At the beginning of this pandemic I had no intention of leaving London and choosing to leave the events industry. Barely a year after entering the profession I was freelancing with my own jobs and clients. I was pushing to take on more, and I was in denial that I was avoiding taking a leap of faith to work on the I Am Beautiful project full-time. I had no money, no romantic life, barely a social life and I lived in the crappiest, basement flat. Then the pandemic happened. Five months after I came to my family home to be in lockdown I am now in the process of moving back to Salisbury, and have decided to not go back to my events work and just focus on The IAB Project fully. I say often how it’s such a crappy part of the human experience that we have to go through really difficult, painful experiences to be able to learn something important. If it were not for this pandemic I would have ideally struggled to make it work in events and stayed in London away from family and friends. I would have continued to be flat broke and working for other people to create their dreams. Hindsight is truly a marvellous thing.
In the days leading up to a therapy session I had a couple of weeks ago, I was on a walk. I was thinking over what I really needed to discuss in my upcoming session. Fifty minutes is not a long time to get everything out sometimes, so I like to have some rough idea of the most important things. The thing I kept coming back to was the feeling that it was the end of a chapter for me. Most of my life when a chapter came to an end it had come out of the blue. This was no different. In June I had been so adamant that I was going back to London. I had a new flat to go back too and was really excited to get back to work. Going back I was initially happy. It was good to be away from home and be in my own space again. As the weeks slowly ticked by I just started to realise that there was nothing there for me. A room in a flat. That’s it. I went back and forth to my mums and London for a few weeks and tried to find the thing I felt was missing. During this time my friend had been telling me she had seen an advertisement for someone letting out their two-bed flat, in Salisbury. She had found a colleague who wanted to move too and they were really excited. I was really happy for her, it was just what she needed. After going to see this flat with this other girl, my friend told me she no longer wanted to move as the second bedroom was too small. My friend was so disappointed. I made jokes about moving and how awesome it would be if we lived together. But I told her, I could never move back. When I first went to London I swore to myself I’d never go back there. Of course my friend understood. However, something changed inside me when I was told there was an opportunity to move back. The void I’d felt when I had gone back to London tugged on the idea. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe it was just what I needed, being close to friends and family again. I had a serious conversation with my friend about it and agreed to go and see the flat before making any decisions.
After seeing the flat my friend was so excited. This was the ideal situation for her. I had massive reservations. Before going to see the flat we’d had in-depth discussions about what it would mean for me, and the familiar uncomfortableness of a big change had me pointing out all the negative things, and clinging onto my London life in a death grip. So once I saw the flat it became so much more real. I said yes pretty quickly. Something inside me already knew this was the right decision. In my head however I was in turmoil. Over the next few weeks I fought with myself. I deliberately caused arguments, projecting my fears onto my friend. The part of me that knew this was the right decision became louder. I started to remind myself that it wasn’t permanent. It could be a temporary pause, or permanent redirection. I was still in control. I focused on the positives of moving, the opportunities I would have. There was a feeling of relief too. Like I had been fighting for something I knew was never meant to be. Once I started thinking in this positive mindset, life became easier, my shoulders felt lighter, I felt liberated from myself.
Certainly for me, and maybe for you too, when we are faced with such enormous change we feel we are somehow losing, something is being taken from us. The control we thought we had has gone. That’s the funny thing about life. It kinda already know the things that we need before we do. I’ve heard so many times, ‘trust the process’. For a control freak like me, the thought of that seems absurd. However as I get older and I am in situations where I am forced to give myself over to the inevitable change, I see that I never have control. I never will. But I can choose my mindset and my attitude towards them, which untimely makes the process easier and clearer. Changes will always be a part of our lives. Changes, and endings, however they do not need to just be bad, or sad, or negative. They can be both sad and happy, a loss and a gain. Navigating through these changes becomes easier because we become stronger. You have everything in you now to withstand the storms. I believe you can. I hope you will choose to believe in you too.
Don’t be afraid of new beginnings, the end of chapters. Each beginning is a brand new chance at happiness. -Katherine