Earlier this year I read a book called ‘Saints at the River’ by Ron Rash. If you’re a fan of Southern Contemporary Literature I would recommend it. In the book, a young newspaper photograph returns to her childhood town to cover a story. In doing so, she must face her father, who she fell out with, but who is now in poor health and dying. Throughout the book her relationship with her father is conveyed to us through flashbacks. He was just a shitty dad, who didn’t know how to convey love and so was mean. However, in one flashback, her father is genuine, apathetic and loving. The main character refers to this as an ‘inconvenient memory’ as it goes against the image she has of her father in her head, the one that justifies her staying away from him, even as he suffers.
By default or habit, depending on your opinion of what is nature and what is learned behaviour, I am a negative person. My knee-jerk reaction is to see the worst in a situation, or to write off entire days/weeks/months or years as unsalvageable. This is something I am working on, every damn day. Take a breath, count your blessings (literally, close your eyes and gimme 5 things you’re grateful for!) and start again.
The thing about being negative and suffering from depression and anxiety is that on a good day, its easy to believe you have it all under control. However, these particular ailments are like a magnificent Rube Goldberg Machine- once one goes, just step back and watch it all fall down.
Which brings me to last week. My job is not an important one. My boss would disagree but honestly, I work in television, mostly focusing on the ad breaks. No one even watches the ad breaks. Despite this, my job is stressful. More stressful than it should be, more stressful than it needs to be. Not everyday, but if Im honest, most days and generally when you’re not expecting it to be. Last Monday I needed to leave an hour early. The day fell apart early on and never really came back together. I left feeling incredibly frazzled. Tuesday was better but still not great. I got home and updated my CV. Wednesday better. Thursday I don’t really remember which is normally a sign nothing really happened and Friday as always, we stumbled past the finish line.
My instinct is to curl up in a ball and say I don’t want to go back. To write off last week as horrendous and declare it better if it had not happened.
Except thats not true.
I left early on Monday because I was going to a live Yoga with Adrienne class in Bethnal Green. The 90 minutes went by in a blink and I met even more wonderful members of the community. I got home really late but I was on a cloud, I was so full of joy and love. When I woke on Tuesday morning my morning Yoga was so full of energy because now I associated this Yoga with real life people and experiences and positive feelings.
Throughout the week my mind kept wanting to write it off, but something kept popping up-
This picture was taken, by my friend, moments before our Yoga class. I look happy, excited and so happy and proud of myself. Because I showed up. For myself and for the community. What a beautiful moment. What an amazing time. What an inconvenient memory.