Monthly Archives: May 2010

Mistakes, expectations, and fear

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“If I’ve learned one thing from everything that’s happened to me, it’s that there is no such thing as the biggest mistake of your existence. There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.”

From “The Undomestic Goddess” by Sophie Kinsella (yes Mum, I read it at last!)

I didn’t expect to find something so profound in this novel. 😀

It’s about a City lawyer who is suddenly thrust into a new life in the country working as a housekeeper, and ends up liking it so much she doesn’t want her old life back even when it’s offered. Very entertaining. 🙂

I did also find it quite moving, as there have been times when I have felt that I am only doing one thing or another because someone expects it of me, and I loved the way this character just put up two fingers to it all in the end.

I basically just feel so disconnected, so far from the person everyone thinks I am, that I find the idea of bucking their expectations and becoming a housekeeper kind of romantic (and meeting a nice gardener called Nathaniel doesn’t sound bad!)

Just this weekend someone told me about their own daily decision to surrender control, say “f*** it” and let go of fear and it really gave me a brave feeling about how different life could be if it was approached like that. So I think there might really be some power in “the now” because fear is all future-oriented – if you stick to the present, there can’t be any fear. It makes sense. Who knows, maybe I can break through this and even become productive again.

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Manchester, July 2009

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Hot and balmy, torrents are lashing down from the summer night.

I’m in my hotel room and the storm is raging within me and down my cheeks.

I spent a tortured evening with the solitude and the silence… dipping into a poetic exposition of the Qur’an, looking for the calm. The words now swirl around my head as I drift fitfully in and out of sleep; descriptions of rain on pungent earth merging with the sound of swollen droplets on the window and the scorched ground outside.

Then the warm glow of daylight and I awake as if coming round from a fever. The air is refreshed and I am, too. I lie still, breathing gently, in the warm, relieved of the tumult of the night.