You mattered. Go safely Chester.

Chester Bennington. Photo by Tibor Bozi / Redux.
March 20th 1976 to July 20th 2017

Photograph by Tibor Bozi / Redux

If you live in Kenya and you feel like giving up, please don’t.

Call the Befrienders Kenya Suicide Prevention Hotline

on 0733​​​​​​​​​​​​​​736542304  or 0722178177.

https://www.befrienderskenya.org/suicide.html

♫ Battle symphony ♫ Linkin Park ♫

To feel or not to feel …

It’s not really a question. There are certain kinds of people who – based on their actions and MBTI – seem to have no feelings. Of course it’s entirely possible … maybe even probable … that they do have feelings and are just really good at hiding them. Or suppressing them. Or dismissing them.

I’m not one of those people.

I think about my feelings. Which is a strange thing to say, since thoughts and feelings are generally said to be, you know, polar. As an INFJ, I’m a feeler, but I’m also a thinker. I need for my feelings to make sense (and they very rarely do) so I use my brain to analyse them, to figure out where they’re from, what drives them, what they’re all about. This rarely works. Because, you know, feelings. Pretty much their whole point is to not make sense.

 

I’m feeling pretty low lately. It’s not a depression thing, or even an anxiety thing. I’m not there yet. I’m just very, very low. It’s probably a money thing. Janworry may be over for most people, but it seems like 2017 is a hard year. Elections and high school and corruption and strikes and such means there’s generally less in the bank.

I’m a hoarder. I like to see big numbers in my account. So whenever the figure is lower than I would prefer, my mood dips with it. Of course I’ve taken steps to remedy this mess. More side gigs, less spending. And it’s actually working out really, really well. The balance is rising bit by bit. Except I seem to be dwelling on the negative, focusing on what I’ve lost instead of what I have.

It would be nice to end this on a positive note. Count my blessings, taste the sunshine, blah blah blah. But that wouldn’t be true, because in this moment, I just. feel. low. Still … it will pass. It always does =)

♫ Believer ♫ Imagine Dragons ♫

Panic in the banking hall


So last night, I got a statement for an an account I haven’t used in a while. It’s a savings account with no levy fees … or so I thought. But after the statement claiming I had accrued fees and penalties and shit, I started to worry about all my other ‘dormant’ accounts. I spent the rest of the night freaking out, and most of today calling every bank I’ve ever walked into, asking what they did with my account…

  • ● One has my dormant account on record 15 years later. I can re-activate if I want.
  • ● One has my joint account listed as active. I don’t even know the account number.
  • ● One has no memory of me at all, which is a good thing I guess.

So now I have to decide which accounts I should (not) re-activate, which had me Googling shit like credit scores, hard pulls, and the real effect of having too many accounts. (Turns out there’s no such thing as ‘too many accounts.’ Unless the accounts have unpaid ledger fees, in which case, you’re screwed.)

Next, I made another bunch of phone calls to find out the procedure for closing an account. Hehehe. It’s easier to just keep them active. Cheaper too. And since I’m resetting myself and doing some work with an investment firm, I expect to get a lot more savvy and a lot less panicky. Let’s see how this goes. Also, happy holidays …

♫ I never fell ♫ Ed Sheeran ♫

So this is 35 …

Also, what overthinking is really like. So sad. So true. Yeah.

So at some point in the past week, I turned 35. Wow. How do I feel? Well, old. I can see some worry lines on my forehead … and thinking about them only causes more worry lines. I remember looking at the creases on my older cousin’s face and telling myself I never want to have them. Because I’ve always been mistaken for a 22 year old (it’s the jeans. And the purple hair), and I figured those scrunchy face markings would age me a few decades. Yeah, well, I have them now. And yes, I know they’re barely there to anyone else, but when I look in the mirror, all I see is this…

I share a birthday with my teenage daughter, and she’s in that space where she wants to go have fun with her pals. So this year, for the first time ever, she went off on her own. We had a lovely birthday morning, the she did her thing with her pals and I went to Toi to look for jeggings.

So. 35. Where am I at? Well, 2016 has been nasty for everyone. Brexit. Trump. Prince. Bowie. General fuckery. For me, it mostly sucked. Romantically, I got engaged and un-engaged. Emotionally, well, I’m in therapy for anxiety, so there’s that. Career-wise, I have a well-paying job that I’m really good at. Socially, I have a teenager, three cats, and 17 fish. I also recently discovered BYSS. Portably, I’m still restoring my mother’s Beetle. Financially, I’m doing okay … except I wiped out my savings putting my baby in high school. Also, December’s here, and my fridge broke.

So I guess for me, 35 is about clicking my reset button. Starting over. Building my savings from scratch. Adjusting to a life where my child – who has been my whole world since she was born – is needing me less and less, which means I need to establish ‘me without her.’ I need to discover the Crystal that is not defined by my little one, find the woman I am when I’m not a mum, dig out the me that is just me.

In an ideal world, I’d love to retire at 45, or better yet, at 40. I have no idea what that would look like, but there’s a lovely beach house in Diani that I never want to leave. All I’d have to do is fix the WiFi. And get a car. And move my cats (I doubt my fish would make it). And find a way to pay my bills for the rest of my life.

More and more often, I find myself asking the teenager to reduce the volume on her ‘noise’ (Seriously though, how is trap music?!? And how is alqaeda a dance?!?) At least we’re not fighting over her wardrobe … though that’s probably because she’s fashionista and always looks good, even in my clothes. There’s a way she puts things together that makes a dira or hoodie look like she got them off Fashion Week.

I don’t feel under-achoven or anything. I mean, I’m nowhere near my mum at 35. She had done so much more with her life. But even though I’m a psychological mess, in a way I’m content, at ease, happy even. I’ve done okay, and I can see pretty things in my future. I just need to get from here to there and stop calling myself old, because you really are as young as you feel, and right now, I feel really, really old.

♫ Fears to flames ♫ The Mess ♫

 

Todhiye. Or something like that.

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I was once told that I have no staying power. That when things stop working for me, I leave. My response? Duh. Why am I holding on to something that isn’t working? Well, a lot of people do, apparently. They stay in impossible situations because of duty, or virtue, or fear of letting go.

Of course it’s entirely possible that it’s me who is afraid. Maybe I have some deep-seated abandonment issues that make me quick to opt out of shit before I get dumped. God knows. My therapist probably knows too. But for now, I’m tired, and it’s Friday, so I can ditch work for at least two days. Peace out.

♫ Walking away ♫ Craig David ♫