I’m going away folks, for some European sunshine on a health retreat. Not with the Yoga Guru and his cliquey, naked lovin’ crew, but something I’ve found for myself.
Good news huh?
You would think, but I’m super anxious, to the extent that I’m probably going to have to up my meds for a few days.
I found this holiday.
I chose to go.
I paid to go.
But I’m scared.
Because this is the first time in over a year I’ll have to be with strangers for a whole week and unable to go home (well, not without a lot of expense and hassle anyway) if I’m not comfortable, so I feel a bit like a tortoise being evicted from it’s shell.
Exposed, vulnerable and naked.
And I’ll fret terribly about my cats, even though I’ve got a ‘sitter’ keeping an eye on them instead of bunging them in a cattery.
You see, in my current world I feel safe. The people I see know my circumstances and don’t judge me. I can be myself, I don’t have to explain myself and they accept me, even though I’m as mad as a balloon and twice as big an airhead.
At dinner with my friend R last night and again at lunch with my other friend V today, both of them asked, in their own little way, ‘Sista, what are you going to do? What’s the plan? Do you have a timeline to adhere to?’
And knowing me as they do, they laughed at my vague plans with their no doubt ambiguous outcomes whilst being inwardly concerned that I’m still kind of coasting along, as it were.
I’m sure they think I’ve come into money or won the lottery.
I’m just eating into my life’s savings.
It’s not that I’ve resigned myself to going back to the corporate coalface. I plan to do other things. And I do want to do these things.
The trouble is, as soon as something I like becomes something that I have to do, it turns into a frightening/boring chore, and I start to subconsciously procrastinate.
Or as Aunty C says ‘Your child is out of control!’ which kind of makes me feel like a toddler who’s yanked off her nappy and is running around bare arsed with her face covered in jam, stuffing rusks into the DVD player and shaving the dog while her mum is watching ‘Jeremy Kyle’.
But she’s right; because there is no one to police me, and whilst I edge these projects forward ever so slowly, I pretty much take my time and do what the fuck I want, day after day.
‘Where is the Good Parent?’ rails AC, ‘someone needs to take the child in hand!’
I get exasperated.
‘Who are all these fucking people?! Are they all me? Are you saying I have to be the child and then be the parent and parent the child? How the fuck to I do that? Role play? Put two chairs together and keep swapping seats? Paint two halves of my face like Harvey Dent and use a mirror? HOW?’
‘Harvey who? And yes, you do have to do it, so find a way! After all, who else is going to?’
She has a point. But after decades of dancing to someone else’s tune, I like going to bed when I want, eating lasagne for breakfast, playing Words with Friends online, bleaching my teaspoons and knitting outfits for the cats. And in all likelihood I’ll keep faffing around until…..
….well, probably until I run out of money.
And then what?
That’s the scary thing. For the most part I’d swap a couple of years of freedom until I can no longer afford it for a life of hard slog, grinding disappointment, being the odd one out and money worries.
C glares at me when I say stuff like that because she knows that I still have very dark days and I used to fantasise about having an incurable disease so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the future anymore, which is probably why she’s trying to chivvy me along right now.
So this little sojourn also kind of heralds the end of my playing hooky and the start of putting my nose to the grind stone, drawing up proper plans with timelines, and giving something a go work wise.
Because as nice as it is being a free agent with no one to boss me around, when night falls, and the sun goes down that bogeyman called The Future is lurking in the wardrobe, the nights can get very frightening indeed.
So I’m trying to see this as a little ‘breaking in’ exercise and hope I won’t be catching an early plane home.
What do I tell these people I have yet to meet that I’ll be spending a week with?
I no longer have the ‘successful executive’ persona to fall back on.
Do I make something else up or tell them that I’ve been out of work for a year and still sorting my shit out?
Time will tell.
I just hope there’s room in my lodgings for all these other fuckers, and that ‘child’ better stay away from my duty free….
Will still blog if I can and keep you all posted.
PS If this post exasperates anyone (you know who you are) spare me the lectures and join the queue as I’m at the front and no one is more frustrated about my fannying around like this than I am, OK?!