I am not going to be able to explain how I feel when I don’t understand it myself, but I will try. Sometimes, even when I’m doing something fun, I am doing it with gritted teeth. It’s like being constantly tired. But that’s when I am in a low ebb and, I tell myself, I am allowed to have low ebbs. Just because I have friends and I live in my favourite city and I get on pretty well with myself, doesn’t mean I can’t have a low ebb. And low ebbs involve waking up with a weight on my chest and not really knowing why. And feeling a fundamental loneliness late at night even though I have friends I would trust with my life.
I wrote that bit in the library, and when I typed “I live in my favourite city,” I was reminded that I live in my favourite city! So, fuck the essay I was working on, I split.
Just getting on the Underground calms me down. No matter what I’m doing or wearing, even when I’m returning to school from home and am weighed down with luggage, no one gives me so much as a second look. Or perhaps they do, sneakily, like I look at them. Once I wrote about how I was able to close my eyes at church and not be bothered or self-conscious about anyone looking at me or wondering what I was doing. The tube is the place I pray without thinking.
I walk from the station to student halls, through the places that used to be so new a few months ago but now I feel I could make my way around with my eyes closed. I like new things—the fact that I know this place so well now, so soon, tells me convinced that I will be a probably be a nomad when university is over, always moving to where even the people are new.
But that’s a depressing thought, me getting bored of places and things and people. I so desperately don’t want that to happen. New things challenge me and hurt me in good ways. Old things let me fester. I keep on thinking back to this time last year, when my mental health was showing signs of deteriorating and I so desperately don’t want that to happen again.
I remember when someone commented on one of my diaries with the quote “to tire of London is to tire of life,” and I thought of it while walking ’round, my phone dead, only my trusty Oyster card in my coat pocket. I thought about how I get to decide what is or isn’t tiring to me, and that I am allowed to tire of life sometimes.
Getting on the London tube though, and walking through Westminster, stepping through old buildings, staring at paintings and them staring back at me—that usually makes me feel better. ♦