Now I’ve decided not to come off my medication I’m struggling to find a reason to continue with my blog.
I walked up to Tesco earlier, which is about a forty minute round trip. I don’t listen to the radio and music and instead decided to listen to my own thoughts: I could write a story about everything that happens on my way to Tesco and back, I decided.
I was assailed by a lot of memories. Although I have lived in London most of my life, this part of the world is a place I have returned to again and again since I was a child. My mother first brought me here after she had some work teaching a group of hippies how to sing. There was a woman called Liz, who we stayed with in a farmhouse, who had a daughter called Hannah a year younger than me. With Hannah and Liz, over the years, I found a sort of second home away from mum.
When my mother took off to California, I lived here and attended a secondary school for a while. I passed that school on the way to Tesco. I passed the street that leads down to Liz’s current house. I thought about my ex and all the journey’s that we made, and I looked for his car whenever I saw a car that looked like his black hatchback.
I didn’t have much to buy. I really just went out for the walk. Upon leaving my flat yesterday Sarah, my psychiatric nurse, said: If you do only one thing go out every day.
On the way home I ran into Liz, who is pretty old now, but still has a very full life, with a lot of friends and activities. She told me about an event she was going to tonight with a woman called Jo, an artist. Liz is also an artist. Are you painting? She said. This was the only question she asked me. When I said no, she looked at me questioningly, as though to say, are you okay? But neither of us said anything. Then we said our goodbyes without any pretence that we had a desire to meet up and discuss life further.
After I left her I felt like a failure, and this is perhaps the only real thing this blog has to offer now. It is the work of a woman who has failed in everything she set out to achieve. Well, not quite everything, but most things. The things that were most wanted and of most significance apart from degrees; none of which turned out to be of any use really. Certainly not in getting a job. Therefore I am led to conclude that the only real worth of these thoughts would be for a reader to think; well my life is pretty good by comparison. In that sense perhaps it has a certain ‘feel good’ factor, in the same way that depressing songs can. Sometimes I find that work that is too positive can make me feel gloomy. Even when it is sensitively done, like Matt Haig’s latest book, which lacks the aggression of something like The Power of Positive Thinking, which I would never read.
All of this makes me think of Alain de Botton’s writings on pessimism. About how having no expectations whatsoever beyond how awful everything can be, can have the reverse effect of being uplifting. And he quotes the Stoics in this regard. Actually, for anyone feeling down the School of Life has quite a few uplifting short films on YouTube.
I wrote my dairy when I came home, something I do occasionally, and reflected on the fact that having no more real ambitious projects like finding my soul mate, writing a novel, or making paintings for an exhibition, my life is free of fantasy. I’ve also realised that most of my friendships don’t work. This is because I am always the one doing the footwork to keep it together and friendship must be reciprocal, as Sarah and I agreed yesterday. This leaves me with one close friend, who I haven’t really spoken to all that much lately because he is currently setting up a new home he only moved into last month. But I am visiting him there in a few weeks.
All of this emptiness leaves me pretty much devoid of activity for the first time in my life. So now the only real project I have at the moment is to save as much money as I can so that I have some security and read books. It isn’t what I wanted from life, but it certainly could be worse.