Yesterday, sitting on the 9th floor of the Tate Modern in London — looking out at St Paul’s and the Millennial Bridge through the misty rain — I remembered the very first time I lived in London, 18 years ago. It was the year 2000. The millennial bridge had just been unveiled. I was 19, and young and naive.
18 years later, here I am again, for the fourth time, licking my wounds and spilling my heart out, amongst the concrete and old and new buildings that make up this city.
I turned 37 on Wednesday, August 8. Age and the passage of time feel like such a foreign thing to me. I cannot grasp their concepts and yet, here I am, another year has gone and when I am asked how old I am, I now say “37”. Do I feel 37? I don’t even know what that means.
What I feel, is more myself than ever. I like who I am… no, I love who I am, who I have become and all the incidents, the joy, the pain, and the rollercoaster of life that have brought me here. I have loved and left and lost more times than most, and I am more fulfilled, secure in myself and whole, for it.
Yesterday something else happened. I found a pineapple plant in a bin, which I took home to nurse back to health. It is sitting in a bucket of sugar-water by the window, and I laugh at myself and my compulsion to see the potential in everything and everyone, coupled with an intense desire to bring that potential to life. People, plants, homes. The platform doesn’t matter. I am driven to turn everything with an ounce of breath in it, to its highest potential.
As I nurture this plant back to a full life, mourning all the house plants I left behind only 3 short months ago in the home that I shared with my love, I recognise the one fierce desire that has my mind spinning in circles at the moment. While I cannot, will not live a conventional life, I yearn for a home that I can call my own. But where that home could possibly be, is entirely lost on me. I have no idea how to commit and bind myself to one place.
I always thought that a relationship would tether me to a particular place, but I’ve come to discover that if the terms of the relationship don’t suit me, it is not enough reason to stay. I’ve also realised that this is too heavy a weight to place on another person. I am responsible for my own anchoring and the decision has to come from within me.
My ultimate dream is to live 6 months in one place (Europe?) and 6 months in another (Mexico?) but even committing to that feels almost overwhelming because what if I change my mind?
Where on my last birthday I declared that this was the end of a 9-year cycle, this year feels like the beginning of something completely new. It’s plot-twist central and all I have is my body as a compass. Do what feels good. That’s my strategy and plan of action. Just do what feels good.
Around here, we do things a little differently...
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