I wish I could say that my choice to spend nine months in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere was, in fact, a choice. But it wasn’t. I’m just not that wise. The truth is closer to: the first two months were by choice, the rest just sort of happened by necessity. Life kept me there via one means or another no matter how much I wriggled away. But now that its done and dusted, I see that the time away from Life as I’ve always known it – big cities, wild parties, men who drove me crazy and ornate pastries on demand – taught me some valuable lessons. Lessons I’m recording here for when I forget them.
- You can run and you can hide, but fate will always find you. One of the main things that made me scared to go off the grid was that I felt being away from ‘Life’ would hinder my career as a writer. I had a solid draft of my first novel under my belt and was terrified that if I wasn’t somewhere electric – London, Paris, New York, Sydney, somewhere with more than 5,000 residents – it would die before it ever saw the light. Well, call it fate, call it chance, call it pure hard work, but in my time away from the world I ghostwrote a book for a dear friend that comes out globally in January, and was offered a two book deal with a major publisher on the strength of my first novel – due for release in September 2018.
- Everything happens in its own time. Chickens taught me this. I was housesitting and one of the jobs that came with the territory was putting the chickens to bed every evening. Well, let me tell you something about chickens for those of you who don’t know: they don’t give a fuck if you have a dinner date at 7pm. They go to bed when the sun goes down and not a moment earlier. And you just have to fall into line. But I feel like there’s a life lesson in that for anyone willing to listen: let life unfold, don’t rush. It won’t do what you say anyway.
- Context is everything. I used to believe I was consistently stressed and anxious all the time until I read this Instagram post one morning that said something like: ‘I used to think I was stressed. Now I see I am just excited. I have a very exciting life.’ Change the way you see things and you change everything.
- All you have is your soul. For real. Everything else can be taken from you. And once you’ve moved continent enough, once you’ve left enough things at the airport because your bags where overweight, you know how little ‘things’ mean.
- Other people are amazing. I’ve always been a bit of lone wolf, a non-joiner; group mentalities scare me. But spending so much time in my own company reminded me that I do actually really fucking love other people. And mostly, despite what I write about, they are coming from a good place. A kind place.
- Everything is a chapter. London was a chapter. New York was a chapter. Paris was a chapter. Melbourne was a chapter. Perth was a chapter. Off-the-grid was a chapter. And how exciting is it that we don’t yet know what the fuck happens next in the story of our lives? How hellishly boring would it be if we did. Which brings me to…
- Whatever is out there – be it god, the cosmos, our higher self, whatever – is a brilliant author. DO NOT MESS WITH THAT PLOT LINE.
- Intuition is never wrong. Energy never lies. And we love who we love – no negotiation.
- Don’t be afraid to fall off the radar. The world, social media and everything you left behind will still be there when you come back.
- Fuck what they think. As long as you are genuinely being a cool human being and doing what feels right to you then who cares what anyone else thinks. The good ones will love you anyway and it’s almost an insult to be loved by the crap ones.
So there it is. What I learned between January and late September, 2017. Most likely to be forgotten by November at the latest… so when it is, please someone remind me…