Sunday, July 8, 2018

a note on the past few years of not being here




Woo...where to even begin with this.

Hello hello, it is me - occasional tweeter, semi-aesthetic film Instagrammer, and self-professed 'former film blogging child prodigy'.

I've spent my Sunday afternoon flicking through a few of my posts that I wrote on here before I abandoned it. I'm listening to Lana Del Rey's 'Born to Die' album, which was the soundtrack to everything I wrote from September 2012 until the end of that year - I like to think that was the heyday of my blogging years, where I had so many lofty ambitions for what I could do with my passion for film and when taking a week away from the blog was akin to taking annual leave from an actual job. I'm feeling a little sad, a touch mad at myself for giving up on all of this...especially, when I was told in the aforementioned heyday of this blog that I would one day lose my passion for film and writing at some point in my life. Anyone who knows me will know that I'm unusually stubborn - if I get told that my life will go in one direction, I'll do anything in my power to steer it in the other direction.

I did, however, lose my passion for film and writing somewhere along the way. And that's why I abandoned all of this.

It has been almost four years since I wrote my last post, an unusually strong review of the film Predestination, which features that performance by Sarah Snook that I will always and forever contest as one of the best performances of this decade. In those last four years, I graduated with two degrees in media and communication. I got a scholarship to study for a semester in Finland, which changed my life in the most unexpected ways. I've travelled to over 15 other countries, where I started a new passion: travel, but more specifically, travelling to Sweden. I've become obsessed with high end makeup - when I was last on this blog, I used to only wear poorly colour matched and blended foundation, but now I spend a large chunk of my morning routine blending a smokey eye. I moved 3/4 of the way up the country after I graduated to give myself better job opportunities, but they took a little while to come (more on that later, maybe). On the more serious side, I was diagnosed with a myriad of issues with my reproductive system - mild endometriosis, PCOS and PMDD - which left me grappling with an uncertain future for my fertility when I was only 19. My long ignored mental health issues also became increasingly difficult to deal with. I started having frequent and severe panic attacks when I was 21 (although the anxiety has certainly been there since I was a child, but we just put it down to me being shy and an overthinker). For the past year and a half, I've dealt with some fairly bad bouts of depression - that's something I wish I could explain, but it isn't exactly in the past and there's no simple answer for it.

And hey, all of these life changes can be expected. Even if I tried, I couldn't be the same 17 year old girl from a small town with big dreams that I was in 2012. Things became difficult/crazy/strange/different for me - as they do for everyone - and suddenly, I couldn't sit down and write about movies. In fact, I couldn't sit down and let myself write anything that wasn't a university paper for just about four years. I wanted it to be perfect, I wanted to have the hottest take on something, I wanted to understand a film better than anyone else did. But I wasn't capable of that, so I'd stop myself before I even tried to write about XYZ film. And then when I started struggling more with my brain, I could put on a film and absolutely not take anything in. That felt horrible, because it wasn't something I was deciding to do myself - I had no control over it. There was a period of time last year where I became extremely ill, which I'm told was potentially because I was having a nervous breakdown of some kind. In that time, I couldn't go to the cinema without feeling so anxious I was extremely nauseous. Great, I thought. One of my happiest of places was being taken away by the fact that my brain and my body didn't want to play ball. The first film I was able to see in cinema again was The Disaster Artist. I initially felt so nauseous I was about to leave, but the film made me laugh so much, and then made me so hopeful, that for a moment I felt like everything was going to be normal again. In terms of me and my movies, of course.

So it has been a little strange to read through some of the stuff I previously wrote and be like 'damn, I was actually a good writer'. I never thought much of what I was doing on this blog while I was doing it. I just enjoyed having a space where I could talk about the things that mattered to me, and people who dug that would be around to push the conversation. I didn't really worry about my writing having a 'point', I was just genuinely happy to be able to share my own connection with certain films. The moment when I became too hard on myself about this little passion project seemed to signify that I had completely lost the part of myself that was dedicated to this site, and it was never going to return.

I don't think I ever truly lost that part of myself. It was just buried under a tonne of self-loathing, sadness, illness, finding new things to be passionate about, trying to find myself (which has been very difficult for me to learn that this is an on-going process and not something that can be done by reading a few Tumblr quotes), and, well, life. So, maybe, if I try this out a little more, we can see how it goes. We can see if I can stop stopping myself from doing things just because I think that they aren't the most perfect, hottest takes on something.

I've been explaining this site a lot recently for some reason, and I'm always asked why I stopped, and then I'm told that I should get back into it. If only it were that easy, I tell them. Well, I just wrote this waffle in about 45 minutes. The whole 'Born to Die' album has just ended. I know this isn't going to be the thing that everyone wants to read. But it is here, etched on my little speck of the internet that has content that spans for almost nine years. And I'm going to work on that being enough for me.

14 comments:

  1. Well, it's been a long time since we've heard from you. If you're about to return. Welcome back. I know what it's like to not write for a while as it takes a while to get back into form and maybe with some reinvention along the way. If you're not into it anymore. That's OK. Just glad to know you're OK.

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    1. Thank you! Going to see where all of this takes me, but it'll take a little while to get back into form indeed.

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  2. It's strange to think it's been four years, I think because I still see you on Twitter that it didn't feel as long, though it probably feels like a life time to you. I'm glad you're okay, first of all. I struggle a lot with anxiety as well and it can be awful. That on top of medical issues is even worse. I hope you feel fulfilled writing here again, it will be nice to have you back.



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    1. Yes, it feels like I haven't gone anyway because I've been as active as I can be on Twitter, but it is shocking to think I haven't posted anything in four years! I'm sorry about your struggle with anxiety, it is such an awful thing :( We'll see how the writing goes!

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  3. It's great to hear from you here, and I still can't believe it's been four years! It feels nothing like that, because when I started, yours was the blog I looked up to. This kid, younger than me, saying all these things and sounding like I wanted to sound, and will never sound. It was a little sad to hear you write your goodbyes but I felt like you were going to achieve great things, and you have!
    It was so nice to meet you in person in Estonia, it feels like yesterday we were actually talking, face to face, about movies and having a laugh! It's one of those blogger moments in my life that I will always cherish and appreciate!

    I'm glad you are doing okay. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. And if blogging, and writing, will help you along the way, to get back to yourself, I'm going to be right here, supporting you! :)

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    1. Awwwww, this is the loveliest comment! It was one of my favourite moments in my entire Europe trip when we met in Estonia, hopefully I can come back one day so we can do it all again! Thank you for the support <3

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  4. I’ve struggled with endometriosis (surgery in ‘08 & ‘13) and anxiety too. Keep making your voice heard! We want to hear it.

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    1. Endo surgeries are the worst! Thankfully I haven't had to have another one. Thank you!!!

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  5. It's so cool to see you back!! You really were a child prodigy, I think we're almost exactly the same age so coming into film blogging and seeing you kicking ass was so encouraging and awesome! <3 Hope to hear more from you - if not, enjoy the travels!

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    1. Awww I'm glad to have encouraged you back in the day! Super cool to see you post again now too <3

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  6. This is such a belated comment, but I wandered over here from your Instagram and just wanted to say that I relate so much to what you are saying from anxiety and stopping myself from writing to learning not to be perfect from a few quotes on tumblr and accepting changes with interests/the world around me. You're not alone, and I hope that you find your passion in everything that you do - not just writing and film. :)

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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