things i live in fear of

  • rejection
  • being alone
  • not being good enough
  • making the wrong decision
  • losing the people i love the most
  • the words and thoughts of others
  • failure – in so many ways at so many different things
  • missing out on “life”
  • time moving too fast

These are just the big things. There are other things. Like farting loudly in a crowded public place, and being trapped in a lift. Oh, and needing the toilet when there isn’t one around. And being publicly humiliated. And bumping into my ex. And upsetting people. Accidentally saying something offensive or ignorant. Fire. Being violently assaulted. Plane crashes. Being sick. Being really sick. Awkward social situations. Meeting new people. Touching door handles in public bathrooms. Raw meat. Confrontations. Crying when I don’t mean to. Getting pregnant by accident. Slipping and being knocked out and not being found for days. Car crashes. Losing my memory. Loved ones losing their memories. Drifting apart from old friends. New situations. Looking stupid and self-conscious. Making a bad first impression. Wasting time. Regrets. Being far from home. Losing talents and abilities. Being unattractive. Public speaking.

Having my skirt tucked into my knickers without realising.

Never amounting to much.

try to write about what’s going on without talking about yourself

Trees miss their blossoms in the winter.
It gets dark. It gets cold. The nights are inconceivably long. The sunlight barely shines through the overcast greys.

And weeds grow.
They start growing where there used to be daisies and daffodils.
The weeds can tough it out.
The daisies can’t.
They wilt at the first frost.

But weeds can bear flowers too. Unexpected and hardy.
A flourish of colour amidst the gloom.

Weeds accompany the trees through their harsh winter.
Console them,
and offer them their own flowers as compensation.
It’ll never be quite as brilliant as a spring in full bloom,
but it’s something to cling on to.

The winter will drag on forever.
But the trees are patient.
Their blossoms will return.
When the moon and the sun
decide it’s so.

two paths

we once walked the same path.
you and i.
for four years, almost.
the same well worn trail.
well-trodden.
well-loved.
tended to.
there were small flowers growing out of our footprints.
and moss slowly growing on fallen branches.
and ferns reaching for light in the dark of the undergrowth.

we used to hold hands as we walked.

i don’t think i even realised our paths had diverged until i was clinging onto your hand by my out-stretched arm and my fingertips.
and you weren’t reaching for mine anymore.
i looked up, and could barely see you through the thicket that had enveloped the gulf now between us.

i didn’t see the warning signs.
i didn’t see the cracks beneath our feet.
i didn’t notice you veering off on your own course to avoid a fallen tree.

“two roads diverged in a wood”

it is not our path anymore.
it is not our story anymore.
it’s yours.
and it’s mine.
two separate paths winding their own course through the forests.

but for four years it was ours.
and it was magic,
because the path we walked together was golden.

i see you

I can see you.
I can still see you.
In the creased spine of a hardback book.
In the frothy head of a pint of beer.
In couples cycling together.
In small, scruffy dogs snuffling about the ground.
In rough seas against sheer cliff faces.
I see you.

In dirty running shoes.
In quirky, backstreet cafes.
And old, hidden-away bookshops.
In the smell of dust after rain.
Petrichor.

In tuneful, twiddly guitar melodies.
In beautiful vocal harmonies.
In the setting of the sun.
In the engravings on parks benches for couples who used to frequent there.
In old blankets.
And poorly knitted scarves.
In hazel eyes.
And a good beard.

In the smell of jasmine flowers.
Or azahara.
In spoken french.
I see you.

In old world maps, with promises of future adventures.
In well-worn trails through the woods.
In moss growing on a fallen tree.

In big jumpers.
In takeaway pizzas and nights of Netflix.
I can still see you.

In waterproof anoraks.
In the sound of my octave fiddle.
In the Brecon Beacons.
In any mountain range at all.
In fairy lights, strung up on the inside of our tent.

How long will it be before I can unsee you?
I’m not ready to unsee you just yet.


It’s nighttime, around early March

The room is grey and messy. Clothes on the floor. Unorganised desk. Untidy drawers. Unemptied bins. The bed is small and unmade. The curtains are partly drawn back and there’s a small amount of condensation on the window pane. It smells slightly damp. And of a warm, wet shower room. You can smell weed and cigarette smoke. There’s a very faint smell of grease from the kitchen down the corridor.

You can just about hear gaggles of freshers stumbling past outside, on their way to D-bar, for fresh-faced frivolities. There’s the distant, rhythmic thudding of a house party from a few floors above Occasionally, the big outside door bangs shut and there are footsteps up the stairs. 

You anticipate a cup of tea. 

Then, his phone vibrates.

