Someone asked me yesterday, ‘what are you doing tomorrow?’ After a moment of pondering, I said, ‘Maybe I’ll do some writing.’ The reaction I got, along with a sigh, was, ‘There has to be more to life than writing.’ What was my reply in turn? ‘At this moment in time, no there’s not.’ The remark didn’t throw me on the ‘defence-fence’. I didn’t feel the need to explain WHY I write every day. Not at all. It wasn’t until afterwards, however, those words started roaming around my head: ‘There has to be more to life than writing.’ Even this morning, I couldn’t let the remark go. It got me questioning of course, if there really is MORE to life than writing. Has my life become bland and mundane, isolated and dull, withdrawn and predictable, lonely and disconnected from the world?
Hummmm… This really triggered an element of doubt and I was persuaded to take a step back and properly question if—here in Ireland, at this moment in time—I SHOULD be focussing on other things, instead of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) as frequently as I can. So much became clear, by doing so.
I questioned first, what I’m actually writing about. It’s a second book ABOUT MY LIFE. So his remark was telling me there’s more to life than my life. From his perspective, of course there’s more to his life than my life! But from my perspective, is there more to my life than my own life? No there’s not. Or maybe he meant: there’s more to Niamh than writing. Hummm… I didn’t take it that way, because I’ve no doubts there’s more to me than writing. I know if I put my mind to anything, I can do it. But, at this moment in time, I’ve chosen this direction and I’m not limiting myself. Instead I’m expanding the writing potential I have and healthily pushing boundaries. I also know it’s a project that’s letting me feel more established with steadier footing in life—which is something I’m definitely in need of. Wouw… it really IS all about perception!
Anyhow, I can understand why an outsider, who has no idea as to how deep writing goes for me, will question WHY such seclusion, such alone time, such predictability in my daily routine and such absorption in one ‘simple’ but oh so powerful expression. An outsider, who doesn’t know a fraction of how writing MOVES me through life, can never understand what it means.
Again, it’s about perspective and perception!
Still, realizing this, didn’t mean I was through questioning. At this point in time, I can safely say that writing about my experiences, is setting me free. Accumulating my stories and creating something that nobody else on this earth has EVER created or EVER lived through and experienced in THE EXACT same manner as I’ve done, is something more deep and meaningful than anything in life. So I let myself happily get consumed by something so powerful, so freeing. I let myself be observed and labelled by others as being a wandering soul, a loner, a withdrawn individual in search of something. And instead of being limited, mundane and lonely, I’m know inside that I’m the opposite! Because of this, I don’t mind that I have to use isolation, predictable routines and withdrawal in order to be currently living a life that is unlimited and full of mystery. As for being alone; I know that like-minded people will enter when the time is right.
I’m nearly done with the self-analogy for now. Just one more thing. I questioned this location and found that Ireland pushes me to write and to create my own world. It’s the second time it’s doing this to me! Maybe it’s because there’s no other way I’d happily stay, if I wasn’t here for this purpose. Maybe it’s because I won’t adopt the same ‘9 to 5 lifestyle’ as the majority in society and writing is a tool that lets me escape from THEIR reality so I can safely create my own—without being judged, criticized, influenced to remain the same, persuaded to follow the mass or coaxed to come down to earth and to ‘get real’. Others may say I’m escaping real life, but really life is inside of us. And by choosing to go into my own world and writing about that world, I’m escaping nothing and facing all the colours I am—both light and dark. And if Ireland persuades me to connect with myself so deeply, then I surely can’t be that disconnected from this country, this energy… otherwise I’d be ignorant to what Ireland brings out in me! And I can safely say, after these four months of being here: I love Ireland more than ever. This makes me see so clearly there’s no disconnection and no escapism taking place on this leg of my journey. Because writing DOES let me travel, I take myself on my own tours and it’s for the sake of releasing the past and creating a free and open future that will welcome my spirit with open arms.
So even when I struggle, I know I’m moving myself forward. Even when I’m sitting at my desk for hours staring out at the same view, I’m bringing myself to see amazing sights of the world. In those sightings, I see my past self and my present self. When I don’t speak a word for hours on end, I’m flowing with words and I’m narrating my life to anyone and everyone who will—in due time—be open to reading the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’m so grateful to have received. What an amazing trip... Brought clearly to my awareness by one remark someone made last night! Gotta love it!