days like this, like today, are my favourite kind of day. one moment spent in beautifully decorated coffee shops with high ceilings, low lights, and wide windows allowing for the sun to beam through giving you an eyeful, whilst you sit in the presence of your friends congregated on white oak tables laughing about everything and nothing as you enjoy the bliss of an oat cappuccino. another moment spent indoors, warm and cosy, watching squirrels perch atop trees and fences, birds gliding through the cold air whistling melodies to one another, whilst Stevie Wonder’s Hotter Than July album and the warmth of an earl grey tea keep you company. The sun, yet again, shines through filling up your space, reflecting gorgeous tones and shapes on your walls and into your eyes. you won’t move because you love the way the sun feels on your skin, and it makes you miss summer a little but also warms your heart knowing that these are early signs of spring coming through. I relish in these moments, these slow Sundays because they tend to be rare nowadays as life gets busier and slowly moves back to the everyday churning it was pre the past two years. I find myself getting caught up in the bigger picture of ‘life’: what it means; why we feel emotions; how we can feel our emotions without harming others; how we can be better and do better in this world; how we can show people we love them without being overbearing; how we can exercise boundaries yet leave room for vulnerability and authenticity. I realised in the flurry of these thoughts that doing better means simply choosing to do so every moment we get, but harming people is inevitable because the way we live our lives doesn’t always make sense to others and we can only do our best to love and be kind as much as we can, and in unashamedly showing love we can slowly improve our corner of the world and hope that others are doing the best to improve their corners too.
I feel I’ve had more thoughts the past few months about love, forming foundations and how I can form everything I’ve wished, hoped and prayed for into an actual reality without exhausting myself beyond my limits – forming a healthy balance, basically. especially moving into this new year. setting intentions, planning ahead and putting on my big-girl-adulting boots to ask myself what I want from not just this year, but from my life as a whole. don’t worry, you don’t need to answer those questions if you don’t want to, but I do think they are valid questions we need to sit with, even if it’s only once, and take a moment to ponder them. however, despite these thoughts and spending so much time in the future and simultaneously revisiting the past to check in and understand how I can learn from it, I end up unknowingly moving back and forth between these two states without giving myself a moment to breathe. I then realise that I’ve caught myself in a whirlwind of past and future without acknowledging and sitting in the present. where, days like today, I can sit still and appreciate the sun and revel in how beautiful life is, that we don’t have to wait to show people we love and care about them, we can just do it, even when it’s hard or they hurt us. but just as much as our feelings are valid, so are theirs, and there is also a dichotomy that exists where you can love someone and no longer need or want them in your life. if you need to love them and leave them, that’s ok and there is no guilt or shame in that. this year, we’re giving ourselves the chance to be soft and gracious (and exercise boundaries) with ourselves and others.
in talking about grace and softness, and also kindness towards ourselves, I want you to know that you can start over whenever you feel ready. January and the new year bring a lot of pressure to have to start over, to get going on new projects, new experiences, new leases of life, new relationships, new new new new new, and on and on and on it goes. although newness can bring adventure and better perspectives, the old is just as valid. you don’t have to keep picking yourself up and putting yourself back together if you’re not ready to – there’s beauty in repurposed furniture, in vintage clothing, in the wisdom from those who have come before us, from the smell of dust gathering on old books in libraries. there is a steadiness and security in what we know that allows for us to continue to explore what we want, where we’ve been, and where we’re going; when we stop attempting to chase the next new thing and find contentment in our present, in the now, in the old, in the rhythms of life we have created for ourselves it gives space for new paths to be created.
don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong in starting over in January, it can be comforting and refreshing, I’m just saying you don’t have to keep starting over if you don’t want to. you can make the decision to pick up your bags and make a new home or replace the furniture in your old home (your mental home) whenever you’re ready, and if that’s in the middle of summer, or at the end of October or, on a February afternoon at 2.36pm – you can do that. you can set your own pace, your own path and find new rhythms to stride, dance or plod along to. starting over doesn’t always look like something new or shiny, it can be very messy and it may take time. it may mean breaking old thoughts and habits, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible or that you can’t bring the old into the new and coalesce something beautiful. if anything, are we not amalgamations of the things we’ve experienced, the things we hope for, and the things to come?
there is beauty in combining the old and the new, the past and the future, and bringing them into this present space and choosing to move forward how you wish to and not how you’re expected to. I hope you know that you can set your own pace in life. that not everything has to be strived for – you don’t have to go with the way things are or the way they always have been. you can ask yourself why, and if your why keeps you where you are then that’s great, and if it moves you forward into a new space, that’s a beautiful space to be in, and if it’s a middle ground of the old and the new, that’s also incredibly wonderful. I’m just trying to say, you have a choice of where you want to be.
you can start over whenever you want to.