Going Home Or Leaving Home?

I’m back – did you miss me?

…..Hello…did you miss me? Ok, I’ll take that as a ‘yes’. I returned to Thailand just a little over a week ago…”A whole week and this is your first blog? What are you doing with your life?” are the words you are no doubt mumbling to yourself as you shake your head and wonder what will become of me if I continue with this slack attitude!

Well just hang on a second…I arrived back in Bangkok, went to sleep and then literally had to go to a friend’s wedding in Surin the following morning which is an eight-hour train ride from Bangkok. I will write about that in the next blog (or the one after that…or the one after that depending on when I can be bothered!)

But back to today’s blog, if that’s ok with you?

I was in the UK for a grand total of nine days and during the whole time I was there I felt a bit odd. The thought that kept running through my head was, “Have I come home (UK), or have I just left home (Thailand)?”

It was a thought that had its first airing during a conversation I’d had with a good friend of mine, (does ‘good friend’ make it sound like I’m in the Mafia?), prior to me going back to the ‘motherland’. Once back, the thought really came to the fore as I felt slightly unsettled and out of sorts.

They (I don’t know who ‘they’ are, it’s just a lazy expression…) say that ‘Home is where the heart is’ which is true on many levels but I prefer, ‘Home is where you are happy’ – Ok, it’s not a great saying but it feels more apt for me. See for yourself…look at the photo below I took of myself (they’re called ‘selfies’ I believe) during my first time outside in the UK for three months and tell me if I look happy…

‘Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof’

As you can see, the weather was wonderful.

Before I moved to Thailand (someone said I should use ‘relocate’ but I’m not a dickhead) I had lived in London for 22 years, (yes, I know I don’t look old enough and the years have been very kind to me but lets move on), I considered myself a Londoner – but I was unhappy…veryΒ unhappy. I was so unhappy that I didn’t actually realise it at the time. The problem was that despite some great times in London I was depressed. Those of you reading this that know me may be aware that I suffered from depression but you may not know how bad it got…it got really bad. What made it worse was that I didn’t realise at the time that I was actually depressed – the feelings I had were just ‘normal’. My life was a bit like this dish of traditional fish and chips which I ate while I was back in the UK…it looks perfectly normal and delicious but once you dig in it was just bland, awful and made me want to cry…

Honestly, I took this photo as I thought it was going to taste so good but it was awful…truly bloody awful.

I hope this post isn’t morbid because I certainly don’t feel that way. At the height of my depression I was basically self-sabotaging my own happiness, my life, my comedy ‘career’ because I’d never felt like I’d deserved happiness. (That fish and chips was really bad). Sadly, it’s a common story for many people but the reason I don’t want this to sound morbid is because I feel that I am one of the lucky ones becuase somehow or another things turned around for me. The death of two family members and four months laying in bed due to a slipped disc (oh yeah…that’s right…nothing but Netflix and my own thoughts in a box room for four months – how many of you would survive that!), was like a reset button in my head.

(God, that thought of that fish and chips is making my stomach churn)

While I lay there in bed I would often think, ‘is this it then? Is this the rest of my life?’ That thought, if you are bed bound can cause mild panic or it can cause you to develop a more positive attitude of ‘This is not it, I will not accept it’

Sometimes the feeling of having nothing can be extremely liberating.

So I decided to move on. I told myself I couldn’t perform comedy anymore because of my back but now I know that the truth was I didn’t love it anymore and if I’d learnt one thing from my wonderfully exciting bed-ridden days was – why the hell should I do anything I don’t love or that doesn’t fulfill me in some way. I don’t mean you should apply that toΒ everything – I don’t love taking the rubbish out (if anyone reading this fancies taking out my rubbish, call me we can reach a financial agreement maybe?) but the big things should matter, for everyone. It’s almost as if I made a decision to be kinder to myself, to let myself be happy.

It’s obviously more complicated than just saying to yourself ‘be happier’ but to put it simply that’s what I did, that the thought that I started with. I stopped doing the things that were bad for my health (physically and mentally), I quit smoking (almost) started to walk more, eat better – heck I even started doing Pilates (I’d really recommend it by he way). I needed a fresh start and a new challenge, to push myself out of my comfort zone. It wasnt easy and I’m not patting myself on the back but this is a way for me to explain how I came to be living in Thailand and why I felt like the UK wasn’t ‘home’ anymore.

