Good Morning Autumn 🍂

 

With the subtle glow of the sun resigning itself to the fact that the cool wind is a stronger being, with the trees gallantly grasping on to their remaining green leaves as others turn a lighter shade of burnt gold and with that different, magical feel in the air that seasons are changing, Autumn my lovelies, is finally here.

The atmosphere always feels like something magical is brewing as Autumn air swirls around the trees and the wisp of the wind meaningfully brushes through the leaves causing a movement in them that is always absent during summer. There’s that glorious need to now where scarves when you leave the house, a need for that extra cup of tea in the evening and the need for a cosy pair of socks to decorate your tootsies while you watch the awesome Autumn TV.

I think what I adore so much about Autumn, is that it seems almost like the unseen season… It’s an in between time of year with no defining weather, no holidays, just a slow and beautiful transformation in our surroundings. Where summer brought greenery & sunshine & flowers & heat, Autumn brings warm gold & orange tones, unpredictable weather, dark mornings and a chill in the wind that’s just cold enough for the hairs on your arms to stand. Where out of nowhere a gust of wind can just sweep through the trees with birds in flocks flying off into the sky, as a solitary browning leaf floats past the window, telling the beginning of Autumn… That, to me, is the most mysterious of things, and what I love the most.

Amy 🌸🍁

My Love/Hate Friendship with Autumn

 

If I’m being completely honest, which I feel I should be here, September has come and is going far quicker than I ever thought it would. This year was supposed to turn into something much different to what it has and the month of September held a very significant point to all of it. Alas, things have not happened the way I thought they were going to at the start of the year and now this time of year holds a very bitter sweet existence in my life. Where I absolutely adore autumn and the magical beauty the season brings, I am sorely reminded that I am not in the place I thought I would be and instead, I find myself alone, at 3 in the morning doing everything I can to distract myself from thinking about the one thing that used to bring me so much joy, but which now exists only as a forbidden memory within my scarred mind. Which I spend hours trying to ignore and which is still finding ways to creep into my thoughts when I’m least expecting it, when my guard is down. And it’s annoying. Really really annoying. After all of my hard work and strength to ease my mind and thoughts from the misery it’s known, for it all to be threatened by a moments reminder of such harrowing times. It’s just annoying.

I can only describe it as corner of the eye phenomena… You know when (in literal terms) you see something in the corner of your eye and if you’re not scared, turn your head to catch a glimpse of what it was taunting you? But what if it’s something a bit more sinister that’s hanging around in that corner of your eye, on in my case mind? You’re not so quick to turn your head then to confront this annoying presence of unknown entity. And you stare straight in front of you keeping your head completely still, not looking round once. Not acknowledging it for one second, because you know if you do, you’ll be consumed by this terrifying force that is primed and waiting to pounce on your soul and destroy every last bit of the strength you’ve gone to so much trouble to build. So yeah, this tormented memory is lingering around in the corner of my mind, as though it belongs there (which it doesn’t) and every so often it will creep round so far into my thoughts enough to make me acknowledge it and with nowhere to run or look away, I see it and I think about it. But I still have the power over this thing. Because I have not let it consume me. Not once. And I certainly don’t intend on letting it ever consume me. For the times when it did, when I was living the horror of this memory, I know it’s a place I never want to enter again. And that’s good enough knowledge to bring myself back from stepping into its being.

This is heavy!

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Also, with the coming of Autumn, means my M.E. is putting in quite the effort to show its ugly face and I am currently feeling the force of it, like I haven’t done for a few years. I notice my M.E. a lot more during season change and Autumn is no exception. I am having some very unwell days at the moment and so far, I have only been sent home ill from work once in the last couple of months, but I fear as we go deeper into the season, that might just increase.

I’ve had M.E. since I was 7 years old so 17 years later, I can safely say I’m quite well acquainted with what to expect. It hasn’t been this bad in absolutely ages and I feel completely floored by it. It’s honestly knocked me for six. I’m spending all day every day in pain all over struggling to walk up and down the stairs without a dull ache soaring through my legs, my back feels like someone is running over it with an army tank and the rest of feels pretty similar. I don’t think there is one part of me that isn’t effected. Aside from the severe aches and pains which are foremost at the moment, comes a myriad of other problems that goes with it. Such as constant tiredness, sleep pattern problems (which is why I’m writing this morbid essay at 3.30am), brain fog and concentration difficulties, memory issues, colds and other infections, raised and painful glands, irritability and sensitivity to just about everything which effects all of the senses. This is all alongside holding down an 8.30am – 6pm job which sees me on my feet all day moving around an awful lot, with only an hour at lunch to flop myself down on the nearest chair and eat, whimper, repeat until it’s time to go back to the grind.

