Self Expression Magazine

Where I've Been

Posted on the 04 June 2016 by Scarphelia
Where I've Been
Oh boy. To put it simply, this has been a sore month. 

I didn't even realize I'd been more or less radio silent online until someone bought it to my attention on Twitter. I probably would've gone an entire month in silence if I'd not been required to publish the post from Lanzarote. But I'm really glad I did that. Sometimes the stuff we really don't want to do ends up being the best thing we could've done. 

You know,  The funny thing is, if you look at my situation now and my situation at the start of May, I'm in pretty much exactly the same place. The hardest part is everything that's happened in between, which leaves me very very far from being in the same place at all. 

I'm loathe to even start writing this publicly because I'm very aware 'there's people in the world with far greater troubles' etc etc. But that's a kettle of fish we all know is best not to open. I also hate blogging about miserable shit, because I know there's no good ruminating on negativity and sucking others into it too. Mother always said 'if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all' - perhaps that's why I've been silent. BUT there is a silver lining to this, I promise. Just a little one, but one nonetheless. And I'll be damned if I'm not clinging onto it with all my might.Okay. 

*deep exhalation* This month was so cruel, because the hope I'd been searching for ever since I'd got back from New York City finally found it's way to me, and before I could even clasp my hands around it, was torn away again. See, I don't have a very helpful mind. It tries it's best, as do I, but we're still unable to co-operate very effectively. What I'm really lacking is a brain bouncer. This is the way I look at it; with every single thing you learn, adventure you undertake and formative experience which leaves an imprint on your heart, the blueprints of your soul expand. Your mind grows and grows with each new metaphysical diary entry, becoming a rich catalog bursting with reference points and unique memories. But the more your mind expands, the greater the archway there is for evil to pass through.

 The wiser you become, the more existential turmoil comes with it. The more you know, the more you know what is wrong, and how little you can do to fix it. Do you ever wonder how children can always be so happy and carefree? All I know is I could really do with some kind of brain bouncer, a handy little doorman who shakes his head and says Not today buddy to a little train of anxious worries that are trying to tag along with an exciting idea for a future plan or project.Dropping out of Uni to live on a boat in New York was perhaps the greatest formative experience I'll ever have. And I came home so full, bloated with epiphanies and memories the likes I'd never experienced in my 23 years, yet with it, I was so newly hollow. For there was nothing now that could fill the space these experiences had afforded the acreage to thrive in.And that's been my life for the last 10 or so months since I returned. Sure I was lucky enough to secure a writing job not long after I returned, but fast forward a few months and my 'everyday' seems to be typing up some bits and pieces here and there from my bed before pinging them off to my boss via email and settling down to watch The Simpsons until I pass out. I've had enough money to live on but not quite enough to move out, and so slowly and surely I've been melting, my spirit slowly disintegrating into a puddle of mush. I am but a green-plumbob Sim with 'Social' glaring dead and scarlet from the dashboard, forever chasing zeros in my bank balance after another month of buying pointless stuff to try and fill that gaping hole in my heart. The isolation has been perhaps the most crippling aspect of it all. My close friends are all living in the post-university liberation phase, traveling the world or helping out in orphanages in Nepal, studying at a world famous drama school or dancing on a cruise ship around Hawaii. All the while I'm working from home, alone in my childhood room I was supposed to leave for good at 18. I couldn't be more excited for them and I feel such pride at seeing them be the badass bitches I know them to be, but reaching for the phone in an hour of need is as good as futile. I realised what I needed - something that got me out of the house, got me around good people, and gave me a little bit of money so I could finally move forward with my life. Fuck, I needed a job.Then, May.In a completely unexpected move I was invited to Lanzarote with a bunch of bloggers. How sad that I was probably most looking forward to it because then at least I wouldn't be spending any money. Despite being a lonely bitch, the trip was s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l. I'm so glad I had the opportunity, but by the end it was frankly a relief to be home - until I was struck down with a bout of gastroenteritis that lasted Two. Fucking. Weeks. *reclines back in chair with hands behind head* Now, 'rock bottom' is a term used quite loosely these days...I'm kidding, (I'm not) but it just kinda felt fate was taking the piss at this point. I wearily traipsed around Brighton trying not to puke, handing out CV's to my favorite bars and coffee shops like a 16 year-old who's Mum is forcing them to get a weekend job. It was kind of hard to explain in a cover letter that yes, you do have a legit professional job but you need to return to 8 hours on your feet shifts and rude customers for the sake of your goddamn sanity.  Mid-May I got a phone call. One of the places wanted me to come in for a trial shift. I'm not even embarrassed to tell you how happy I was. I put down the phone and actually screamed like I'd just got a callback for a feature film, or some big record exec had gave our EP a spin and wanted to call us in for a 'chat'. Within a week I was hired and my life changed in every way I'd been praying it would for the last 10 months. I'd do my writing by day, feeling newly invigorated and motivated to smash my deadlines, knowing in the evening I'd be off to hang out at the bar with a bunch of amazing people. The staff were all super fun and each had a whole bunch of side projects and other jobs of their own. One owned an online store selling embroidery, a few of them were musicians and played in local bands, one was a kids guitar teacher. I was instantly embraced and it meant more to me than they could ever know. One evening after close, knowing I had to be up at 8am to shoot into London for a work meeting, I stayed til 3am with one of my colleagues as we drank, laughed and told stories of our lives. Afterward as we parted he gave me a hug and said 'Shit I'm glad you're here. I'm going to put in a good word.' I was ecstatic, and no amount of tiredness or desperation for coffee the next morning could rid the smile from my face. In my spare time I even started drafting a post about how sometimes 'The Dream' isn't all it's cut out to be, and sometimes the deepest most sincere form of happiness can actually be found in the most lowkey, unexpected of places.With the extra money, I was finally in the position to move out too, and find my own place in Brighton. Not only had this job given me friends, a purpose, discipline structure and motivation, it was also going to allow me to finally have a home.The sun shone as spring melted hazily into summer, the Brighton festival, Brighton fringe and The Great Escape Festival all coincided to bring a bunch of incredible pop-up gigs, street theater and beautiful warm faces to Brighton, and an air of romance clung to my skin like condensation on the side of a pint glass. I finally arranged some flat viewings and was completely blown away by one in Kemptown, just 10 minutes walk to the bar and 15 to the train station. The flat was stunning, with floor to ceiling walls which gave view to the verandas of little cafes and wine bars on the streets below, and an unobstructed view of the glistening ocean and the pier at the end of the road. The stuff of my greatest pinterest dreams. My would-be flatmate was amazing as well, a local high school teacher with a penchant for adventure. I only went to view the place but ended up staying for over an hour, talking about dreams and what it means to be young in such a city. I even ended up telling him about the book I've been half-heartedly writing through my misery, and he seemed genuinely captivated. 

