Monday, 26 January 2015

This Is The House That Made Me

Superlatively Rude
“We know everything there is to know about you,” she said. “And we’re still here.”

Damn.

Isn’t that just the thing?

That they are still here.

That they were there when it was as bad as it ever was and have never left me since.

And oh god, was it bad. 

Not point-of-no-return bad, but… ugly.

Mentally, I was the worst I’d ever been when we met. Still on anti-depressants. Sleeping with many (many) men. Crass and a bit rude, and mostly because I was scared. I didn’t know how to ask for help. How to be vulnerable. How to get over the dark by cracking myself open just enough to let in some light.

They smashed me open and it was blinding.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Alone But Not Lonely

Superlatively Rude
When I saw her face I recognised her as a friend. I was walking towards her and extending my arms, smiling and saying, “Jenny, right?” before it occurred to me that she was, in fact, a total stranger, and just because I knew her face from the Internet it did not actually mean that we were BFF’s.

Kudos to her, my aggressive suggestion that we hug was met with good humour. That’s often the case, I’m finding. That when you act enthusiastic, you are enthusiastic: and that’s contagious.

So there I was, holding on to a woman whose work I’ve read on the Internet for about five years, marveling at the good fortune that in all of the co-working spaces in all of the yoga villages in all of the world, she’d walk into mine. Because she does what I’m trying to do: makes money from being her badass self. Shall we use the word “solo-preneur”? No? Oh, okay.

I was totally needy and made her agree to coffee with me and only retrospectively got embarrassed that I’d essentially assaulted her. God bless if she never set foot in the only space in Ubud, Bali with guaranteed wifi ever again, I thought to myself. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Light//Dark

Superlatively Rude
The point of it, she said, was to feel the pain.

“We do the exact opposite,” she said, “In our lives. We shy away from pain, hold our breath when it happens – and that shortness of breath, it causes even more anguish for us. Physical, yes, but also mental. Everything is connected.”

“When we shy away from our pain, the distractions we give ourselves only hurt us more, eventually.”

I was lay on my left side with a tennis ball propped under my thigh. It dug into the flesh of my leg and pushed against the muscle. My whole weight was on it. Sweat dripped in thick beads down my spine, and prickled at my temples. A cockerel crowed outside of the hut. My partly-shaven legs bristled against one another. I closed my eyes and breathed as measured and evenly as I could. She was right – it hurt. Like a motherfucker.

“Permit yourself to feel it,” she said. “And breathe into where it hurts. Accept the pain. Surrender to it. Ultimately, this is what will heal you. You wouldn’t know it was there to fix if you didn’t look for it first.”

“But if you didn’t look for it, the pain would find you sooner or later anyway.”

Monday, 5 January 2015

I can't not try, you know?

Laura Jane Williams
I live in Bali, now.

The idea came to me when I was in Siberia.

(There’s two sentences that I never dreamt I’d type.)

I’ll start at the beginning.

The best thing that happened to me in 2014 was being let go from my job. That job held so many excuses for me. I couldn’t work on my book, because where was the time? I couldn’t travel, because I only got three weeks a year. Hell! I couldn’t even take a sick day without my pay being docked. I spent ten hours a week commuting on the central line – FORTY HOURS A MONTH! A WHOLE WEEK’S WORTH OF WORK! - spending my cash on £8.95 salads at lunch because “I deserved it”. It was inferred daily that my work had limited value. To not have an opinion. To not make a fuss.

I was once, in that job, chastised in a meeting by the (male) director of the company for being, (and I quote directly), “too female.”

TOO FEMALE! What the fuck does that even mean?! I’d made the “mistake” of starting a sentence with “I feel…” instead of “I think…” and as a twenty-something woman that rendered my point useless because: make me a cup of tea, would ya? 

Monday, 29 December 2014

A list of my 2014 favourites

Superlatively Rude
Me, on one of the last days of the year
Because it’s the end of the year, and I like to look back before I look forward, here are my 2014 "makings and breakings". Because it's never just about the highs, is it?

*

On my birthday I flew to Milan, newly unemployed, dead scared, and wrote this to myself on the way: On Turning Twenty-Eight

“On the last day of your 27th year, you took the morning after pill and it made you cry. You want children – to become a mother – more than anything, and there was the tiniest part of you that wondered, “But what if…?” Don’t be so fucking dumb. You need about £25,000 more in the bank before you have a kid and taking risks isn’t cute. But it *will* happen, and the wait will be worth it.”

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