the metronome of life (hi, I am back)

Alone. Alone at last. Something I crave so deeply within, yet haven’t experienced for months. Never have I experienced a time in my life where I haven’t had even a spare beat in my time for myself. That is, until summer 19 started and I was thrust into a world in which time seemed to constantly be fleeting.”

– an exerpt from my journal

There is something to be said about transitioning from the luxurious life of being a student into the “adult” I-work-40-hours-a-week lifestyle. The first month mostly passed in a blur, now only a faint memory in the back of my mind. The days of the week blended into one, my routine seemingly the same: get up, go to work, go home, have dinner, go to bed, repeat. At the end of month two, the whole ordeal started to take its toll on me. What had been pure excitement, eagerness and stored energy was starting to wear off. Instead I came home to utter exhaustion and woke up to pounding headaches.

The things that used to bring me therapeutic comfort I now avoided. I was too tired to write about my feelings, let alone talk about them. Especially as I (at that point) wasn’t even sure of what they exactly were. It was like trying to lick my own elbow. An excruciating process of trying to reach something that you know is impossible.

Free time was scarce. The time I used to spend on my own creative projects was now spent on anything but myself. Being around people could be nice at times, especially with the ones I was close to. Yet sometimes I felt as though I should be pouring all of my free time into my relationships. Sometimes I felt guilty for wanting a break.

When change happens, it can often subconsciously feel like someone takes the puzzle you have been working on and destroys all of the hard work you put into it. Pieces scattered everywhere, leaving you to start – once again – with a single piece. As much as this has happened in the past, it never gets easier to pick up the pieces and start over. Change has never come easily to me and I always need a while to adjust to it – to make it a part of my “new normal”.

In the last two months of my internship I started to feel more grounded and in-sync with myself again. It was like time was still ticking, but in a speed I could keep up with. Tick, tick, tick like a metronome. That sound always calmed me when I played the piano.

What I have come to appreciate over these past six months is the value of a stable routine in your life. Simple things like taking some time in the morning to have a nice (stress-free) breakfast and check in with yourself can make such a difference in your day. When I have an established routine, one I can look forward to, I tend to feel more creative, productive, in control of my choices and overall just…happier.

My temporary lack of routine led to me putting all of my creative projects on hold – including this very one. But not anymore: I am officially pressing the play button of this blog again.

To all of you who are still on the same frequency as when I temporarily pushed pause on this blog: hello! How are you? What has been going on in your life lately? What are your plans for Christmas / New Year’s?

I have missed you dearly. There is so much I want to catch up with you on, so much I want to share with you. Where to even begin….

30 thoughts on “the metronome of life (hi, I am back)

  1. You write so eloquently, I’m genuinely jealous! I’ve missed reading your posts so much, and I’m sure the other 584 of your followers have too! You’ve grown so much since I first started following you almost 2 years ago I think, and your posts keep getting better, so thank you for coming back and as you put it ‘pressing the play button on your blog’ again, can’t wait for what’s to come now and in the future, so here’s to another decade of amazing blogging xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophia, thank you so much for your kind words! I can only return the compliment, I feel like one of my favourite things about this blogging community is being able to witness fellow bloggers and their blogs evolve over time and really develop/grow their content.

      On a more sentimental note, I genuinely appreciate you sticking with me throughout this journey for so long – your comments always make me smile! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back ! I have to say you’re really brave for dealing with your job and all the stuff of life, it should be really exhausting. I’m happy to see you back, can’t wait to see your next post ! x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome back! I too have been feeling the effect of working full-time and trying to pursue other interests outside of my working hours so feel like I have let my blog fall to the way-side but excited to pick it up again in the New Year. I have no plans for Christmas other than to see my family. How about you? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hannah, I’ve missed you so much! Can’t wait to have some time to catch up on everything I’ve missed on your blog!

      It is hard to find that work-life balance, who would have thought? I feel like I always heard about the struggle of finding that balance when I was younger and thought that this would never affect me…. You never know until you live it!

      I love that Christmas is all about family, especially when you get to see family you rarely see otherwise. That’s why I’m really looking forward to Christmas, as I’m spending it at my grandparent’s in Scotland. I only see them once a year, so I’m always thrilled when we spend Christmas there.

