Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm back and blue but a little bit new

Sometimes I wonder if it's worth going on exotic holidays to island paradises, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but I have always struggled immeasurably with the post holiday blues. You get away, clear your head, empty your mind and start to put the priorities of your life back into a sensible order, then bang you land at Heathrow with a skid and a shriek and the bubble is burst, reality hits as you breathe in the unfamiliar air dripping with chill.

As if that wasn't enough for a frazzled and peeling girl to contend with, I came home to find a landscape which had changed in every possible dimension. It was all rather beyond comprehension for my jet lagged, shell shocked, rum soaked brain. A romping '2 shags', a crumbling bully faced with undeported terrorists, a leader with a crazed glint of desperate panic in his eye, oh there had been easter madness galore in my absence.

Then there were my nearest and dearest, all with news and stories to tell. I began to wonder if there had been some mistake, had I lost track of time, had I been out of touch for 2 weeks or 2 years. There was one announcement after another. The most 'happy ever after' couple I know, split up. The friend who has been single for longer than she cared to remember, moving in with new beau. First one pregnancy, two days later another. My poor poor head. What was going on?!

And then there was more. Old flames started to reappear out of the wood-work. What was bringing them out? The scent of Spring? The first to call was from such a dim and distant past that I had no idea who he was. His excuse was that he'd heard about 'what had happened to me' and just wanted to make sure I was ok. Initially I was moved by this touching show of human nature. On closer examination, he had discovered 'what had happened to me' by Googling me, 8 years later. Why? Suddenly it felt rather stalkerish. Day 2 of reappearing exe's was explained by 'You just came into my mind and I thought I would see how you were'. Why am I popping up in these long forgotten minds all of a sudden?

I missed my blog whilst I was toasting my body, swimming in crystal oceans and showering in torrents of water cascading down volcanic mountains, I really did. Every thought, emotion and sultry sunset was worthy of a thousand words. I tried to write in my little book, scrunched up in my dimly lit cabin at night, but I kept bashing my head and getting pins and needles and just could find the right position.

I actually looked forward to coming home and tapping it all out as I relived those moments on my little laptop whilst gazing out at my blooming garden. But it was not to be. My computer is sick, possibly terminally. Perhaps it is put out that I left it behind, but this is harsh payment for abandonment. Not only am I internet-less and therefore blog-less, but 5 years of (un backed up) photos have mysteriously vanished. I am trying not to think about the enormity of this loss. I can’t face taking it to anyone in case they tell me they can’t be retrieved, in the same way that I put off going to the dentist when I suspect I need a filling. I have packed it up and hidden it in a drawer and have turned to blogging in my lunch hour instead.

Something happened to me on holiday and I am not sure that I understand it sufficiently to enable my description to do it justice. On a basic level, I cried. A lot. Surrounded by heavenly sights, smells and baselines wafting over the water, I wept like I haven’t for months. The sun, like no other, managed to penetrate those layers and layers of protection which have been slowly building since July. The ocean dissolved the gradually solidifying shells of self defensive armour. I was so overawed by the natural beauty and magnitude of my surroundings that bottled up emotions, whose existence even I had no inkling of, came flooding out in torrents.

I was confused and distressed by this at the time. I had been looking forward to this holiday with such anticipation. Hoping to escape my demons and memories and spend 2 blissful weeks in the company of my old self. I searched and searched, but to my immense disappointment and frustration she was nowhere to be seen .

Once I got home, however, and had taken in the news and gossip, stories and phone calls, a familiar little figure began to shyly show her face in the periphery of my vision. Every time I glanced at her she would melt out of sight, but she always returned. I treated her gently, let her find her place without pressure and interference, and gradually the visits became longer. She is still not back full time, but she is growing in confidence and finding her feet. I cannot tell you how much I have missed her, it has been so long that we are having to get to know each other all over again. Our relationship will never be as it was, but it will be deeper, stronger and full of mutual love and respect. Holly Finch welcome back!