My Realisation – Part 2

Posted by in Life choices on July 12, 2011 0 comments

I arrive in London at 5.30am pumped about the next ten days after a 24 hour flight. I feel confident, like I’d been there before, like I knew my way around Heathrow, like I knew my way around the Underground, but my eyes were open to all the newness it presented. Wide open.
I found my way to Clapham Common, where Tracy lived. She met me at the station, and whisked me back to her place to see her cute three storey share house and freshen up. Tracy packed a bag for Paris, and I packed a smaller one. We left her house, grabbed something for breakfast opposite the Common before heading out on a double decker bus to see the sights and sounds of London from up top while making our way to St Pancreas station. My eyes were opening wider and my camera was in instant shutter mode. Around every corner was another iconic London treasure and I was just in awe of the tradition, the lifestyle, the culture, the charming laneways, the four hundred year old buildings, just everything. We had a quick look around the Camden Market before arriving at the station for our 2pm train ride to Paris.
We bought a large punnet of strawberries, a sandwich to share and some water for our two and a half hour journey to Paris. WOW! Just two and a half hours… it’s just unfathomable in Australian terms, that another world renowned major city in another country is just two and a half hours by train! We sat opposite another couple of ladies of which one was an English lass who lived in the Bahamas. The concept of the world being so close was just overwhelming me.
We arrived in Paris, caught the Metro to our tucked away hotel, dropped our luggage off and decided to walk the streets of Paris to find the perfect place to enjoy dinner. The architecture was simply beautiful. The sweet streetscapes, laneways hidden behind doorways, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower – it was all there in plain site. We found somewhere to eat before the sun faded away. It was close to 10pm, when after such an amazing day, I told Tracy that I was a little tired. She was amazed I lasted that long. But I had to, as it was literally the best day of my life. The best day of my life for me…
Over the next few days, we returned to London and I had time to myself while Tracy worked. I wandered around Convent Garden, had my books to read and started working on my new career direction – writing, at that stage, children’s books. I was diving deep into the concept of characterisation and creating characters on paper, trying to grasp the idea as the character being my best friend. I was loving that I was in such an inspiring place working on my new love and passion. It was sitting right with me, and the world I’d left behind in Australia was like a distant memory. I wandered the streets of London completely aimlessly finding new historic places, beautiful parkland and venues that were just mind-boggling that I was actually out the front of. It was just amazing having my own space and the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do, without being hassled by a husband, controlled by children or demanded by a deadline. It was like a weight had lifted over me and I was finding the ‘me’ that had been suppressed for so long.
Tracy and I drove up to the Lakes District and discovered the beauty of the English countryside. It was there where I broke down, downing some ales in a pub in Windermere. I told Tracy that I loved my kids, but I was at my whits end about my husband. He was draining me in every possible way and it was all getting too much. I didn’t want to go back there. I told her that I would calculate how much it would cost me if he wasn’t there and think about how much life would be easier without the stress he causes. She was consoling me, telling me that it was fine, and that I was being silly. I told her that I don’t miss him, and the more I was away from him, the more I resented that he had a chance to see the world without me on the money that I made. How did I let this happen? I’d met so many lovely people on this trip, that I’d been blinded and pigeon holed by my husband for so long, that I had no belief in the goodness of people anymore, and it took a trip like this to see that people will open up to find out who you are, and have a genuine interest in you. But I had no stories to tell, I had lived an imprisoned life of working 12-16 hour days, being a mother and essentially being a slave to my husband with absolutely no outside interests. There was nothing that made me ‘me’, except for my motherhood. And that, for me, was overwhelming sad.
Tracy didn’t want the end of my trip to be full of sad stories, and neither did I, so we found renewed inspiration in the charm of Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s house in Sawrey, Wordsworth’s grave and mixed in the air of some literary heroes amongst the Lakes District taking in the beauty, their passion and their inspiration of the surrounds.
I flew back home with clarity that I had to make a change. I didn’t know how I would make that change, and how that change would be received. But I knew I had to start doing more things for myself to further my own life and work on a way that I can be there for my boys more often and write about what I am passionate about. My interest wasn’t in my husband’s business affairs, and it definitely wasn’t in him anymore. My priorities subtly changed towards making life better for me and less about feeding his ego. It was so subtle, he didn’t even realise that the ship wasn’t sailing for him anymore, and he was sinking fast. And my life started to blossom again.