Home before New Year

I arrived home to find Brian and Mel sitting in a pile of presents – (mostly gin), with Amy and Rob on the sofa.

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A full flat, as it often is. Plenty of warmth and fun and gin. I’ve cocooned myself among them and I’m listening to them playing some sort of Rick and Morty card game. It’s good to be home, especially considering I’ve worn the same two mismatched socks for three days now and they’re getting stinky. After all that time away I got home and immediately went visiting, despite essentially just wanting to cocoon myself in warmth and home for a few days.

The conversation here has randomly turned to cosmetics. How you feel about your own teeth. How you feel about your own body. The motivations we have to change physical aspects of ourselves. I’m just sitting in the corner listening. Identity is so strangely located. When do you make a change that stops you from being you? Never, I suppose, if other people let you.

Even thinking about my journey in this year that’s almost done now, I feel my sense of self has shifted noticeably with that time spent walking. It’s been lovely to visit friends and step into their lives for a moment this week, but there’s been an element of avoidance where I’ve not stepped back into my own life yet to see how I fit now I’m a different shape.

I’ve left the jaguar in Sussex. I’m as broke as I was at the start of the year but it isn’t affecting my self esteem. It’s affecting what I can do though. I was hoping to go to Jersey and sort some stuff out but I’m not sure I can afford to now, owing to family not coming together when needed. If I’m going to Jersey I have to fix the car. If I can’t fix the car I lose the ferry which is already booked I don’t think I can afford to fix the car. But I’m going to find a way to make it work, rather than let it make me feel powerless. Where there’s a will there’s a way. I have no idea where I’m sleeping in Jersey yet. But I’ve never been freaked out by the unknown.

Lovely to hang with my friend and his kids. Kids are a lot of work but they’re defining themselves as humans. It’s lovely to see the sparks of individuality flying around the edges of the hammer of obedience. By necessity we define firm boundaries for kids, but there’s no difference in their mind between rules that stop them from dying and rules that make them easier to manage. Many adults carry these boundaries through their whole lives, while others throw the baby out with the bathwater when they realise they were being manipulated.

I’m enjoying this space I’ve come to occupy where most of this behavioural stuff means very little to me. I’m going to find a way to mark this New Year as a big positive step. I hope you all do as well. Let’s leave behind the stuff that burns us…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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