There’s comfort in the city

Yesterday I got back from my little visit to my old home turf. The trip was real lush – the nature, the friends, the break from my life here – but it also brought with it, a bunch of confusing feelings. Like a big old bag of leftover and previously unseen emotions from when I used to live there, and brand new feelings based on my life now…and then an icing of self judgement sprinkled on top for good measure.

I could type forever about all of that but right now I just have a brief nugget of time. I keep on thinking back to something I realised whilst away – one of the ‘why’s’ behind why I am living in a city. I keep on thinking ‘fuck knows why I’m here’, but slowly – the past week – I’ve begun to see why I’m here. The positives. And one of the main reasons being the people. Having people all around you weirdly brings comfort and solace to an isolating, confusing, seemingly lonely, painful, time. These people also used to bring a panic and a desperate need to GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE, real quick. This is particularly in the summer. But now I feel like I am seeing the city through new eyes. I think it’s partly because my city is basically just a massive fucking town, so it doesn’t feel like it counts. But it does compared to where I used to live – I can’t just walk two minutes and be in the middle of rolling hills or by the river, or drive two minutes and reach the widespread sea.

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I’m not saying I am a fan of the city – completely the opposite – but there is something in me that thrives here. That finds comfort here. That doesn’t mind being here, and is actually learning to love it. The gentle hustle bustle, and wealth of inspiring going’s on. But then there is also the part of me that still wonders what the fuck I am doing, when I will ever get out of here, why I can’t just up and leave and head back to the beautiful nugget of nature I used to live amongst. Why I am putting myself in this position of unneeded stress in an attempt to enjoy living here, when I know I could find this enjoyment in an effortless way somewhere else. But…I kinda don’t know how true the last bit is anymore. It feels like old self talk that just has come to linger around a bit. Grass is always bloody greener…I just feel like in this case it really is.

Changing the way I look at things is definitely something that has helped me through the last month or two. I’ve noticed I have been naturally drifting towards my own version of what I think CBT to be. For some reason I hate that stuff because of the spreadsheets and the goal setting bullshit, but I realise that the essence of it is somewhat genius and something we could all take guidance from. It’s the changing the way you look at things and the pattern of thinking that is so helpful and empowering, and healing.

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In moments of crippling isolation and a deep feeling of loneliness, I used to just continue to feel so alone and desperately need to get out of the city and into nature Straight Away. I used to feel lost, desperate and wishing to be somewhere different. But now I notice that my reaction to these states is different, and only has come recently. When I get hit by this wave, I imagine myself being held in the city, in the arms of everyone around me, knowing that there are hundreds of other people out there that might feel similar, might feel just as lost lonely or desperate. It immediately softens it. I realise I am not completely alone and I never will be, even when I feel it so intensely. Rather than there being a panic about all the people, there is now a great comfort in it. I feel safe, I feel held, I feel connected, I don’t feel lost.

Suddenly finding myself deep in the countryside, without a purpose, and without the hustle and bustle around me, hit me BIZARRELY hard. This is my element, and in many ways I was right back in it. I was in heaven. But then there is this newly developed city loving part of me that freaked out. Where was my technology, where were all the people, where was the constant stimulation, man? It was so weird to feel, and I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like that I had changed from someone who used to be – literally only a few months ago – content with just a shit tonne of nature at my fingertips, to someone who now thrives in the city and needs it around me. Ugh.

But, I know this is just a phase. And I know this need for nature is so desperately there, and the life in the city just doesn’t meet it…ever. There are ways in which I manage and ways in which I have learnt to feel as though I am meeting this need, but I don’t think I really properly am. Like, properly. I am constantly outside. Constantly IN nature, but it is just such a different story here in the city to there in the country.

Rather than judge myself for having found a love for being in the city, I am going to feel love for the fact that I can make it work and I can teach myself to find connection and comfort wherever I am. This is a skill and one I am proud of. I just hope that through this, I don’t lose myself wild self completely.

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