Sunday, 28 February 2021

Spring is springing.

Never before have I experienced the coming of spring so acutely. It is dramatically wonderful. New life is pushing its green little fingers out of the earth as the sun warms it up, a golden welcome for such long awaited happenings. 

I walk every day. In "normal" times I wouldn't be doing that but it has meant that I have watched the first signs of spring emerge, each day bringing new little gift. If I sound giddy, it's because I am. The new warmth of the sun, the birds singing their songs, the flowers appearing. Everything is beautiful. Like, perfectly, wonderfully beautiful. 

You can still read the news and feel scared, or you can read the news and feel hopeful. The hopeful bit has certainly been emphasised by the seasons changing. But it seems not to matter so much when the days grow longer. 

It just seems as if things are changing in the way we want them to, a multitude of things. A long, dark winter coming to an end. The seasons a literal metaphor. Maybe. I hope. 

Monday, 15 February 2021

Happy Valentine's Day To Me.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I have never been too bothered by it, even when I've been in relationships. But it can always be a bit of a slap in the face when you're single and your entire social media is filled with people seemingly having much better days than you. The obvious solution to that is to just not go on social media on the 14th February. 

However, I haven't felt the need to do that this year as a single person. I feel like I've had a revelation actually. For the first time in a long time I feel completely fine, content, even, with being single. Astonishingly my own company is pretty great. Even more astonishing is the fact that when I think about dating, I just can't be bothered. I'm sure I will one day, but right now I am happy just plodding along without a romantic interest in my life. It feels great. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can see others in love and feel joy for them, and I don't have to compare their lives to mine. 

I know, now, that I get along great when I'm not in a relationship. I have more time for my friends and family, and, quite significantly, I have more time for myself. I think of all the skills I have learnt in the time I have been single, all the opportunities I have found for myself when I'm not worrying about a boy who isn't texting me back, and I'm just not sure a lot of it would have happened if I wasn't focussing primarily on me. 

When I was going through a breakup last year people kept telling me to pour all of that love back into myself, and for a while I couldn't understand what that could possibly mean. And now I do, I used it all to repair broken heart and love myself a little more than I did before. I just rerouted the direction of all that energy. I feel the calmest I have felt in years. 

And I know, now, that one day it will happen again. Falling in love, I mean. And maybe after that it'll happen again, and then maybe again after that. But I'm not so worried anymore, I don't feel like I'm being left out of some great secret to life. I'm just much more prepared to go with the flow, which is pretty exciting. 

Monday, 18 January 2021

What a life.

Today I am excited about the prospect of doing a big food shop at the local supermarket. For most people across the country, this is currently one of the only activities besides walking that gets you out of the house. A trip to Tesco's now the only marker of a week passing by. Everything else is a blur. Endless days mushed together filled with the same things over and over and over. 

I want to try and get my family to play boardgames, just to shake things up a bit, but the only person who doesn't hate them is my sister and two person Monopoly is a bit shit. Everything has become so monotonous that I find myself wanting to scream just as a way to release tension every single day. I haven't actually screamed yet, I fear it is just building up. 

The saddest thing is that I actually got excited about big food shops before the global pandemic. I'm now wondering if I have in fact mentioned this before on my blog. I can't remember. Time means nothing. At least I can methodically walk up and down the aisles of Sainsbury's on a Monday evening to waste a couple of hours. What a life. 

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Gratitude for the small things.

There are ways to fill days that seem long and almost endless when the government says we must stay in our houses for the foreseeable future. At first it seems impossible, but there are ways. I remember saying, the first time round, thank god this didn't happen in the dead of winter. Somehow days feel less doom like when the sun shines for longer. But we are here again, and we have to make do. 

I have gone back to exercise again. Not running this time, it's a little too cold for my liking. But I have been jumping and stretching and sweating around my living room every day for an hour or so. I look forward to it. I like the nice woman in the HIIT workouts I do who shouts at me and makes good playlists. I like pushing myself. I like noticing a difference the more I do it. I love the endorphins afterwards. I think that's why I keep going back. I spend all day at a computer and moving my body in the evenings, pushing it hard at what it's made to do, feels pretty wonderful. And it is something to work towards. Goals are pretty good way to fill the days during a lockdown, I've found. 

But I am not just staying indoors. I thank my lucky stars (and my parents) every day for growing up and still living in some spectacular countryside. I walk almost every day. It clears the head instantly. And I could do the same walk over and over again (I don't, but I could) and I could find something new and beautiful each time. 

I am actually loving the cold. I love wrapping up to go on a walk. I love my nose going red. I love the frost, and the fog, and the ice. Today even the tops of the trees were white. It was magical. And I love coming back into the warmth of my home, putting the kettle on, putting the fire on. It may feel like Groundhog Day a lot of the time but somehow sitting in front of the TV with my family, the cat stretching in front of the fire, each evening is still joyous. Simple, but joyous. 

