truth

Promises to keep

Imagine the sound of a car passing you as you stand on the side of the motorway? It’s a little like a swoosh, It’s almost too fast to comprehend, but a wobble enough to notice. Regardless of your position of footing on the sidelines, you feel like you just survived something.

When you ask me how I am, this is your answer.

I sometimes think that every day feels the same, that if I miss a day it’s possible I wouldn’t even notice. My tedious working week begins and ends slow and quick all at once, and all I can really remember is a sense of dread.

Like most people, I struggle to get out of bed. I can’t quite face the anxiety just yet so I chose the snooze button over recognition that its time to get up. I wash, but only on my best days, throw my uniform on, brush my teeth, grab a fork and semi-jog to work just over a mile away. I arrive anxious and sweaty, with a distinct spray of watery mud up the back of my leggings or jeans. I check the time to make sure I am armed with the knowledge I am not late. I brace myself, wait for the door to be unlocked and for my daily pain to begin.

And so the swooshing properly begins.

Anxiety is like a claw that just keeps grasping. I know its wrong – to feel like this every day. I know I should just leave and trust me when I say this, that’s all I can think about when I’m there. I get the speech most weeks from my friends whenever we meet up for a scheduled chitchat. They encourage me to find another job, to leave and start being happy.

I live by this belief for others but I’m not faithful to myself. I encourage them to leave and find something better, they deserve so much more I tell them, and then they listen and eventually do it, and I am left alone with my own anxious grip burdening my every step.

But my friends are strong-willed and good. They don’t stop when I am still showing signs of stubbornness. They will ask how work is going with a defining frown and slightly raised eyebrows. They lean in because they know I have things to share. I always have things to share, but it’s rarely about achievements, it’s always about feeling sad, or a situation that happened that is unjust. How I tried to change things, how I stepped up and got knocked back down.

They question me – bold as brass. “Kyra, why haven’t you left yet?” And I give off my usual answer that I am tired of giving. Because I can’t afford to. I am stuck on a weekly pay system and my earnings would never cover me to change to a monthly payment system. I am one of possibly hundreds of thousands of workers stuck in the same mind-numbing position. I feel stuck and it is eating me alive. They tell me I deserve better and the conversation moves on, but my flesh still stings.

Truth is, I am not stuck. I know I can go out achieve great things because I have done so, so many times before. Because that’s a part of who I am – strong-willed and confident, but only when I feel like I can be. Right now, I am lost. I am women with a plan, who lost her notes.

Just like my degree, this side of me sits horizontally in the cupboard wedged between the wall and the Christmas decorations. Waiting patiently for someone to pull me out into the light so I can stand tall and sparkle. All because I have forgotten how to step up and do it myself. It feels embarrassing to admit.

So, as 2017 drew to a timely close, I made a promise to myself that enough was enough. I was overworked and vividly aware I had already used up all my holidays moving house and taking up an internship. I couldn’t take time off for more than two days at a time until mid-April, and I wasn’t sure there would be much left of me by then. So I forgot about my misplaced notes and I made a new plan. I called it PLAN B.

Christmas in retail for many of us means crazy shift patterns, a severe lack of days off and sleep deprivation – to name a few. But it can also mean overtime and bank holidays, and luckily at my work, we were entitled to at least two of these. The elaborately mundane plan was to keep savings my usual amount for bills, but start putting the extra money I was making into a separate account. It almost made another year of Christmas in retail worth it.

By mid-January, 2018 I had already saved up enough to cover at least the bare minimum of bills, and I had also got a job interview the same week. This was more than an achievement, I was convinced this was it. But to cut a paragraph short, I didn’t get it, and it wasn’t meant to be. And my sinking anxiety swooshed in once more.

And so here I am, as I watch my breath spread across the glass door of my work, trying to block out the view as I wait to be let in. Thinking to myself, that I will keep this promise to myself, that I will bite the bullet and go for another minimum wage job just to get out of my current situation. Give myself that paragraph ‘I did it’ satisfaction that I so crave.

But I stall, and I do the calculations. Will this make a difference? And what is the point exactly? and then the dwindling part of me shouts at myself for thinking such nonsense and I get stuck in my own head, battling an ever-growing painful situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I am trying really hard to get another job, it’s just that I am focusing all my energy on the ‘career job’. I spend hours writing what I believe to be the perfect cover letter or application. I even build up the courage to send them to friends for reassurance, I discuss it with colleagues at work just so people know I am trying and haven’t given up.

