Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.
This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.
With that freedom I have worked hard on my blog. I’ve written a lot this month, and not just blog posts, which has paid off (literally and metaphorically) with landing several sponsored posts throughout August. I never thought such a thing could happen; if you had told me back in November, when I started this project, that I would make money from my hobby, I would have told you how ridiculous that sounded. Yet here we are.
In this time, I have also taken plenty of photos and delved into the art of creating my new bullet journal – rediscovering the ability to create, even just small things, has been a wonderful thing for my mental health. One of the stand out moments of August, and a day I took a lot of photos, was Brighton Pride. It was so beautifully sunny and it was nice to see everyone having such a lovely time.
Both my dad and my boyfriend had their birthdays in August, so overall the month felt quite celebratory which is lovely. And a lot more social too. I’ve made time to see friends which is something I can sometimes struggle with because of feeling anxious. But I feel like socialising is something I’m slowly getting better at – I’m learning how to dedicate meaningful time to being with others whilst still looking after my mental wellbeing, which is a balance I haven’t been able to figure out for years.
Something else I’m starting to improve at is driving. In my July Reflections, I mentioned how my confidence behind the wheel of a car was growing. This is something I can tangibly see improving week on week, and that makes me so excited. If you’re reading this soon after it’s gone live, I’ll be doing my first ‘long-distance’ drive (to go camping!) and I couldn’t be more excited. Earlier this year, I felt like my driving confidence plateaued for a while, and then actually started going downhill. I began stressing that maybe I was never going to feel comfortable in the driver’s seat. But at some point, mysteriously, this fear slightly fell away and my ability to feel happy in that position started growing once again.
My mum says this is a lesson for life (yeah, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through a reflections post without sharing a little life lesson); she says that many things in life are similar to my levels of confidence when driving. Sometimes they plateau, sometimes they even diminish, but eventually (and often with no real indication) they can begin to rise rather rapidly and you forget how traumatic something once was. That seems like a pretty solid life lesson to me.
The time and space I’ve had this month have been great for me to develop as a person – both creatively and confidence-wise – but these are also perfect conditions for vulnerability to shine. My lowest moments this month have been during the times I’ve spent alone, reflecting on everything. This has made me more aware of the things I need to work on and for that I am grateful.
Being busy all the time can be fun and make you feel like you’re living life to the full, but it can also mean that you’re too busy to fully digest life and reflect on how you really feel. I think it’s important to have these moments in order to ground yourself again, and think about how best to move forward. And for me, August did just that: a mix of relaxation and reflection.
How was August for you? ❤
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