This week has been a week full of reflection, revelations and tough decisions. There’s going to be some big and exciting changes coming up soon for my little family and even though it’s going to be an awesome adventure, I’ll admit that I’m also a bit scared of what lies ahead.
At the beginning of the year, I think it was, I wrote “The Plan”. Well it seems life’s unexpected twists and turns have gotten in the way and not much is going according to this plan. All of the things that have happened this years have prompted a lot of reflection and caused me to re-evaluate what is important.
So the title of today’s post is to capture the nature of my thoughts at this point. When I chose the title “Other Side of the Road” I meant this not only as a metaphor but also literally and I am not one of those people who misuse the word “literally” (who know the people I’m talking about, the ones who are literally dying from laughter). You see, one of the decisions we’ve made is to take our family on an a rather extended holiday to beautiful Hungary, my husband’s home country and the origin of one of my characters from Lonely Hearts, József Szabó.
Whilst I have been to Hungary before, it was in a time BC (Before Children) and only for weeks not months. This time requires a lot of planning with only weeks to get it all done. So one reason for the title of today’s post is a literal one, we are literally going to the other side of the road. Ok, I know Hungary is a bit further that simply the other side of the road, but it is the other side of the world and they drive on the opposite side of the road than I do, so that’s how I am justifying the use of literally.
This decision also had me thinking about my characters and the decisions they had to make in the past (and the ones they will make in the future), that will take them to the “other side of the road”, emotionally and also physically, leaving behind the world they know, away from the familiar and into the unknown. Whilst we won’t be travelling for months by ship like my characters, it doesn’t make the impending journey or the decision any easier, I imagine.
In some ways I feel like Claire Fraser in the Outlander series (****spoiler alert****) as she discovers in the 1960s that her beloved Jamie didn’t in fact die at Culloden and she prepares to travel through the stones once again to 18th century Scotland. As she decides what to take with her from her life in the 1960s to the completely different world of 18th century Scotland. I know I’m being a little dramatic, after all I am making this trip with my family and not alone, on a plane and not through the circle of standing stones and certainly not to 18th century Scotland. Yet in a way, Hungary is like a completely different world and whilst they of course enjoy every piece of modern technology and comfort we have grown accustomed to, it doesn’t remove the feeling of walking into a completely different world. If you ignore the modern technology and modern convenience and so on, walking around does sometimes feel like you have stepped into a completely different time. Hungary is an ancient country full of history, culture and traditions, from the stories of the nomadic Huns that settled on the banks of the Duna (Danube in English) to the brave Kings of Hungary that fought off invasion and to the modern show of bravery of those who rose up against Communist rule and freed Hungary from the grasp of the Soviet Union.
Just so you know, I haven’t abandoned “The Plan”, not at all, I still intend to achieve every aspect I set out to achieve, however the time frame might have to be slightly adjusted. I am never going to give up writing Thomas and Rose’s story, in fact Thomas and Rose’s world has also given way to several other ideas, looking at the stories of some of the secondary characters as well. So whilst I know this will be years in the making, I am not giving up on writing, even if I wanted to, I don’t think my characters would leave me alone until I finished telling their stories! Who knows, maybe this extended holiday will allow for some valuable writing time (I hope).
The journey we have decided to take is also much more than a physical one, it is also an emotional one. Through the difficulties we have faced this year, I kept wondering what was waiting for us on the other side. It seemed to just be one blow after the other, but no matter what life threw our way we somehow managed to survive somehow and come out the other side perhaps little bit stronger and even a little wiser. So now I look forward, a little scared but mostly excited to see what is waiting for us on the other side of the road (or world!)
On another note, I went to the grocery store last night to get a few things with two (of my three) children tagging along hoping to score some kind of special treat they could sneak into the trolley. On my way out, I noticed an older man with a beard holding at least a dozen bunches of flowers in his arms. As I walked past, to my surprise he asked me what colour flowers I would like, I tried to politely decline feeling like I was taking something undeserved, but upon his insistence I accepted a bunch of red carnations. Later I found out this man’s story; his mother had passed away several years before and each year on her birthday he goes and buys as many bunches of flowers as he can afford, handing them out to all the mothers that he sees as a way of honouring his own mother’s memory and also to remind everyone how awesome mother’s are. This small act of kindness reminded me once again that no matter how bad things seem at the time, we need to look for the positives, the sunshine on a cloudy day.
So my lovelies, no matter what is happening or what waits for us on the other side of the road, whether good or bad, let us always look for the sunshine, not matter how cloudy it is or whatever (sh*t)storm might be brewing, search for the sunshine and don’t rest until you find it!
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