Maybe everything is alright

This is us in an indie film. One of those small ones that never made it to cinemas but got released at a film festival. Of us walking in pavements under cloudy skies. By the pier. The tide comes in slowly. It’s a slow afternoon and we sit in a small cafe and pretend that for one moment everything is alright. A salty breeze whips my hair into my face. Into my coffee. I laugh because, naturally, I’m messy with my food. Maybe everything is alright.

 

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Let’s try this again

How do you connect with yourself again like you once did? I know it is possible. It is possible to be plunged into the depths of misery and re-emerge a phoenix, having risen from the ashes of pain and despair. I feel it is possible. But maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe it’s not about doing what worked before. Eating what you ate before. Breathing like you breathed before. Every breath was a new lease of life. Maybe I can have a new lease of life again. But it will be different. Because I am different. I’m no longer the woman I was, so why do I think I can find solitude in the same way? I am smarter, stronger, bolder, faster. I am different, better, and getting better with each trial I face. I am a seasoned professional. A veteran, expert in the ways of surviving. So let’s try this again.

You were you, first

Before you were ever someone’s daughter, sister, or even cousin. Before you were anyone’s friend. Before you attended school and started to develop yourself. Your identity. Before you became an employee or a work colleague. You were you. And that is why you belong to you. You can be covered in the dirt that surrounds you but that does not make you dirt. Maybe you need to think about who you are. Without anyone around you making you feel like you’re one of them, and you blindly accepting. You were you, first.

You’re doing okay

You know when nothing else will do, except for sitting in a coffee shop when sunlight creeps back to the Sun herself. And you say fuck it and buy your hipster hot drink – think Chai Latte – and find a corner. Your corner. And open up a book, pages worn. A Crime Thriller, obviously. And just sit. And take in the fact that you’ve been thinking of doing this for so long. And now you’re doing it. And could it be because you are an inherently lazy person? Or your anxiety stops you from following through with your ideas, sometimes? Or it’s just always been typical British dreary weather? But it doesn’t matter anymore. Because you’re doing it. Well done. You’re doing okay.

The place in between all the places

I’ve rewritten this so many times, which is unusual. Usually my feelings are strong and swayed to one side. Even when I’m confused, I am strongly confused. But now I feel something, and it scarpers from my grasp. I don’t know how to feel about this. This. This emptiness but also heaviness in the pit of my stomach. The feeling of assertiveness, yet also weakness. Sometimes it’s okay to feel in limbo. To feel without support, without an anchor to the ground. Free-floating between clouds of sadness, and anger. Frustration, and renewal. I don’t know what I’m feeling, because I’m feeling everything. Is this the transition that everyone speaks of? The neither here, nor there. The place in between all the places.

Pain, a passenger

It’s so easy to slip up, and feel like you aren’t achieving your dreams. I felt this one too many times. I felt this today. I stared at my bed and suddenly thought of someone. Someone I shared everything with. I felt the tears in my eyes. The stinging of tears. But that’s okay; it only hurts still because it meant something. Because it was so special, that the pain of losing it is equally as harsh. So let me tell you something. If you have ever held something or someone so close, only to have them slip away. If you have dreamed a dream only to have it shatter. If you have ever felt loss of any measure. You are not your loss.

Say it again to yourself, so you believe it. So you know that you have the power to define yourself, and not let your soul be enveloped in sadness. So you know that pain is only a transient passenger in your vehicle and it will go. It’s just hitching a ride with you, but along the way it will steer you in directions that you could not have imagined. Sit back and realise that you may not have full control of your vehicle. But when it has taken you to where you need to go, it will ask to leave. If you internalise your pain, then it is no longer a passenger; it is intertwined in the very fabric of your being. But darling, you deserve so much more than to piggyback this pain for a single moment of your life. You deserve to be free. You deserve to be happy. You deserve peace. You weren’t born on this planet to spend your days healing your wounds.

The importance of ‘me time’

So, exams happened, which means everything else gets pushed to the side. I really wanted to blog every day and to be honest, I could have. But it’s been tough trying to juggle daily commitments with having time to yourself. I never used to be one of those people who needs time to themselves every day, but now I realise just how necessary it is.

You spend your entire day roaming, talking, meeting, greeting, studying, working, feeling. Yes, even feeling. You’re experiencing emotions every minute, some heavier than others, but all emotions nonetheless. Couple that with the fact that you may be going through an ordeal – be it a loss, a heartbreak, a tough time at work or school. You are a superhero. Every day your body wakes up and decides to live another day of this life. Whether you are ready or not, you are thrust into the ups and downs of the day. And when you reach the end of the day – whether it brought you good or bad – you are tired. Mentally.

We unconsciously process so much of the world when we choose to live through another sunset. You don’t even have to leave your room or house to be exposed to it – the wonder that is social media. As much as I love Instagram, and how many inspiring people I find on there every day, I have been trying to have some time to myself at the end of a full 12 hours or so of studying. I remember a week ago I studied from 9am to 9pm. I closed my notes, and started crying. It was just too much. I pushed myself too far, and hadn’t had time to myself in 5 days at that point. It got to me. And then I realised where I was going wrong – consistency.

Like with every good habit, doing it every day instils it within you. I felt so good having my ‘me time’ at the end of every day, where I was relaxing and meditating. So good that I stopped doing it. One day, two days, then three days passed by. It crossed my mind but I told myself ‘Nah, maybe tomorrow, I’m still coping’. Big mistake. Fast forward to the 5-day mark and there I was in tears. I just collapsed. And I kid you not, at that point I thought to myself: ‘my soul is hurting’. My soul. I grew to be so in tune with my emotions that as soon as I stopped caring for myself properly, I felt it in my soul. That was the day I apologised to myself. For the neglect I had put myself through at the expense of some exams I will not remember in 5 years.

So there’s really one thing I suggest everyone does – breathe. Have time to yourself each day. Enjoy yourself. This is YOUR body. This is YOUR life. Live it well and do good by yourself. I have spent so much of my life caring for others and I have loved all the moments I have been a rock for others. Equally, I have enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when I absolutely ace an exam – ’cause let’s face it, I enjoy studying WAY too much for my own good. But these people, and these commitments, are never a sufficient reason to ignore YOUR own needs. I never write in caps ’cause I think it looks tacky, but today is the day to write some words in caps – to emphasise how important my point is. You will thank yourself for the day you put yourself first. Because that is the day your life truly begins; you will start to feel like you are finding your peace – something that can seldom be found when you don’t get in touch with YOURSELF.

I really will post more by the way. Given that it’s exam season and also dissertation season, it’s very, very difficult to maintain blogging, because after I have my ‘me time’ after 12 hours of memorising lectures about cellular disease, I am no good to anyone and pretty much binge-watch Parks and Rec for 2 hours while practising lettering – but more on that later!

Also if you are one of the few people who have read this, I really want to know if you practise your own ‘me time’ every day too? If you have, how you have found managing time to yourself alongside work?

Peace, everyone.