Can’t believe we’re at year’s end!
Been through a million lives the last three-sixty-five.
I started with Hermit. That life included not leaving my yard, eating, sleeping a lot, studying and being a bit bloody bored. I was encapsulated by the euphoria of feeling quite care free; I had worries but they didn’t overpower relaxation. Yet the persistent niggles that I was wasting my life did boom. I see now that taking an empty schedule for granted is naive. We all need rest. Need restoration, recovery. We all need to step back sometimes to evaluate and work things out. So many people around the world are thickening their palms and breaking their backs just to eat dinner. If you are privileged enough to take some time out – just grab it by both hands and enjoy the long baths, weeks-lasting pyjama days and podgy bellying. I’m terrible for this. I always feel bad if I’m not doing something. I feel like I am throwing life away by not pushing my body and brain past their limits. It is something to work on.
I then moved onto Toe-Dipper. This phase meant venturing out a bit more, socialising a bit more. I started to get an itching and permanent kick up the arse to just get out there. But it weren’t an overnight possibility and I knew that, so I did what I could to fulfil the desires. I met up with friends at regular opportunities, spent time between my mum’s and my dad’s rather than sticking to one over the other, and making plans to explode the out going. I booked to move into a new place in London for the September, and spent the rest of the year, and my lives, with this upcoming opening in my mind’s background. It meant even on those grey days that I knew colour was coming.
Next came the Bitternut. I was quite frustrated with how slow life felt so I turned it into fury. I was just kind of angry. At the world, at those around me, at myself. I think it was a bubbling with no exit. A fart with no arse. There was certainly no heavy truth to my rages or particular power behind them; I was just wound up and had nowhere to exert that energy. It’s easy to do; you have nowhere to direct yourself and anxiety and excitement overlap heavily. This can be amplified by solitude because you ain’t even got your mates to vent it out with. Poetry can only stretch so far. A chat and a cuddle sounds simple but can be everything you need in moments of weakness. And sometimes you need that from a stranger on the train or someone in the shop queue. Just an inspiring new head to briefly unload on without the strain that it’ll be a memory in a familiar face’s storage. That’s why being locked down and not let out can lead to total lunacy.
And then it was the Breakthrough. I spent summer seeing mates, getting fresh air, clocking up the steps on my pedometer. Dancing. It was like I found myself again. I was happy, and felt free. You can’t put a price or government statement on that.
In came the Fearsome life. My gut was gasping for new ground but it was also knuckled by the worry of putting my feet on it. I knew I was going to be moving to London on my own. I knew I was going to be in a city so familiar yet with a new edge. And it scared me. I worried about my dad not being a staircase away and my kitty-cat not being there to curl up with every night. I worried about being smart with money. I worried about the impending doom of another bloody lockdown. I worried, I worried, I worried. I was excited – of course – but the underbelly of it was unsure. I didn’t know if I’d like my new flatmates or feel as comfy as I did where I’d spent the last two years. I knew an explosion was on its way; but I wanted to be the magnificent sparks of it; not the collateral. It wasn’t until I got there, spending my first night at the club with my friends, finally resting my head on my new pillow by 5am, and meandering about the new quarters until that panic settled and I, for some odd reason, just knew everything would be okay. And it was.
Next up was Excess. I took my new found expansion a little too hugely. I was out every night, either with friends or at music events. I was wandering the city like a character in a young adult novel. I was growing wings and flying high. Sounds like a dream, dunnit? It was. For a bit. Then I got bored of having absolutely no rules. I needed structure and stability; those attributes that made functioning accessible before I moved out. So I got my job in the cafe and stepped into the next life.
This was Ravage. Suddenly I was clocking forty plus hours in a job that made my feet and back hurt and my hands stink with people who didn’t trust me yet and treated me in a way that let me know it. I also studied full time, ran this website, rehearsed with my band, socialised, shopped, cooked, cleaned. I’m not complaining. I love being busy and I feel privileged to be able to go out and earn money and also do things that let off steam. But I can get exhausted. With my diabetes and the swings that brings, as well as mental health, I can sometimes turn a stumble into a plummet and things pile up quickly. I was pretty depressed; suicidal thoughts felt easier than rational consideration. My shoulders took both the physical brunt as well as the psychological. I knew I couldn’t keep putting myself through what I was. I stood my ground and stuck up for myself. I told my manager I would only accept my contracted thirty-five hours and no more (to many an argument, but eventually I was heard and respected). I put in the effort to memorise my role’s jobs to full recognition and ritual and it made the days less intense. I started to get friendly with my colleagues rather than just viewing them as ‘people at work’. This aided the camaraderie and ultimately the workplace’s personality and soon I felt part of the team. I learnt that I could get to sleep by 00:00 the latest and still make my 5am shift start; sacrificing soirée’s slumped mornings for duty and prioritising the important shit. I did feel strong, because I was doing everything to secure my security. But I’m still pissed off everyone around the world has to kill themselves in order to live… but that’s another newsletter for another day!
Then came the Creative. My band Lyric Deep Limited came full swing in the mastering department. As we grew more comfy as a collective and more proud of our ideas and work, the more we got done and achieved. We’re set to record our EP that we’ve been rehearsing the last few months and hopefully will release it some point in the new year. I thought music was on the back burner for life. After music college disintegrated my inspiration in the melodic department, and my writing took the driver’s seat, I thought I’d never get the opportunity to meet my music again with such passion and zeal. Then it became apparent that the writing’s purpose was to merge with the music; and thus the band and the purpose found clarity. We already have the single for after the EP planned; and the album for after that. I feel so alive moving and grooving with my boys doing their funky thangs alongside me. It is inspiring and all consuming – in the best way possible. All we need now is some gigs!
