Nettles, prints and failures – what I did today

I had a thought while on a walk today about how it’s important to make an effort with yourself. I’m ever so unorganised and my Mum calls me skanky, which isn’t as big of an insult as you’d think, so I often neglect TLC. I lack in taking care of myself sometimes, I forget the benefits, then every once in a while, for no reason, I do it.

I’ll paint a picture for you before you imagine me dressing as a princess or bathing myself for hours in a natural spa while being fed grapes from above. I was in two day old clothes, I’ve had to stop wearing bras because my anxiety is so bad and let’s say I had washed the day before when you and I both know I didn’t. This is where the ‘skanky’ bit comes into play, I prefer to call it chill, plus I love not wearing bras. So it’s clear to say I hadn’t looked after myself in an appearance way but with the knowledge I was going to walk home from my boyfriends house in the morning I had prepared my current notebook, ear phones and downloaded a few (turns out the exact amount) of Ted Talk podcasts.

I have walked these fields home for years, on this blog I’ve documented it for years, and I’ve never needed any of these things before but almost as a treat to myself, I made a bit of effort.

And these were my thoughts as I began my journey; how it’s important for you to make an effort with yourself.

Then just as I was about to reach my fields (where I had unknowingly planned to sit for a bit and let these thoughts play out in my notebook) the stinging nettles appeared. This was the only entrance to the field – a long, narrow path. I persevered as a Ted Talk was telling me ‘how your brain decides what is beautiful’ in my ears. Certainly not stinging nettles. I had reached the half way point, after being stung all over my body but I looked ahead and it was ridiculously overgrown. There was no way I wouldn’t come out of it without looking like I had accidentally fallen into a nettle bush. Also bear in mind that this path has a metal fence that looks into a plant nursery, and I had definitely noticed out the corner of my eye a few of the workers watching me as I tackled this mission impossible. Sorry, reader, I am not Tom Cruise. I had to turn back. And get re stung by the same nettles.

I never managed to get to sit in a field and come up with some inspiring thoughts for myself. The walk was extended by taking the roads, and so I was, I imagine, 30 minutes more sweaty than I should have been. Sweat really should be measured in time, thinking about it. I was an hour and a half of summer sweat (stronger than winter sweat) by the time I reached home, and after a coffee in the garden, which you add 10 point on top of the hour and half (5 points for the sun in the garden and 5 points for the hot coffee) then another 3 for getting angry at my little brother and nephew fighting: that totals 13 points and an hour and half of sweat. Logic.

After a few reality checks recently and some much needed self reflection, I managed to kick my self up the back side (also did some stretching, clearly) and did some internet work bits at home. These prints are ready and photographed and almost ready to go in my shop From Miles.

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When James had finished work we made plans to go fly a kite (as part of my summer goals) but after driving for 15 minutes and sitting in a Sainsbury’s car park we decided there was no wind whatsoever. I’ve never flown a kite before but I’m sure wind is a huge factor in making that happen.

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And so no point in going home in the traffic and James had a meeting, so I spent an hour in the car outside. Which is where I’m writing this, including the words I’m writing. Right. Now.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about a random day in my life. It ended with going to a pub for dinner, called The Moat in Wrotham – looking like that?! I hear you cry. Don’t worry, I bought dry shampoo in Sainsbury’s, that’s why we were there. But yeah, looking like that. Skanky, see. No, damn, I meant chill. I wear it like a badge of honour. Cheers!

 

What depression is to me – because sometimes, when you’re depressed, you can only talk about depression. Then laugh at it.

Every bout of depression surprises me like I’m 14 and it’s my first period all over again. Yes, I was a late bloomer and I wish I could feel the jealously of millions of women around the world, if only this thick layer of depression didn’t do exactly as the word says it does. Surely that rich jealously from women would cure any depression? I’ll add it to the list of Reasons I Shouldn’t Be Depressed pinned up in some ignorant fuckers minds. But sadly (the irony) there will be no pinning as I am channelling Ringo Star today and therefore take back any snarky word I’ve said – peace and love, peace and love.

It’s like a ghost tapping on my shoulder when I’m really engrossed in an activity. I’m mindlessly scooting or painting a tree branch and BOO. Except there’s no BOO, there’s nothing to see, just empty space, no proof for others of what just happened in my brain. I’m still looking over my shoulder though, there has to be a culprit. I’m looking over my shoulder just to prove to you that something is going on and I’m not just crazy. I’m looking over my shoulder to see if others are also looking over their shoulders. I must be surrounded by people that also feel like Nearly Headless Nick just passed through them. These Dementors are real, I swear. J.K. wasn’t lying. You understand, right? You have to understand. What do you mean we are all different? You don’t like Harry Potter? Oh, wow, that just tops it all off. Well, I’m in Hufflepuff, I’ll have you know. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A HUFFLEPUFF IS? Depression gone, replaced with rage. That cured it. Peace and love, peace and love.

