Death…not the topic people like…

So this week has been a little bit about death. In 2018, AKA the year of hell, two family members died. One of them was my Gran, from my dads side of the family, and the other was my Granddad, from my mums side of the family. They died five months apart, so it was a lot to process for both sides. In that time I didn’t really process either death until now. I was sad at the time, sure, but I wasn’t broken. I expected to break down and cry my eyes out. But that didn’t really happen. I had a good sob the days I found out but then it was focusing on other things like “who am I?” and “what now? Holiday maybe?” which seems a little indifferent. (Not what I’m known for.)

Of course I was wrong to think it’s all over one year later. I just have to say…grief sucks. It pops its head up at the most inconvenient times and is disruptive. It gets in the way of things like sleep (which I am a huge fan of) and it effects how you eat (again, huge deal for me). More importantly it messes with how you react to things being said or done around you. It alters you, even slightly, in ways you don’t necessarily want. I do wish that it was like the TV programs where you can just switch off the humanity and make it all go away. Life would so much simpler right?

Well maybe not. I have discovered one thing in my moment of “realisation”. There is a silver lining to all of this. I may be emotional, possibly a tad unstable, but I am also looking at my life a little more closely. I’m evaluating everything in my life at the moment. I guess I’m basically doing a “LIFE CLEAN OUT”. Kinda like when you clean out your emails, wardrobes or messages on your phone. Or when you break up with someone and clean out their photos and mementos you might have laying around. During my little neat-freak breakdown, I have spotted a couple of things I want to change:

  • I had a quirky sense of style. I used to wear all sorts of clothes which weren’t what you’d find in the high street but were fun and different. Over time, however, I started being boring and lazy with my outfit choices. I stopped dressing the way I want because it’s easier just to throw on a t-shirt and jeans.

Goal: Try and make more of an effort to bring back my quirky fashion sense. (Not to the level I had as a teenager but something a little more adventurous than the same nondescript t-shirts I’ve been wearing.)

  • I have always wanted to get a tattoo but I had my reasons for not getting it done. The main one being that I am a coward. I don’t like the idea of disappointing my parents. I know. I know. You’re thinking “Jesus woman you’re thirty! What does it matter what your parents think about all this. Grow a backbone you child.” And yes, you would be right in thinking that. I have told myself countless times the same thing over and over. I know it’s hard to understand for some but even when I know it’s my choice to make and it’s my skin at the end of the day, there is still that part of me that doesn’t want the lecture or the look of disapproval. Pathetic, I know, but it’s still there and holds me back sometimes. (What can I say, I hate to hear the words “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed”. I am sure there’s a deeper psychological explanation for my being overly concerned about what they think but we’ll skip over that for now.

Goal: Get the tattoo I want and just face facts that I can’t please everyone.

  • I was raised with animals in my life. I loved having cats roaming around the house and doing as they pleased…well apart from when one hogged my bed and refused to let me sleep. That’s not cool and a bit of a dick move. But then that’s what cats are. Honest and a bit of a arrogant freeloader. I have wanted to get another cat in my life for some time but I keep letting myself get talked out of it. (ARE YOU SPOTTING A THEME HERE?)

Goal: Get a pet and enjoy the company. What’s the harm?

  • One of the things I have always envied is people who are capable of traveling without a care in the world. I mean sure, they need to save money and worry about how they’re getting to whatever destination they want. Yet they manage it without the worry of going off on their own. I can’t do it. The thought of leaving without anyone with me is terrifying but I think that’s going to be my main personal hurdle. I have places I want to see and explore but I am always afraid of the idea of being anywhere else without the knowledge that my family there for backup if something goes wrong. (Another theme in my world. Fear.) I want to travel to places like Japan, America and other counties which are different from here. I want to leave my comfort zone and (in a moment of cheesiness) I want to see the world. I remember a story about my Gran and how she wasn’t much different from me. She was cautious and nervous but she still managed to pull herself together and go to India alone.

Goal: Work on my confidence and take a chance. Book a flight somewhere and just go. Maybe start somewhere small and work it out from there. Maybe visit a country where I have family there but travel alone? I think this is going to be my long term plan.

  • Learning something new has always been a big thing for me. I like to expand my knowledge on all sorts of things and I like the feeling I get when I finally understand something. I want to learn pottery, woodcarving, drums or piano, a language, Neuroplasticity, psychology, shorthand, how to read braille…the list goes on so we’ll stop there.

Goal: Well that’s simple. Start learning. That really didn’t need to be said.

  • I finally need to address the thing which has been playing on my mind for sometime. The fact that I hold onto relationships which aren’t necessarily healthy for me now. People who I knew when I was younger were fun and necessary when we all had something in common. We were friends because we were together in the same situation. Now, however, we’re older and we’ve grown apart. There are some relationships which work even when you move away or have different lives. You can fit those people into your world and enjoy the moments you do catch up and talk about life in general. Yet there are some who aren’t really friends. They’re more a habit that you’re just used to repeating. “Want to go out, okay I’ll just text [insert name here]”. Relying on people like that for my social crowd hasn’t done me any good. If I don’t change my surroundings, including the people in it, then nothing will change right?

Goal: Branch out and find people with more common ground. I need to stop being so reliant on people who are either toxic to be around or who just don’t have the time. Stop holding onto old habits.

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Okay so that’s my list. Long but it’s doable. I can do all of these things and I plan to start chipping away at it now…question is where the hell do I start? I think the classes and socialising can go first. I don’t want to get a cat until I have an actual life, or I really will be the crazy cat lady! My grandparents dying has made me take stock of what’s happening in my own life. I think everyone does this whenever they lose someone important to them. I also think it’s the healthiest way for me to get over the loss. Change my life.

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