I’m writing this from the courtyard of the Summerhall in Edinburgh. The sun is shining, I have just devoured a 99 flake, I’ve seen some heartbreaking, potent, urgent theatre and it is only 2pm.
This afternoon, my lineup includes a show half in sign language and half in English, and a ballet production based on Shakespeare’s sonnets (FINALLY!) It is a fair assessment to say that I feel so fulfilled, loved and inspired that my heart could burst.
It is important for me to write this down, in a permanent way, so that on the days when I’m catastrophizing, or my heart is threatening to break, there is a point of reference. A memo to my future self from my present self:
You see? 2015 started off so badly, you lost yourself. But, darling, look at what you have achieved! Look at how happy you were on 29th August, 2015! Whatever you are feeling now, you’ve conquered it before, and then some, and the result was beautiful.
I was sent an article by a friend a couple of years ago, and at the time I didn’t fully appreciate how insightful it was. My friend was extremely taken with it, and said it had really changed his perspective, and I couldn’t understand how something with such a simple premise could be so life changing. Essentially, the article argued that any action you take (wise or unwise) is either as a result of something that your past self has done, or that you are doing in order to benefit or hinder your future self.
You can only work with the minutes and seconds you have got, and the challenge is weighing up whether you want to help your future self to fly (in the form of sleep, good eating choices or leaving the job that makes you miserable), or whether you want to hinder your future self by making poor choices. When every decision you make is broken down in such a simple way, it makes it easier to practise self care, and also be grateful for the choices you have already made.
So here is a note to my future self, however she is feeling. As my mother would say, ‘chin up, babes. We’re doing ok.’
If you are having a day when your body feels too heavy for you to carry, just think back to where you were at 2pm on the 29th August, 2015.