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Practicing gratitude BUT also disliking your present...

Practice; the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it, so Google says. I use the word practice as it is a way of life I want to implement and practice, just like practicing yoga or pilates. So this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently, going back and forth between the two, feeling really stuck and unhappy with where you’re at in life, but then stopping for a second and remembering. Remembering what you have, where you are, what you've achieved already, food in your belly, roof over your head, people who love you. You have an abundance of talent, wit and beauty, knowledge and skills, and above all grit. You know you can make it through anything because you have, and you’re here, now!

But I know for a fact that people have been feeling this way, because of this damn COVID! I have talked to my friends and we all agree she’s a bitch. Or maybe, it’s a man… and he’s an asshole? Yeah maybe ...

I went through a point where I was really opening my eyes to all the good it has brought, like the earth taking a well-deserved, well-needed breathe of fresh, less contaminated air. And all of us realising what we can live without like driving our cars and going into a shop or spending money at a restaurant when you can cook. Most importantly, we realised what we can’t live without, and that is, all of the above and most importantly, PEOPLE.

Losing that human connection apart from you’re house hold or bubble, desperately wanting to see people who even live so close, or those so far that you didn’t think you need to see so much, like your family members for those who are not so dependant on them, all of sudden it became so real that in actual fact, you need them, no matter how crazy they drive you. But let’s rewind on all those other things I mentioned. We may be able to live without them, but is it really living? If you’re the kind of person who believes money is made to spent (to an extent) and life is to be lived, then you maybe felt the same as I did.

I did miss the chai latte with a mate that didn’t seem like a big deal, even when they are late and it frustrated you! I did miss family that I argue with. And most importantly, I did miss my work. It made me realise how much I still love what I do, which is dance and performance. Something I had, along the way, started to check in on, as I got older, questioning my love for it. Turns out I was exactly where I thought which is still loving it, but what this time has done is put my priorities and passions in line, and push me out of comfort zone to learn new things and reassess options.

There were very strong days of gratitude for all these life lessons, teaching me more and more about who I am, what I can endure and what parts of my mind and creativity I could explore. Also strengthening bonds you already had and weaning out anything that doesn’t matter to you, cos ain't nobody got time for that! But on the complete flip side, I also felt a sincere taste of dislike, not hate, but dislike. Dislike for my present, dislike for the struggles and looking very much into the future. There were days when I just felt like major itchy feet, like I just wanted to run. Run to the airport, run to Mexico, run to Cyprus, run to London, just run. I found that I am a very ‘doing’ person, even if it’s behind my screen researching something, I can’t just sit and not do. Like that time I left my phone on the bus in Manchester and just ran after the bus even though I was no where near going to catch it. I couldn’t not try.

Having said all that, I like to think of this dislike as a compass for your life. Your emotions and feelings are guiding you through, steering you towards what you want most and how you want to live. Let it be a sign of what you don't want for yourself, you did the hard time but no thank you, you can see yourself out now, thanks for the time but no. You have dreams and goals, visions for how you want your life to look and feel and this is just not quite it. But I always say, it's a marathon not a sprint, so this is just the now, and will not be your forever, and it is so important to just LIVE IN THE NOW. That's what I remind myself when I feel this way. At a better time, when the world, or your world at least returns to some normality like it once was, or maybe even better let's hope, we can continue to say the world is our oyster, once more.

I realised that that was what was so hard about this period, you couldn’t even use the phrase ‘if you don’t like something, change it’ because we are living through really uncertain times, especially for the entertainment industry, and wise moves had to be made, financially especially. And we know it’s not just us, as statements have been released about the big boys like Starbucks and Chanel making cuts even. I guess thats because it’s a long and quick fall from the top isn’t it. However for us, hard working, hustling self-employed individuals, whose lively hood and income literally depends on venues staying open, bums on seats, and funding, then we are forced to go elsewhere, somewhere we may or may not, dislike.

So I guess the question is, is it OK to feel both? I say yes. What always brings me back to it all was the simple things, the window open next to my double bed, with the fresh air blowing in, technology, watching the seasons change, growth, mistakes, laughs, ALCOHOL, cooking and above all people. Gratitude always wins, she’s competitive, and if you stop competing with her, she will always win. Just let her.

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