Reconnecting with home while finding peace in the city

Remember when I had that really tiring month? If only past me knew what was coming.

I’m not going to lie, this month has been a struggle, but at the same time, I have felt the support of so many people. Not everyone, but a fair amount. That’s not to say I’ve always listened to those supportive words, or even that I haven’t dismissed them for one reason or another. Imposter syndrome (a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud” – cheers Wikipedia/Mel for introducing it to me) is real and the craziest thing is being SO aware of it and still making excuses. The brain honestly baffles me.

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom however, even if I was supposed to see Childish Gambino at the beginning of the month, only to have the show rescheduled for March next year. I had literally just booked the non refundable train tickets a few days before the announcement, as well as having booked a hotel a few weeks prior. Also non-refundable. Well, I couldn’t let that money go to waste now could I? Instead of spending the weekend in, my sister and I decided to go to London and do some, ahem, Christmas shopping. Now by the time we got there very little gift buying occurred but hey, at least we set out with purpose. In reality we ended up treating ourselves to a few things (my favourite thing being my new pink coat) and honestly, I think it was just what we needed.

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What I could have done without however were the several train journeys in one weekend. Nevertheless, a great start to the month. In fact it was on one of those journeys that I first listened to the latest Bill Ryder-Jones album, Yawn. I think it might just be one of my favourites of the year. It is just so beautifully simple, perfectly poetic and horrendously heartbreaking all at the same time. I’ve listened to it on repeat nearly everyday throughout this month and I’m still not sick of it. The tracks ”And Then There’s You” and ”Don’t Be Scared, I Love You” are particular favourites of mine.

November feels like the longest month, but all of it is such a blur. I’ve been too tired to really enjoy anything if I’m honest. There are moments that stick out, like seeing Juniore at Heartbreakers for example, now that was a great show. One of those that you just happen to take a chance on and end up absolutely loving. Their music was another highlight of mine this month, something so eloquent and chaotic all at the same time. If you ever get the chance to see them live I highly recommend it.

Amongst the standard things like putting my Christmas tree up too early and getting my fringe cut short again, November ended up being incredibly introspective. Two family visits in one week made me want to reconnect with home more than ever. I mean mostly because one of those visits was over Black Friday weekend and I just had no energy after having to work for the entirety of it. We did however see Bohemian Rhapsody which was of course incredible and I’m already planning on seeing it again.

The fact is, I have been missing home a lot. I’m not normally one to really feel that. That’s not to say that it doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s just that ever since moving away for uni I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of change and opportunity, I never really got those homesick feels. Now all of a sudden it is all I can think about. I even lost myself in an entire set during a show at Heartbreakers (again) this weekend just gone, thinking about how I could literally just move back home and start again, with people who know “the old me” and where I came from. Suddenly that has become super important. Now I know that this was all technically during the beginning of December but it’s really a point I was heading towards throughout the whole of November. The thing is, I’ve never considered it, not really. Not as heavily as I did on Saturday night, and it really threw me. People were asking me what I thought of the set, and I just couldn’t answer. I mean, ask me now and I will tell you that the set was bloomin’ beautiful; as much as I was inside my own head during it, I can’t deny that the music, and the voice of Tommy was so divine. Yet I still couldn’t shake the thoughts going through my head. Where I could work at home, where I could live, just everything I could do back in Margate.

Just to be clear, I have no plans to leave Southampton and move to Margate, but for the first time (unbelievably) in six years, I will be spending my birthday there in January and I am SO EXCITED about it. I had planned to go on a solo holiday somewhere, but honestly, fuck that, I wanna see my family and the place I love. I’ve just realised I’ll be 25 next year so maybe I’m having a quarter life crisis…us crazy millennials eh? But seriously, I look back on how I’ve changed throughout the years and I just can’t track it or place who I am now. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost myself a little. I know that really I’m just growing up and changing, and that’s okay, I just need to familiarise myself with it all, as well as keeping in touch with the past a little more, it’s all about balance. I think I’m also seeing so many changes in Southampton, so many people leaving, whether off to new places or back to their own homes. Perhaps I’m feeling inspired? Not to worry though, I still have the capacity to be happy in Southampton and I’m not about to give up on the city just yet. Just writing this post has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and made me realise that there are so many things I love here, and places that make me feel at home (shameless shoutout to Vinilo Record Store). So I have decided to put my all in to the parts of Southampton that I love, and rise above everything else.

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Besides, it’s December now, my favourite time of the year and I’m not going to let anything ruin that. Everything is going to be okay. See you in a month (or hopefully before with my music of 2018 post or whatever I end up calling it). You can keep up to date via my Instagram and on Twitter in the meantime. Xx

 

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