Ce n’est pas moi, whomever this lucky girl is, contemplating being fabulous. I’ve just been to Portugal (old favourite) and revelled in family time, 30-degree heat and grilled fish. I ran a lot in the mornings, down a shady hill with fig trees on one side and ancient olives on the other, looping my 5km circuit until I emerged for the uphill; straight into the blistering morning sun, tinder-dry underfoot. I saw it as a test. And all the time; thinking, thinking, thinking. Running is a good way to process thoughts for me, the meditative thud of my trainers on the ground, a reverb upwards through my body to my head, where all those pesky thoughts reside. I want to shake them out.
I have never been very good a reaching crossroads in life, facing the natural endings, and right now, there are many, not just for me but for those around me. It feels like a seismic time. In relation to my writing, I sense a self-indulgence in this introspection; as my other Masters colleagues have motored on, freshly educated and with an agenda on their minds, I have done the opposite and have not written or planned a word. Even thinking about my degree now can cause a questioning in me. I wonder if there were some elements of it that I judged wrongly. I followed an instinct to work in a way that fit with my professional training: corporate, considered, shiny. Where the convergence of business and creative meet in me. I guess I can’t undo my past experience, nor would I want to and I’ve written before about this conflict. About not fitting the mould. Who made the mould?
I wanted to deviate back to what I knew, this blog, writing essays on stuff I am interested in, I started to wonder whether the creation of a fictional world, inhabited by my own ghosts was a healthy pastime. This is what writing does; it’s like a therapy but also an exorcism. So I mused and ran and mused until I reached a point where I thought: fuck it. That’s about where I am now.
I think the blog is interesting. This long-established place that I created so many years ago was for me, and then that shifted and it became ‘for them’ without my knowing which ‘them’ I was writing for. Prospective publishers? Interested mothers? Friends of my kids? My kids? Family? I don’t even know. All I know is I felt like it was time to reclaim it as mine. In tandem, I have been spending w-h-a-y too much time on Instagram to the point where I might need an intervention. Instagram is a fascinating and endless source of ‘other people’s lives’ but it negates the requirement to deal with your own! Don’t you think?
I met with an old blog friend Sophie, whom I have followed/emailed/chatted to online for years. We had never met face to face. She was like a minty-fresh, beguiling breath of air and I decided that my instinct had been right. Go back to what you know.