Sunday, 29 January 2017

This Is Where I'm At | January

We've wandered mony a weary foot

Note: I have never posted one of these so late. This entire post has been written in drabs for this whole month. I don't know why I've been so reluctant to share. Maybe January scared me, maybe the next twelve (now eleven) months are rolling out ahead of me and from this position, they look ilegible and snarling. Maybe my life seems insignificant compared to what's happening in the world. I'm still sinking my teeth into 2017. I didn't want to break the routine of writing these posts so here I am. Late. 

In December I counted down. I counted down the days until I could fly back home for the first time in the longest time, relax, overindulge. With the 'penultimate Monday!' scribble came an anxiety, however, that since September I've been counting to Christmas and once New Year's Day ended, the year stretched out in front of me with nothing to count down to. When I'm clear-headed and optimistic, I can combat this. I can stick stakes in every other month and between times, climb towards those sweet rest spots.

Though I'm not sure I really like Christmas Day all that much, I was grateful to the season for the marks it put on my calendars. From my work Christmas dinner to a Penguin party to evenings in restaurants with festive menus. Ooh. I saw my tiny family, my tiny horse and my overweight cat, before travelling to Dublin to have a 'second Christmas' with my in-laws.

Then I had four days of sheer escapism as I travelled around Ireland with Bry and his band, on hand to sell merch, take photos and reconnect with friends as he did his thing. I'm sure the novelty would eventually wear off, but right then, living out of a backpack, with one book and a box of gift chocolates to hand, I felt like I could trail Ireland's midlands forevermore.

I returned - a little sniffly and regretting packing one pair of jeans - to my hometown to ring in the new year. Not one for breaking traditions, it felt odd to curl up in an armchair with a hot whisky when I'm usually posing for a photo with Bry and co before a fine meal and a night of board games. But I'm grateful for my parents, for the familiarity of home, the comfort of slipping into a town where everybody knows my name but little else about me.

Usually, I would look ahead to the month to end these posts. That hasn't quite worked out as that month is almost over as well. Maybe I should tell you about my resolutions. They aren't yet on paper, which means they will probably fade out in the same way the morning darkness does. I figure if they're important, I'll remember. It's the usual nonsense, anyway. Write more, feel more, do more.

I saw Rogue One and it reminded me how important stories are to us. I read sporadically, really, putting more energy into buying other people the perfect books than reading any. I listened to the usual Christmas tunes with fresh ears, as we're forced to do every winter. I'll leave 2016 behind with the words of Sufjan Stevens: can you say what you want, can you say what you want to be?

Yours, onward,