It’s been raining for days. June is peering golden-headed around the corner, yet still the rain falls insistently from a blowsy grey sky. On the train to work, the heating blasts at my ankles despite the trickling sunshine and blossoming trees. The world smells like wet pavements, and sometimes the sunshine breaks in slices through the clouds, making the windows glitter. May is full of dripping branches, rumbling skies and damp socks hung on the radiator to dry.
It’s good for the ground, though. The things I have planted there are growing; jewel green leaves glinting with rain drops, a flower uncurling like a fist, putting tendrils out over the dark soil. One evening the rain stops long enough for me to pad barefoot out into the garden, the stones damp and warm beneath my feet, to snip herbs for the pasta I am making for dinner.
I like the garden. When my brain becomes too muddled to put one word in front of the other, I can go and plant something and know that I’ve achieved something with my day. And my brain seems increasingly muddled at the moment, struggling to find the space to do the things I want to do in amongst all the things I have to do. There never seems to be any time, and some of that is down to me prioritising the wrong things; but it is so much harder to remember how to prioritise the right things here.
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs”
I feel like I am at work all the time. I need to be at work all the time, because I am working to save for my next journey and I’m ok with that; but still – I am at work ALL THE TIME. Time is so valuable, and we spend too much of it doing things we don’t want to do. This doesn’t make sense to me, and I struggle to motivate myself to live the same day over and over again after knowing what it is to wake up each day to something new and extraordinary. Sometimes I feel like a fraud, surrounded by people who are happily content with stillness, pretending to fit in when I know that for me this will only ever be temporary.
Being here is making me complacent, it’s making me forget lessons that were hard won. I find myself drifting, killing the time we have so little of with things that don’t bring me joy, like scrolling through Facebook or worrying about not having enough Instagram followers or watching crap TV. I’m losing my balance, stuck in between working enough to save the money that I need to travel and finding the time to write and work towards the things that I want for myself. It’s difficult to maintain a point of focus when so many things claw at me for attention, but maintain it I must.
I will continue to work hard, and save, and build on my writing whenever I can. Time is relative, and one more year spent saving and building and planning and dreaming is a small trade off for a forever of freedom. But I am putting my foot down with myself. There is no more time to waste with in-between. I need to refocus, and to reconnect with what’s important. I need to live each day intentionally, and make each one a stepping stone back to where I want to be. No more drifting. I have to take the stairs.