Let's begin at the beginning

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Oh, little blog. I forgot about you. I apologise profusely.

However it's not that I neglected to remember your existence, I just got a bit caught up. A tiny bit busy; swept away on a magic carpet ride. Which I guess is a metaphor for: I kind of got lost along the way.

The last six and a bit months have been all topsy-turvy. Not exactly a rollercoaster but definitely not plain sailing either. A myriad of celebrations and hardships, the biggest of which has been occurring recently. Now, you know me. I'm a dreamer; a wayward spirit with a sense of direction but no definite path. These aforementioned paths are many and plenty, stretching out before me in their hoards with no true way of knowing where they wind. I know they all lead to the same place, it's just the not knowing of where they'll take me along the way. And there's no certainty of which will be the easier route or what will take me to dark corners and beyond. It's a game of chance; a Russian Roulette with life as the gamble. But that's just life in general, isn't it?

I realise now, reading back to everything that I hoped to achieve at the beginning of this year, that I'm barely striking it at all. I ought to feel lazy or like a failure but truth is, I don't. Whether that's because I aimed too high like I always do or whether it's because I've mellowed out with age and know better than anybody that sometimes life just happens all by itself, I don't know. But I'm okay with it. I feel almost better with the uncertainty than I did with having a definite article - because sometimes, what we're familiar and comfortable with isn't always the best for us at all. When you're 22 or 23, this freaks you the fuck out. But when you're on the cusp of 29 - that final fling of a year before you hit the next crucial decade - suddenly it doesn't seem so bad after all.

I've made Big Life Changes. There's no tl;dr version of this. That's all you need to know.

What you do need to know - and indeed what I have to tell myself as a priority - is that I'm striving to be better for the sake my own damn self. The gym thing, it didn't happen at the beginning of the year like I promised it would. In fact, it only became a main player in my life this last week just gone and while I've faced interruptions with stupid broken migraine brain drain sickness, the feeling of tighter muscles in my tummy through fierceness and not fear asserts that this is going to become a stayer in my life. The thing with fitness is, it can be hard to drag yourself out of your pit every day and dedicate yourself to the cause. But soon, after you've pushed yourself and broken barriers, however banal they are, the gloriousness of endorphins and adrenaline kick in. You feel powerful. A good friend told me that the first month is always the hardest; you question why the hell you're putting yourself through this. But after that, you need it - even when you don't realise that you do. And a wise man once said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. This is a habit I dearly want to make. Because it's not just about the body, it's about the mind too.

Back in May, I changed jobs. I guess that was a big one for piece of mind's sake. There are some things I miss about the coffee shop life though, as it differs greatly to an office environment. The social aspect is perhaps the biggest one for me - getting to know new people, building conversations and relationships with the ones you already know, even the being on your feet all day and having to plan with a moment's notice and very little information at all. Some of these things are transferrable to an office job, especially the last two points with the company I work for. I've become even more used to just going with the flow, taking all the changes with a pinch of salt and just getting on with it. The first month here was hard, I'm not going to lie. For days at a time I didn't know whether I was coming or going, and I went from having zero workload at all in the first week to furiously working at 100mph like an octopus without an instruction manual. By the fourth week though, I got into the swing of things. I moved from a dingy office all on my own and out onto the floor with the rest of the department. I began to make connections; those important first forays into establishing working relationships. I got more confident on the phone and again within myself to take a task in my own unique direction. So far, it appears to be going down a treat. They say that office jobs make you feel like you're in a cage but I actually feel quite liberated.

Writing, perhaps my dearest love (along with travel but we'll get onto that in a minute), has unfortunately taken a bit of a backseat. Timing is always an issue - time that I never seem to find or have enough of. I'm exploding with ideas but have nowhere to put them. No, that's a lie. I have many different avenues to adoringly and furiously write myself into, but it's inexplainable what holds me back. Confidence? Wanting to feel adequate? That stupid perfectionist streak in me, the one that doesn't feel up to the task unless I know I can offer it 110%? I'll never be sure. What I do know is that it's time to stop fucking around and procrastinating, and just give it my all. The songs I want to write, the journalistic articles that may never even see the light of day, that novel that I have a thousand and one scenes playing out in my head twenty-four-seven, even this blog. It's a pleasant form of escapism that needs to be revealed.

At the end of last year, I embarked and rolled off of the trip of my lifetime in just five short weeks. It was the first time I'd ever experienced true solo travel without the security of a group or even a concrete itinerary. I just went with the flow, seeing where each day took me, sometimes even changing my routes or destinations at a moment's notice. It drove my parents crazy and it drove me crazy too, yet in completely different ways. I was totally in my element and those furtive little feelings I had about being over and done with it all was the biggest lie I could have ever told myself. I will always want to see the world and there will always be corners to explore. I still dearly want to do 30 countries by the time I am 30, which means I have five flags to collect in the next year and two days. It's not impossible, or at least it shouldn't feel like it is.

So what now? After blabbing about a majority of the last six months in one little text box, what do I envision for the next six and a bit? I can't say. I'd love to tell you what my plans are or what may occur but truth be told, I have absolutely no bloody idea at all. And you know what? I kind of like it that way. It's redeeming. It's not aimless to have no expectations, oh no. In fact, isn't it just the total opposite? For expecting nothing means that everything else is an unconditional bonus. And when you feel like you're on the floor, well, every little magical perk counts.

It should go without saying. But I'm going to say it anyway. Because that's what I'm here to do.