Homesick and stuff

I’m not one for stuff. If anything, I have an aversion to the stuff-culture. You know, the culture that says, let me buy one of these things that I don’t really need so I can have stuff. But going to my storage unit yesterday, I felt an strange feeling of belonging to, well, my belongings. I felt homesick.

It’s been 17months since I moved out of my home. The one I bought to feel safe in. The one my partner moved into and made a home with me (even though me and a cat would have struggled in such a small space). We made it work. We made memories, bought storage, fought in Ikea, killed pot plants and dealt with burst water pipes and breezy corridors.

On the day we moved out, I took a moment of mindfulness to thank my flat for all it had given me. A home. A haven. Security. Serenity. I had an attachment to this tiny place in South London that I found hard to articulate.

You see, I was ready for this next chapter – travelling for a year. My stuff being in storage was a relief to me. A part of me wanted to chuck it all out and free myself from anything attached to this old life.

But my stuff wasn’t what I was fond of. It was the bricks and mortar that made our home – the space we had created, the one I started off single in and left married. The one I bought three months before I was made redundant. The one where I entertained friends but could also lock my self away. The one I bought on a whim knowing I couldn’t continue where I was. It was a place no one could take from me. Until, of course I sold it!

I felt a twang in my tummy as we left. My throat felt like it was closing in on itself. I felt stupid. I don’t believe in owning stuff to make you happy and surely my flat is the biggest ‘stuff’ I owned. But what was this twag I felt? I realised, it was loss. It was the closing of a chapter that I knew I had finished, but wanted to keep close to my heart.

Going to the storage unit yesterday, I actually looked at my stuff and remembered things. It had all lived in our home. The stuff I had wanted freedom from, suddenly crowded my mind as it came to life. Pictures on tables, books on shelves, candles lit, artwork hanging. They were reminders of the chapter I had finished and had wanted so badly to move on from.

In the place I now call home, I now feel strangely displaced. We’re living with my in-laws as we get back on our feet having just come back from our travelling adventure.  It’s not that I hate living here, I just suddenly feel that sense of loss all over again. And longing.

I feel nostalgia for the place I once called home. The one I drive past now and see the new owner has taken down my blinds and has a pot plant. Wow. He hasn’t killed the pot plant. I’m envious of the place that still looks like a hovel from the outside, has cracks in the walls inside and a damn patch that could blow the electrics when it rained. I miss the way I felt when I was inside that flat, looking out at it with pride that I did this. I had built a home. I had escaped the life I was living and built a new one. No, it wasn’t perfect (the flat or my life). But it was mine.

I think about all that stuff in storage and want to send a note.

Dear stuff,

You know how I feel about you and your type. I sometimes feel our lives are surrounded by messages that tell us we need you to feel content and happy. Not having bought into that philosophy, I want to tell you something…

Having you in my life did actually make me happy. When I see you now, I remember what you represent and that alone puts a smile on my face.

I can’t guarantee that you will be with me forever but I can promise you this. I will make another home one day that is filled with laughter and love. I will invite you to be part of it. Not as a focal point but as things that will help create the life I want. And as a reminder of where we once were.

I can’t wait to be reunited with you when we can build this next set of memories, together.

Until then, I’m going to remember the fun we had and imagine my future, free from the burden of wanting to run away from you again. For now anyway 🙂

Take care in storage. You’ll be free before you know it.

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, happiness, mental health, selfishness, Uncategorized

This isn’t for me. Just admit it.

I hate pretence. It’s like you haven’t read the T&Cs that come with, what seems to be, a selfless conversation on how much someone cares about you.

a. “I know it’s your birthday, so I thought we could go shopping. Yes, I know you’re looking at theatre tickets, but I’d just prefer to go shopping.” The emotional blackmail was too much and we went shopping. #truestory

b. “I want to make you a birthday cake, so I thought I’d make a meringue. I know you don’t like it, but I’ve found a great recipe and it will look incredible. And everyone else loves it.” I see. You want to do this for the show of it and other people. Not. For. My. Birthday. Another #truestory.

c. “When I said I had a surprise for you, what I meant was that I was using this as an excuse to see you, because it’s been ages.” Ah, when I said I was into theatre, I didn’t mean your school play, actually. And truth is, I probably have been avoiding you because you drain me. I simply don’t have the resilience to be around you. But now you have me cornered, because you have something ‘for me’.

