journal entry no. 37

Some messy metaphors for your Monday

Xo

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on having no friends

DECEMBER 2018

Ok, not true. I have friends. It’s just that they’re all in a different country.

I am someone that has forced myself to be independent. I have spent years uprooting myself every time I got comfortable, and it’s worked. I am fully capable of being alone. But now, for the very first time, I have a partner in life. As much as it’s a nice addition, I have let myself lean on them quite heavily. Not so much on purpose, it’s just easy. Easy to go back to old habits, easy to rely on them, to ask them to speak for me when I don’t feel like speaking. I know I can order coffee, and ask questions, and do every thing I need to do myself. But I also know that if I don’t have to, I never will. That’s the part I still haven’t mastered. I just pushed people away because I was afraid to become codependent, and now I feel like I am.

So here I am in a country where the only person I know is my partner, of course I’m holding onto them for dear life. Except they’e not in the same position. For them, this is familiar, this is where their family and friends are. They have a life here and I just have them. I don’t want to suffocate them, but I have nothing else.

I don’t know how to make friends as an adult. Does anyone, really? Outside of work, how do people make meaningful connections? I feel like I need to take up a hobby, find some like-minded people. But I don’t even know what hobby I’d like. I tried to go to a yoga class but I ended up chickening out and crying in the parking lot instead, because I was so scared.

I feel very alone here a lot of the time. Which is silly because as I said before, I’ve grown to be very content on my own. Maybe it’s because I didn’t choose this solitude, and I can’t figure out how to change it.

This all sounds very depressing. Honestly, I don’t spend all that much time by myself, I spend most of my afternoons with my partner, my evenings napping or watching Netflix, and my nights at work. I just sometimes feel like I’m forcing my partner to spend all of their free time with me out of guilt, and I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t know.

So if any of y’all know how to make a dang friend in this world, let me know. Or give me some suggestions of hobbies to pick up in the meantime.

JANUARY 2019

I wrote this in a very desperate place. I wasn’t feeling well, in my head. I had convinced myself I was this burden to my partner, I wanted to push them away. Yet I felt like my heart was breaking every time they would leave my side. I cried a lot those first few months being in England. And I am not somebody that cries, really. I had a lot of trouble adjusting, but I didn’t want to admit it. I want to partially blame the winter, because generally, it is not my best season. I don’t like the dark and gloomy days, or the rain, or the cold all that much. It messes with my brain. I was also working night shifts at a very boring job in a factory, so I felt even more isolated from the real world.

Since writing this, I’ve been trying to be a little more proactive in making myself feel better. I’m not great at it, but I haven’t cried in a few weeks, so I guess I’m doing alright. I’ve been going out on my own a lot more, trying to cook more, read more, I’ve been getting back into yoga, just trying to get back into who I am as an individual person, and not as someone’s other half.

As for making friends, no progress has been made, but I’m not worrying about it anymore. I still have my friends, on the other side of a phone screen, or through a letter in the mail or a meme shared online. I hadn’t been appreciating them enough, because I had been so focused on my physical space. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be this perfectly functioning social being, even when I know that I am fully a loner, and I enjoy that life.

Anyways. This was a mess. Basically, I’m okay now. But who would I be if I didn’t have a mental breakdown over something silly every 6 months? Not me, that’s for sure.

three

Well then. I’ve gone and done it again.

3 years straight of blogtober – and for what? Mostly, I think, to prove it to myself. When I’m determined, I seem to figure things out. To encourage myself to continue writing, to be able to look back, to catalog another year. If nothing else, this always feels like an accomplishment. Even if I don’t say anything profound, even if my blog will never get a million views. I accomplished this either way.

Without getting too deep into it, this month was not easy. There were days I didn’t want to post anything, and there were days I felt like my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

My emotions were all over the place in October. I was really struggling in this new environment, and my anxiety felt debilitating some days. I’ve dealt with this long enough to know that it comes and goes – though I’m sure if you’ve had a good streak too, you really want to believe that you’re past it for good. I know for me it always feels like a huge step backwards. I have to tell myself that it’s not. Or if it is, what does it matter? Life goes on. Sometimes I just won’t have it in me to ask a salesperson for help.

Still out here dancing in the rain.