I moved my entire room around yesterday. It’s unimportant to what I’m writing other than the hilarity that I was breaking down in tears every 10 minutes. Why, you ask? Are you due to bleed from your vagina, or do you have a little human growing in said vagina? Nah. Apparently moving heavy furniture by yourself does this to you. You don’t know, maybe every person who has ever moved furniture by themselves has just cried the entire time, and I’m the first person brave enough to admit it. Or, and a much more reasonable answer, my body decided to not sweat from my armpits, but rather from my eyes. I have no memory of smelling so it probably is true. I mean, The Flight Of The Conchords didn’t write the song I’m Not Crying for no reason. Needless to say, this time round the depression seems to be a bit more random and spontaneous. Oh, how exciting! A spontaneous depression.

I’m not stopping doing things. My bed is my friend but tonight I’m going rock climbing. Tomorrow James and I are going for a picnic in a park that we have only briefly visited once before, but I’m a little unsure about it. It looks like a place people would go dogging, and I’m not sure that I want to be sitting there eating a scotch egg while there’s people dogging in the bushes next to me. Might put me off my food, you know? Spreading my philly as they’re spreading their… Or dipping into my houmous as they’re dipping into… It’s best if I stop that there. I just envision a sudden break down of crying on my part, still eating my cherry tomatoes between sobs as they start to taste more and more salty from my tears rolling down my face, which makes me cry more, then, softly at first, you hear moaning. Then louder and louder as my cries match the volume and pitch. One bush apart from each other – immense joy and immense pain.

Now I re-read the part about us only briefly visiting this park before, sounds like we were the ones dogging.

This is where my sad and tired brain is at. It is what it is. Peace and love.

 

Thoughts from the bath – the big 2.6.

James: ‘I know everything for this van will go your way because you’ll be like ‘but on YouTube they did this, on YouTube they did that,’ and I’ll be like ‘I want a hammock.’ ‘No, no, no, no you need a 7 point pin clicking one and a bed at a 7 degree angle that only opens on Tuesday’s if the full moon is out because it saves 2.5cm when you’re shitting.’ That’s what you’ll be like.’

I’ve thrown around the idea of living in a van for a while. Here’s the suggestions from James of what jobs we could do while living on the road ;

  • Pimp and his prostitute
  • man with a van
  • freak show
  • burglars. Specifically cat burglars
  • clean drive ways
  • bandits
  • land pirates

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Satisfaction. This word keeps floating around in my brain and popping up at really inconvenient times. What will satisfy me right now? What will satisfy me in the future? What would satisfy my partner? Now it sounds like we are talking about sex but I’m not, I just don’t know how else I can word that.

I turned 26 yesterday. Age meant nothing to me, notice how I write in the past tense? Since yesterday I’ve had an ‘oh, shit, where has that time gone?!’ moment. I know others have it, one of my best friends is always in shock of her age. I was always pretty chill about it. When my sister was 26, 5 years ago, she seemed so old and so far away. I’m not where I saw her at. Not that it was a goal to be like that, it’s just strange that you reach unreachable goals and you realise it’s all completely different.

I joked all day that I was turning ‘the big 2.6.’ only because it’s not a 21st, it’s not a 30th, it’s 26. Closer to 30 than 20 but still a bit in limbo. And I feel like that’s me to a T. A bit in limbo.

Have I done enough? I don’t know. From my prospective, no, but others may say yes. But at the end of the day it’s a no. Nope. You have a lot more in you. (This is a pep talk, encase you haven’t caught on. I literally only have right this second.)

When I came back from my road trip I tried and still am trying ways to get out of this slump. It’s specifically a slump about not travelling. It put into prospective how much I want to change things in my life. What I want to do to feel how I like to feel. Feelings are important to me, I have a lot of them.. Probably the same amount as you.. Just knocking my ego back down. Unfortunately it’s brought up how much I can’t live how I want or live any life that’s progressed from where I am now without money. You can’t go down any path any more without a lot of money, it’s a dead end. Gone are the days where you could have a ‘normal job’ but still be able to buy a house. You need a lot of money.

Money.

I hate money. I don’t think it’s just people without it that hate it. Let me know?