I’d be interested to find out if any other M.E. sporter experiences flare ups during season change as I seem to get this each time. Just not spring to summer but I think that’s because no one in the history of ever, can tell the flaming difference between the two! And if you can then you probably have special powers and should be knighted by the queen. And dame hood if you’re a girl, obvs. And if you’re not an M.E. expert, you can read more about it here if you so wish.

But I do love Autumn and always get excited when it arrives, I just have a few difficulties during it. It brings so many exciting things like brown crunchy leaves which fall to the ground and conveniently collect in big piles so someone walking along can come and have fun buoyantly kicking them into the air bringing them back to life and making the kicker and cruncher entirely happy. And there’s Halloween, and darker evenings and mornings, and the return of woollen knitwear and great telly. Because who agrees TV shows greatly improve once we reach autumn? 🙋🏻 I mean, there’s Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off and The Apprentice and some exciting new drama always starts one the BBC, so really, Autumn is the place to be… Just with Paracetamol and a hot water bottle if you’re me. Gosh, don’t I build the most stylish of pictures!?

I’m going to be doing more Autumn related posts in the coming weeks, but happier ones like my Autumn wishlist and  a favourites post too, because I do have quite a few favourite things building up and I need to let everyone know!

Amy 🌸

A Midweek Muse…

 

After a topsy tervy weekend & Sunday night topping everything off badly, by the time Monday morning came around, I was in a not so great place and I found myself in the doctors waiting room, early morning.

I have slowly felt my anxiety and negative feelings creep back into the equation recently, but it’s always seemed manageable with some Bach Rescue Remedy and chocolate. However, this time felt different. And so, after a trip to the docs, I came away not much better off. Unsurprisingly. She thought it would be a marvellous idea for me to talk to someone about the things that make me anxious and low, and I looked at her and thought “great, I have to drag up everything I’m working so damn hard to put behind me, hear how pitiful to mankind it is and then humiliation on the table, wait to see if she replies to any of this or if it’s just a ‘get it out of your system’ excerise!” It’s not really my cup of tea as I don’t blab and blab about my feelings, certainly not to a stranger, so I’m very sceptical. Anyway, that’s not until September so I’ve only got 6 weeks to deal with all of this, I’ll probably have cured myself by the time September comes around! 🍂

I’ve found it very difficult to write for my blog, on Twitter, in my notebook… I’ve stopped gardening, am hiding away in my room when I can and tear up at any given moment. At work I’ll feel snappy, anxious, stressed and take everything personally, and the amount of times I’ve declared I’m finding a new job, is probably unhealthy. But I do need to find a new job anyway, so that part is relevant. But sometimes, when that panic is building in your mind, the emotion is building in your chest and heart starts racing and your breathing quickens, that’s when everything begins to feel impossible. Either impossible to deal with, cope with, dream of, continue with and even just talking to someone or messaging them feels like a huge stressful action which adds to the dread. I won’t go on too much as it’s quite a personal thing for me and I prefer keeping my feelings fairly private, but yeah, I just wanted to touch lightly on where I am currently with life and how, despite everyone telling me how well I’m doing (given circumstances), inside I’m still fighting quite a big battle of emotions and spontaneous feelings of panic and being a failure. 😖

I havent even even been to Jazzercise this week… Monday I wasn’t well enough and Wednesday night was cancelled which was a huge disssapointment as I’d psyched myself up for it and I’d abandoned dinner I’d made to get there on time… But in hindsight it was just as well they’d cancelled as I had definitely left my water bottle at home, so I would have been flapping around like a dehydrated fish at a ‘Fame’ night if I’d been there without my water!

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Once I’d returned home deflated but hungry, I gobbled my dinner and watched two episodes of Celebrity Masterchef which I’m surprisingly in to, and delved about in the fridge for my strawberries and yogurt! With a complementary bar of chocolate of course. Everything comes with a bar of chocolate these days! For me, not everyone! Obvs! 🍫😋

I always know where I am in life when I wake up of a morning and decide I want to get a dramatic hair cut… Which is what happened yesterday… Right, gather round, sssh, quietly, someone might hear! Ok, *whispering* I haven’t been to the hairdressers for 5 years! *resuming normal voice* I know I know, it’s hideously shocking and I am ashamed of myself, don’t worry! But it’s all rectified as I’ve booked an appointment this coming Saturday afternoon for a complete restyle! I want an Audrey Tautou! I’ve studied her short hair on google images (as you do) and it looks so cute, so that’s what I’m going to ask for. An Audrey Tautou. I’m not sure if it’s like the ‘Rachel’ phenomenon, or the ‘Meg Ryan’, but I’m not one to conform to any trend, so I’ll set my own! I’ve only ever had short hair once, five years ago funnily enough, and kind of liked it, but with a nicer style this time, I think I may just stick with it if she does it well enough. Yay! Haircut! ☺️