I will start my drama course again in a week which will also make lockdown seem less gloomy. It will be online, which is a shame, but I cannot wait to see my friends faces and to work on a skill I feel passionate about. 

The thing is, gratitude is what keeps me going everyday. Frankly I am living through this pandemic in an immensely privileged way. It can still be difficult, it can still make me anxious and down, it is still affecting my life and my future, but I have so many reasons to be grateful each and every day. I think Pollyanna was really onto something with 'The Glad Game'.

There are ways to fill these days just by being thankful, just by finding some joy in anything that might bring it. Tonight I will find joy in sitting down to watch The Great Pottery Throw Down with my family. That might sound really sad, but I don't care, sometimes you find gratitude for the smallest of things, and it makes them joyous. 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Forgetting to write.

Gosh it's been a while since I wrote my last blog post. I think it was last year that I got properly out of the habit of writing one weekly. The discipline and regularity was something I was proud of. I worry now that losing the habit is the result of laziness. Perhaps some of it is. 

But I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now. About having something to say. About producing "content." Surely the value of what I am saying diminishes if I am just writing it for the sake of posting it. 

The other thing is this year has felt like a black hole for creativity. Or thought in general. Lockdown, especially in winter, turns my brain to mush. This time of year, as jolly as the festivities can be, the rest of it feels bleak and slow. The short, dark days make me want to just hibernate. I know I am not alone in this, and yet part of me is suckered into believing that watching a few people on social media posting great, clever, creative things means that I am the only lazy, tired one left behind. 

Also, I am being very harsh on myself. I have been writing regularly, it's just not something I can post or share. I have a deadline and a goal but it might not even become anything. That's a new thing I am having to learn. That not everything I work hard on will manifest into something bigger or something shareable. I think that is what I am having to get over, that I can still be productive, creative and work towards a greater goal without having to show everyone to prove it. Let's be honest, it's the instant gratification that blogging provides that I feel the lack of in other writing. But that doesn't reduce the creative worth (for myself) of either. 

All that said, I have yet again reminded myself of the benefit of writing a blog post. The cogs are whirring again. My mind feels a bit clearer, having written through some thoughts. Like anything that you put off, when you actually get round to doing it it feels great. Maybe writing for the sake of posting has its merits after all. 

Friday, 27 November 2020

Birthday love.

On Wednesday it was my birthday. I turned 23. I have worried for quite a large chunk of this year that I was not going to feel very happy on my birthday. I thought I would feel lonely and scared and sad. Maybe that's a little bit silly, it is only a birthday after all, but I find them quite significant. It is the marker of another year that I have lived through, new milestones that have passed, new pains, new joys. It is a reminder to be thankful and that the world keeps on turning and that I am still here, still breathing and being. 

I was worried that I would be sad and that it would all be a bit of a flop because of all the sadness and anxiety over the last year. But this year, on my birthday, I was reminded of all that is good. I can even say, quite confidently, that it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had despite the fact that it happened in lockdown during a global pandemic. 

The thing about my 23rd birthday is that I was reminded quite overwhelmingly that wherever I am in the world and wherever I end up going next I am and will be loved. There were a lot of people who put a lot of effort into making the day special for me, my parents especially. I was thrown a Zoom party by friends I have only made in the last few months who were determined to celebrate with me. Two of them even performed a rap they'd written for me, which is something I never would have predicted for any birthday. I was given flowers and cake and bottles of fizz and cards and presents that had a lot of care and thought put into them. I felt spoilt, if I'm honest. I felt gloriously joyful and thankful all day long. I felt so loved. I felt, so completely, the opposite of loneliness. 

This is not to brag, though perhaps I am boasting a little bit. This is to show my enormous gratitude. I felt on top of the world and that is because of the people in my life. How extraordinarily lucky am I? 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

I am too scared to write.

I am too scared to write. I am too scared to sit down and type something, anything, out. Writing makes feelings and thoughts come out that you were trying to avoid. I am trying to avoid feeling things other than a) neutral or b) happy. I am feeling happy a lot at the moment, actually. But I can sense things lurking and I don't want them to visit me.  

I am too scared to write because I feel anxious. I think that's the word that would best describe it. A vague but definite sense of almost panic. The fear of what happens when I do that, or this, or when I sit down to write. What happens then? What is lurking in me that I don't want to feel? 

The truth is I know exactly what is lurking in me. I know where it's coming from, and what it's about. But I don't always want to confront it. Not now. And that's what writing does, if you let it. 

I am too scared to write, but I wrote this. I almost confronted feelings. I certainly faced a fear. And that's enough, for now. 

It's funny, the way something so irrational can get all up in your head.