Sometimes, it's just all or nothing.

In just less than a month's time, I need to move out of my shared apartment and find somewhere new in town to live.  I hate this part of the process.  It's not that I can't handle change, God knows I've gotten to grips with that over the past few years, but the thing is, well, I've been thinking about it and I simply don't want to rent another room, for another few months.  Because, what I've come to realise, is that I don't want to live in the grey of my own indecision anymore.

Y'see, I want in.  I want all in.  I want to be here.  To commit to my own life, to making a life, to living.  I know what I want now, more so than I think I ever did before and in a lot of ways, it scares me.  Having something you want, fighting for it, means you run the risk of failing, but the thing is, as scary as that prospect is, if you fail to ever take any risks, then you never gain anything and I think I'd prefer to take that chance if I'm honest.

I spent too much time back in England wasting chances.  Like the opportunity to run off to New York with the hipster Jewish musician.  Or that time I thought about flitting off to live in Belgium with the cute wild haired…musician.  Okay, there were a lot of musicians…Anyway, the point is, I never took a chance, I consistently held myself back for so many reasons.  I had so many dreams and yet so little courage and yet finally, here I am, having loosened my shackles, run off around Europe, alone, in search of a better life and now, it appears as though I've found one.

I found a spot in the world that just felt right.  A place that was like a garden I could nurture and grow in.  A hobby that turned into a passion and a man who, despite his hesitancy, I'm convinced is my complete and utter soul-mate…and yes, admittedly, he is another musician, amongst other things.

I'm honestly terrified and completely unsure as to how exactly I'm going to break through Berlin's concrete underground and plant my roots, but, at the very least, I am determined.  At the end of the day, I didn't give it all up, just to move my stagnation across an ocean, I came to learn how to swim amongst the waves and I'll be dammed if anyone's going to stop me, least of all myself.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
— Helen Keller

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If you follow me on social media, then you may have picked up on my mild mental breakdown last week, which was mainly induced by what I can only describe as a really rough few days.  You know those times when everything that could possibly go wrong, seemingly does and disastrously all at once?  Yeah, it was that, all over.

The thing is, whilst a lot of the occurrences of that week were rather stressful and altogether overwhelming, I think that in all honesty, it was more so the fact that they chose to unfold all at once, which saw them become so achingly difficult to deal with.  Because, when I took a step back and picked them apart, in all honesty, each thing wasn't really that bad, nor unmanageable.

I think it's fair to say, that there are countless occasions in life, whereby we find ourselves entirely losing perspective of the big picture and allowing ourselves to get bogged down by the minor details.  What was once crystal clear, suddenly becomes blurred by intense amounts of stress and anxiety and in an instant, everything starts to feel like an impossible task and throwing yourself out of the nearest window slowly begins to feel like the best option.

Yet sometimes, we simply have to come to realise, that even the most tumultuous times are not indicative of the end, because, let's face it, only the end, is really the end, everything else is just progress.

If I think back to all the times over the years, where I felt entirely defeated by life and lost my mind to too many dark, broken hours, crying alone in corners, convinced my world was coming to an end, only to somehow find the strength to fight another day and witness things take a miraculous turn for the better, I have to acknowledge that as hard as it gets from time to time and as final as it can occasionally appear, things do always improve.

What's important to remember, is that every occurrence, every interaction, every event and moment, whether negative or positive, pleasant or unpleasant, difficult or easy, is predestined and each and every experience offers us an opportunity for growth.  Each difficulty and achievement holds within it a lesson.  Sometimes, it's simply that we need to learn to trust in that and in doing so, to keep some perspective and some faith, because ultimately, for every negative there is a positive and for every up there is a down.

So if you're riding a high, appreciate the moment and if you're currently battling the low, have faith that the further down you are, the higher you can look forward to rising.  At the end of the day, it's not how dark it gets that matters, it's how brightly you choose to shine.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
— Steve Jobs

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A strong heart knows when to let go.

