Every now and again, you come to a hurdle and you don’t know how to overcome it. And the start of a new year makes it even worse. It could be something to do with your job, or your relationships, or your family or even the fact that you need a holiday and can’t afford one. What do you do?
Sometimes, when you hit that stumbling block you need to escape. And that’s OK… I’ve had friends who work for large internet companies taking a sabbatical from work to the point of not being able to be contacted via phone or email for months at a time. I’ve known people who disguise their ‘gap’ year as a chance to see the world, when in reality, they were running away from all the family arguments that were bothering them. I’ve also known people who say they are having a ‘gap’ year in their 50s or when they are between jobs because they aren’t ready to retire yet, but just need some time out.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the luxury of time in my life to take a whole year off… not even a few months off. Even when I travelled through Europe in 2013, I worked every day. But it doesn’t need to be a year, or a month to have that pivotal moment in your life, where you are completely alone and find yourself in a place that gives you intense clarity about what you want for yourself.
Sarah, in the book “On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever” has one of those moments. She finds herself driving through some desolate landscape in a red convertible Mustang (hence the front cover of the book), feeling for the first time in her life that she was her own being. Not a mother, a daughter, an employee, a friend, a sister or an aunt… she was totally alone and became totally clear in what she wanted. She plays out many metaphors throughout this chapter, for instance, when she saw a freight train stuck on the railway line with a pre-determined destination, wondering how awful and tedious it would be if she felt she would ever be stuck again, like she was in her marriage, knowing exactly where she was going. She needed movement in her life, movement that accentuated her being and choices. She loved the freedom of space she had on this back road to nowhere, knowing that she was alive and able to appreciate the beauty and solitude that it offered.
If you can do it just once in your life, and it doesn’t have to be a bleak moment in time or even a crossroads in your life, but everyone needs to spend a few days on the open road, climbing a mountain, swimming in a secluded waterhole, just being in the most remote place possible with just you and your thoughts, and understand that there is something in nature that makes whatever your problem, your indecision or your mental state have a new found sense of clarity, and you will find yourself loving yourself just that little bit more.