Disposable: Summer

Earlier this year I re-discovered my love for disposable cameras and then proceeded to spend far too much money on getting the photos developed. So here's July – September from a few overpriced fujifilms. 

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Compton Acres, Poole

1st July - Sandbanks Poole

1st July - Sandbanks Poole

1st July - Sandbanks, Poole

1st July - Sandbanks, Poole

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

8th July - Kew Gardens

26th August - Moors Valley

26th August - Moors Valley

26th August - Moors Valley

26th August - Moors Valley

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

2nd September - Sacré-Cœur, Paris

3rd September - Versailles, Paris

3rd September - Versailles, Paris

3rd September - Paris

3rd September - Paris

4th September - Arc De Triomphe, Paris 

4th September - Arc De Triomphe, Paris 

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

4th September - Eiffel Tower, Paris

5th September - Paris

5th September - Paris

Progress

progress

noun

forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I watched three episodes of Peep Show this afternoon. This past month I've read two books. I've only cried once this week.

Almost two months ago, I sat in the waiting room for my last CBT session. My therapist was late (as per) and I was thinking a lot about how it was definitely my last session out of circumstance rather than by choice. But it was my last session nonetheless. I'd done five months (admittedly on and off) of therapy, and I didn't feel how I wanted to feel. Or maybe, how I thought I was supposed to feel.

I wanted a cure. I was also hoping that by trying to deal with my anxiety, that it would then have a domino effect on the depression. It didn’t. And so I was frustrated and angry and felt as though I’d failed.

But then last week I found myself seven seasons deep into Peep Show – which I know sounds incredibly inconsequential, so just bear with me.

Four, actually maybe even two, months ago I couldn’t concentrate. On anything. As someone who thrives on their alone time, I was at a total loss. I couldn’t read a book, I couldn’t watch a film and there was no way I could keep up with a new TV show. Broadchurch bypassed me, I was two seasons behind on Made in Chelsea, and I hadn’t made use of my Netflix subscription in weeks. I would rather lie in bed, totally consumed by my own thoughts, because I was unable to bring myself to do anything but.

So the sudden ability to just sit down and enjoy – and I use the term enjoy loosely here, because is enjoy really the word for Peep Show – a few episodes seemed miraculous to me.

I’ve started reading again too. Back in April I finished my first book in months and, as soon as I put it down, I burst into tears. Since then, I’ve finished five. Five whole books. Something that seemed incomprehensible a few months ago.

And of course progress isn’t linear. There are mornings when I wake up and know that the rest of the day will be a struggle. That I’ll have to take the day an hour at a time, and fight back tears on the tube, and count down the hours until I can go back to bed. But there are also mornings when I wake up and think about what I might get for breakfast on my way to work, and read my book on the tube, and don’t feel the need to get straight into bed come 7pm.

So I’m clinging on to these little things. Because it may not be linear, but maybe progress is finishing a book and wanting to pick up another, and going six out of seven days without crying, and sleeping through the whole night.

And maybe I need to be ok with that. 

Things from August

I'd like to say that August was a welcome break from the mad rush that was July. I'd give quite a lot to be able to say that, but it wasn't. It's as though I've accidentally sat on the remote, unintentionally set my brain to fast forward and have now lost said remote and can't set it back to normal speed.

With that in mind, and around four other posts waiting patiently in my drafts, I think I'll keep this one quick.

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Moving

I moved into my new room in London, started to get settled, then found out I have to move again. I'm now in the process if finding somewhere new that I can move into the next two weeks. Who wants an easy life anyway? 

High School Musical 

Yes, you read that correctly. Way back at the start of the month (believe me, it feels like a lifetime ago now) I spent a Friday evening watching a screening of High School Musical at The Clapham Grand, with prosecco, popcorn and whole lot of singing. Thanks to Jazmine for organising and Michelle, Amber and Emily for being fantastic Wildcat company. 

Cursed Child

Almost a year after booking my tickets, I finally got to see Cursed Child. Whilst I wasn't completely blown away when reading the play, actually watching it was a whole different experience. Would 100% recommend.