I’ll do a whole post-hair-cut-post after its done Saturday afternoon and hopefully without a Bailey’s bottle in hand! Although, it would be a nice treat… No Amy, the haircut is the treat! Slippery slope! Slippery slope! … Oooh, a slope with Bailey’s poured down it would be slippery…

A girl can dream… ✨

Amy 🌸

My Friday Blues…

 

As I write this, I am sat surrounded by a myriad of bowls and tuppaware strategically placed around my room, in vain attempt of catching the multiple leaks in my ceiling where the torrential rain is having great fun tidal waving in… I know I live in an old house but something’s got to give… Right?
I shamefully spent all morning in my bed, feeling very blue and not wanting to move. Have you ever felt that? When you really don’t want to move, either because you’re sooo comfy or because moving would seem futile, or even just because there’s no real need to?
Well, that was me this morning. I wasn’t even feeling sorry for myself.
I’d woken from a lovely, out of the blue dream, felt great when I opened my eyes, felt as though I was being hugged inside and even had a smile creep across my face.
But slowly, as the early morning saw 7am, then 8am, I began going down hill. Once I’d woken from my dream, blissfully happy (the first time in ages) at 5.15am, it was then I made my first mistake and a mistake that led me to staying in bed all morning. For I stupidly got out of bed at dawn and left my room… After being instantly hounded by a certain person, I felt a huge pang of anxiety overtake my mind and body and all the peace and fuzziness that I had woken up with, ran for the hills leaving me shutting myself in my room again trying to block it all out.
It’s a running trend with me, that the moment I feel at ease and peaceful, anxiety and worry comes a knocking and it all appears wasted and unattainable.
So, in true rebel fashion (for me at least), I holed myself in my room for the morning, scoffing back a donut, chocolate, coffee, tea and three (no really, 3!) crumpets with extra butter! I’m not sure if it was a minor breakdown or just the immediate reaction to having my inner peace destroyed in a matter of seconds, but it was actually a pretty ok way to spend my morning. I did productive things like write and job search, but I felt guilty that I’d reacted to one moment of stress in such a selfish way. That’s the thing about anxiety though, it creeps up on you silently and pounces on you when you’re at your assumed calmest and therefore makes you doubt you’re ever able to be truly calm. Such a shame after waking from my wonderful dream I’m not entirely sure what to make of!

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Fortunately, I had the excellent excuse of Friday lunchtime coffee with the girls from work to get ready for, which saved me from indulging in the very tempting thought of staying barricaded in my room for the rest of the day. I got bathed and dressed, did my hair and make up, and found my old brolly to brave the rain, and set off to the coffee shop. I was first to arrive and I ordered my pot of Twinings English Breakfast Tea, sat at a table for four and tried as best I could to be ready for socialising. There is such a big part of me which dreads group situations as I always feel like all eyes are on me and that anything I pluck up the courage to say, sounds the most ludicrous thing since Nick Clegg told students that Uni fees would decrease. They didn’t arrive straight away so as I sipped my very tasty tea, I grabbed my notebook from my bag and started to write. It felt good to write in a place I’d never written in before. It almost puts a different perspective on things and it’s very interesting. You should try it! It wasn’t long before the others arrived and once everyone had ordered their coffees, we all managed to engage in a relatively enjoyable conversation which wasn’t too agitating for me. Win win…

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The last couple of weeks has had its ups and down. Just when you think a day is going to be ok and you’ve got a good idea of what you’re about to do next, something swoops in and brings you down in an instance, flattening your mood, wiping out your enthusiasm and leaving you with the feeling of dread in whatever you’re about to do next. I am going through a period of unsettling uncertainty about my future; where I live, my career & the career change I want and need so much, my health, my family… Everything is whirring round my mind, frenzied curiosity matched with frenzied fear that now I’ve messed up one important thing, I’m messing up everything else and I’m destined to live forever, the way I am now.

