Last October I set off in search of a place in the wild west of Ireland so I could live something of an idyllic ‘writers’ dream. I wanted to find a place with the Atlantic Ocean only a stone’s throw away with the wind always howling in the background. I wanted to be there, where the clouds would always be rolling, breaking without warning above the green fields and the scattered tiny cottages.
I flocked – even though I wasn’t part of a herd of sheep – to the wild side so as to experience something I’d envisioned as being pure freedom of expression and creativity.
Years ago, I always thought I’d only follow that dream through, in 20 or 30 years from now… Well, needless to say, that dream came true a lot sooner than I’d expected at the grand age of 29! It’s true what they say: ‘ask and you shall receive’. And I did! So… who I was to question whether it was right or wrong, when the cottage in Athenry came falling from the sky, saving me gracefully, answering my request and providing the perfect setting for me to sit and write like there’d never be a tomorrow! I didn’t question! Instead I jumped at the chance! And by god, I’m delighted I did.
At the start of November I moved in, I created that space of expression, I worked hard, I wrote like there’d never be a tomorrow (or even a ‘later on’). Suddenly, when I reached the end of creating, I realized there WAS a ‘later on’… and there’d definitely be a tomorrow! But life didn’t seem to be light or bright if those tomorrows were going to be taking place in that space in the wild west!
That’s when suddenly a ‘scheduled’ 7 months turned into a perfect 3 month period; as the clearing work was complete (by ‘clearing work’ I mean: putting my deepest pains and lessons, once again, into ‘story format’). Along with finishing the writing, something else unsettled me: the cold that had seeped its way into my seemingly cosy cottage and further through the pours in my skin, taking up residence deep inside my bones to result in a level of tension and negativity that made it almost impossible for me to live, flow and simply love life in every way.
Both factors – the ‘end of clearing’ and the ‘nestling cold’ – coaxed me to open the door to the world beyond the cottage and take a peek at what else’s available. So I opened the door… mentally 3 weeks ago. But literally last Friday.
I opened it to find the ‘moving crew’ I’d called for help! Well, that crew was my mam and her car! But that was MORE than enough; I’d hardly anything to pack (it actually only took me only 3 hours on Friday morning to box everything and clear things up!). We’d filled her car by lunchtime and I said farewell to that chapter of my life. It was the easiest thing; no stress or regrets or torture on any level!
Once we’d made our way across the country and landed in Arklow, unloading the car and filling up my tiny little box room in my mam’s house with (still only) the few boxes of things I’ve accumulated over the past years, was effortless. All in a day’s work! Literally.
The following morning I woke up and I thought I’d landed myself in heaven. I couldn’t believe how my perspective totally changed! I was suddenly able to MOVE… not only into the next chapter of my life but also freely around the house without the cold pushing me to ONLY sit curled up in a blanket almost 24 hours a day! I never realized how all-consuming it can be to live in a cold home nor how restrictive life can become. Since then, I’ve been physically releasing the cold from deep within my bones and because it was nestled, letting it go has made me feel partially re-energized, but also drained and in need of sleep, sleep, sleep and more sleep. So, since landing in Arklow, that’s what I’ve been doing: re-fuelling, reheating and relaxing.
Looking back, Athenry already feels like a different lifetime. I’ll never be sorry for the experience! No way. It was perfect. I HAD to live that dream so I could wake myself up the reality: such a secluded existence isn’t necessarily an idyllic one. We have to try different styles of living, to realize if they’re for us or not. Every person is different. And at different times in our lives, different lifestyles can feel more fitting. From my own perspective, for the winter of 2012 it was fitting and for the spring of 2013 it no longer was. So I made it happen at the right time in my life. If I’d not have followed it through, I’d have felt this past year in Ireland to have fallen short of such a unique experience.
As well, I’ve learned there aren’t any laws or rules stating HOW or WHERE a story should be brought into form. It can be done anywhere in the world, in any situation and can take however long a person needs. Because if the intention to write sits within the heart of a person, and if that person is tuned-in to that space, then it won’t matter what else is happening, or where they may be: the writing will need to unfold either way. I realize there’s no escape. And I'm happy, relieved and elevated in that realization. No matter how much I force myself to stay in one place, or how envision and pursue the dreams of travel; the writing will simply always be there.
In having said that, I know it’s not who I AM. But it's merely a form of self-expression that elevates and cleanses. So I’m no longer going to delude myself into thinking that it’s ‘all’ I’m good for in this world. Thinking along those lines, means I’m limiting myself and losing a spark of life from inside. And this is exactly what I’ve been feeling for months: a missing spark. Therefore, when life came knocking on the cottage door telling me to come out and play again, I felt it was time to explore other aspects of myself. And I am. I’m moving onwards in to the light and operating from a brighter space in my mind. That can only mean that my physical reality will reflect the light I feel I’m rekindling inside again.