Do you ever feel bone crushingly lonely? Not because you are alone. There are people around you but for that person who feels like home. For someone who is yours and only yours.
I fight so hard against that feeling. I don’t believe in possessing people. I don’t believe I can own my best friend. I don’t believe you can own romantic partners. Yet I have noticed that when I feel like this I look for a sexual partner. I don’t believe that just because you are sexual partners that person owns you.
But we live in a society where a sexual relationship also signifies a closeness that doesn’t necessarily exist but I use it as a “band aid”. Firstly I’m looking for emotional closeness and secondly I look for physical closeness and then thirdly if I can’t find that I look for sex. For some kind of intimacy.
People who provide physical closeness isn’t necessarily sexual. Slipping an arm around your waist, sitting on your knee, lying in bed together. It’s an easy free-ness that you find with few people.At the times when I feel so isolated that is what I crave. The other person in the room although we’re not doing anything together.
Companionship is what I am craving, what is making my bones ache.
It’s especially hard when travelling, because I have chosen to be away from the people I know who could provide what I’m craving. My best friends I want nothing more than to simply snuggle with them on the couch. Then lying on me, me lying on them a duvet around us and to feel for that moment that that is exactly where that person wants to be. There is no better place than that in the world right now. That is the emotion I am trying, and failing to capture.
I have 2 tattoos, and want more. Tattoos are addictive, for sure. The endorphin’s that are released afterwards and the smile that comes to my face when I see my tattoos are all the more reason for more ink in my skin.
Tattoos are a complicated subject, they are a permanent body modification, a strong message you are sending to the world. I’m aware that both my tattoos are trying to convey something to the world. Mainly I’m alternative, they both shout.
My first tattoo is a sternum tattoo. Ever since before I was 18 I’ve wanted a tattoo of something, Frank Turner lyrics, a swallow etc etc. But I decided to wait until I was 21 to get one. I lasted until about 3 months before I was 21 when I had some cash. My 20th year was pretty rough, with romance and friendships and being an adult all getting too much and leaving me feeling out of control, before dropping out of university.
My first tattoo was a declaration against that. It said if I can make life changing decisions like dropping out of uni and have to pay bills and make money to eat I can make the decision to get a tattoo even though I’m young. This is MY body, MY life and I’ll do with it what I want.
Now I love my first tattoo, but it’s really hard to explain to people the meaning behind it. In fact when people ask why, I struggle to answer them. Because my name in Greek means shining, because I had the sun and the moon above my bed when I was little, because you need both light and dark in life. But mainly because I wanted it. I know its meaning, but I can eloquently describe it and perhaps if I could then I wouldn’t need a tattoo for it. It commemorates the fist 20 years of my life and to make a very cheesy metaphor my skin is like the canvas of life.
I booked my appointment for 10am on the 27th or 28th of September. Leah came with me into the studio looked at the design with me and when I went downstairs to be tattooed she left. The guy who tattooed me was called Danny, he was American and really nice. I was super nervous! He shaved my chest, then told me to stand straight, while he placed the tattoo with the trace but I kept looking at what he was doing to my chest! He told me off nicely – the placement ,especially on your chest, has to be straight or it’ll be on you wonky for the rest of your life. Then once the trace was on I laid down on the surgeon type bed and he stood over me with a tattoo gun and told me not to move while he was tattooing me. I could tell him to stop and take a break but don’t move. And don’t bring my hand up or get a shit tattoo line on my hand.
I was really nervous then, what had I decided to do. How much would this hurt? He hadn’t given me an exact length of time the tattoo would take. It depended on how well I could sit through it. He might have to do the outline today and then the shading another time if I was a wimp basically.
The gun buzzed in Danny’s hands covered with black gloves. He leaned over me, facing my feet, my chest below his elbow so I actually couldn’t move, thankfully, and put the gun to my skin.
