I am and have always been a firm believer in the universe, silver linings and everything happens for a reason. A year ago I was smoking a hideously overpriced cigarette on the balcony of the shared apartment I rented in a smallish town on the coast of Australia. Terrigal. A picturesque promenade of sea views and retirement by day; a display of drunken splendour by night. I’m now sat, titling away on my laptop, in a sad little touring caravan – Wednesday be her name – who is crumbling around me with an inability to produce water and… No cigarettes.
An eccentric Science teacher of mine once expressed delight over the fact that it was Wednesday, “a hump day” as after the hump it’s all downhill to the weekend. I’m not sure whether my current situation is ironic or symbolic but I am sure that I am so much happier now than I was a year ago.
My sister, mother and I share our quaint community in neighbouring tourers. Alongside us lives the now blind and retired rescue pony, Jack. As well as a building site. Yes, we all live in a field (mud-pit) together. Although COVID-19 brought me home, I can’t say it’s brought devastation to my discrete corner of the world. We live rurally and share our homestead with a collection of delinquents… The dogs: Bandit who is a rescue, Binky and Bumble who are privileged. The cat: Tipsy. Scrumpy the little shit- oops – Shetland, as well as Tegan – both rescues. Then there’s the big boys Jay and Ziggy.
I can’t say I’ve always appreciated the outdoors animal life but the short time I spent living in Australia allowed me some perspective. The same goes for caravan life, it’s the mundane expectations that come alongside human existence and modern living: running water. Also a kitchen independent of a leaky gas system. I’ve learnt to live without showering so frequently – funnily enough that was something I adapted to rather quickly. When it’s a burden to undress in the discomfort of a poorly insulated shack on wheels, you’ll understand. Over the past year I’ve grown back into the life I left behind and kept growing still in the hopes that I can live and learn, obtain and express and spread my wings and fly.
Something I’ve found to be elusive and coy when it comes to capturing the essence of such a creature. So many promises and goals set, the finish line is drawn, but each time I fail to shoot the gun and end up retracing another path back to the comforts within hospitality. I returned from Australia desperate for a change, a new experience due to the hate-fire that burnt to fester the place in me where passion once sat. I applied to be a Blood Donor Carer – I’m squeamish by the way; have been known to drop like a hot rock at the sight of another’s bodily fluids. I also applied over and over to supermarkets. Who would have thought it’s such a niche trade? My customer service oozes excellence; my determination is applaudable (refer back to the blood section) and I thrive in chaos with the efficiency of the gods. Can’t stack a shelf though! Not bitter at all.
After a brutal Cornish Summer spent working hard, burning bridges and wallowing in denial I made a cool adult life decision: “This winter I won’t bother with work instead I’ll go back to college”. Obviously, that did not happen, thank you COVID. Instead, I had the best winter with my family and our furry creatures.
In order to avoid frozen hands and feet, one must keep moving and that we did – increasing the distance covered with the dogs from an average of 8000 steps a day to 18,000. It went from walking to keep warm to just, walking. Increased fitness and pure joy and appreciation for this beautiful part of the UK we are blessed to call home all year round. With a new level of fitness a new birth of energy coursed through my veins, correlating with an appetite for activity and FOOD. Both, difficult to achieve to quality in a caravan.
As is maintaining a healthy diet. I have more cheat days than there are days of the week. However. Due to the addiction to chocolate and snacks I refuse to identify, I developed a greater goal and the key to unlocking a healthy diet – It’s called balance baby! If the sweet-stakes are raised then match it with that fruit and veg intake.
This state of eureka is how Simon, my jobs coach from Universal Credit, found me. Previously, I’d already done the job hunt so had the paper trail to show for and justify my leeching. This time not so much. Who knew part of the contract you sign when seeking UC help is proof or actually attempting to find work? Absolutely not was I going back through the Supermarket
debacle. He was unimpressed, to say the least. I admitted to him my aspirations and dreams and the temptation of furthering my education in my passions – all other plausible paths to take as an aspiring writer/artist/traveller/photographer seemed blurry and scary. Too fragile in this state of start to risk damaging the armour I haven’t yet fully assembled.
One day, I signed into my journal and read an entry regarding a course for Emerging Creatives and a fire called potential found a cause to reignite. It’s all very dramatic, I know, but I’ve been stumbling about, clasping at better decisions and signs and a purpose for all of this energy I have to create and produce whilst lacking a true direction. That hurts. It’s not creators’ block its creators’ damnation. Some have that natural gift, which I so envy, of being able to create. To bring a semblance of what dances behind their eyes into corporeality. The likes of me, however, need purpose. Purpose inspires an explosion of potential which I’m so beyond excited to indulge in with this fantastical opportunity.
I am and have always been a firm believer in the universe, silver linings and everything happens for a reason.