Twenty Four Things, and another thing.
You may have noticed from my last blog entry, that I’m in a retrospective mood this week. You may have also notice how much this blog has deviated from it’s original brief. As I have discussed in the past, I find that lists are both great for an initial kickstart, but bad for longterm success, and I also feel that I’m in such a drastically different place now, that I no longer find the original plan for this project as inspiring as I did then.
I felt a twinge of guilt when I decided to write this down, I felt like, even though I thought it was for the best, I still feel like I’m giving up on something half way through. I guess my automatically negative brain isn’t quite as adjusted as it thinks it is. I’m still going to celebrate on the 13th of October, when I mark the passing of a year since I found the strength to try and get better, and I’m still going to write and update this blog as much as I can. It’s just that, as it has been for the past few months, it will be led by what is occupying my mind at the time, rather than following the original list of things I want to achieve.
Reading through the first post, with the long list of goals makes me cringe slightly. It wasn’t even that long ago, and I still feel that some of the points are very important, but it shocks me that I needed such an exhaustive guide to getting better. It overwhelms me now, let alone how it made me feel when I was at my lowest.
I think that it’s only fair to my past self that I put the list to rest in a determined way, and go back over those points with the gift of hindsight.
The first point on the list was ‘go back to work, and enjoy it’, which is really two things. I discussed my feelings around my struggle finding a career path in a previous post, so I won’t go too much into detail about that, but I can confirm that I’m content in my employment for now (even if it’s Age of Ultron weekend), and I’m slowly getting more confident towards stepping out and searching for something more in line with my long-term goals. I think that this became the first, and most important, point on the original list because being signed off with depression was a huge blow to my self-esteem, as I believe that people are in some way defined by their jobs, and I wanted to give the impression to my readers that I was still dedicated to earning a living. I still believe that this was a very important step, but it wouldn’t be first on my list anymore, as I’ve become more aware of the need for a work-life balance more kind to my need for personal space and fulfilment.
My beloved babies took second place on the list. I wanted a rat cage fitting for 1,000 Pinterest boards for my little lovelies to live in. Their cage is pretty great, and I spend far too much time keeping it that way, but I no longer feel that I need to ‘prove’ that I’m good mother to the rats. The rats are happy, healthy and absolutely ridiculous most of the time, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I get so much pleasure from being around the wee furballs, I do as much as I can to make sure they feel the same towards me.
Okay, so the next one is probably the most cringey of them all, but it’s one that is important in the context of my relationship with Martyn. As you may know, Martyn is a very accomplished musician and songwriter with many beautiful and breathtaking recordings to his name, and sleeping next to that man every night is a true honour. Even more of an honour is that he enjoys hearing me sing, and is very patient when it comes to trying to teach me to play the ukelele. I don’t, and I didn’t, want to become some great musician by the end of the year, I just wanted to be able to join my boyfriend in the one thing that makes him the happiest, playing music.
I went on and on about healthy eating in yesterdays blog post, so go back to that if you want the juicy details.
Basically, I’ve been really rubbish at it since writing the original post, but now I’m going for it because my doctor told me that if I didn’t, my legs might permanently bend outwards.
I’m going to skip over 5, 6 and 7 because I think they are quite arbitrary on reflection. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
I don’t think I’ve read 10 books yet, but I might have made it to 5, which is right on track to reaching my target. See, I am capable of making progress! Back then, I believed that the more books that I read during the year, the better and more well-adjusted I would seem to the people around me, but it’s really not like that. Books are brilliant, but reading them doesn’t make you superior to someone who prefers other forms of entertainment. I’ve stopped putting such a pressure on myself to come across as intelligent and cultured, and just let myself enjoy what I enjoy without self-judgement.
I have similar feelings towards the next point, writing 10 stories. I’m no JD Salinger, and I’m not sure that I will ever be. Forcing ideas out of my brain doesn’t seem to lay the best foundation for writing fiction.
It’s hard to avoid the general election at the moment, and it’s just a few weeks before everyone (well, I hope everyone), will be heading out to the polls.
I won’t force my personal political opinions on you, as you can vote for whatever you believe in, but take a few seconds to look at how good Ed Miliband looks in a flower crown.
The list features quite a bit of ‘filler’ at this point, so expect some skipping while I avoid retrospective embarrassment. (Although, one point I would like to make is that I’ll be writing a lot more about music in the upcoming weeks, and some of it might even be new music.)
17 talked of charitable aspirations, and Martyn and I recently joined up to the RSPB, a charity that has always interested me because of my love for wild animals and insects. £5 a month isn’t much, but being part of such a great organisation gives me enough middle class smug satisfaction to last me for a few years.
In the past few months, I have played Wind Waker, Majora’s Mask and A Link To The Past. I haven’t finished any of them, naturally. What’s better than drone-bombing nameless soldiers in Call of Duty? Chasing after a blonde princess stupid enough to get herself kidnapped countless times over hundreds of years, in different varieties of the same plot. Zelda, yeah!
On to point 19 now, I had two units of alcohol the other day, and had to go home early and fell asleep on the sofa for three hours. That’s the only time I’ve drunk alcohol in the past few months, and it didn’t exactly make me want to do it again.
The next point is an important one, and not just because of my severe lack of Vitamin D. We are so close to going on holiday now, I can almost taste the freshly baked baguettes. Going to Paris ticks so many boxes of what I want to do: go to art galleries, soak up some much needed sun, eat lots of cheese and see my best friend. It might not be the most adventurous holiday, but it’s the most I’ve had in the longest time.
Romance is undoubtably an important part of any relationship, but what’s more important is a strong foundation of trust, respect and communication. Like a lot of things on the list, this point reinforces my wish to ‘prove’ my feelings to people. Martyn knows that I love him more than anything, and we have a great relationship because we’re best friends above everything. I don’t need to prove that to him, or anyone, and I’m sad that I once thought that I needed to. That’s not saying that I won’t do anything romantic, but that I’ll keep it to myself when I do.
The next point as the same feeling to it, my family love and accept me just the way I am (even if I don’t like Marvel films), and I feel the same towards them. I still want to do something lovely for them, but I think the most important thing I could do is be happy, as it must be so difficult for them to see me feeling down.
The penultimate point is about working out. I have to admit, I haven’t done that. At all. I’ve had to deal with such extreme bone, joint and muscle aches that exercising has been the least of my worries.
My housemate has just qualified to be a personal trainer. I’m already compiling a list of excuses for when she returns. I’m sure she’ll work her womanly ways on me and have me doing “squats” and “push ups” with the best of them. Whatever they are.
The last point on the list is so ridiculous, I think I was running out of things I wanted to do.
I’m sorry if I’ve bored anyone with this exhaustive end to the ‘list phase’ of my blog. From now on, It’s all about being interesting and informative, and not feeling guilted in to talking about things that may not be relevent anymore. Keep checking on the blog for the next few posts, as I assure you that they will be better than this.