As any regular reader to this blog will know, I began January 2014 in something of a state of depression. Life, it seemed, was just not shaping up the way I’d intended. (I would say “hoped” but I am far too much of a control freak for that.)
Having left Hong Kong in September to come home and start a PhD, by January I’d truly woken up to the misery-inducing realization that I was living the life of a single student in a single study-bedroom eating single meals for less than one, and not even with the highly-strung yet adorable cat I’d spent a small fortune relocating home with me to cheer things up. I knew that wherever she was (in my mother’s quaint old country cottage as it happened, lucky thing!) was my home.
I tried telling myself that this was inevitable winter blues but that I was on the right track, pursuing a course of study I not only loved but had spent months – years! – planning for, looking forward to, working and saving hard for, and now here I was! I was even learning Latin on the side for free! What more could I ask for?
But, sans-money, sans-boyfriend, sans-cat/home and even, ironically, sans-family (so near and yet still so far!), I was perhaps most importantly sans-health, physical or mental.
Something had to change. My New Year’s Resolution therefore was this: not to end the year the way it had begun. And so, in very Bridget Jones fashion, I began a new diary to get – quite literally, write – my way out of those dark depths and back into the current of life again.
By March I’d finished that 200-odd page notebook and made several more resolutions. First, to take a break from study; second, to go to India and regain my health, my spirit, my balance; and then, finally, I would go to Hong Kong and reclaim my relationship. I was sure that after this I would be able to return to university and finish what I came to do – be of some use to myself and my family.
But if I’d planned my trip to HK for the purpose of reaffirming my ties with my boyfriend, the reality was that I was coming to explain and confirm my reasons for breaking up with him. So, while the time in India was everything physically, spiritually, emotionally, creatively, socially, gastronomically, organically – in short, therapeutically – I had hoped (yes, this time, hoped) for, Hong Kong has been less so.
India allowed me to slow down and focus on a few small things at a time: my breath, the sunshine on my skin, the taste of fresh coconut milk; Hong Kong brought everything rushing back in, flooding my senses, overloading my brain and overwhelming my emotional centre.
Break-ups are never easy, and this one has been no exception. Yet the one thing I hold on to amid all the typical feelings of pathos and grief (all those ‘what was’ and ‘what might have beens’) is my conviction – so strong and intuitive three months ago that it gave no space for doubt and little pain – that it is the right decision, it is for the best in the end.
So, coming back here (for possibly the third and final time in my life, or possibly not) and truly feeling, ‘seeing’, knowing it for sure has been worth all the inevitable attendant heartache and tears. I know I can go forward now not only into the second half of the year but the next phase of my life with a clean slate, a tabla rasa.
While I do not have any plans beyond the next two months, while I do not know the answer to the question of what will happen next, I do have a strong sense of resolution – a strong will. True Will. I know what I want and what I don’t want, even if I am – finally! – leaving the hows and wherefores up to Tomorrow to answer.
Not beginning June as I did January, I am hopeful and rather curious about what the next six months will bring. Whatever it is, I am ready for it. I surrender.