What I Learnt in October

It felt like the start of autumn, the leaves finally turned orange and yellow and it finally got cold enough to warrant jumpers AND coats and even a scarf on a particularly chilly day. Looking back I appeared to do a lot in October, I applied and got a seasonal job, I applied and didn’t get a fixed term job. I officially suspended my studies for the year from university, I met one of my heroes and listened to her talk science for 2 hours, I ran the fastest I have ever ran 10K and I spent 5 days on holiday. For someone who doesn’t like to be busy I was surprisingly busy.

  1. Running hard is hard.
    • Running at a pace that is uncomfortable but bearable and achievable and not letting yourself slow down and back away from the pain is hard. It’s hard not to pull away. It’s hard to say to yourself that yes, whilst this might be really uncomfortable and difficult and faster then you thought you could run you have got this, you have the legs for this and it will be ok.
    • Because you never know if you give it your best shot you might end up running your fastest 10K yet and completely surprising yourself.
  2. Finding joy in the smallest parts of life is important
    • Being grouchy and unhappy and bored with life is sometimes a choice. As someone who lives with depression I know that it’s not always possible to be a ray of sunshine but you can make a point every single day to find something to be happy about or find beautiful or find joy in. You don’t have to be unhappy with everything all the time.
    • You can find joy in the quiet in a morning with you and the birds before the rest of the world wakes up. You can find joy in the cold air and the smoke rings you breathe out into the cold. You can find joy in learning something new, in seeing a flower bud out. You can find joy in the words you are reading or the music you are listening to. It doesn’t have to be big but finding the joy in what you do is important and beautiful in its own way.
  3. Having your plans change is terrifying.
    • I am not someone who deals well with change. I cling to plans like a limpet, they are my life line and I get serious anxiety about being spontaneous and doing things that I haven’t planned out to the nth degree beforehand.
    • Having your plans change in a massive way (i.e. not doing uni this year) is really scary and it’s okay to be scared and frightened and lost and feel alone and that what you’re doing seems wrong.
    • But, it’s also ok to remember that it was the right decision, and you are doing all the things you are meant to be doing. Taking the steps to continue education can be scary, and taking the steps to gain experience in the meantime, or to recover your health or just to breathe is important and valid and necessary. No one is asking you to do more than you can.
  4. It’s ok to mourn a relationship
    • Even if that relationship has been dead for years. It’s ok feel lonely or unaccomplished or ashamed of how the other person has moved on and you seemingly haven’t. You have achieved more than you think.
    • Life isn’t a race to the end. There will be new relationships and new loves and new heartbreaks and new smiles and tears. There is no time limit on life or love.
    • It’s ok to look back at what once was but don’t forget to look forward to what could be too.

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What I Learnt In September

This is almost as late as it could possibly be but September was pretty darn busy for me and I finally have the time to really sit and go through the stuff that happened this September.

  1. You cannot do something that is wrong for you
    • Deciding to change degrees and suspend studies for a year has to have been simultaneously one of the hardest and easiest decisions I have ever made. It was easy because I knew it was wrong but hard because I felt like a disappointment (and that’s a story for a different post)
    • But I learnt that it is okay to put yourself and your needs first. There is nothing to be gained from enduring something that is not right for you, and that makes you hate your life.
  2. Mental illness is like a whack-a-mole
    • It can feel as if you have everything under control and then suddenly the floor is pulled from under your feet and everything is upside down again. When that happens it is so hard to find solid ground again.
    • Things sort themselves out in the end, and going to the doctors and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.
  3. Jealousy is a natural part of the human existence
    • I learnt that people are so ashamed of feeling jealous of other people. And I understand why, but I don’t understand why we need to attach shame to this feeling that is so natural.
    • It’s okay to be jealous of people. What’s not okay is to act differently, or negatively towards other people because of your own feelings.
  4. Joy can always be found
    • I am trying to be so much more present in my life and to find the joy in what I do. Because you can find it in so many things that are simple and ordinary.
    • One of my runs was the best run in such a long time purely because I found so much joy in what I was doing. I was grateful that I was able to be outside, and in the cold and feeling everything. I was grateful for my legs that were able to carry me four miles up and down muddy hills and I was grateful that I was able to feel these things.

