A large, ‘new-from-freecycle’ desk stretches in front of me. Incessant cheeping from a baby goldfinch just outside the window makes me smile. That little dude sure is hungry. I peek out, watching the parent bird resolutely ignoring the shrill demands, trying instead to eat their fill of niger seed before bestowing any more attention on the fluffy youngster.
Today I’m listening to a Baila Reggaeton playlist, a new Spotify find. Finding I understand none of the lyrics is a new joy for me, instead twisting my body to deep beats and rhythms, losing myself a little as I loosen joints with a few clicks and creaks. Shaking off, bit by bit.
A morning tackling ‘admin’, also known as the list of things I should have done months ago. I cross another two tasks off, things I’d put off until the last minute, as usual. A toy figurine of a Stegosaurus looks on impassively from atop the amplifier. Not sure he is a Reggaeton fan.
It’s the end, the slow, dragged-out end of this first chapter. The management chapter. The sinking, ill chapter. The chapter of directionless floating, of pushmepullyou hither and thither. The one before the hero rides in, cape flying, to save the day. At least, I hope it is! Writing previously about thirds, acceptance and truth, this idea has stuck with me. A natural slowing, a close to one part of my life, a turn towards new horizons. Do you feel that sometimes? That an age has come to an end, a project has reached a natural conclusion?
I’ve felt things slowing for a while, I admit to myself, feet still tapping to beats under the desk. I nudge the volume up slightly, drumming fingers on the wooden surface and mulling things over in my head. It’s a time of choice and letting go of things that no longer work for me. And boy, I have a list longer than my arm of those types of things. Rolling my eyes as I type. Do I ever.
What does work, however, is this blog. Writing words. Ones that aren’t forced, or trying to fit into some trend or other. I’ve published posts I felt weren’t really ‘me’ in style or voice, even though these are some of the most popular posts on my blog. But fitting in exhausts me. Being the same…who wants that? The whole reason I started oneemptyshelf was to talk about stepping outside the normal. It’s time to bring that back, I feel. I think I kind of got lost along the way.
I pop to make a brew, thoughts bubbling along with the kettle. Sitting back down in front of the screen, I stretch out my legs and crack my back. Articulating thoughts is a hard exercise, especially grabbing that one thread, the one that puts together everything you’re trying to say. I want my blog to return to a reflection of ‘me’, warts and all. Because that’s what stands out in this world of conformity. Individuals, telling their stories, coming together through shared experience, but at the same time learning from the differences that make us unique.
Re-finding that authentic voice is the path that leads me into my next chapter. I’m exhausted by bending and changing to make sure every person I meet likes me. Stegosaurus catches my eye. If he could wink, I’m sure he would. I’ve spent years feeling guilty for not living up to endless ‘shoulds’ and comparisons. Apologising for myself not being the same as someone else, when in reality, that’s the truth that makes us all beautiful.
Anyway, I’m getting a little deep and losing my thread, as I do. Wandering among skies and stars, trying to find my way back down to earth. What I suppose I’m really trying to say is hi, I’m back….with more posts, more often, talking about things that mean a lot to me. And hopefully, there’s some shared experiences in there to build on.
I sip my tea and turn towards the window for a while.
When I turn back, I press publish.