Week Zero

I’m curled up on the sofa at my parents’ and I’ve spent the whole day in my PJs. The Christmas tree is twinkling and the living room is super cosy.

It’s odd isn’t it? This week between Christmas and New Year. No-one knows which day of the week it is. Our New Year’s resolutions don’t need putting into action until January 1st so we’re all in limbo.

Some people strip the decorations down, find places for all their gifts and spring clean a few months early. Other people cling onto Christmas for as long as humanely possible; cooking turkey everything, leaving the decorations up, watching Christmas films, eating chocolate and being extremely lazy. Others among us sit in traffic and battle the crowds to browse the sale racks for bargains. I myself fully intend to treat myself to some new jeans, that don’t have holes in, asap. Many of us have family and friends to visit and find ourselves doing the rounds. The parents among you have to find ways to entertain the kids until the school term starts again. I do not envy you. Some of you have had to go back to work already. Ugh. Poor you guys.

New Year’s Resolutions are a funny thing. Why do we feel we need to improve ourselves every year? Why are we so hard on ourselves and why should this year be any different from the last anyway?

Ridiculously, I always imagine I’ll have sooooo much more time when the new year begins. For example, this year I’m telling myself that I’ll join a couple of fitness classes, sing more, join a choir, find a rehearsal space for songwriting, make my lunch and take it into work every day, study, get out more, stay on top of the laundry and cook proper meals. I’m resolving to do all of these things despite the fact that I struggled through November and December barely finding the time to buy Christmas presents or paint my nails. Supposedly, in January, anything is possible. No wonder we all end up feeling sad and deflated when the 1st Feb comes around.

I also want to worry less. How I’ll manage that with so many goals to achieve, who knows? Most of all, I just want to worry less about what other people are thinking. I cannot read minds, so why do I waste so much time trying to? What even is the point? It’s irrational and oh, who am I kidding?

These will be the good old days. Regardless of whether I worry too much or I make time for all of the above, I want to remember that. I want to remember to make the most of every moment because time is flying by.

HELLO CHAPTER FIVE!

Hey there Chapter Four

I love my job, but going back to work after the Christmas break has been SO INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT.

I think it has something to do with the fact the weather is all doom and gloom. That and the fact it’s a whole ‘nother 11 months or so until Christmas comes around again! The holiday ads are out in force and I’m not surprised. I’m perfectly happy right now, curled up on the sofa with candles lit and music playing, but I still can’t help wishing I were on a beach somewhere sunny.

I’m looking forward to this weekend heaps and heaps though. I’m window shopping with one of my bestest friends on Saturday just like back in the good old days. I’m at a girly sleepover Saturday night with more besties. Sunday is Dave’s day off so I’m hoping we’ll have a wonderfully lazy day together.

Familiarity is my friend this year. I hope that this year, nothing changes. I could really use a year spent living in the same place, doing the same job. It’s been a long time since I finished a year in the same place I began it. Don’t get me wrong, moving forwards, progressing and evolving as a young person is great. But you have to admit, there’s something comforting about adventuring and exploring and always knowing that home is waiting right where you left it.

It’s January. We’ve a cupboard full of chocolate and a whole year ahead of us and this year, I’m focusing on the here and the now. The future can wait.

Butterflies find a new home

Move-in day wasn’t far from perfect. Everything ran surprisingly smoothly. I was so ridiculously happy when we eventually found ourselves sat on blow up chairs, in our new lounge, surrounded by our belongings, eating Chinese takeaway and drinking Prosecco.

I’m still happy. I look around me now and I still don’t completely believe everything here is ours. Ours for the near future anyway. I can’t even believe there is an ours. To think that Dave and I now have an ours makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside in ways my romantic pessimist of a younger-self would have cringed at.

Everything’s almost in it’s place now. The bedroom is sorted and I’m so happy with it. The kitchen is nearly there. There’s some bits and bobs here and there that need a home, but all in all, the flat is looking good.

I should be so content. I should be bounding forward into my new life. I’m at the start of a whole new chapter and honestly?

