‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.’
‘Leisure’ by W.H. Davies
I stood and stared in the grass this morning. And marvelled at how at peace I felt right there, my bare feet grounded in the earth.
My life has changed so much from two and half years ago, when I first found out I had severe endometriosis. I became really unwell over the next year, suffering from so much pain, fatigue and anaemia that I couldn’t physically move from my bed on some days. What was once my ideal job (as an academic lawyer) became a chore: I could no longer muster any enthusiasm whatsoever for teaching let alone research and writing.
This led me to leave London to try and get back to a place where I recognised myself again. It wasn’t easy because it meant giving up on not only my work and my home but also my identity.
When I first got to Mauritius, I ‘hid’ because I needed to mourn. I shun nearly everyone apart from my close family members as I tried to make sense of my new life. But as the months went by, I started taking roots (again), nurtured by my family’s love and support.
My journey to better health continues. I still have a long way to go (when I tell people that I once trekked the Himalayas all the way to Everest Base Camp, which is at a similar height as the Kilimanjaro, it feels like I am talking about someone else!) but I now no longer need iron tablets and this week, I have woken up energised enough to walk for 20 minutes without being in pain. Something I am amazed at and grateful for.
What I have learnt in the past 8 months since being back in Mauritius (apart from navigating around bureaucracy!) is that it is important to slow down sometimes, to relax, to go at your own pace and do your own thing, to not be afraid to take risks, to open your eyes and heart to novel opportunities and connections, to pursue joy above all else…
Here’s wishing you a lot of standing and staring!