It’s been a warm one.
It’s been a hot and humid February, a month of tiredness in the evenings, and sticky workout clothes in the mornings. I usually love Summer in Australia, the thick heat, the way the sunlight streams through the windows before the birds even wake. This month has been different, which is sobering, but fact.
I’m twenty-three, and I often think about my age in relation to my place in this world. Am I doing enough? Am I performing as expected, or exceeding? Who am I impacting? Do people feel loved, accepted, sympathised with? I’ve never been quite so aware of my capacity to love so largely and – for the most part – unselfishly than I am now. Some tell me it’s maternal instincts kicking in, others say I’m simply growing up. Perhaps it’s both, but I will tell you very honestly, that it’s all been fuelled not-so-healthily by the grey twists of panic.
My experience with anxiety is not something I want to write about; or really talk about if we’re honest. Anxiety has been trending at large with bloggers for a few years now, and while I herald the conversation, I can’t help but feel the trivialisation that comes with it. For me, anxiety is not a trend. It is not something I want to relate about. It is not something I like about myself. Writhing in fear, hopelessness or fast-beating panic in the black hours of morning, is not an action I wish upon anybody, least of all myself. Perhaps that is why I’m finding it so easy to love lately, the same way we all hold our dear ones a little closer when tragedy hits. Perhaps I will write more about this one day; when I’m sleeping properly again, when I’m not plagued with heart palpations and shaking fingers. Today isn’t the day, but I did want to mention how it’s been, because for one thing, it’s real. For another – to be transparent – I wrote a whole different post to upload under this heading, and the forced cheerfulness pricked at me. If there is one thing I love, it’s reality. And this is it.
February is a month I generally enjoy. It’s like the first Tuesday back of the school year, where everyone is anticipant and fresh. We’re all back into routine (I adore routine), back at the gym, back to our sleeping patterns. I’ve lived through only twenty-three Februaries, but I like to think I’ve enjoyed all of them.
This month detailed a lot of Instagram captions complaining about the hot weather. I know, I’m sorry. I would like to formally apologise to all of my Canadian friends who are freezing themselves over there. Let me just say, it was really hot. It’s getting cooler now, so hopefully some sun is heading in your direction.
We celebrated our engagement with a big party. An evening of elation, where we got to chat to our nearest and dearest in the warmth of my parents’ property. I sipped at an English Breakfast tea I’d made into a thermos earlier, which perhaps wasn’t the sophisticated choice, but kept me happy. My dad spoke, we sipped champagne, everybody ate, and then we ended it lazing around on haybales at one in the morning.
Along with the engagement planning, I pushed myself to read more this year. It’s the start of March now, and I’m three books down. I’m a firm believe that people who write, should read. It’s only fair. There is so much inspiration, wisdom and perspective hidden between pages of books, waiting to be found. I feel like fourteen-year-old me, who would often read more than one novel a week, would be disappointed at my pace, but hey, it’s something. All I’m asking for, is one book a month. And I’m on track. Reading is the easy option, because the other is writing. And when your mind is unstable, like mine currently is, the idea of unravelling it into words and ideas is intimidating, difficult and disheartening. I adore the art of writing, the way objective words alone can evoke feelings and pictures for people we’ve possibly never met. I write daily, and while most of the time it’s terrible, it’s there. And if we’re too proud, or too lazy, or too uninspired to try, then what can we expect of our impact in this world?
Before I go, a little update on last month: the goannas have all but vanished. With the cooler temperatures, it’s rare to see one, and believe me, I’m delighted about that. The puppies are healthy and happy, about to turn two and perhaps a little chubby if anything (the heat has not encouraged exercise). Louie, who has longer black hair, does not enjoy the heat one bit, and is purely joyful at the cool days we’ve had lately. His eyes light up when he smells rain coming, and if you’ve had a bad day lately, just think of that little dog perking up, nose quivering, before trotting to the door, glancing back as if to say, “It’s here, it’s actually going to rain!” gleeful, as if it is the first time.
I for one, am ecstatic as the autumn weather starts to show itself. I have my boots and blazers all lined up, ready to go (but out of reach from the puppies. Of course).