Week Four

Week four of 2019 began, for all of us, with Blue Monday. On Blue Monday, I felt surprisingly yellowI spent the tube journey smiling to myself like a fool. I was determined not to let the whole ‘Blue Monday’ label convince me that it was going to be a difficult day. After all, I did a little bit of research and it turns out that Blue Monday is a term which was created by a holiday company just to sell trips abroad! I’d had a wonderful weekend with a lovely friend and it’d left me feeling refreshed and determined. I’d decided this week was my do-over. Chapter five, take two.

It’s been a tough start to the year, for reasons I can’t really share with the world wide web. This was the first week I was back to some kind of normality again. This week, I had to go back to answering the question ‘How are you?’ without crying. In the end, this week was definitely a week for cutting myself some slack and giving myself a pat on the back for the little things I did better. Tough start to the year or not, I think we should all get better at rewarding ourselves for the small, everyday successes. Life’s not easy, even at the best of times…

Tuesday I worked from home, caught up on some studying, got myself organised for the rest of the week and made a sandwich for lunch on Wednesday. (making the sandwich was a step in the right direction sure, but it took all of two minutes, which did cause me to question why I ever spend money on lunch and can’t seem to make time to simply butter some bread and stick some ham on it every evening).

On Wednesday morning the butterflies woke up when I did and I wanted to hide away at home and go back to sleep. I perked myself up, kicked myself into action and that night, spent a lovely evening with a group of friends at an amazing italian restaurant called Pasta Brown. It’s in Covent Garden and if you haven’t been and you can go, you should. I had the Penne Pasta Brown and a slice of chocolate fudge cake and left very full and very happy. So full and happy that I fell asleep at 9:30pm, shortly after getting home.

The week soon came to an end and it’s been a chilled weekend thank goodness. Yesterday morning’s lie-in made me feel brand new. I left bed to grab tea, breakfast and my book. I then sat with the tv on (Saturday Kitchen made good background) and read, in bed, until lunch time.  In the afternoon Dave and I headed into London to meet two friends for a drink and a bite to eat. We hadn’t seen them in FOREVER and it was super lovely to catch up.

I was up reading late last night and indulged in another glorious lie-in this morning. I’m now nearly half way through Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I am COMPLETELY hooked. It’s amazing.

Now Week Four’s nearly over and I’m just pleased I got up and at ’em every day and I was organised for once.

Dave and I are headed back to Chelmsford for the day today. Roast dinner at my mum and dad’s and over to see his parents’ too. I love Sundays.

2019 is just beginning. Plenty of time for resolutions yet.

Still twenty-something, still lost, still smiling

Old habits die hard.

Life still feels as complicated as ever.

You can tell life has been a little crazy, because long gone are the days of blog posts written every Sunday without fail, always about lazy days at my parents’, roast dinners and good books and sunshine or rain.

Funnily enough, I actually did spend this Sunday just gone at my parents’. I slept in till eleven! It was amazing. My mum made me a bacon buttie and a cuppa. I nipped out to see my best friend and her other half and when I got back the whole house smelt of roast chicken and potatoes and it was glorious. I chilled with my brother and checked in with my sister. I stole a good couple of bear hugs off my dad. Before I headed home, full of food and love, I watched a kid’s film with my parents. It was raining almost the whole day which was a disappointment to my mum who’d asked me to bring my bikini in the hope we could take a dip in the paddling pool. However, I loved the fact it rained. My old home felt that much cosier because of it.

I was back in my home town because, on Saturday, some of my friends and I went to an ‘Escape Room’.

If you haven’t heard about escape rooms, I highly recommend you look them up. The one we did was super scary. ‘The Cabin’ is just off a shopping street in Southend. We were trapped with a supernatural creature, which we were told could only move in the dark. The lights went on and off through out and there were clues all over and we had one hour to banish the creature and find a way out. We failed miserably, but hellish as it sounds, it was such good fun. Not all escape rooms are scary either. For those of you who don’t know, there’s a Harry Potter themed one and one where you rob a bank! I cannot wait to try them.

The rest of that day was spent battling with wind and rain, drinking coke floats, eating them amazing donuts you always get at the seaside and playing crazy golf by the sea.

Right now I’m sat on the sofa in our flat and listening to Rag ‘n’ Bone man, whose music I love. Dave’s just got in from work and tonight we’ve nothing planned besides fighting over who gets control of the music and who gets the comfier sofa. Makes a change. We intend to make the most of the nothingness.

Life’s been the usual emotional rollercoaster and I’ve been through the normal ups and downs.

The working weeks are crazy. I’m always in a Mond-aze first thing Monday morning. I may love my job, but that doesn’t stop the return of the alarm clock being a shocker. We promise ourselves early nights from that moment on and yet every evening flies by and before we know it, we’re going to sleep much later than intended.

As time goes on, I think I’m finally beginning to realise that regardless of gender, personality, job, lifestyle, mental health, all twenty-somethings are feeling a lot of the same things. Obviously we’re all going through our own individual bits and pieces, but we’ve a lot in common with each other too.

We’re living the best years of our lives of course, but that doesn’t mean we’re not all scared and unsure. Swept up in the craziness of all that is modern day life, we’d be crazy not to feel a little bewildered.

Whenever I stop for too long to think I find myself second guessing, doubting, panicking. Good thing is, I’ve not had much time to stop at all. I do think I’m finally coming to the terms with the fact that I never feel like I’ve got both feet on the ground. These are the years to fly right? I’ll find my footing again eventually and then, I’ll just wanna be right back where I am now.

