Train Journey Journal

I have an hour before we arrive in Hiroshima and even though I have written a little upon my journey,  I’ve hardly written as much as I’ve thought. I have simply not had time to write,  each day is totally packed, every hour, every minute. So writing has fallen to the way side and that doesn’t matter. My mind has been active and my thoughts so very clear,  Japan has given me something of a lesson in life, something I will never forget.
This adventure has been about full filling dreams, about a dream holiday to a country I never thought I would ever visit. I’m not even sure how this all came to be, yet here I am, bumbling around Japan with hardly a word of the language remembered (despite my pitiful attempts to learn). Exploring cities, culture, temples, religions, fashion, concrete and trees alike. Yet I’m also exploring more about myself. To step foot outside the hotel alone on Kyoto, to navigate around a city alien to me, without a firm grasp of language… four thousand miles away from home, from my safe little boat. This very simple act, for someone not so well travelled, felt like a huge mile stone, a personal mile stone, for myself,  for my confidence, my inner strength, my courage…
Such a simple act and such a massive lesson!
See, I’ve been lacing my inactivity with layers of excuses, creating a veneer of reasons not to do things (not just travelling) these self created lies I tell myself have been holding me back from actually doing what I want to do… yet all these reasons, all these excuses, they’re not real,  they just exist in my mind and keep my life stagnant.
It’s not that I’m not happy,  I’m very happy,  most content, considerable fortunate and grateful.  But my mind is holding me back, from just the simple things I crave, that 5am workout,  that clean diet, the need for financial care and to study.  These goals are so simple, so easily achievable and would mean so much each day…
If I can step into Kyoto alone, I can get out of bed each morning without fighting with my mind.

Anne Harrison.  24.03.16
On the Bullet Train between Kyoto and Hiroshima, Japan.

In Flight Blog

I’ve honestly never felt as lost as I do right now. 
In mid-air on my way to Japan, following a dream and feeling scared to death of what the next 10 days will bring.
10 days, it isn’t long in a life span, we spend days always reaching towards the weekend.  Never really content with where we are, what we are doing. Always looking ahead, lunch time,  home time, weekends… The mundane goals of every day life.
Yet here I am, trying to hold my shit together as I realise just how far away from my little safe boat I am. I want to cry, but I won’t.  I know I’m just tired, dehydrated and daunted by the customs declaration form placed before me.
But it’s just another step upon my journey…
So I’ll fill my form in, I’ll keep smiling,  I’ll face tomorrow without any expectations and try to remember to take plenty of photos for my friends (as promised).

*Written at 2.33am somewhere in flight between time zones
– posted once I found WiFi connection…

Anne Harrison 19.03.16

image

Blog Number 60

Blog Number 60 stands upon the eve of a big adventure in my life.

March hasn’t been so marvelous so far, things are still a little trying and a few times I have pondered over the idea of pouring my heart out in a blog, to voice my concerns and clear my mind, but time has not given me the opportunity to write and my words have escaped expression.

Sleep has been a gift and I have been able to recharge my dwindling batteries, ‘Taking one day at a time’ has become our motto, as situations involves more persons than myself alone. So this approach has been able to allow us to find the strength to carry on, I know this situation will ease in time, we even have an appointment date (April 1st) to get the final details ironed out and I know we can breathe again after this point in time.

I realise my writing is at the best cryptic, I’m attempting to express myself in such a way that I don’t have to write painful details that cause distress. Please know, I am alright, I am fine/ish…

I wear a certain amount of guilt upon my shoulders, as a trip I booked, prior to life tumbling into chaos, dawns upon me in a few days time. I am still going away, I am concerned about going away, but I know that I am not in control of fate… So I have been encouraged to go ahead with my journey.

This is a trip of a lifetime, something I have never been able to afford before, somewhere I have always longed to visit, the longest journey I have ever embarked on. I am nervous, I am excited, I am worried, afraid, overjoyed… A whirlpool of emotions spin around inside my mind… Last time I had a spontaneous idea like this, I ended up enrolling in University. This spontaneous idea has resulted in a holiday to Japan.

Maybe I am getting more adventurous in my old age, maybe I am finding confidence I had thought was lost forever, buried under a pile of aging, steaming, vile words, that once destroyed my self worth. Digging myself up out of the gloom, pushing my comfort zones and broadening my horizons. For the first time, in a long time, I feel comfortable to look ahead, to embrace dreams and goals instead of automatically considering everything out of my reach. I’ve worn the ‘I’m not good enough’ t-shirt for long enough!

