IN REARVIEW // January 2018

As the glitter of fireworks light up the sky, signalling January's beginning, it is not only their reflection that have my eyes sparkling, but the glimmer of hope that resides in my heart and brain. For the first time in longer than I care to admit, the dawning of a new year feels more like a promise than a threat. As midnight strikes, I am aglow with excitement and ready to embrace the year ahead.

Life, however, seems to have other plans. It feels like a bit of a conspiracy. I work to reinstate some routine after all the festivities, but no matter how fast I build, it crumbles just as quickly. After somehow dodging it for weeks, a cold finally catches up with me. I know it sounds pathetic, but it floors me completely. My sleep suffers and I'm lacking in energy; I stay at home to rest, but too much of my own company turns out not to be healthy. I am miserable and grumpy; worn out and lacking in defences. It surprises me that it knocks my mood so swiftly and significantly. 

But I know it's a cold - I am not down for no reason - there is a clearly defined beginning and that tells me there will also be an end. Something about that makes it easier to push on. That feels like a recurring theme throughout the month. No sooner am I over one thing and another comes along. I have a terrible appointment where I feel belittled and shut down. I learn my CTO is being extended and it comes as a painful shock. I face the stress of meeting with a solicitor. I have huge worries for people I care deeply about. I have a CPA meeting that makes me sick with anxiety beforehand; humiliated and disappointed there on.  These things all have endings and that allows me to go on, but it makes for a difficult and draining month. 

Still, there are moments of joy to be found in pushing-on. I become an aunt again at the start of the month - meet a tiny human who floods my heart with love. I start another Spanish class - I'm the only newbie in the room and though I'm terrified, they welcome me with openness and warmth. I have dinner with some girls I know from Instagram and though my anxiety tries to distract me, I am inspired by their company - recovery warriors, each one. I spend time volunteering and am pleasantly surprised that nothing goes too wrong: I manage not to panic; to deal with customers and serve up front. I get stuck into Psychology sessions and though they are tiring and emotional, I am thankful for her insights and the relationship we're slowly starting to forge. And best of all, I take a trip to Glasgow with a friend - we stay overnight, eat amazing (vegan) food and I get to see Frank Turner live, at long last! It is a definite high point in the month - a perfect reminder that I can face difficult days and yet still experience enjoyment and fun.

January felt relentless - exhausting and, at times, a bit too much. And yet I have coped - put my head down and carried on - and that feels like a sign of how far I have come. It has been tested on occasion throughout the month, and yet - heading into February - the hope in my mind and heart remains bright and strong.

Snowy Sunset - January 2018 - Laura Whispering
Vegan boozy freakshake - Shake Cattle n Roll Glasgow - January 2018 - Laura Whispering
Frank Turner - Glasgow Fruitmarket - January 2018 - Laura Whispering
Rose and Grants Glasgow - January 2018 - Laura Whispering
Aberdeen street art - January 2018 - Laura Whispering
Bonobo lattes Aberdeen - January 2018 - Laura Whispering


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