mourning my old life

I knew I needed to sit down and write. So long has passed since the last entry and I feel as though I have completed another cycle in my head. Expressing myself through writing feels like the most pure thing in the world to me, it’s as though I am stepping out the way and letting something else take the wheel entirely. Especially through blog posts, maybe because they feel like journal entries to me. 

I am still waiting for my mic to arrive. I am wanting to do more podcasts this year, both where I interview poets and also where I create more personal entries, detailing the trials and tribulations of my year. These past few months, I’ve found myself preferring to use voice notes instead of my usual before-bed journal entries, (the ones typed frantically into the “notes” app on my phone.) The benefit to this is that I’m actually more inclined to play them back, to hear the words my past self deemed important at the time. The interesting thing is, it’s largely the same message whispered again and again in different forms: “you have to make something of your poetry this year.” 

There is truth in that statement, I have so many hopes and goals for my work and I really seem to have a newly acquired, unshakable faith in my abilities to see these through. I suppose the main theme of my life recently should be titled “full circle”. For anyone who’s followed my journey, I moved back to Liverpool from a five year stint in Birmingham roughly 7 years ago. When I arrived, I was hungry for success. I had all the passion and enthusiasm in the world and none of the experience! Well, that’s not entirely true – I’d been writing creatively since I was old enough to hold a pen, and all my experience in terms of higher education and work or vocation had been in the realm of theatre, so making the switch to spoken word wasn’t too far a cry from my normality. However, I didn’t know myself as an artist at this point, and I really had a whole lot of living to do. 

I remember feeling so frustrated during those first few years. It felt like I was trying so many different things and nothing was truly sticking. I envisioned this life for myself where I was able to make a living full-time from poetry and I felt wholly disappointed in myself when I failed to make that happen. 

What I came to learn, though, was that this was all happening in accordance with divine timing. I truly believe that I needed those years at home, I needed time to heal, to write good things, to write bad things, to make mistakes, to fall in love, to get my heart broken and to gain a tonne of transferable skills by working in different jobs that I could one day apply to my approach as an artist.

I’ll go into it in more detail when I record, but a lot of magic lies within those few years and I would love nothing more than to share some of the stories with you. A while ago, I had almost completely re-shaped this dream. Two years ago to be exact, I realised that I wanted to work full-time at my normal job so that I could save up enough money to move away. I saw myself living in the mountains of Guatemala, living in community and doing my poetry in a totally different way. I thought the nomadic lifestyle was going to be my future, so I worked really hard at my normal job and told myself to enjoy all of the benefits that city living had to offer while preparing mentally for the day that this life would become a distant memory. 

When the pandemic happened, I think many of us experienced the feeling of being flung into a completely different reality. I’ve previously mentioned my life completely pivoting at the end of summer, with leaving my job and losing my grandpa, alongside other things. The changes in my situation meant the money I had saved for travelling went towards my living expenses for the four months I would be out of work in The UK. Moving into my late grandpa’s home proved quite the feat and I needed time to be able to do it properly. That money helped to sustain me during a point where working really would not have been the ideal choice. It helped look after me while I wrote and recorded my e.p, while I took part in an artist residency and while I began the murky, wobbly task of trying to pick up the pieces of my life that were torn apart by grief. That money gave me breathing room; instead of trying to slot a whole job in the spaces between renovating a home, I was able to carve space instead for myself and for talking with friends and family.

With this, I had the growing realisation, that maybe I am just meant to be in The UK. Not forever, of course, but definitely while I work on the next phase of what I envision for my poetry. I had almost completely given up on the idea of being able to do my poetry in The UK. I had so many ideas I wanted to execute but so often it seemed to feel like swimming upstream. With gaining this house, it’s like life parted the oceans for me and left a crystal clear path for me to walk in its place. 

The notion often strikes me of just how full circle this experience really is. I came here with an idea, I let myself get swept away with life for a bit, with a new job, with working, with having beers with friends, with dating, with birthdays and celebrations, with a full-on job that saw me invested in something other than my poetry (probably for the first time in my life), and now, I am edging back to what I came here to do. I see none of it as a detour, none of it as waste of time. I simply see the time now as being perfect. I’m armed with so much knowledge this time, so much understanding of myself as a person and so much more patience. I don’t know how exactly I’ve gained it, but I seem to have a faith in myself. I know my projects and ideas will pay off and I don’t know how I know that either. 

A while ago, I felt the sense of mourning my old life. I had a sweet set-up; the trendy old Victorian house, the park, the tattoo appointments, the yoga classes, the ease of transport, the good vegan takeaways, the fact I was right in the middle of everything and the fact that I was young and carefree, living in a rental house, hopping taxis to my “normal person” job in the day and running to friends houses and poetry events at night. This is the first year I’ve had to worry about losing what I perceived to be a sense of excitement, and I’m not sure what the remedy is for that just yet.

My takeaway from this is that I’m ultimately humbled by the fact I had a life so good it is now worth missing. My life was gorgeous and colourful and creative and I’m still not sure what shape my life in this new phase will take. It feels like more of an important transition to me. I think because I associate it with turning 30, I’ve moved out of the city and into the suburbs, something I never thought I’d do, I’m living somewhere that feels so much more mature and focused and yet with that I’m desperately scrabbling for something that can anchor me back to the person I used to be.

I suppose this serves me right for perceiving so much of my external reality as my fixed identity! 

So here I am, arriving at my new life that still has no solid form. I feel like we’re all stood outside this giant egg together, waiting to see what will hatch. I think years from now I’ll look back at this moment and realise how exciting it really was. I think I’ll probably still remember these moments fondly as I’m trying to appreciate whatever season of life I find myself in. When we’re on our deathbed, we’ll pine even for the bad parts of our lives and, while this may seem morbid, I believe it truly helps me to live. 

Expect some changes to this website and to see a lot more of me. We’re changing things around here and I cannot wait to bring you the new and improved version of my brand and my poetry.

Here’s to a fruitful year of stepping into the lives we were meant to create. xo

Currently listening:

Published by Lyndsay Price

a flower. spoken word artist.

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