I don’t miss it
not yet, anyway
Not like I will when it’s gone
when I think about the nights
(the very few nights)
that I spent, outside, breathing the sea
Because I didn’t savour it enough
because I didn’t enjoy it
When you live somewhere
go to the doctor somewhere
it gets a little less special
There were nights that were special
tipsy, stepping off and onto the pavement
laughing and shouting and
daring to step into the sea
But I can still do that
I can come back
and that’s something
– It’s no secret that I hate the winter. I split my year not into four seasons but right down the middle: months that make me miserable, and those that don’t. I spend October – March ice-cold and sick. I work hard too hard and stay inside in the hope of being somewhere else for the next winter. I want to be in California so urgently, because to me it’s reminiscent of the sunshine and laughter so missing from my daily life in Brighton. In the winter I mostly miss having a car, being trapped in the city without long meandering drives. But I digress.
– It’s spring. Officially, today was the first day that really felt as if the sun was winning its fight against the cloud and storms. I got up at 10, did some yoga, and walked the two minutes to the beach to run 3 miles with my dog and soak up the sun. I came home and immediately picked up my rollerskates and rucksack so I could do something I haven’t done in a long time – try to relax. I skated and I sat on the beach and I wrote for half an hour and just hung out alone soaking in the sun and watching the sea. I tried to enjoy for a little while just how lucky I am to live where I do.
– But I’m not lucky. I am really, really hard-working and committed to what I want. It’s my best quality and my worst – through my perseverance and dedication I have gotten through things I thought impossible. I not only survived my life past sixteen, but I did well at school all the way through to my Master’s degree. I went to California aged 21, something that was originally a ‘bucket list’ item. I moved to Brighton aged 22 and I live here still. My hard work led me to a job in the media which I work full time and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. I write every day and I see my friends and I’m happy. But my obsessive motivation also makes me always want to be somewhere or someone else – I can’t enjoy my achievements. I am insecure, never happy, and never enough.
– In the summer it’s different. I slow down, I relax, I laugh at all. I go to the beach with my friends and everything happens so much more naturally. Everything is slower and less urgent and I am happier in my own slightly sun-kissed skin. My drive to be the best at everything before 25 (impossible – I know that logically) settles into a happy, motivated, natural pace.
– Winter is a nightmare on the coast and in my skin – but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s spring, I am happy, my town is blue and bright. I can rest.
With a keen desperation to be elsewhere I found myself on Brighton seafront, wishing again that I was a smoker. Despite the weather report saying eight degrees and my calendar shouting: it’s January, I went.
Filed under Misc, Writing
It is something I had longed for
to hear the seagulls at night
yet I feel a disconnect
from my home, home is strong
and home is safe
and yet I never felt it
where I was born, barely raised
Had you met me then, you would know
there’s not a thing for me at home
and so I pulled so urgently
cut ties and left swiftly
There are people who know me, miss me
who maybe, sometimes, need me
I am not cosmpolitan, still simple
but I live, now, a life of love
of boats, wine spritzers, friends and bars
drunken hazes, a tilt towards adulthood
Home is a fire that scarred my knees
that broke my heart
I felt at home, sometimes, too
in lock-ins and in shots
in hide-and-seek games, crawling
back to that house at 3am
So I packed my things and drove
to the coast, where I’ve heard dreams
can die, drunk girls can drown
but I have kept myself above water
in this seaside town
I moved to Brighton in June last year, which means it’s our ultra romantic anniversary soon. I am happy. I moved to Brighton from the Midlands the second I finished University, in search of a little bit more health and happiness than I had back home. I had been suffering terribly with various sicknesses and trauma and family difficulties, and I thought that 150 miles and some sea air was what I needed. Whilst I am of course not completely recovered, I am an entirely different person than I was this time last year. I feel quite content. I still have no money, I still suffer from various maladies, I still fight with my family – but now I am here, and they are there, and I have a little life of my own.
When I arrived in Brighton we rented a shithole flat and I got a couple of shit jobs but I was pretty happy to see the sea everyday. I had left my entire life, everyone I had ever known behind. My partner had no job to speak of and I had no friends. But I started to make connections and then I flew to magical California for two weeks, which changed everything. The people I met out there imbued me with an entirely different attitude and whilst I was still sick and poor, I developed a much better outlook. When I came home I met the drummer of one of my favourite bands through a retail job and went jogging with him. It was weird. I then got a job in a bar that I really, really liked for a while. I started my course and I hated it, I felt like everyone at Sussex was a giant snob and I was wasting my time. Nobody seemed to understand where I was coming from with my work but I stuck with it.
In November I moved house, to a beautiful flat with an amazing landlady. Having a real home two minutes from the sea with a nice, sunny bedroom made things easier. I worked almost full time at my bar job, made some friends, drank with them once a week or so. I was back to being bar bitch and having lock-ins and working hard at uni. I loved it. Christmas came and went in a blur of hosting parties and events and cooking Christmas dinner. I had my first dinner in my own home, far from my family. With my own little family. We cooked and watched eight movies and stayed in our pyjamas and it was perfect. I went home in January to see everyone and saw in the New Year with my best friends. A few days later, my best friend came to me to look for a home. We found her a lovely one, two minutes from our house. Our friends moved in February, and Brighton became even sunnier. Our home and theirs was full of life and cups of tea and weekend fun. I made some more friends through work, took day trips, and really started to love Brighton even more.
In April I lost that bar job and I started to work on my uni projects solidly. I miss working and I miss the constant contact with people, but I am working on myself and my work. I am happy. I just booked flights to California. I spent last weekend drinking with my best friends in a bar and I realised that I would not want to be anywhere else in the world. I am so sincerely happy. i still get depressed, I still get sick, but I am not unhappy with my circumstances anymore. I really struggled for the first part of my life and I am proud of the little life I have carved out for myself. It was hard financially to move to the most expensive part of England virtually alone, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I live seconds away from my friends in the most creative, colourful, beautiful place I have ever lived. I see the sea every day. There are weird theme nights for every interest I have at any time, somewhere in the city. Here’s to the next year in Brighton.
Filed under About, Personal