I had been thinking a lot about spaces.
You know, gaps … in-betweens… pauses….
the nothingness when one thing ends and before something else starts.
I think we are all just a teensy bit frightened of these ‘places of possibility.’
Some of us run towards them. Others desperately fill them up in case all the juicy potential ends up bubbling up and distracting them from their existence.
Are those spaces what some call ‘our comfort zone’? If so, is it a bad thing that some thrust our faces past it into the delicious unknown …. and some shy away, steady and comfortable in the knowledge that tomorrow … will be just like today.
I have so much newfound respect for the second sort of people.
The sort of people who are not me.
My contract as a customer service officer with a government department had not been renewed. The event which I ran was due to finish. I had no clinic from which to see clients. I had finished editing my friend’s book. It was finally published – with my name in print as the Editor. I was still painting, but hadn’t finished a painting in ages, and wasn’t close to finishing one, so there were no expected sales there.
What was I going to do?
I applied for about a dozen full time office jobs. Not one interview. Hardly a reply even to acknowledge my application!
One day I was chatting to the Front of House Manager of the Event venue. She had lived and worked in London in a pub and fondly remembered that time. I joked with her that if I didn’t find a job, then that could very well be my next option on the list! She spun around to look at me and said – ‘well why don’t you do it, then?’ I opened my mouth to list all the reasons I simply could not ‘just do it now’ and found more reasons to explore the possibility than to discount it.
When I travelled in in 1994 as a fresh-faced youngster, I arrived in Scotland and fell in love with it. I adored the accent, the landscape and the people. I have often spoken of this love affair with Scotland and that if I didn’t have my future husband waiting for me back home, I would have stayed. I have always loved pubs. I actually enjoy the sights and smells of a pub.
And I have always, always wanted to work in one.
I started to wonder.
I started to think that maybe … possibly …. I could actually pull this off.
I promised myself that if there were any hurdles that were too difficult to overcome that I would reconsider immediately.
But they never came.
And so I made vague plans … always with the thought ‘I can still NOT do this’ in the back of my mind.
Until I bought my ticket.
Then shit got real.
And here I am, in the Highlands of Scotland, having not only achieved a dream, but with a tonne of new friends, amazing memories, awesome insights to who I am as a person, and some priceless photographs I can’t wait to paint when I get home!