Contrary to what the Beatles may have had you believe, when it comes to relationships, love, my dear friends, is simply not enough.  Not in the slightest.

Because the truth of the matter is this - one day, probably one seemingly nondescript, very ordinary day (if it hasn't hit you like a shovel already), you will meet someone, who quite by chance, induces such an intense and rich feeling of overwhelming, heart-aching, soul shattering love in you, that you somehow find yourself, perhaps quite uncharacteristically, fighting tooth and nail to be with them, repeatedly, with no apparent regard for anything they do or say and quite in spite of how poorly they treat you.

Eventually though, exhausted by your efforts, you do thankfully find yourself reaching a stage, whereby you realise, you simply have to respect yourself enough to take a step back and create some space.  Space for you both to breath.  Space for these feelings to expand and grow.  Space for the other person to attempt to make a move closer to your side and ultimately, perhaps enough space for them to feel your absence.  A hollow feeling which, if they do truly care, should scare them just the right amount into wanting to fight for you too.

Unfortunately, there are of course occasions, where you create that space for someone and it just lays there, dormant and empty, because the other person never actually made the choice to step into it.  In the end, they chose not to fight for you and their affection sorrowfully failed to ever grow, or expand.  Your absence altogether failing to ever be recognised.

Admittedly, it can be that precise inaction, that can be the most painful part in the whole torrid affair.  However, if you're never brave enough to create that space, then you'll never truly know the strength and depth of your partner's affection and as hard as it no doubt will be, if you do indeed find yourself at the end of the road, disappointed, deflated and generally stung by the feeling of being let down, it is genuinely a far worse thing to continue along the cobbles blindly, never actually realising, that you were ultimately always walking it alone.

At the end of last year, I myself reached that point; the part in the process whereby I needed to take a step back and see if I was trying to inflate a ripped balloon.  Dismally it appears I was.  The worst part, is that despite all the heartache over the past year, I could honestly have forgiven everything and I mean, everything, but what I simply couldn't deal with and what seemed to perpetually niggle me, was that he just couldn't seem to be open or honest about things, nor ever fully commit to me.  Which, when I thought about it, seemed to come down to one of two things; either he was a coward, or he simply didn't care enough about me and really, neither of these were good answers.

On the one hand, if he really didn't care, then he was a complete disrespectful cad for ever letting things reach the stage that they had, having known full well from the start how I felt about him and on the other hand, if he was simply just a coward, too afraid to let me in, terrified that I wouldn't love him for the real him, sans all the surface bullshit, then, well, in truth, I couldn't help but pity him really.  Although, in all honesty, in either case, I kind of pitied myself more.  Because, regardless of anything, these were sadly both things I couldn't change.  I simply had to accept them and equally, I had to accept that, unless he was willing to make certain changes, we'd subsequently reached the natural conclusion to our relationship.

Of course, it can't be denied, that every relationship will eventually meet a dead end, so to speak, however, it is often those precise brick walls that serve as the very test of a union.  You have the choice to either find a way to break through those barriers, strengthening and growing your relationship in the process, or you give up and walk away, either because you're uninterested, or simply because you just couldn't see, or find a way through.

Personally, I really didn't think this was how it would end.  I kind of always saw us as the breakthrough types, I really did, but in all honesty, this just isn't my wall to break down, this is his and I have to be willing to honour us both by accepting that and moving on.  At the end of the day, I broke my own heart enough times over the course of 2014 and I naturally don't want to see myself make the same mistakes again in 2015.

Of course, that's not to say that walking away is something I find easy.  I won't pretend that my pillow won't be sodden a fair few nights and my face may crumple at a memory or two, but in the long run, it's a far better thing to be on my own, than to choose to be with someone who makes me feel alone.  I mean, when you really think about it, if you're the only one fighting, what are you actually fighting for?

I will always love him…but right now, I'm simply choosing to love myself more.

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