Before I write my post, I’d like to confirm that I’m neither drunk or high and I haven’t had some ‘weird tea’ lol; Africa is just affecting me in ways I never expected and I wanted to share that with you… (there’s going to be a lot of ‘me me me’ talk at the end of the post but hopefully you’ll feel it appropriate and appreciate it).
We were driving through Malawi the other day where straw hut villages line the roads and I noticed something…there was sign after sign for churches but they were nothing more than mud brick buildings with window holes and no windows which got me thinking.
You don’t need a church to be religious and that’s the way it should be. It shouldn’t be about the stained glass windows, the priest in full uniform or the choir singing in a certain tone. It should be about going to a place that YOU find religious and where you feel close to your ‘higher being’ without all the crap in the middle. You can sing to your God whether you’re in a cathedral, straw hut or your kitchen. Everything else is, quite frankly, ‘fancy stuff’ made to make your hand over your cash.
I should just say at this point that there is NOTHING WRONG with going to a fancy church etc…everyone is allowed to do their own thing. I’m just saying that maybe, like a lot of things, when stripped down to the basics it makes things more raw.
I can’t say that I believe in God but definitely in the Universe/’everything happens for a reason’. If my ex and I had still been together when I got back then maybe we would have settled down and whilst I would have been happy, I would have been in a town I hate, sacrificing my travels and maybe not taking my website seriously. Instead, I’m in Africa being emotional, contemplating the meaning of life and the meaning of my life. I can’t say that it’s always been easy looking at myself on the trip but I truly believe that I will become a better person for it. I guess you could say that the past four weeks have been ongoing meditation for me. People can spend their entire lives searching for the self-awareness that I’ve found and I feel incredibly privileged and proud of that.
Between the ages of 13-18, I struggled with life. I REALLY struggled. I wasn’t a typical teenager. Sure, I was struggling to find my place in the world and dealing with my hormones etc but it was so much more than that. For reasons I won’t go into, I hated life and everything in it (including myself) and I’m not ashamed to say that I tried to take my own life more times than anyone knows or that I would care to admit to myself. To be brutally honest, I often didn’t think I’d see my 19th birthday.
Unless you’ve been that low yourself, I can’t explain it but to look back and know that I somehow kept going and continued to live amazes me even to this day. For many different reasons, I had to do it alone and knowing just how far I’ve come makes me feel incredibly humbled. Maybe I was supposed to go through all that so that I would seek out volunteering to help others who needed it? Maybe I went through everything to stop someone else in the world experiencing the same? Or maybe it was simply to give me the determination to find my happiness and keep it?!
At aged 18, James Morrison’s lyrics for a ‘Wonderful World’ would have been so apt…
“I’ve been down so long people look at me and they know
They can tell that something’s wrong, like I don’t belong
Staring through the window standing outside they’re just too happy to care tonight
Wanna be like them but I’ll mess it up again
Tripped on my way in, got kicked outside, everybody saw…
I know that it’s a wonderful world but I can’t feel it right now,
Well I thought that I was doing well but I just wanna cry now
It’s a wonderful world, from the sky down to the sea
But I can only see it when you’re here, here with me
Who I am to dream, dreams are for fools, they let you down.”
Now, at aged 25 whilst travelling around Africa, I can finally say:
It’s a wonderful world =)