Saturday

#257 // The Reunion


I've been known to be the girl that sees someone from back in the day that she recognises, and cross the road.

I don't really know why I do it. I guess small talk makes me uncomfortable. Largely, I think, what's the point? We haven't been in each other's lives for God knows how long and I dread "the question."

"So how have you been? How's life?"

*Insert generic answer about getting up, going to work and getting old here.*

My friend is coming over from Australia in a couple weeks and a few of us that did post-grad together are having dinner when she's here. I was fine with it 'til someone in the group said: "It'll be our near-ten year reunion." And cue mild breakdown.

Fuck. Fffuuuccckkkk. What will I say? What have I done? I mentally scan my brain for the receipts of what I've been doing for the last decade... and come up with nothing.

In the nanosecond that I took to evaluate my life, I concluded that I have done sweet FA with it.

Not married. Not homeowner. Not girl boss. Without child. 

Because obviously, those are the only metrics that matter, right?

Wrong. And I know it's wrong. Ok, so I can't recall what I was doing on this day nine years ago, but I know that in the last month I've helped raise £1500 for two charities, got a personal best in my weight lifting class, went out out, spent delightful evenings with friends and successfully purchased a swimsuit I feel like a goddess in. 

By focusing on the increments, the small things, I see it. I see life add up. So in fact, in the last ten years I've changed careers, seen my wages jump £10k, become an aunty, walked from London to Brighton, learnt to love my body, found joy in my natural hair, given generously and fallen in love. I've lived on my own, taken up photography, improved how I spend my money and my time, and found the right people to spend it with; discovered so much more about who I am, found balance and control and happiness. 

This is why I believe it's important to document your days somehow, so when your mind likes to memory lapse on all you've done, you can tangibly point out what you have and tell it to stfu.

And if you really, truly can't think of what you have achieved, then mate, look yourself in the mirror and say this:  "what I've done over these ten years is made it through. I've made it through the arguments, the money worries, the family troubles, the friendship fallouts, the career pitfalls, the shit relationships, the illnesses, the exhaustion of just being alive sometimes. I'm still here, smiling, trying, giving, loving and doing my damn best."

To end, a note to one of my best friends, who with absolute stellar timing, sent me a card in the post. She sent it to say well done on the charity race I did last week, but also told me she was proud of me for "challenging yourself, being true to who you are, trying new things, not conforming to what is considered the norm, and inspiring me daily" to name a few.

If you can't see these things for yourself and can't see your own growth, get yourself a friend who can and will tell you. Love you LDA.


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