Last week I wrote about trying to avoid wishing away time by wanting to be somewhere else. I have slowly grown to find a reasonable level of contentment in London, buoyed by once more being surrounded by loved ones and the comforts of city life.
Today my mind is on fear and excuses - some the biggest barriers (for me, at least) to personal happiness. In the past I can pinpoint the moments in my life where opportunity has come calling and I have either seized it, or let it pass me by. The times when I have done the former have been those which have shaped me as a person and led to greater fulfillment, and the latter are those which I regret. Opportunity comes in many forms, and often represents a big change; a shift to a lack of stability. My psyche certainly, and I would imagine most people's, does not readily accept change - a move away from the comfortable and the known, into the murky depths of uncertainty. While this can be terrifying, it's also at the very heart of living an adventurous life. Seizing upon opportunities to escape routine and to broaden horizons is what adventure is all about - to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield! Pushing personal limits and seeing what we are capable of. It is possible, of course, to make opportunity for ourselves by luck, judgement, skill and determination. But it is equally important to recognise that opportunity when it comes along, self-made or out of the blue. It is crucial to think beyond the initial fears, excuses and cop-outs.
If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to cast off my tendency to often be wishing I were somewhere else. (That, or I’d make myself super-handsome and muscly, but this is a better blog post.)
Since returning from my latest expedition in Mongolia and China, I’ve been living in London. I live in a lovely little flat just minutes away from Hampstead Heath in the north of the city. I’ve always felt that if I must live in a big city (and for now I must!) then I need to be near large green spaces. Hampstead Heath with its trees, hills, ponds and trails fits the bill perfectly.