Lockdown ending, current reads, and writer's block
I've been struggling to write at the moment and have been feeling as though I can't write. Don't get me wrong; I've been trying to write, whether it's in the form of scribbling in my diary or editing my people's essays. To feel like I'm doing something, I've gone as far as including words like "furthermore" and "in addition to" when describing why I would prefer a packet of Maltesers to a Cadbury's chocolate bar. It's in these moments that I pat myself on the back and think, "Wow, Chloe, you really are a writer, what with your use of long gangly words when buying chocolate and your unbrushed hair. Go you."
The one saving grace that I can claim is that I've been reading, A LOT. If I'm not busily combusting over saying "therefore" out loud, then I'm either in my room or on the sofa, coffee at my side, and a book in my hand. Even as I'm writing this, I want to rush upstairs and read. It's as though reading is the one thing that is truly right in my world at the moment. It feels like home, and I feel safe when I have a book in hand.
I recently read 24-hour-café by Libby Page - I picked it up because it was described as a "warm hug," and it's true – While reading this book, I did feel as though I was being embraced in a long and loving hug. The story itself is based in London, something that is a running theme in my reads at the moment. I LOVE stories set in London. I've also just finished "In at the deep end," which I know is going to be the kind of book that I read when I'm feeling sad and need some familiar comfort and a laugh.
Amid these books, I read Midnight Library by Matt Haig. The book is about a woman called Nora Seed. Nora is depressed and deflated with life and resides to killing herself but, instead of ending up in the afterlife, she ends up in the in-between – In the midnight library. It's in this library that Nora can read a gigantic book that's labeled "regrets," and beyond this book is an entire library of parallel lives for her to experience. It's her opportunity to see what could happen if she'd have made a different decision in her life and see where it could take her.
Midnight Library taught me a valuable lesson, and while some reviews have critiqued it for turning into a self-help book as the book ended, I didn't mind. The book has stayed on my mind and has made me wonder how my life would look if I'd have made different decisions. I've been reflecting on choices that I've made and regretted because they've either impacted my life or somebody else's. I'm not going to write about these decisions all over the internet, because well, it's the internet. However, I can see now how if I didn't make these decisions, my life would look completely different, and I've realised - I like my life and stand by everything that has happened to get me to this point. It's a nice feeling; to be happy with the way your life is going.
I'm going back to work next week, and while I'm excited to have a routine and have an entire summer (and Autumn and Winter) exploring London and gawping at the massive buildings. I'm scared. Perhaps scared is overcompensating but, I am nervous. I have this constant state of nervousness lingering in my body, the kind of nervousness you'd feel while queueing for a gigantic rollercoaster. I think this is a 'normal way to feel. We were scared to go into lockdown, and now, we're scared to come out. Maybe you're not but, there's a massive part of me that's going to be nostalgic for this time, and the thought of it coming to an end does make me a little sad. I know there's going to be a time when I'm an exhausted mother or rushed off my feet with work that I'll be looking back on this time with desire and envy.
There's been something magical about having all of this time to myself, and I think it shows that true happiness does lay in the little things. My light-hearted mood over the past three months is thanks to my morning coffee while reading in bed. It's because of my workouts as I've watched myself grow stronger and stronger each week. It's from this blog and the effort I'm making to chase after my dream of becoming a writer. It's been from the hours I've spent walking while on the phone to those closest to me. It's shown itself in the days that I've spent on the sofa, watching a movie and snacking on muffins and sweets, and the numerous bike rides I've been on around Hyde Park while spending too much money in Selfridges food hall. My happiness has been made in face timing my nephew. Thinking about all of these things that make me happy makes my heart feel surrounded by thousands of fireworks. It makes me feel kaleidoscopic if that's even a thing?
I've healed (or begun to) this lockdown. I've healed from the heartache that I experienced at seventeen. I didn't realise that I'd spent the past five years dragging so much pain around with me, but alas, I was. Isn't it remarkable how something can smother you without you noticing but when you finally let go, you can feel the heaviness leave and wonder how you'd never noticed it? I've also begun to heal my body image and recalibrate how I value my worth, it's going to be a long, messy and, not always an easy journey but, I've begun it, and I feel better for that already.
So yes, I'm excited for the lockdown to end but, I'm also nervous. I'm so thankful to have this lovely tool of writing to aid me through these feelings and emotions.
I don’t know who I would be without you.