A question that I am often posed with is: “how on earth do you find the time do all of the things you do? When do you get the time to ‘chill out?’”
Answer: I don’t (unless I’ve partied so hard the night before that I’m incapable of moving an inch – sorry mum.) I don’t know how I would. ‘Chilling out’ has never been something that I’ve been able to do. When I was younger and left alone in my room, I would often be found a couple of hours later half way through a short story, an illustration or some sort of song or other bizarre creative project. Some days, on days where I’d not left the house, I would have hysterical break downs due to sheer boredom – these break downs ran on until my teenage years when I was able to leave the house alone and was in control of my own financial expenses. I guess it all came with being frustrated with being so young. People say that childhood is the best part of a person’s life but I actually think that it’s the worst. It’s a frustrating time: you’re unable to achieve any of your dreams because you’re not allowed to leave the house alone, you can’t drive, you can’t live in the place that you want to live in. I always wished to be older and free. This freedom I only really felt I’d achieved when I moved to London at 18. I found an inner happiness that had been trapped for a very long time. I met the people I’d always wanted to meet, did the things I’d always wanted to do and started living in the way that I wanted to live.
Many of my counterparts have days that they spend in bed watching non mentally challenging TV programmes and films; how they do this simply baffles me. I find it impossible to watch a television programme that isn’t a documentary for more than five minutes or a film that requires no thought.
Yesterday for example, I was rather hungover, having drunk probably over a bottle of wine the night before. Most people would have spent the day participating in the aforementioned activities. I, however, spent the day writing, reading articles interesting articles online, food shopping, online shopping, clothes washing and planning the week ahead. Unless I’m busy, I freak out, I feel guilty, like I should be doing something important.
Socialising also comes under ‘something important’ as it is a huge part of my life as I feel it should be for every twenty-something. If it’s a weekend and you’re sat in bed alone doing meaningless crap, then I really can’t help but feel for you even if you’re okay about it. ‘Living’ is a huge part of my personal manifesto. In fact, it’s something that I’m rather obsessed with. Sometimes I fear that I’m not ‘living’ enough even though if I step back and take a look at my life in the right mental condition, I most certainly am as I’m socialising a lot whilst also working on projects that I want to work on. I’m doing the things I love.
Yesterday in fact was my first without human contact for quite possibly a month. Normally, I’d find a day without any social activities daunting, depressing and actually quite terrifying. I’m a danger to myself when left alone for too long – my brain’s far too overactive for that. I become paranoid, depressed and actually rather mad. Socialising is something that balances my mentality and keeps everything in check. It’s just the way I operate.
I guess that everyone is different and despite how some people might consider it an oxymoron, being busy keeps me at ease and happy. Each to their own.
Words: Katie Wilkinson