      And is it me, or do grandmas always have you leaving their house with an extra few pounds? xx

      Like

      1. I think I didn’t realise, and still don’t, how much time everything you need to do takes like showering, cooking and cleaning up, getting changed. You think you have hours at home after work when in fact you have about 30 minutes once you have done everything you need to ‘adult’.
        That sounds like a lovely Christmas. I have only ever been to Scotland once but it looked beautiful and will probably have snow which will make it prettier. Have a lovely time!
        Haha definitely. I don’t think my grandparents know the definition of dieting!!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s far too easy to take an established routine for granted. As with everything else in life, one tends not to realize how important it is until it’s gone! Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to hear that you’re really back again. I know how not having a routine can just ruin your day and that really sucks. But hey, welcome back! I’m looking forward to your future posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Fiona,
    I only recently tuned into your blog from Goodreads because I noticed that we love the same kinds of writers. I was pleasantly surprised to see the maturity and depth in your writings here and I’m pleased that you’re going to try and find time to write again. I was similar to you in that I used to live for writing but I immigrated to a foreign country to work, had to learn a new language from scratch and the daily grind of teaching killed any energy I had left for writing and gave it up for 11 years. However the whole time I always had that writers way of thinking. Collecting ideas and sentences over time until I couldn’t hold it back anymore and wrote a novel in a month. It’s been rejected by publishers and agents heavily since. But I wrote it. That means something, to me at least. The point I’m trying to get at is KEEP WRITING. Your words can be a ray of light to people across the globe. You’re a reader so you know that. Anyway, thank you.
    P.S
    Because of your appreciation of your books and the maturity in your writing I had assumed you were in your thirties.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful words and sharing your own experiences with writing! If you are who I think you are on Goodreads (the different usernames are making me slightly unsure), then can I just say – your taste in literature is impeccable! Again, if this is you, then thank you for all of your recommendations and insights into some of the books and stories we both connect with / admire so much. It is much appreciated, as I am genuinely always happy to discuss some of my favourite authors and their works with fellow enthusiasts.

      I find your description of the “writer’s way of thinking” as you called it to be spot on. I too pass through my days always thinking up random sentences and phrases in my head, always writing them down for later use. I think the beauty of a writer’s mind is that we do more than just observe – we question, we dissect and we try to look beyond the surface.

      And a novel in a month! Impressive. Even if it has been rejected, I find it incredibly admirable that you still value your work and know its worth. Writing a whole book is something you should be proud of, regardless if it was published or not. Though with self-publishing becoming easier and easier these days, I’m sure you could find a way to get your work out there if you wanted to… Just a thought😉

      Again, thank you for this incredible comment, I have never felt more flattered to be mistaken as a woman in her mid thirties!

      Like

  7. Fiona,

    Thank you for your kindhearted reply. It was nice to read.

    Jimmy O’Shea is my pen name and the alias I use when I’m doing such disreputable things as leaving awful poetry on someone’s blog…
    I’m Steve. I’m not sure if that’s the person you were thinking of as there are a large number of people with great taste on Goodreads.

    As you said, one of the best pleasures in life is meeting someone who shares a love for the same books as you. It’s almost like an instant affinity when you meet someone in a bar or on the subway in an obscure place and find out they love Bukowski or Carver et al. I once met someone in a bar in Okinawa who had a bag full of Carver poetry translated into Japanese, which automatically started off a friendship. I thought it was rare to find a woman who loved the writing of Bukowski, it can be pretty brutal at times. Have you read The Most Beautiful Woman in Town and Ham on Rye?

    What poets do you find the most inspirational? At the risk of sounding like a hipster dbag, I have a few Bukowski and Yeats quotes tattoo’d on my body.

    What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

    Find What You Love and Let It Kill You

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

    Sometimes you can find words so beautiful that all you can do is want to write them on your soul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steve! It IS you! And feel free to dump your poetry here anytime – god knows I have published some awful poetry on this blog. In a few years time I will probably think the same of the things I publish now, but that’s what I like about recording your work and being able to look back on it; only then is the full extent of your progress truly visible.

      You would be surprised at how many women I know who are great fans of Bukowski’s work. I believe what connects us all (both women and men who love his work) is our appreciation of his (as you say) ‘brutal’ honesty and outlook on things. I find this sharp contrast to other literature to be particularly enjoyable because I loathe overly romanticized plot lines and stories above everything. He doesn’t sugarcoat – his writing is as raw, violent and harsh as it gets. He simply is himself and speaks to a part of us I think we all have, however much we might want to hide it.

      And no, I haven’t read any of the two. I feel embarrassed to even admit that I haven’t read Ham On Rye yet! I first got to know Henry Chinaski in “Post Office” and ever since I have been dying to discover more of his tragic story. I have heard many people refer to Ham On Rye as one of Bukowski’s best books – would you agree with this?

