It seems as though my anxieties are finally starting to settle, the storm of uncertainty and worthlessness has passed and the calm waves I’m so used to have restored a sense of balance. As I walked around Central London today with my headphones in and no particular destination in mind I realised that autumn had started to creep in unnoticed, a rusty pile of leaves here, a glow of golden afternoon light there- just chilly enough to need a jumper but with a warm edge to keep that coat tied around my waist.
I can’t believe it’s the end of September already. This year has undoubtedly been the fastest year of my life so far, granted I have been at sea for four months of it and will be spending the remaining two months of it working away so my 2018 has been essentially ‘halved’, something I know most of you won’t understand (it’s a sailor thing). This time last year I had just spend a wonderful week in Rio and had flown to Peru to hike the Salkantay Trek up the Mountain and then back down to Machu Picchu. I returned home and celebrated my twentieth birthday in London, deciding to then move to Brixton shortly after to try to pursue a very blind and forced ‘career’ in writing.
It’s astonishing to realise the changes in myself since I first moved to London, and only when I sit back now and think about it do I realise that I am a completely different person now compared to who I was back then. It’s rare that we can actually recognise the growth in ourselves, usually being hit square in the face by the time that’s flown by without us realising; leaving us grasping at it, pleading for it to slow down. But to be able to physically identify progression is a real accomplishment, especially for someone like me who has taken such huge risks in the choices I’ve made. To know you’ve moved forward despite every knock back you’ve had, regardless of how much time you’ve spent stressing and fretting that things will never be different and you’ll never get to a place where you can be proud of yourself.
I think it’s really important that we do find the time to congratulate ourselves on what we have managed to achieve instead of constantly fretting about what we’ve yet to gain. Although I get better as I get older, I still waste a considerable amount of my precious time stressing about the future and focusing on what I’ve yet to accomplish. My biggest worry when I was younger was that I would never find a job that didn’t make me physically sick with dread, that the feeling of waking up in the morning and actually being okay and maybe even a little bit excited about a day of work ahead would never be a thing for me. It’s only at times like today when I get confirmation that I’m flying to Brazil to join the ship I’ve wanted to return to so badly that I realise how far I’ve come. Not only am I paid to travel the world but I’m doing something so unique and so fitting to my personality that I couldn’t have actually planned it any better myself (didn’t actually mean for this to be my job just sort of fell into it). I can go for months in situations that before would have crushed me, my mental stability continuing to strengthen and reach heights I didn’t think were possible.
I think we, especially as young females like to immerse ourselves in our own ‘misfortune’ and anxieties. Using our stress and drama as an excuse to not be there for our friends, to not work hard to achieve our goals, to use as an excuse for being a bit shit when in fact we should be utilising the extra energy and channelling it on being more creative. You don’t get masterpieces from emotionless artists. You don’t get shivers from a passionless singer. In fact these raw, intense feelings that as young women we are so prone to experiencing should be used as a way to bond with our friends, to encourage closeness and support.
It seems to be a strange, transitional period for everyone in my life at the moment and I have noticed a definite increase in the love that’s being shown in my group of girl friends which is really empowering. It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to others, to let slip negative comments and judgements about the choices, successes or failures of people we know or see on social media. To fall into a pattern of competing and shaming, and for under appreciating those who are a part of our lives. We are all dealing with our own struggles, we are all unique yes, but not in the fact that we each have something we’re finding difficult to cope with but to let this disrupt your ability to perform is a real shame. If you can’t bring yourself to create something positive then create something negative, as long as your creating something- and for Gods sake kiss, cuddle and compliment your friends, we’re all in this together.