Getting away from it all

 

Getting away from it all sounds like a wonderful dream, an illusion, escapism. When I was in my 20s I always wanted to travel to foreign lands, not because I was trying to get away from something, but because I had such a desire to travel, to see the world, to have adventures and meet lots of people from different countries. And because it was easy to do. My trip to India influenced my novel Finding Jo.

In Finding Jo, Jo said, ‘I’d felt trapped and unable to deal with it. I couldn’t stand up to them. And I had this guy, a boyfriend, who, well it went on for a few years. It wasn’t going anywhere, and I didn’t feel I could get away from him.’

Jo couldn’t find a solution to the overly possessive boyfriend and the toxic relationships within her original family. There were things going on beneath the surface of her family that she didn’t know about, let alone understand. Perhaps it was cowardly but she felt she had to go far away to escape it all. This was not just a dream. As a single woman she was free enough to make it a reality.

Even if she didn’t miss them, they certainly missed her more than any of them would have realised. Her leaving acted as a catalyst for her family and prompted two others to get away. Her mother, in a long tedious marriage which went wrong years before, seems to find that Jo’s departure lifts her spirits. If Jo can do it why not Maggie? Beset by depression, but no longer responsible for children, she takes a decision which surprises everyone around her and leaves her husband truly shocked.

Getting away from people can bring about change – a change is as good as a rest. It can give all those involved a chance to mull over their relationships, to miss the person who has gone. It’s like having a new start, and on return it is often possible to reset your life and the dynamics with those around you. Relationships can change.

Ultimately, it’s true to say that you don’t have to run away to find that inner peace. In today’s world there is so much emphasis on relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, sport and activity to enhance and ensure positive mental health. Also, there are plenty of people who cannot possibly get away. They can’t afford it, they have families who need them, and they would see it as an indulgent luxury. For everybody, it is important to try to find the peace inside ourselves and be happy with our lot (provided it isn’t a toxic situation). Many of us put a lot of fruitless effort into changing others to suit our own needs, but we can’t. All we can change is ourselves – how we perceive, react and whether or not we accept people as they are.

Frances Ive, Finding Jo. Sign up for more news about Fivewrite books: frances@fivewrite.co.uk 

Finding Jo by Frances Ive is available as a Kindle version or paperback on Amazon worldwide.