I spent yesterday evening walking along the beach and listening to a steel drum band with Alex when it hit me just how quickly things change. Just two years ago I had one of the best summer’s I’d had in a long time – I learnt how to fish, and shoot, spent days cycling around the coast and through nature reserves, spent days out at London, Brighton, Essex, Bournemouth, visited friends from both home and university, it felt that I truly was having a summer holiday, one that I didn’t want to end.
Not only was it a chance to be free and see friends, but it also allowed me to be myself. It was this summer that I realised who I was, I was able to listen to my own thoughts, enjoy my own company as well as the company of others, and make the most out of all the little things in life. I spent all my time outdoors when I could because it was where I felt most safe and at home. I would spend time with those who meant the most to me, would document everything that happened, from photographs to videos – everything I treasured and wanted to ensure I would remember.
Looking back, I cannot think of a single reason why all that stopped. Why I stopped filming myself on days out, why I stopped rollerblading, cycling, visiting friends, I don’t know at what point it all changed, but looking back it most definitely did.
Obviously growing up plays a large part, I mean, I’ve left university now and unfortunately that means I no longer get months off over summer and christmas, but that doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy the time that I do have off. Admittedly, I do have a love for the cinema and spend a large amount of free time visiting there when I can, but my love and drive to be outside has somewhat disappeared. It was last night, sitting on the beach with the steel drum band in the background that re-sparked that love, that made me want to lie out in the fresh air, to gaze up at the stars and once again appreciate and love the world that we live in. I miss being able to silently sit, looking up, letting my imagination run free as I wonder what there is outside of our own world, what beauty can be found inside both our planet and others.
It’s at times like this that I wonder why I worry so much about the things that happen in my life. Why worry about what people will think about my skin, why worry that I don’t dress like other girls and that people will judge me by my choices, why tell myself I need to lose weight when I’m perfectly happy with how I am, why restrict myself to staying inside because I’m worried what people will think if they see me on my own, why worry if other people like me as long as I’m happy with who I am, why do I let all these little things worry me, when in fact, I shouldn’t even be thinking them. As long as I’m happy in myself, both mentally and physically, then I shouldn’t worry. They say that in order to truly love, to truly be happy you must first love yourself and it was over that summer that I really did learn to love myself, who I am, all my quirks and strange ways. It was over this summer that I realised I don’t have to do anything to impress someone else, that I don’t have to go against my wish or my desire because it isn’t socially acceptable or ‘cool’, that I could do anything as long as it made me happy, because I truly was happy. It’s now that I realise just how much has changed, that I want to be happy again, I want to once again love what life throws at me and I want to be able to forget about any worries, because after all, today’s worries will be forgotten tomorrow, but today’s actions will be remembered for a life time.
So I guess, in the words of Bobby McFerrin, don’t worry, be happy!