I am home.
I held my breath, up until the last minute, because I still find it hard to believe that things can work out well. I will write about that when the jet-lag has passed and I can digest the past few days, because this theme (‘when feeling good feels bad’) came up during the conference over the weekend. For the moment, I want to capture the things that were flying through my mind as we soared out of and then over New York city….
I have felt slightly ridiculous about making such a big deal out of this trip when travel has become so everyday and expected. There has been a little voice squeaking “so what” every time the excitement bubbles over into an uncontrollable skip or a tweet blurt. On my way home, I realised that the elation has not just derived from this first adventure but from the opening of another door that this step has come to symbolise.
This is how recovery – and probably life – works. Do one thing that you’ve been worried about and then, miraculously, it is not just the first experience that blows you away – it’s the fact that the first leads to the second – and third – and fourth – and completely changes the prospect.
This is the first thing, then, that I am bringing back from the US of A: an open door. Next, I’m bringing back connections; because even though I was travelling alone, I have not been lonely.
This is another Atlantic sized jump for me.
Not only did New York bring together some of the people I feel particularly close to online; but, in the gaps between meeting people, I didn’t collapse into a nervous wreck or fixate on my alone-ness, as I had expected. Instead, I enjoyed exploring the city. I found that people talked to me because I wasn’t as closed off as I was in the past; and, that I was surprisingly content in the short periods when it was just me.
I felt connected – and I also didn’t mind being alone.
I am trying to hold onto these things in London. To take the New York lessons and apply them to the changes that are going to happen here in the next month. This is the third big lesson: transferring these new perspectives and experiences to how I manage in my new home.
I am still learning it.
I am still learning it; but I am going to remember the grid lights of New York as we soared out in the evening; and the ripples and whirls in the ocean as we flew towards Ireland; and how beautiful the world is when you look at it through open eyes.
I am going to remember that geographic separation is different from emotional separation; and that connections extend across continents, because my friends were in my mind through this holiday, and my new friends will remain in my mind now I’m back home.
I am going to remember the buzz of overcoming a fear – and the freedom of opening up opportunities – and how breathtakingly amazing clouds are when they are bobbing along below you or blanketed, like cotton wool, over the land –
And that it’s important to have something to look forward to, so I’m going to start planning for next year.