As I spend more time writing journals, storing them, reflecting on them, transcribing interesting parts, and then reflecting on them again to share here; the easier it’s becoming to recognise specific patterns and to occasionally anticipate certain events. There’s even a third layer of reflection when I’ve been working on a comedy show or writing a book, so it’s especially amusing to share this particular entry from nearly 3 years ago – right when the Cosmic Nomad stage show was starting to evolve beyond the relationship that spawned it – and be reflecting on many of the same things now as the book version of the same show takes definite shape.
Looking back now I realise that I had most of the answers I was going to get from Cosmic Nomad in Iceland 3 years ago… but the tour rolled on for another 6 months around the world, and by the time I got back to Australia I’d been emotionally battered in a whole raft of other ways that I’d mostly forgotten what I’d figured out. I’ve crossed paths a few times with that same comedian ex-girlfriend in the years since, and what I recognised in Iceland about her and our past connection was 100% true: I’ll never get a proper explanation for what she did, but I do know my life became dramatically better after I recognised I didn’t need one.
With that in mind, it puts the upcoming book version of Cosmic Nomad into an interesting light – the show was written and performed to get over her, but 3 years down the line I’m well past her being any kind of emotional driver for the book. That desperate need to proclaim “It is but a mere flesh wound!” while metaphorically spraying arterial blood all over a stage is long gone, replaced with genuine healing & emotional evolution through time, distance, and experience since. So while the book will cover a lot of the same topics as the show, and I’ll undoubtedly approach many of them in a similar manner… I already know that the underlying tone of the book will be radically different.
Far funnier is how things turned out with the “Close Irish Friend” (henceforth referred to as “M”). I saw the parallel between her and the comedian ex-girlfriend literally days after meeting M and wrote specifically about it in this journal entry… then promptly forgot about it for the next 12 months! Long story short, M and I sent each other voicemail messages for the rest of the year, she continued to provide that spark I’d lost while I helped steer her through her own challenges, and when it looked like there was a week where we could meet up in Indonesia we jumped at the opportunity… and it was hilariously terrible.
Everything I’d ignored about the ex-girlfriend connection came back in spades, everything I did infuriated her, and the week ended with both of us saying we’d never speak to each other ever again – even two years later neither of us have reached out. Of course, I decided to top off that little week-long circus by flying from Indonesia to Malaysia, and getting back together with a different ex-girlfriend – one who still holds title of being the most toxic relationship I’ve ever had. Aaaaaaand just to round out the whole experience, the very same day that inevitably and violently exploded (again) and that was the last time I’d ever hear from her (again), I had just landed in Adelaide to take part in the WOMAD festival… and unexpectedly ran into the Cosmic Nomad-inspiring comedian ex-girlfriend on the street, who was in town for the Fringe festival at the same time.
Looking back through the weirdness and terrible decisions though, a couple of things are pretty clear. Getting over a life-changing relationship takes time, and you’re bound to make shitty decisions while you’re hurting… but you’ll almost certainly see (and write about) other warning signs while you’re healing, so stop running and pay attention to them. Camping through Iceland by myself for a week provided an incredible amount of clarity, and it allowed me to recognise things that could have saved me a lot of further pain… but I was in such a rush to tell everyone “I’m fine, really!” that I lost sight of those important realisations.
I’m getting better at this stuff all the time, and I’m finally acknowledging how important being alone with my own thoughts is: a single week camping by myself without phone or internet access provided the clarity I needed to make some deeply vital insights on two important relationships. My best work has always been developed when I’ve cultivated fertile solitude, and three years on I’m much better at carving that time out for myself – even at the expense of relationships. It might be more lonely, but I’m looking forward to writing a book developed in the weirdness of 2016 that has all the same humour… but without the rushed and wounded tone it’s stage-show counterpart carried 3 years ago.
Day 11,210 Monday 25/4/2016
Extraordinary few days in Iceland, and it really feels like I’ve washed off much of the sticky girl energy that has been all over me the last 2 months. Being hammered by the ISU/Bring Him Home combo left you unshielded, and all sorts of weird energies came out of the woodwork to latch on.
The [Comedian Ex Girlfriend]/[Close Irish Friend] dynamic is fascinating in that they couldn’t be more different. There are 4 days in Iceland, coupled with the message exchange before I went camping, has made it clear you’ll never get the answer you’re seeking from [Comedian Ex Girlfriend] (because she can’t work it out herself) but you can let her go. She’s an incredible woman who brings so much light into the world, to whom you have so much to be grateful for… but her time has passed. No matter what you thought you had left to learn together, she’s gone, and a new teacher will appear when you are ready for them. I think the reason you felt so much is you had so much to learn from her, and you learnt it so quickly at the start, it became difficult to admit her faults or to acknowledge she didn’t want to change them. She is on an extraordinary path, and I wish her the greatest success & happiness… but it’s not my path. [Comedian Ex Girlfriend] pulled me back towards comedy enough to write Cosmic Nomad, and she opened the door for different kinds of relationships. But now you need to thank her for the experience, learn the lessons, and set off on your own path following your own code.
[Close Irish Friend] feels like she’s a spiritual teacher – one to pull me back towards a sense of wonder at the universe & the sense of fulfillment through synchronicity. Every time she spoke, and every time she’s written, it feels like she’s so connected to the flow of the universe it reminds me how disconnected I’ve felt for so long. It’s wondrous having all these things happen, but without that sense of connectedness & synchronicity it’s all felt meaningless – like they’re just things I’m doing, rather than a life I’m living. She had no idea of the incredible ride she’s about to begin, but I’ve never met anyone better prepared for it. I look forward to reconnecting with her in person, but for now she has her own journey to follow. I just hope I helped.