Giving up the ghost

Most of us get those times where we need a break. To breath. To understand our place in the world and in our minds.

We have to stop and admire the goddamn view.

Let me tell you about the time I was ghosted. We will call him John because, well, that was his name. One day he was showering my life with promise, offering a tantalising glimpse of what could be and then – poof! – gone.

Nothing remained but an insidious silence.

If you’ve experienced this you’ll understand the crushing impact the ambiguity brings. Where is he? Why isn’t he returning my call. Has something terrible happened?

Then you’ll be floored by the self-questioning: Was it me? It must be me. What have I done to cause this? I’m a fool. I’m obviously to blame.

I felt destabilised by the communication blackout. I was an astronaut who’d become untethered from the space station and was orbiting earth helplessly. Was I failing? Why has this happened? Will I recover? What happens if I don’t?

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this emotional turmoil. You’re breathing but you need air. You’re disconnected from the safety of earth. You need to get back to where you were before this happened.

I put on my running trainers. I ran through thick woodland and up steep hills. Each step took me further from the ghost and back towards myself. I popped out from the forest into a small car park, surprising a lorry driver dozing in his cab.

“Where I am?” I asked. “I’m a bit lost.”

“You’re at the top of the hill,” he mumbled, “good views over there.”

That’s just it isn’t it. Life is tough sometimes. As adults, we think we’ve left behaviour like ghosting behind and consequently feel the effects when we’re let down. We do wonder where we are. We do feel a bit lost. We’re spooked.

We can turn this on its head by reminding ourselves of who we really are. That is perhaps the key. We can choose to believe someone else’s behaviour is a reflection on ourselves or we can choose instead to peer through the lens and see a coward.

And yes, it’s not always easy to remember especially when emotions run high but many, many wonderful things happen too. At any time we want we can climb the hill to admire the view.

We are not failing. We will recover. We know who and where we are, we’re just temporarily disorientated. The road onwards is nearby. Look around. See all those areas of your life? Well, they’re pretty awesome. They’re still here and so are you.

PS: In other news – Devon Maid has been selected as one of the top 100 UK lifestyle blogs on Feedspot.

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I'm a writer, journalist and communications officer based in the South West of England. I write about wellbeing, the outdoors and life in a rural playground.

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