Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Hello again! I haven’t committed ‘pen to paper’ for a while now, and to be honest I’m not quite sure why. I think partly it is because I have temporarily lost the love of words a little, at least for pure enjoyment anyways. This summer I had to do an exam, and so my mind was focused on academic writing, meaning my outlook had shifted from writing being something I had to do, to something I wanted to do. The consequence of this exam also made me doubt my writing abilities, making me ask myself: Am I a good writer? Can I write a good essay and construct a solid argument? Am I good at English?
Your mind has funny ways of creeping in self-doubt and the ability to overthink. But just as every situation, the exam had an upside as well as a down – it forced me to reflect. By looking at marks and pieces from earlier in the year, I realised I am not a rubbish writer. Sure, I am no Jane Austen, but not only am I good at writing, I enjoy it too. So, here we are! It is currently my summer holidays, and strangely I can’t wait for uni to start again. Uni for me brings friends, independence, a beautiful city, the chance to learn new things, and ultimately routine. God, I crave routine! I work more productively, and my mental health is infinitely better with routine and structure. Don’t get me wrong I love time off, to properly disconnect from the hectic deadlines and commitments, but the time off wouldn’t feel half as good, if it wasn’t balanced by some sort of busyness. Uni starting again also brings the hope of normality; a chance to meet more people in person and get involved with clubs, sports and maybe even find a job. That would all be fab. Whilst I did have a good first year, there was definitely university I missed out on. But as things (hopefully) continue to move in the right direction, there comes greater freedom and less anxiety.
As I sit here writing this in my garden on a lazy Sunday, the days are blending into one, as it feels like the summer is petering out. I am always conflicted between wanting to remain in my safe, comfy bubble at home with my family and wanting to be living with more personal autonomy again. And I think both are perfectly okay mindsets to inhabit, it is only natural that you get familiar and comfortable with what feels easy and what you are most used to. So, even after a year away from home, it is still where I feel most me and relaxed. But I am sure as time goes on, that will shift as my grounding to home lessens.
I think that is enough of my rambling for now, apologies for this being a true brain dump of thoughts, feelings and words. However, I don’t think everything has to be ‘perfect’ to be good or valid – so here is an unpolished, stream-of-consciousness style piece. I encourage you to try it, just open a word document, or find a blank piece of paper and just write. For me, committing words to paper and verbalising my thoughts puts them out into the world and pushes me to confront the feelings. It gives my brain a little break from trying to maintain a million open tabs. So, join me in closing some of those tabs, trust me it will make you feel better.