One of the friends I made this summer, Damien, created a Facebook album, bursting with gorgeous colourful and joyful pictures of barbecues and sparkling rivers, lush valleys and blue ocean waves. The pictures tell the story of the perfect summer. The album, in which I proudly appear a few times, is cheekily entitled “I don’t know how we’re going to survive summer 2017”
Well, It may have been a little quip on his part, but I really don't know how I survived the rest of that summer.
I don’t mind admitting I cried the entire flight home after those 10 days in paradise. I’ll also admit I had serious post holiday blues for a week or two. I mean, face like thunder, “go away, do not disturb”, teenager type behaviour.
I was desolate. Abandoned. I felt like Eve, newly and cruelly banished from the garden of Eden.
It wasn’t only the sunshine and fine wine I missed.
Although both those things are doubtless divine.
Simply, the entire trip was a blissful whirlwind.
My friend and hostess, Marjana had created an itinerary which would make Tony Robbins himself tremble. It was like a relentless conveyer belt loaded with new experiences and adventures. A series of “firsts”.
- Open air opera, dressed like a princess? Check!
- Laser war games in the woods in full army camouflage, sweating it out in 40 degrees, anyone?Check!
- Swimming across the icy river to cool off afterwards? (Followed by a hearty telling off from Marjana & the driver of the ferry which I was too impatient to wait for...) Check!
- Working up more sweat in a gym with a bit of kickboxing? Check!
- Speed boating out to sea to collect crustacean delicacies from the seabed, the better to enjoy our real homemade Italian pasta? Check!
- Climbing a million steps (give or take a few hundred thousand) to a viewing platform from which Slovenia, Austria, Italy & Croatia are all visible? Check!
- Swimming in the Adriatic at sunset, followed by cocktails and a beach party? Check!
- Hiking like mountain goats along crumbling narrow paths on the banks of a steep valley, loaded with hampers of food and wine, clutching a guitar, arriving at last in an untouched little slice of heaven, a place which Time forgot. Playing music from atop a giant boulder beside the opaque aqua blue river, dotted with natural pools and jacuzzis, with trees reaching for the sky on each side, then feasting on barbecued food and vintage wine? Check!
- Playing a live open air gig at a cocktail bar, earning some pocket money and hopefully touching a few new hearts? Check!
- Meeting amazing new friends with whom to share all these experiences? Check!
I could go on and on...
Waking Up The Inner Child!
But what’s important is not so much the things we did as the way I felt my inner child re-awakening with a thrill. I was exhilarated, full of curiosity & excitement.
Everything seemed new and fresh and interesting.
Totally free from worry and responsibility I allowed myself to run wild, gloriously and anonymously, in a world where only a handful of people knew me.
I could reinvent myself and be who I wanted to be, who I felt like being, without feeling like a fraud.
The best bit of all? The heady mix of adventure, sunshine, freedom, friendship & wine reignited my creative fire.
For a while, I’d been feeling like a barren wasteland inside.
Interest in music? Zero.
Creative-Juice Reserves? Spent.
Which had been worrying me a bit. You know, the voice in my head was going to town with poisonous nothings.
“Ha Ha! It’s all over. Before it even started. Loser.”
“Call yourself creative? A lump of wood has more imagination than you.”
“If you were a real songwriter you’d have written hundreds by now and placed songs with Rihanna & Britney. So there.”
(Plus other equally helpful and empowering stuff which I’ll leave to your imaginations)
Needless to say the triumphant, jubilant return of my passion & enthusiasm for music, somewhere during that time in Italy, is the juicy cherry on the cake. This is what made it so delicious. So meaningful and memorable.
Even back in grey London, feeling lost and missing my friends, at least I had my music to console me again. My oldest & most faithful friend.
My Central Point of the soul.
I wanted to share this with you, because I think perhaps there are times when we all feel kind of washed out and bleak. Sometimes, when you reach the end of another day and can’t remember any of it because you were on autopilot, you can wind up wondering “what’s the point?”
And I guess my message is that the “point” is often what you decide you want it to be.
From my recent experience, it wasn’t a change in my external world which made the difference. True, the trip to Italy broke the old pattern long enough for new thoughts and feelings to begin to take hold.
That’s where the magic lies.
I changed my thoughts about certain things. Decided to be the sort of person who creates for the love of it, not with an agenda. Decided to have my glass half full instead of half empty.
And most importantly, decided to be open and allow new friends and experiences into my world. Total liberation. Total transformation.
No matter where we are, what we’re doing, we can choose our thoughts and attitudes. We just need to break out of the old patterns.
Why has it taken me so long to get this?!
Better late than never ....
So what did you all get up to this summer? What’ve been the highlights of your year so far? Have any of you had any similar moments of “waking up”, which have changed the way you look at life somehow?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
With that, I bid you all a fine time on earth and send you my heart in a hat box!