I’m sitting in Phnom Penh airport, which is to be my last stop before heading to Australia. I got a mototaxi out here, taking huge lung fills of that sweet, dense Asian air, holding back the tears (awrite Mick), intently taking in all the chaos, commotion and camaraderie that is special to Cambodia. I am stricken with a feeling of homesickness. Will I get that everywhere I go? Will I always want to spend longer on each continent? I don’t know, but what an exciting set of scenarios that could bring.
When I left Scotland I had a loose plan and on the most part I have stuck to that. I added an extra month in Thailand to work on a project and there I saw that I’m capable of living somewhere completely foreign. It was then I realised I’m really doing this. My business is really portable. I can make a living and make all these magical memories.
I wrote about how travelling has helped me shape my mind. I have had time to read what I like, I’ve been exposed to new challenges and I’m leaving with a solid understanding of self. Physically I’ve put on a few pounds, mentally I’ve shed the equivalent of stones. Solo travelling is unashamedly selfish and that is liberating for someone who has been the bad kind of selfish a lot. I have a new appreciation of my aura, my energy and how much that ripples. It is easy to see the interactions that went better with a smile. And it’s a comforting place to be in, with time to reflect on those encounters.
With yoga and meditation, practicing how to see with perspective becomes a daily routine. I consider myself anxious [retrospectively]. I can run through a million scenarios in my head. We all can project like that, it is perhaps what makes humans so special but knowing the possible outcomes shouldn’t be debilitating.
By practising Vipassana you are learning not to react to those mental scenarios, which in times of stress and change can be a real challenge. Removing the suffering is the aim. I’ve maybe not been as disciplined with this next chapter approaching, lots of my internal murmurings I vocalise because people ask me. And when I tell them some of the things I’ve thought about they graciously give me lots of reassurance but they definitely think I’m in a ‘bad place’.
I’m working on being truthful with myself and not being blasé about the opportunities I have. To not think of the possible outcomes leaves you unprepared.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Just because I talk about the possible outcomes, such as what kind of work I’m going to do in Melbourne doesn’t mean I don’t think I’m going to find a job. I’m not worried, I’ve just considered some what ifs? I have given thought to my future to prepare for the outcome but I have no expectations. My heart isn’t set on anything apart from the goal to not be unhappy*. I don’t want one outcome more than another, each will take me where I am meant to go.
What’s for you will not go by you.
I frequently hear myself say “I dunno” and that is a more than ok response. The unknown isn’t a dark place; it is white, bright, blank and open. And for that I have a catalogue of memories and experience to thank. I might not be enlightened but I certainly feel lighter. This is to the liberation in uncertainty and I hope you can find it too.
*I recently watched The Secret on Netflix. The Law of Attraction I guess is similar but I think the people on there are pretty greedy and I hope they share with everyone, seeing as there is enough to go around!