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I have never published anything you can buy on Amazon or in your local bookstore, and you certainly will not see my name in The Times Top 100 books to read before you die, at least not yet. I am a writer. I have been writing most of my life, certainly most of my adult life, but it started with a young girls dream to be a published author with the only thing to have changed is the desired content. I’m not entirely sure why I have a natural gravitation to writing since there appears to be no others in my family, but perhaps it is the purpose of writing that draws me in? I think Anaïs Nin was spot on when she said “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” Most recently however writing has been somewhat of a task on a list, much to my discontent. Some term this inability to write as “writers block” which is often followed with sage advice to get some creative movement going. Perhaps “when faced with writers block, describe what it looks like” would be effective?

It seems odd to be talking about writers block as I sit here typing actual words, but I feel a significant difference in sharing written perspective, and being able to pen the words for particular projects awaiting my attention for this platform. I have significant content around travel, nursing, and growing from life’s lessons, but little motivation to stop and do. How would I describe this invisible block or what would it look like?

It starts with the everyday stuff. It looks like busied schedule of being mum and wife each day, ensuring my little unit is happy and cared for. It’s the responsibilities and challenges of being a nurse in a country that is not my own, with the weight of nursing during a global pandemic being ever present in my mind. It’s the realities of homesickness for the everyday conveniences that were taken for granted back home. It feels like broken eggshells, and a fatigue that wont dissipate. It feels like busyness, chaos, and overwhelm. It is that sensation of treading water and never gaining traction, much like quicksand that is underestimated. It feels like “never enough”. It sounds like the relentless noise of machinery, the cogs are all turning but they never stop.

It’s been a long road from writing for fun as a young girl, being published only in the writing camps annual book that was released to now. Since August 2012 I have been sharing content derived from our personal lives via my Tailored Living Project blog, and whilst it has been such a great source of joy, it now has me feeling torn between here and there. Therein lies my dilemma – should my personal life and this journey as an expat nurse join together, or should they remain separate? What used to feel easy and essential, now feels as though I am filtering the experiences we are having from my nursing readers. It would be easy to divide nursing from life in relation to content, but would I want to deliver watered down content? After all, isn’t life as a nurse more than the tasks we do and the hours we clock at work? Right now I think I have to have the courage to share openly, and draw on my own strength to be enough for myself without the worries of external judgments.

Courage is where life is

This year has been a tremendous one: direct challenges within my job, COVID-19 hitting the world and my own back garden so to speak, contracting the virus and being so so sick, and of course the violent murder of my brother. It was time for a holiday with our little unit and since global instability has stopped us from venturing abroad just now, we decided to come to Cornwall which is where I sit now pondering what is next. Bunkered down in a cosy but modern yoga retreat all to ourselves watching the storms roll over head, the lack of television or stimulants allows me the time to sit and think. It’s easier to find the words when my mind is still and all I have distracting me is the perfect line up of waves as I sit typing from the second storey window seat.

Newquay in Cornwall so far has been a blessing, with its surf culture, great coffee, and healthy food options. The Tai Chi class we did via Zoom this morning, helped create the chilled out feeling we were searching for, and finally I can feel a sense of calm washing in. For now, I am going to breathe in this atmosphere and try to keep writing and sharing, taking in every moment.

What is it about a reading nook that it makes you want to read and create?
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