Having recently found myself at an unexpected crossroads in life I realised, foraging through my metaphorical bag of life tools, that the last 3 decades hadn’t prepared me for what I was facing. I thought I had acquired the tools for tackling most adult-ing challenges: anxiety, bullies, failure, loss, bills and to some extent even death but nothing I had ever faced had even come close to this, divorce. Well, maybe death, that’s the only thing I can compare the pain to. But whilst one is able to find some solace and peace in knowing that death is God’s doing the onus of a divorce lies entirely upon oneself, a burden often too heavy to bear, certainly in my case.
So here I was again, the anxious kid learning to swim in the deep for the very first time, the terrified adolescent opening her GCSE results, the broken adult watching her very first patient death. Sadly only life can teach you the tools you need to live and as much as I would like to believe that these can be achieved through the wisdom of grandparents, words of great authors or a blog, they can’t. No amount of nerdy prep work would have prepared me for this day. Only failure can teach how to get back up, only a broken heart can teach you how to mend it and I suppose this is what I need to do.
So when my new friends from Germany contacted me to join them on an impromptu road-trip of Scotland I was unsure, frightened and anxious. I don’t like being alone and hadn’t travelled alone in a very long time. I had been on holidays with friends, but those girls were more like sisters. What if I didn’t like these girls? What if AirBnB is just a cover to lure in lonely travellers? What if I can’t keep up with them? What if they don’t turn up and I am alone in Scotland? What if? What if? What if?
Hopeless, I look into my metaphorical bag one last time, something…anything. As I search the depths of my soul for inspiration I tap onto a little tool a much younger me had used so copiously. This tool had got me to Med School, taken me on incredible adventures across the world, heck it’s also what got me married in the first place (a decision I never regret)…Finally, something I can use, I reach in and pull out –
“Fuck it, just do it”
I jump on the train and have the most incredible adventure with some incredible new friends. Because sometimes the only tool we need is to escape reality just for a little while.