I have been going through a confusing period with my writing recently. I have a few unfinished blogs that I keep going back to but not really getting much further along with. I keep questioning what I am writing, should I even be writing about it?, should I say that?, changing things around, taking bits out, putting bits in, my heart isn’t fully commited to what I am writing and that is most unusual for me, but then all of a sudden, it struck me, it became obvious. I am entering into the next phase and what has gone before is no longer relevant because without realising, I’ve won! I’ve made it through to the next round.
I can feel a very definite shift of energy in my life right now, and without wanting to be too cliché about it I do feel like I am waking up after a very long sleep. Almost like an animal out of hibernation. I am entering a new phase of my life, it’s a feeling of being reborn which makes me think of one of my favorite quotations by Haruki Murakami, you may know it.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That is what the storm is all about”
And that, in a nutshell, is how I feel, dare I say that the storm is finally over. I honestly don’t know how I am still here, I don’t know how I made it through, I am definitely not the same person I was before and this exactly the reason I have been struggling to complete my other blogs. The subjects I am trying to write about are linked to the past, and with that comes an awful lot of pain, and the reason I cannot write as freely about it is because I am not in pain anymore, nor am I spending a great deal of time thinking about my past. The future has become much more exciting.
After what feels like an eternity spent in the darkest most dreadfully horrible place, I am finally feeling a sense of freedom. I do have more commitments now, so it is slightly ironic, but they are commitments I am happy with, healthy ones that are going to lead me into a new and exciting future, productive, purposeful ones that are heading somewhere rather than trapping me through obligation or emotional attachment.
This hasn’t just happened overnight, it has been a long and extremely painful path to get here, but now I am here I am determined to keep moving forward. I started thinking about how I managed to get to the place I am in now from where I was not so long ago and there are certainly a few things that I can say helped to contribute, so I thought I would share them here, and who knows, help someone else along the way.
Removing social media from my life.
I cannot express how liberating that has been. The only platform that I haven’t deleted is Twitter, I need to keep up with news and current affairs for my studies and find it to be the quickest easiest way. I also like to have access to news and opinions that the mainstream media choose to ignore. And there is a lot of that!
I am more careful now about how I use it than I was a few months ago, I don’t interact anymore. I have a quick scroll through on a Sunday, which generally confirms, the lunatics are still running the asylum, I read a few different opinions, see a few people slinging mud at each other and then I get on with what I have to do. I am not saying all social media is bad, it can be a very useful tool used correctly and for the right reasons. For instance, I reached out to a lot of people when I was in the process of finding my way, writers, mental health advocates, life coaches, journalists. I would say over 50 people I messaged for advice and help. A grand total of three people got back to me and have been fundamental in setting me on the path I am on now.
The first one was a very well respected and highly acclaimed food critic who gave me some very honest and helpful advice and who I have maintained contact with, the second one is an ex-editor of a popular daily newspaper who advised me on the best study route, and the third is a very successful comedienne and author who has had her own struggle with mental health and she has been a great inspiration to me in some very dark times. So with that being said I guess I do have to give social media credit where credit is due.
Having a Private life that is private.
This is something that I am really enjoying at the moment, so if you are still creeping on here trying to find out where I am, what I am doing, and who I am doing it with, let me save you some time and tell you, you’re not going to get that here!.
What I will say is that now I am more sure of who I am and where I am going, it is allowing me to have fun without expectation or worry about where things are going to lead. Looking back over previous years I have always prioritised a relationship over myself, put my life on hold for someone else, wanted everything to lead to something and had no interest in anything unless it involved them too.
All very unhealthy traits that attracted the wrong people. Now, I am able to have fun, with no expectation, and outside of that I am completely focused on my own journey, and that, for the very first time feels extremely empowering.
Well, they say a picture paints a thousand words. So here he is “Bear”. He makes me laugh, smile, and my heart burst with love every time I think of him.
I was getting very close to emotionally shutting everyone and everything out and then he came along and has put pay to all of that. He has totally bowled me over, allowed me to love freely without worry or concern. I don’t really know what else to say, this is another dimension that I didn’t see coming but can’t underestimate the positive impact he has had on me.
I said to a friend of mine just the other day “We went to our cafe and he’s getting big now he’s a little awkward on my knee!” …. needless to say much talk ensued about why a dog was sitting on my knee at all, let alone in a cafe, leave aside the fact that it was only a few months ago I would roll my eyes in disgust should I catch a glimpse of any dog over my cappuccino! ‘Dog friendly’ to me meant a swift walk on by, but what can I say, I’ve changed!
I touched on this in my last blog. I have now accepted the things I cannot change and am focusing on the things that I can. I don’t spend time longing for a life gone by now. I am fully driven on the one ahead.
I visited London for the first time since moving away, that is a major milestone for me. I have been too scared to previously. I just haven’t felt strong enough to do it, ‘If I can’t go back for good I’m not going’.
Just as the train pulled into the very familiar station I started to get anxiety, my tummy was turning over, I really needed to focus on my breathing to not let things get out of control, and then in the cab the tears started flowing. I had missed it so much, the smell, the noise, the hustle and bustle, I was back home. Twenty years of memories came flooding back and they were all good, it was then that my sadness and anxiety was replaced with drive and positivity to do whatever it takes to return. For good.
Many people I have spoken to, and interestingly mostly my male friends still ask me why I let someone get away with doing what they did to me. Why did I ‘let them off the hook’. Sometimes, when I have been feeling sorry for myself, I have wondered the same, why didn’t I tell the Police officer the truth when I was stood in my bedroom with bruises on my arm, the window smashed through and my clothing thrown onto the lawn. Why did I make excuses? time and time again, cover up and lie to protect someone’s livelihood and reputation, someone who when it came down to it took pleasure in destroying mine.
There are many reasons for that, but main one is because I don’t have it in me to want to purposefully and knowingly cause pain to another human being, I don’t have that gene, and that, I feel very lucky for.
Those who have caused me pain know what they did, they know who they really are deep inside, and opening a car door for a woman, buying gifts, pouring the wine and standing up when she comes back from the table in order to show everyone in the room what a gentleman you are can only disguise what you really are for so long.
As I see it, I can go on and live my life without any secrets. I haven’t mistreated anyone or ran away from anything, there is nothing hiding in my closet that I am ashamed of that may come back to haunt me one day. That is what allows me to move on and let go without looking over my shoulder, and that feeling is worth more than any feeling you could get from revenge or retaliation, it’s the feeling of freedom, and that is the best feeling of all!
With love as always,