When we undertook this adventure what I did not see was just how much it would show me: with regard to the way I look at life. Since moving here I have read the Tao, still not completed reading ‘The Road Less Travelled and Beyond’, and I have touched on the great ‘regarder of life’: Byron Katie. I have learnt a lot from them all. In addition living here has given me the peace and tranquility that I needed to find myself again, I have written before that I am back, but never really fully explained why. You can read some of my posts on this here
As most of my readers know due to the pressures of my job in England, and being an empath, I eventually became very ill from stress. I did not realise just how ill I was until I fully recovered this year.
As part of this adventure I have written my book ‘Making This Better; and I have serialised it on another blog (you can click on the link at the top of the page.) I always knew that the story of what happened to Rich and I would help others, and serialising my book has proved to me that this is the case. (Nearly 10,000 views this month alone and on it’s way to 42,000 views in seven months.) But more than anything as I re-read some of my journal entries from so long ago they have showed me the one true asset that I have had all my life: my strong personality. In fact in one of my journal entries I have commented how I was fighting ‘the essence of me’ to stay with Rich. You can read this entry here
As I have said in that post when I read it I had tears in my eyes, because I knew that I over the intervening years I had suppressed it and I realised what an asset I have been given in my life. The teachings of the Tao are to be kind, that is true; but they are also to turn the other cheek, and with that I cannot always agree. This adventure has shown us people who will take advantge of that, I have written about them often; and perhaps all of those experiences was life telling me to take back the one thing that God gave me that mattered: my strong personality. you can read about some of the lessons here
Now when I read what I said all those years ago, knowing that I have taken back my strength, I feel that I am finally where I need to be with regard to what to do with life. Since doing this, it has been as if life is saying ‘thank Christ for that! She has finally realised what she has to do, now I will help her’: and since then Rich’s business has started to take off. I said many years ago that integrity was a commodity out here; and now I am managing his Facebook page and have designed his website, which I am also promoting Rich is doing well, and I believe it is because we are being us and using the skills and integrity that we have. We don’t rip people off, we do over and above what is needed and we can be trusted not to steal.
One of the things that really got to me since living here was that people can be so vicious, especially when it comes to hustling for work; we were in some ways afraid to put Rich’s services out there because of what they would say (this would never have been me before my illness!) and so we relied on others to offer us work. Now I am back that is not working for me: I want us to get our own work, I know what we are capable of as a team and I don’t want to be beholden to anyone.
In addition I will not put up with an ounce of unnecessary shit from anyone. Now if people want to be rude to us, or try to undermine us, then I will answer them right back, in a professional and businesslike, sometimes terrifying way. In fact I already have, and we got a job out of it. I find nastiness unecessary, and whilst I understand that often it is because people feel insecure or vulnerable, we all have to step up to the plate, if you are feeling vulnerable then find out why and change it; stop taking it out on everyone else. I am not unnecessarily nasty to anyone: unless they are nasty to me!
The other day I was saying about something to Rich and about how I was not prepared to put up with it and he giggled; when I looked at him he said ‘I love that so much about you: that you won’t let anyone beat you.’
We have also realised that when you undetake an adventure like this, many people who are afraid to do the same are often waiting for you to fail; add to that you also feel like you ‘have’ to keep plugging away at it because you chose to make such a huge change, and because of that you fail to see that the whole point of an adventure is change: when you embark on it, and when you are in the midst of it. As part of me coming back this year, Rich and I have been honest with each other in that we didn’t know if we would stay: and from that we then realised that was all part of the adventure to make change as we needed.
A few weeks ago I met a couple who were returning to the UK. As you know I have blogged about the fact that I was reconsidering whether I wanted to continue our adventure here in France, or whether to move to pastures new (although we know that England will not be an option.) This lady said to me that she had loved living here, but that they had been here twelve years and she believed that life went in ten-year cycles: when it is then time to move on to something new; and it got me thinking: I do believe tha life is about moving forward all the time; perhaps it is also about accepting that when we get itchy feet we should listen to the message that life is sending our way.
When we moved to the Pays de Loire area of France four years ago we chose this are because we had holidayed here twice, and we loved the peace and tranquility. We loved it because we were having a break from out two notoriously hectic careers; mine even more so. England is a notoriously crowded Island: you queue to go anywhere even to the supermarket; and I wrote very early on in this adventure how people in the UK generally seemed so angry. All of these things led us both to want somewhere in the rural countryside, where life was extremely laid back and was not overcrowded with people and so we made the choice to move to the Pays de Loire region. I have come to realise that at that time that is what we needed; and you can only ever make life choices based on what you have in the here and now.
The last four years have been glorious they have replenished me; I still love my house and the beautiful countryside around us, but as I have written recently I am back to being the real Moisy and I don’t think in the long-term that will be enough. I now need a little more stimulation, I am ready for it again. Who Knew that would happen?
It has made me consider that perhaps we all hold on too tightly to things, and don’t embrace the fact that life is a constantly evolving adventure. Now that is something that I learnt from the Tao: no matter how much you plan, no matter how many contingencies you put into place life never goes to plan.
Add to all of this my book which means that I now interact with people whose lives have been turned upside down, as ours was many years ago; and I can see that was another life event to make us stop and change direction with our lives (we had been together nine years!) It was also an event that we have now been able to use to help other people; and I never thought that I would encounter so many wonderful people as I have. Who knew?
When I moved into my house in Kent all those years ago I thought it was my forever home; and now I am here: in France. Who knew?
Now I have come to realise that life does go in cycles, and only by embracing that knowledge can you truly find peace. So the biggest lesson I have learnt: We make decisions based on the here and now (as we should) and given that we should all expect change as the here and now changes!
I know that whatever decision we make we will make it based on the circumstances at the time and that in the future when those cirucmstances change we may well adapt and decide to do something different.
THAT is life.
So here is the thing that I have learnt so far from this adventure:
Understand that when you make a decision in life it is based on what you need at that time; but over time your needs will change, you will change, and it is okay to change direction, change your adventure and move on to something new. It is not failure it is in fact strength and bravery.
Never let go of any strength you have, if you have been blessed with it use it for all your worth: look at what has happened to us this year since I have got all my strength back. Don’t let others undermine your strong personality, it is your asset and they are envious.
So here is to strong personailities, here is to the adventurers, here is to changing direction when it is needed, or every ten years, here is to listening to life.
I am never saying never about staying here; because I do not know where my life may change again, as I said to Rich who knows what we will be doing this time next year!
I’m just going with the flow because I know it will take me where I need to go.