Please, don’t ever make me think you have selflessly put me first. In all honesty, my expectations are very low and I never expect this from anyone apart from my husband. So saying or implying that you are putting me first when you aren’t, is actually more hurtful than just saying:

a. I want to go shopping and want you to come. I can prepare mentally for this if I CHOOSE to accompany you.

b. I want to show off how bloody awesome I am. Granted, I’d still be pissed off if you did this under the guise of my birthday, but hell, at least your ego isn’t over shadowed in this light.

c. I feel like you’re avoiding me. Is everything ok? We can then talk about the real shit that is happening here. Surprises make me feel like I should be grateful to you for something, even if this isn’t that real point.

I have recently learnt how important choice is to me. For too long, I lived my life on the terms that other people needed from me. In the bubble they wanted me in. Their feelings and needs were more important than mine. Their convenience was more important than mine. Their choice was more important than mine.

Relationships which took away my choice are now changing. And with this change comes a mix of emotions. I feel loss for the closeness that was built on how I used to be, but I also feel relief. I will choose to opt out of experiences that emotionally drain me. I will choose how I spend my time, after all it isn’t in endless supply and I’ll be damned if I waste it. And I will choose who I have in my life.

There will be times that I turn a blind eye to how un-selfless your apparent selflessness is, because I realise you need me. Other times I will be hurt by it; sad that I believed you could put me first. I will come to terms with the anger and upset I feel when I realise, yet again, that I’ve been used, manipulated or deprioritised.

But always, I will forgive. I’ll focus on how lucky I am to have many people in my life that like me, or will focus on the nice traits I must have that people want to see me. I will forgive, because quite frankly I have no space for hurt. And I will grow and remember how far I have come when I used to live by the rules other needed me to.

But don’t get me wrong. I won’t do this at the detriment of my own well-being. Not anymore. I’ll do this so I can continue to build the life I want, the one I choose to have. I will do this openly and…. selfishly.

I’m sorry if our relationship doesn’t survive this. I just can’t live in the bubble you want me to be in. If your selfless love for me understands this, then we will be ok. If it doesn’t… well, I’d like to give you back this relationship. Because it was never for me. Not really.

Mojo&Me xx

blogging, confidence, fear, happiness, mental health, Uncategorized

A blogging leap into my mental wardrobe

By October 2015, I had quit my job, sold my flat, got married and embarked on a year long adventure. Otherwise known as a honeymoon/running away from being a grown up.

We had two one way tickets to Hong Kong, a backpack each and enough electrical devices to power a small town. Given this leap of faith into the unknown, it’s strange that setting up a blog to practice my writing in a safe space is, well, scary.

I work in marketing. I know no one will see this unless I proactively push it out. And then I realise what I’m doing. I’ve raided my mental wardrobe and have found a trusty favourite of mine – the fear hat.  This hat that has a case of mistaken identity. It thinks it’s my favourite pair of jeans – the ones that have moulded to me, that I could wear everyday. It attaches itself to me like I’ve picked it, like I want to wear it. But come on, how unflattering is it?! Why would I choose to wear this?!

Despite its identity crisis, fear hat has a strength that I’m retaliating against. But it’s brief interlude gave me insight into how far I’ve come since October 2015, when I left everything I knew to create something brand new.

Fear used to, and still does, cripple me. It makes think I’m not good enough, that things won’t work out, that getting out of bed is just too hard. It makes me so worried about things, that I break. It’s easy to fall into catastrophic thinking and negative self talk when fear hat is on.

But now, I’ve learnt how to take off that hat.

I’m realising how feeling my emotions and not blocking them away, is actually healthy. I worked so hard at showing the world I was ok, that I was good enough, successful enough, independent enough, that all I was actually doing was running away from my fear of failure. And my fear of feeling anything.

In accepting fear and it’s ugly wardrobe accessories, I’m actually growing. I’ve learnt to control my thoughts, to take a check on my mental well being and have learnt to have more control on my life. It’s an ongoing process and one that’s had help from CBT, therapy, mindfulness and meditation!

Changing your mental wardrobe, can happen. For me, it’s not a ten step plan or a “listicle” (although who can resist these!). It’s a process that I don’t think I should ever stop learning from. It’s an attitude, that I do have control. And it’s a belief that life can be as incredible as I make it.

Mojo&Me was about having a safe space to share my life musings. But in it’s creation I’ve suddenly appreciated who I am, what I believe and seen holistically for the first time, my path in getting here.

My dress of self-belief seems to have just come back from the cleaners – and it’s looking lovely. I wonder if it knows how much I’ve missed it. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I just need to change.

Mojo&Me xx