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A Place To Call Home

I’ve always dreamt of having a place of my own. A secret hidey-hole where I can shrug of the cares of the day to day and immerse myself in a mythical kingdom of sprites and fairies, dragons and the occasional mischievous leprechaun.

My current home has the absolute perfect spot for a hidden enclave, a place to while away the hours writing and pottering about with plants and flowers. It’s currently overgrown. It’s currently a dumping ground for garden refuse and pieces of sandstone. It’s nothing much really to look at. But in my mind, it’s an old walled garden with a wrought iron bench and rose scented air.

I wrote yesterday about fear and exposure. The post came easily to me. Words flowing across the screen all from a momentary thought of an old children’s fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. It just came. When I get out of my own way, my writing does that. No idea what will appear, it just does.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what I write – blog, screenplay, short story etc. – the words just appear, as though whispered into my ear by someone else. The problem that stems from writing like that is I tend to tap into something in my head when it goes that well, that ensures I do something stupid to balance the universe so to speak.

Last night I took the easy way out and drank some wine, then some more, then a little more. I don’t really know how it happened. Well I do, it was one glass following the other. This morning I wrote in my other blog about self sabotage and needing to find passion in my life, somewhere, anywhere.

When I woke up this morning, I logged onto the computer and as is my habit I checked both my email accounts before I checked anything else. The email account attached to these blogs was filled with notifications. I sat and stared at it a little dumb-founded to be honest. Email after email.

I get excited if one or two people like a post. But when I cleared out the emails and logged into the blog account there they were. 10 likes for my post Understated Elegance, and 11 Likes for my post on my other blog The Plank that Plonked. I’ve never had 21 likes in a day before.

I’ve come to the realisation that when I try to undo the good I’m building in my life the universe seems to go out of its way to reinforce I’m on the right track. I couldn’t have gotten a clearer message this morning that my writing does resonate with people. At least 21 people yesterday.

It was a sign I needed to help me shake of the wine haze this morning and to remember why I quit drinking in the first place. I made the decision to loose the booze because I knew I could either keep drinking or keep writing. That the two were not going to work together anymore, not that they ever had.

Yesterday I felt exposed and uncertain. So I fell into an old habit. I reached for the wine. It’s not an excuse, it’s a reality. I talked in my other blog today about living life on auto-pilot. I hadn’t really understood that before. But it’s something I do.

Today I wrote a blog. Today I watched TV. Today I made myself get off my bed, put on some shoes and walk across to the train station to buy my next fortnights ticket. That doesn’t sound like much. It’s not really, not in the grand scheme of things. But it was “something different”.

Every fortnight I have the same conversation with myself on a Sunday. It goes like this;

Me: I really should go and get my train ticket, that way I don’t need to line up on Monday morning

Me: Yeah but it’s so far away, it’ll take at least 5 minutes to get there and another 5 to get home again

Me: True, but it means I won’t be running to the station tomorrow morning and doing the “Let me buy my ticket before the train arrives” chant complete with interpretative dance.

Me: Let’s just check Facebook one more time

Me: Okay, but then we have to go

Me: Sure and when we come back we can watch Downton Abbey Season 3

Me: Great idea, why don’t we just watch 1 episode now

Me: Awesome I’ll get the chips

Several hours later;

Me: Dammit I forgot to go get my ticket again

Me: It’s okay, we’ll get up early in the morning, no worries

Today I started to have that conversation in my head, but at about the point where I suggested to myself to check Facebook I thought “Oh for God sake just get off your arse and go.”

So I did. Instead of allowing the usual Sunday dance to occur, I put on my shoes, and waddled down to the station, bought my ticket and came home. Now, to be honest I’m a bit put out with the Weather Fairy. My house is cold, it’s in shadow. Stepping into the street it turned into Dante’s Inferno out there. So not only do I have my ticket I’m also hot and sweaty.

I’ve come to accept that living life on auto-pilot is a cop out. Nothing will change if I don’t change it. I’m aware of just how much change scares me, but come on, I’m nearly 40. Isn’t it time to grow up just a little bit.

Somewhere out there is a life and a career that will fill me with passion. A life and career that is all I’ve ever dreamt of. It’s not going to come and find me, I have to go find it.

My walled garden can stay a rubbish tip or can be made to be as beautiful as I think it could be. My writing can stay inside my head or it can be put on the page and be read by others who may or may not find it as entertaining as I do.

What I can not keep doing is living life on auto-pilot. I know I mentioned yesterday that sometimes I’m a bit slow. This is probably something a 20 year old figures out.

I guess the point to this post is I’ve going to give conscious living a try. I had a friend once who recommended the “day after” purchase. If you saw something you wanted to buy, you didn’t buy it straight away, you went back and bought it the next day if you remembered to. Nine times out of ten she’d forgotten all about the latest must have gadget.

For me, I’m going to install that programme. If I want to do something that could derail my writing I’ll do it tomorrow, but for now, I’ll do the writing.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

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