On Saturday I will be in Tokyo, a very very long way from Little Leicester.

 

Anne Harrison 16.03.16

 

Marvelous March

… She says hopefully!

So my course work has finally arrived and here I am, a student once more, notebook at the ready, pen poised, awaiting inspiration.

There is something very comforting about being a student, that desire to delve through books, read and research, to seek out new information, new names, new directions… I have been exploring the creative outlet of blogging since November, sharing my writing, but mostly my thoughts and occasional rant. This freedom of expression has opened my ‘cyber’ world in such a way, it helped to motivate me into enrolling on the new course (that and reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’) Not through my own work you understand, but by exploring other blogs, other gifted bloggers and such amazingly talented writers.

It has been my absolute pleasure to find such wonderful people sharing fragments of their lives, their poetry, their stories, their views and opinions. The more I read, the more I feel the desire to write. However my desire doesn’t end there, I’ve inherited some astonishing craft supplies recently, my desire to create, pretty pretty work… But I stare at a blank page and feel lost… I have also inherited a violin and recently acquired the details of a violin teacher… But my nerves here trigger an anxiety to make that step, to make that phone call and that step into the unknown. I’m also travelling in March, this inspires my desire for photography… To document my adventure through photographs, sharing my experiences visually… But my talent in this field is very limited…

… You may judge for yourself: Photos!

So, I have a passion for writing, for art, for music, for photography… Yet lack any real skill in any of these areas! The irony is, I don’t care, I might not be an established author, my artistic flare is a humble candle flame, struggling to stay a light in a hurricane. But I still maintain this passion and … well … it really doesn’t hurt to try … Maybe if I keep trying, one day, something, somewhere will actually sink in!

… She says hopefully!

 

Anne Harrison 02.03.16

Curious Encounters

… Or the metamorphosis of Anne

… Or how lucky I am

… … …

Sometimes it takes a blast from the past to make you realise just how much your life has changed in the last decade. These usually happen when you least expect them, however in the last few months I appear to be collecting friends from the past, from past jobs and even college, people I used to see on a daily basis, close friends, once, connections severed throughout years, distance and change in circumstances.

It was one such curious encounter recently (yesterday) which resulted in two cups of coffee and a long natter at lunch time, that spurred the frightening realisation that I am not who I was. So if I wasn’t who I was, as in the person who people remember me as, who am I?

Is this an external change? Different clothes, pink hair colour, splash of make up, my weight… All these elements can alter your appearance, can make you look different, feel different, carry yourself different… And indeed changes to these elements of my persona have been implemented throughout the years. But… I still get this sensation that I am totally different ‘inside’… Something deeper than a mere external changes.

I hesitate to use the phrase ‘reborn’ that gives the whole process religious overtones (and the subject of religion must wait for another day) also the concept of being ‘reborn’ feels as though this would be a near instantaneous phenomena, whereas the change I am processing in my mind, feels as though it has taken years to cultivate.

I was a creature lost in the dark, scurrying from one day to the next, years merging into each other with no direction, goal or motivation. These where fleeting fancies of a distracted mind, I would always have good intentions of bettering myself, but these intentions most frequently ended up in the bottom of a Stella can. Looking back… (Something I  try to escape from doing) I can understand how I dissolved into a pit of depression, nights of brutal self harm and alcohol use. Truth is, I was miserable, tired and fed up. Tied into a life where I had lost who I was (in my teenage/20’s) and became this thing of self loathing & self punishment. Pain was the only thing which felt real and alcohol deadened that pain.

This is not easy to write, not something I long to dwell on and even harder to address to my invisible audience, but these faces from my past have churned up all this buried emotions and I am left with this overwhelming sense of total self understanding.

I want to scream ‘LOOK AT ME NOW!’ I want to stand proud and strong, my life enhanced by the drastic changes I have adopted to make me who I am today. I am different, I can see that now, by looking back (briefly) I can see just how much process I have made. Naturally, I still have moments of weakness, where old me tries to pull me back into the depths of despair. I am not always strong, but I am looking ahead, I am more aware of who I am, what I am and my goals are more realistic.

LOOK AT ME NOW… I look at my life and hold my head up high!

I might not be the person my old friends remember me as…

Truth is, I never want to be that person again. Before you now is a stronger, braver, thinner, cleaner, crazy cat lady. Someone who actually likes herself!

Truth is, I’m doing the best I can, each day, every day, to make my life whole…

 

Anne Harrison 01.03.16

 

PS: I am lucky, I am grateful every single day I thank my blessings. I do not desire to appear big-headed… More like… I’ve survived!!