Pause…

Thoughts are a little all over the place right now, so I will attempt to sort through them and put them into order…but knowing me, that’ll take ages. Instead, I’ll just go with the flow. I need to write.

It’s been a bit of a whirl-land lately, a lot has happened, to the point where I can’t even really pinpoint when each thing happened anymore…it all just fell into place. It has been one thing after another, bam bam bam; mostly all good, but because it’s happened all at once, I’m feeling the need to step back and pause. Pause and reflect.

With that said, I don’t want to reveal it all just yet. I need to tell a few people in person, and then text/email a few friends who aren’t “down the road” anymore – one is up in the North of England!! It’s all good though. (And no, no babies on the scene yet!)

Just…yeah, I need to press the pause button, at least for the weekend. It’s been a crazy week; started off fairly quietly, and then as the week’s gone on, it’s gotten more and more busy and hectic. Culminating in something new tonight, that I’ll need to give a lot of thought to. After this, I was waiting around for the boy for well over an hour in Central London; it was full of people coming and going, and heading home, heading on to the next bar/pub…but I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Just wanted quiet, and calm – Central, after 10pm, doesn’t really offer that. I was kicked out of Starbucks when the clock struck 10, and so I wandered for a little, but just wanted…to be alone, on my own. There’s a difference, because you can be alone in London…yet never really feel like you’re alone. There are people all around. And yet…you can be surrounded by people…and feel a loneliness that is all-consuming.

I have come to care about many people, suddenly, in such a short space of time. We’re connected, in some way or another, through a common experience. This week was meant to be a “break”…but we can’t really stay away from one another, it’s like a magnetic force pulling us together. They’re beautiful souls though, and they all have huge hearts. We might not be perfect, and we may rub one another the wrong way from time to time, but at the end of the day they have taken a piece of my heart and I don’t want it back. They can keep it, because I know they will nurture it. Over the last few years I have come to realise just how important it is that I surround myself with people who bring light to my life; when I am around these people, I feel so inspired that it is unbelievable. And these people, these new friends that have touched my heart in such a deep way…? They’re special. (Thank you.)

Slowly, the sadness is dispelling.

Life…is happening.

And I will be back soon.

100 Things I Love about London

It has been a long time, again… The last post I did was in February last year (I know!), so kickstarting this again, as I’m determined to get to 100… Here goes.

100 Things I Love about London Part 6.

71 ♥ El Paso

72 ♥ The Museum of Childhood

73 ♥ Golden Square

74 ♥ Westfield Stratford

75 ♥ The open air theatre (Regent’s Park)

76 ♥ Honest Burgers

77 ♥ Record shops


78 ♥ The book market on Southbank

79 ♥ Liberty Festival

80 ♥ The Olympic Park

81 ♥ Abbey Road

82 ♥ Peter Jones (John Lewis) at Sloane Square

83 ♥ The LUSH Spa

84 ♥ The Spice of Life

85 ♥ Covent Garden

 

Getting closer to the elusive 100…keep your eyes peeled! Here are the previous posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Happy Monday, here’s to a good week ahead.

Summer has come and passed…

…the innocent can never last. (Kudos to you if you know the song, it’s a favourite).

Its been a good summer. Lots of soul searching. Lots of connecting. Lots of thinking. Lots of emotion. Its been a summer of change and transformation. I will always remember this summer.

WordPress informed me that it’s my 6 year anniversary; 6 years since I did my first post. I was 19, moving to uni, and a little bit scared. Suffice to say, a lot has changed since then. But a lot has stayed the same. The boy and I are still together, for a start. When I did that first post, we had been together for nearly a year and a half; now, it’s almost 7 and a half years. We still live at home, but after unofficially “living” at his for so long, I have now “officially” moved in…tonight, in fact. It doesn’t mean much difference, except that we’ll be buying and cooking for ourselves, I have a set of keys…eek. It’ll be good. We’re moving forward. Hopefully by the Spring, we’ll be in a position to move into our own place. Anyway, 6 years; wow.

