It’s been nearly four months since I’ve written anything. I don’t feel any particular way about it. Today I just got the feeling that I needed to get something out so that’s what I’m doing.
What’s Happened Since October?
Generally, I’ve been coping a lot better with grief. By no means is everything totally fine (is it ever?) but I’m out of the black cloud I was under – that’s for sure. The world’s starting to brighten up and I’m embracing it.
The way I’ve approached work has changed massively. My desk has been tidy for months which is a first in my eight year teaching career. I’m working on communicating more effectively, not keeping things bottled up until I have a break down. Fortunately, the team I work with are understanding and thoughtful – it’s had a positive impact. I’m much more specific about my working hours. Finally work-life balance might be happening, though I am going to see what working a four day week is like at some point.
My social life has changed too. Social media usage has been minimised – something I should have done much earlier in all honesty. I’ve stopped being an obsessive organiser so plans have been much more collaborative and stress-free. This has also had the knock-on effect that I’m seeing more of some people and much less of others. I’m no longer restless at home which is such a wonderful feeling. So many of my days at home have been filled with me whining about not wasting the day and wanting to go do something but not knowing what exactly. It was frustrating to say the least. Quiet relaxation is nothing to feel guilty about. When I do go out now, my days are filled with walks, exhibitions, shows, good food and good conversation. It’s nourishing.
Shopping, which I used to class as a hobby, isn’t really a thing any more. Stuff is stuff and accumulating more and more of it is something I’m no longer interested in. I’ve given away lots of my stuff, haven’t bought any clothes in the past two months and I’m making use of my local library (book-buying is a major weakness of mine). I’m now filling my time with reading – a lot of reading. In an effort to get out of the house more on work days, I joined three books clubs: feminist (monthly), sci-fi/fantasy (monthly) and feminist (quarterly). I started anxiously in December and I wish I’d done it sooner – it’s been a really good change. I’ve missed feeling my brain work on something that isn’t related to teaching.
The biggest change has been a change in perspective on life. Before everything transpired last year, the entirety of my existence was focused on making others happy and filling my life with as many experiences as humanly possible. I planned and timetabled my life so much – I knew where I’d be going on holiday in ten years time. Painfully, I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot completely be the source of someone’s happiness, no matter how hard you try. I say quality rather than quantity as a teacher all the time but I’ve never applied it to my own life experiences. I always felt the need to do more, visit more places, meet more people but actually there is beauty in little things. I still want to travel the world but I made the big step this year to cancel a huge trip and just be because sitting on the sofa with my husband is just as special.
When I read what I’ve written, it seems I’ve come a long way since October. Though sometimes my brain takes me right back to that dark cave and I deflate a little – I just think that’s something I need to be aware could happen from time to time. Getting here took a lot of support and encouragement from people I’m very lucky yo have in my life. Time to focus on the good.
What I’ve Been Up To
- Attended a modern music version of Nosferatu with my sister
- Cooked a LOT (pie, pavlova, grandma’s samay, curry, etc.)
- Had a Harry Potter weekender with my family and Becky
- Met my pen friend from the States in London
- Eaten lots of lovely things with a fellow brown girl foodie
- Caught up with old friends
- Made new friends
- Went to MANY drag shows – including Drag Con Uk
- Wore lots of colourful vintage outfits
- Took in lots of art exhibitions
- Celebrated my sixteen year anniversary with my husband
There are lots of wonderful things to focus on and many more to come.