This is going to get a little rambly and stream-of-consciousness and all over the shop. I hope you'll stick with it ;).
A few weeks back, I wrote that I was feeling "better".
Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I feel good.
I am sitting here in my comfy pjs, a little sunburnt from a day out with the boys, tired, and happy.
I feel like a cloud has lifted.
A big cloud.
When I hit thirty, everyone (well, not everyone. It's never actually everyone, is it? It may seem like everyone, it may even be a significant majority of everyone...but it's never really, properly everyone) insisted that the thirties were great. You knew yourself, you were settled, you knew your own mind. Your 30s are GREAT.
And I believed them.
I sipped the champagne and got used to the three at the start of my age and assured myself that I felt amazing.
I started out this year feeling sad, and weary, and a little lost. I was sad about things I couldn't control, and for much of the past few months I've had to work hard to summon up my usual Tiggerish amounts of enthusiasm for....anything. I felt grey, stale, sad....stuck. There were up days and down days, but overall I was feeling glass half empty, if I'm honest. And that is so not me.
And then we get to June.
I think I can officially state for the record now that the month of May had me officially arrive at a DARK PLACE (aside, I love a good all caps moment. I don't use them often, but sometimes my brain cries out for them). I was tired - too tired, frustrated, crying in the kitchen whilst making supper, feeling lost and abandoned and just a volcano of pent up anger and self-hatred and sadness. Real, proper, down to the marrow sadness. I'm so glad that I escaped the month with all my relationships intact and with no-one bearing the brunt or the burden of my rage and sorrow. Of course, that meant all that emotion had only only place to go. Inwards.
So, ladles and jellyspoons, I was most unlike myself for most of May. And then I went to a health farm for five days and subsisted on cabbage (so. much. cabbage...), fitful long nights of sleep and a shedload of exercise. And while that was a trial in itself, the time away from everything was a total blessing. A time to reflect and recharge and get a grip on....me, I guess.
And the iciness that had pervaded my heart began to thaw.
June was good. Maddening and sickeningly busy as ever, but good. I felt closer to my friends and Matthew than I had in a while, happier, more settled. My natural propensity to worrying and planning too much I left mainly to work (where both attributes are far more healthy and useful than in the rest of life!), and in everything else, I, to coin a phrase, chilled the heck out.
I went easier on myself.
I chose to be gentler with myself.
I'm learning, but now, at long last, I feel like I'm fighting back against the habits of a lifetime. All those capabilities - the talent for self-hatred, the fear of abandonment, the horror of being too noticeable - I've gained over the past three decades, I feel like I'm learning to deal with. Little by little. Day by day. All those skills found and forged in the lonely years, a scared years, the abandoned years, the forgotten years...I feel like I'm finally learning which are useful (caring, friendliness, openness, the ability to rarely be bored) and those which are not (calling yourself fat/ugly/stupid is rarely a good use of time. And yet...).
I feel calm, and connected, and like for the first time in a long time I'm actually seeing me for me. Like instead of looking in a mirror and seeing some horrific disfigurement of who I really am, I finally feel for the first time possibly ever I am actually seeing me.
The good and bad.
The strong and weak.
The silly and the sensible.
The changeable and never-changing.
And (mad hair, odd love of 80s pop, George Clooney obsession and propensity to like karaoke a little too much notwithstanding) do you know what?
I think I like what I see.
Am I perfect?
Is life perfect?
But it really feels like it's a lot closer to perfect than I ever realised. And I'm definitely closer to fine.
Thanks for reading, lovelies.