Why is it that we all crave simplicity, when we are surrounded by more, more, more?
I personally spent 7 years of my life in a job where I was convinced daily that I didn’t have enough, I needed to spend more, update, renew, yes! you do need all 3 colours of that one style of footwear. I was convinced that I never had enough so I spent more, and then wondered why my bank account was keeping my head JUST above water. And so I spent more money to be happy, and even surrounded by things I never felt like I had enough.
I needed to upgrade.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars, I needed to spend thousands of dollars on a special something in order to keep up with the status quo. And I’m sure that even if I did end up doing so, I’d still feel like I needed another one. And so the cycle of addiction continued, with only a decline in my mental state to show for it, to the point where I would lie in my big, lush bed in my two storey house in a beautiful suburb surrounded by all my things I had acquired, staring AT the glass on my window instead of outside it, being suctioned into a vacuum of deep, dark black and nothing to hold onto to pull me out of it. Not a handbag, jacket or mountain of shoes in sight to climb on top of.
There was no big realization that led me to the decision to leave that job, no life-altering moment. One day I just decided that I didn’t want to be there anymore. Nothing that was growing for me there was fruitful or fulfilling. I left with no job prospect lined up, a twinge of “what-now”? panic in my belly and a rushed phone exit-interview with my area manager which ended in “well okay, thanks for that gotta go, bye” (her, not me). After 7 years.
I finally came-to in THIS moment depicted in the picture above. Its like my soul finally landed back in my body and I had a complete rush of emotions that overwhelmed me in a split second. Two months after I left that job, on a mini-bus driving down a potholed dirt road in Vanuatu, no phone connection and waving every 5 seconds at some of the most simple-living, yet happiest people on earth (everyone waves at everyone here).
Music was blasting through the broken bass in the bus and we were flying (and bouncing) past glimpses of white and teal beach, and grass topped huts alike. Gab was sitting two seats ahead of me and I pushed the window open and yelled at him, “do a shakka out the window!” I then stuck my head out the window to get a reciprocal shot, not realising my friend sitting next to me had noticed the impromptu photo shoot was happening, and decided to add his two cents worth to the photo via bunny ears. Believe it or not, that was the life altering moment I had, albeit simple. I sat back in my chair with lines of sweat trailing down my back, and decided that from now on this was what I wanted. Simplicity. Joy in each moment. To be silly and playful and wave at strangers just because.
Sitting on the plane on the way out of Vanuatu, a stewardess had just given me a drink + napkin, and I’m not sure what came over me but I grabbed the napkin and a pen and I just began to write my life plan. Little messy dot points and arrows under headings covering both sides of the tiny napkin. Gaby looked over at what I was doing at one point with a questioning look on his face, and with a smile I picked up the floppy napkin and waved it around, “all good stories start on the back of a napkin”.
Here’s to the beginning of the new story.
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