By Tamara Levy

As Joseph Campbell once wrote, “You must give up the life you had planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you”. Only recently have I discovered the true meaning of this. With the alarming coronavirus pandemic, I was faced with a life-altering decision. Forcing myself to put aside feelings of uncertainty, fear and hesitation, I took a chance against all odds to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams. To follow my heart and take a leap of faith, of spiritual credence and optimism despite the hurdles I faced in the process.

My zealous unconstrained appetite and invigorating urge to feel truly alive has led me to travel, experience, and always live life on the edge. After moving away from home on several occasions and exploring the world before me, I have most certainly gained a new perspective on life and accepted that this ever-changing mental state is a stream of consciousness, a constant flow of metaphysical dynamism and motion.

The current global situation led me to impulsively pack my life in a suitcase and chase my future. I stood there in amazement awaiting both my flight and train journey; they were the very last to operate before the country was faced with a total and chronic lockdown.

While the phrases ‘stay home’, ‘avoid all essential travel’ and the media’s incessant exacerbation of rocketing figures for death tolls reverberated in my mind, everyday life has become a stifling apocalypse! The final onrush of people fleeting to board the plane caused tensions to be raised and suspicions heightened. Being on one of the last flights operating during the Covid-19 outbreak from Gibraltar to the UK, the surge of panic and worry certainly created a swirling vortex of hysterical melodrama. With a small amount of people taking precautionary measures by wearing masks and gloves, hope was increasingly wavering on a quest to return home, to a safe haven. While airports were overwhelmingly occupied, train stations and public areas by contrast were scarcely populated. The desolate void created by uninhabited streets became spine-chillingly all-consuming.

Hope was wavering to return home, to a safe haven.

Able to escape the current enclosure and return to my new home and the person that makes me smile, my dramatic journey confirmed that in life things happen for a reason. Learning and personal growth are constant. Irrelevant of the ephemeral elements of time and age, we become stagnant in a perpetual state of development. What does anything matter if not fulfillment and happiness? With the current situation, one now has time to accomplish the little things that we did not have time to do before. We gain a new perspective and learn to appreciate all the things we take for granted. Changing one’s focus and connecting with one another due to the circumstances, makes us value the things and the people that we love, and finally gifts us with time to carry out those hobbies we had pending. Prolonged conversations with one another, pausing for reflection and being able to contemplate, breathe and simply stop and exist are things that we do not value in the busy and hectic world we live in. We are in constant motion, shifting and flowing and now have the time to live in an oasis of peace and tranquility. To learn a lesson, channel our thoughts into pro-active creative visualization and have time for contemplation, meditation, love and appreciation.

One now has time to accomplish the little things.

As a utopian wonderer, culture vulture and zenful optimist, if there is one idealistic principle I wish to live my life by, it is that in order to be the best version of ourselves we must do what truly makes our soul shine and live every day in appreciation of each other and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. As Mandy Hale stated, “To live, to truly live, we must be willing to risk. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look”. Taking a leap of faith and allowing life to embrace and guide me on this journey, I have a newfound perspective.

With a diffusion of positivity, protection and support in these difficult times, the situation will become more manageable. To keep those loved ones close to you and not forget to smile, beneath the tumultuous upheaval saturating the world there is a glimmer of hope, of peace and salvation.

Dedicated to CJM. The one who makes me smile.

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The Gibraltar Magazine is your monthly business, entertainment, and lifestyle source. Providing the community with the latest breaking news and quality content since 1995. Every month, 100 pages are packed with gripping features from a cross- section of the Gibraltarian community in business, culture and leisure. We have pledged to support the wealth of local talent, constantly promoting young artists, musicians, authors and entrepreneurs and presenting what’s on around the Rock. In the business section, we focus on finance, property, and gaming industries. Embracing the latest technology and updating our website daily, we’re able to provide increased and up-to-the-minute information. The magazine has been operating for 25 years, which speaks volumes for our forward-thinking team who strive to take a fresh direction each month, as well as our loyal readership and confidence of advertisers.