There’s too much of a system for me. I’m not a system person. It’s fine if you don’t mind it, follow what was set out for us all. Personally though, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to rent or buy a house. I’m not afraid of hard work to get there, that’s not it. I just want something different. As my Mum said, I live to play. (Which doesn’t mean no work! Writing, blogging, being artistic is play. Work can be play.)

There’s things about being an Adult (notice the capital A. I’ll be an adult – little a) that I don’t like and I’m resentful that you have no choice. Yes that sounds millennial but yes I’m just being honest.

All the time people talk about being mortgage free. Mortgage free everything. That’s the goal for Adults. Mortgage free. The dream. Cool. I don’t want a mortgage or to rent. To me it sounds like rent (and waste your money and have no life outside of that and not enough money to save to buy a place (been there)) or buy (and put a ridiculous amount of money into a property that you’ll be paying off for the rest of your life while watching programs about how to be mortgage free (haven’t been there but sounds yucky and seems impossible with England today)). Then this is the part where my depression likes to jump in like ‘Surprise motherfucker!’ from Dexter.

This is where my thoughts are unconventional. Why not live in a van? Mortgage free. Live on land you can’t build on with it. Don’t follow the same route as others. Someone once told me I couldn’t make my own route, that proper bummed me out. Not because I believed her but because she didn’t believe in me.

All I can conclude as this water is getting cold is that I have to save. That’s all I can do right now. I want a plan of some sort but that’s not possible. You hate money but you need it. Just save.

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Quotes for me and pottery

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You need to be tested.

Sentences pop into my brain every once in a while which sums up what I’m feeling or even advice for getting through it. It’s almost like there’s someone else in here with me that just points something out which steers me in the right direction. There isn’t a little man in here though, it’s an a culmination of all my thoughts jumbled up then like on Count Down it’s my job to find the words. It’s a little dose of clarity I need every once in a while.

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Other thoughts I’ve had the past week or two that were so strong I had to write down;

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Don’t become stagnant.

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Exercise is the baseline for some stability.

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You feel like you have so much to offer the world so why aren’t you offering it?

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Always try.

The conflict of ironing..

..which would seem irrelevant to me because I don’t iron. None of my clothes are ironed, nor my Mums and I’m sure my Nan has told me she hates it so has cut back or stopped. What’s the point then, Emily, what’s the thoughts today?

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It’s a pretty simple one, just that whether people are happier who iron. I often contemplate now today’s generation are so used to getting things instantly, you don’t have to wait. I said to someone the other day that I miss the TV being on when I was young but not watching it because I was waiting a few hours for something, meanwhile I would get on with something important like playdough or barbies. That’s a weird thing to miss but I look back at that and feel relaxed, comforted and it’s just simple. Having anything at my finger tips, having entertainment whenever I want, only means that when it comes to meaningless tasks I am totally put off them because it’s not stimulating enough.

Now it’s balancing itself a little bit, in my opinion. Mindfulness is popular, meditation, people preach digital detoxes, everyone loved kindle and now people prefer books again, the Nokia 3310 is back, minimalism, record players.

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So I wondered if something like ironing is a therapeutic task that keeps you grounded. I completely right it off because I think that I don’t want to waste my time doing something I don’t like. Doesn’t that sound so privileged? Doing things like housework are normal, why do I expect a more adventurous lifestyle than that? I want extraordinary, ironing doesn’t fit the cut.

I don’t believe I’ll want anything less than an adventurous life, I’ve always been like it, I just like to play. I do think it’s possible, I think you can live whatever life you want to live. Exceptions of course, I’m not exactly living how I would like to completely but I understand it’s a process anyway, and that part (being on a journey) is part of my ‘dream life’. So really I’m exactly where I would like to be, because I’m not ready to be anywhere else. My life has to be my dream life by this theory, no matter how shitty or amazing it is currently. Also I have the mindset that I desire, even though I’m not climbing a mountain I have that mindset when I’m climbing the o2 (if you haven’t done it, nothing in common with a mountain) (still recommend it). It’s not a ‘more and more’ mentality, not constantly unsatisfied and wishing, this is where my thought process could become foggy for someone that doesn’t know me. I don’t expect anything from life and I’ve never liked the thought of hand outs. I think its more just try your best, be satisfied, have fun and choose what you want to waste time over – not what you think you should waste time doing.

