A few years ago I became embroiled in the Personal Development world. One of the many things we ‘learned’ was to not look back; “if you look in your rear-view mirror you can’t see your way forward”. Now I understand the sentiment, and I get the gist of it…ergo don’t always be looking back and perhaps regretting things you may or may not have done etc etc. However, sometimes it is good to look back and you may just discover something that you had forgotten about, but that was meaningful to you at the time, something that can lift your spirits. I just had such a moment. I was clearing out an old email address inbox…actually the truth of it is I booked for a workshop for tomorrow and can’t find the darn confirmation so am searching through all my email addresses in the hope I can find it
So I typed in the search bar ‘museum of london’ and an old email popped up in the search results, an email that has absolutely nothing to do with the Museum of London, and yet everything to do with London, and more specifically an anniversary date……I clicked on the link and this is what I found
The title of the email was: 08.10.08 an auspicious date….
I had to put finger to keyboard today and share with you this most auspicious date!
Today is my 7th ANNIVERSARY!!!! Anniversary of what you may ask?……well, it is 7 years ago today that I left South Africa for the first time to explore the wider world. An adventure of my life, that is still taking me on paths unknown and avenues as yet unexplored.
I remember so well the events leading up to my taking what was for me a huge step. Me who loves my comfort zones, my own bed, a cup of tea when I want it and to be able to lock myself away behind closed doors. How life and I have changed since then.
3 main events happened that year (2001) that were to have an impact. My sister Caroline was living in Ireland and was to celebrate her 30th birthday on the 9th October (tomorrow), and dearly wanted someone from the family to join her and hubbie Ewart for the party . My daughter Cemanthe celebrated her 21st birthday in the August and gained her independence as an adult, and the company I was working for at the time closed their doors in July. I was at a crossroad.
I made up my mind easily enough about travelling to Ireland, who wouldn’t? Booked my ticket through Swissair who promptly went bust a month later. Not to be deterred I got myself through sheer force of argument onto SA Airways. Handed my house and car keys over to my daughter, packed up my old kitbag (actually it was a new rucksack) and on this days 7 years ago fit to bust with sheer unadulterated terror and excitement I literally bounced through the terminal, through customs and on my way to my big adventure.
Flying via Zurich, I was overwhelmed with emotion to realise that not only was I in Europe but I was in the same space that WW2 happened. Flying over Europe later that day I was in tears remembering. Arriving in London that afternoon I was faced with the daunting task of getting myself from London City Airport to Heathrow with not a clue how. I had to eventually speak to someone and asked for help (not an easy task for me at that stage), made my way to the tube and off to Heathrow. What an experience, travelling on the tube was an experience I have never forgotten, and still love. I recall looking out the window as we neared Heathrow, looking at the Mary Poppins scene before me and thinking to myself…..”I could live here!” and now I am. How marvellously lucky is that. Btw….Mary Poppins scene= all the chimney pots!!
Later that day I arrived in Dublin and still bouncing with excitement and joy I flew into the arms of my beloved sister and brother-in-law. Wow, 4 countries in less that 24hours!!!! Awesome.
Dublin and indeed the whole of Ireland was a magical experience and I am still totally in love with that wee island. My ticket was booked for 6 weeks; I stayed for 6 months. Loving every minute I vowed to return as often as I could. To date I have: 8 times and still have a few counties to explore. When my 6 months was up I flew over to London to obtain the necessary paperwork that would allow me to apply for my Ancestral Visa. Yes, thank godness, my grandfather had the good sense to be born in London and I had the unalienable right to apply to live in this fabulous country. I flew back to SA for a couple of weeks to set my affairs in order, sold the house and car packed my belongings into storage (where they still are today) and flew back to my new life. What an adventure.
I started off in Ireland and spent a couple of months there travelling and exploring and then returned to London to find a job. I had the good fortune to find free accommodation and for 6 weeks ‘house sat’ a fabulous penthouse in Hampstead with a view right across London. What a way to start. I job searched and explored and finally settled on a job as a Carer, and so began a new chapter. Initially I was daunted by the reality, but after a week something clicked and I stayed in the caring environment for 6.5 years. I have had the good fortune to travel round this gorgeous country in that capacity and have been to some really beautiful places. The most memorable being Plymouth where I cared for the dearest man who stole my heart. It was there that I was inspired to write poetry for the first time, a couple of which have since been published.
