Starting over – simultaneously the easiest intention and hardest action.
I'm Emily Watts, and a few years ago, everything got turned upside down and I found myself newly single, facing career decisions I wasn’t ready for and questioning exactly who I was, and who I wanted to be for the rest of my life.
This resulted in a move to the Lake District, a complete U-turn on the city-based life I had been leading in the years prior, and a sideways career move that offered a much-improved work-life balance.
I credit @Monty&Ridge founder Gemma with sowing the seed for this. Watching her prioritise time outdoors: wild camping before work and training for ultra-marathons was inspiring. Whilst I don’t believe in Fate, a well-timed job advert seen by a friend provided the nudge I needed to take the plunge.
Several times in those first few weeks, I questioned what on earth I had done – moving miles away from all I had known for much of my adult life, to begin again somewhere new, and decidedly more remote! It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done – mentally and emotionally – but I’m so glad I took the chance.
It allowed me to rediscover my passion for the outdoors, in particular hiking and climbing. In turn, they provided much needed time and headspace to process all the changes life had thrown my way. Exercise and time in the Great Outdoors reminded me of my strength and independence as an individual, something I’d felt I’d lost. I found that concentrating on a new route or navigating tricky terrain; or battling decidedly temperamental weather rebuilt my confidence and trust in myself – I could do whatever I set my mind and body to. As cheesy as it sounds, I found a peace within myself, and with it where and what I wanted to do next.
One of my favourite quotes, is from author Cecilia Ahern (Queen of the unexpected-twist-RomCom genre). This passage sums up near-perfectly how I felt then, and how I feel now: “We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes, we see the way out, but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes its easier. Sometimes we find our way out. But regardless, always, we are found.”
Thanks @Monty&Ridge !
- Muddy, hilly trail or flat road? Muddy hilly trail, the more puddles the better
- Cup of tea or glass of wine? Tea
- Sea or shore? Sea
- Cat or dog? Dog
- Summer or winter? Winter
- Fast food or fine dining? Fine dining
- Spa or massage? Massage, but that’s a tough one
- Bath or shower? Shower
- Sugar or salt? Sugar – such a sweet tooth
- Protein shake or fruit smoothie? Fruit smoothie
Favourite Monty&Ridge box:
Ultimate Letterbox Care Package – I received this from one of my best friends during one of those early weeks, and it was the loveliest surprise. Packed full of thoughtful treats and self-care items, the personalised hand-written note made it that much more special again.
Follow me on Instagram @dremwatts!