Self-reinvention and new beginnings are major ley lines that will colour the power of your year. — Natalia Benson
I had written the title in December. When I read my horoscope for 2k18 this morning by one of my favourite astrologists, Natalia Benson, I knew I had gotten it right. This idea of self-reinvention this year is one that I feel to the core of my bones.
Last year I took a major detour in my life and chose something I had not done before: I moved to my beloved’s hometown in Canada to settle and enjoy a more fixed lifestyle for a while. I didn’t hide the fact that I deeply struggled, often bursting into tears. Nonetheless, I kept trying to find the magic. We bought a home. I decided that my sadness was a result of adrenal fatigue, until I had removed my copper IUD and all those symptoms were gone. And, I was still crying.
What I felt most sharply that left me feeling so lonely and isolated was the lack of community and culture. I was warmly welcomed and everyone was exquisitely generous and kind but I felt that I didn’t fit. The free-spirited, heart-led tribe that I accustomed to immersing myself in was replaced by people whose leading concerns were around security, stability and fitting in. Those who lived to feel free and alive, and willing to take leaps in the direction of inspiration and intuition was exchanged with those who preferred to recoil into a safe mediocrity, pulling each other into place with them.
While I know that much of the world is like this, it’s not my world. I worked hard my entire adult life to free myself from the tight grip of despair that leads to choosing safety over freedom, fear over faith, security over love. It was an inside job, but once I’d untethered myself, I couldn’t go back.
“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvellous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruit, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.” ― Anaïs Nin
And so I cried, a lot, mostly in private, and questioned myself, even more, wondering where I had gone wrong. Over the months I grew bored, and sad and fat, not fat fat, but those extra 4-5 kgs crept on as they always do when I don’t know how to shift my misery. My body is always the first to know, even before I can intellectually acknowledge it. I felt like the Little Prince who says in French, “I have to learn to apprivoiser (domesticate) my inner flowers or storms.”
By the end of 2017, we both knew something had to change. Julien was always so compassionate and understanding about how I felt but lost on what to do about it. He thought that maybe I had to try harder. He is happy with this life that he knows. I offered a solution: I would travel more next year, maybe 3-4 months of the year. Maybe that would ease the pain of not feeling at home in his home-town. He agreed and I promptly rescheduled my trip to Mexico for January 1 and extended it to 6 weeks.
One week in this bustling tourist town of Puerto Vallarta, and my heart has been satiated with everything I’ve been searching for. Friendships with like-minded gypsy souls that float by, opening up conversations on following your heart and living by the wisdom of your feelings, fill my days. The expat community has absorbed me as one of their own and everywhere I go I bump into someone I already know. Chivalry is reborn as strangers hold open doors and help me onto buses and shower me with admiring words and glances that make me feel like art. Meanwhile, I wake every morning gushing with gratitude, the ocean soothing and washing away my pain, the sun refuelling my passion for living and my body sweating out the past year on hikes through the jungle.
I feel more at home here, than I have in Canada in a year.
What happens next, I’m not entirely sure of. I am completely surrendering with trust and a singular intention — to chose the ‘middle way’ as Buddha counsels — while I navigate this self-reinvention.