My energy levels always seem to be at their lowest on Fridays for some strange reason. Maybe because I give all I can to the week. But my guess is that spending the night on the cold hard floor in campus as part of the student occupation didn’t help. The student occupation in part of the university campus in now in its third day in hopes that something can be done to stop the three-fold rise in tuition fees, education cuts and implementation of the London living wage for all campus cleaners and kitchen staff.
The commute home was peaceful, despite the awful racket of the tube. Sleep deprived for over 24-hours, hood up, headphones in; I was feeling quite content despite knowing I was going home to an angry house. Finally over-ground, I welcomed the radiating warmth of the sun on this viciously cold winters day; I couldn’t wait to get into my bed, my sanctuary.
Going to sleep while the sun shines through your window and then waking up to a cold dark room isn’t too uplifting. I didn’t have any plans for the evening so I thought I’d check in on a good friend of mine. She has recently gone through a bad break up and isn’t in the greatest of ways. Plus, I haven’t been a very good or available friend lately, I needed to fix this.
It amazed me to see how many doors an intense conversation can open. It’s funny. Tonight was supposed to be about my friend, her heartache and fears, not mine. But I guess like all good things in life, revelations stained with a harsh truth are never far away.
Tonight I realised I want a break from myself and my bullshit. There’s someone in me who I want to find. I know she exists because she comes and goes. I just wish she’d be committed enough to stay, to believe in me a little more.
Tonight I also realised that maybe I’m the one keeping her away. Maybe it’s time to be ok with the things I am and all the things I may never be. Maybe acceptance will lead me to realise that all the flaws which I so truly despise are actually skid-marks of beauty in disguise. Maybe acceptance will show me the way home.
If you open your eyes wide enough you will see that this world will always give your heart a million reasons to be heavier than its physical weight.
Lately, I’ve been filling my life up to the brim with things to do until priorities begin to overflow. It helps. I tend to focus my energies on tackling the things which need to be done and so I don’t think so much. I like that. But the absence of thought is only temporary, as is positivity and direction. I hate the constant ups and downs these days. Feeling lost and needing to belong somewhere. Sometimes I want so much. Sometime I want absolutely nothing.
Despite the abundance of things to keep me occupied, the days always start to feel empty after a while. Faith in God, life and good things reaches a trough. Hope and direction suffocates underneath doubt and anxiety. Again, I find myself at those ugly dirty dark places that I’ve come to know all too well over the past few years.
Eventually either my perspective or situation changes. When it does I find the strength to leave these places, but still I cannot be proud of walking away; I know it’s only temporary, I know I will be back again. But I’m here today because I’ve escaped before and this reassures me; it tells me I have it in me to escape again. I won’t let the dark thoughts or dirty places imprison me. I will not be bound by them again. Things are different this time because I’m different this time.
I grew up a shy and sheltered little girl. It’s ironic; I don’t think I could have been anymore different to that than I am now. Even though that makes many people in my life wary and unhappy, something my friend said made me realise that I don’t have to apologise for the person I’ve become.
‘I’m proud of you. You’re not who you were this time last year. You’re taking control of who you are, and this is what has inspired me. You’re asking yourself, who do I want to be? What do I want to stand up for? You might not be standing up for the right things but you are figuring it out, that’s the point.’
Somewhere in me it felt good to hear this. But that feeling was bound to a slight sadness; ‘If that’s the case, why can’t I seem to inspire myself’ I thought.
Sometimes I just want to go to a place where there are no thoughts. A place where there are no troubles. A place where I can cleanse myself under a huge tide that will wash away all the frustration and leave me refreshed, full of clarity and hope. Thinking just seems to be an unproductive vicious little bitch that brings her unwelcome entourage of negativity, misery and sadness along with her.
Me and my friend, we’re both similar in that respect; we think and worry all too much. I figured out the only way to fix this is to just stop thinking and stop feeling sometimes. We need to find that switch which turns it all off for a while and give it a good old flick, relish in the peace.