Everyday’s an adventure

My first few weeks at the new job were great. Unsurprisingly, life just got better when I wasn’t stuck in the flat all day everyday. As you’ll know if you read the last post, I adjusted super fast to the new pace of life. Once I was on a roll I just kept rolling. I still love my job. The people I work with are lovely. I love the work we do. I love how much my brain hurts at the end of a day and how much time I get to read now I’m a commuter.

Just over a week ago, I got back after an incredible two weeks spent travelling Europe with one of my best friends. I can’t even begin to tell you what a great time we had. From walking miles through cities and mountains, to boogy-ing the night away with new friends from all over the world, it was literally one amazing day after another.

Now it’s back to every day life, but it doesn’t feel everyday. Everyday feels like an adventure somehow. I’m getting the bus every day this week, for example, because something’s wrong with the suspension on my old little car. This is an adventure in itself. Today the moody bus driver tried to tell me off for not signalling him right. I put one hand up and waved and he nearly drove straight past. He stopped a little past me, in the middle of the road so I had to walk tentatively up to the doors. He opened them, but only to say ‘You waving at me!?’ whilst imitating my wave like it was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever seen accompanied by a fake cheesy smile and everything. He wasn’t very happy, but he let me on in the end at least.

Right now I’m sat on my bed with the balcony doors as wide open as they can be and the heat from the laptop is still almost unbearable. I’m not complaining though. I feel like I’m still on holiday in this weather. Passenger is playing from my Spotify, unsurprisingly. I’m about to pick up the book I’m currently reading, which I think I might finish tonight and I can’t stop admiring the bedroom carpet which I hoovered for the first time since we moved in. It’s the little things eh?

Mayhem

Our living room is SUPER cosy now. Not only do we have the house plant and the cactus and two sofas but we now have lots of cushions, one that’s particularly fluffy, and a rug and a coffee table. Right now I’m sat with a spotify playlist called ‘The Stress Buster’ playing, I have scented candles lit and I’m sipping my way through a beautiful cup of coffee. I reckon the playlist is doing its job, because I feel very chilled.

Monday was a fun-filled indoorsy day. I cleaned, I put washing on, I watched a few too many episodes of Gilmore Girls, I started trying to work out how I’m going to prove I’m competent to do the job I have an interview for and I cooked an amazing pasta dish. Pasta has become my niche. It’s even easier to cook than they say it is and it always tastes great. I wish I’d experimented more at university. Pasta bake was the extent of my knowledge. I ate a lot of pastabake.

Tuesday, I braved the Tesco Car Wash. Sounds simple, but I went all hot and clammy and breathless walking around Tesco after parking up and handing the keys over! I was so full of butterflies the whole time I did my shop and then when I eventually got back, having calmed a little, shopping in hand, to find it looking beautiful and to realise that the whole thing had been a massive success, I was so relieved. Small triumphs.

Tuesday evening we had a friend over to watch the football. We’re Manchester United supporters and therefore we were tense, stressed and frustrated for the majority of the evening. That aside, it was a good evening. We ordered an amazing Chinese takeaway and got through a few beers between us.

Yesterday three lovely friends came over to visit me for the day. We went out for lunch at Prezzo, I gave them a brief tour of Watford town centre (in all its glory), we played card games and it was great. Just to have the flat so alive with the buzz of a few more people made me smile hugely.

Today I finally went to register at a new doctor’s surgery. I’ve been putting it off because as per, I was super scared. Also as per, all was plain and simple, the ladies behind reception were nice and I had nothing to worry about.

This afternoon I went shopping for interview clothes and smart shoes. I spent two stressful hours checking every shop twice and still coming out empty handed. Suddenly, walking around the shops in a flustered mess, this interview felt terrifyingly close. I got home, reminded myself to breathe, made myself a cuppa and within ten minutes had ordered everything I wanted online. Why is it I never think to online shop right away? Need to get with the times.

Now I’m about to pick up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Every time I finish a serious book off the shelf, I’m rewarding myself by reading a Harry Potter. They break it up a bit. They’re such good reads and when I picked up the first one a few months ago, it had been a very long time since my dad read them to me as bedtime stories. It’s about time I rediscovered them in all their wonder.

The last time my anxiety was exacerbated by a big change, it took a lot of adjusting for me to get to a point where I felt like I could live freely again. Perhaps it’s cos I’m older and wiser, perhaps it’s because I have Dave or perhaps it’s actually because this time I’ve been open about how I’m feeling, but I already feel like I’m doing better. Perhaps writing Chapter three is doing more good than I know. Whatever the reason, the way I was feeling when I wrote ‘Mind over Matter’ is a mystery to me now and I feel like I’ve come a long way in a few weeks. I hope this positive attitude is here to stay.

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.

Studying at degree level is more

It is more than anyone will ever tell you it is. They tell you it is hard work, when in reality it is more difficult than you can imagine and at times so stressful giving up is more tempting than pressing a big red button that has danger written all over it. Therefore they tell you that you will need to be determined when actually you need to be willing to get up after falling down for what feels like the one hundredth time in just one day. They tell you that you will learn a lot when in reality you learn so much you feel as if your brain might explode. They tell you it will surprise you. University will be nothing you expect it to be, but everything you need it to be. Strangers quickly become friends for life and things you’d never have dared to do become the things you do on a daily basis. They tell you that you have to love your subject. In that particular case they are right. They tell you they’ll be the best years of your life and while you face all the challenges and trip on all the hurdles you might begin to doubt them. Except, when you sit down, look back through the photos, remember the good times and look at the person you’re becoming, you realise it’s all worth it. Studying at degree level is worth it, worth all of it.