September to November has been hard. Hard. A dark light lurked on the back end of my 2015 and dropped blossoms all over 2016. This year has been better. Better because I have learned to mine, I have become a much more artful navigator. Still, I find myself standing in the velvet smoke of the horizon, palms out, stretching for more.
September to November has been hard because rent came around three times (and I was barely paid enough to make one payment). Three times in the last few months I looked at my bank account and saw ‘Nil’. Nothing. Nothing became hour long walks to work, dinner for breakfast and dozens of sorries ‘I can’t make it’. At times I am so slick I can make a little last long (I can find boxes of limes and plantains and cucumber for just 50p and make dishes with rice that’ll last days) but with every shrinking pay check the walk becomes longer, the dream slipping through the tips of my fingers.
At times I fear that I place too much weight on my struggles, but it is so important to me to share my stories of both sorrow and strength. I believe in magic. I believe miracles tantalise us till we surrender and I am so sure that my circumstances will change. But so often I look into the eyes of people in the pits of their pain, who tell me everyday that they want to die. There is an alchemy that occurs when I tell them where i’m hurting. When they see that I am falling but getting up, afraid but pushing. Maybe, somewhere in this icy online galaxy, someone will see themselves in one of the fine lines of my story, and perhaps they will keep pushing too.
My job is brutiful. I have lost count of mornings where I wake up and feel as though I can’t make it through the day. My diary bursting at its seams with lessons, commitments, promises and I am falling apart although everything looks pretty. At some point sadness sneaks between all of our sheets and who is to say how long she will stay. But how beautiful is it that glistening between each broken piece I find my friends? Friends who come get me at 3 in the morning to help me pack up my things when i am moving. That sneak home cooked food in my fridge when I am not looking to make sure I eat. That put money in my bank account without my knowing or asking. That drive me three hours across England just to watch the sun set on that corner of the earth. That leave bags of shopping outside my door. That put money on my electric meter. Tenners under my pillow. Surprise me with tickets to see my favourite artists in concert. That pray for me, are honest with me. Good friends glow like fireflies in the dark for me.
I am so grateful to have a space like this. Space to tease through sticky emotions. A silky web of compassion that runs like thread through the words of my allies. If there is anything I can tell you about relationships that bloom, it is that they are built in the toughest of times. My friends and I do not speak everyday, and our love at times outshines our like for each other but this translates into scared commitment. Commitment to assume the most generous thing about the others intentions. A commitment to seeing in the safety of non-judgement. And at best, they will hold my wild crimson heart and let in burn like gold in their hands.
December has been better, turns out the tax man had been taking too much and I received the biggest cheque I had received all year. But September to November taught me the most beautiful lesson: struggle bears the sweetest fruit.