He’d been stabbed to death because of his gang allegiance and being in the wrong postcode. This same postcode was where I’d moved into only days earlier, after months of struggle to realise my dream. London. Where the streets are paved with gold. Only on this day the streets were paved with a white tent and people in white outfits. London looked more like an alien sci-fi movie than my dream place in that haunting moment.
Of course my 6 years in London weren’t all so scary or negative. In the early days my health was ok – more from adrenaline and vodka, than from good sleep and healthy foods. I also learned great new career skills/knowledge/experience thanks to my employer, Scope. I networked, met great people, and enjoyed the rich tapestry of culture, leisure & gastronomy. With so many great stories and memories to tell the grandkids.
Unfortunately the pollution, inaccessible travel stresses, energy exertion, and crappy winters took their toll. I started getting more chest infections and generally less happy. I resented having to be at a desk in one building everyday – with only 4 weeks ‘holiday’ (aka recovery time) each year. The novelty of famous places was replaced by a longing for warmer winters, independent work and living new dreams.
Since I went self employed 3 years ago I’ve never felt healthier, happier, fulfilled in my many work projects, travelled so much, and done so many cool things. My highlights include growing www.disabilityhorizons.com, being on BBC Breakfast speaking about the Paralympic games, visiting Japan, living in Spain, maintaining my disability foundations, and surviving financially. Also flying a plane, SCUBA diving, and going from John O Groats to Lands End were quite something too.
You may remember a blog I wrote before leaving the Catalan in June called ‘Whatever Will be Will be’. I reflected on feeling a little down, how I dealt with it and looking ahead at the summer. Since then I’ve successfully presented on Accessible Tourism videos for Visit Britain and the Catalan Tourist Board (coming soon), before driving to Poland for a month stay.
Time flies. We leave on Monday and head back to the UK for yet another new chapter. Amongst all the work, the people, the travel, a lot of books and deep thinking; I can see 3 key areas that are important for me to have a balanced life. I’ll seek to explore them more in other posts, but briefly they are:
Wellbeing – Further to my sharing of the book ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher; about the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (simply living in the moment) being in good condition. Furthermore having our basic foundations and good people surrounding us is vital.
Work – Unless you’re unable to work, it’s something we all do in return for money. Money which pays for shelter, food and so on. Ideally our work should be fulfilling because of the vast time spent on it. We should always take pride in our work and do our best, no matter what our job is.
Wonderful Moments – Once our Wellbeing and Work aspects are in shape (and both to be enjoyed as much as possible), life is for living and loving! I would urge everyone to take up a new learning project (a language, skill or game for example). Also looking out for other people is very fulfilling and fun (volunteering, donating money or helping one person somehow are great ways).
So why do I say all of this?!
When I look at my life pre-London; my Wellbeing was fulfilled, but my Work and Wonderful Moments were less so.
In London; my Wonderful Moments were satisfied, but my Wellbeing and Work were ultimately not.
Post-London; my Wellbeing and Wonderful Moments have been great, but I’ve lacked the Work aspect. This is in so far as not having a regular, stress-free income.
Having all 3 in perfect balance is idealistic and probably near impossible. However in seeing the importance of each area, I am planning and striving to satisfy them as much as possible.
While I’m off driving to the UK, house hunting and trying to crack my business model, please share your thoughts on this with me…
Laters. Hasta Luego. Cześć.