Some stories will change the course of our life forever.
Mine happened exactly 14 years ago today.
On the 25th of February 2006 a very young me decided her time in London had come to an end.
Fresh of a mini break in Italy where I felt the unceasing love of my dear ones, suddenly life here felt heavy and “stuck”.
I could picture myself being much older and still sharing a flat with people who’d never do their washing up quick enough for my liking.
I knew my best friends would soon move elsewhere or back to their countries, and it would have just been me left behind, missing the good old days.
Besides, having worked in retail all of my life, I could not see a way to get a better paid job which would make me feel more of an adult and less of an eternal teenager!
I felt stuck.
And I didn’t like that word.
I never did.
But if I can be really really honest to you, there was another reason.
After so many years spent looking for “The One”, the idea of still dating in my later years just terrified me.
I had been playing the “game of love” for so long, I just didn’t trust it could ever become something else.
I’d meet guys, and they’d seem “OK-ish” but never enough to make me hope the’d stay.
Or they’d be phoning in the middle of the night, promising eternal love while calling me someone else’s name!
It was clear that I was not good at this very unfunny dating game.
It was the same old story, while I wanted to write a new one.
And it just wasn’t happening.
And so all those years ago, one sunny 24th of February I spent the morning by myself to reflect on my decision to leave.
Walking around a very busy Borough Market, I hoped to find cakes that would heal the wound.
Life felt different that day.
Being among all those tourists and food lovers, made feel somehow alienated and detached.
I chose a couple of very inviting sweets and started to walk back home.
The river was very still and its bed golden under the sun’s rays.
“Oh, my beloved London, I shall miss you so” – I remember thinking while scoffing my cakes.
And then the most remarkable and extraordinary thing happened: I stood right in the middle of the road for what felt like an eternity.
In that moment something greater than myself overtook me and with much conviction and presence, I muttered to myself:
“God if you want me to be on my own for the rest of my life, I will.
If you want me to leave London, I will.
Your way, not mine”.
I had never been so certain in my life, so present and so unafraid.
My body was engulfed in an exquisite blanket of self love and respect and I never wanted it to take it off.
For the first time in my life I had been able to surrender to whatever the moment in front of me was offering.
I felt at peace and complete.
Most of all, I felt a love that I had not experienced before.
A love, I knew there and then, that had come to stay and never leave,
I was ready for whatever was next, no matter where that would lead me to.
Little I knew that less than 10 hours later, I would meet my future husband in very improbable circumstances.
But this is a story for another time, and which I love sharing with others.
Today it’s all about the story that we start writing when we surrender to what it is.
When we trust the Universe to unload us from our worries and tribulations, we allow magic to happen.
The same magic that we’ve been trying to evoke by ourselves but which cannot stem from the burden we carry around.
We must share that load and allow something bigger than us to guide us while mending our wounds.
I can’t really say that I’m an expert at surrendering.
I probably do better than most, yet the uneasiness is often still there.
In time I have learnt to accept that it’s part of our humanness.
Challenge after challenge, we learn to let go a bit more.
And hold on a bit less.
That’s when we know our spirit is growing: when we can look up the sky and say, over and over again, “Your way. Not Mine”.
And if you think that’s giving in to a cumbersome life, then think of the times you have been struggling against it!
When we learn to dance with life rather than put up a fight, we graciously start gliding through it.
As we lightly move in and out of our days, suddenly we start living more and worry less.
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Lovely piece, Antonia,
and a beautiful memory. Giving way isn’t easy is it but it’s the only way things really wrk out for the best.Look forward to hearing how you met your husband!
And I have day dreamed that some time this year, when I have moved back to the UK as I plan to do, you and I will meet up and have a fabulous day, eating, shopping, laughing, sharing stories… Can’t wait, hope you’re up for it too! xxx
Oh, that would be so lovely and thanks ever so much for wanting to spend time together, I’m truly touched! Much Grace to You, lovely lady, Antonia
Wonderful story Antonia. This humble attitude is so painful at first but so full of love in the end. When we allow ourselves to live our divinity. I could feel your divinity in your story. Wonderful!!
Thank you so much Ursi! I feel like my divinity is everybody’s divinity, if we only paid attention! Much, much love to you, Antonia