I woke up this morning to a warm breeze and blue sky (I know, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be here). Not quite hot enough to spend the morning at the beach, and the wind would probably mean that I couldn’t swim anyway, but I felt the urge to be outdoors. So I packed my rucksack and headed off to the olive groves.
It’s only a 3-3.5 mile walk, but it was just what I needed. An hour out in the fresh air to get my thoughts in check. I didn’t know I was going to think so much…I realise that sounds weird, but I guess what I mean is that I didn’t realise I had so much stuff in my head.
So as I was heading up the hill towards the giant agaves on my left and the breathtaking views of Pitsidia to my right, I started thinking about my life. I started contemplating what I wanted to do next as my time in Crete is coming to an end. I’ll be heading back to London for Christmas, and the chances are I’ll be staying there (so the cat is coming back with me). That’s not to say the door is completely closed on returning in the new year – thanks Mum and Dad – but it’s unlikely I will.
But then I started thinking about everything that has happened over the past nine months and it really is incredible. My family, primarily my sisters in all honesty, encouraged me to go to therapy a few years ago. I didn’t believe it would make any difference to me, but I started going and when she asked me what I wanted out of life, there were a number of things on my wish list which I had always been too scared of doing. I was too scared of failing which held me back with everything.
Fast-forward to now, and I can’t believe that I can actually tick things of that list. There are five things:
- Write a book (tick)
- Live abroad (tick)
- Lose weight (in progress)
- Start dating (on the horizon)
- Get my dream job
So I realised: I’m doing pretty well. Two ticks, one in progress and I’m excited about the last two goals. I don’t think I can do either of those from Crete though, hence the feeling that I’ll stay in London for a while now, but never say never!
Being in therapy, although I didn’t realise it at the time (in fact, I used to go in and say to her that I didn’t think it was making the blind bit of difference and that I wanted to stop) has made all this possible. It’s given me back some self-belief. Or at least, it’s taken away my impossible standards, allowing me to fail at things and not be completely destroyed by it. And actually, I think the failures are all part of what makes things exciting too.
And now I understand the importance of that old-school mantra that parents always say: It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.