“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
– Mary Oliver
Updated the original entry which I published as the second entry on this blog. Here is a song which triggered the idea. I was listening to this live at Glastonbury festival.
As I write this I feel sick. Unsure if it is because I am sad, sad about the memories or if it is due to exhaustion. I have not slept much in the past week because of Glastonbury festival. This entry is poorly written. I am sorry. I am so tired but can’t sleep without sharing the below.
“In this post I want to tell you why I am here, backpacking, running.
It has taken me a few months, a few hundred people and some epiphanies to put my finger on the reasons why people escape. 8 times out of 10 they are trying to get over something or someone. As cliche as it is, and pretty disappointing it is the honest truth. Some stories are sad, some annoying and others standard so I will only talk about this once and share my own story.
I am not here to find myself, have known who I am for a very long time. At a young age I realised I would never change and accepted myself. I like myself. Enjoy my own company and the way my mind works. I am not here to party, sleep around or forget my life at home. I am here to be free, forget social norms, learn and explore.
There is something that pushed me to do this trip though, similar to everyone else. A break up. One which happened a while time ago. Everyone who has known me since 2010 has heard about **Ash**. My ex of many years. I met Ash in Magaluf at the age of 18 on my last night in BCM nightclub. He was my best friend, someone I still consider a soul mate. One of my favourite people in this world. One day for various reasons we cut all contact. From time to time I would email him updating him because for some reason I thought he would want to know (silly Maz thought) but respectfully he never responded. Eventually we had blocked each other on everything. It was better this way. “ – beginning of the original post.
I am usually a very relaxed and open minded person, after all I am my parents daughter, in another post you will find out more about them.
I will never disrespect Ash, he is an incredible human being however he had a lot of negative ideas about the way the world worked, he was very conflicted and in turn so was I. I could not open my mind for a while.
He saved me, in some ways. When I was 18 I was out of control. I had a million ideas all the time on things I wanted to do, places I wanted see but society was pushing me to be normal, to be adult, to go to university, to be academic etc. At the time I wanted to be a photographer like my dad. I wanted to mix travel with fashion. I liked dark arts, Michael Hussar was my main inspiration. The idea was to travel and use local women/men in each country as models posing them in contrasting scenes, beautiful nature as the background but the cloths and makeup would contrast with their usual appearance. I wanted to show the dark side of humanity. That didn’t happen because I drank a lot, all the time, this was the only way I could be creative. This got me into trouble a lot and made me depressed. Ash was only two years older but a lot more mature than me. I grew up lot in a short period of time and stopped drinking. He helped me but in sober life the ideas and creative passions stopped too.
Some of the pictures I use to take. No backdrops.
Anyway, we broke up in 2013, continued seeing each other periodically and got back together in 2014. We were always long distance so it felt normal to do this. He would leave but always come back and was not with anyone but me until he left for good at the end of 2015. It has taken me a while to get over it. I was drinking excessively again, lost myself for a little while but in the long run things got better.
My brother says I am a “gay c***t” for writing this entry. Word vomit but he still reads it so I will continue.
The song right at the end is the song I associated with Ash. Cringe but we sung it a lot, more as a joke. He isn’t the one who got away though. He left for the right reasons and in another life we will not meet as we have no unfinished business.
In 2013 I was overweight, depressed and miserable. The last year of university took its toll and I went a bit mad. A lot of sad things happened that year. Nothing to do with him though, he was still cool. I had become shy, quiet, unmotivated and negative.
My passion for travel, arts, music and photography was gone. I wanted to make money. I studied Events Management, it was a business management degree and the competition to be the best was overwhelming. A little like the apprentice and I wanted to win. My new idea was to make enough money to support his business idea and help him implement his creativity through wood work. To achieve this I became pretty serious. I was never materialistic before, it was not me and I was not the happy person you may have met recently. I was very very different. A lot of us do this, I feel like an idiot now but you live and learn. He actually hated me, really he despised who I was. My personality was conflicted, inside I was a little happy human with so much energy. I was like a child, so intrigued and impressed with all aspects of life but on the outside I was cold, like a stone, serious and determined to succeed. I never knew which version he preferred. I think the stone because it was how he felt. He was stuck and wanted me to be too so I made sure I was. There were reasons why he was that way, mainly drugs but his life in general was very different. He was a good person and we had many great time but in the end one of us was a happy human and one of us a sad one.
Anyway in 2016, months after he left for the last time someone told me he had a new girlfriend.
I was devastated but at the same time I happy for him. Not straight away, but eventually. Moving on I want to share something that helped me let go.
