No, let’s be real though. I am SO out of practise with this. I’m not entirely sure what to do with tape parade – it feels a little like opening a time capsule, truth be told – because I’m not sure on what capacity I’d like to blog in and if I should incorporate it to my website or WHAT (suggestions welcome). But. Anyway. Life Update time!!Let’s update you on a few things, shall we? First things first: I’m writing a book, which is news that merits a whole post of it’s own over here. What I want to do in this post is catch you up a bit on what’s happening with me, personally, because this blog is, after all, my personal space. And it’s been hectic.
Back in November 2018, when I last posted (and that was hardly a life update to begin with), I entered one of worst periods of my adult life, lasting until last month. Though I consciously tried to make more space in my life to accommodate the task of writing book. I didn’t know so many other things would happen, and so what I thought it would be a shift in gear turned out to be more like falling down a blackhole. Here are most of the bigger things that happened in the months that followed:
– I quit almost all projects/activities/jobs and withdrew from social life
– my grandmother died
– Sally died
– my snake,Maggie, died
– I had stress-induced shingles for 6 weeks
– I had a horrendous fall-out with my parents
– my insomnia returned
– I discovered my (now ex) fiancé had been gaslighting me and unfaithful for over a year
– I broke with up him
I mean, all in all, not the funnest time I’ve ever had! A lot of smaller things happened too – loss of appetite, watching friendships fail or friend groups move on without me, petty social media drama, return of kidney issues – happened as a result. It was an isolating and often confusing time – in hindsight, grief, heavy medication and psychological manipulation will do that to you. The funny thing is, though I was feeling awful constantly, I didn’t link anything together. The book required – or still requires, as I’m still writing it – me to dig deep into 1001 shit events that formed me (racism, bullying, trauma) and then recount them in coherent fashion, whilst also reading into the psychological factors of such events. I assumed that feeling low all the time was a natural side effect of that process. “I’m writing a book” really meant “I’ve gone from being a full-time freelance musician to suddenly having an agent, a publisher, a deadline, and a book deal and I know nothing about surviving in this industry at all”. I didn’t acknowledge this massive career shift – it was easy to dismiss as just another project I was doing, so I allowed no adjustment time.
Thankfully, from where I am now this all seems a long time ago and I’ve learned so much. Reading old blogs and diary entries – even from within the last year – feel like ancient relics, as I’ve grown so much via the self-reflexive work of this book. April was a turning point. I told the book team that I was struggling and was there any way at all I could have an extension because otherwise I might genuinely have a breakdown? It was a huge relief to find everyone on my side and the next bit of time I need given to me. I’ve found a community on instagram, friends in my area, new allies online. And honestly – I’ve levelled up. I’m learning so much and understand things better then I ever have. What an incredible opportunity.
The book has both allowed and required me to delve back into my own past, right various wrongs, confront various issues – and not just confront them but understand them. To connect the dots between events. In doing so, I feel really “whole” about my life – I understand things better and can look at the psychology which affected things I didn’t understand at the time. It’s been more interesting than cathartic – but also underlines how much I love myself, how proud I am of my work so far, and how in tune with myself I am now and always have been.
Currently, I’m living alone, focusing on this book, this amazing project that I care about so much, and reintroducing my wonderful friends to my timetable. Laila today is totally cool about having a less full social life – the people in my life are total gems and having more alone time has been restorative. I truly wish him all the best, and besides, being single is wonderful – if you don’t recall, I am great at this. And what an absolute joy to be creating? Fulltime? Every day?! Younger me could only have dreamed about a life in which I live in my flat filled with animals and flowers, writing a book, all day every day, because that is my actual job and life. It feels both absurd that I get to live out this dream and also, like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be with exactly what I need. I haven’t felt so centered in a long time.
Thank you to all of you that have read this, whether you’re a reader returning after the hiatus, or you’re a new friend from Instagram, or you’re a nosy person from a facebook feed (lol hi). Your support and time is appreciated. x
– photos by @SianShoots who I highly recommend!