I was bored of chats about house prices and polyamory – but I had a secret plan for happiness

Desperate to regain my sense of wonder, I have spent 18 months learning about the world

It took me a long time to admit that I was bored. I had left London and moved to a small town on the coast, drawn by the light and the landscape and the freedom, and by the promise of joining a new creative community. There were gigs and art shows and pop-up restaurants; festivals and funfairs and parties on the beach. Having spent many years feeling perpetually in transit, I wanted deeply to belong – to someone and to somewhere.

But the appeal quickly waned. Even in the summer, the days felt flat and bleak. Soon I realised that I did not want to be part of a scene. I did not think any of it was cool. I was weary of conversations that revolved around ketamine and house prices, and which of the town’s polyamorous relationships had recently hit the rocks. I had nothing to contribute. I fell quiet and retreated inward.

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