For a while in 2013-2015 I practised Buddhism and in one teaching Ajahn Brahm says that if you love someone you will be happy that they are happy, even if it is not with you so in time I learned to be happy, happy that he was happy.
With time I gained confidence in being alone, learned to be independent, learned to respect myself and learned to let go of the problems in the past. Below is the teaching which helped me and if you are conflicted I hope it helps you to.
It took me years, many countries, trials and errors, Dharma talks, reflections, epiphanies, lessons, low and high points, experiments with personalities and acceptance. I was in denial about the reasons for my unhappiness. In the end it was me. I was lost.
How did I achieve this? I worked on myself for a long time. In 2016 I had a good job, my own flat, passed my driving test, joined a car club, was much more social, happy, free, myself again but one day for no real reason I got depressed.
Even though I had let go I was still unsatisfied with life. I wanted more from it. No matter what I did I still felt sad. This continued for a while until one week I could not get up, I could not move, I was wallowing in my own shit. I thought “enough!!“ I threw everything out, cleared my flat, cleared my mind and realised that he was not the reason I was unhappy. It was me! I still had no self respect, I was not happy with what I was doing. I was drinking like a mad woman, waking up in my vomit, blacking out and then doing it all again, every weekend until I moved back in with my family. It got out of hand and I needed up in hospital for three days. I had ruined my body and made myself seriously sick…this happened twice within a year.
One day I woke up and decided to leave. There was nothing to lose. Besides I had already thrown most of my things away so decided to travel to explore, recondition myself and return to the life which made me happy as a child. A nomadic life.
Through travelling I learned to be myself again, remembered how happy life could be. Always knew who I was, liked myself but I was still shy, unsure of myself and conflicted. During my travels I met many many amazing people, fell in love again and again and again with beautiful people who had beautiful minds.
Freedom. We were all free to be ourselves without judgement.
I backpacked with a 45L bag, emptied it often. It was all I had and I was not attached to any of my possessions anymore. If you about to travel take as little as possible. Get rid of the rubbish.
Before I had even got on the plane I let go of the past, future, the uncertainty, the pressures and all my worries.
Stopped complaining, accepted everything which happened and lived day by day spontaneous and free. Only booked my flights, everything else just happened as I went. It was not all sunshine and rainbows but I was happy.
When I came back I was happy, happy to be home, knew it wasn’t for long but I was appreciative of my family and friends. No longer took them for granted. I wanted to share this with Ash, thought he would be proud of me. We all look for reinforcement and I wanted his. Why? because I will never really change. I will always care about his approval. He helped me once before and wanted him to see I could do it myself now, like a child…
I also wanted to apologise for all the crappy things that happened but know now it is unnecessary. I was being selfish. I should not have tried to reach out as he moved on with his life and he is happy. How I felt was my prerogative. Anyway if you ever read this I am sorry and it’s all good now. No hard feelings.
I thought about him for the first time in ages at Glastonbury festival. It’s close to where he lives. On our drive home we were redirected by google maps to avoid traffic. I was so damn tired. At one point I was delirious and just cried. I never cry. It felt strange. At that moment I looked out of the window and I bloody saw the bugger. We were driving past his work place. It was so unexpected for me. My friend was driving while another one was directing. They had never driven here before yet google maps took us this way. Anyway I saw him. For the first time in nearly two years. He looks the same, from afar, it was only for a second. I did not stare, just shut my eyes and laughed in my head. He was standing outside his workshop with his hand on his head, he would never have seen us as we were driving fast. My friends had no idea, it was freaky really. The good things is that I did not feel anything anymore. I had let go for the last time. I knew it was the end of the memories as I just shut my eyes and slept. Peacefully.
I achieved what I set off to achieve. Answers and direction.
As cliche as it is, it is common and many people go through this but we can never preach, we all learn this on our own, in our own way.
Today I picked up my camera and took my first real picture in 7 years. I will work on my passions, continue to travel and explore and continue in my pursuit of unconditional happiness.
What lesson have I learned? The rules of Fuck it! We control our own tranquility. Not from the past, not from our potential future but from this moment. If life is good it’s good, if it’s bad it’s bad. Accept that and let it all go.
Life is full of endless possibilities. I was looking for meaning when in reality life if just meant to be lived, day by day and by accepting whatever happens you become free, free to open your mind and live in peace.
I now try to give all my kindness, energy and love to those I meet without expecting anything back, by doing this I am richer than I ever was before. Without expectation life has given me so much. Thank you.
To all those I met during my travels I am grateful, for all the stories you shared, for the kindness you gave me and for the support. I have seen many of you again and again and know we will continue to cross paths.
Next stop. Cambodia!
Until the next time.
Peace out ❤