The Powers that Be.

Just be, I tell myself as I’m a million miles away. Sipping my coffee this morning with an accelerated heartbeat, that has nothing to do with caffeine and everything to do with standing somewhere in the world, deciding which way to go. My mind has blossomed in the last three months, in ways that I don’t even fully understand. But one way I do, is that I look around and be fully where I am. I’ve gotten good at it and found my peace in it. But this is where the split of mind tests me. I’m standing, people-watching as always, in a place I love but I’m not here. I’m already back at the place I call home. I’m fast-forwarding three weeks, three months, a year. Spiralling.

“What’s going to happen?” “What will I do?” “Will the people that were there when I left still be there when I return?”.

I always knew I would come to this mental deadlock for one of two reasons; 1. I would come to Cambodia, absolutely hate it and not live here but be at home in my mind, counting the days until I return. Or 2- the reality; I would come to Cambodia, fall completely in love with where I am and feel conflicted to leave this place but also long for home. I have been here. Really and completely here. And I think that’s why I’m drowning in adoration for this place; I have been here. Each Tuk Tuk ride, I am only existing, smiling, in that moment. I’m not worrying about where I’m going or what comes next. I’m just existing. I have learned that a life lived mindful¬†is much easier to comprehend than a life with a mind that’s full. I found a calm in this chaos, like no other.

This was somewhat inescapable as the sun started to set on my time in the Kingdom of Wonder but I know it’s driven from fear. The boundless fear that time is running one pace quicker than I can. And I know, this feeling is temporary because everything is temporary. But as I am within and without; hugging the people of home and smiling at strangers saying hello in Phnom Penh, I’m not winning because I’m not existing in either. I’m not in Ireland, holding loved ones with one hand and a cup of tea in the other. And I’m not technically, in Cambodia if I’m only here in body.

But as I’m having this dualism of my mind, I’m proud of the seeds I’ve sown. The fruit of my mind is sweet and I’m no longer poisoned by it. As I said, I have learned each day to be more in the moment. Every moment has brought me more to myself. Each day, a new version of myself. So I can smile at the person I’ve become. Because although she’s fighting time now, she still has the awareness that time is a concept we created. And as fear flows through her veins, she knows that all good things are on the other side of that. And although she may not feel how she would like to, she knows that this is fleeting. And as she is torn between thinking of the green grass of home and the craziness that Cambodia has shown, she has learned, and will continue to learn, how to

just be.

 

 

Table for One, Please.

There’s this moment of pure, unconcealed confusion when I smile at the waiter and say “table for one, please”. “Only one?” is usually the shocked response. And I’m familiar with that shocked response; I got the same one, a hundred times over, when I told everyone back home “Yes, Cambodia. Yes, on my own”. Because we’re a world of fan-pages for celebrities’ relationships, we’re rom-coms and thinking we can’t exist outside of another. And I know, one of the most powerful energies in the universe is people, together. But there’s also beauty beyond words in a life unchaperoned. When you stand out in the world, at bliss in your oneness, you evolve.

Every Monday, I am greeted by smiling faces, with the ritual “what did you do with your weekend, teacher?” After telling them, the recurrent answer is “you’re so brave, teacher”. But I’m not brave; I’m restless. How could I ever rest in a world where who and what we can be, is not even invented yet? How can I rest knowing that I can do or be absolutely anything in the universe? And I refuse to lie dormant because others don’t want to join. We infinitely limit ourselves with the belief that life begins with another. Life begins, first and foremost, the moment we tune in to it. When you realize that your life isn’t accident or coincidence, you start to live better. What happens to you, where you go, what you do; it’s all on you. So why are we all overflowing with fear?

Why don’t we sit at a table for one and smile, instead of pretending we’re waiting for someone or putting our head down? Why can’t we be as excited to say we’re single as we are to say we’re engaged? Why can’t we stand up and be the badasses of our own lives, without waiting for someone to rescue us? Because what we’re not told, what’s not in the fairytales, is that nobody is. Nobody’s coming in on a white horse. We’ve got to ride it out ourselves. We’re teaching women everywhere that their importance relies on a question, on a “will you be my girlfriend?”, a “will you be my wife?”. You don’t need someone to be someone. But we’re implanting this fear of solitude to keep people rooted in never pursuing their power. Fear is what keeps us immobilized in ordinary. You need to welcome fear. You need to seize seclusion.

And I’m not a cynic. Life was made from love and was made to be lived in it. But the reality is, you can only meet people as deeply as you’ve met yourself. When you fill your time with you, solo, the time then spent with others transcends everything you’ve known- when you’re better, your relationships will be too. We need to know we can live outside the lines. We need to stop clasping on to the detrimental and the entrapping, just to have somebody by your side. Stop fearing oneness. Ask for a table for one; and own it. Buy yourself flowers. Book a flight with one seat. Dive into the part of yourself, the world told you doesn’t exist. And just see, first-hand, the level of enchantment that comes to fruition with your evolution.

We weren’t old then, sure look at us now.

When does old begin?

When does the whisper of death, that was once a haze in the distance, become a scream a few inches from your face?

This isn’t as morbid as it sounds (I promise), it’s actually quite positive, if you stick with me.

There are a few colossal themes that dictate our obsessions and anxieties; death, money; time. Quite basically- it all comes down to numbers; the number of days left, the location of the zero-before or after- the other numbers in an account, number of minutes in a day, number of days in a life. We’ve become so accustomed to counting that we’re actually rather good at it. But where the struggle seeps in is the actually making days count. Time flies and it rolls onto the next but it never just happens. We post throwbacks longer than we spent living and enjoying the moment we were in. We tirelessly fantasize the future, without ever sculpting it from the present. We’re not so good at the here and now. There always needs to be a larger thought process in which we are in the middle of.

What is the actual point of photos? And, who are they for? I, personally, hoard photos and every single time that little “your storage is full” bullshit message pops up I can’t bear to part with the photos that are looked at, less than three times in any given month. The moment loses value, the moment reliving takes priority over living. You can’t relive life and if you do it properly, you shouldn’t need to.

My nanny inspired this thought earlier when we were sharing stories and laughs. Talking about the ‘old days’ and she said “we weren’t old then, sure look at us now”. And it hit home for me because you never know when your time of putting dents in the dance-floor, becomes your time of watching from the sidelines. They didn’t have phones- and they didn’t need them… They were living. And the reliving is only possible because the living was.

The message of this is not anti-phone (as we are the scrolling thumb generation) but pro-live and predominately, pro-living-well. Don’t spend your time, as doing so presumes the immediate relinquishing of it. But soak up your time. Soak in every second and Continue reading “We weren’t old then, sure look at us now.”

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