I feel that because it has been such a long time that I have been doing this… let’s call it a ‘project’ – that I need to somehow explain what has been happening. I haven’t written anything because I wasn’t comfortable with sharing something that wasn’t finished. My writing or my project. I have managed to shake the idea that I need to perfectly wrap up four years of activities into one neat post. Instead I’m just going to try to write about what I know now.
A lot of me feels like I have not got very far over all this time – indeed, my block has sat stagnant for months, even years, at a time. Everywhere there are things that need repairing, building and improving. Weeds grow, roofs leak, spiders make new homes everywhere. I find myself up there staring at things, immobilised by what I want to do with the space and how many things I still need to do to get there.
I never thought that renovating and moving into a caravan in the country by myself would be easy. Well, maybe I did.
At the start I was quite bold – excited really. I had made a huge decision about the sort of life I wanted and had made steps toward that life. It felt great, like everything I loved was coming together and creating a path toward the sort of person I wanted to be. I shared my excitement with everyone. I pointed to the outfield and said ‘I am going to do THAT.’
Of course, this was my dream, not anyone else’s, so the questions came – ‘Really, that? Why would you want to do that?’ or ‘How will that even work?’.
But eagerly I invested in my idea, I dreamed of what I could create. I made changes in my life so that in a few months I could move to the country. But months came and went. I got some things done, on holidays and weekends, but there was constantly more to do. Time and distance were a real challenge.
Eventually the well-meaning questions became “How is it going?’ and ‘When are you moving?’.
I was disappointed and frustrated. I carried around the weight of my project not being finished, that I had not achieved what I wanted to – what I said I would. The shame crept in and with it the doubt in myself. I didn’t know if I could do it and sometimes I was confused about if I even wanted to. So my life went on in the city while my block sat there – a floundering reminder of a dream I constantly questioned I truly had.
It is easy to see now that the pain came from the difference between choosing the path I wanted and actually being on it.
But that pain – the questioning, the frustration and struggle, they’ve actually been what I gained these past years. While my block sat and waited, I have had to work out if this is actually what I want. How I feel about it. What makes me happy and why. Working through all those doubts and fears and emotions is what has helped me grow – much more I believe than if I had easily gotten everything I thought I wanted. I have managed to let go of a lot of unhelpful things and am learning to accept things as they are, because every step is important.
So, while it may not look it, I’ve actually come a long way. I cannot live on my block yet, but it feels closer. I have left a lifestyle that was comfortable but wasn’t making me happy and have moved to the country where it’s easier to do the hard work that needs to be done. I am sure more doubts and challenges will come, but it feels good to be past these ones and moving again toward what I want.