Saying Yes

This month, I started out with the idea of taking up jogging – a positive step towards physical fitness.

So, on the 1st of June, I jogged and then thus ended my jogging experience. Once was enough. It was not enjoyable and was slightly painful to my already sensitive joints.

So I was going to have a month free of the pressure to do something new, however, I have actually still completed some goals.

I have said yes to many things. I have worked hard to earn some much-needed money and I have socialised more than I can ever remember socialising. I have said ‘yes’ to last minute plans, I have travelled more than I have ever dared, gone on day trips to a place that I have been wanting to go to for over a decade and created strong bonds with people I have only recently met. Finally understanding what people mean when they speak about ‘clicking’ with people and feeling as though you have known them years when in reality it has only been a few short months.

June has seen me returning home to my mum for a while, I turned another year older, my mum got the all-clear after completing treatment for pre-cancerous cells, my aunt still remains in remission and I have passed my first year of University.

With thanks to the people around me, I have managed to remain in my hometown with minimal depressive thoughts.

Saying yes has been scarily exciting and the month is not over yet!

This is Tradition

…and in the darkness, stood a Christmas tree. The lights from each branch reflected in the eyes of those gathered. The evening was still and calm, and as more people approached, a lull met the atmosphere. The voices of children rose as they gained their confidence. Teachers stood by their side, encouraging, coaching, arms conducting as they moved their arms in time with the words coming from the younger generation…

“It was on a starry night, when the hills were bright
Earth lay sleeping, sleeping calm and still.
Then in a cattle shed, in a manger bed
a boy was born, king of all the world.”

Families with torches shining down on the lyrics in their hands, paper blowing in the wind. Proud fathers and grandfathers with thick scarfs and gloves, ensuring the rest of the family are able to see. Leaning close together, gathering warmth. Smiles bright as they watch and listen to their choir…

“And all the angels sang for him,
the bells of heaven rang for him
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

The community together as one. This is tradition, of gathering and coming together, surrounded by the ones who light up their lives. Voices that are now louder and more vivid reach the end of their performance…

“Soon the shepherds came that way where the baby lay
and were kneeling, kneeling by his side.
And their hearts believed again for the peace of men,
for a boy was born, king of all the world.”

And as their voices sing the last note, there is music. The live band of local musicians begin to play the next carol. Every member of the community joins in joyfully.

This is tradition.

Who I Am

Me not saying hello to someone in the street is not me being rude. It is me not believing that they know who I am. It is me not imagining that they will wish me to speak.

Today, someone unexpected knew details of my life – common knowledge details – and it threw me.

People did not use to know me. Did not speak. Did not wave. Did not gravitate toward.

So, now what do I do?

Breathe

Moving does not solve all problems – I was aware of this. I had reminded myself of this everytime I saw a film where the protagonist’s past followed them into their present.

Moving felt like breathing. Almost like for the first time in my whole goddamn life, I could breathe easy. No more elephants sitting on my chest, no more gasping and no more struggle.

And then…

I visited. I went back, albeit briefly. The journey was no problem, it was very straightforward, however, walking back into my mum’s house felt like walking into someone else’s house. It no longer felt like mine, my room no longer felt familiar.

By the second day, I felt it. Sadness.

There was a shadow. I instinctively thought it was my cat, my boy. My cat that is no longer physically here. My boy, the life that ended because of my decision, because of my love for him. My heart not being able to live with the knowledge he was hurting, dying. He no longer waits for me at that doorway, it was not him.

Sadness.

3 days of hiding, of “Quick, cross the road. Cross the road. Quick.” to avoid not having to see people, of not wanting to socialise.

And then back again, home. The journey delayed by an hour did not phase me, my iPod dying did not phase me, I was numb.

And then finally

Breathe. Again.