Personal, writing

On Standing and Staring…

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‘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!

 

 

 

Personal

On New Beginnings…

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First glimpse of Mauritius from the plane ©rengineepillay

 

We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Campbell  

Last year, I took the life-changing decision to leave my job, my surrogate family (aka my friends), my city, and, what I came to see as, my home (the UK) to relocate to my country of birth (Mauritius). It wasn’t a decision I took lightly – it involved a number of late nights drawing and re-drawing up lists of pros and cons, hashing out scenarios with some of my best friends, lying awake at night, tossing and turning thoughts in my all-too frazzled brain until I finally decided that I needed a lifestyle change, a slower, more soulful and intentional way of living.

Announcing ‘Gexit’ (as it came to be known as the diminutive of my full name is Ginee) elicited various responses: ‘But whyyyy?’ (uhm, we’ve gone through this already so many times), ‘I’m really happy for you but from a purely selfish point of view, this is a disaster’ (awww, thanks for being SO honest!), ‘I love you and I will support you no matter what you decide’ (*cries*), ‘Great! I get to come visit you in Mauritius!’ (*note to self: do not give that person your new contact details!* j/k! not really) and so on. It meant saying a number of (teary and cheery) goodbyes but it also gave me excuses to try out the best restaurants in London (see my instagram feed) and have three farewell parties so that  by the time I left not only was I truly and literally stuffed but I was also very much broke!!

Being in Mauritius hasn’t been easy but I’ve woken up with a smile on my face on so many days that I know it was the right decision for me to come back – I’ll write more about what ‘coming back’ actually meant and entailed for me in another post… And, here I am now: trying something new, taking yet another leap of faith to see where it leads me…

‘Atelier Gintzy’ (pronounced gint -from gin and tonic but with a t-  zee) is, therefore, my freelance project to see if I can make it on my own, to put my skills, knowledge and passions to good use: I’m available for academic coaching, writing, and CSR/Legal consultancy. Some of these services are online and thus are available worldwide whilst others are more relevant locally to Mauritius but in any case, please have a nosey around the website and do get in touch if you have any questions and to see how I can help you and/or your organisation.

The blog complements my freelance services as I will be sharing my thoughts (and tidbits) on these topics as well as my experience as I embark on this new path peppered with some personal essays. I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey…

To new beginnings!