CRASH ! The condo was gone. Just like that. One minute it was there. Then it was gone. As if it had never existed. And with it, my life. All my family were in it when it crashed. They said it was a freak accident. A huge sink hole had swallowed the whole block up. Now that wasn’t a big loss for me personally. Sounds awful, I know. We had never been close even though we all lived in the same building. In fact, truth be told, there was more infighting and not talking to each other than anything else. I was the sole survivor and heir to the family fortune. After the funerals, the reading of the wills, estates settlements and a thousand and one sundry bits and pieces to sort out, I was free. No more family dramas. No more dysfunctional crap. The businesses would continue to chug along without my direct involvement. I was mega rich. But I felt mega poor. This was such an alien way for me to be. I had no reference point. I felt strangely bereft.
My life had been turned upside down. It would have been so easy to continue the lifestyle I had before. Mind numbingly frenetic, hedonistic , full of pointless activity. But it had lost its appeal. What I had thought of as friendships turned out to be shallow and meaningless. I was surprised to find that there was not a single person in my life who was interested in just me – without the gloss, the glamour, the free flowing booze and partying. Just as shocking was how quickly everyone drifted out of my life. It shocked me to my core. I literally could not remember a time when I had ever been alone. I was like a rudderless ship. Without direction, without purpose, without people – friends or enemies. It was like living in an invisible bubble. I could see out. No-one could see in.
I remember very clearly the day that everything seemed to suddenly come into sharp focus. An article in a magazine I was browsing through over a morning cup of coffee caught my eye. Phrases leapt out at me – nurture yourself first, focus on the positive, create a new way of being, live in balance. My spine tingled. For the first time since the crash , I felt a twinge of excitement. By the end of that day, I had a plan in place. By the end of that week, I was packed and ready to travel.
First, I visited all the places on my bucket list. Not for me the glitz and glamour of big city lights. I’d been there, done that. Instead, the rest of the world opened up to me like an oyster. The pearl I was searching for was the hidden. The out of the way places. And in the doing of that, I found depths in myself never before explored. I yearned to connect to nature. To real people. People who didn’t own much yet were rich beyond my wildest dreams in ways that mattered so much more.
Like a hydra with many heads, my journey evolved into a pilgrimage. Not at all what I had planned at the beginning. Of course I’d had to start with what I knew which was not much. Along the way I learned and grew. The more I learned , the more I wanted to learn. To experience. To absorb. To grow. Each place I stopped led me on to the next. And the next. I had never realised what a wonderful place the world was. How full of fascinating places and people.
I found myself. At first I didn’t like me at all. Over time, however, I found a self that was kind, generous, open and caring. I met my Soul. Together we became a new me. It was then I realised it was time to start my life over. There was so much to do! And I had the means to do it.
© Raili Tanska