A bowl full of mac ‘n’ cheese
Hi everyone. It has been a while since I have written; and if you have read any of my work, you will know that I rarely ‘blog’ about myself. But having moved to a new city for a new job, I wanted to try to share my experiences with you. And where words are currently failing me, because all those conversations and mental blocks I remove on a daily basis are difficult to recall, I thought I’d start at five years old when I was afraid of the dark.
I had always shared a room. Up until the age of three, I shared with my parents. Then I shared with my older sister – top and tail on a single bed. At five, I was given my own room. It had two single beds; one awaiting my younger sister when she was old enough to move in with me. But, for now it was my room. My mum shut the curtains. And then the door. And finally, I was alone with the dark. I peered from under my duvet at the window. Staring, as if almost willing something to appear. I loved writing when I was young and had written about many monsters of the night. Now, I wondered if one would appear. Darkness. Silence. Just me and my imagination.
Until, a moment came that changed my perception. A moment when, instead of letting my imagination get the better of me I controlled it. That night, something in my clicked and I told myself I would not be afraid of the dark. I will face any monster that comes through my window. And I will wake-up tomorrow and show everyone that I am a big girl.
And that is what I did.
Looking back at the moment is pivotal because actually, I think I have always had a point to prove; but it has shifted from needing to prove myself to others to also needing to prove myself to me. Would the world not be a healthier place if we viewed one another as inspirations and ourselves as competition, rather than trying to be inspirations and seeing others as competition?
Every day I try to prove myself to me. I set myself new challenges because overcoming them sets me free from a constraint that I believed I had; another unhelpful thought untangled in the web of unhelpful thoughts that consistently try to keep us focused on the whole knot that the single strings that, when picked and weaved apart can release an entire part of you you never thought possible.
Irony lies in that we know our capabilities – which is great – but we know not what lies beyond them. And for those who seek to find the end of the rainbow, enjoy the fruits of its every colour.
And life should be full of colour, full of experiences, and full of doing what you love. We all have the capacity to fulfil our greatest dreams; because if they exist in your mind, they can exist in reality. That is not to say that fear does not exist. It may perpetually exist. But the difference is, you love something so much that your curiosity, your passion, your drive is greater than fear.
I always wanted to be a journalist. Since the age of five, I have been writing. Since the age of 15, I have been working alongside my studies. And I worked, sometimes waking at 5am and catching the bus until the tubes were running, just to make it to a shoot on time. I gave myself no choice but to strive. Everyone knows that buses are slower than trains. But everyone knows that when the train is not running, you have to stand, and you have to wait in the rain, and you have to queue, and whatever happens – you have to make it. It’s the fire inside that keeps you warm in the rain, and keeps you going. So find what lights you up inside.
A classmate once said to me: ‘I thought you were perfect, but you can’t cook’. My need to prove myself kicked in again and I tried to force enjoying to cook. I’m 25 now, and can cook, and love it. I haven’t quite developed to cooking for others yet, but would love to! Tonight, I am sitting in my room eating a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese. And I still feel equally privileged to if I had cooked a fresh meal, and equally as adequate.
Because I made a choice, and my idea of privilege rests not on economics but on my values.
Willing something is different to forcing something, because willing is a gentle nudge while forcing creates friction. And with friction comes frustration, because you aren’t getting what you want. Patience is a virtue, and know that everything has its set time and place. When you will something, it will respond. But you can’t pull a loaf of bread of out the oven before it has risen.
Choice is a privilege because some people are denied the choice and some people deny themselves of it.We all a choice which path we take. It’s all about perspective. One may choose to see the hurdles while another may choose to create a bridge. Which one are you?
Over the years, I have trained my mind to see no value in labels but the value in moments. I’ve learnt to not judge because everyone has their own story to write. And I’ve learnt that if you are comfortable in your own skin, fulfilling what you feel is your purpose in life, you will always be ‘home’ – wherever you are.