      I must say that I find Edgar Allen Poe to be an incredible source of inspiration. His work is obviously completely different to Bukowski’s, but I have always found that his poetry produces such a carefully woven rhythm when read aloud. My favourite poem of his is probably A Dream Within A Dream, though The Raven is also incredibly well written. What about you? From which poets do you draw inspiration from?

      And I like the fact that you made some of your favourite quotes permanent. It’s like they will forever be a part of you.

      Like

  8. “Tick, tick, tick like a metronome. That sound always calmed me when I played the piano.” I really love this line, not sure why but there’s just something about it. You have such a way with words Fiona – the way you manage to talk about things almost…mundane? The day to day struggles of life and trying to find time…yet you still manage to write about them so eloquently and nostalgically. I’m so glad you’re back as I’ve missed your blog tremendously, it’ll be nice to have a familiar face around again. Sending love .xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh, this comment ❤ I've missed you so much, Chlo! I feel beyond flattered, thank you for your kind words. You've always been so genuinely supportive of everything I write and for that I will eternally be grateful.

      Ps. I'm so sorry I never got around to continuing our little series but I'm already on it again, if you're still on board to do the rest of the bunch!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fiona,

    If you haven’t read Ham on Rye yet, I would strongly suggest you read it next. It’s by far Bukowski’s best work and probably the one book I’d take to a desert island with me if I was going to be stranded for life 😂. All of his other prose is great but Ham on Rye is the greatest and probably the most moving of all. Parts of it reminded me of my own childhood so it’s a special book for me.

    As for poetry I like whatever jumps off of the page at me. But I’m a big fan of Billy Childish’s poetry and song lyrics. Have you read any Childish?

    Anyway, hope you’re enjoying your working life a little more and you’re finding time to write, read and live😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steve,

      trust me, I am planning on it!… Though I should probably get through all of the books sitting on my shelves before I buy any more😂 I have heard quite a lot of people say that in terms of which book made them feel like they truly understood Bukowski, it was Ham On Rye.

      I have never read any Childish but as with all of your recommendations, I am adding him to my list!

      Thank you for your kind words, the same goes for you! I hope that you are finding enough time to write again – and maybe, one day, you will let me read something of yours?

      Like

  10. You could write about the phone book and somehow make it sound beautiful Fiona. You have this incredible way of making day-to-day, mundane things sound so eloquent!!

    I feel like we’ve been on the same track for a while. While you were doing your internship I was finishing up with a few grueling months of university, and now it’s done my entire routine is kinda of…gone?? I’m loving having entire days at my disposal, and I love having an entire year to myself to look forward to in 2020.

    I think I am definitely going to struggle with all the things I’m trying to achieve next year, pursuing my travel, my music, kicking my blog in the butt and hopping back on the train and saving some more money. Can’t wait to see what you’ll produce in 2020 gal, I know you’re gonna kill it. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you Priya, this might be one of the highest compliments my writing has ever received!

      And Priya, I am SO PROUD OF YOU!! You graduated university and are making beautiful music… Seeing you grow as an artist has been such a pleasure. It’s somehow scary and exciting at the same time to think that we are all full on grown ups/adults now😅

      And TELL ME ABOUT IT I have no fucking clue how I am going to do half the things I am planning on doing 2020 haha. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for your music and your blog and I am of course looking forward to seeing all of the travel pics… I have a feeling 2020 might just be your year😉

      And is it just me, or is saving even harder when you tell yourself to do so? I always feel like I spend more money in the time when I tell myself not to than when I don’t. All of a sudden I see all of these incredible sales and concerts… I just bought concert tickets for Cage The Elephant in February today!… So much for saving money in December😂😂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. YOU’RE BACK YOU’RE BACK YOU’RE BACK!!!
    After months of checking your blog every now and then to see if you were back, you finally are here! I’m so happy to see you (rather, read you), and your writing has gripped me once again! Now I’m just going to plant my butt here and read all of your new posts like they’re chapters in a book you read in the winter all cosy in your blankets with cookies by your side.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my god what is wrong with me. One comment from you and I turn into a giddy psycho. Arshia, I have missed you soooo much!!

        … If I ever try dating apps I will put the phrase “giddy psycho” into the description box. People will stumble upon it and think “hah, she’s a funny weirdo. I am intrigued”. Little do they know… 😂)

        But…. I AM HAPPY TO BE BACK AND I AM HAPPY YOU ARE BACK AS WELL! Thank you for reading me (ew, why does that sound so creepy when I say it).

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.