Earlier this week, on Monday afternoon, I made an exception to my ‘chained-to-the-desk-and-never-leave’ rule and stepped out of my office to take a lunch break.
This break, as well as being incredibly rare, was pre-planned several weeks in advance as I had booked to have another tattoo in a shop not too far from where I work.
Now, tattoos aren’t for everyone and that’s absolutely fine – different strokes for different folks etc – but, for me, they’re something I find interesting as both an artform and as a point of conversation. Some people have them purely for the aesthetic, others to tell a story. I fall into the latter group.
Once upon a time there was a girl called Penny. (It me). She was smaller than her school peers, she was ginger, she loved learning and she was painfully shy. She was also mercilessly bullied.
Chewing gum in her hair, graffiti carved into the wooden desks of the classrooms, indelible inked comments on the toilet walls. And loneliness, so much loneliness.
Tears in the evening at home, despair in the morning at the school gates, and misery during the 6-hours of the school day, before it was time to go home and the crying would start again.
Let’s turn back the clock; turn it back to 2013/2014. Back then I posted on this blog almost every day. I managed to churn out content on a regular basis; taking photos, writing content, putting in the legwork to promote it on social media. I would spend at least an hour every single evening on my laptop, all on top of my stressful day job and my regular writing gigs for other websites, newspapers and magazines.
I was hustling and I was hustling hard.
A few days ago I wrote a guest post for the lovely Karen over on her blog Yankee Doodle Paddy. Karen is someone I ‘met’ online via Snapchat and she honestly is one of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Positivity and happiness literally radiates out of her and I have no idea how she manages it!
Anyway, after writing my guest post for her, which focussed on love as it’s subject and specifically the type of love we as humans receive from animals, it got me thinking about love as a whole and the different ways it manifests itself in life.
I always try to look for the silver lining in life. No matter how bad or sad the situation, I believe that if you take a step back and look at the situation objectively, removing any emotion, there is always at least a sliver of good to be found. (I wrote about this previously in A Tribute To My Sister – Finding Positives In Loss).
After being told of my Cancer diagnosis, I could feel myself shut down (my defence mechanism whenever anything hurts me; I have no control over it, I feel the stone walls go up and my capability to connect or feel anything of any note leaves me) and I knew my brain was closing down to allow itself time and space to process what it had been told.
Thankfully, 6-days after the diagnosis my brother got married. The timing for this was perfect for me, as I was so incredibly excited about the big day and so brimming with happiness, that the sheer level of emotion I felt for that stopped the grey cloud of misery from coming down completely.