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My Mum is always trying to find short cuts with menial tasks. That’s kind of her thing. I get it, I don’t want to wash up really, I don’t want to sort my things, I don’t want to iron. Since de-cluttering, though unfortunately still doing it, housework isn’t such a big job. Maybe that is the answer. If you only have four plates and you wash them straight away it’s not that bad, I’ve even enjoy some organising when there isn’t as much to do. Another option is to live a disposable life? I don’t agree with being wasteful but I could have paper cups and plates. Or, and the most attractive option to me, never own a house, live on the road. That’s me romanticising.

These are all ponderings. I have the outlook that if you don’t like doing something you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. At the same time I have a tendency to go off in my head and live along my wild ideas and plans (is that a bad thing?) and doing something simple like watering my plants (which I bloody love so maybe a bad example) brings me back down to Earth.

I’m not going to iron to see if I like it. I will stick to creased clothes. I still work hard at writing or some DIY I’ve got going on but I don’t want to work hard at stupid things that I can’t for the life of me rationalise. It opened my mind to what we possibly should do though, to keep ourselves grounded and human. So shortcuts are a good thing, I agree with them, but just like finding that balance with how much technology you consume in a day, I think some things should stay old school. I will water my plants by hand, not any fancy contraption, but I won’t iron.

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Knot

It’s not my knot
It can’t be
It doesn’t feel like home
Some perpetrator has nested into my body
Gathered the broken twigs of stuff I’ve known
Assembled a cosy back story
And haunts me with it
Without permission or permit.

It’s not sorry
It has set up shop and is doing very well, actually
For itself
It is not on my side
It is not me, it is just in me
As trapped as I am, it feels free
As free as a new born bird can feel
Waiting for its next meal.

It takes over all actions inside
Locked into place with its spiky exterior
My organs cushioning it, comforting it
Taking commands
From what’s senior
But I feel so small, this thing which is a tiny knot
Screams it’s demands
And who shouts the loudest is heard
So maybe this dark and deep void
Isn’t that absurd.

It must enjoy sitting on my chest all day
Sucking air out of my lungs, making my head spin
Sending confusing thought to my brain
Lounging at a huge control panel
Constantly switching the buttons
While myself is trying to tune into the right channel
And my body fights
I want to control it
I want to own myself
Not this thing that is not me
This thing which has turned my body
More into its home than mine.

It is too heavy, too weighted for me to lift out
Yet it acts weightless, floating in the middle of my airless doubt
Suspended
Defying anything I thought possible
Which makes sense
As this knot feels unsolvable.

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Seeing The Colours

Story time, gather round, gather round.

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Today I noticed colours.

I watched this video. After viewing it my instant and only reaction was that I need a cat in my life. That thought has been around for a while though so this video did nothing to plant that seed in my head, I just chose to take it as a sign. I won’t act on the sign from the Gods though, I can’t have a kitten right now. I hope they won’t get mad at me.

Then I walked home and I took my usual route. I could walk it with my eyes shut. I was listening to a podcast, which is a new thing I’ve started while walking, and I looked up from the ground and everything looked so different. It’s so hard to explain, it’s almost like when you try to describe a dream to someone but no matter how hard you emphasise a word the other person won’t actually understand. It doesn’t matter how real it was, human, repeating it won’t let me see into your brain. The best way to describe it to myself is that the same thing happened after I read the book The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. So this difference, in the most basic way of explaining, was not in the sense of because the season had changed and golden leaves had blanketed the ground, but I felt so small. (See, I’m trying to emphasise, but does it work?) You know if you see the world from a foot taller than you are, like you’re on someones back or on a ladder, and you’re like ‘Woah, the world looks so different up here’? Today I felt like I had physically shrunk and was seeing the world from a different view.

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Now, I, the ever analysing Emily, questioned what had happened to make me view the world different. I had watched a lot of videos this morning, one after the other, that had dived deep into my brain and lead to a lot of discussions. So it went from the mindfulness video to this video about racism. God, I love these sorts of discussions, I ramble about equality after things like this – which judging from my past, could show how mentally ill I am at the moment. When I’m at my worse, suffering with depression and anxiety, I’m completely focused on the negative things of the world which are unjust. I become a spokesperson in my own mind without a conclusion, other than I know how to live a correct life for myself.

Point being, I questioned what happened for me to feel so small – not in mind, only physically. Possibly it was just because I don’t look up enough? I’ve practised mindfulness off and on, so I do try to live by it but I humanly forget and forget that I forget. After a morning analysing physiological experiments, is it that far off the mark to say that mindfulness video, or possibly any of these videos, did change how I viewed the world today, subconsciously? I could have been so present I looked up (without even realising I don’t often look up) and that saw the world for what it is. But my reaction was just simply ‘I feel so small’.

I said I could walk this route with my eyes shut, and maybe I actually do.