Do you ever find that your always coming up against a giant ball of stuff, that rolls around wobbling in front of your face? It's gets so big that you can't get passed it so instead of saying 'Oi ball, move' you stay in your pyjamas all day, drinking tea and eating Garibaldi biscuits?
These past few months I have come up against these balls on regular occasions. Be it not hearing back from jobs I've applied for, study plans stopped as the previous study that you did 18 years ago is 'too long ago for us to consider' losing friendships or finding out that certain friendships just aren't what they seemed to be, money worries, day worries, dream worries, for example, where you dream about Lenny Kravitz saying he would marry you only to have him jilt you at the alter wearing a peach meringue dress or when Peter Hook from New Order had a BBQ in my back garden and burnt the fence down- I tweeted him to tell him what had gone but he never replied.
Feeling anxious about the unknown is part of my life. I have tried all of the things to not do it ' look on the bright side' 'chin up' 'things aren't that bad' and it's right I should look on the bright side, keep my chin up and your right it isn't really that bad so what's the matter then? Truth is in recent months I've lost my way, lost my way with my thoughts about things, thoughts on work, what to do next. Plans and plans all the time but nothing ever seems to get done. It is annoying for me and those around you who may not understand and it creeps up very slowly just like the big coat. I get downhearted very easily and sad about things I can't control or make better. The Internet is full of ALL of the things and ALL of the people doing ALL of the stuff. I turn it off most days and this particular day after receiving a very rude comment about my blog 'being shit' Actual words 'YOUR BLOG IS SHIT' made me question what the losing my way point actually was. Have I? Is it really that shit? Does it show? I went on a small drive to get away from all the general balls of tasks, stopping at the shop to buy some cherryade and a chomp.
I ended up at the canal where there's a country walk and a big new bridge being built. I sat down to eat my chomp as my cherryade had now been guzzled. The ground was wet and my bottom started to feel damp but I chose to ignore this obstacle and look at the view. I sat quiet and a swan party came over to visit. I say, 'I have no dinners except this chomp and swans can't eat toffee' they make small hisses and carry on their way.
There are lots of houseboats anchored up and I can see all the people living their lives and doing their washing on deck. A man is sat rolling a cigarette, he has a cup of tea. He is sitting on a chair watching the world go by. I wonder what he does, where he is from? where he has been? and why he has picked this small part of the canal to make his home? Was he a renegade who didn't care it was disused and charged down the Mersey estuary to claim his space? Did he just opt out and he is really a secret millionaire doing good deeds and his on deck cup of tea and cigarette is his afternoon treat? I decide that maybe he just likes it here.
As my dress begins to feel increasingly uncomfortable, I move to an old bench. It's surrounded by dropped crisps and I hear a commotion above my head of a buzzard being chased by two angry seagulls. Are all these obstacles just part of our daily life and we just have to work out how to get round them? Boat man got onto a disused canal so there's a way round everything isn't there? Maybe he is stuck?
Feeling stuck is basically how I have felt for the last few years. I made decisions for myself which at the time seemed perfect, just what I needed. This is all very well but once the initial excitement wears off stuff starts to get real. Unexpected stuff you never ever thought would happen does. Letterloves was made for me, something for me and to meet and write and collaborate with people who liked what I like. Not everyone you meet will feel the same, you may not get on or they may not like you but I kept going. What I post on instagram, twitter or what I write on my blog might not be for you as I've already been told but I keep going. I keep going for me, I keep going for my sister.
We seem to live in an online world of rainbows, sprinkles and twee. Always showing the best, never downbeat just the best bits. Quotes such as 'lets do this', 'you got this' and whatever else crops up. It's tiring, I'm tired, I haven't got it, I don't want to do it and if I did I would need a think and a cup of tea before I commited to anything. I just feel that sometimes we are all on an episode of the Krypton Factor with such and such from this business, such and such from this organisation, such and such from wherever else all pitted against each other while Gordon Burns gives us a giant jigsaw puzzle spelling out our life's plan on. 'I can't solve it Gordon, my brain feels like a bowl of super noodles'
I look over to boat man and wonder if he has been a contestant on The Krypton Factor. Did he attempt the assault course and was beaten by a chartered accountant called Brian from accountants town? Is his mind full of noodles? Does he even care and just does his own thing? As I'm sitting on my bench a lone swan comes over and stares at me. He guzzles water in his mouth and then puts his head upon the bank. I throw him a crisp from the bench and he gladly tests it and then spits it back out. I check what boat man is up to and he starting to clean up with a tiny brush and pan. A tidy ship is a good ship. I think to myself 'I wonder if somebody threw you a different flavoured crisp would you spit it out as well'
Is this world we create for ourselves just a big packet of ready salted which is to be eaten on a big sandwich or tomato sauce flavour (or insert crisp flavour your unsure of) that one day you say yes to trying but end up spitting it out as it wasn't for you? Do we get thrown crisps to try and by spitting them out at least we had a go and it's OK to move on?
I write as it helps, I make things as it helps, I take pictures as its what I do, I collect things as I like to and have always done so. I like to read and study as it helps my brain and I am choosing to eat ready salted as I want to do good for me and those close. Constantly feeding myself tomato sauce, even unknowingly sometimes, has made me sad and I'm putting them in the bad crisps bin.
My swan friend is now floating by boat man and he throws him some unidentified dinner. He tries it and spits that out as well and boat man laughs and carries on sweeping. The sun comes out from behind the clouds and I decide that my canal visit, swan friends, bench and boat man have shown me that's it's OK to just sit with absolutely no plan, not to worry every hour, every day what's going to happen next, to not be bothered about what people say as those that matter already know and those that don't aren't for you anyway.
My name is Emma, I take pictures, I write letters and I collect things.
I get up off my bench and stretch my legs. I walk with renewed vigour, a sweeter smell in my nose and a slightly damp dress and put my chomp wrapper in the bin with all the rest of my previous thoughts. I look over to boat man who gives me a nod and says 'lovely day' ..'it is!' I reply.
It most certainly bloody well is.