The retreat

So that is it: I am finally out of my summer hibernation, where and when working hours overshadow the resting ones by a lot, and when I get to intensely live a project, for and by said project. I feel a little bit more alive with a sharp adrenaline boost, somewhat expected, and never anticipated, showered with the reassurance that I am on the best-suited path. Then the classic event’s life cycle, and therefore its end, remind and teach me again not to take anything for granted. Even though I knew it was going to come to an end, closing a chapter often brings sadness.

The volatility of being a freelancer and working on short-term projects is a constant life lesson, indeed. Meeting and working with people from all walks of life teaches so much, and I love it. Going through the withdrawal of such energy once the event is done has a proven deep effect on one’s psyche. Over the years, adjusting to it has become easier to manage, knowing and hoping there will be another one. It might look or sound like an addiction to the unfamiliar eye: maybe it is, I am not a doctor. The harder it hits, however, the longer what I call a “retreat” away from that bubble may be necessary to recover and actually reconnect to reality.

My retreat usually consists of a visit to family and friends sprinkled with road trips to remote places and activities I had not thought of two hours before. It seems to be working fine, refining a sense of humour and a higher degree of resilience, both skills confirmed essential while living without a safety net. It turns out that the current project I am on has sent me to another remote corner of the world with limited, when existent, Wi-Fi connection. Here comes the real sensation of being unplugged: the TV channels speak a language I know nothing of, the first shop is a mere 10 km away and I rely on a work shuttle which comes by twice a day, 6 days a week. How is that for having thought of bringing a big book along?

All is good: I have a roof over my head, managed to catch a ride to get enough groceries for the next two days, and the power converter I have matches with the local electric outlets. What else do I need, really? Some sheep just walked by and a donkey was pulling a cart with a man on it, just under my window. Retreat with a view until this project is swept away in another blink of an eye, a sandstorm or who knows what else yet. Keeping exploring.