Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

BritChick Paris Headshot

Are You Addicted to Change - And Allergic to Commitment?

Posted: Updated:

Since a child I was know as the butterfly. Or by my father as a fee spirit. Flitting round, full of life and enthusiasm for all things different.

I loved going on trips, detested going back to school and loathed routine. I adored any form of change. Dramatic ones especially. Arguments made me feel alive. Hurricanes energised me. World crises the ultimate fix for a change-a-holic.

Yet underneath it I was constantly restless. Falling in and out of friendships, never sleeping and never sure about what I wanted to do.

When I was younger I blamed the nasty old world. But soon I realised I attracted all this unstable behaviour because it came from a deep phobia of standing still.

Change defined my early childhood days.

I left Greece at five to live in London. The culture shock was huge. I switched orange groves and American Embassy pools for rain and greyness.

Ever since then I had left behind a life of greatness and everything that followed paled into insignificance. It made me feel on a deep level that I was always missing out on something or others were having a better time than me. It was a nagging ingrained feeling.

At work I would start a task and 'flea hop' to another without finishing the first. I'd never feel deeply satisfied at the end of a work day or a date. I'd go on holiday and feel energised yet lost at the same time. I'd return home and stare glumly at the flight boards wishing I'd go somewhere else. Its no coincidence I studied modern languages at Oxford, a way of opening up even more possibilities of places to live. Being bilingual means I'm never fully in one culture.

Four years ago I did the ultimate runner and fled to Australia. I went for three weeks and stayed for a year. I had a great time, basking in an Athenian climate, but it was never going to be forever. I went home eventually and it then became my escape plan if the going got tough. I'd threaten boyfriends with 'going back to Sydney'.

It all came to a head when my dad died. There is nothing more final than death. And nothing more grounding than taking care of someone you love, that will very soon leave you.

I looked at my life and realised nothing was solid. I had some real stuff, a house, projects. But I wasn't building for a future.

It was at this point I met my rock. One of the greatest loves left me and another took my hand. A safe and stable place for the butterfly to land.

Commitment-phobes either choose softees who are easily rejected or bad boys who run first.

My beau was neither. He had the stabilising force I needed and yet he would not get caught up in my flakiness.

It was stick or twist.

We started to build a life together. It involved his kids - it was the ultimate anchor. Every time I got itchy feet I'd just remind myself of the family life we had created.

I got pregnant last Christmas and lost the baby. I believe that my deep subconscious fear of being trapped made it happen. I learnt a lot as a result.

We now have a lovely home and life which make me feel protected. But it is still hard sometimes to keep that panicky fight or flight instinct.

Only just recently we went to Dubai. I love the city. Not many do. For me it is the belly button of the world. Hundreds of nationalities reunited in a form of Sim City. Expat lifestyle and constant stream of visitors between East and West.

We visited the resort of Atlantis and I felt instantly at home. Happy as a sand-girl. It was as if I had found that chimera. That life I had to leave. Of course Atlantis is exactly that - a lost city, one that no longer exists if it ever did at all, a mirage.

It all left me disconcerted. I longed for the real wood floors, the plants in my garden and 19th century walls of our French home.

I am certainly not cured of my fear of being tied down. But I know now that fantasising about a life that 'could' be means you miss out on the life you have.

Head in the clouds is fine but feet on the ground is better.

Most Popular Videos

More from the Web

Around the Web

Relationships: How to find your inner voice