My home is here now, it’s where I am happy (and I don’t have to eat awful pub fish and chips anymore…sorry to have kept banging on about it but I had been so excited by the thought of fish and chips again that I feel cheated).

Below is a photo I took while back in the UK and it’s to signify something deep like ‘keep moving forward even if you’re not sure where you’re going’…but yeah…keep moving forward.

Oooo, trees and grass ‘n’ shit!

Thanks for reading my blog, I assure you the next post will be a laugh a minute and we can but this ‘open’ stuff behind us! πŸ™‚

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. Yes, I did miss you! I even said to the husband, “Hmmmm, Liveandletthai hasn’t posted in a while.” Glad you’re back and glad to hear you made some changes that have made a positive impact on your life. When I go to England, I just think, “Yay! Vacation!!” But even though the husband has lived in the US for 20+ years, he still has the reaction you do: Is this home, or did I just come from home? It seems like feeling like you don’t quite belong in either place is the cross an expat has to bear.

    1. Yes, it was really weird and I haven’t been here long! But it is starting to feel like home to me here. Maybe becuase I moved around a lot as a kid. Where is your husband from? Insteresting that he still feels it after all that time – looks like I’ll be having similar feelings.

      1. He’s from Newark, Notts.

      2. That’s a lot different to where he is now πŸ™‚ But I doubt he has ever felt the urge to go back! (no disrespect to Newark lol)

      3. I think on the most freezing winter days he may question why he lives here, but other than that he’s where he wants to be.

  2. How long have you been living in Thailand?

    1. I’d say about for about 5 of the past 7 months but I was coming regularly before then. It’s not been long but my mindset certainly changed quick. Maybe because I moved around a lot as a kid I can feel at home quicker…
      When was the last time you went ‘Home’?

      1. I am coming up to day 100 and home time is looming in the next month or so and I feel like I might have a similar experience

      2. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad experience, it certainly helped me realise that I’m doing the right thing so maybe it’ll have the same effect for you (one way or the other). Are you planning on coming back here?

      3. Not in the immediate plans. This was always supposed to be just a three.month trip (my flight home was yesterday) but we extended. The hope is to settle down back home but who knows where tht is now!

      4. It may take a while to readjust but once that happens I’m sure you’ll feel ok and if it doesn’t then you just start planning how to get back here πŸ™‚ It is a strange thought to feel like your ‘home’ isn’t any longer. But I see that as a good thing.

      5. I will keep you posted

      6. Are you going to keep the blog going? You should in my view πŸ™‚

      7. Haha yeh I will be making my way down the East Coadt of Austelia to get my ass to Sydney so a bit more travel ahead before it really hits home, excuse the pun. I hope my life is still interesting enough to document daily lol i might just do weekly when that time comes

      8. Haha, glad to hear you’re going to keep going with it and yes, just do it as often as you feel, it’ll just come naturally. I’m glad you’re keeping it up so I can see what you are up to πŸ™‚

  3. Great post! Sometimes I recognised myself in your words – especially the thing: going beyond your comfort zone. It’s not easy but important otherwise we cannot grow further 😊

    1. Glad you liked it and thanks for commenting. It took me way too long to realise that about myself, I became consumed by trying to be a comedian that I forgot about everything else I needed to do to live happily 😊

  4. DoMoreBeMore says:

    LOL you read my mind! I’ve been checking daily for a blog update since you got back! Your blog post got me thinking about the differences between people that live in one place for most of their lives and those, like me, that have always moved around. I’m just realising as I write this; my life never got better when I stayed in one place for too long, I began to settle, not settle down which is what I thought I was doing at the time, but over time I began to settle for. With another move on my immediate horizon I can see now that moving is always a new start, away from old stresses and towards a happier life. Fuck I’m a bit philosophical this morning aren’t I? LOL Anyhoo really glad “you’re back” πŸ™‚

    1. Life has to be kept fresh one way or another and it has to be pushed into new areas (be it mentally or physically), I think we must be similar in that way. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing me back, it’s good to be back 😊. When are you planning on moving again?

  5. DoMoreBeMore says:

    Moving in a couple of weeks! Not going far but even a different house is a fresh beginning πŸ™‚

    1. I’m very pleased for you. A fresh start is needed 😊 Today is my birthday so I’m going to have a good time today!

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