The edge of my universe

Today, I’m tired.

I’m tired of the grey London weather.
I’m tired of the blogosphere.
I’m tired of reading the same old purple prose that doesn’t actually mean anything.
I’m tired of platitudes and hyperbole.
I’m tired of reading about how everyone’s lives are so awesome.
I’m tired of reading about how grateful they are for their awesome lives.
I’m tired of hearing about green juices, cleanses, engagements and weddings.
I’m tired of competitiveness.
I’m tired of requests and demands.
I’m tired of being a slave to my inbox.
I’m tired of waiting for results.
I’m tired of being alone.
I’m tired of being tired.

This morning my therapist remarked that I seem to standing at the edge of my universe, that I’ve gone as far as I can and now I’m ready to cross over into a whole new one. And I nodded and said yes, YES. That’s exactly how it feels.

I’m ready for a new universe of experience. A new world of possibility and inspiration and love. One where I don’t feel tired at all.

I believe it’s possible.

Patience. Patience. Patience.

Three little stitches

I had a mole removed on Monday. It all started a few weeks ago after showering one morning before heading out to a doctor’s appointment about something else entirely. As I dried my skin I happened to look down at the mole on my abdomen, the one that had been looking strange for while, when ‘SHOW THE DOCTOR’ boomed loud and clear in my head. It had never occured to me to do that — I’d noticed the changes but never actually cottoned on to what that might mean. Our bodies change — it’s just part of getting older, surely?

So I showed the doctor, he referred me to the dermatology department at Hammersmith Hospital and on Monday I found myself having local anaesthetic injected into my flesh before a patch of my skin was removed along with the franken-mole. I was given three stitches — my first ever — and sent home to wait for the results of the biopsy.

As with most things, I’m doing my best to take this in my stride. if the results are clear I just have to continue being vigilant with my skin and regularly check my moles. If the results are of the more scary variety I’ll need to a have a much larger patch of skin removed and we’ll take it from there. As of right now it could go either way.

I was planning to write a post about this when I had the results, but, of course, this is blocking any other posts I had planned. Sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook, and hearing about others who’ve been in this situation — some many times before — has been really helpful. I spent my childhood getting burned to a crisp so have always been careful to use sunblock ever since, especially in my twenties when 10 years with an Italian meant 10 years of visting his family under the scorching summer sun. Slapping on the SPF has been the bane of my life as I really can’t go into the sun without burning. Now i’m grateful I persevered with it.

I tend to view my body as merely the vehicle that gets me around — I’ve never really identified it as ME. This has resulted in life lived from the neck up, only paying attention to my body when it stops working efficiently (which is a lot of time when you don’t take care of it). The extra book-baby weight that made me feel like crap; the RSI that’s plagued me for years; the suspected gluten intolerance; the PMS; the overly sensitive skin that blisters at the slightest touch. It’s all an inconvenience that makes me like my body even less and convinces me I got short-changed in the DNA department.

And human bodies are just so biological. Viruses can attack them. They swell and bloat for seemingly no reason. They age and stop working properly. Moles go renegade and need to be cut off. This is all coming at a time when I’m already feeling a bit sensitive about about ageing. In the last few years my body has definitely started changing. It’s quite shocking to appear to be losing the resilience and invincibility you thought you had when you were younger. To realise the morning creases on your face are still there in the evening. And let’s not even speak of the sagging and drooping and general unfirmness of it all.

I experience the world through my senses — sometimes too much — but rather than this be about the body it’s simply information that’s fed back into my brain. So it’s time to join my head and body back together, to accept that while I’m here this IS me, sags creases and all. And i don’t know what this looks like yet, because it’s not as simple as join a gym and start drinking green juice. But I do know I can’t just think my way into this.

