there are days when the cage doesn’t seem to open very wide at all

Today was meant to be a bustling day of packing and cleaning and moving house. Fortunately, I don’t really have to respect that timetable anymore, as my once-housemate Silva has rescheduled our moving date to the weekend. Sure, I still plan to be at my new place very soon… but it is fortunate because today hit me with a huge gust of “what the hell are you doing with yourself”.

I’m occasionally incapacitated by these storms of self-doubt and fear, but I know they won’t last, if I just keep stubbornly ignoring the voices in my head (whose words I won’t even gratify by repeating). I am very lucky that I can stop mid-track and refuse to be part of the panic process. Once upon a time I would have pulled on my running shoes and gone to run until I was too exhausted and exhilarated to hear the negativity; as that isn’t a possibility these days, I found much comfort in the below:

Cross-stitch, Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, and not pictured, Stephen Fry's dulcet tones

I listened to hour after hour of podcasts today, most of which sourced from the BBC, because few things soothe like Radio 4. As cooking also is a great distraction, I also cooked two meals, using the last of the food in the house (a veggie and noodle stir-fry for lunch, and grated potato omelette for dinner).

I wouldn’t say the storm has entirely passed, but I’m feeling stronger and less prone to dissolving into tearful fits of “I can’t — I don’t — I wish I knew…”. I keep trying to remember that I’m ok without a plan; I’m ok by myself; I’m ok being independent and free. The price for my freedom is one I’m willing to pay, and I have many, many good things ahead of me.

Last but not least, my good-luck gift from Catherine:

My very own Ponyo!


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