Life, Dating, Therapy & Travel Update In Lockdown 2020

Let me start by saying a big HELLO to my friends, family, new readers and regular stalkers who have been notified I’m annoying them with a new blog post. How are you doing? 

I don’t mean how are you doing like Joey, but I mean really, how are YOU doing?

I can’t quite believe we’re coming to the end of November – the countdown to New Years is HERE. What an absolute sh*tshow the last few months have been, to say the least. If I thought my brain had exploded at the start, that’s nothing to how it feels right now. I feel physically and mentally stuck – over a lot of things. I think I’m going to separate these into helpful paragraphs for you to read and for me to write. Let us begin.

PRESSURE

I’ve seen a lot of people post about how beneficial lockdown has been. Taking a break from things, finally being able to relax and take time for themselves and I absolutely agree. It’s been really nice to feel like you’ve got the time to do whatever you want, whenever you want. I like being indoors, cosy – when the heating eventually comes on – and finding out which routine works for me. Having said that, I also feel an insane amount of pressure, that is threatening to dwarf my VERY BEING. Okay, that was a tad dramatic, but still, I’m finding like now, more than ever, it’s harder to breathe – maroon 5 reference unintended. When I don’t have a busy day, my mind tends to wander – and we don’t want my mind to wander, because it doesn’t wander down an exciting, yellow brick road eager to catch up with Dorothy and her pals, but instead straight down Alice’s rabbit hole, which is cold, and dark and kinda grim with lots of hanging cobwebs.

In Alice’s rabbit hole of doom, I decide that starting a career in writing was a dum-f*ck thing to do. I remember that whilst I’ve come home to travelling, the surrounding world of North-West London is settling, finding houses, getting married and making cute, lil babies. The only thing I’m managing to settle is my credit card balance and that’s only just. I feel like at the age of 27-going on-107 I should have it all worked out by now. I should have a rigid plan, a career that’s flowing, money saved for potential houses and a boyfriend. I feel like I’m 100 million, gazillion steps behind everyone else and the more I feel like that, the more isolated I feel like I’m becoming. That’s not the only thing I’m feeling stressed about. I was learning Spanish, and then realised “HEY I’m not fluent yet! I SHOULD BE FLUENT BY NOW!” And thus pressure was created. I also haven’t written purely because I feel like I put pressure on myself TO write – and that was never the point of this blog! This blog was a place for me to express how I feel, every step of the way, not to become some cool, travel blogger who lives out of a van and takes cute selfies eating poached eggs. I never wanted to become that. I never wanted to become someone who writes constant itineraries and posts the best places to go purely because I have to – I wanted to post that only if I wanted to. Suddenly though, with too much time to think, I feel like I should be writing MORE, doing what other ‘bloggers’ do and writing out the basic stuff they write – but that voice needs to shut up.

THERAPY

I would say the best thing that has come out of 2020 was the fact backpacking alone made me realise I had to get back into therapy. I speak a lot about mental health online – but there’s one thing talking about it in story form and another thing getting all deep and personal about it with someone. It’s really hard – and my god, it’s a slow journey isn’t it. That’s another thing – I like quick fixes. Someone fix the Depression and the Anxiety so I can jump on a plane and eat a ton of street food please! It doesn’t work like that though does it – not real change. I’ve had my fair bit of therapy over the years, and this is the first time I’ve wanted to stick with it – which means hanging the backpack up for a bit. I think I’ve also recognised a lot during that lockdown that people have shown colours of themselves I didn’t realise – stubborn traits I wasn’t aware of, selfish aspects that I can’t quite get my head around. It makes me paranoid to think it’s been my fault, that I’m a bad friend or a bad person – but I realise that those thoughts are detrimental and things I need to discuss in therapy, more in detail. Staying put in one place can be scary – because that means I need to take responsibility for other things in my life – but I’m starting to have this little, tiny feeling of hope, right in the bottom of my stomach. It’s quite small, but anyone who has suffered from the perils of mental illness knows that if there is hope, there is still life to look forward to. If (lovely therapist of mine) you’re reading this, thank you, you’re great.

LACK OF SELF-LOVE

I don’t know why I ever choose to weigh myself anymore. Weighing myself and knowing/seeing the scales have risen up and beyond what I could have imagined possible for my 5ft 3 body is extremely triggering. Maybe I was used to a lower weight because I never touched a carbohydrate, I exercised tons and I never snacked. Or maybe, it’s the antidepressants – because hell, I can actually fill a bikini now (big wins for me). Either way, I look at myself – and I’m really nasty to myself. I tell myself shocking things I would never even tell someone I HATED. I’ll look in the mirror and comment on my body, my face and features. When did I become so horrible to myself? What did I ever do wrong to myself to receive such vile treatment? I’m trying to be kinder to myself and notice when these instances come up, but it’s hard. I think if you’re used to a certain pattern of behaviour, it’s difficult to break.

DATING

I should rename this sector “LOL” or ‘lack of’. I’m proud to say I’ve deleted all of my dating apps, they are all bollocks. I’ve realised, and this can be true of men and women, that it is clearly a lot ‘cooler’ to seem unavailable, commitment-phobic or downright rude, than to just be a nice, normal, human being. I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s our culture, the increase in people using dating apps and therefore scrolling through an unlimited of people and wanting to see if there’s ‘better’? I don’t know to be honest, but it’s a pretty lame experience dating in England, that’s for sure. Firstly, let me make it abundantly clear, I don’t actually want a boyfriend until I can sort out my sh*t first – but if something does happen, then I won’t say no to it. Equally though, the types of people I’ve spoken to in the past, are just so dire and typical, it makes me doubt if there’s truly a nice guy out there for me. That’s the pressure talking I guess – but equally, apparently in London it’s quite difficult to find someone who’s intellectually stimulating, funny, is interested in you, chats about mental health honestly and openly, and who isn’t f**king 10 people at the same time.

TRAVEL

Even if and when travel borders begin to open again, like I said, I’m going to be hanging up my backpack for a while and focusing on myself. For so long now, I’ve been in jobs that have been great, but haven’t inspired me. I feel inspired by writing – I feel like I’m okay at it too, and that’s progress for me! I never believed I was good at anything, but I think I could make something with this. I would like to eventually earn enough to move out, to save for a house and to travel to a few more places too. It’s just hard to remember, that in order to make that happen, I’ll need to stay at home, searching for jobs for a bit longer. I love living at home with my family, but I also find it a challenging environment. My dad has MS, and an unpredictable condition can affect your mental health when you’re watching scary things happen in front of you. Perhaps it’s time to focus more on smaller trips in the UK and to Europe, whilst I figure life out – and then maybe, just maybe, everything will fall into place.

Thanks for reading my schpiel guys. What do you think? Do you have any similar thoughts to share?

Until next time!

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