But all I feel is the shame of the broken promises that I keep making to myself, to others. That I will get out, that I will find the will to be passionate about writing again. And when I try to keep to this, I remember how hard it is, and the fact that I am not the only person who believes they have a chance. There is hundreds of us trying for just one job. Hundred’s of sad souls stuck in their own circumstances trying and getting nowhere, and it is BRUTAL.

Sometimes people even question why I haven’t got one yet. They can’t comprehend how. ‘But, you have a degree’, they will say with a slightly tilted resemblance of a person with a judgmental character. ‘AND you have such good experience’. YADAYADA. ‘Have you even been applying?’. They say it with such conviction, I feel myself wandering the same thing. Have I?

The audacity, I know. It hurts, It really hurts. They have no idea how many times I have applied for jobs and NEVER HEARD BACK. Or the fact that I have applied to 3 jobs that same week, and not one of them sent me a confirmation email. They have no idea of how long I spent researching the company and its values, no idea of my own moments of self-doubt, moments of excitement and hope and the mental cycle you go through every single time until you eventually hit send/submit.

To presume I may not be having much luck is the truth, but to presume I am not trying is an insult.

So I carry this with me and it feels heavy. As time goes on, more people start questioning what I am doing with my life. And then I start wandering the same thing. I find the guilt of going for another low salaried job while still trying to start a career is all too much for me. So where do I draw the line? When do I say enough is enough. And when will I stop the anxiety from filling my toes, take a step into the car and start driving myself forward?

 

 

 

Advertisements

From Adult To Adult

“Ouch”. I moan, as my kitten’s perfectly refined claws retract out of my calves. He senses the tension between us and as an act of avoiding responsibility, performs a jump and sprint through the flat. All the while, I’m bent over falling bum first into my hallway wall, trying frantically to put my shoes on and tie my laces in a manner, I am sure is exclusive to the anxious and clumsy. As always I am late, which means I must perform the ritual of all my morning rituals. Check I have my keys, check again, run across the road and through the traffic lights, hold down my flying lanyard, wipe my watery eyes from the wind, keep the contents of my bag safe as I check that I have my card (and my keys). I try and hide my shame and my wind tears, as I sprint awkwardly to the station, past all my neighbours and takeaway providers.

They know, I will tell myself, that even as a fully grown 20 year old women, I still fucking hate mornings.

Growing up, I was never under the assumption that life was going to be an easy ride. As a child, I was constantly observing and going through the struggles of life, only from a younger perspective. Though I may not have been physically dealing with things like an adult would, emotionally I was. I became a worrier, a title that had rudely gatecrashed my life.

I didn’t know what I was expecting of adulthood, I don’t think anyone does. All I had to base it on was from watching my mother bring me and my sister up. From that, I guess I had already learned that life was unexpected, mean and incredibly unfair. It was full of mishaps and responsibilities and yet, it taught me an important lesson. I learned that opportunity is only an opportunity if you see it as one. As a teenager, I took this idea on aggressively, because I wanted nothing more than stability. I wanted what everyone else ‘had’.

This attitude was clearly one of the reasons people perceived me as odd during school. I was mocked for wanting to better my life. Mocked for wanting to get a flat instead of go to halls, laughed at for having a savings account. Posters about me and my ex stuck on walls for this that and everything else. It was ignorance on their part, for not being able to accept me as the person I was, and ignorance on my part for not being able to accept the fact that nothing I did would make them value me as their peer. I felt wrong, rejected, a people pleaser who was unable to please. A troubling time for me as far as troubling times can go. But I wasn’t different, just misunderstood.

I may not of expected too much from growing up, but naively, after school I had hoped it would get better. I was convinced that if I made a life for myself, if I set the foundations, surely the rest would follow. All this steamed from a difficult financial upbringing, I really just wanted the chance to feel what every other child, teenager or adult was apparently feeling. Stability, financial support, a home to run to when things got too hard. I didn’t have this option, I knew when I moved out that I will never have that option. So Instead I grew up with the understanding that I had to be extremely cautious in life. When I was younger I would constantly wish I had money, then when I got older, any money that I made I kept a hold of.  …Just in case something happens…  I would tell myself. I was so used to mishaps that it became an obsession. Security was all I wanted in the end right? Even when I moved out, I was repeatedly turning down, doing fun things with friends because I just had to save for bills. I knew I would be like this, at least I was prepared for that, even if they weren’t.

