I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching really. About my future, my ideals, and what I actually want to be doing with my life. And the answer wasn’t really a surprise, but my way of looking at it had changed; see, I’m a writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and there’s nothing in particular I’d rather use my time and energy on. Having re-evaluated what being a writer really means to me, I decided the best thing to do with all the free time I don’t have would be to keep being productive. And by productive, I mean work on maintaining a writing career, and also doing some therapeutic venting as an added bonus which led me to the conclusion that maybe a new tradition might be in order.
I have a goal that each week I’ll write a post that gives a little insight into how I’ve spent my time; everything I’ve been up to, wellness things I’ve been trying out, any progress in self-betterment, books I’ve been reading, and basically anything exciting I’ve been up to, whether it’s related to writing or not. With all that said, let’s get this inaugural show on the road.
Writing: In Case You Missed It
As I so shamelessly plugged in my last post, my article Disabled Sexy and Broke has just been published in the ever-darling Why Magazine. The article is a very personal one as it divulges some very difficult realities about being chronically ill and still trying to make art, all up against financial instability. It is hard, but as I’m hoping this site and the wealth of things I’ve published in the past (and hopefully the future) will prove, the war is worth it. Also this week I filmed a short video for Why Mag about why I bother which is currently being edited and causes me so much embarrassment I refused to watch it back before I sent it off, so I can’t wait (and dread!) to share it with you. And speaking of struggling…
Online: Smart Twenties and My Biggest Struggle
This week, I started reading Sam Brown’s Smart Twenties blog, where she gives advice on how to make the most out of your twenties, how to make the right decisions and do what you want to do with your life. In the spirit of getting things together, it seemed like a good place to start and Sam’s style is relatable and realistic – it comes from a real person who is struggling right along with you, rather than some advisor from on high, which is often my biggest problem with Self Help books and blogs. If you subscribe to her site, Sam sends an email discussing her biggest struggles with success and invites you to share yours… Which, on a whim, I did.
I won’t repeat the whole thing here, but the gist is: when I was in my early teens I was diagnosed with a chronic illness… and a few years later I was diagnosed with another. Both of them involve nerve damage, and both involve intense chronic pain. Since that diagnosis, I’ve had to deal with hospitalisation, surgery, intermittent bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts, countless drugs, a feeding tube and general feelings of being in arrested development. Six months ago I had to leave formal education, something I had always felt to be safe because I simply couldn’t commit to getting up and in every day for seven hours a day when sometimes I didn’t have the energy or the willpower to fight the pain and get out of bed.
Since then, though, things have changed. It was like facing devastation actually opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me, and leaving became a freeing experience. I realised that writing, is my vocation and my aspiration, could never be taken away from me, and there was no reason I had to take a traditional path. And here I am now, working, learning and writing all on my own and truly moving on a path toward success – and airing my dirty laundry on the internet.
Oh and, by the way – you can follow my blog with bloglovin
In the Real World:
I had some anxiety thrumming through this week about getting off to work, always feeling like I’m doing something inferior, making mistakes, that the people I work with think I’m an idiot because occasionally admin makes my brain collapse beneath its own weight – never mind that I know I’m an intelligent person. I know that I sometimes think and see the world differently to others, and I know that when someone is in a position of power over me it makes me horribly anxious which causes me to mess up even simple tasks if they watch me do them. None of this makes me bad at my job, and none of it defines me. I’m just learning to see it that way.
Also in the real world, I’ve just applied to do some work helping others with mental health problems. It’s a cause I know well, and it will always be close to my heart, so even though it will be another strain on my time and my body (being technically the third job I’ll be holding down at the moment, not including the freelance writing) I really do want to get involved and help. Wish me luck.
Playlist: Currently Reading (and Listening, and Watching, and Doing, etc.)
Lately, in the name of getting my life in order, I’ve started to get into a new reading habit: every morning for about half an hour and every evening before bed I read a few pages of something educational, whilst keeping a fiction book in my bag for commutes. With this shiny new routine in mind, I picked up 50 Philosophy Ideas (You Need To Know) by Ben Dupre from my dusty bookshelf and set to it. I had been studying philosophy until I left school a few months ago so not all of it is new to me, but Dupre’s skill as a writer makes the subject accessible (and witty) in bite-sized chunks, so anyone can learn a thing or two about morality and start to ponder the big questions like what makes us human and what our place is in the world.
And don’t think I would mention fiction without divulging what I’m carrying around the underground. Right now I’m reading Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, (who, incidentally is one of my favourite authors.) But I’ll let you know my thoughts on that when I’m done.
The spring got unexpectedly summery last week which inspired a playlist, balmy spring, which you can find on Spotify right here (featuring Ariana Grande’s triumph No Tears Left to Cry, as well as The Vaccines, George Ezra, Hayley Kiyoko and Janelle Monae and more.)
Highlight of the Week:
On Friday I went to dinner with my best friend. It was just something simple and lowkey, but the kind of time between friends that feels like therapy. There’s something incredible about just being around someone you love with no obligations or agendas – just being able to sit and speak and be is the best kind of wellness a girl could ask for. We talked about our mediocre presents and hopeful futures between slices of pizza and swigs of prosecco and for the first time in a while for either of us, the world seemed like a mostly positive place.
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with it, and I’ll talk to you next week for the next check-in.
Hope you had a good week!
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