life :: surreal

I am going through something at the moment. Truth be told, I always am, as is everyone else in the world, and those of you reading. Whether it’s normality, or the depths of despair, or exam stress, or money troubles (the list is endless), part of accepting life’s phases is part of healing.

I am content yet not content, and I’ve been struggling with these feeling for a lot longer than I would like to admit. I wrote about this in an Instagram post yesterday, it was more of a microblog narrative than a caption, but voilà, we all know that is me.

Wednesday morning study break, with Oh Comely magazine, a cup of tea, sliced apple and a gingernut

But it is this search for identity, that I don’t even think I want to search for, that is eating me up. On nights where I don’t sleep, or am awake and fully conscious, my mind exposes itself to thoughts so unrealistic and questions that deeply injure me. To realise that I partly do this to myself is what hurts me the most, yet I have always, as far as my memory serves me, wanted to feel things. I am attentive because I desire attentiveness. I open my mind because I want to be around open minds. I love because I love myself.

Mon Oncle poster, The Hall Cafe, Atkinson’s, Lancaster

I don’t quite accept that it is all environmental and that the world’s greatest marketers are constantly exploiting us, and I think it’s dangerous to encircle ourselves in that viscous rhetoric. Identifying yourself has become such a popular topic of discussion, and let’s be frank, it has always been a prevalent topic in society, no matter the age, the phase, the epoch, the era. We consistently search for meaning, our identity, and our place in the world. In fact, it upsets me when I watch people trying to define themselves and conform, and even more so when this whole freedom of expressing ourselves means still identifying with a group, a type, a sexuality, a gender, a religion or a faith.

By nationality, I am white British. I follow the Christian faith, I attempt daily to follow the teachings of Jesus. And I’m heterosexual. And somehow, despite me being way into the “majority” I feel so excluded. I actively want “minorities” to have their place, so much so that I don’t even like referring to them as minorities. My dearest friends are all over the world, whether it’s back in Bolton, here in Lancaster, in the French sunshine, the Moroccan desert, the city of Osaka, Japan, or the Brazilian streets. And while to some, and likely many, that sounds like an excuse, if you know me and really know me, you know that I attempt to never judge people by their exterior or even their interior. That is not my place, and it is not what I feel called to do, or be.

Myself before the first flight of my year abroad, destination: France, or more specifically Bergerac

I haven’t, and probably won’t ever, find my identity. And I have too much of a privileged, incredible life, to waste time finding my own identity, when I could actually be helping others in the world and trying to instil more joy.

It is hitting home hard that I will be graduating in July. That said, I’m enjoying every moment I have and not putting a time limit on university. The friends I live with are simply incredible, and they will never quite realise the impact that living with people who bring so much joy to my life is having on me as a person. To be able to laugh over vegan pizza and broken mugs, yet not feel ashamed to be honest about my insomniac tendencies, and to basically muddle through university and life with four other humans, is more than I ever imagined living with friends would be like.

Zoe’s reaction to opening Ebba’s present for her 22nd birthday
Zoe laughing at my on-purpose SPAR plastic bag wrapping of her birthday present, fyi we take regular trips there when we are having a bit of a panic attack
Ebba, Zoe, Morgan, Josh, ans myself at Spaghetti House, Lancaster for Zoe’s 22nd birthday meal
Ebba reading me the blurb of the book that was to be Zoe’s birthday present

The gorgeous Alice, and myself, before Dalton’s Latin Party March

Exam season looms, and the dissertation is finally coming together (however, no, I’ve not finishing writing it yet), so that is perhaps the reason for a rather surreal feeling to have settled. But it is a feeling that I own, and that I am going to use to somehow bring light to others, because that is what I would prefer to spend my time doing, rather than being caught up caring about how much weight I need to lose before summer, how I keep getting spots on my cheeks, or how much sleep I am getting. Or even, what I’m next going to upload on Instagram.

Myself post-lunch at Marmalade, Chester

Love,

Anna

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