Taking a step to the side is okay – it’s never backwards

Recently I have been thinking about life’s path, and what it means by taking a step on it. Of course, this global pause is a valid reason to think about this. But also, in this timeframe, I have become an aunt (and step-aunt) again, I have been diving deep into my yoga practices, and have been exploring my writing in an entirely new level than before.

It seems every time I log online to Facebook, all of my peers are “moving forward” and taking the next step. There are baby announcements, engagements, and name changes because someone got married. Meanwhile, I’m just sat here, on my balcony, discovering there is more you can do with J├Ągermeister than just bomb it. I know I am not alone in this space of limbo as well.

I have been through the sleepless nights of questioning my path, worrying that I need to go backwards to make a forward move. Hell, sometimes I still have these midnight thoughts. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been left behind by the world and forgotten about.

But, us non-conforming folk, need to remember this is the notion of keeping-up-with-the-Jones’. This has poisoned our generation into thinking we are merely a societal value, simply reaching for the next milestone achievement. We are more than just checkboxes and statistics. As Michelle Obama said in the Netflix documentary Becoming*, we all have our own stories and paths to take.

*I highly recommend this documentary.
It’s so empowering and inspiring.

The truth of the matter is – I’m a runaway

I am a runaway. Always have been. And probably always will be.

I’ve always turned my back when things are uncomfortable, bury my head in the sand, or simply flee. It must be my Scorpio nature.

This has caused me pain in the past, affecting my mental health, breaking my heart. I’ve lost a lot of “could-haves” because of this. But, this is what has made me who I am now. This is my story.

For people like me, who escaped the norm, it’s hard to accept a thought of going back. It feels like we have failed, giving up on what we’ve been working towards for so long. However, it is crucial to remember our stories. We can never forget the experiences that have changed us. How can we be going backwards if we are no longer that same person?

You have got to do what is needed to make that next step. If that means taking a break, then so be it. Try not to look at it as a step backwards. It’s never a step backwards – we can’t turn back time. Think of it more like a step to the side while you catch your breath before jumping back in again.

I always have certain people in mind while I am writing. I am sure my muse will recognise themselves in this one. After offering my ‘advice’ and poetical wisdom, I often find I have a light-bulb-Eureka moment. I see clarity and can get words on the page. So thank you, to everyone who is my muse and inspiration. You are the lighthouses for me.

lighthouse on a stormy day

thank you –

thank you for guiding me
when most needed, when
fog lays thick and chains
me to pounding waves.

without your bright beacon
I would lose my way,
hit rock bottom, be left to
scramble along a lonely path.

so thank you for lighting up
our beautiful world,
showing me the glow
on the stormiest of days.

taking a step to the lighthouse
Aberystwyth, Wales

So, begin taking a step in your direction

We are all different, but also equally so similar. Each of our steps will look like opposites yet alike. Juxtaposition in life is what connects us as humans around the globe.

Want to chat? I’ve always got an open ear to discuss and share.

Stay safe, and stay golden.x


  • Roger Leach

    Interesting piece of self analysis. I guess applies to just about every one to a greater or lesser degree, just depends on the level of personal scrutiny of thought and the honest awareness of what it means.
    I see me there.
    To add another level to the process, which I previously didn’t include in my mental churnings, I now see the sand in my egg timer with a lot more in the bottom than still to come from the finite supply in the top.
    Tic, tic, tic, never stops, even when you take a pause.
    Hence, your lighthouse analogy is so very true and essential to keep the true heading.

  • Judith Wood

    I can’t quote this exactly, but there is a saying which goes along the lines of “This above all things, to thine own self be true, then shalt thou not be false to any man.” Not a bad principle to work with. Having self-knowledge and being comfortable in your own skin is the basis for a contented life. It sounds as if some major change is afoot for you, Abi – I look forward to hearing what it is when you’ve decided and are ready to tell me. I love the poem.

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