He just got it, you know?I left on a cloud. I was finally out of the darkness and into the light. I went straight to the bar and told them all about it, and they seemed genuinely pleased for me. My days of post-NYC misery had finally come to a close, and now I had all the possibilities of my future ahead of me. A job that paid the bills and a job I loved. Kind, funny people who were a joy to be around, who'd toasted to me as 'part of the family' on my last shift. Enough money that I could find myself a wicked place of my own and afford weekly band practises at Brighton Electric with Greg. And most of all, finally, a sense of homeThen right at the end of the month, completely out of the blue, They fired me.

Just phoned me, said they hired too many people and I was the newest. That I'd be fine though, 'cause I still had another job, right? Gone was the warmth, the familiarity, and the phone felt icy against my skin.

My hand hung limply by my ear as I watched my hope, my future and my happiness crash and burn before my eyes. Watched as those seeds of opportunity I'd sewn in my mind, which had flourished into a blossoming orchard, come crashing down, the deforestation of my soul once more. I cried when they hung up. And I shit you not, a drum roll of thunder then ripped across the sky as it began to rain. Fuck off fate, I thought. I spent the next three days in a stupor, unable to think of anything else, scrutinising my every little action, maybe something I did wrong, said wrong. Somehow I just couldn't reckon with their reasoning, and that doorman of the mind felt more absent than ever, as a torrent of anxious misery washed right through my mind shouting loud and clear all the shit things about me, deciding they probably all sat down together and trashed me before unanimously agreeing I should be told to fuck off. I could never really explain to anyone that I'd lost so much more than just a job.It truly felt like a breakup, you know when you run through all the things you'll never do and people you'll never see again? It smarted a lot like heartbreak. The worst part was having to text my would-be housemate that I had to withdraw my interest in my would-be home, watching as my future curled and crackled like paper against flame before finally breaking away into ash. At least I got in there first before he'd let me down too right? God if I'd misjudged how I was liked at the bar god forbid how horrifically I'd misjudged how this guy had perceived me too. He was probably relieved. I sent the text and hunkered down in bed with The Simpsons, realising I'd ended the month in exactly the position that I'd started it, miserable, unfulfilled, friendless and broke, just now with far greater a hole in my heart.Then my phone buzzed.

And I told you there was a little silver lining, right?

"Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this. I've got a few more viewings in the next week but out of everyone I've seen so far you were deffo up there as my favourite! I hope you manage to sort it out, thanks for letting me know x"I gave a watery smile and held my phone to my chest. It buzzed again. 
"Also... I really think your book would be amazing. Honestly, the stories just sounded so great."It took a minute for that to really sink in and I gave a little cry again. We were two complete strangers and our business was as good as done. Yet out of the kindness of his heart he'd decided to send that second message to a girl he didn't even know needed it more than anything. My heart swelled in my chest and on a whim, I shot him back a message. 
"I'm so gutted too! Your place was just amazing. Ah man, maybe it's just not meant to be. Thanks so much about the book though -" I hesitated for a moment before continuing, "Hey, if you ever just want to go for a drink or something or just hang out, I'd still be up for it. You have my number :)"He instantly shot back a reply:
"Yes deffo up for that. Keep me updated me on your situation too! x"*I don't know what the lesson is here. Maybe life isn't always completely shit? Maybe bad things happen for a reason that you can't always see at the time? Maybe me and this dude will end up being best friends for life and I'll give a cracking Maid of Honours speech at his wedding all about how we became mates because I got fired?I don't know. But that's what's been happening with me, and why there's been no newsletter or blog posts or y'know, joy. All I know is I'm fucking glad May is over, it's exhausting being me and... alrightttttttt, I'm not giving up that easily. I've had a taste of that sweet life, and I know what my happiness looks like now. I just gotta find a new way to get it. 'Cause after all, sometimes happiness is found in the most lowkey, unexpected of places, right?

Where I've Been

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