IMAGINE IF YOU JUST LET GO AND FOLLOWED YOUR HEART
'Lena's story is one that was full of risks and taking chances, on herself on her life and her heart. A true inspiration when it comes to letting go and leaving behind a life you were told is 'picture perfect' to go after what your heart is telling you is the right thing to do'
It was only a 60 minute flight from Sydney Airport to Avalon Airport. I calmly selected my seat – an aisle seat as close to the back as possible because I make it my mission to be the last to board and the first to suck in fresh air when we disembark. I smiled politely as I checked my baggage. I made my way directly to the gate. My body was moving on its own accord. Feet connecting with the floor. Arms swinging. Eyes open. But inside of me – my stomach was in knots and I am so grateful that my throat felt tight and tense because otherwise I swear I would have been screaming ‘I don’t know what the hell I am doing’.
Sometimes we don’t realise that we are in the middle of what will be a defining day in our lives. But in that moment, I knew right down to the core of my being that when I boarded that plane – when it took me high into the sky, my feet would never be able to touch the ground in the same way again. I would leave that plane a different person.
Up until this very day I had lived with passion, purpose and clear direction. Every minute of my day was accounted for. My routines and rituals were so tightly wound within me that there was very little that could take me by surprise as I made my way through each day. So imagine my surprise when the very things that I had valued became the very things I began to resent. My husband, my businesses, my friendships they all started to become gray and dull to me. The things that had once made me feel secure and self assured now started to feel like a choke hold. I would catch myself in moments that I had to remind myself to breathe. Id exhale, drop my shoulders, sink back into my chair and wonder how long I had been disconnected from my own body, my own breath, my own sense of self.
I was surrounded by a life I had very much created – and I felt completely lost.
I could feel the color draining from my world. I felt like time was moving fast and slow all at the same time. Every day seemed like an eternity and I longed for the moment my body could fall into bed at night so I could squeeze my eyes shut and make the world disappear. But at the same time, with every day that passed I grew more anxious that I was wasting this one beautiful gift of life that I had.
I tortured myself endlessly. I began imagining a life that felt brighter. The stark contrast between what I could see in my minds eye and the life I was living taunted me endlessly.
Then there was him.
He had floated in and out of my life for years. First as a cheeky boxing coach pushing me to explore my limits. Then as a friend, touching base and exchanging stories. Then as a confidant who gave me the space to whisper the words ‘ I don’t know what Im doing’. His love, his attention, his energy was all consuming. As he floated in and out of my life there was not a day that went by that I didn’t wonder where he was, and that I didn’t wish fiercely for his reappearance. Its almost impossible to settle into your own life, your own circumstances when there is a secret piece of your heart that is always with someone else.
So when the universe offered up a brief moment in time when we both found ourselves unburdened by the choices and circumstances that had kept us apart – time stood still.
When he opened his arms and offered up his world to me – it was blindingly bright. Suddenly anything and everything was possible again and my body, my heart, my mind was flooded with colour.
I didn’t tie up loose ends sensibly and practically. I gave no explanations or farewells. I didn’t really have a plan. I just knew what every fibre of my being was telling me – it was time to let go and see what happened.
In boarding that plane I was rejecting societal norms, obligations, commitments and ideals inherited from ancestors I had never even met. I was saying yes to the cravings of my soul. I was saying yes to love.
For the entire 60 minute flight I was frozen with fear. I was scared that I had been naïve. I was scared that he might have changed his mind and I would be left feeling even more lost, alone and isolated. I had let go of so much I wasn’t sure what I would be able to grab a hold of if it all fell flat.
As I stepped off the plane I felt the change in me. I was ripped wide open. Vulnerable. Exposed. Hopeful in a way that felt terrifying.
Then there was him.
As his arms opened I dropped my bag and I ran. Ran to my future. Ran to the man that was ready to live life as an adventure with me. Ready to see the world, unburdened by my past. Ready to appreciate this life in all its bright and beautiful glory.
“You don’t always need a plan, sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens”
WORDS: Lena Phillips