On your marks…

I love getting older, I really do. Yes, there are days when I look at my boobs and think they’re not quite as firm as they once were but it’s really no big deal as I persistently questioned my body during my teens and throughout my early 20’s anyway.

‘Why are my knees so big?’ ‘Why can’t the shape of my arms be more like hers?’ I’d certainly get more sex if I looked like that!’

Then I hit my late 20’s. I lost a shit load of weight and believed this was body appreciation. I’ve always had a small frame but this was another level of skinny. I’d examine my reflection and revel in the sight of my ribs. The pride I felt, as I soaked up the Shoreditch nightlife in a tight dress exposing hipbones and an arse like two blueberries, was off the chart. I would often get comments about how skinny I was and how great I looked, even though the bags under my eyes were encroaching the crease of my cheeks as I forced a smile. I looked fucking terrible but I was skinny so it didn’t matter how healthy I was. I got sick all the time, I was ready to hit the sack by 7pm but I was skinny so who freaking cared. I would head straight to the teens clothing in the charity shop to try on jeans for ages 12 – 14. I thought I’d cracked the secret of happiness. Seriously, if I can do these pre-pubescent jeans up and sit down without the waistline being so tight it blocks my digestive movement, I am indeed the perfect human being. Even if it did hinder my breath and suppressed my healthy bowel movement, it was absolutely worth it.

Then I had a nervous breakdown at 30.

I left my job, my four-year relationship, which consequently meant leaving my home in Stoke Newington and fought with my ex to take Harry, our dog back to my folks to continue his life with me. So with packed bags Harry and I went back to my parents house to thaw out the frozen light. I needed to grow, in every sense of the word. I needed lots of fat, I needed a bed all to myself and I needed to cry everyday until I couldn’t be bothered to cry anymore.

You could say it was here I began to consciously think about my life and the decisions I’d made… my ‘journey’. Up until recently I’ve hated the word ‘journey’. Now that I’m writing about the fact that I hated the word I can’t even come up with a reason as to why I was so against the word in the first place. I think I hated words for the sake of disagreeing with something. I generally felt a huge agitation towards positivity, it didn’t matter what form it came in, positivity offended me. It was nice to disagree with something, feeling angry felt comfortable. Feeling angry at the world gave me reassurance, comfort if you like. Comfort that nothing was my fault and I was merely reacting to the shortcomings of my surroundings. It felt good to blame others and circumstance. So good that I curled up and ignored the living.

I don’t ignore the living anymore.

I love getting older because I can understand the importance of pain. I love getting older because I can understand that breaking down is the beginning of building the new. I love getting older because I can look in the mirror and love the woman staring back (ok, so in all honesty I can stare in the mirror some days and think ‘you totally fucked up!’ but I don’t dwell on this for damaging amounts of time like I used to).

And so the journey continues…

 

 

Lost, for now.

I can say, with great honesty that I am currently feeling lost. Not geographically as living in London does set you up with great navigational skills. It begins with the tube map – I had an obsession when I was about 12 to learn the names of all the tube lines and each station by heart (well in zones 1 and 2 anyway). This led to bus routes as I gave up the tube when I hit 26 (that’s another story). I learnt every stop on the 55 bus route and knew all diversions and alternative buses should an emergency arise and the 55 goes out of action. I travelled from East London to central everyday for 5 years, estimated travel time was 2 hours each way. Most would say ‘you’re freaking mad, you mad bus lady’ but actually it was a great way to invest time in reading novels as this is something I always thought I should do but never did… until I travelled on the 55. My breakup with London is a sore subject, as I now don’t do the 55-bus route, or any route into central London. This fact could be one ingredient of many as to why I am feeling lost and disconnected with the ‘real’ world.

If there is a real world, whose real world is it anyway? My real world could be miles apart from the real world of the family I can see out of my bedroom window. They eat at different times; they stand in front of the bathroom window when they’re brushing their teeth (sometimes naked but I don’t like to stare), their whole morning regimen is foreign to me (FYI I do brush my teeth in the morning but never naked, which is weird as I quite like being naked in the morning. Maybe our bathroom is colder than theirs).

There is no set path, I get that now and I also get that yearly planning is a complete waste of time. I am going to be 34 in 27 days. I live at home with my parents and after a small war during a breakup with an ex 4 years ago, I managed to keep the dog we got together and brought him home too. I am also jobless, through choice. I did have a job but a little voice in my gut was telling me to leave, so I listened and I left. I do seem to make spontaneous decisions – the feeling comes, I act upon that feeling and leave little thought for the consequences. So, I am now a single woman, of nearly 34, sharing a dog with her parents and I have no job or money. This is not a bad position to be in. This is a clean slate, a fresh start, and a blank canvas. I am the calm river before the storm, crossing my fingers that the storm is short and brings sunny weather with chirping birds. I am also trying to write a book. I’ve been saying that for the past 4 years now “What am I doing with my life? Oh I’m writing a novel, a really long and epic novel”. Well this is proving to be a very slow task as I am the world’s biggest procrastinator (I know that all procrastinators say that but in the reality of me, I am award deservingly good at procrastination). Hence the blog. I thought this might help get things moving, help me to find shit to write about even though I know there’s always shit to write about it, it’s the sitting down to actually write that’s feels so torturous for a writer. I’ve even started taking cold showers in the morning to help me with my discomfort in life. If I can take on the ice-cold water in the winter mornings, surely I’d be able to sit down and write! I guess every little push helps, even if I can’t see the results yet.

 

 

First Toe is IN!

Beginning a blog has been a laborious task for me. It shouldn’t be, they make it as simple as possible these days but I’m about as technology savvy as a salmon. It has taken me three days to decide on the font… I’m still using the first font used on the options page and as I never upload photos onto my computer, my page is resembling a white, unused handkerchief (do people under the age of 60 even use handkerchiefs these days?).

So here it is, my new entry about my new entry. Very exciting stuff. It will get better than this, I promise. (Actually thinking about it, I shouldn’t make such talent affirming promises as my writing could be baby droppings to your eyes and you read no further than this). To those who are reading this next sentence, thank you. I will endeavour to contribute more insightful musings… I might say something about something that means something. I doubt it but I’m forever trying.