While moving back home after ‘that horrible thing’ happened gave me what I needed at that point, it’s not what I’m going to need forever and I feel I’m beginning to need something very different right now.
The job I’ve had for 7 years is very rarely satisfying these days and I’m struggling to tolerate a lot of things there, which is making me dread going to work in the mornings and leaving me with a strange sense of regret at the end of the day. Bottom line, I know I can do better. Better than my current performance in my current job, and better career wise. I’m good at what I do, but through lack of a lot of things, my motivation has depleted significantly and I now realise my performance in the last year has not exactly diminished, it just hasn’t grown. It hasn’t had the opportunity to grow.
I can be very conscientious and enthusiastic when I feel strongly about my cause/role, but when my role is stagnating and repetitive, I find it’s difficult to maintain that level of enjoyment and energy that employers need. It’s hard to impress in a job in which you are bound by repetitive tasks, a small working environment and team, and no room to show any other skills and attributes you may have. Therefore, receiving very infrequent acknowledgement/praise for your work… I need a career change and now!

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Then there’s the hugerer matter of my living arrangements… I am struggling continuing living with my parents now. They were supportive during my time of need and I have been very appreciative of that, but we are very different people.
I’m 24, I don’t want to be living at home. I know there are lots of people my age living at home because house/rent prices are way too high and yes, if I was in a different financial position, I’d be finding a cute little apartment in the city where I could escape to and make my castle of happiness and proud Singletonsville living.

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I have built this very rose tinted image in my head of what my apartment would look like; autumn rain dancing on the city streets below, fairy lights softy lighting my living room to ease the grey cloud shadows penning in through the Georgian windows. Lighthearted, upbeat jazz music playing quietly in the background… Pianos and saxophones filling the Sunday afternoon air around the cosy building, creating a warm and fuzzy atmosphere. Classy pictures on the wall of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe dotted around, along with dramatic framed pictures of New York City and London. Frank Sinatra albums stacked on the media shelf next to Swing hits and “Music for Fine Dining”. Jam bubbling away in a pan on the stove in the kitchen while scribbled blog notes scattered in numbers occupy the living room coffee table.
Big green leafy plants fill the rooms with geranium & hyacinths on windowsills, ferns in the corners of the rooms and a herb garden in the kitchen. Soft, fluffy rugs on the floor and matching throws on the chairs to cuddle up with on a rainy afternoon whilst listening to that autumn rain splash heavily on the roof, as a lighthearted Woody Allen film plays quietly on the TV. Preferably “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger” or “To Rome With Love”.
Little shelves dotted here and there with books on some, plants on others and special shelves for precious trinkets & photos.
Oh the dreams to be a chic city girl and not the floundering village country bumpkin I currently am. Ok, maybe not quite a country bumpkin, but I know everyone in the village, work in the village and I’m starting to like the smell of manure… I need to escape. I need to become friends with exhaust, buddy up with buses, get pally with pollution… Anything to transform me to city girl extraordinaire! Pronto! PDQ! STAT! ASAP! Like yesterday!
I am seriously at risk of a) spending the rest of my life in the same village I have grown up in and work in and b) becoming the leading lady of a new series of Little House On The Prairie. Or worse… The Waltons.
Now, if I had a chilled Bailey’s on the rocks in one hand and a bar of Galaxy in the other, maybe life wouldn’t seem so daunting, so final, so death sentancy… But I have neither and all I have in my hand is the empty glass of water I need to refill but am too scared to go downstairs to the kitchen by myself in the dark. What. A. Rediculous. Human. Being. Oh god, I can practically hear someone saying that now to me, in a Simon Cowell voice. *Puts fingers in ears* “La la la la”…
Ok, so in reality, all my apartment/ city based rose tinted fantasies are at present, a distant dream on the barely visible horizon, so for the time being, I need to find a way to make it happen. To make that particular dream come true. It’s ok, I don’t need to make any huge changes, I’ll be just fine. Only the career change, the studying I need to decide on to allow me to change career and working out my finances to fund this move to the city… Why I always dream of the big stuff in life is still a mystery to even those close to me. Sigmund Frued would have a field day with me…

So there it is, my blues that have taken up this Friday. Although I have a ton of things to be grateful for, I am thinking over the areas of my life which just aren’t going down so well. I know what I want, it’s just achieving it and getting myself there that’s going to be the tricky part. But I love a challenge and I definitely have one on my hands with this!

Do you have a dream you’re dreaming of but finding it difficult to see your way along the misty path? I’d love to hear your aspirations and how you’re achieving them so please leave a little comment if you feel like it 🙂

Thank you for reading,

Amy 🌸

A Sunny, Dreamy Afternoon…

 

7th June 2015
A warm sunny day, a cool breeze floating in through my window. Gentle yet excitable tweets from the birds in the trees… Yes, the great outdoors was teasing me. Hinting for me to go outside and play, and given that it seemed like my best offer since my runaway trip to Devon, I felt obliged to give in…
It has been an awful long time since I have gone for a walk in my hometown, and I have to admit, it was glorious. I was fortunate enough to only wear my floral blouse and skinny jeans, but I had put my cardy in my bag, along with a chocolate bar and my notebook… I like to go prepared on outings.

