21:38

After a long weekend back in my home town I am safely back in Edinburgh. So did I get a chance to recharge and to rest up before returning to my work life? In a way; yes, but in many other ways; no.

  1. On Friday evening I took the train intending to have a smooth journey home, and to get an early night in before the wedding festivities. However my train was delayed in Newcastle for over two hours so I missed all my connecting trains… The signal failure was due to deliberate vandalism! I was not happy.
  2. After sitting in the station for an extended period of time I eventually made it to York station on a packed train. As I had missed all my connecting trains I had to rush here and there to find trains which would hopefully get me to my home town that day. Luckily I brought a tiny suitcase which I could run with! I ended up in Leeds late into the evening, and reached Sheffield at past midnight.
  3. As it got later and later I realised I would not be getting home that day. The train carriage was filled with drunken revellers on their way home from a night out, and the noise gave me a headache. Trains from Sheffield to Leicester only ran on the hour and I had missed all of those for that day, thus meaning I would have to wait till morning. So frantically using the last of my battery on my phone, I searched for hotels near Sheffield train station so that I could rest up. I found a cheap-ish hotel which was close by and power walked to it. Being alone in a strange city late at night was very scary, especially because I was tired, frustrated and upset.
  4. As I checked into the hotel I could feel my body relaxing a little. There was nothing else I could do about the situation so the least I could do was get some much needed rest in the hotel. The room was really modern and the king-sized bed was super comfortable! The waterfall shower was very soothing and it felt amazing to wash the evening of travel off. I had been reassured by the train conductor that I could use my tickets the next day and not have to pay for new ones, so I slept soundly till morning.
  5. On Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed after such a manic evening, and got ready to travel home. The trains to Leicester were much more frequent than the previous night and were much quicker journeys! Within an hour and 15 minutes I was safely back in Leicester and I got picked up by my brother. I was very much relieved to be back and to have the ordeal over with!

I feel like every time I face a hardship I can learn from it. I also thank God that it was not as bad a situation as it could have been. Although I did get upset at the time, I also was able to find a way out and to make the most of a bad event. The night alone in a hotel gave me some time to reflect on my evening, and to realise that I am stronger than I perceive myself. My independence has made me a more well-prepared person, and I can deal with tough situations. Hopefully I can continue to grow and learn through my struggles and to empower myself more from the lessons I receive.

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22:02

Yesterday I took half a day to focus on myself and caught up on some reading in the lovely (although short-lived) sun. I also went and got myself a cinnamon and sugar crepe from the numerous Fringe Festival food stalls. Having dessert at 3pm is acceptable right? Because “treat yo’ self!”

Recently I have been feeling a little out of sorts because I feel like I do not belong anywhere. That feeling of ‘not fitting in’ is not just reserved for angsty teens trying to find themselves but also for young adults like myself. Some days I feel very distant from my family and friends and can go days without speaking to anyone in person. Admittedly that is sometimes my fault because I hide myself away from social interaction however I would like to break that.

I start my new job this week so hopefully that will serve as a distraction to what I am feeling as of this moment.

00:18

‘We – now more than ever, it seems – have a profound civilizational anxiety about being alone. And the seed for it is increasingly planted in childhood – in an age when play is increasingly equated with screens and interfaces, being alone with a screen is not quite being alone at all, so the art of taking joy in one’s own company slips further and further out of reach.’

Robert Paul Smith – How To Do Nothing With Nobody All Alone By Yourself

Solitude is underrated. Sometimes the best company is your own thoughts, your own imagination, and your own creativity. In an age of increasing technology and the rise of a generation addicted to it, taking joy in one’s own company is now seldom recognised.

23:48

‘There is no final, satisfying way to balance our need to be known with our need to be alone. The balance is always uncertain and provisional; it’s always a matter of dissatisfaction, give-and-take, and sacrifice… It’s up to each of us to balance the risks and rewards – to trade, in right proportion, loneliness for freedom, explicability for mystery, and the knowable for the unknown within ourselves.’

Joshua Rothman – Virginia Woolf’s Idea of Privacy