Opposite my flat, there is a park.
I’ve done a lot of sitting in it, a lot of thinking.
In the six months I’ve lived here a lot has changed, lots of decisions have been made, and lots of thoughts have been thought.
It’s only small, a combination of grass and trees and flowerbeds, but it’s the first time I’ve had a regular outdoor space that lets me clear my head.
The luxury of having it outside my flat is one I’ve made sure I enjoy.
One thing I’ve learnt over the past couple of years is how important it is to lend proper time to thinking, to your thoughts.
When you go through a period where your thoughts become ‘out of control’, or ‘disordered’, or ‘unhealthy’, you have to reassess the way you deal with those thoughts.
My head would be spinning with a thousand things at once, all screaming at me that they were urgent, and none of which I could switch off.
In a previous job, I took the decision to walk the 3.5 miles each way, every day, to work. This was originally motivated by being in a place where anxiety meant I couldn’t step on the bus, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.
I had spent so long trying so hard to block out my thoughts because they had become too overwhelming, and it wasn’t working.
What I learnt on those walks was how valuable it can be to let those thoughts run wild. Give them a bit of space to speak.
But do it on your terms.
I learnt that I could let those thoughts run their course, and when I got to the office or got home, I could distance myself from them, as I’d had time to work through them.
That time and space for thoughts has now been happening in this park.
A little, quiet sanctuary, with the wind, weekend strollers, and dogs for company.
Space to think, time to think, on my terms.
This is what I have learnt.
And when I move away, in a matter of days, I will find a new space, a new place and new pockets of time.
And the learning process will continue.