The screen lights up with a peculiar message. 

dancing pt. 2

They all say they’ll dance with you in the beginning.
We’ll move the furniture in the living room
and I’ll teach you,
I’ll say.

It’s all about tension,
between us two,
held in our arms.
Away and towards.
Stretch and contract.
That’s all dancing really is,
I’ll say,
The musicality of a connection between any two souls.
It’s art.

And they oblige at first.
But they never make good on their empty words.

Promises of holding each other close,
as the music slows.
Promises of a lively jive,
or a passionate salsa.
Promises of
3 and a half minutes of
of heart racing
of flirtatious chasing
of chests barely touching
of electrifying
bachata.

When the whole room falls away around you both.
And all there is, is you two.
And the rhythm guiding your movements,
And the air in between your bodies,
And everything else fades to black,
And,
And,

They bottle it.
Say they’ll do it another day. Another time. They’re not in the mood. Or they’re too tired.

Okay, I’ll say.

I metaphorically put the furniture back to its original place,
turn the music off,
and the TV on.

the night we met

I wrote this several months back. Back when we were still together.

Take me back to the night we met.

We met a long time before that night.
But that night, I felt, was the first time
we properly saw each other.
Up until then, we’d kept it largely
platonic, sometimes suggestive, but
never too far. Nothing that would get you
into trouble.

But that night was different.
We both caught each other off-guard.
We didn’t have a screen, or snapchat filter,
or school email, or professional duties to hide
behind.

We were unfiltered.
Apparently you’d seen me first.
But I saw you when I came downstairs, you
were at the bar.
It was instinctive.
I went straight over to you without
hesitation and we hugged. Which I think
caught us both off-guard.

We were both wearing plaid shirts, and
we both made a comment that we had
coordinated outfits.
Then your friends came over and made the
same comment.

It was easy.
I was magnetically drawn to you, and it
was so clear and obvious.

I wish I could’ve stayed talking to you at
the bar all evening. But I had friends to
get back to, and so did you.

But we bumped into each other again that
night at the Wetherspoons. My eyes kept
trying to find you all evening.

You were like an island in the middle of
a shipwreck. I felt I was constantly
swimming against the tide, fighting to
keep my head above water.

But with you, I could breathe easy. It was
effortless.

So, I’m sorry that it hasn’t stayed that
way. You told me tonight that you miss
me. I’m right here, but I’m not. I’m not the
same anymore. For the first 6 month of us
being together, I didn’t think about my
past once. I was so happy. So content.

So, I thank you for that.

But slowly, it crept back in.
And I’m furious that something that
happened so long ago, is tearing apart
something so wonderful. It makes me
hate myself, for not being able to deal
with it and move on.

I wish none of it had ever happened.
But I can’t change that now.
No amount of wishing will ever undo.
What he did.
What I didn’t do.
What neither of us did.
And everything inbetween.

I had all and then most of you, some, and now none of you. Take me back to the night we met.”
– Lord Huron

I never thought I’d write those words about you.

Uprooted

I wrote this back in November. I realise the locations may give away my identity, in a blog that I’ve tried to keep largely anonymous, but they were important to keep in there.

I didn’t know what it meant to feel “at home” until I was made to live without it.
I thought home was a solid thing. A permanent feature. Something you could go back to and instantly know your place.

The UK. The North East. My parents’ house. My room.
Lyme Regis. The cobb and the sea front. The Royal Standard.
Cardiff. The village. The view of the mountains.
Home.

But it’s not just that at all, is it?

When you’re home, you feel rooted to the earth. You are part of that place you’ve always been and it is a part of you. Especially if you’ve never left.

I feel uprooted.
I feel that everything I knew has been unearthed and upended.
And there’s fuck all you can do with that.
You can’t re-plant a whole fucking tree.
The ground shifts and changes. New plants start growing in the hole you left, and there’s no space for you anymore.

So, what? Plant a new tree? A new kind of tree, in a new kind of soil?
Maybe.

I think I’ve realised that home grows with you, like tree rings round an oak. Who you are is buried in layers beneath you, absorbed into you from the environment you grew up in.

But, you move yourself and your tree of home across continents and nothing is familiar.
The tree rings inside you aren’t mirrored in the trees you find here. And you become acutely aware that this is not your home.

You haven’t heard seagulls in months.
There are few, if any, familiar accents.
The nights aren’t getting darker.
Nobody is complaining about the weather, or politics.
And you miss that.

It’s not rained in weeks.
You haven’t heard folk music in 5 months.
Or smelt the smell of pubs.
Or had a hug from an old friend – someone who’s loved you for years and been through some dark shit with you.
You don’t know the city like the back of your hand, all the cool bars and side-streets and markets and coffee shops.

