Time was faithfully trotting on. Time is always the same, ticking by its own tock and yet how is it that it can sometimes seem so painfully slow or so dizzyingly dance ahead? The hands of time drum to the heartbeat of each it beholds. Grains of sand will fall at your rhythm, an aching death toll or maddening roll.
And so I thumped idly with the hands of the clock, willing it to pass, to put those minutes between myself and my past, creating a healing gap. I don't think anyone ever really gets over something they have lost that is dear to them but time tucks it away in a safer place, enshrouding it in the clouds of your memory or lovingly dog-earring that page of your story and continuing with the rest of the narrative until that past is a crease buried under layers of paper and ink.
Christmas came and went, as did further ups and downs, and I found myself in a position of desperation. How could I survive on so little? How could I keep dragging my little suitcase behind me from the kindness of one friend to another and still hold my head high enough? What was I walking away from and towards? Would I find anything there?
These thoughts plagued me, reducing me to hot, frustrated tears. I was 27, with the only space of my own measuring 65cm by 45cm and running on ragged wheels. I was only just making enough to make ends meet between three different part-time jobs and the odd freelance gig. I had struggled with money and my career for years. It was no longer 'romantic' or 'free' as some people liked to call it. I had no more tricks up my sleeve, no more treasures to flog and the excuse of youth was no longer on my side. I was just a girl with a suitcase and no place to go.
I was determined to find a foothold. Finally, I wanted more.
I expected, demanded and deserved more.
I'd like to say I did something magical, something dramatic that brought about a big change that made everything fall into place- to give answers to other people that feel lost or like they don't know what the fuck they are doing but...
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
After such a long and relentlessly troublesome year, the only difference I finally made was a shift in my perception. In the past, when confronted with difficulties, I would turn the other way, to change the direction in which I was moving in the hope that a new path might bring what I was looking for, but I came to learn that the only way was forward and that the tenacity to plough ahead was all I needed.
My 27th year was one that was tumultuous, difficult and exasperating but it was also one that was impossibly beautiful, eye opening and literally forced me out of my own crippling rut into the cold light of truth, fixing my eyes to the path ahead, not behind.
My tock started to tick again, only this time, lull and drawl it does not. It races away ahead of me, chiming with excitement and glee, ready for whatever comes its way, because it will come my way whether I want it to or not. I will face it and not turn around. It will tell tales of delight at times and probably of profound sadness at others, but it will drum to the pace my own heart sets.