In extremely related news, I’ve been planning my next tattoo, the one that will mark the beginning of my 40s (37 days to go!). It’s not lost on me that I’m planning to indelibly change how my skin looks again while also tending to my first ever scar. I’m actually really psyched about having a scar — does that sound odd? I view it as a badge of honour somehow, a marker of my ability to look after myself, even when that brings permanent physical change. There are the scars we choose and the ones that are thrust upon us. Until now my scars have all been held inside me — for the longest time during my bereavement I wished I had scars on the outside to show how much my life had been changed by his death. It didn’t seem right that I looked the same when my insides had been rearranged forever. Now, in the smallest way, I bear proof of time passing that goes deeper than laughter lines and the odd grey hair. Somehow these three little stitches have woken me up to how disconnected I’ve been from mySelf. I want to stitch myself back together: head, body, heart and soul. I’ve no doubt there will be more stitches to come, if not now then at some point in the future, so best I start now, with the things I have some control over, while I wait for the biopsy results I have no control over at all.

The permission slip*

You are allowed to unfollow the people who make you feel bad,
the ones who curate their lives like interior design magazines,
whose day never seems to be filled with the
dirty dishes of your reality.

You are allowed to unfollow the old school friend
who’s busy repopulating the world
while you wonder if you’ll ever find love again and
listen to the sound of your ovaries going mouldy.

You are allowed to ignore the quick-fix merchants who
offer ten reasons why your life doesn’t work
and then tell you how to fix it
if you buy their program today! Click here!

You are allowed to unsubscribe from the emails that
clutter your inbox. To ignore the teleseminars
and free trainings and video secrets and offerings
that never seem to teach you anything new.

You are allowed to boycott the blogs that trigger
the shit out of you. You know the ones.

Instead, you are allowed to sink back into your
own wise counsel. To make the space for your own
desires and dreams to dance and delight,
no longer distracted by the comparisons and competitions.

You are allowed to be still.
To be quiet.
To just be.

* wrote this for me… thought you might appreciate it too.

The universe doesn’t mess around*

I’d thought it would take longer.

I was prepared to wait it out, to schlep it up to the city as often as was needed to find the right place. I’d spent two days in London the week before last, viewing 10 flats in total, none of which were right, but all of them had an element I’d liked — a spacious kitchen, a cool bathroom, a good view, the right address. Mix all that together and I’d have had my perfect new home. But I made good contacts with the lettings agents I met and returned to Bath knowing it was possible. Potentially. Possibly. Inevitably? I just had to wait. I couldn’t move till the end of October. “At least I know what’s possible,” I wrote in my journal, before listing all the things I wanted in a new home. I wrote down how I wanted to feel there, too.

And then Noah’s parents got married and I got all caught up in that, only to find myself feeling out of sorts as last week rolled around (big family events will do that to you, huh?) So i was sitting in this exact spot on the sofa when an email arrived at 7pm last Tuesday from Harriet, the lovely agent I’d met the week before. “Please call me asap to view,” she wrote. “The last time we marketed this flat it let within 12 hours so please call me ASAP!” I looked at the photos… sent emails out to trusted friends — what do you think? Should I? Could I really move sooner? Then had a speed-talking panic session with Jo the next morning (thank you, love) before hopping on the train to Londontown.

I felt like I was going on a first date.

This is odd, i thought, before admonishing myself to lower my expectations. It might be shit.

I was relieved it was raining — it really is the perfect weather to view a property, because if it looks good in this weather it’s going to be mindblowing in the sunshine. Yes yes, but you haven’t seen it yet.

It took a while to get inside the building. The keys didn’t seem to want to work. My heart had turned into a den of baby rabbits (<— this is very unlike me, i should add.)

And then we were in.

And as I walked from room to room, i just knew. I could see myself there, working, playing. I could see a future mystery man making coffee in the kitchen… my nephew playing on the floor… friends gathered around the table for dinner. I could see it.

“I’ll take it,” I said.

“I meant to say…” Harriet turned to me. “It’s not available till the end of October.”

“Oh my god! It’s meant to be!” (yes, i really said this.)

And just like that, i found my flat in London. It is done.

Of course, i’ve spent the last weekend picking holes in my decision, but when I was there I knew. I felt it. I saw it. So i am going to trust the universe — because clearly the universe does NOT mess around when it has plans for you — and follow this path and see where it takes me.

Even if I do have to hire a freakin’ crane to get my furniture through the window of a third-story building.


* that photograph above? Was taken as i stepped outside the nearest tube station to my new home. I’d shot it the week before and took it as a sign (duh) that i was on the right path. Seriously you guys, the universe does not mess around. Decide what you want. Then follow the breadcrumbs…