Nothing is familiar and this is not your home.
And yet.

And yet, I think being homesick is more than just being away from home. It’s being away from everything that makes up the tapestry of who you are. It feels like you’ve been stripped bare and left naked.

And who are you if you’re not the girl with the two awesome feminist best friends just down the road from you?
Who are you if you’re not the girl who confidently strides into a dance class half-way through and takes her place on the floor because she knows her place?
Who are you if you’re not the girl who spends her summers camping at folk festivals? Or going to tiny folk gigs in the village?
Or the girl who single-handedly set up the Duke of Edinburgh award in her old school, and led expeditions in the beautiful countryside?

Who are you if you can’t step out of the door and be in the Welsh mountains in a matter of minutes?

Who are you anymore if you no longer have all the thing that anchor you?
Floating, adrift.

I no longer feel like a tapestry.
I feel like a vast and blank canvas.

splendid suspension

This piece of writing just came out of me quite angrily (there’s a theme occurring here). I’m not sure it makes much sense, but it helped to get it out of my head. So I guess it does makes sense, in a way. TW: self harm

I feel rotten inside.
I am over it but I am not.
I’m holding myself together but it’s an illusion.

There is a black mould growing around my heart and my lungs.
There is barbed wire inside my skull.
And bare electricity lines running through the veins in my hands and arms.

I feel I have no control.
In a desperate bid to distract myself from the gnawing, twisting feeling inside
my hands reach for anything.
Anything hard.
Anything sharp. Frantic.
Anything quickly.

To anaesthetise my head.
To focus on a pain more tangible.

Is it even a pain?
Or is it a chronic sickness?
Something that you learn to live with
like the ringing in your ears after a loud firework
or a landmine.

That’s what it feels like.
It feels like I stepped on a landmine.
I blew into a thousand pieces.
And then, miraculously, before 5am, I had stitched myself back together again.
I did such a good job, nobody could even see the scars
where I had been torn, limb from limb
heart pulverised like ripe fruit
skull shattered.
Nobody suspected a thing.

Maybe I was just so glad I didn’t die from the explosion, that I failed to notice the warning signs.
My stitches were pulling apart at the seams.
Bits of shrapnel I’d not noticed.
One in my shoulder, so I’d walk hunched and stooped.
One in my eye, so I’d never quite trust my own judgement again.
One in the back of my head, so that I always felt as though you were lingering right behind me.

Another in my heart. That one I leave there. I don’t try to dislodge it. Nor do I let anyone else close enough to try.

I feel like second-hand goods.
Used, broken, less valuable.
Dirty. Unclean.

But I can feel my seams splitting now.
And this darkness oozing out.
Covering my clothes and hair with thick black tar.

Everyone can see.
They give me a wide berth.
Don’t want to get any of it on them.

I’m trying to stitch it back up, I really am, but I’m running out of thread and I’ve been sewn up so many times before that there isn’t any material left without a puncture wound already.

My hands are slipping and I can’t even see my needle and thread through tear-filled eyes. I tried.
Like a mouse on a wheel, I am not making any progress any more. I’m tired.

I’m just holding the fabric now.
The fabric of what was,
what could have been,
and what never should have been.

Sewing was futile. I can feel myself, covered in that viscous, black tar.
Tarnished.

Landmines only explode when you take your foot off them. I wish I would’ve paused.
Splendid suspension. For just a fraction of a second more.

a birthday card i’ll never send

(context: it was my ex’s birthday yesterday, and i still can’t forget the date, as much as I’d like to. This is the birthday card I’ll never send him. Writing it last night was beautifully cathartic, even if it still made me shake with rage.)

HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY
(I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL ♥)

Oh, there’s no need to be so rude, is there?
People know, you know?
Maybe you thought I’d told everyone immediately, but I had a lot of therapy to get through first.
(Just let me know how best you’d like to pay. I’d take PayPal.)

No, but people know now.

I only told two people at first.
No, three.
No, actually, four.
But people talk. And a rumour like that isn’t going to stay a secret.
Guess it’s not a rumour though is it?

I mean, I had to give a reason for having you removed from that group chat so quickly.
And yes, I could have lied but
I have no interest in protecting you anymore.
I don’t give a fuck about your reputation.
You deserve what you get.

I hope it plagues you everyday.
I hope you lose sleep over it.
I hope you’re terrified of bumping into our old college friends.
I hope you’re wracked with guilt.
I hope it’s a secret that’s destroying you from the inside out. The way it did me.

I hope your new girlfriend finds out.

Raise a glass to the birthday boy!
And many
many
happy
returns.