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Thursday, 15 January 2009

The journey is more important than the destination

Now that my 2 weeks notice has expired, it is time to start thinking once again about my future. Last week I had the idea to write an article about Lundy, the island in the Bristol Channel that I visit around three times each year. Although I have been 26 times now, it was more difficult than I expected, since each person experiences the island in their own way, and my interpretation may not be relevant to, or strike a chord with others.

Sometimes when I sit and think about the island and where my life is heading, I feel like the loneliest person alive. This feeling goes back to what I was saying last week about the fact that for most of my life, I have never really felt as if I fitted in. The island is about the only place where I feel authentically myself - that and when I am with my partner. It would be wonderful to be able to share that experience of being on the island with him.

Until Friday that seemed like an impossible dream, but he has finally agreed after a lengthy heart to heart, to come and visit the island with me. The booking will all being well, made first thing tomorrow morning. We shall be staying in a property called Little St Johns, a stone's throw from the village.

The idea of travelling to Lundy is in many ways anathema to him, since he has never been a traveller, and this will mean confronting a lot of his fears - fears around long journeys, fears around flying, but most of all his fear of loss of control. When you visit an island 20 miles offshore, whose only link with the mainland is a twice weekly helicopter service, then you are pretty much stuck there, and barring some dreadful accident, cannot get off. Since the electricity is switched off overnight (the island is not on the national grid and has its own generator), you cannot boil the kettle for a hot water bottle when you wake up with cramps and nausea due to your fears at 3am. This then is a major step for him to take, and I am honoured that he feels ready to make that choice. I never thought that time would come.

Of course it is also triggering my own fears - will the island ever be the same after I have shared it with another? Will he love it so much that he wants to share my holidays from now on, denying me the space and the time I need for myself? If he does love it to the extent that I do, and wants to make a permanent move, what will this mean for us a couple and as individuals - the end of our life in the community that we have only just begun to settle into, and my role as Editor of the village newsletter, not to mention his web design business. What will it also mean for his transformation from male to female, will he have to go back into male mode full time, and how will that affect us both? Is any of this realistic, and does it matter at all? Perhaps not.

By focusing on our fears they become manifest, in other words, you had better be careful of what you wish for, in case you end up creating it. I have been wishing and hoping over the years for a permanent life on Lundy on and off since 1995, so maybe my dreams are about to become manifest and the seemingly impossible will happen. I guess we only can wait and see. Where it will lead us remains to be seen and discovered, and that is what life is all about. The journey is infinately more important than the destination. I will remind my partner of that next Monday when he is sitting at the heliport in the cold ...

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