Remember the film Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, where he’s playing the miserable, self-involved weather man Phil Connors, waking up to the very same day every morning?
He’s kind of being caught in a loop. Starting from kicking it off with the typical 90’s alarm clock, displaying the red numbers 5:59 am just before turning to 6:00 am, playing the song ‘I got you babe’ all over again. It continues with having the same encounters and conversations with the identical people. An enthusiastic man, greeting him in the hallway, chatting away about Groundhog Day. The lovely but naive owner of the B&B offering him a coffee, not being able to live up to Phil’s standards, wanting to have a Cappuccino instead. His former classmate, keen on selling him a life insurance. Him stepping into the same icy, deep, puddle with his trouser leg being completely wet.
You get the picture…
It’s funny, it’s sad and it’s transformative for the main character, Phil, in the end. I believe the film was such a hit, because so many people could relate to the story of being caught in a loop.
Isn’t it amazing how most of us tend to relive the same patterns in our lives again and again? It seems to continue until we become aware. When we manage to change something within. Unfortunately we often don’t have a clue what it is exactly, we need to do differently.
We are left to our own devices. Having to experiment like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Until we hopefully find the right key to the locked door; into a new life with fresh, as well as different experiences.
Are you curious to hear my personal Groundhog Day story? The loop I feel I’m being caught in? Maybe it’s helpful ins some way, shape or form. You might relate.
My loop has something to do with moving a lot, feeling unsettled and not safe. An all pervading sense of not being able to find the place, where I belong.
This tiny film snippet, I created last year as part of my monologues, portrays this feeling of being lost very well. It’s just a minute long.
Frequently these situations in my life coincide with having the rug pulled out underneath my feet. Like for example being evicted from a flat, or an alcoholic housemate, who’s dealing with a melt down.
It often occurs, when I’ve just found my bearings again. So it seems… I’m ready to take on the world again, keen on moving my projects and creative ideas forward.
And boom! Something throws me off kilter like a misfired spaceship, that crushes and burns, instead of discovering new galaxies.
Within a blink of an eye I’m caught in a whirlpool of anxiety and there’s nothing to hold on to. I’m falling into an abyss of uncertainty, like a persistent fog, smothering the surrounding beauty and serenity of the landscape with an all pervasive feeling of being lost and off course.
What now, is the all pervading question! Nothing seems to work the way I intended to. Precious dreams get lost.
I have moved a lot in my life, from city to city, as well as to different European countries. Now I would like to take you on a journey about starting from scratch.
It begins in 2010. I live in Hamburg. My boyfriend and I are crammed into a one bedroom flat. There’s no space to breathe, let alone relax. My partner runs on 1000 volt constantly. I have to be careful not to be electrified constantly. On top of that, there’s a huge building site opposite the flat, going on for nearly two years now.
All pervading, non-stop noise, I hate noise and there’s plenty of it.
Bang, boom, crawutch…
When it gets too much to bear, I escape into a nice Café in my district. There’s plenty of them.
But the very minute I relax in anticipation of some peacefulness, the earth starts to shake underneath my feet. My cappuccino is dancing on the table.
Oh no, another building site! It must have just popped up, exactly when I ordered.
Seriously, am I hunted down by the building-site-noise-demons or what?
It’s relentless… I have to get out of here! I feel frustrated, so frustrated! Stuck and unhappy.
I get this nauseating feeling. Nothing works in my life. My partner and I don’t seem to be able to find a bigger, affordable flat. Our relationship is going nowhere. We both struggle financially. I’m not really successful with my solo shows either…
It’s exhausting and I am telling myself:
‘Where’s the fun in that? This is not what I had in mind.’
I so have enough, I need a change. I want to leave, go, start somewhere else. Where life makes sense again. A place, where I can find myself again, being lost in the chaos of construction work, non-working relationships and challenging respectively non-existent careers.
That’s it, I decide to book a ferry to England. I need a break from all of this.
I might drive to Cornwall, who knows…
London is a no go at the moment. Been there, done that. I lived in London for nearly two years, training with the School of Physical Theatre. That was before I moved to Hamburg, because of love!
Someone I met in Ireland, but that’s another story…
It’s my seventh year and second relationship here in Hamburg. I sublet my flat for three months, because I don’t want to burn all bridges at once. But I am willing to investigate whether I could find a place in England, where I’d like to live and possibly get settled?
Sorry, I can’t quite remember where my boyfriend went to during that time…
One thing is for sure though, our relationship is coming to an end. Maybe it is because, none of us is willing or able to make a deeper commitment to each other. Or it’s just not meant to be.
Just before I take off to new shores, my parked silver Renault Clio gets hit by some idiot. Now, it’s got a huge, ugly dent on the rear side. The car belonged to my beloved grandma and is very special to me.
It turns out to be a good thing in the end though and I take it as a sign, telling me it’s right to leave Hamburg for now.
I believe in signs.
It’s because the culprit’s insurance pays me a big lump of money and I leave the dent where it is. I decide to use the money for my journey instead.
Once I am away from Hamburg and on my travels, many synchronicities emerge along my path. Sprinkled like chocolate powder on top of a cappuccino.
This must be right, for sure.!
For example, when I arrive in Margate, visiting a dear German friend of mine, another close English friend calls me, telling me she is staying with her brother in St. Ives, Cornwall. Sue is asking me whether I want to come down and travel the County with her for a week. You have to know, she usually lives on the Beara Peninsula in the South-West of Ireland.
Maybe I am really meant to go to Cornwall after all!
Sue and I, we spent a fantastic, magic week together. Finding beautiful B & B’s in remote places high on the cliffs, offering us the last room available. Since it’s high season and I don’t believe in pre-booking, boring! Yes, call me crazy…
Through other serendipitous circumstances, an acquaintance, who knows a friend, who knows another friend, I get Pam’s contact. She wants to rent out a room in her lovely house.
It’s unbelievable, I have an affordable, beautiful place to stay in. Even though it’s high season here in Cornwall and most things are exorbitantly expensive.
Pam, her ageing, good-natured, golden retriever Lillie, including her three cats (Mork, George and Charly), we become good friends. We have a lot of fun together. Going on cliff walks (without the cats of course), to town hall events, having Gin & tonic; my new favourite dink, etc.
The three months I’ve given myself, fly bye. They actually have nearly come to an end.
I need another sign!
Shall I really move to Cornwall for good? Universe, please tell me!
I get my hint, just before I leave. Someone on Network Cornwall called Caro is offering her cottage as a winter let. We meet on the last day of my stay. Crazy!
Okay, I’ve got my sign. I am really doing this. Moving to another country, because I feel like it!
Not because of a training, a job, or a man. No, because it feels right. It’s enough for me.
So, I drive back in my Renault Clio. Return to Hamburg in order to finish a relationship, that’s ended over half a year ago, to pack my belongings. Storing most of it in someone else’s basement.
I give the flat to a friend of mine. It seems fair, since I took it over from a mutual friend of ours called Dörthe. (We are talking about renting not owning by the way. It’s Germany!)
I pack my big red suitcase, take my most beloved books, as well as some gem stones and angel oracle cards with me.
England, Cornwall, here I come with my grandmother’s Renault Clio, including it’s ugly dent.
Heading into a new life with hopefully fresh experiences. It’s an adventure into the unknown, a new start.
Wonder what happens next?
To be continued next week! I’ll tell you more about my time in Cornwall, what made me move to Ireland and most importantly what it’s all got to do with being caught in a loop.