TAW wk 04 : INTEGRITY /b
I have been sitting in a pub this afternoon, waiting for a friend of mine to celebrate with coffee and cake my 12th anniversary in this Country. Amy Winehouse was singing in the background and I just craved coffee and good company [I hope that this post makes any sense, please bear with me. It could take a while]. I was there and I had this strong feeling of restlessness: I was feeling like twitching, and scratching, and freeing myself from the carapace which contains me. Something is changing, something is brewing, fermenting, evolving and I feel I am shaken, awaken, and told to pack and get ready that we've gotta go but I don’t know where and my bleary eyes are still half-closed and my heart is strongly beating in my chest. But this time, this time… I can observe all of this process, in full awareness. And I trust. This time I trust.
S. arrives and we talk and it’s always great with her because we don’t compromise, we are not scared and we trust each other. So, we talk and we share. And I tell her how I have to admit that those past four weeks I lost myself in remembering and reminiscing and hoping have not helped me. I have to confront the truth of a realisation that goes hand-in-hand with disappointment and letting go of the past. I thought I was ready to move, pack and go, change, adapt, compromise, settle in the name of a love which does not exist, but in my memories. And S. knows that but she says nothing because she knows I need time to roam and be a vagabond, explore and then come back to sanity, back to me.
I sat there today and said: I have loved. I loved. But that was in the past and I need, now, to let this go. On this day of celebrations, I decided to let go of the past and the ties that kept me stuck in emotional events which do not belong to me anymore. I have to admit, openly, that I embody the archetype of Artemis: I am independent, alone, strong, a traveller, a bit of a gipsy, creative, un-stuckable, un-controllable. I need to be free, to feel free, to go and come back, to create, to feel the passions, to be unconventional, unique, just me. This is my integrity. This is me.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s scary. It feels I am leaving the safety of a well-known shore behind to swim right to the middle of the ocean. It’s my first time cycling without stabilisers. Fucking scary. But I have to do it. And have to do it alone.
I can also be merciless. And that is fine with me. I am tired of people using explanations as justifications. Your bad upbringing can be an explanation of your behaviour, but let’s not turn this into a justification for you behaving like a pratt and never growing up. I am tired of people acting as teenagers even in their 50s. I am not responsible for everyone’s anxiety, sadness, moaning, or plain bad days. I have often been accused of being harsh and having very high standards: let me tell you that I am very much ok with that. I am a 52 years old woman. I am an adult and want relationships with adults.
The moment that I expressed my Artemisian deep-rooted heart, it felt like a veil was torn. And I saw how much I love writing. This is what I love: my writing and my creativity; and travelling, and going, and moving, and meeting new people and visiting new places. All without asking for permission and with no explanation. This is who I am. What was I thinking about going back home! And doing what? Before this flashback happened I had other plans, of MAs and PhDs, not of going back to that little village and settling looking after a rusty spoon, half a cabbage and a cow with a cough, quoting Dylan Moran. It felt poetic and romantic, but my suitcase would have always been ready, next to the entrance. I remember Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love: her trunk was full of cuttings from travel magazines and books and maps. That’s me. The books I read have titles like Adventure Divas, and Voyaging Out, and Women Travellers.
This is integrity, for me. This is the utmost importance to me. This is what I dream and breathe.
And once also that side of the confession came out, S. turned some cards for me (this is what we do, on a Tuesday, in front of coffee and cake and ice cream). Among all the cards, there was the Fish: it talked of restlessness, but also of following the flow; of being adaptable but also lost in the current. All the cards following were talking of attachments and needing to go back within to find the answers, and of travels and rhythm, and of rising above and evolving like a butterfly. All good. What struck me was that today, on the anniversary of my moving and leaving Italy behind, the Fish card came out, on a day of the Moon in Pisces; and after that, I broke that silver ring depicting fish which I bought in 2009 since I lost the one I brought with me from Italy, and which I wore every day on my wedding ring finger.
This is not just a coincidence. This is even more than synchronicity: this, to me, is a sign. I specifically asked for direction and today I got the Fish card and a broken silver ring with fish chasing each other. It feels the end of a repetitive cycle. It feels that the need to maintain my independence and my freedom and my Artemis-status is more important than a handsome, sensual, reserved, grounded, black-aired, grey-eyes, sun-tanned, masculine, god-like wonderful man I fell in love with and idealised for the past 18 years. I will always cherish that man and those memories in my heart but it is also true that this man does not exist anymore. This feels another layer of identity being stripped off. I am doing an emotional and identity stript-ease. About a couple of months ago I was questioning my writing and I was asking what it would be like if I let go of my identity as a writer. And now I am consciously letting go of this other identity I cherished and kept with me for the past 18 / 19 years of being in love with an idea.
What is it left of me?
Vedanta tells me that you can only define what you are not, but you rest in what you are.
And because of these signs, I feel I am now seen, I am listened to, I’m not alone, and that the world, this existence is just full of wonder and I am in awe of its magnificence.
Sending you all good vibes!
onwards + upwards ♡
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