And soon enough, the tangled lines of hurt and confusion will eventually create a fragile stillness. A place for reflection and a chance for clarity. I hope.
I hope that this place will peel away all the layers of doubt and strip us to our natural selves. A process which reminds us of who we are and what needs to be done if we’re not where we want to be yet.
Tonight reminded me we are not always as alone as we think we are, ‘We are here for each other but we forget that. You’ve forgotten that in the last two months’.
I tried explaining how much I’ve had on my plate lately but I know everything I said just sounded like pathetic excuses. I’ve probably spent half of my weekends over the last two months staying in bed. It looked like this weekend wasn’t going to disappoint the unhealthy trend. ‘It’s achieved nothing. It would have meant a lot to me if you spent it with me. It would have meant a lot to your family if you spent it with them’. My friend was right, I was being selfish. I had every reason to feel guilty.
I need to change this. I need to change all the things which are making me destroy friendships, destroy my studies, and destroy me. Today I vow to try and make peace with the demons, to try and release the insecurities, to try and forget about the things which may never happen.
Don’t ask life for too much. ‘You’re a powerful person. You might not see it, but I see it. And I know other people around you see it too. You’re a special person’. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of this, that our natural selves are truly unbreakable.
At times things can get too much. We question ‘why me’. We want to get away from it, or just not be here at all. What makes it worse is that other people seem to be getting along with life just fine. But we never stop to think that maybe other people might be worse off than we are? What if their smiles just hide their pain better? I’m guessing if we all wrote our problems down and placed them in a hat, only to pick out someone else’s problem at random, we would happily take our own paper back and run away with it as far as our legs could carry us.
Sometimes, all we need is a time-out, to let our minds rest, let our hearts heal. We need to let go of the bittersweet past because only then can we free ourselves of the doubt which tells us we can’t be who we want to be, that we can’t be where we want to. My friend explained the beauty of a new day,
‘You’re someone new today’….‘Am I really though?’ I thought….‘Only if you want to be’.
I’m trying to find solace in the tranquillity of this idea.
Maybe she’s right; maybe I can change my tomorrow.
I guess we’re living in uncertainty aren’t we? Am I going to graduate? Is she going to get better? Am I going to find that special someone? Is he going to leave when he sees who I really am? Are they ever going to truly accept me?
Are we going to have to give up the people we care about to pursue what makes our hearts less heavy? Are we going to have to give up our security in order to emancipate ourselves as we reach for that place of inner-freedom? Are we going to have to sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others?
The scary thing is that we just don’t know. In some ways I guess this is the beauty of uncertainty. Embrace this.
Don’t underestimate people. Give them a chance. They might just surprise you. We’re all human; we weren’t born to click with everyone. We need to find the strength to build bridges despite all the doubt. Because only when we have built those bridges can we know how to support each other, how to be there for each other, what the essence of true friendship really is. Maybe being dependant on others isn’t such a bad thing after all. The bridges built with blood, sweat and tears are those which form the strongest connections, the truest of bonds.
Another fear both me and my friend share is about the future. We know what we want but we worry we won’t get there. Our insecurities and fears of inadequacy dishearten us, leaving us stranded in that place between desire and heartbreak. But our conversation made me realise something; you don’t have to quit and you don’t have to be perfect. Life is a spectrum; maybe it’s ok to be at the bottom. We might not be good enough but we weren’t born to give up.
Life isn’t easy. Every day it slaps u a thousand times. Especially if you let it. But sometimes we need to lose our footing, stumble and lose hope in order to stand up again; because it is only when we stand up that we can walk the path to our dreams.
See yourself, know you exist. Don’t carry more than you can handle. Your shoulders were meant to hold your head up high; they can’t do that if they are carrying a great burden.
Maybe it’s fine to be lonely. Maybe it’s ok to let people in. Maybe it’s good to hurt. Maybe weakness will leave with the winter.
But when it does get too much, just stop. Lock your head. Breathe in, breathe in, breathe out. And remember:
‘I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.’ – William Ernest Henley