I walked out of my drive, down my road and turned on my music and it was then, I let myskelf smile at the beautiful place I am in. I have spent so many months cooped up in a small city centre flat, with no garden, no sunshine, no plants or people you knew and could wave to as you walked down the road. But I had that today. I had the sun on my back, I had the friendly people to wave to and greet, I had the beauty of peoples gardens, the flowers and trees… The beauty of homeowners houses and I had the feel of village life. And after spending so long in the dirty, noisy and unsociable city, I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.

I’ve always thought of myself as a city girl, always wanting to move there. Even up until recently I’ve wanted to up sticks and settle down in the high-rise, wanting to immerse myself in the busy hubbub of the streets, the noise of people going from one building to another. I think I was hoping that if I could surround myself with all that busyness, I wouldnlt feel lonely. Completely ignoring of course the hidden dangers of pollution, street crime and the realisation that no one, no one in the street you’d be walking down would give two hoots about your existence. And I ask myself, now, is that what I really want? Do I honestly want to end up somewhere I could feel surprisingly lonely? Somewhere that gives you a false sense of belonging but in harsh reality, only serves as a horrifying daily reminder at how insignificant you are.

Because I’ve had the alternative. I’ve come from a background of everyone knowing who you are, caring about how you’ve been ( or at the very least, pretending to) and I’ve had the safety of walking down the street and feeling relatively assured that at some point on your walk home, you’ll see someone you actually know, and half like! … I’m pretty sure you don’t get that in the city!
But, my next predicament, is that after all that’s happened, after everything I’ve been through, would I prefer to be anonymous for a while? Would I rather be away from all the prying people, all the nosy parkers, the curtain twitchers who will eventually start to ask how my romance is going? Hows the love life! How’s things with T? Why haven’t you moved yet?

And I have to stand there and politely, (because quite frankly despite inner feelings, I have no other option) and explain that there no longer is a romance and I’m certainly not moving in with anybody!

The words tragic, humiliating, painful and hopefully avoidable spring to mind!
So, I need to go to a place where I can have that beauty I described, that nurturing, friendly environment… At the same time as possessing a ton of anonymity! Where I go, no one would have to know about what has happened, no one would know I’d been on the brink of moving in with a boyfriend, talking about marriage & children and planning a future with a dog called Pippa…

And I’d be away from him, memories of him and what we’ve had, and I’d have no risk of bumping into him and ending up feeling how I felt the last time I saw him, (when he told me it was really over), like a love sick puppy who’d just met the love of her life, butterflies and all! You see, I’d be free. Or something very close to it. I can’t escape from my memories though, or my thoughts. But being in a different town, a different county, might just help me along the way.

Yesterday, I asked… I don’t know, I guess the universe, to give me a sign if I should seriously consider moving to the seaside… And this morning, when I arrive at my grandparents house, the picture on their calendar is of Clovelly, North Devon, with a row of beautiful houses rolling down to the ocean.

I leapt on that picture like a woman possessed, much to the amused but unsurprised look from my granny… For my Granny knows better than anyone that when I get an idea in my head, very little gets

in the way of making it happen and it generally consumes my entire brain until it either works out or I come to a reluctant conclusion that it’s impossible.

However, this little lifesaving fantasy can’t fail, it can’t be impossible.

I see it now, headliner for my village newspaper… “”Heartbroken village girl Amy sets sail to South coast on a brave solo mission to restore faith in life and all it has to offer… And sets up shop in the local cafe too, where she’s proven a success with the locals… She’s the most sought after woman on the South coast!”

But that’s just in my head of course… *clears throat* moving on…


Anyway, my big idea is taking shape nicely in my head and I just need to come into an awful lot of money to pull it off. And I’m sorry to say it, but I’m not going to lie, I have considered… Doing one of those lottery things. Hey, I need a lot of money for my plan, my vision. I have no sugar daddy or stock share to go running to, I’m running this dream solo here.

And it’s up to me to source the finances for it. In the meantime, I start some sort of training. And a trip into town this week will help me get started very nicely…
Well, I’m off to ponder this project over an icecream, and possibly a glass of wine. No no, just kidding… I don’t have wine in the house.

I must make ‘notes to self about this’…
Amy 🌸