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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My sister's moving to Watford

I'm a bit of a sensitive soul really, on the inside underneath a scratchy exterior so few people know it's there. So when my sister told me she was moving to Watford (it's not Watford, actually - it's even further than Watford, so I'm saying she's moving there to make myself feel better), well, I may have felt a little pressure and wetness in my eyes. 
Where she's actually moving to, you should know, is about 50 minutes drive from where we live. It's not far. But for this sensitive yet scratchy soul, it feels a little bit further than is entirely reasonable. 

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When I moved to London, I with all my bags and cases unapologetically barged into her life, set up camp and made a bit of a fuss. She's always been obliged to make room for her little sister, which I am forever grateful for, but she just keeps moving. It's almost like she's trying to have her own life or something, but that must just be my paranoid mind... 
In any case, I wish she'd stop. First it was from our home town of Chester to Newcastle for university, then down to London for her job. She then proceeded to move from Islington, to Camden, out to Surrey (of all places), then to Hackney (I felt much better) but now she's bloody leaving again! It's most inconvenient really, because every time she does, I have to adjust. I don't like adjusting. I don't like change. I like all of my friends, family and the people I love in one place where I can find them at all times. 

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But it's in times of change like this, that I forget that I too have also moved. First it was from our home town of Chester to Newcastle for university, then down to London for my job, and now from Islington out to Walthamstow, which is a tiny bit close to Hackney (you may notice a repeat pattern here - but it's entirely coincidence I assure you). 
But as any agony aunt will tell you, adjustment is of course part of life. Our parents had to adjust when we left home, we had to adjust when they moved to Gibraltar. People move every day. It's all the industrial revolution's fault, really. 

So when change is inevitable, how come it never gets easier? No matter how many of my friends move on, move house or move back home, the same worries go through my mind; the same fears of not being able to hold on to all the people I love so very dearly.
Sometimes it does happen that way of course. People change jobs, friends lose touch, and connections fade away. The ones you once spent every day with, now you never speak to them. But even though there is always a risk of some friendships never quite making it, you can't stay still, hanging on to the past. Life is the here and now and the future you will build for yourself, wherever that may be. Progress and the desire to propel forwards has defined the human race for centuries, and that instinct is not about to stop now just because I'm getting a bit weepy about Watford.

So, around we go again - hiring that removal company, ordering yet another packing kit from Argos, and drinking our way through another few bottles of wine to toast the closing of one more chapter, and the opening of the next.

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Friday, 17 July 2015

What my friend taught me

I have a friend. A great friend. A friend I couldn’t do without. One of those friends who you want to tell when something goes well, or to whom you rant when everything is going to shit.
My friend is beautiful. My friend has an AMAZING body. My friend is stylish, intelligent, funny and crazy (which is brilliant). I love spending time with her, and I am lucky to have her.

The only thing is, my friend doesn’t know this. She spends all her time seeing the best in me, but can never see the best in herself. Some of it is her own humour and how she bonds with people – self-deprecation. We all do it, and it’s definitely a cultural thing.

But my friend goes further than this. She is so down on herself, it makes me sad. She just doesn’t see it. She doesn’t see the light that I see and I wish I could help her do that. It makes me sad because that’s how I can be, and how many women (and men) can also be.

We criticise, we self-berate, we see the worst and remember only when we’ve fucked up. Sure not everyone does this, but many of us do. We focus on the negative, on the bad things people will say about us and not on the best.

What if we chose to focus on the good? On how well we’ve done today, who we’ve helped, and which dragons we have conquered. What if we asked what would need to happen to make us feel happy, peaceful or satisfied in life rather than ‘I'm not good enough’? What if we focused on feeling good today, on meeting our needs and finding our pleasure, because well, we all deserve that?
You’ve seen ‘This Girl Can’. We’re moving to a place of self-acceptance, and it feels good. It doesn’t mean we can’t reach goals and achieve, it just means maybe it’s not necessary to hate ourselves so much anymore while we find our way. 

So to my lovely, crazy friend I want to say again, you're great. 

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