On Saturdays I work at a really busy pub that has a late licence, mainly to get an extra bit of cash in my pocket so I don’t have to worry as much about finding work quickly whenever I’m in a new country. This Saturday was just as manic as it normally is, but on that day I got a little perspective on life that I have been missing recently.

There was a young girl who looked a little bit merry and had a huge ’18th birthday’ sash on. We have a deal at our pub that if you can prove it is your birthday in that week we give you either 4 pints of beer or a bottle of champagne for free. So when I told her this she got excited and whipped out her ID and I went to the fridge to grab a bottle.

I took the wire caging bit off the cork that protects the bottle as I have done hundreds of times before and then walked towards the girls so I could carefully ‘pop’ the bottle in front of them. Then one of the staff asked me a question about someone else paying by card as I was walking away.

This jolt must have slightly shook the bottle, as the cork popped right out of the bottle and hit the ceiling with such force that it made everyone stop what they were doing and stare in shock for a second or two before carrying on with their night. The cork shot straight up and as I was holding the bottle in front of me at about waist height, missed my nose by less an inch. I actually felt the wind as it fizzed right past me…

The shock of what had just happened started to sink in. I’m not a mathematician or a doctor so I don’t know if the force of a cork hitting me in the nose at the right angle forcing it upwards would have caused serious damage or not. At best it would have given me a very sore nose for the next few days. At worst, well, I don’t really want to think about it…

Point being I have been unsettled for well over a year, trying to figure out where I can call home has been a huge weight on my shoulders, coupled with the fact I’m struggling to get back into the right frame of mind to write more books. Together it has caused so much stress that when I came back to England I literally found it difficult to converse in my own language, which of course made any natural anxiety I was feeling even worse. However in that very moment if that cork hit me at the perfect angle with enough force it could have killed me just like that, and I realised that all my stresses I have had are ultimately pointless. We are here to live life and enjoy it, not to stress and worry about things. Because who knows, today could be your last day. Just because you are planning for the future doesn’t mean you are going to see it…

I once asked myself over a year ago that if I died tomorrow would I be happy with the way my life went. Luckily for me I have had an admittedly brilliant life and met some incredible people along the way, but the first thing I thought was “I wish I’d travelled more…”

So yeah, it’s a pain I’m not being as productive in terms of writing books, but even if I never write another book again I have still written six, and that’s pretty fucking cool. If I do write another book again it’ll be when the time is right, not in a forced way just to try and prove to myself that I have ‘still got it’. Maybe I don’t, but who fucking cares?!? There’s a whole world out there to explore and it’s time for me to stop feeling guilty over things I can’t control and start being me again…

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