8018

If you read any or all of these posts, I hope you got something from it. And – thank you. For hearing me out.

xo

the summer

And now, the last season I have to catch myself up on.

We already know that my summer was spent in a long distance relationship, but I haven’t yet shared what else went on in those months.

For the first time ever, I went back to a job. This was kind of a big deal for me. This also meant I was in a familiar place where I felt comfortable, and for once, I wasn’t throwing myself out of my comfort zone. It was interesting.

My summer months were spent in the woods again, hiking, biking, swimming, climbing, breathing in fresh air. In some ways, it felt like going home. Or returning to summer camp (not that I’ve ever been to summer camp).

Tobermory, I know I’ll see you again one day.

xo

journal entry no. 33

 

 

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This one could have also been included in my imaginary #writtenindirt series, since I wrote it on the back of an envelope by a lake somewhere probably.

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I got my headphones caught on a tree branch while I was hiking and they broke on me, so for a couple of days I couldn’t listen to music while I was out and about, and I got real introspective. I genuinely spend nearly no time without some sort of distraction whether it be music or podcasts or whatever, and it really threw me off to have to be in the moment for once.

When I was in group therapy a few years back our leader gave us the challenge to go the week without blocking out the world with our headphones, as she took it as a social crutch and at the time all I came away with was the fact that I really enjoyed having background music while riding the bus or walking to school, but I know now that it truly is a crutch. I wish I could feel comfortable without it, but it’s hard. Though I wrote so much those few days where I couldn’t zone out to whatever was on my Discover Weekly playlist.

 

xo

the spring

Back to our little catch up – let’s talk about spring.

For context, the ski season ended the first week of April and I was “on vacation” from that point on, for all of the spring. Needless to say, I had quite a lot of time on my hands. Not that I did much with it.

pictured: Canmore, Capilano suspension bridge, Banff, West Edmonton Mall, Jasper, Calgary etc. 

This first segment looks a lot like winter, because apparently, in Alberta, it still was. But driving through the snowy mountains wasn’t something I’d ever complain about. I seem to start every spring with a road trip through the mountains (3 years in a row. Not planned) and they keep getting better. I don’t think those views could ever get old for me.

And then I took my girlfriend home with me! To meet my family! And drag her around my hometown for a while! So the rest of the season was spent browsing thrift stores, drinking coffee, riding bikes, hanging out with my family, and gazing at waterfalls.

Pictured: Dundas, Hamilton, Kingston, Turkey Point, London, Niagara Falls etc.

As always, feeling the warmth of the sun again was a treat, and getting to lounge around in it all day every day, well, who could ask for more?

I am realizing I don’t live a very standard type of life, and sometimes even I get my own timeline mixed up. Organizing my photos helps.

xo

´╗┐temporary

Still making my way through my drafts – here are some thoughts from the beginning of last year.

A few months ago I got the word “temporary” tattooed on my leg..

When asked what this word meant to me I gave the surface level answer that I thought it was funny, because tattoos are permanent. And that is 100% my sense of humour, and 100% why I got it.

I spoke to my older sister on the phone and she asked if it was because I moved all the time, because I travel, and sure, that’s true. But if I were to look deeper, that wouldn’t be it.

Temporary is a comfort. I find peace knowing that nothing lasts forever, the anxiety, the pain, the confusion, nothing is permanent. Not really. Not even the good times.

So maybe it’s about living in the moment. Maybe it’s about breathing through the sinking feeling in my chest late at night when my brain is a deep sea of sadness. Everything is temporary. And right now, even if it’s fleeting, I am happy. And I will not waste my wishes hoping that it’ll stay, because I have more to feel.

Madisen Kuhn wrote,

“the thing about feelings is that they change yesterday, you may have been completely infatuated with someone or entirely immersed in sadness, but that doesn’t mean that’s how you feel now or how you’ll feel forever and I fear that people forget that, I fear we fail to remember that emotions are not permanent”

Everything is fleeting! Nothing matters! Get tattoos that you think are funny! Bleach the crap out of your hair! Love people while they are there and don’t worry so much when they’re not anymore. It’s all temporary, so enjoy the good moments because they’ll be gone before you know it. Same goes for the bad stuff. The only thing that is constant is change or however the saying goes.

xo