Security. The word glided through my nerves and slipped into my mind. It wasn’t a threat, only a mild sedative. I was simply programmed into this way of life now. I had to support the pressure and responsibilities I had created and I wasn’t willing to give any of it up. But the pressure became my host. In a panic I let myself believe that I wasn’t lost. Just more focused, more willing to do what I could, to build my life up to the pedestal I had set long, long ago. The word fun became a disease, I worked hard and I saved. There was nothing more to it. I had a goal, I would get that stability that I was so clearly deprived of.

But I felt overwhelmed, cornered with no where to turn. I soon understood that this obsession was unhealthy. Had society turned me into a monster, or had I? I finally understood that I was depressed, and instead of dealing with this issue, I had created a persona. I wanted to fit in so badly, be valued and recognised as an adult, that I became a different person, with a warped view on adulthood.  I managed to go years without really living, Instead I was a bystander in my own life. A faded shadow.

The moment everything began to change wasn’t sudden, it was a gradual process, a couple of confusing months, a couple of secret’s let slip, a lot of me began to change. I didn’t want to be the pressured idea that I had created, I wanted to be able to enjoy myself and see my friends and start living my life. I wanted to be me.

One thing I have learned is that the pressure you feel is your own, most of the time. Something my partner has taught me is that you can take control of what you can control, but you need to let go of what you can’t. And being able to adjust to that attitude has been a breakthrough in my own growth. Being able to finally find joy in things and spend money on myself (responsibly) is a blessing, and something I never thought I could ever feel without fear of judgement.  Still, I wont deny the fact that adulthood is tough, feeling overwhelmed and having no over option than to deal with it is a way of life as an adult.  But I have found a healthy way to deal with it. (Except mornings, that shit will never get old).

It’s funny that we allow ourselves to be told by society what is right and what is wrong, there is no leeway. It’s basically ‘Here’s the guide book, follow it or be deemed socially different’. In a nutshell, I tried and I failed and then I thought to myself. After years of trying to fit in, all the pressure from caring too much of what other people thought. I am so done with it. Because that’s the beauty of adulthood, at the end of the day, it is your life.  Unless you let them, no one can do or say anything that is going to stop your emotional growth. You make your own mistakes, and you decide if you are going to take it as an opportunity to grow. You eventually learn that you can rise above it all. You can rise above depression, you can rise above hardships and you can most certainly rise above yourself. And in the end, I did that. In the end, I allowed myself to have a happy life.

 

And I love my life…for the most part. 😉

 

Kyra xo

 

 

Finally I understand

“It has made me better loving you … it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.” -Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady.

I have never come across a bundle of words so accurate to how I feel in this moment, how I have been feeling from the very beginning. I didn’t know how to express the fact that I finally felt Satisfied. And not just with you, but more importantly, with myself. It is not something you can pinpoint out the very back of your subconscious and be like, ah! that’s what I’ve meant to say all along. This quote reminded me of myself and it helped me understand.

Words helped me see, so I’ll let you see my words clearly.

When my mouth moved I was slurring out cheese-filled vocabulary which made me sound like an overused valentines day card. I was coming across as your average girl in love. I found it hard to express vocally without sounding the same as everyone else – but I have the ability to write about how I feel, and that is a powerful thing, even as powerful as how I feel about you. I may not be able to say it without tripping over my words and taking about three years to get to the point, I may go off on a tangent, and accidentally forgot what I was trying to say. I get distracted, but at least I can write about how I love you.

And I’m sorry for saying I love you,  without really explaining why. With everything you do for me, even the smallest of things, they can have the biggest effect.

I love you for how you calm me, how you carefully challenge me when I’m too anxious to step up, how you make me see that I am stronger than what my self-esteem likes to think it is, even in my most vulnerable moments. How you have taught a highly strung, overly cautious girl to have fun, in ways I like having fun and introducing me to ways you like having fun. You have taught me how to be bold.

Falling in love with you, was one of the best experiences I have ever had. There was not a moment where I doubted that this wouldn’t work, despite having reasons to be careful. But it felt far too right to ignore, and what is life if you are not living, if you are not taking risks. And us falling in love was one worth taking.

