Lockdown Diary: The Anti-Glib

This one’s a little bit of a jumble. Stream of consciousness or whatever. Love you x

Words use to spill out of me, but that doesn’t really happen anymore. Partially I think it’s getting older and more afraid. Nobody warned me that you get more afraid as you get older, but you do. I’m 27 years old now and my generation is no longer the new one, another has arrived and we’ve all been replaced, just like everybody is, and I feel a bit lost, really. I used to be able to write freely because I believed what I said – or at least I think I did – but the impulse to write was born from romanticism, beneath the banner of which I’ve undertaken many of the worst acts of my life. I like to think I’ve left romance behind now, but I don’t know what’s taken it’s place. I’m certainly not numb – there’s a lot of life inside – but now the romance is gone, and I don’t know what to call whatever has replaced it.

I got made redundant this week but that doesn’t matter, I’ll be fine in the end. Money’s my last concern at the moment. Well that’s not entirely true. But it’s a nice thing to say.

Wish it would stop raining. I was meant to go for a run today but I don’t like to run while I’m hungover, not because it’s much harder physically but because I just feel shattered emotionally from staying up late last night, and from living the same exact day for four months with only slight variations. I’m alright, by the way, if you’re wondering. I’m really alright. I feel very calm and I just felt like writing, even if it’s garbage. Makes me sad when I open up a word document and I can’t write and don’t understand why. It comes less easy now and I feel I’ve lost the knack, if I ever had it.

Reading a lot of books lately and some of them are so good that it makes me feel awful. I have to remind myself that they’re not first drafts but the products of years of work and various editors and quality checks and all that stuff which I either don’t have access to or can’t be bothered with.

I’m waiting on South America later this year – that plan is still there – but it’s hit hard by the virus right now and I’m concerned as to how that will all play out over the coming months. I often miss feeling as though I was headed somewhere. I used to get this grand feeling like I was a character in a novel going through trials and tribulations and it was all part of a huge shining journey leading me to… something. In decisions I would make I’d always feel a hand on my shoulder guiding me, and every choice felt like it was necessary, even when it hurt and I got lonely or sad. But that hand left me alone all of a sudden in 2018, quite without warning, and I’ve not felt its calming direction since. I don’t know why it left.

It’s tough learning French but I’m enjoying it. I can speak it pretty well now and I can say most things I want to say – my base impulses like hunger and tiredness and simple emotions are easy to express, and I can talk about my day and my life and future plans and I can ask all kinds of questions. It’s the first time ever I’ve been able to hold a conversation in another language and I really enjoy that feeling.

Started using Rogaine for my hair because it’s thinning more these days. I didn’t want to use any hair growth products originally because I felt effeminate or something, but I’m glad I did it because my hair is thick again and it’s so lovely to look in the mirror and see something other than decay. It may only postpone hair loss but that’s okay for now. My thinning hair has giving me so many worries over the past decade that it feels okay for me to enjoy a little respite. I like looking in the mirror now, and I do it more often, and I don’t mess with my hair so much because I don’t have to try and cover thin patches. It feels freeing, and I never thought I’d have that again.

Jeanne and I are alone together a lot. We’ve gotten good at it. We talk in the morning and we make lunch together but often during lockdown days we do separate things, together. She’s knitting right now, or crocheting, I don’t pretend to know the difference. It’s that one with a long wooden needle, anyway. She’s making a summer top, a crop top thing. I’m not dexterous enough for anything like that though. And I don’t have the attention span.

I’ve been buying a lot of books because I want to get cleverer. I think the mind works just like the body. I realised that I’ve been coasting through life. Never challenge myself. I only take on challenges I know I can manage, I never let myself struggle and grunt and sweat and work, and so I never grow. I’m going to start treating my mind like I treat my body in the gym and pushing it harder to train it.

I’ve been running three times a week and lifting weights three times a week, and learning an hour of French a day, and writing a thousand words for a book I’m working on. I think it’s good for discipline – something I notoriously lack, and have always lacked.

But at 27 it’s probably time for a little positive change, isn’t it?

Leave a Reply