The Cost of Freedom

12 months ago I sold 90% of what I owned, closed my business, cancelled a lifetime of attachments to associations/insurances/responsibilities, left my home and just walked away from my life as I knew it.

It was the most liberating feeling I’d ever had in my 57yrs.

I’d been a registered nurse, natural health practitioner, mother to 6 sons, wife of 23 yrs, single for over 10yrs and was carrying my past with me like a tortoise carries his shell. Hiding inside it to protect me from myself and my dreams.

I had no plans in place but I still had debts. The thought of being beholden to the bank wasn’t something that was going to hold me back and I just had to deal with that.

Taking off on the open road and picking fruit with backpackers and transients, meeting both generous, caring people and dismissive, judgemental characters. Alcoholics, gamblers, liers, partyers, chill people, wild people, cheats, sharers and carers, young and old, farmers, outback characters and city slickers was worth the discomfort and joy it brought me.

Outside my comfort zone entirely, avoiding eye contact and conversation, scared of being laughed at and criticised behind my back. Devoid of all responsibility I became no one. I had no authority to help anyone, no one knew me or cared to know me. I had the isolation I so yearned for and the pain that goes with it.

Introspection comes at a cost.

It took me 6 months to realise I’d had enough of this life — my lessons learned and it was time to integrate them into my new stage of my life. To fill up the empty cup with my new experiences and people, take on new challenges and find a new way to make money!

I came upon a small house with the beach as my backyard — waking up with my little dog and being able to see the sun rise over the ocean from my bedroom was amazing. Having my morning coffee while sitting on the beach, watching people enjoying their morning walk silhouetted against the rising sun. The freedom of just sitting there and letting my mind run free.

The cost? One of my housemates became demanding to the point of treating me like a servant, not someone who was sharing a living space. She holds the lease of the house — so it was up to me to move. I lasted 3 months there and learned to become far more resilient and surprisingly not judgemental… boundaries are now far more defined and I find myself not worried by anything any more!

Maybe it was the mixture of the freedom of the ocean at my doorstep and the demands upon my personal choices that created the perfect melding of ‘letting go’. It’s part of what I really wanted.

My work has now turned into a reference and coaching area for women who have recovered from a long and nasty marriage, but are stuck in the mindset their previous life has left them with. Letting go of this is crucial to moving forward in life.

If we don’t let go of the old (and necessary — at the time) mindset the repetition is relentless and depressing. Repeating what we think is expected from us but no longer necessary to anyone around us is pointless. The kids are grown and want us to be as independent as they are, the ex has his own life…’s time to form new unique and creative way to live, breathe, enjoy, test out limits, make mistakes and have success.

I also do podcasts with women over the age of 40 who have made the leaps of faith necessary to live the life they want, slough off the confines of their previous life and find totally new ways to make a living, find new loves, move countries..and so much more. These woman are amazing.

My life is still morphing, growing and developing like a young girls body. At some stage it may mature — but hopefully I’ll be gone by then.