Prior to leaving the city in order to commence a lifestyle of country living, while commuting to Cape Town every couple of weeks in order to continue consulting in the aspects of work that could not be done remotely or via Skype, one of my closest friends reminded me of the saying: “Wherever you go, there you are”.
Her point, at the time, related to my concern around how my maverick-type, professionally renowned husband would settle into the new environment, given its remoteness and isolation. Little did I know that if anyone would need to face the challenges of re-finding oneself in a different place, it would turn out to be me.
Whilst others often express envy towards our privileged lifestyle, I have learned some difficult and powerful lessons through this period of change, often emanating from days spent feeling lost in a quagmire of displacement, homesickness and confusion. All alongside moments of immense joy, wonderment and happiness. The contrasts have been incredible, almost surreal at times.
Reflection on the past year has led to the recognition that it has been in moving away from the comfort of our city routine and beautiful ‘tailor-made’ home, that I have come closer to understanding more about who I am. A discovery that I now know, would not have resulted in the absence of the discomfort of change.
Learning to engage with myself away from the structure that typically provided confirmation of my persona in the world – even propping me up at times – has led to a more accurate determination of my sense of purpose, and greater insight into how to live in alignment with my core values. As a colleague said, it is the same me, just with a better understanding of how to use the gifts I have been granted in new ways.
The fundamental truth of getting to grips with who we are, is that we can only make space to dig deeper on our path of self-discovery when we face ourselves outside of the comfort of our well-known paradigms. Often, we choose to remain in snugly fitted frameworks, remaining in spaces we understand, and can anticipate.
It is in embracing our nakedness, when stripped of the titles, trimmings and traps on which we so easily rely in order to feel ‘okay’, that we can learn to accommodate and eventually embrace the uniqueness of who we are.
5th of March 2019