Now the question of course is did it hurt? And the answer is yes and no. It was definitely uncomfortable and for a extended period of time, but is that really pain? It basically feels like a cat scratching you in a very purposeful manner. They take the gun away regularly to re-ink and wipe excess ink off your skin and then go again. So it hurts but in small amounts and you just have to remember to breath and relax and feel whats going on. In what I thought was about half an hour but maybe was more like an hour he’d done the outline. That’s the hurt-ey bit. I was relived he was finished because towards the bottom of the tattoo where the outline was on my ribs rather than my sternum you could feel the gun vibrate the bone and that WAS uncomfortable – it made you suck in a breath!
Doing the shading didn’t hurt as much, at all. At this point I could breath and talk to Danny and relax a bit. Wiggle my toes and so on. They have this special gel they put on once they are done with a section that felt like such cooling relief it was wonderful.
And so in a shorter amount of time than I expected it was done! Here was a little piece of art that will be on my body forever! I looked at the tattoo in the mirror admiring this thing that would always be there now. Then taping up my chest in cling film was slightly challenging, it feels very exposed and as soon as its done your tattoo starts leaking white blood cells, blood and ink. I walked home in tipping rain elated. I love it, I had only seen it for about 2 minutes but I loved it! So many endorphins are raging through your blood, i felt like I was floating. The tattoo being on my sternum and feeling slightly raw and burn-ey was an interesting feeling, slightly like heart burn or how you would imagine a heart attack!
I took care of my tattoo, I washed it every morning and moisturised it. It scared me as the ink started running and great flakes came off but it stayed on my skin underneath, and within a month it was healed. Nothing horrible happened, no scabbing, no blood diseases, nothing. It just slowly became real that it will always be there!
My only regret from this tattoo is that people can’t see it a lot because its hidden. I did it on purpose so it would be discreet but now I want to show it off!!!
When my first tattoo healed I wanted more! I had many ideas but i wasn’t sure what; A wave in a circle, a wave in a triangle, some flowers, the isle of wight.
Also the thing about tattoos is that you want them to be good and therefore they can be expensive!
But recently on basically the anniversary if my first tattoo I went to visit my best friend. She’s been hosting couch surfers and one of them left her some stick and poke tattooing stuff, she’d done one a marine, one on a friend and then me.
How could I resist a free sick and poke tattoo done by my best friend???
So we brought some vodka for sterilisation. I shaved my ankle. She drew on the design in green pen and I gave her the go ahead. Don’t get me wrong I was nervous. I had seen the other heart tattoo she gave a friend and it was pretty bad. The friend had screamed and didn’t let her go over it and it wasn’t good. There were 2 things that made me confident mine would be better. Firstly the friend didn’t have any other tattoos so nothing to compare the pain to and secondly she got it on the top of her foot, one of the most painful places to get tattoos.
So while I was nervous, very nervous, more nervous than the first time almost I knew that if it was super painful I would just say stop and have like 3 dots of ink in my skin and it would be okay.
So we sat in her room. She moves a light over so she can see better. She sets out her clean space, wiping her desk down with vodka, she puts kitchen towel down. Put the pen, the needle (which is a sterile tattooing needle!) the ink down all within reach.
We put some marina and the diamonds in because shes happy and easy to listen to. I put my foot on a book with some napkins under it, for cleanliness of course! I’m nervous, deliberately looking at my phone talking to friends via Facebook messenger. She considers my foot needle in hand and tells me she’s not starting yet she just needs to find the right angle. She offers to stab me with the needle without ink to see if I can take the pain but I refuse this step.
The first prick I flinch slightly, sure it’s uncomfortable, like someone stabbing a needle into your skin but not very far. She continues quickly, some pricks don’t hurt but others when she presses harder are definitely uncomfortable. We continue with short bursts of discussion but I’m trying not to move and she is trying not to fuck the tattoo up.
