The last several months have been a whirlwind of trials, joy and change. A loss and then reuniting of love, which continues to bring me comfort and joy in an ever vexing, questioning and turbulent world. Finally, with the new year, after a year and a half of shooting hundreds (potentially a thousand) job applications into the ever rejecting void, I struct- not gold… but perhaps a semi precious stone of a job. A step forward, finally. The grief and frustration I felt over the summer of this last year that I was treading water, a vessel of unfulfilled potential and leaking money, has finally been replaced by the precious fresh air of nerves and excitement about the future. It’s a starting job, not highly paid, but it’s the job for a writer.

That might sound somewhat like posturing, but I feel it’s so much about a sense of identity. I’ve never been the person who wanted to move to London, or had their sights set on a particular job. But I knew I was searching desperately for my next step, the next leap upwards in my life, and it was time. Bedford has been a step sideways, not backwards, but not into the future of my career either. This job is a huge step up on a hopefully long ladder ahead of me. I will be moving to one of the great cities in the world, about to turn 30, the start of a fresh decade of life, and doing it with a more concrete sense of who I am, what I want and most importantly what I need than I have ever had before.

While the journey has not been perfect; I live in a ramshackle house, my journey with alcohol and self management continues, my lover at once disposed of me in a flash, only to slowly let me back into his arms, a little at a time, and a great friend has let me down (she was to move to London with me and make it an adventure between the two of use together), it once again feels propelled forward, by my own leg work and hope, yes, but also by the world and a spot of good luck here and there making all the difference. I do not expect perfection when I move to London; I know life will continue to oscillate between the marvellous and mundane, that people will continue to surprise and appaul, but I know regardless I will be living the life that I am meant to be living.

As I let sips of Rioja warm my mouth and stomach, sitting here in this blissfully empty and chilled wine bar on the busy Bedford road, I feel lucky and loved. I watched a documentary about the renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, and made a note of what he believed led to his true success in life; luck, timing, talent, hard work and perseverance. Whilst we can only pray to the elements and Gods for the occasional gift of luck and good timing, and a generous splash of talent, the undeniable fact is the greatest at what they do would have nothing if they did not put in the sweat, the sober days, the paper work and discipline. This is what I try and remind myself of all the time, that there was a reason I was so fat before, I let myself get that way, that I let myself fail my first degree and let myself fall into depressions at different points in my life. Now, I choose to gamble on the balance, to strive for discipline and self care for (hopefully) the majority of my week- to go to the gym, to work, to do the facemasks and get the good nights sleep… which in turn makes the nights of love and wine, of pizza and debauchery all the more pleasurable. Pleasurable because I know and feel that I deserve it, that I can practice love and care when it’s needed, and that part of that is to let my spirit run free and wild when it needs to. To embrace my dark side, as well as my light.

Finally, and on the happiest note, we had the loveliest Christmas with mum that we have had in a decade. Whilst we boozed and partied in the lounge with martinis and wine, she was calm, and confident and sweet to be around. I had missed her. We cooked, and walked and made log fires. I did overdo the booze, yes, I know the limit where I can have physical anxiety is too far now. But for the most part it was a joyful and peaceful festive period in the chill and sunset darkness of Suffolk, one I hope will come again in the future. I also had the celebration of myself, finally, of getting proper tattoos. I had fallen in love with the symbolism and beauty of the cherry blossom. It’s representation of the beauty and frail nature of life, of the passing of time and celebration of spring, of my favourite film and the fact we had one in the front garden of my fathers house, all made it the perfect feature to have on my body. I’ve also long found delicate hand and finger tattoos fascinating and alluring, and so got a diamond and representation of my lucky number (4) on my left hand, and had the amateur tattoo done by my friend turned into a sparkling star on my right. I felt peaceful and ready as they were getting done, and have been content and happy whenever I look at them since.

Right, I think that’s a lovely splash of reflection and writing for today. Tonight, there will be pizza, and cuddles, and films, and maybe a little fire 🔥.

I look forward to reading back on these one day, and realising the transformations that explode in between these little speech bubbles of my life.

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