This weekend has been a little emotionally challenging, on the inside. I’ve been feeling…sad. Just…sad. It passes, it always does, but it keeps coming back. Now, I’m not too worried; I need to feel it, I think. After numbing myself for so many months, it’s good to feel again…but some emotions are hard to navigate. The good thing? I have so many precious people in my life, and I am thankful for each and every one of them. Friday, after talking to a friend about feeling sad, we met for a quick cup of tea and lots of hugs, and it helped. We talked. We laughed. Connected. Yesterday, I went along to watch two friends climb at a bouldering place in London; that was incredible. It was the first time I had seen one friend *do* rock climbing, and she has her own business to help deaf and disabled people climb and try almost every extreme sport you can think of (she’s truly incredible), so it was really inspiring to watch. She helped another friend to climb for the first time…and, oh boy, did he climb?! He was practically bouncing off the walls! So that was a Saturday afternoon well spent. Today has been slow, perhaps why I feel a bit sad, maybe.

There’s been a lot on my mind lately, which doesn’t really help. I’ve been thinking a lot about people; learning a lot about people. After getting through this year’s Winter and Spring, I feel more worldly; I’m seeing things in a different light. All I can say right now, is that I am extremely grateful to have the Tree House, my wonderful friends, my lovely family (even if we do rub one another the wrong way sometimes!) and, of course, the boy. I am in a very good place, a very strong place. I am a lioness, hear me roar.

Positivity from a hard place is an amazing thing; from being honest about depression, I have connected to so many beautiful souls. Beautiful souls who also suffer (or have suffered) from depression, and they are truly inspirational. To go through the depths of blackness, and come through it…I still marvel at it. These people touch my soul, my heart, and I am so incredibly grateful that they had the courage to reveal their struggles, because it helps. We are stronger together. Stronger united. Stronger when we empathise. You are beautiful.

I thought writing would help, but it doesn’t quite want to come tonight. I still feel sad. But it’s okay, it really is. I have coffee, a candle burning on the desk, and I can hear Pinterest calling me.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends, wonderful summers; and I will be back.

Healing > Damage

Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.

Currently in a healing period at the moment. Overcoming the months that were hard. I am happy, oh, yes, I am happy. But I am healing at the same time.

Over the last week, I have had a few moments, scattered about, where I have felt sad. The type of sad where it just comes over you randomly, without a real cause. If I acknowledge it, it soon passes. It is slightly hard, as someone very close to me is also healing at the moment. When they have a low moment, I find myself trying to help them, whilst at the same time making sure that I don’t slip myself.

Generally, though, things are good. Life feels good right now. And I feel so grateful and thankful. And strong.

For a while, damage was keeping me down. Now, set firmly on the path of healing, I am letting go. Letting go of sadness. Letting go of the past. Letting go of could have beens, should have beens. I am embracing the present.

The things that we allow to go through our minds will inevitably affect our mood and behaviour. If we constantly replay painful memories, without moving on…well, I don’t need to say much more. It will bring you down.

When you feel ready, start healing. Your one wild and precious life is calling you, so heal, and move on from any damage; you are worth it. You are so worth it.

At the end of the day, healing is greater than damage, hands down, it is greater.

20140807-024650-10010051.jpg

Acceptance

Being deaf, there are many groups, societies, social groups and so on, that I could be a part of. Yet, I’m not. That’s not to say I haven’t tried different things in the past, nor to say that all these various groups are bad – just, it was never a good fit. For as long as I can remember, I have been in the middle. In between the hearing world and the deaf world, fully fitting in to neither. The reason for this is partly because I was brought up orally (and I am happy with this), and in the past I have been cast aside by some individuals, simply because I “spoke”. I must say, this is only a very small minority, and the majority of the deaf community can be, and are, lovely. But the fact of it is, I had a handful of negative experiences, and me being me (a shy introvert who can sometimes take a while to come out of her shell…la la la, you know the rest), I retreated and gave up on the idea of being “accepted”.

There were also a handful of incidences last year that shook me as well. In another group, I felt slightly bullied and put down, my views being suppressed and disregarded – where was I suppose to “fit”? It seemed as if there wasn’t anywhere to go, no other group that would be accepting. Fast forward a bit, and we land at now. What’s happening now? There is a group. It’s a marvellous group, at that. In this group, it does not matter if you are deaf, hearing, deafened, hard of hearing, have usher syndrome…no matter how you define yourself and your deafness/hearing loss, you are welcome. Welcome, regardless. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means, not just to me, but to many others. To have a place, where you can be yourself, support one another, no judgement, but rather, lifting one another up, helping each other to find our wings; words will never be enough to express how happy I am to have found this.

