Closer to fine

Forgive me in advance, friends.

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 didn’t.

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.

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  1. Christielli
    2nd July 2011 / 4:39 am

    I like this post a lot. I can relate to it SO much. Like so so much. I have a tendency to be VERY hard on myself about a lot of things. I think that maybe one of the most important lessons that we can learn in our thirties is to be easier on ourselves.I'm glad June was a turn-around month for you, and here's hoping that July and onwards are even better! 🙂

  2. Christielli
    2nd July 2011 / 5:16 am

    Also, I should mention that I do recognize this post's title as a very good Indigo Girls song. 🙂

  3. Riot Kitty
    2nd July 2011 / 6:14 am

    Nice post Claire…and glad you are back in a good place. I can totally relate to that, too.

  4. Amy {I Am Adorkable}
    2nd July 2011 / 11:03 am

    Glad to hear June was a good month for you. Here's hoping July and the forthcoming months are good months for you too. :)xo Amy

  5. Vixie
    2nd July 2011 / 1:34 pm

    Glad you're feeling OK now sweetie – any time you need tea, cake or hugs, you know where I am xxx

  6. rawbean
    3rd July 2011 / 9:31 pm

    This is a refreshing post from you Claire, you know why? You have always been the "happiest blogger on earth" to me. Always so upbeat and positive. So to know that you have your hard times too is reassuring to us more skeptical people that even the most positive people have their down days. I think it means that you are more self-aware than ever – which I hate to tell you, is all part of being in your thirties….hehe…but seriously, it will make you appreciate the good times even more.

  7. ileana
    3rd July 2011 / 11:37 pm

    Funny that you mention all this. I'd been feeling a little out of it lately but bouncing back (slowly). Overwhelmed with work and an overall tired feeling I too tended to focus on the negative (and that is SO not me!). Moving forward and making time for ourselves does wonders, doesn't it? Glad you're feeling better, Chica. I loved this down-to-earth, honest post. You're the real deal, amiga! xo

  8. The Garners
    6th July 2011 / 2:16 am

    I like this post, too, Claire. I'm glad you are in a better place now, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer. "This is the day the Lord has made–I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

  9. Claire
    11th July 2011 / 9:56 am

    Thank you, lovelies. I'm glad the post struck a chord.Cxx

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