Sit down, put your feet up, stay a while.
Hey October, long time no see. You’ve been well I trust? Good, good, I’m glad to hear it. Can you believe it’s been a whole year? No, me neither. Let’s reminisce….
*Cue flashback harp music and swirling screen*
October 2nd 2013. It was a college day. I did not blog. I received two Facebook wall posts from Tillie, one containing recipes for Pokemon cocktails (yes, I intend to make them one day) and the other pictures of giant Redwood trees. Because I love them and we’d been to Queenswood the week before where they have some beautiful Redwoods which I used to love when I was a child. Going again last year reminded me that I still love them. They’re stunning.
I do not think this day last year was particularly momentous in my life. I know that I had lost my mojo and wasn’t quite sure where I’d left it. My mum was quietly concerned about me, and I was going through life on autopilot. College, work, home, Di-Di’s. I remember it all just being a bit of a blur of places I went without wanting to be anywhere. I was struggling to find my motivation, desperately clawing at the small dot of light hovering just outside my reach. I’d been home from Eclipse for a month or so by that point, but I was still missing it. A year ago tomorrow, I got a link to someone’s photographs. They made me cry I think. Because my mind was thrown back to the summer, those five weeks of beautiful happy escapism. I lived in this place, the place I am now, but with no real commitment to anything. It was a blissful and joyful time spent with friends and horses and a pinch of summer romance. Being back at home without all those things, well without that feeling I had become so used to, I became listless and lethargic and dull.
I remember trying to hurl myself into my work, forcing my focus onto college assignments, assessments, opportunities. Trying to enjoy the moments I had when they came. Making the most of the friends around me, the places I could be, wanting to appreciate what I did have rather than resenting what I didn’t. It worked some days I think.
I recall the only good thing was the riding. I was improving in leaps and bounds thanks to my experiences in the summer. My confidence had grown and I was beginning to believe I could do it. I was expanding my own horizons and testing my ability. And it was all working out for the good. Every time I got on a horse, I felt better. That was one of the factors that told me I really was in the right industry. The horses I rode and cared for seemed to be the only thing to pull me out of my slump. I know I didn’t get my mojo back properly until November or December. I can’t quite remember when, or what prompted the sudden return. But it was better.
*Jump forward in time, stopping at various moments throughout the year*
~ Visiting my Grandpa and watching my mum distraught at seeing her dad so weak.
~ “Would you be interested in working here?” My face lights up as I realise the opportunity I am being offered by the yard manager.
~ “Look what you’ve done to my fence”. I lie on the ground clutching my ribs, trying not to cry as pain lances through my body. The yard manager is more concerned about the cracked fence panel behind me.
~ Galloping on my birthday with two good friends, wind rushing in my ears, the sound of hooves pounding making me grin like an idiot.
~ “Come here Mr Giraffe”. Pure joy envelops me as the giraffes come to eat out of my hand. I have never been happier.
~ Driving through Ireland, alone. Smiling the whole way because I know where I’m going.
~ “But Mum, I don’t want to leave. I don’t think I can”. A tearful phonecall while I’m trying to work out what to do next
~ Saying goodbye to friends at the end of the summer. They are going home, I am staying put.
*Stop. Present day*
I am in Ireland. I am working. I am enjoying my life. I am happy. I have mojo aplenty. Although at present I am a little under the weather so most of my energy is being used to make me better. I love antibiotics at this moment in time. They are helping. The house is quiet but I am content. A far cry from a year ago. While I am very tired and run down at the moment, I know that once my body is fighting fit again, I will be back on form. This downturn is physical, not mental. Mentally I am in a better place than I have been for a while.
A conversation last night made me smile. A friend told me with sincerity that I deserve this happiness. My doubts were thrown over his shoulder as he declared that it was nice to see the world rewarding someone brave enough to try living who they are rather than what they are told to be. I know I have worked hard to achieve, and I have plunged myself in head first a lot of the time, just hoping I’ll be able to tread water for long enough to survive. I figured it was the only way. I hadn’t thought about how that might make me seem brave to others. I am not brave. I am squeamish and full of fear. I cannot leave a room if the corridor outside is dark without panicking that something is going to jump on me and kill me. I am totally ridiculous sometimes.
I have never asked for much. Not seriously. So to have life arranging itself just so for me, is something of a shock. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still totally overwhelmed by it all. To be able to live my life, even if only for the time being, in this state of productive pleasantness seems strange. I have found a job I love, in a place I adore, with people I relish the company of. I no longer feel stressed and hounded by my finances, or panicky about my future. I do not have that cloud of indecision hanging over my head and I forget to fear the uncertainties which lie around every corner.
This is the first time I have ever felt that luck must have something to do with it. Because I couldn’t create all this for myself on my own. I don’t have that power. Someone, somewhere, has thrown fairy dust or leprechaun gold or whatever you will at me.
October 2013? Good riddance. October 2014? You might be cold, but you are welcome, friend.
You bring the good times and I’ll bring the jumpers.