Today hasn’t been a good day. Half way through I wanted to pack a bag, get in my car and go home. Chapter three begins at the start of a year in which I pledged to be more daring. To say yes more. To stick a middle finger up at my anxiety… In Chapter Two I vowed not to grumble. To stay positive. This chapter’s for being brave enough to say exactly how I’m feeling.

So truthfully, today I crumbled. Yesterday I was hit by one of them 24 hour bugs and my body crashed. Then today, my mental health went down the drain. It is going to be hard to describe how I felt when the butterflies caught up with me, but I will try.

I’m no stranger to an anxious meltdown. I recognized it. I reached out to people close to me. My support network came out in full force. My brother called. My best friend called. Dave’s been great.

That’s what frustrates me most I think. Anxiety is frustrating in many ways, but it is most frustrating when it holds you back at times in your life when you know in your heart that you’ve really so much to be grateful for. I’ve some amazing people in my life. I’m young. I’m free. I just moved into a new flat. I have high hopes for the future and I have everything I need to get to where I want to be.

Just a few hours ago I was seeing everything differently. I doubted everything. Nothing was right anymore. I reached out for help, but then I felt like a burden. Then I just wanted to disappear. I knew I was being irrational. If anything stops me pressing publish on this post, it’s the fear that someone worse off will read it and they’ll wonder why I’m even grumbling. I beat myself up over that while I tried to pull myself together earlier. It did me no favours.

Right now I’m on the upward slope again. I feel nervous about next week. I’m scared I’ll crumble all over again. I’m also excited though. Plenty of opportunities ahead for sticking that middle finger up yet again. How can you be daring unless you’re scared in the first place, right?

I promise Chapter three won’t be all doom and gloom, but I also promise to be brave and to be honest. Or to try to be.

To New Beginnings

This year was for being daring, right?

I put an offer down on a flat with Dave, we got it, I handed in my notice at work, two weeks later we’ve got the keys and I’m moving to Watford!

I’m moving into a new flat, in a new town, finding a new job and I’m going to be living like a real-life adult! Call me irresponsible but I ran out of reasons not to go for it and so I did, I said yes and I couldn’t be happier.

Saying that, I’m currently sat in the middle of my floor, staring at my wardrobe and willing the clothes to fold and pack themselves. This leaving home malarky is as stressful as it is exciting and it is very exciting! Perhaps packing clothes can wait for now. With the help of my mum and a good friend I’ve made a lot of progress today anyway!

I hate to say it, but I think that’s a wrap on chapter two. No sad faces here though, this ending is the start of an exciting new beginning. Next time I write I should be in the flat! I’m smiling hugely just at the thought of it. Chapter three begins soon. Bring it on.

Hello Stranger

I’ve been sat in the same spot, full of food and drink, for so long that my eyes are heavy and my bum hurts. I’ve still no idea how I want to begin this chapter. Or even what it is this chapter should be called.

‘Small fish, big pond’ was my first thought. That does sum it up really well. I thought I was finding my way in the world when I moved back to Cardiff for my second year, but I was very wrong. When you’re at university you’re in a world of your own. The world outside of university is much bigger and in general, people are much meaner. Stumbling through just doesn’t cut it.

Okay, it isn’t all as bad as it sounds. I’ve had the best of years so far! I got a temporary job as an administrator and for a bit I had it all figured out. I went to Milan. I saw Adele at the O2. If I were good enough at living in the present I think life would seem pretty easy. I’m back to living with the parents. The fridge is always full of food. My washing often disappears from the laundry basket before I even fill it. The heating comes on. I’m reunited with old friends…

It’s looking to the future that makes being a graduate so hard. For many of us, the future is bleak. We’re in limbo. We’re feeling 22, except we’re not Taylor Swift, we don’t have a record deal and we aren’t as pretty either. I think I know where I want to be, but I’m not quite sure how to get there. I kind of have a plan, but it keeps falling through.

Moan, moan, grumble, grumble. I know I love to write. I always have done. So for now, this blog can be my saving grace. I promise I’ll keep the grumbling to a minimum from here on in. After all, it’s not the end of the world. Really, my time in this world is only just beginning.

That works, Chapter Two: ‘It’s not the end of the world’.