In terms of my deaf identity, I have been rather confused for a while. Whilst I have had periods of time where I’ve felt strong in who I am, and my deafness, there have been other periods of time where I just get confused and have mixed-emotions. It’s like a minefield at times. I love English, but I love British Sign Language too. I love the spoken language, but I find it a relief when I can use my hands and expressions. I love music, but I suspect I could feel music more if it is BSL interpreted. I love being anonymous, and just going into London on my own; but I also love being taken in by the warm embrace of an accepting group, and causing chaos together on the tube. So many contradictions. But this is okay, because this is what life is like; life isn’t black and white. It just means that I have never quite been able to describe myself properly as a deaf person; sure, I will tell someone I am deaf, but if we start to delve into deaf issues, and how I feel about deaf issues that affect me…well, what is the answer there? Do I tell it from the point of view of Sarah-who-speaks or Sarah-who-signs? They are very different things, yet they inhabit the same person. I have many different experiences; on one hand, I love that I can try and communicate with a wide variety of hearing people, on the other hand, when I use BSL, I access a conversation on a much deeper, clearer level.

The whole deaf identity thing is an ongoing thing. It will still probably take a long time before I will confidently be able to define it. I am more sure of myself, and I understand myself a lot more, but I am still learning about how my deafness fits into all of this. It is a part of me, it has made me who I am today, but I’m still on a long journey. But now? Now it is a journey in which I already feel accepted; I feel accepted by a whole host of people. Life is good. It presents people to us, just at the right time. And if you want to find out more about this group? Go ahead; we are mad, but we are lovely.

What makes you feel accepted?

Happy Thursday, y’all, have a good one. ♥

Digging Deep.

For the last 10 minutes or so, I have had my foot resting on a speaker, and have been playing songs that I once used to have on repeat, all day long. Trying to rediscover music. Trying to be brave.

The whole music thing has been hurting me, on and off, for the last few years. Ever since my hearing dropped, pretty drastically, a few years back, my relationship with music has been rocky. Whereas I once had a deep bond with music, these days it has filtered out to be almost none-existent. It’s not for a lack of trying; believe me, there have been many points over the last few years where I have sat myself down and tried to force my hearing aids to recognise all the beautiful notes of songs, but it’s something that needs a lot of bravery and persistence and time and determination, all at once.

And now? After this year? I feel stronger and more willing to expose myself to things that scare me. Why would music be scary? Well, quite – why is music scary, Sarah? It’s not so much music itself, it’s more the feelings that come up to the surface every time I try and relearn to listen to music. It reminds me of what once was; I could once listen to music without any aids, whatsoever. All I could hear was the bass notes, but that was how I liked it (back then I had a “seaslope” hearing loss – most of my high frequencies were gone, but my low frequencies were still there). I could recognise songs, sometimes even quicker than my hearing friends/family. I could walk into a shop, and all I could hear was the song playing on the loudspeaker, and if it was a song I liked, I could recognise it. It’s very different now, which makes it hard, and it hurts sometimes, but I need music in my life. Which means I need to get past the hurt…and keep going.

Yesterday, someone said to me that as introverts, we dig deep. We dig deep to find the courage and confidence to socialise, to put ourselves out there, to live in a very extroverted society. Dig deep. It applies to other parts of life too; we have to dig deep to find the strength to push past hard feelings. Right now, there’s a lot of digging deep.

The past week was heavy, and a lot of repressed feelings came out, mostly from others, and it was good for them to get it all out. At the weekend, the boy and I took a trip up to Cambridge to see my granny (she’s currently in the middle of a 2 week stay at “rehab” – not rehab rehab, but rehab to help her get moving again post-op), and we stayed in the bungalow on our own. On Saturday morning it was so lovely to wake up slowly, and just be with the boy; just the two of us. We had coffee, American-style pancakes with maple syrup (yum!), and plenty of soul searching conversations. It was a good morning.

We spoke about the last year, and why certain things had been the way they were. I slipped into another depressive episode, from September until around May; and whilst it wasn’t as extreme as it has been in the past, I made myself numb. I didn’t want to face the feelings, so I just numbed myself to it all, and it wasn’t the right thing to do but it is what it is – I can’t go back and change it, but I can try to understand it now. Dig deep.

With everything that has been happening lately, I feel strong; I have dealt with it all remarkably well, I think. My feelings haven’t been getting the best of me. I’ve tried to stay calm. I’ve kicked anxiety in the butt. It’s all about how you face the “problems” in your life, and often they will appear better or worse depending on how you cope with them, and how you think about them. So look after your precious brain, it’s a marvellous thing…but it’s a very powerful thing too. Treat it well, and you’ll reap the benefits.

20140714-160733-58053399.jpg

Dig deep.