only be a good thing. Time is precious. How are you spending your time today?

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Photo by Anthony Pontillas

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