This year I wanted to start being a little bit more personal on here, like sharing life updates and just different aspects of myself that aren’t strictly “here’s a book!” or “hey look at this band!”
February is a month that comes around every year, and every year it pulls me under a blanket of shade and shuddering breath. When I was younger I lost an incredibly important person to me very suddenly, it shook up my life and myself to the core. February was his birthday month, and so every time the calendars flip it’s a reminder of time.
I could talk for days about how grief and death has affected my life as I grew, how it impacts my life years down the track but I don’t really want to. I feel like I live in this loop of life that snaps like a rubber band and I never really leave it behind.
Thus, here I am to talk about my February so far and things I do to take care of myself. That’s an important part of this whole thing is remembering you’re alive and you need care.
I try to be as social as I possibly can be – and manage – in February. I’m usually on a university break around this time just before it goes back for the year and I try my best to compact as much in person social interactions as I can in the weeks.
It’s important when mourning to remember those around you who are still here, to not let moments slip between your fingers that you might regret if anything were to happen. I do try to not think of things “happening” to my loved ones but the paranoia is there for sure. This month I’ve traveled a lot, catching train after train to different parts of the South Coast of NSW to see friends. Later this month I’ll be travelling out of state for the first time since I was 17 and in high school to see family.
Friends are also important in taking care of yourself because, as hard as it can be to accept, they’re there for you to lean on when you need it! Especially if they’re offering, it’s okay to need that. Some of my closest friends, Tyneesha, Alana, and Bonnie are truly the most talented and beautiful people I have ever met so I want to use this moment to shout them out.
I was gonna title this hobbies but I know that’s clique, so instead it’s love because just do things you love. For you not for anyone else! This can be a bit difficult because sometimes I can get wrapped up in the “they’ll never get to see me grow into this” thoughts which are heartbreaking at best. But this is why I say for you, do it for you.
For myself I’ve written a bit, two blog posts, a book review that is up on my bookstagram, this post here counts because it’s healthy to talk about your feelings positively! I’ve been messing around with my poetry again and my novel which has sat there untouched for a shamefully long time.
I’ve been making art separate from writing. Filling up my sketch book like it’s a dairy (it is) and messing around with all different unfinished pieces on my iPad. Art isn’t therapeutic for me to be fair, it’s stressful and time consuming and half the time I can’t work out why the hell this nose bump isn’t translating correctly. But it’s fantastic to channel feelings into, taking it all from within and throwing it up.
I’ve been reading, though slower to last month, and just taking my time with things. I’ve started posting TikTok’s! This is because I’m just trying to, romanticise if you will, my life and the aspect of being alive. I like appreciating existence, and taking the time to film little things has helped me mentally get back into this idea of actually living.
I won’t ever recommend just ignoring your grief, pushing it back or trying to forget. I find it does more harm than any kind of good and, personally, I like to know I still have the ability to feel those things and bring his memory alive. Taking time, taking things slowly or whatever pace is best for you and still having those moments to breathe. I fear the forgetting that comes naturally with time, so this is a really big part of February for me.
I became obsessed with the moon and the stars because of him all those years ago, which is something really cute when you think of how I practice witchcraft and study those things now. I usually will find time to sit with them and remember, I find this an important part of this month. It’s recognising another year gone and it’s sitting with it. The weight, the tears, the love, the shaking laughter as I recall all our memories and how I live parts of my life with their influence daily.
Grief is an ugly, unforgivable thing that you never really lose. When I was younger I hated that but now I welcome it, I welcome knowing his story will live through me and I feel these things because he lived. It takes time to get here, it takes time to get through the month of February annually but I’m okay with that.