I have been away for 10 months now. 10 whole months!! it’s been an incredible time, but as the new and exciting becomes my new normal, I do find myself getting homesick quite a lot lately. I tend to miss my friends quite a lot. I miss my family and my dog. I miss home comforts, British summer festivals (Hello Glastonbury), and Amazon home delivery (weird I know, but Amazon isn’t really a thing over here and it sucks).
But there are of course, some things I really do not miss. Many of these are no brainers. I don’t miss the awful British weather. I don’t miss the constant queues, traffic jams, and general ‘busy-ness’ of British life. Britain always feels crowded and like everyone is in a rush. Which isn’t so fun.
But the one thing I really do not miss about living at home, which I want to talk about today, is the negative attitude.
This isn’t something exactly unique to Britain. I think anyone reading this who is from a small town, or has been constantly surrounded by the same people all their life with little contact from people from other cultures and ways of thinking, will understand. I have always said that many people who live in a small town get stuck with a ‘small town mentality’. They become sole focused on the goings on within their community, but not much else. They fail to see the bigger picture or care about important issues. They know what it means to be normal, adhere to the status quo set by society, and anyone who deviates from their perception of normal will be sorely looked down upon.
Of course, it’s not just people from small towns who have this sort of mentality, and many people from small towns will not be like this. Many will question it, and ultimately throw off the shackles and break away from it.
When I lived in the UK I was surrounded by negativity all the time. It was a constant force in my life. I wasn’t negative. I was very happy, but there was always negativity occurring around me. It happened a lot at work. People got stressed and upset over things that weren’t important. Both fellow staff members and customers. It happened at school. It happened in old relationships. It happened on the internet – lets face it, there is nothing like social media to encourage people to have a good moan or tell you about their opinion on why you are wrong.
Most of the people I surrounded myself with were like me – happy, up for a laugh, chilled out and comfortable in their own skin. But you will still encounter people who love nothing more than a good bitch. At the pub, at work, in any social gathering.
But for me, there is no time for this negativity in my life. I don’t have time to hear people bitching about someone else’s choices in clothing, lifestyle, career, boyfriend, etc. I don’t have time to care if people wanted to be keyboard warriors and start twitter arguments. I don’t have time to care what people think about my decision to travel, to postpone my career, to do whatever it is I need to do to follow my life path. There is little time for this. There is little room for the energy for this.
I like the way Paul Jarvis worded this. You only have so many ‘fucks’ to give. Fucks are your life currency and we need to spend them wisely. Give a fuck about the things that are important. That are worth getting upset, angry, passionate about. But if we waste our ‘fucks’ on other peoples opinions of us, or on our opinions on someone else’s choices, or on whatever other inconsequential thing that people are talking about, we waste our energy. Energy that could be spent doing other things that actually serve us, like building a business, writing, learning a language, taking dope photos, dancing, cooking, exploring the world!
When I left, this negativity no longer impacted my life. Not really. I started my trip in Asia and here everything felt so relaxed, carefree. The pace of life is slower. I stopped sweating the small stuff because I realised it would all work out anyway. Now I’m in Australia I admit sometimes I do get upset over little things, maybe the Western world just doesn’t agree with me! But that negativity that was buzzing all around before, it doesn’t touch me anymore. Even on the internet, when I see someone moaning or bitching about things that don’t even matter, I don’t give it the time of day. When I hear people being horrible, I don’t get involved in the conversation. I don’t want to be that person so I don’t allow it to infiltrate my life.
The good news is, you don’t have to book a one way ticket out of there to find this kind of peace. If you can’t or don’t want to travel to the other side of the world, it’s ok. You can still get away from all the negative buzzing around you. You can still find peace. Before I left home, I already started on this journey through yoga and meditation, which helped me immensely. If you don’t want to be a negative person or have negative people in your life, all you have to do is make the choice. It’s not where we are that changes things, but our mindset. A mixture of yoga and travel has allowed me to get away from the negative vibes in our world. Maybe you will find something different that works for you.
But it all starts with a choice. What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of things in your life are worth your fucks? And if you need to make a radical change – if you need to book that flight or cut the cords on something that is no longer serving you – then do it. The power is in your hands.