With all these different lives having been lived through, and observing all the changes I’ve transitioned into throughout the year, I can’t be anything but happy. I have true, good, kind, loving and inspiring people around me. I love what I do at university. I feel more in tune with my creativity than ever, and I see it now having true prospects in replacing the fucking cafe job. I’ve learnt how to live alone and fend for myself in ways different than I ever have. I feel like a woman. One I hope to be proud of when I reminisce of in the nursing home.
On New Year’s Day 2022, I will be two years sober from alcohol. This is still the best decision I’ve ever made, and I keep reaping the benefits.
I read thirty one books this year. That’s more than 2020.
My most listened to artist on Spotify was Alice In Chains and I clocked up over 2000 hours with them on my headphones.
I will have eaten a vegan diet for 365 days come January 1st and I feel more alive and clean than ever. It’s a pleasure to walk this earth knowing you’re not contributing to the mass torture of other living, breathing creatures. I feel good physically; but mentally and heart-fully it’s had a huge impact as well.
I released a book! I released a book… a book full of poems that I am so proud of. This was truly a monumental moment of 2021 for me. It was the cherry.
Again, thank you to the legend that is Oracle Girl (www.oraclegirl.org) for donating to make I Love possible. Without her work I don’t know where I’d be.
I really recommend checking out her work. It’s what has giving me the opportunity to be where I am today. I started getting involved with OG’s stuff when I was fourteen. I’m twenty-one now. That’s seven years (boom) of pure magic. I can’t wait for the next seven(ty).
I’ve written a lot this year. Not just poetry, but all sorts. I’ve really expanded the pools of my creativity and I’m milking those nuts for all their worth.
I’ve fallen in love with performing! My confidence has skyrocketed. I feel excited and ready to take the new prospects of my future head-on; and I know I have the support of my loved ones, which makes it even more of a brilliant journey.
I can’t be bothered to hate myself anymore. I can’t be arsed spending time picking apart insecurities and allowing them to go from puddle to flood. I don’t want to stare at my belly in the mirror no more or hold myself below surface because I’m scared of the tsunamis I’m capable of. It’s hard. It’s an effort. It’s not an overnight turn round. It’s incremental and somedays don’t happen. But the intention and wish is there. Which is what matters. And even if I think I’m a minger that day; I still get off my bum and out of bed to do what I love. Thankfully I have friends who I know I don’t have to hold my tummy in around. Who don’t care if I ain’t washed my hair or put makeup on. It really is the company you keep. And 2022 is the year of no arseholes (that includes myself).
I feel like I’ve found my place in this weird little existence. My nook; my chalk outline that my silhouette slips into without wiggle room. I just need to ensure I never step out of it.
I also can’t get too comfy in it. It can be so overwhelming when you know what you want to do but also see the road is long and rocky. When you need to put in so much effort it can be exhausting before you’ve even started. Some days I just want to lay in bed and watch YouTube videos. And then the thought of time running out strikes and I go into panic, with the nice accompaniment of not knowing where to bloody start. I just have to set realistic goals that don’t stress me out or alienate me. That’s one on 2022’s plans.
I always set new year’s resolutions. This year I have a couple:
I am going to start a new diet to resolve some belly issues I’ve been suffering from, but I’ll spare you all the shitty details. I actually want to stick to this and not deviate for the sake of cravings and ‘fuck its’ that I’m quite prone to.
My other one is to start doing gigs with my band Lyric Deep Limited. To really make this project a career and get it off its feet. This is a bit more of a loose resolution but to have it as a set goal will aid in achieving it. I don’t want no more time wasted!
This website has helped me express myself and also cultivate an audience. It means the absolute bloody universe that you read my posts and support me. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience of finally opening up and sharing what I am most passionate about. Last year (2020) the stats were so:
2199 views in total.
529 visitors in total.
40 likes in total.
5 comments in total.
At the time of writing this, the stats for 2021 are:
4060 views in total.
1335 visitors in total.
48 likes in total.
20 comments in total.
Everything has almost doubled. I am gobsmacked seeing this. Totally in awe and blown away. I can’t keep expecting things to be overnight. It’s only when you look back at what was, that you see what now is. And how it is booming and blossoming… I feel so proud. Hopefully next year we can double it again!
I love you all. Have a wonderful Christmas and new year. See you in January.
WIAEA (What I Am Excited About):
Song: Sober by P!nk – I can’t stop replaying this tune. The music is pretty glorious and easy to engage with and drown in. It accompanies the lyrics beautifully. She tells the story of being the party girl; the one who you can rely on for being fucked up. And also how she doesn’t want this to be her only identity. I relate to it a lot. It also questions how sobriety can feel so good when you’re used to not being in that state. I just love it.
Book: Ramayana (retold) by Krishna Dharma – I had this story in a picture book as a kid. As we went to India a lot throughout my life it was a gift from my dad. So I always knew the story but had never read the full tale. I tried to start this book so many times but couldn’t get into it. In the last year or so I’ve really fallen in love with fantasy and for some random reason I just finally felt ready for the Ramayana. It’s bloody incredible. It’s so inspiring, interesting and intricate. I don’t think you need any religious affiliation to appreciate it. The storytelling does it all.