The island of Bali in Indonesia is one those places that every Australian ends up visiting eventually. For me, that time came when I made a rather last minute and decadent decision to treat myself to a weekend away. I had had a rather rough time, and just needed to escape, so I took two days off work and booked myself a flight to heaven for a four day escape.
I was travelling on my own, but chose to travel in style, rather than in my usual manner, on a shoestring with my backpack. So before I knew it, my rather spontaneous decision to escape saw me relaxing by a private pool in my own gorgeous little villa in Seminyak Bali. This is one of THE things to do in Bali in my opinion. Enjoying the luxury of such a beautiful private space in paradise.
I chose to stay in the rather busy area of Seminyak because I wanted to be around people if I chose to, but knew I could always escape to the solitude of my villa when I needed. It proved to be the perfect decision for me at that point in time.
It was that weekend that I first realised writing was something that I actually needed to do. Instead of talking to others and trying to make them understand what I was going through, I started putting down all my thoughts and ideas on a page. Before I knew it, the pain of the previous few years started to bleed onto the page before me. I couldn’t stop the haemorrhaging, an artery in me had exploded and nothing could stop the heavy flow of words.
The experience was both scary and cathartic at the same time. I didn’t hold back, no one ever had to see what I was writing, so it didn’t matter if my words were judgemental, harsh or just a little too real. They were mine, and mine alone.
Putting down how I felt in many ways validated my thoughts and feelings. Seeing them there in black and white made me feel a little less crazy, a little more sane. Something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. This was a feeling I could become addicted to.
So sitting there staring at the crystal clear pool with the scent of frangipani in the air, at that point in time I became a writer. I had no audience, but that was irrelevant. My thoughts had made it on a page and at that point in a time that was enough for me.
I still have what I wrote that weekend. It actually now forms part of a chapter in the autobiography I am writing. Regardless of whether it is ever published, I will always remember that essay as the first positive step in a new journey in my life.