During the last few years I have travelled to some amazing places, been driven through New York in a Limousine (courtesy of my daughter), climbed the Empire State Building, flown along the eastern seaboard of the USA to Florida. Visited Disney World, seen Snow White and Sleeping beauty in person , ridden on a roundabout, visited Sea World and Animal World, and experienced some of the most amazing sights I never imagined existed. Floated through Venice on a Gondola, driven through Paris in a soft-top Cadillac (courtesy of my daughter), climbed to the top of and had dinner at the Eiffel Tower, celebrating my 50th birthday with my daughter, sailed along the Seine and wandered the streets of Paris to my hearts content. Wandered the halls and tree-lined avenues of Versailles. Walked the streets of Amsterdam, seen sights that blew my mind and was humbled by a visit to the Anne Frank museum. Been on a cruise to the Bahamas, with the love of my life and travelled right round Florida from east to west and south, waded in the Gulf of Mexico, rode on a hydrofoil in the Florida swamps and stood at the southernmost point of USA, 65 miles from Cuba. Awesome. I’ve meandered the cobbled stones of Edinburgh, Bruges and Gibraltar. And as well as all that, I have had the most amazing adventures and visited some gorgeous cities and towns in England and Wales. Explored castles and cathedrals, ancient sites and visited islands. Explored London from one end to the other and watched the sun rise over the Thames at 5am. Seen the Grand Canyon from the air (it’s bigger than you could imagine), enjoyed an Arizona sunset and flown over the USA from west to north, seen swathes of snow that extended for hours, walked across the airport in Canada in shorts and t-shirt in freezing weather, and seen the Labrador Coast from the air.
2012.12.14 *insert: I am no longer so sure it was my “good fortune” since it has cost me a ‘fortune’ with no long lasting benefits – but that’s for another story*…… Last year I had the good fortune to be introduced to the world of Personal Development, learnt about values and beliefs, walked on Fire and jumped backwards off a 60’ pole, dug into the very depths of my soul and made wonderful friends along the way. I have had the good fortune to learn from some of the world’s best teachers and attended courses that have opened my mind to possibilities I never knew existed. Discovered my wealth profile, and been introduced to some fantastic opportunities. This has also awoken a passion in me to be what I always wanted to be; a teacher. Every day is a constant learning curve and I feel like a sponge, absorbing everything I can. I have read the autobiographies of some of the most influential people of our lifetime, one or two of which have had a profound effect on my thinking.
I have learned about Skype, Youtube and Facebook, am a member of more groups than I can count, have virtual conversations with people from the far corners of the world, learned more about building a website, Internet Marketing, Photo Reading and business than I ever thought possible. 2012.12.14 *insert – I have now also learned about pinterest, instagram, foursquare and of course twitter!*
I am now on a new adventure and have after 6.5 years left the world of caring and am returning to Credit Control. Had my first formal interview in 11years, which in the pre-UK days would have left me daunted and shaking. Instead I used the tools I have been taught and before the interview was over had been invited back for the 2nd. It is my intention to get this job, which is a senior position for a global company and a brilliant opportunity to do what I do best, set up systems and procedures and create a new department. I will keep you posted. Your concentrated and concerted wishes for success will be most appreciated. My next interview is Monday 13th at 4.30pm UK time. Keep your minds focussed please….I really want this position. it will also keep me in London which will allow me to see my friends more often, attend all the courses and seminars i want, and attend the training available to build my business.
I have a map for my life, which I never had before and I now live my life with intention rather than accident. And best of all, my daughter has travelled so much of this incredible journey with me. And there is so much more to come.
In closing, thank you to all you lovely people; my darling daughter, dear family and friends who have patiently waded through my voluminous emails and listened to my dreams and shared my excitement as I set off on each new adventure. And to those who have become my friends along the way, I thank you for the new dimension you have brought to my life.
I celebrate and appreciate you all. We may not meet very often, yet I think about you all. we have shared some very special times and that is very precious to me.
Here is to the next 7 years as I celebrate my JOY OF LIFE. I love the thought of all the things I have planned and all the possibilities as yet unexplored.
Much love to you all.
end of email from 2008.
And looking back!!!! I am amazed at how much has changed and how much has remained the same……I didn’t get the job and continued with the Caring, still travelling in that capacity, I did apply for a different job a few years later, which I got and hated….the sameness of every day drove me mad as did the boss, and the commute wore thin around the edges eventually, I went back to the Caring after 7 months and decided office work is no longer an option for me, I have however started up my own business http://3daysinlondon.info/ which is finally gaining recognition and traction, I now have my own home (sharing a house with my daughter) which she has to herself about 3 weeks of every month whilst I travel in my capacity as a Carer and I am still totally in love with London!!!!
So there you go…..sometimes it does pay to look in the rear-view mirror. And if you have read this far….I salute you!! Thanks