If a person’s life consists of chapters in the same way books do, a chapter of my life has certainly just ended, and I am beginning a new one even as I write this.
Ten years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cancer my aunt raised the money to take him and I to Scotland, to what used to be Clan Gunn territory. On that trip my dad decided that he wanted his ashes to be scattered near the Clan Gunn museum, in the graveyard surrounding it, a graveyard full of Gunns. He died later that year.
This year my aunt and I finally went back to spread his ashes in Clan Gunn country. My aunt had spent the intervening time putting money away to take me on this trip. Somehow it transformed into a three week journey around the UK, including four days on my own in London.
I’ve struggled a lot throughout the intervening years, in pretty much every aspect of my life. I’ve struggled with depression and know I will struggle with it again, but I feel like in many ways I’ve come out the other side. I’m working in the field I want to be working in for the rest of my life. At some point I’d like to be making a living from writing novels instead of blog posts, but I doubt I’d ever entirely stop blogging.
Over the last three weeks I’ve learned a lot of things, including many about myself, some of which I am still processing. I’ve fallen in love with Scotland and while I’m happy to be home, I know eventually I want to call Scotland home. I’ve taken a few hundred pictures and some video to capture the experience. I have a small collection of souvenirs, mostly things I’ll look at every day, even use on a daily basis.
But most of all, I have new connections, new friends and many new memories. Memories I will cherish for the rest of my life, memories to remind me of the real reason why it’s important to work so hard: so I can go on more journeys and make amazing new experiences year after year. Experiences I can someday turn into stories.
One chapter of my life has certainly ended–I am no longer a student, I no longer struggle to find consistent work, I have a nice place and a stable relationship–but another chapter of my life is beginning. One I suspect will be the best chapter of my life yet.
I hope you will stay with me to discover what this new chapter of my life has in store. It will certainly include many great things here on The Dabbler, and at least a couple published books.
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