life

The rudimentary life lesson I am yet to master is slowing down. Too often I have almost burned out, from cramming in too much, and I have to tell myself to stop. Have to take any time off I can to breathe and catch up.
Such a mistake left me crying in my bathroom today, eyeliner streaming down my face, 10 minutes before I needed to run to work. I have already booked in a solo self-care day, dedicated to slowing down and recharging.
I say this as though I haven't been doing the sickest stuff, haven't been exploring new places, drifting on trains, indulging in art, sun, pizza. With good friends, good books, good music.
But it has been a lot, I think perhaps too much. I found I was so full on culture and sights and excitement I couldn't fully appreciate it all, felt almost numb, transient, exhausted.
A fiscally necessary return to work will no doubt ensure such a reversal, and I will be pining for something interesting in no time.



what i've done:
drank vodka lime sodas in my favourite bars after work, saw Vassia last minute, hated being a woman, sunbathed, failed at sudokus, drank wine, ate more tomatoes than my body could manage (ditto watermelon, bread and sorbet), caught 8 trains in 2 days, got stuck in the Venetian rain, fell asleep on my friends lap, drank €3 prosecco on the banks of the Grand Canal, ate a very expensive pizza (and complained about it profusely!), felt my absolute happiest in the Tuscan sun, got eaten by mosquitoes and played cards by candlelight.
Also spent 2 hours at home, travelled to Oxford, drank, swam, ate in copious amounts, laughed and cried on my train home.
Amazing, overwhelming, expensive, exciting, adventurous, indulgent, delicious, exhausting.


what i've read:
I finished Circe, of which the last 2 pages were beautiful (the rest perhaps didn't live up to expectation, but still v good), read How to Build A Girl (which was quick,  easy, risqué and exciting; perhaps a little too profane, but good fun) and Normal People (devoured in a day) (loved: soft, gentle and delicate compared to Caitlin Moran, compelling, challenging, consuming)
Also got my first Oh Comely in ages, and remembered how much I loved it, and began reading Eat Pray Love. Evidently I'm loving my femme-coming-of-age/self-discovery novels this summer.


what i've listened to:
some excellent stuff.
Max by Rebelliously Tiny; an informative and sensitive podcast on disordered eating. I thought it was fab; delicately negotiated but massively informative about their experiences, the realities of body shapes and weight, the perception and presentation of food (especially on social media) and the need to surround yourself with people who have good relationships. For me, it came at the time it was most needed, and contributed to a lot of thoughts I've been having about how we discuss and portray food and body size. Whether you have a good or bad relationship with food or ur body, would 10/10 recommend this, or any of her podcasts.

Also rlly enjoyed The High Low  which, despite covering current affairs and (mostly depressing) topical issues, remains super light and entertaining. They talk about such a variety of events and ideas, and is such a nice change from my usual radio 5 lol.

I also loved Hannah Witton's 'Dating Advice and Social Media Ettiquette' (from Doing It!), mostly because it told me I haven't found the 'right person' becuz I'm not ready which tbh just served to validate my adamant independence for a little while longer.

Also devoured Libby's spotify playlists (especially 'new shit good shit'), to dilute the choral music I still can't stop listening to lmao.

what i've seen:
stunning Byzantine churches, beautiful sunsets, an amazing exhibition on black women in art, a lot of sea, blurred landscapes, tourists looking at 'famous' art I couldn't see, clouds, narrow streets, orange buildings.

I could write more, but this is already enough.
Man am I yearning for some time alone. But also am I bursting with gratitude, and a confusing anxiety. Also, the above sounds idyllic and euphoric. It was, but it was also tainted with arguments and sleeplessness and a lot of anxiety, just like all aspects of normality.
Life is weird, and good, and a ceaseless mix of the two!

6 comments

  1. Take some time out Katie!!! Excited for your solo day, you have all of summer to indulge in culture don't stress about getting it all in. I need to listen to that podcast still, planning to listen on my train home later (unless it may make me cry? Don't want to cry on public transport) . Jealous of all the tomatos you've eaten, one day I will try a sicilian tomato and it will change my life , just like all the podcasts tell me it will !

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    1. it probs will make u cry but its well worth it, I remember hearing a bit in guilty feminist about how it made people laugh in public and how reclaiming that was that u were expressing emotions unapologetically that no one around you could participate in, so cry on the train!!!! gal one day we'll travel around italy so you can eat your weight in tomatoes x x x x

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  2. ah love the way this was written as usual!! Defo try and take this month(s) before uni a little slower; but I know what you mean about being close to burning out wanting to cram everything in. Sounds like you've had some amazing times though and been super busy. Desperate to read Normal People and Eat, Pray, Love (I've resisted watching the film for years until I read it!) taking notes on all these recommendations xox

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    1. Thank u Lexie!! I hope youre settling back into normality ok after your amazing travels!!!! Normal people was soo good, I'm really not enjoying Eat Pray Love (find it self-absorbed, privileged, uncomfortable in places) but I think maybe it is quite dated??? Worth a read though! xox

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  3. Katie you sound like you're having an amazing time and your Italy trip looked so dreamy. I can more than relate to the lack of doing nothing. This summer has been a series of doing things without actually stopping to take a breath and I do not want to start uni already in need of another break. Today is the first day in a while I can just sit in bed and do nothing, despite the fact I'm meeting a friend for dinner and it is blissful. I need to listen to your podcast recommendations, and I recommend to you to read Expectation by Anna Hope - it reminded me of a Sally Rooney novel but I enjoyed it much more and raced through it in a day. sending my love, eleanor xx

    eleanorclaudie.com

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    1. Isnt it mad??? I always get obsessed with filling every moment but then can't enjoy the things I've planned as much because i'm too freakin tired!! Ahh those days are the best, when you feel you've truly earned them...Expectation sounds amazing, definitely going to give it a go! I hope your well and BEST OF LUCK for tomorrow x x x

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Katie