Weekends

My August weekends consisted of friends visiting, eating our way around London (hello all of the crepes), visiting the Design Museum, heading back home for the bank holiday, birthdays, and ice cream walks. 

I'm ready for a nap now. 

 

Things from July

So I moved to London. Might as well start with the big news, right? 

Long story short I had a somewhat mentally draining June, full to the brim with being busy at work and interviews and rejections and hospital appointments and anxiety. I left my job at the end of the month, then three days later got offered a new one. 

In the space of a month I then went on holiday, found somewhere to live, started a new job, moved my life to London for four months, and spent most of it completely exhausted. 

But let's start at the begining.

Dodgy disposable shot of the Trevi Fountain

Dodgy disposable shot of the Trevi Fountain

Rome

The day after my 'congratulations new job news' I headed off to Rome armed with my best friend, my best SPF30 and my best attempt at packing light to date. Three dresses, a jumpsuit and two pairs of shoes. I've finally nailed it.

My first answer to everyone who has asked me how it was has been, "Hot." Because it was. Very. 

We did the expected and visited the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and looked at the hoards of people taking selfies by the Trevi Fountain.

We also ate a lot of pasta and a lot of pizza and I took a lot of questionable photos on my disposable camera.

I'm really glad to have visited (and also ticked a first trip to Italy off my list) and now I can't wait to get myself to some of the greener / coastal parts of Italy too. I'm thinking Amalfi Coast next year. 

Roman Forum ft. a hot and sweaty me and some fences in the background

Roman Forum ft. a hot and sweaty me and some fences in the background

ALL OF THE GARDENS

I've developed a bit of a thing for gardens lately. Probably something to do with my new found appreciation of the outdoors, but also the fact that there's going to be a cafe and somewhere to get a cup of tea at least every 20 minutes. At the very start of July, Charlotte and I spent an impromptu afternoon walking around Compton Acres, before heading off to Kew a week later. 

What started off as a cloudy morning turned into a beautifully warm day, which meant that what started as perfectly unburnt skin (I managed not to burn for the entirety of my trip to Rome) turned into very pink shoulder by the end of the day, despite having re-applied my Hawaiian Tropic constantly. 

and the rest

Once I'd finished eating all of the pasta and wandering round botanical gardens, I thought it might be a good idea to find somewhere to live. So I did. And then I started my new job, moved up to London and spent all of the days since then missing my cat. I'm here for the next four months, and after that?  I have no idea.

P.S

I also signed up for Laura's writing summer course – Don't be a writer, be a storyteller. It's a six week course (currently on week four) and it's all kinds of educational and inspiring and challenging. 

 

Change

change

noun

the act or instance of making or becoming different.

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I used to think I was afraid of change. Six months of CBT has taught me, however, that what I'm actually scared of is the uncertainty that accompanies change (although that's another story for another time – really, it's currently saved in my drafts.)

This past month, my life has seen a lot of change. I left my job, got offered a new one, found a place to live, and started said new job, all in the space of 18 days. For months I'd been craving change. I needed something new, something different, something to shake off the uninvited black cloud that had been following me round for what felt like a lifetime.

Then it happened.

And now? Now I'm not really sure how to feel. I'm a mixture of terrified and excited and sad and apprehensive and a few more adjectives thrown in for good measure. But all of these feelings aren't trigged by the change itself, they stem from the uncertainty of leaving my comfort zone. And, although my comfort zone is a nice place full of naps and beds and cats, it was getting pretty limiting. 

Change is good, and if I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it. Things change and people change and circumstances change, and that's ok. I've changed so much in the past couple of years, I can look back and read things back and struggle to recognise myself. On the outside, I probably look the same; minus a few lbs and a couple of inches off may hair. But I think nicer thoughts and I feel different things and, whilst I've found life more difficult, ultimately I'm pretty sure I've changed for the better.

Nothing stays the same. Not forever. Some things just change quicker and more drastically than others. And it might be scary, but I think it might be ok too.