That part of me

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The seventh week. It's insane to think that I've now been living in Manchester, 200-and-something miles from home, for seven weeks already. On two separate ends of the scale, it's gone scarily fast and yet it feels like I've been here forever all at the same time. I can't quite put my finger on what makes me feel so comfortable to live here. I keep telling people that it feels 'just like home' and I guess in a way it really does. Manchester is a city just like London, only more condensed. Like somebody has put a gigantic clamp around the M25 and squeezed it into a perfect M60 shape (motorway analogies because I can, okay). It has all the amenities that London has: a frequent bus network, suburbs and little secrets, restaurants and bars galore, an awesome green ring. It's a non-stop 24-hour locale that beckons all types of the human lifeform.

But there's something more than just how similar it is to the place I grew up in. Something that's less of a physical attraction and more of a mental connection. For the first time in a long time, I feel absolutely at ease here. Calm, tranquil, like I've lived here all my life. It could be a combination of the excitement of being in new surroundings both at home and a work, slightly more enjoyable working hours than I had down south (no more waking up at 4:45am anyway), living just down the road to my boyfriend as oppose to a 4-hour drive. I don't know what it is, all I know is that I'm riding the wave right now and enjoying this new positive feeling about ~life~ and I am not complaining!

Not one to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I'm probably the most positive, enthusiastic person I know. Seriously, almost painfully so. Everything is amazing to me. A walk to the shops or a daytrip to a beauty spot, it doesn't matter, they're basically the same thing in terms of level of excitement. I am a total yes person, perhaps even suffering from a side dose of FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out - that is sometimes detrimental to my wellbeing. I'm only just learning to tone it down a bit and lend myself a bit of 'me time', something that has me itching as soon as I say the N-word (which is no, in case you thought otherwise). It's tough but I'm beginning to get used to it. I'm finding that it helps me focus more on things I really want to achieve day-to-day, week-by-week, in the extended future. And I've been trying to fill my 'me time' with less wasteful activities such as spending 3 hours watching YouTube clips and vlogs (don't judge me, we've all been there). More getting engrossed in Netflix series' and turning page after page in a new book. Orange Is The New Black, It's Not Me It's You and Eleanor & Park which I just started today have kept my little brain buzzing. Even though I am a self-confessed painfully positive person, of course I have worries just like any other 27-year-old in this day and age. I worry about money - don't we all? - not on a daily survival basis or even looking after the important things in life like annual car insurance, but I'm definitely concerned about saving enough for South East Asia in the winter. I'm worried about my place in my job and whether I should start fine-tuning skills to help my CV look more appealing. I'm worried about my horrible headaches. Sometimes I worry just a little bit about my age and that I'm going to run out of time to do all the things that I want to do before I 'settle down'. Most of my worries concern travel and if you know me well enough I guess that won't be surprising in the slightest.

But there are things that I am unshaken by too. Aside from the brief 'omg-I'm-running-out-of-time' quandaries I have about age, I often remind myself that I'm only 27. I'm hardly old and it's just a bloody number. Sometimes when I'm asked, I have to take a moment to think because if I was to reply so quickly I'm sure I'd say 23 - that's the age I honestly feel. I'm unshaken by my body these days; it used to be a big deal to me more recent that I'd like to admit, but now it's a case of love me or leave me. I'm comfortable in my own skin. Yeah I have a belly and wobbly thighs and a uneven skin tone and wide shoulders - I like all of that. I like every single part of me and I'm really trying to look after myself in the best way possible, to help my headaches more than anything. I gave myself a period of grace after moving where I could gorge on chocolate and takeaways whenever I like, just like nesting into a new relationship. Now, I've manned up: giving up the free paninis at work is a tough deal but after filling my lunchtimes with stuff like a homemade blackened cajun chicken salad and baby carrots with lashings of sweet chilli houmous, the blow has certainly been softened. I drink water like it's going out of fashion. I walk everywhere and take a new route wherever I go. Even my mini money worries eventually get the YOLO treatment in my head; you can't take it with you when you die, after all.

Another thing I've been rediscovering my enjoyment in is simply listening to music again. I don't really know why, but I just haven't had the ear for listening to a lot of music for the past couple of years. I've given so many albums a spin in the last few weeks that my rusty account is wondering what all the drama is. I'm really enjoying the new Everything Everything and Mumford & Sons albums, Florence & The Machine and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds as previously mentioned, old favourites like Belle & Sebastian and The Bronx and Jake Bugg always, always, always. It's re-revved up my interest in volunteering at Leeds Festival this year and all the bands that I could have an opportunity at catching.

What is the relevance of all of this? Nothing really; this is just a collective of words that my brain sent to my fingertips to type up for next-to-nobody to witness. But all of this and some recent thoughts have made me realise something quite drastic and of the utmost importance: I'm actually beginning to pinpoint that in the last couple of years I've been more down that I ever realised. The D-word is something that I would never throw around lightly (depressed, by the way) but I would perhaps say that isn't too far from the truth. The thing is, when you're there in the moment and wallowing in it, you can never quite see it for yourself. And as I mentioned before, I am the number one person at putting on that sunny disposition like a well-worn hat. Now I can look back and clearly appreciate, for lack of a better term, that I haven't been myself for a long long time. But that's okay, because everything is going to be so much better. In fact, it's mostly better already.

I'm so excited for the rest of the year. Even the rest of this week and overlapping into next is enough to send me giddy with glee - attending the hen party of my best friend is any little lady's dream, especially when it's with a glorious gaggle of girls in a countryside cottage in deepest Derbyshire! Then, armed with an extra couple of days off and totally seizing the moment I'm extending my drive down south to visit the parents and pop in on a couple of friends. In less than a month I will be holidaying of the Isle Of Mull with my boyfriend and his family and I cannot wait to just be away from everything and immersed in nature and outstanding beauty. August brings the aforementioned Leeds Fest, September hopefully brings a trip to Budapest with some new-found friends and November brings backpacking around South East Asia into the forefront. I'm also full of beans about all the guests I can host, all the walks and hikes that I can do, all the photos that I can snap and all the writing I can do.

To say that I'm turning a page is an insult to understatements. It's more like I'm beginning a brand new chapter, one that has been on the cusp of starting for so long but never quite gaining enough momentum to become true. But it's here and now and ready and I'm holding on tight. Don't give away the end; the one thing that stays mine.

1 comment:

  1. I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Check out my latest blog post for more information!

    Melsy xoxo