I had planned to do a big update on how life was going in Cornwall after a year, but as so much has happened lately, it seems appropriate to share what’s been going on and explain why I’ve been a bit quiet.
I would love to tell you it’s because I’ve been surfing so much that I haven’t had time to blog, but that’s not the case.
Some of you who know me well and read my blog regularly will know there’s been a lot going on in my life over the past couple of years. I lost 3 family members in a very short space of time, including my Dad 2 years ago. This coupled with relocating to Cornwall, buying a house here 3 weeks ago and recent pressures at work have taken their toll and my stress levels went through the roof.
A visit to the doctors last month confirmed that I was suffering from anxiety. I couldn’t concentrate or focus on anything, I was suffering from severe headaches, I was waking up in the night in a panic and I spent days in tears wondering what the hell had gone wrong – even guilty for feeling like this. I had moved to Cornwall, everything should be picture perfect, I should have coped better and should be happy living in such an amazing place – I was ungrateful and had no right to feel so low.
Stress and anxiety was never part of the big move plan. I moved to Cornwall for a simpler, more relaxed life and a new start – to surf more, escape the rat race and grittiness of city living, and to turn my back on what society expects me to achieve and strive for; the high flying career, the 2.4 kids, the big house in the leafy suburbs and the people carrier to cart my so called perfect life around in.
I had largely escaped all that but there was one piece of the old life that I brought with me to Cornwall that was holding me back. It prevented me from moving on, embracing my new life fully and added to the stress – my job. I had struggled for a few months with it and piled pressure on myself to succeed as I felt without that particular job, the dream would come to an end. It was making me unhappy and ill, and I knew that despite the attractive salary and career tag that came with it, my health and happiness wasn’t worth it. I was exhausted and felt like I needed time to reset, reflect and refocus.
Last week, despite my head screaming at me to stay and not be so irresponsible by throwing away the career, my heart and gut instinct knew what was best for me and I handed in my resignation. It was a difficult decision to make and for a while, I wrestled with thoughts of ‘what will people think of me.’ I couldn’t quite let go of the title and the salary, yet the prospect of working fewer hours, having more time to breathe and doing more of what I love filled me with excitement and hope. So what if I took a job that some may deem menial – we’re not defined by what we do to bring the pennies home. We are so much more than that.
Fortunately, whilst still in Wolverhampton and in the throes of planning our move, me and my better half realised that our 3 bed semi was literally a waste of space. We didn’t use half the rooms in the house and it cost a lot of money to run. So when we sold it, we made the decision to downsize and not saddle ourselves with a bigger than necessary mortgage. Smaller house equals cheaper to run and less money needed to cover the bills, which instantly gave us more flexibility and took the pressure off the need for big salaries.
Our 1 bedroom house is perfect for us and it’s 5 minutes from the nearest beach.
It hasn’t solved everything but it’s taken a huge amount of pressure off. After handing my notice in, and despite sobbing for a while afterwards, I felt a huge sense of relief so I know in my heart that despite me needing to find another job, I have absolutely done the right thing.
It’s also given me the push that I need to get my freelance content writing business off the ground – something I have talked about for a long time but never had the courage to go for it. I’ve already secured my first paying client and whilst it won’t cover all of my bills, it’s a great start!
Slowly but surely, I’m coming out the other side, and whilst I have lost a lot of confidence along the way, I have to do what I’ve never quite managed to do all my life. To believe in myself and trust that everything will work out as it’s meant to.
I came across a quote a couple of years ago that has really stuck with me:
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
My passion is surfing and it lead me straight to Cornwall, where I was meant to be. It soothes my soul, heals my hurt and lights my fire.
I hope there’s more to come. That surfing will somehow play an even bigger part in my life than I could ever have imagined.