She finishes the first round and wipes away the excess ink, it looks good, a little sparse but its good. Okay she says this is going to hurt more are you ready? I say I am and she goes back over the tattoo getting the places she missed. It hurts this time, or rather I am in discomfort sometimes I flinch. We laugh. She tells me i’m sitting better than her friend did. I breath and relax and laugh and say that I’m glad, Yeah its uncomfortable but I want the tattoo. Her two housemates bound into the room to see how its going and are impressed so far. They are quickly dismissed as this is serious. She goes over the sparse parts a third time by this point i’m ready to stop, the tattoo is starting to swell slightly as well so it really is time to a stop.
I look at the clock although it didn’t feel very long the whole process look about an hour, for my tiny little ankle tattoo. But I love it. My best friend poked the ink into my skin, I’m going to love it! But she also did an amazing job! A little reminder on my foot of one of the things I believe in most, women.
“When one door closes another door opens” is often quoted at the end of an opportunity. It is said to reassure that life will go on and something else will pop up. I think it’s a good quote to live by but I think there is a little more to the quote.
Where I slept at the farm is up in a barn. The barn has no electricity, it has a big tack room and two bedrooms for people to sleep in. There is a door from the tack room into a Little corridor at the end of the corridor are two doors. The one straight ahead is my room and to the left is Innes’s room. The corridor has no windows in it, so it’s almost pitch black.
In the mornings now the light is slight, peaking in through the one small window in my room, I get up and get dressed in the quiet of the morning trying to not disturb Innes.
As I step out of my room and pull the door closed behind me I’m plunged into total darkness for about 2 steps. It’s not very far but the corridor is narrow and dirty and the carpet uneven. I always worry I will fall over or bump into something or someone in the corridor . For those 2 steps I am completely unsure. I tell myself it’s silly to hurry, I know the other door is straight ahead. But I still rush through. I’ve done this trip in the morning many times now, I know it will be dark for a time and I know the other door is there but still I feel panicked.
That is what the saying “When one door closes, another door opens.” is missing.
It’s true when something ends another opportunity will always open up. But there is the little in-between bit, where you feel like you are in the complete dark. Moving forward but without being able to see the destination or any bumps in the road beneath you! You’re not sure what the next opportunity will be, you feel as if perhaps it won’t come and you almost trip over and loose your nerve.
Right then that’s the moment to keep going and to have faith that the door will open!
I woke up this morning at 7:10 my alarm pulled me from my sleep reluctantly. I fought the drowsiness and sat up. My bed was a warm pod in which I was nestled happily. I pulled on warm clothes because ,even though it’s August and through the frosted glass of my window I could see blue sky, it seems autumn is drawing near. The morning is chilly and veiled by fog. I walk down to the house pulling my zip up on my coat and grumbling, I walk bees dogs and by walk I mean I throw them into the paddock clean their kennels and then feed them. While doing this I hear a car approach, good, it’s Carly the girl who will do the kennels with me. And then slightly later another car, this sets me grumbling.
For the past 3 Mondays I have dragged myself from my bed to do the dogs only for two kennel workers to already be at the kennels meaning I could still be snuggled up in bed. But now I’m awake and dressed the point I’m going back to bed is minimal. So this Morning after specifically checking with Bee last night if I was needed in the kennes I feel cheated from my sleep.
I walk down to the kennel building and as I enter both Tamsin and Carly are there to walk the dogs but I decide to stay and help. (Although there are basically no dogs in) and as I stand here in the weak sunshine I left my anger fade away for this is the moments of life to cherish.
I am getting up early to walk dogs, doing something is enjoy and should remember that. My first walk of the day is spaniel and a lab called Monty and Bailey who love attention and who push their heads under my hands to get it. I stop stroking Monty and he rolls over to reveal his belly, saying I trust you and I want you to cuddle me. Maybe getting up this morning wasn’t so bad to be here with these dogs for this moment that will never happen again.