It can be curious thing love, it is especially curious once you aren’t falling in love anymore. Instead you are just in love, it doesn’t sound as glamorous but once the constant rush has settled, everything is so much clearer. You are committed to each other in a way that seems like friendship, but stronger – like a overlapping bond. Tight, secure, and safe. I am happy, Satisfied.

I have passed that heart pounding, anxiety driven feeling that I had with him while I was falling like I was about to leap off a tall cliff. It was a leap of complete and utter faith, of giving myself over and letting my emotions lead the way. For once I carefully ignored any signs that this could end at any point because I was lost in a happy place, everything was so easy, so carefree, so different. And it still is. Why would I ever think that it could ever end?

Oh, you! I laugh as I playfully nudge my inner-self, for thinking such a silly thing. But sometimes you can stop thinking clearly, not matter how happy you are. It can be easier than you think to let your insecurities slowly take control.

All of my worst thoughts creeping into skin.What happens if it does end? Will he still love me? Is he going to get bored and move on? Am I going to be alone, worse abandoned?  Every time you Shake them off violently, stomping at the foul creatures and remind yourself that insecurities are not who you are unless you let them, they are not how they make you feel, unless you let them. They are powerless unless you give them the wheel.

I would consider myself a strong person, but you have still supported me through some of my darkest moments, even if you have not realised. You have, and you still pull me up when I’m sitting with you at half one in the morning trying to explain, trying to understand my own ridiculous and unnecessary insecurities. Sometimes, I let them take over, and I don’t know why. I guess I can get defense and I get scared. I do not want to lose the most important person in my life (besides my family). I am human and I feel protective, of course, I wouldn’t want to lose you. I have never had it better. And as for my insecurities, well no matter how much I have dealt with something emotionally, tiny fractions can sometimes still remain and there is nothing I can do about that, but soldier on and accept it as part of what has built me up, and what made me who I am. The me that I am today, and not the me that I was yesterday.

You have never given me any reason to doubt that this relationship was wrong, that this journey we were both on was timed.  Right now I could think of nothing better than to spend the rest of my life with you, to travel and experience life together. For with love you have all the time in the world. That connection I feel with you is just the same as how I described it a year ago when I wrote about you for the first time on here. Just as strong, only so much more now.

It has made me better loving you … it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. I was not satisfied with anything at all, I was learning to accept myself. But now I have myself and I have you, and I am satisfied in every way someone could be. You satisfy me in every way you can, and I can’t thank you enough for being you. For being the best influence in my life, for letting me in on your world. I love you more than you could ever imagine.

Kyra xo

The importance of finding yourself

You’re sitting at home alone in your comfiest pair of jammies, armed with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a soppy rom-com you’ve watched a million times. It’s not because you are getting over a break-up, it’s not because you are feeling self-conscious or that you’ve had a bad day. It’s because you are enjoying your own company. It’s taken a lot of time for you to find this place, this state of mind where you don’t feel as though you have to be surrounded by people to have fun. Even back then, you weren’t really having that much fun anyway, you still felt lonely.

You remember that it wasn’t always like this, you grew up exploring woods and paths. You never felt the need to have company, because you were having fun doing things by yourself. But then as you grew older certain incidents happened and it changed you. You relied on others to make you happy. You craved affection, and acceptance more so than you should of, because you wanted to be loved – but not in the natural sense, more of a reminder that you were. You dived into a relationship with your best friend and fell in love, but as time went on you lost yourself and turned into someone else entirely. You were only ok when you were with him, he was the only thing keeping you together. As soon as he left you felt alone and unloved. You needed him too much. But you weren’t even happy with the relationship, you were only happy to see yourself as happy. The relationship past it’s sell-by date and you stayed, because you were a coward in your own right. Afraid of being alone, afraid of confronting any issues with your past and with yourself. You tried to fill that void by getting a puppy. You just wanted feel something, because you were so numb. But it only made matters worse. All you wanted was to be loved, but it wasn’t enough because you didn’t love yourself.

Then one day something changed, everything became clear. The life you built for yourself was not what you truly desired. What you really wanted was to find yourself again. Be the happy kid getting grounded because your mum caught you up a tree again– you wanted to feel grounded within yourself. And you were ready to change your life, so you did. You found the courage to find yourself and now you are living life just the way you should be – happy.

Image

Kyra xo