I haven’t put pen to digital paper for over seven days, partly because I donated my mobile phone to a stranger on the London Overground who isn’t returning my calls, but mostly because I’ve been feeling a little bit like this hamster between 15 and 25 seconds.
That’s what happens when you press the pause button on life.
I thought that I’d pirouette away from the office feeling lighter than a bulimic ballerina, squealing with the excitement of freedom and wearing a beaming smile…but actually, I was saturated in some sort of sadness.
My head felt like it was between the rolls of a Victorian clothes mangle, I had a giant lump in my throat and didn’t know what to do with myself.
I held back the tears, because that’s just what I do, and like some sort of slow-motion Forrest Gump, I put on my ultraboosts and started walking.
I walked for seven hours; past my favourite place in the city – Holt Field, where ten years ago, the biggest Love of my life so far, the curly-haired Nicholas, engraved our initials on a tree, through the pretty parks, along the promenade and around The Albert Dock. I walked and I walked and I walked, pit-stopping only for a big hug from my best friend (and a glass of red and some pinchos).
Daddy, I want a squirrel
The next morning, despite my stomach telling me not to go, I hopped on the London express to say goodbye and good luck to a Tier One who is moving to New York City. I drag-queened myself up with a MAC makeover and wore my best fake smile, but I don’t think anything could hide my water-filled eyes and sunken heart. I just wanted to go home.
When I did get home, I went to see The Idol (my Grandma). And that’s where I had my hamster moment…. I well and truly fell off the wheel.
All she did was jokingly ask me when am I going to buy a house so she can give me all her favourite ornaments, but it made me have a mini Veruca Salt hissy fit.
For so long now, all I have had from anybody is where am I going, what am I going to do, where am I going to live, who am I dating and where is it going, am I going to Hong Kong, am I not going to Hong Kong, am I going to get a real job or carry on giving myself third-degree burns making pancakes, will I really shave my head and become a monk…et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I’m tired of fabricating answers in order to have a conversation. I’m tired of the hypotheticals. I’m tired of sentences that start with what are you going to…
Because the fact of the matter is, I have ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING CLUE right now.
This was when I decided to call a real Time Out on life.
I gave myself a break from putting on a brave face and pressuring myself to move forward, and the fact I’d just lost a brand new, uninsured phone became a very expensive blessing in disguise.
I paused. I drained my eyes. I watched seven thousand romcoms. I slept. I overdosed on Tony Robbins. I devoured The Escape Artist’s blog on financial independence. I spent quality time with the two people on this planet who know not to say those dreaded words. I went to the John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibition to marvel at their love letters and his oldskool Scouse accent. I went to the zoo dressed like Scary Spice and kids heckled me. I scrapbooked. I did crosswords. I sketched. But most importantly, I didn’t answer any questions.
Mourning has broken
For somebody whose hamster wheel spins faster than the average, the post-wheel nausea hits hard. I’ve felt sick, dizzy and quite frankly, a little bit lost.
But after swaddling myself in a blanket of self-pity for almost a week, it’s time to put a nail in the coffin of the life that was and get myself psyched for the life that will be.
The fact that I have absolutely no fucking clue what’s next is actually my idea of Utopia.
So, providing the passport I ordered this morning arrives on time for my flight next Sunday, I’m about to embark on the most exciting adventure I’ve ever been on.
I want to Eat, Pray, Love the shit out of life. I want to satisfy my appetite for adventure. I want to be interested in everything and committed to nothing. I want to start penning up the first chapter in my new book of life…and six weeks mediating under Menorcan skies is a pretty good place to start.