As always there are many articles I want to write that I just haven’t quite got round to writing. But today as Facebook so kindly reminded me was one year since Jeff published an article about me (under a pseudonym) I re-read the article. It baffled me that the article was still there. I seemed to think it would disappear after a year or even less than that. There is a place on the internet you can still read those words of his that as far as I can see even one year on are all lies.
It was strange to look around today as I was re-reading it and not see anyone who knew about that part of my life. It’s like a secret you keep and you don’t think about it often but it bubbles to the surface occasionally and you keep it close to your chest.
I am over everything that happened. Yesterday there was a mood in the house and Jake was shouting, it set my heart pounding and I felt like I was suffocating. I had to leave the house. It reminded me of then and of him and I felt my nerves so close to the edge. I don’t think I could ever live with someone with such a temper again. I need people who are calm even under stress. Yesterday when this happened I also had someone to run to. I left and spent time with him. I like him a lot and I’m scared to tell him that. I don’t know if that has anything to do with Jeff. I don’t know if my hesitance to re-enter the world of dating is because I am scared of all this happening again. But I don’t think of Jeff any more as a part of me that I once did.
What happened WAS life changing. I dropped out of my degree and now I’m on a farm in Scotland, looking after dogs and horses oh and of course babies. But I like this path I’m on and I own it. These were my decisions.
Yes it hurts a little when I see all of my peers graduating. The posts of 1st and 2:1 do twist something in my chest. I will never stand in front of my girls and graduate. I will not be able to add BSc to my name. My journey so far I have learnt far more about myself than about chemistry. But I will accept this too. Learning is not something one must ONLY do in institutions for some kind of certificate. Yes maybe a certificate will come one day but if I’m interested in child development learn about it, dog training? Learn about it. I am starting this slowly and I am not all the way there yet. But I have learnt a few small things recently and I take them as a start of a longer journey. Braiding your hair, rolling cigarettes, crochet. Small things that have reminded me that my brain and my body must work together to learn things. At university learning was at the detriment to physical (and mental health) and doing exercise was detriment to learning (by taking time away.) But I have learnt you can do things that you enjoy simply for the enjoyment of them. I don’t think I need a plan, the world is obsessed with plans. I reject this. I will wonder where the wind blows me. And if it is still I will look around an appreciate the view.
As usual I have about 30 drafts that I haven’t posted because they aren’t perfect but I have neither the time nor the inspiration to go back and publish them. So from today I’m going to try and start again, again. I have decided that I need to spend at least 10 minutes a day by myself reflecting and really thinking. Running to my room and throwing myself into bed does not really count as time to one person.
But anyway back to the main point of the post. I’m back at Les Amis or “the farm”. It’s an odd mix of the very familiar and the completely new! The new baby is here baby Jubal, he is 4 months old and adorable. He likes to be part of the action, doesn’t like naps too much and loves drinking milk as all babies do!
Last weekend, the day after I arrived we went off to Traquair house for one of the first shows of the year. Having just arrived it was a bit hecktick, but I mainly babysat. It was great to see the horses finally doing their thing. All the boys dressed up as knights! The horses in comparisons, the fights, the flags and bunting and lances!
I have met Bob, one of the team members who was away when I was here last, and now I don’t know how I survived these comments without him. He is the most sane of everyone and good fun to hang out with! Sophie and Bee seem more stressed than ever, if that is even possible! Running a business yourself is no joke!
There are always 3 helpers here which is very different to winter, but they all seem nice and actually like always the amount of time you can spend with any one person is very small.
Here is quite different to being at Sammatz where the people you actually spend time with are other helpers so there is lots of games and conversations etc. Here this is these peoples lives and livelihoods and much of the time they want to try and relax, when they can!
Today is an open day at the farm, it’s meet the horses. Most of the team are off at Maybole, but me, Bee and Sue have been left behind to hold the fort down. I cleaned the kitchen really well this morning and now I’m catching half an hour of writing before lunch and getting the horses in.