I had a breakdown in Boots.
Kicking the arse off my 26th year, I had a breakdown in Boots, wailing and hyperventilating down to the phone to my mother, very aptly in the nappy section.
No make-up, sweaty, red, swollen and tear stained, it was the kind of day that can only be made worse if your ex drives past you in his Mercedes and tries to stop for a chat. Which of course, is what happened next.
I had limped from the gym, after a paltry 30 min session, certain a stress fracture was about to strike me down. I’d eaten 1300 calories in dry cereal alone and it was only 1pm. Just before Christmas, I’m feeling heavy at about 9 and a half stone and my yet to be seen growth spurt has left me at 5″3. Jobs: 0, boyfriends: nil, children: zero, useful qualifications: NADA.
My life has been entirely turned over to numbers. For someone who struggled to get a C in GCSE maths, the irony is not lost.
After recently leaving my job to find my own lost trajectory, I felt rudderless, listless and unaccomplished. In my 5 year plan, I was at ground zero, looking up at everyone else and becoming enveloped in self doubt and depression. Three years away from home, I had nothing.
Or so I thought. I may have ‘nothing’ by the standards of numeracy, in that I cannot count my physical gains. Jobs? Still none. However, I’m fortunate enough that I am in a position in which I can start again. I have so much support from my immediate family that I can blindly feel my way towards a new purpose. Who will hold my hand as I take, yet more, tentative steps in to the deep sea of adulthood, and whose arms I can run back to if I veer off course towards the rocks.
Blokes? Children? Nope, none of those. I do, however, have a legion of friends upon whose shoulders I can cry or indeed, who I can laugh with, uncontrollably.
30 mins in the gym? At least I can go to the gym! I’m lucky enough to have had a run of good health by some poorly distributed lottery system where others have suffered immensely.
I am rich in experiences, memories, opportunities, friends and family. I’m blessed enough that I can pick up the phone in a stupor of sadness and talk about me, me and ME.
There are people who have it far better, according to modern conventions of having it ‘all’ but there are millions who have it far worse. Who would wish with every last breath to have just one minute of my life, moaning about their weight as their most pressing problem.
This world is infected with grief, sadness anger and, very topically, terror. Instead of adding to the mix, I wanted to turn my negative in to a positive for someone else.
A gift of Christmas presence.The act of ‘being there’. Not physically, but in this moment, instead of thinking about me, I’m thinking about someone else.