‘Anxiety, nightmares and a nervous breakdown, there’s only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming’. Whilst I’ve hopefully been spared the unsympathetic character traits of Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’ protagonist, her diatribe resonated strongly with me. The ‘Always Half Full’ mug on my desk at work is not a description of my state of mind but rather an irony laden, daily slap in the face – for me being ‘happy’ has always been something I’ve had to work at.
After my recent Japanese smockathon, I’d promised myself my next couple of projects would be non-smock and other-focused. However, a protracted period of low mood had me hankering for a comfort blanket and I found myself wallowing in a second Dottie Angel. The peacock adorned fabric was another Aberkhan find – not cheap as chips but half the price I’d seen previously, so I snapped up a couple of metres. I felt akin to the strutting bird with his prediliction for bright colours, an inability to modulate volume and a propensity for solitude.
Interestingly – in volunteering an outlook falling short of facebookfantastic – I observed a perception that having found my ‘other’ I should no longer be prey to dark days. In Yorgos Lanthimos’, ‘The Lobster’, extremes of coupledom and lonerdom are artfully portrayed – proving for me that happiness cannot be found in lauding either as the ideal. Whilst I have the good fortune to be ensconced in a ‘something’ I’m loathe to categorise, I think I will always identify as a single person. Feeling independent, whilst in relationship with another, is my ultimate – to pursue my passions and chart my own course and for this quality to be perceived as attractive rather than detractive.
For me, achieving a peaceful state of mind will be a lifelong endeavour and finding points of intersection with like-minded humans, an unparalleled joy. I’m certain my relationship with the world and the people who feature in my experience of it, are pivotal to a harmonious state of mind. However, I’m not convinced that happiness is found in a heart-shaped box for two. In fact I’m not sold on the concept of happiness at all or the subtle and not so subtle ways our culture implies it can be bought.
Whilst certain kinds of intelligence elude me, people have kindly pointed out that emotional intelligence is not something I am short of. So, it’s been a constant source of frustration how slow I can be to ascertain a fitting response to a downward spiral. In the past, I have often found myself in situations and company, succumbing to societal pressures to be a ‘joiner’. My recent love affair with sewing has freed me from this constraint and for that I am ever-grateful.
So …. I should say something about the pattern but there is really nothing to add since my first – it’s a dream and has been the most fitting companion along my way to blue.