Yesterday was my birthday, I’m now 32 years old, after a run of bumpy birthdays I wanted to go into this one quietly, respectful and cautious. I started the day with a run, yeahhhh gross right, my 6.30am alarm didn’t even sing happy birthday! However now I’m at the wiser age of 32 I’m making the effort for better physical and mental health, I did more or less have to drag myself out or bed however it turns out a run with a friend was actually a great way to start my day, it was then followed by a fry up cooked by my husband! It was a lovely day that also involved a walk with family and a meal out in my favourite restaurant. Worlds apart from the last few birthdays I’ve had…
January has been full of ups, accompanied with happiness and laughter and some really big downs. As usual I really wasn’t looking forward to my birthday however my daughters and husband make everyday better, meaning they make every birthday better. Of course I should have more faith really! My friends also know how to make me feel important to them, but in a chilled way, little gestures, reminiscing of past antics, funny and beautiful cards, birthday meme and simple txts. That’s all that’s needed and all I wanted.
I will obviously never forget my bumpy birthdays particularly my 30th that had the physical and mental pain of an early miscarriage. Then my 31st birthday was spent in the special baby care unit after Lunar had been moved from NICU, that day had many bitter sweet moments to it, ones that I’ve yet to fully process. My birthday will never be a day I’m excited about, or particularly feel like celebrating in a massive way but that’s not saying they still can’t be enjoyable, in a quiet, respectful and cautious way, of course!
The Art -
I’ve been taking part on the 64 million artist challenge as I mentioned before, each challenge has a different theme and it's been great fun and very inspiring.
Dark thoughts, shimmers of hope, maybe tomorrow…
I ran out of ‘adult functioning energy’ last week and had to take a day of work, wellbeing days are important, however when I’m feeling exhausted I don’t tend to leave the house and on day five of my own self inflicted isolation I wasn’t feeling amazing. The 64 million artist daily challenge was about ‘capturing the day’… I literally just lay on the floor and then my new sofa all that day, in a very unproductive self pity and couldn’t be bothered to pick up my camera kinda way... So the next day I decided a self portrait would help shake off my somewhat idle state of mind.
So here I am, doing nothing just staring into the light, longing for logic, willing for willpower. I learnt from counselling (when I was doing it) that self isolation is a trauma response, like many of my issues this was gifted to me by bad parenting. Im trying very hard not to pass on any generational trauma, it’s all quite exhausting the ‘working on yourself’ stuff, it also means being honest and open.
I wrote this to go with it, I’m working hard on my creative writing, however much like my artwork it’s subjective and not always good…
The days just blend into one,
The light still shines as time still passes,
TikTok, TikTok, TikTok… scrolling as the hands move around the clock,
The day turns to night,
I’ll do it tomorrow, or the day after…maybe,
It’s safe here, it’s warm, so what’s the big deal if I stay here forever in my fortress of pillows and pity?
Maybe this is me? Maybe this is who I am, maybe this is life? Maybe it shouldn’t be… but I’m tired.
Fun story time… This challenge was called ‘fabric stories’ and inspired me to write about my favourite item of clothing is my wedding dress, it’s my favourite colour and just as a beautiful finish to it. FYI totally regret not wearing makeup for this... yes I was really that tired!
I love this dress! And it still fits, well it’s tight now after two kids, getting it on sometimes involves holding my breath and throwing some shapes… and of course there’s a long story behind it. Like most events in my life my wedding had family complications and drama. I’ll keep this version short though. I’m actually trying to cut the length down in my blogs, as I’m an over explainer. again apparently thats a trauma response too!
I wouldn’t let my creep of a stepfather give me away… this coursed an argument with my mother and lead to the compromise of me letting him do a speech to ease the drama of me giving myself away. In my family it was all about appearances “what would people think of him not walking you down the aisle” blah, blah, and back then in my early 20s I still wanted my mother in my life, so I was willing to compromise to achieve this. His speech was full of digs masked as jokes and he used it to remind me of events that were traumatic and I had to sit and laugh it all off.
My mother was meant to be paying for the wedding band, however obviously I’d upset her by not playing ball and keeping up appearances, she was pissed I wouldn’t let her husband play a bigger role in the day which she informed me ‘was also her day!’ (Hummm) anyway so she decided that she wasn’t going to help out financially, which was fine however unfortunately I had no budget for a wedding dress then!
Sooooo I ended up with a less then £200 dress from an online store but I loved it! So it worked out, of course I would have loved an actual wedding dress but I just wanted to get married… also because it’s not traditional I wear it out sometimes.
I’ll admit I smashed my phone up a few weeks before my wedding due to family stress and it was actually really peaceful, although breaking a phone out of pure temper isn’t a mature move? And not in my character now… but unfortunately some people just bring out the worst in us right.I had a very real and tearful conversation with my now husband of “you’r sure you want to marry into this family” because honestly I wouldn’t want to, but thankfully he wasn’t put off. We had a beautiful cake made, that was also delicious, my mother decided at the time she would still pay for it as our wedding present, which I was grateful for. However she then kicked off at the poor cake maker and got a refund! Just a nightmare… regardless still a brilliant day!
I would love to renew our wedding vows and get a new dress, I would only have the people there that really mattered and celebrate our love and family in a more relaxed and authentic way, maybe one day we will, who knows!
Here are a few other bits I did as part of the January challenge...
Collected of stuff
Collector of ‘stuff’
Lover of ‘things’
Finding meaning in the everything
Sentimental in the insignificance
“It might come in handy”
Boxes filled with ‘tat’ hidden away
Holding moments and memories
There’s value in the unvalued everyday items
Textures and tributes
Objects and obsessions
Our ‘bits and bobs’ become a part of us
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
She’s a little tired, I don’t think she sleeps well however she’s always here. Just hanging around, reflecting on life, bouncing the light around.
What you see is what you get, she doesn’t have a filter. A truth teller, in fact some mornings she’s a bit mean but she will crack a smile in return if one is given in her direction.
She’ll hold a grudge, inflicting 7 years bad luck to anyone who dears smash her soul.
Stare into her for too long and your flaws will get revealed, but she doesn’t mean to make anyone feel insecure, she’s really just trying to be useful.
Ode to dried flowers
Dried out, dead but oddly loved, apart of me, apart of what never was.
Holding a significants unknown to others.
It’s all I have left, to hold, look at, cry too, remember.
Life is fragile, easily changed forever, much like these flowers.
They were once living, growing, planted, then they were pulled away from where they belonged.
Now they are just a memory of life, alive for what once was for a fleeting moment but never destined to thrive.
I will keep them safe forever, they are now an extension of myself.
The shape of us info
So I have TWO projects I’m working on that I’m looking for collaborations with. I'm currently writing a blog all about breastfeeding, I’m collecting some stories, helpful tips and struggles. If you would also like to be involved please drop me a message, my second collaboration project is all about why artists create, what drives us forward and why we share so much of our selfs. I’m hoping to interview some creative people, i'm also planning to link it up to some mental health awareness.
I really like blogging, It feels very 'me' and it's great to do something we love right!? I've wanted to do this style of work for years but I really wasn't ready to open up about my art work as I am now.
I'm really finding my voice and this has given me a deeper reason for creating! However having my own voice doesn't feel like enough. We all have stories and struggles that are all different. Art for me is about connection, awareness and story telling, and I believe that together there is so much awareness to be spread.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Great! Let’s tell some stories together!
Thanks for reading... sorry about the typos!
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