September was a combination of stress, tears, and a major change in what I thought my life was going to be like. The ship was tilting in the seas, and yes, it did almost run aground but we have it upright and whilst everything isn’t plain sailing October has already been a month of learning.

What I Learnt in August

August definitely just came and went and I can’t quite believe that it’s September, the schools are back in and Halloween is basically just around the corner.

  1. Not running anything further than 3 miles for 2 weeks doesn’t mean you lose the ability to run for longer distances. Don’t panic April. All will be well.
  2. Despite the fact that I am still afraid of being stung by a jellyfish I can go in the sea when I can actually see jellyfish and not die. Plus jellyfish are pretty cool and if I had to have a career involving the environment I would quite like to be a jellyfish expert.
  3. Sweet potato and chickpeas do not belong in a pasty.
  4. The Titanic was the first ship in distress to use SOS (they also used CQD which was the more common distress signal at the time). Also, CQD does not mean ‘Come. Quickly: Distress’ or anything similar, it is thought to mean, ‘All stations: distress’. P.S. everyone who I know personally has been told this fact (and the next one soz).
  5. People have been getting tattoos for a very long time (in England definitely since the 1900s) and people have been hating on people getting tattoos for almost as long. Tattoos aren’t a new thing, and people hating on them isn’t a new thing. You do you.
  6. Being friends with people is difficult because sometimes you don’t quite know where you stand. Is it okay if you like them more then they like you? When you’re 5 years old you can straight up ask, “Can I be your (best)friend?” and that’s okay but it doesn’t really work past the age of 7. How do you work out how much your friend actually likes you, like, are they just irritated at the multiple snapchats they periodically get from me? Are they just pretending to be interested in my life? Who knows the answers to friendship past the age of 12?
  7. Being a tourist in your local area is the best thing and everyone should try it once every so often.

Things I learnt in July

July July July, a good old month of rain and sunshine, the start of a new bullet journal and suddenly reading like 5 books. Here’s what I learnt in July –

  1. Intelligence does not equal grades
    • This was one I learnt over a long period of time because let’s be honest here, I am not one to get As in essays, like ever
    • But, I did come to the realisation that no matter what, the grade you get at the end of an exam or from some coursework doesn’t tell you how clever someone is. Exams, in my opinion, mostly just test memory let’s be real
    • Also, that intelligence is more than just books. I mean, common sense, people sense, being able to convey an idea, to be able to make a relationships with people, to be able to participate in a debate, musical intelligence, artistic intelligence I mean, no one can do everything perfectly right? Intelligence is more than just one thing
  2. You don’t have to react like everyone else to situations
    • I often don’t feel like I react the way I’m supposed to, or how everyone else reacts to situations and I find myself watching what other people are doing/reacting in order to know the best way for me to react
    • That was kinda long winded I’m sorry
    • BUT I have kinda come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to respond to a situation the way most other people will and that’s okay so long as it’s not hurting anyone
    • Graduation was a big one here – it felt like an in-between day involving a lot of standing around and it wasn’t magical or fun or exciting. It was a day in between many other days that just ended up with my feet being sore and tired
  3. Day trips are the best
    • I made it a goal for July to make more day trips to places and despite not going all over the show I very much enjoyed the places I went to
    • I went to Leeds (kinda) and Haworth with an absolute babe of an English nerd, had some cracking ice cream and learnt something about the Bronte’s
    • I went to Liverpool to the museum and art gallery and got soaking wet in the rain and raced onto the train with 30 seconds to spare and felt like a superhero
  4. Running with other people is interesting
    • I joined a running club this month. And they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met – I have never felt more welcomed into a new group ever
    • Having to remember how to formulate words while running can sometimes be really difficult and honestly, I mostly just run and listen to everyone else talk
    • HOWEVER, running with other people makes you more accountable and so I can’t just bail on a 6 miler and cut it short, which is good in the long run. It’s also made me realise that I can run faster then I think I can
    • Running is all the mind (well at least 75%)

Soooooooo not that many people ever are interested but July meant I learnt a lot, mostly about running if I’m completely honest cause that seems to have taken over a few of my evenings now. I’m not even sorry about it either.