Hello. Let’s try something here.
I started this blog in 2010, back when I wore skinny jeans, Converse and zip up hoodies all day every day, dyed my hair all the wrong colours and felt SO MUCH, I couldn’t keep it all in. I found peace and happiness in my tiny corner of the internet, posting with wild abandon about my crushes, A Level stresses, (questionable) fashion choices and foolish ambitions. No details spared. And while it wasn’t great when my peers found my little safe space and
started ripping it out of me for being so mushy, pretentious and quite prone to embellishment, I was never discouraged because it was so good for my mind, writing my feelings out.
Well, over the past few years I’ll admit that I’ve become quite scared to just write, like I used to. I’ve stopped my musing and rambling, and started overthinking and planning, so much so that I’ve lost a lot of the joy I used to get from this platform that I made for myself as a hormonal, angsty, romantic teenager. Now, I’ve proven to you readers quite recently that I still have that same teenager living within me, somewhere, and I’m wondering if I could take a leaf out of her book, as I muddle through the adult world as best I can. I want to take time for myself; I need to stop spending every waking moment trying to fill time with work, scrolling through various social media platforms, social engagements – okay, well, the latter isn’t really a problem anymore in this current mess of a world, but you know what I mean. I need to stop trying to make use of every minute of my day. I need to do things just for the fun of it, and not because I can get something from it – be that money, freebies, a following, or a few brownie points here and there.
Photo: Erin Veness
Lockdown Part II (Revenge of the Virus) is going to be very different. For one thing, people seem to be generally feeling much more positive about it; I’ve had conversations with friends and everyday acquaintances who have said they’re simply seeing it as a paid month off work this time, and they’re excited because it means they can binge some more on Netflix, read more books, create stuff, do some work around the house, spend more time with their kids, and so much more. Also, a lot of small businesses are staying open, but making vital changes to how they operate because they don’t want to close again, and they’ve made the effort to figure out how to work with the restrictions.
I’m living my good life, to be quite honest. I’m thrilled to not be shielding this time around – huge shout-out to those who aren’t so lucky; I see you and I know what you’re going through – and I am excited for all this free time, that I will be mostly spending alone (because I love being alone. Did you know that about me?), on self care and my creative projects. I have a couple in the pipeline, and I’ve actually started manifesting them now, and not being
afraid to speak openly about them with my close friends. One of those creative projects, I guess, is going back to basics here. I want to start writing openly and freely again, about whatever I’m feeling, and whatever I’m doing. I used to share long posts on here about stuff I’d been doing day to day, and friends I was hanging out with, and what I’d been learning at college/uni. Simple things. I never felt pressured to share political opinions, fine-tuned reviews or #sponsored #content, back then. I think now more than ever, we are needing to connect with our old selves and work out what used to make us happy, and if/why we’ve lost that along the way somewhere.
Photo: Erin Veness
Last Monday, I woke up with my gorgeous boyfriend, and as he got ready for work I realised that it was the last day I could do something spontaneous and have some me time for at least four weeks, with the second lockdown looming. I’d been planning to check in on a Google meet at 10am, then join the live stream of my friend’s funeral at 11am, at my kitchen table, with a coffee. Well, I decided to skip the Google meet, jump on a train to Brighton, and
watch the service in one of the indie cafes in the North Laines. I smiled to myself as the train pulled into my favourite seaside city, and I stepped off the train into the winter sunshine.
Jordan would have liked this, I thought. You see, Jordan was always a ‘get out there and LIVE’ kind of person. We could all learn a lot from the way he saw the world. I settled myself in a quiet cafe, ordered a long black, propped my phone against the little jug containing the extra hot water I requested, and logged into the live stream. I tried not to wonder if the staff noticed I was getting tearful over and over again as I sat there for an hour, nursing my cup. Then when the service was over, I wandered deeper into the Laines and spent the rest of the day treating myself, mindfully. I got three new pairs of (ethically made) trousers; I grabbed some crispy tempeh tacos in a cafe I’d never been to before; I inadvertently explored the park while searching desperately for a public toilet; I got takeaway vegan doughnuts for the parents, as I was seeing them that evening; I visited the shop on Sydney Street that I once worked in, and when I finally boarded the train home I was full of good food and deep joy (two things which, in my book, are one and the same). I’d shaken off my usual stresses, boring To Do lists and thrifty tendencies, and just enjoyed myself for a change. It had been so long since I’d done me for a day. I know it was a luxury, and I sadly can’t make a habit of it, but maybe I should try to schedule in one of those types of days every couple of months. Maybe
we all should. Once the world gets a little more… now, do I say ‘normal’? No. That’s a boring word. ‘Safe’? ‘Chilled’? They’re a bit better.
When was the last time you had a you day? Was it magical? I wanna know all about it. Comment below, or tweet me. Also, what do you want to read on here? As a reader, it’s as much yours as it is mine, I guess. Only it’s not really. I can do what I want here. Mwahahaha.