Some kinds of encouragement

I spend too much time wishing I were like other people. I read a lot of blogs, do Instagram, Facebook and now, fates preserve us, Twitter as well, and all for the purpose of being inspired by other people. It works a lot of the time. But sometimes all it accomplishes is making me realise how stylish, crafty and exciting I am not, and how half the time this blog ends up being shallower and sillier than I want it to be. I am having a flat day like that today. The whole house smells like sausages because I had to use them up for lunch – this is a smell from the outer armpit of Beelzebub if you’re not hungry – and Henry is tired and crotchety. I don’t have twenty outfits, I have one, just one that is clean, and it was drenched in apple vomit about an hour after I put it on this morning. Do you think I can get away with leopard print or neon skinnies?! I cannot. This is not a good day to think you’re a blogger. Especially when, really, you’re not.

When I fall into days like this, it’s a relief to wallow in it. Throw up your hands, draw up your legs, put your glasses on and wriggle around in your displeasure. Melancholy can be satisfying – just ask Keats, the mopey devil: he loved it. But feeling bad about yourself is a taste that turns sour on you after a little while and trust me, it is equally a relief to get rid of it. The point at which you decide that that’s quite enough of that, thank you, feels fresh and lovely in its newness. Don’t ask Keats about this one: the consumption got him before he could try it.

So on days when I am in mourning over sausage smell and apple vomit and blogging, here are my quick fixes. I find Timothy, go and curl up with my face in his shoulder and have him tell me nice things. I go downstairs to find that fussing baby and watch his whole body tense with excitement when I open the door. Babies always wake up feeling like they’ve missed you for a thousand years, and you’re the best thing they’ve ever seen when you reappear. Or I go sit in the car and listen to music turned up so loud there isn’t room in my head for anything else. Or I read this. Or this. Or this.  Or I might go in search of my spammers. These robot computer people, they’re so complimentary.

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog, friend. I`m hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the future also. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site going now. Really blogging is spreading its wings and growing fast. Your write up is a great example.

My dear Mr Cash Bullets, you shouldn’t have. How poetic, that bit about wing-spreading. I had no idea you felt so strongly about nappy changes.

Now may I ask you about leopard print?

(Henry approves of leopard print, by the by: it is almost exactly the right colour for concealing sweet potato vomit. He has a thing about smiling with his mouth shut, at the minute, which is another cheer-up method that gets me every time.)

4 thoughts on “Some kinds of encouragement

  1. Oh, Rachel. You sell yourself far too short, my dear. You’re doing the Sylvia Plath thing. I mention her because when I was twenty-one I read her collected journals (a rich, laden volume I’ve actually never been able to completely finish) and it simultaneously left me fired up to write amazing things and also on the verge of giving up completely. Because I knew that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how dilligently I honed my craft, I’d never, not in a million years, be able to compete with that. So why bother?

    The spam is irritating, but at least you get *genuine* comments, with higher frequency than I do. There is a reason I read your blog other than our personal affiliation, and that’s simply that it’s bloody good. It makes me laugh, it makes me nod in recognition and with that faint whiff of nostalgia for things you’re going through that I’ve experienced first-hand or by proxy. And on a good day, you can make me cry, in a good way. Know that I am not the only one, and know that you’re worth a thousand navel-gazing whingefests by EMOs and single New Yorkers..

  2. “here, here” to the above comment^
    Plus> I say “get that novel started” – It’s not true that ‘everyone has a great novel in them’ -see ‘Uncle Simon Undercover'(£1.99 from Amazon/Ebay – or most good Charity shops!)
    BUT YOU DO xxx

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