Wearing your vulnerabilities on your sleeve

I didn’t get around to blogging yesterday, but I did have a post published on one of my favourite websites (!!!!) – it’s talking about something I’d originally written about on this blog – hair loss. I was so proud of myself for opening up about something that’s really impacted my self esteem over the years (you can read the piece here), particularly because when I last tried to talk about on this blog I’d really struggled to fully be open about my experience/feelings – it’s hard to open up about the most vulnerable parts of yourself and put them out there for the world to see.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer – I’ve just always written for as long as I can remember and I struggle to express things properly in conversation, am pretty introverted and just can’t quite see myself doing anything else and being truly content. And I’ve always been as open and honest as possible in my writing, whether that made the writing seem lazy or overdramatic or angsty as hell. But when I started sharing stuff online I suddenly became self conscious of that. In some ways, this is definitely something I need to work on – it comes with wanting to be a writer to put yourself out there, expose yourself and your insecurities and your emotions to others. But I also think there’s this sense on the internet that you must bear your soul when expressing opinions and I struggle with it – it can be so emotionally draining and I don’t always have the energy to share my perspective on issues because the place that that perspective comes from is so deeply personal. It’s something I’m trying to get more comfortable with and figure out my boundaries surrounding and I hope I’ll get there in the end. But until then, I’ll try and keep reminding myself that I don’t have to expose the rawest, most vulnerable moments in a quick tweet responding to the news of the day. I don’t have to share anything I’m not comfortable with. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t care or that I’m not honest or that I’m less of a writer.

Home

Around four months ago Louis and I moved into a little flat together in one of my favourite parts of the city.

The way golden winter morning light lands on bookshelves and blue-tacked prints, the way we have this space that’s just ours, the way I don’t have to anxiously worry if someone else is in the kitchen or the bathroom or using the washing machine – everything about it feels like magic. Hot showers and hot cups of tea and candle light and having space that’s not just a bedroom in a student house, but somewhere that I love – I’m still unable to fully comprehend that these things are actually here to enjoy, that I survived enough to experience them.

Communal living at University and difficult circumstances with my family meant I’ve often felt dislodged, not at home anywhere over the last few years. It left me scrambling, unable to ever feel like I was fully recharging or able to stay afloat. Now, all of our books sit together and we can listen to whatever music we want whilst we cook dinner and it just feels like a dream. Friends come over and we fill the place with pink balloons and confetti and laugh and I find myself unable to quite believe that I’ve managed to get this far – sharing what feels like a perfect little flat with my favourite person, looking out over the city. That despite all of the trips to hospital and doctors appointments and days when I couldn’t leave the house or my room or my bed or stop crying or remember how to breathe – I am here and I am making progress and I’m not just surviving. And I feel so endlessly grateful for that.

I’ve included two pieces with this post – one written a couple of years ago, when even going to the kitchen to make pasta felt impossible and one from recently – sitting on the sofa on a Sunday not unlike today, finally feeling at home again.