Years ago, I was crossing Piccadilly when I happened to look up. I saw a couple standing on the balcony of their room in the Ritz hotel, looking out across London. 'I want to have that', I thought, a partner, a lavish lifestyle... From a distance, it seemed like an idyllic life.
This Easter, through a series of unexpected coincidences, I was standing beside my husband on the balcony of a famous hotel, looking out across Paris and the Eiffel Tour. I was living that dream.
My first reaction was a bubble of joy. Seemingly impossible dreams can happen. I wanted to cough loudly so the people in the avenue below would look up and see me living my dream!
Yet something wasn't right. It's the odd thing about living a dream, it doesn't always feel as I imagine it would. Yes, there I was, living my dream, but I didn't feel as though I belonged there, in my own scene.
When we had arrived at the hotel, both guests and staff had looked us up and down, as if to ask, 'are you sure you're in the right hotel?' This was a hotel for the incredibly rich, and the incredibly rich do look incredibly rich. It shows and we didn't have It!
They say that where ever you go, there you are. I did live my dream, and it included the real me, it wasn't an airbrushed me who lived some perfect life. I am constantly judging myself, and mostly finding myself lacking; at a deeper level, the people in the hotel merely reflected my inner world.
I think I shall know when I have achieved Enlightenment, not by the joy and love I feel, but because my inner critic will finally have left the building!