Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

There is a lot of talk in the Personal Development world about ‘finding your passion’ – (and they’re not referring to sex ūüôā )!¬† In the past¬†I wouldn’t have¬†put much store in that kind of talk –¬†there were lots of things I enjoyed and I had loads of interests…..but ‘passionate’ about them…no, not really!¬†¬†

So what does that have to do with today? Well today I celebrate 9 years of ¬†‘freedom’ and in so doing¬†I have also found my ‘passion’!!¬† I arrived in London on 9th October 2001 enroute to Ireland, to help my sister celebrate her 30th birthday and for what at the time I thought would be a nice long holiday.

Cut a long story short…. I adored Ireland – I discovered what freedom meant and¬†in the first 2 months I travelled the length and breadth of¬† that tiny island with my delightful sister and brother-in-law, subsequently cancelled my ticket home (South Africa), and lingering for another 4 months till I was forced by law to go back to SA….which I did, but only long enough to get my Ancestral Visa and return to London.¬† And therein lies the passion.

London had me at……no not at¬†‘hello’, it had me when I saw the chimney pots¬†ūüôā ¬†Right through the years I had always maintained that I was never interested in visiting London, that if I ever visited the UK, I would merely pass through London on my way to the countryside….well fate/life/the universe had other plans for me and as we exited the underground enroute to Heathrow I fell in love.¬† I found my passion.

Now, no rude comments please, but…..I am a fan of ‘Mary Poppins’ (don’t laugh; I have seen it 20 times already…probably more) I can even say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ backwards (ha! kidding).¬†¬† But seriously, London has stolen my heart.¬† Since living here I have travelled to so many wonderful places,¬†not only¬†in the UK, but¬†in¬†USA and Europe as well¬†and yet whenever I return to London my heart races and I get all excited.

The difference between here and there is so vast that I can’t even begin to describe it.¬† When I look back on my life in SA¬†it looks¬†squished and restricted in comparison to here.¬† I marvel at the¬†sense of freedom in being able to walk through a city filled with history and stories, of discovering quirky and sometimes plainly absurd features and places, of visiting some of the most exquisite buildings you could not even imagine (although obviously someone did).¬† I could talk for hours about this city and¬†never become bored. No matter where I go there is always something new to discover. ¬†It has truly become my passion.

And¬†in finding my passion I¬†enjoy unending¬†freedom.¬† So today I celebrate 9 years of freedom and the opportunity to live in, what is to me anyway, the most beautiful, fun, interesting, amazing, wonderful, incredible…… city in the world.

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I am watching a programme on TV at the moment about ‘Bride stealing’ in Chechnya.¬† It seems that this has become a regular occurance in the country and is now becoming part of the law and working it’s way into tradition.

What happens is that a boy sees a girl he fancies, he then arranges with a family member to help him steal her.¬† The girl has absolutely no say in this matter, is often taken against her will (there are girls who are ok with this), then forced into marrying the boy.¬† Sometimes if she is ‘lucky’ the boy is a distant family member and life would not be too bad for her, she may even be lucky enough to ‘get on’ with her Mother-in-law.

Once she is ‘married’ she becomes his ‘property’ and he is pretty much able to treat her as he wishes.¬† Sometimes the boy’s family will ask the girls family in the presence of an Elder of the Islamic authority. He, the Elder,¬†is the person who conducts the ‘wedding’ and he dictates how she should be dressed and pretty much everything else about the proceedings.

The women of the country shrug their shoulders and say “that is the way things are, it’s not too bad.”¬† Even her parents do not have any say about the matter and just wish her well.¬† There was a whole lot more to the programme and that would take too long to explain.

So, here’s the thing….I will always be grateful that I was born into a culture and country where women do have a say in their lives, where we can say ‘No!’ if something is not to our liking and where we have the freedom to make choices.

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…how funny life can sometimes be.¬†¬† I had a very productive afternoon springcleaning my daughter’s flat in return for a bed at night for a few days (not a requirement; I offered).¬† ¬† Whilst whizzing (ok so maybe not whizzing) but while manipulating the hoover (actually it’s a morphy richards POD), round the flat upstairs and down, I had time to reflect on life.

Like how did I get to this place.¬† I don’t mean London as such but to the place in my life.¬†¬† Here I am almost 55 &¬†I have no home of my own, I don’t own a car, I have no furniture and all my possessions are in storage!¬† Is that a good or a bad thing?

A few years ago (blimey it really is almost 3years ago), I embarked on a helter-skelter journey of personal development. At one of the courses I did we had to list our five highest values.¬† My top value is freedom, my 2nd travel and so on.¬†¬†¬† My absolute passion is to travel.¬†¬† Be careful what you wish for….

I work as a Carer for the Aged and in that capacity I get to travel round the UK, sometimes to larger cities like Cambridge, or Oxford, (see my previous blogs), other times to tiny little villages that don’t even have a Postoffice or grocer.¬†¬† Now although that sounds great and¬†I get to see some fabulous, interesting and¬†quintessential places, and although I am travelling, this is not quite what I had in mind!

I tend to get jobs in far-flung places like Newton-Ferrers or some tiny village in Norfolk, or a farm in the depths of Kent where I can’t even get phone reception never mind internet, and yet I am travelling, living my passion; albeit my highest value is constantly challenged.

How does the law-of-attraction work like that?¬†¬† A few months ago I saw a fabulous house in an estate agents window in Highgate, and secured a portfolio of the house, saying to my daughter: “I am going to live in that house”.¬†¬† Now I have a job that I start on Monday in Highgate¬†on the estate, but not in the house I admired.¬†¬† All well and good you might say, except I get to live in someone else’s house on the estate….not my own.¬† So how does that work then?

I have read a lot about the LOA and listened to ‘The Secret’ dozens of times (literally), and yet it still baffles me.¬† If I say ask for ¬£1million to be in my bank account by a particular date….that doesn’t happen.¬† So how is it that when I said one of my highest values was travel, do I get to travel and yet not in a way that I would like.

Is there something I am missing? Some ‘secret’, some point?¬†¬†¬† I find it exceptionally frustrating, that although to be honest I do love what I do, expecially when I get to care for someone really nice, I find¬†my highest value is constantly¬†challenged: freedom.

Yet if I look at the other side of the coin, I have no overheads in terms of mortgages, council taxes, bills, no transport problems/frustrations and it takes me maybe 2minutes to ‘walk’ to work….ie leave my room and walk to the next, it would appear that I do have freedom of a sorts, yet again, not the sort of freedom I would prefer.

During these personal development courses we are instructed to write down what we want, to be specific and itemise the list carefully.  Is that really what it takes?   Is that what people really do? 

Anyways, so that’s it.¬† Just wondering!

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