Updated: Feb 16
This year, I started sharing my ‘thoughts’ from the day onto my Instagram stories. And whilst not intending for it to become a ‘thing', I have been positively overwhelmed by the incredible response from you all - so much so that I have chosen to dedicate a blog post to them every week.
Each Thursday, I'll be expanding upon three of my thoughts from the previous week, acting as an extension of the shorter thoughts I share (a 'mid-week musing' of sorts, into how these relate to myself and my poetry). Please feel free to let me know if this is something you enjoy or are interested in, either by commenting below or getting in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my socials.
01.02.20: ‘There is no quick fix for understanding an opinion unaligned with your own, but we can ALL quickly RESPECT other people's opinions and that they exist in the same space as our own. .’
I've been listening to A LOT of 'The High Low' recently, an amazing podcast by Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. I didn't really know much about them before I started listening, although I had read Alderton's 'Everything I Know About Love' (a beautifully moving read if you're interested) and found her sense of humour infectious - so I guess I did have high expectations, which have certainly been met. Both Alderton and Sykes' approach to issues, their passions, their work-ethic and their incessant desire to help others is what keeps me hooked on 'The High Low'. I've been binge-listening from episode one and I can't stop; their words have already accompanied me in such a variety of places, moods and experiences and, whilst I have never met either of them (hopefully one day), I feel these women are beautiful, beautiful people (I mean, it does take a lot for me to laugh out loud in a public place). I really value their measured approach of accepting all views without having to agree with them, and I feel I am learning so much just from listening to what they have to say. I feel we are often too quick to become hurt, or feel personally attacked, when our views are not agreed with or adhered to (particularly in a more public setting), but genuinely respecting someone else's views and feeling at peace with their decision whilst you feel comfortable in your own - without the need to enforce it - is such a freeing feeling. It has allowed me to be opened up to so many new possibilities and ways of thinking,as well as exploring other variables that I am prone to filtering out (either consciously or sub-consciously) by my own perspective. It doesn't mean I have to agree, or adopt a new stance for the sake of someone else, it just means I respect the other side in the same way I would want someone to respect my viewpoint. And I am still learning and still have ways to improve (and probably always will); this is a blanket statement and it is MUCH harder to apply this method or attitude to more extreme views that seemingly so few people could ever agree with. But even if only one person in the world holds a specific outlook, they are still entitled to this opinion in the same way that I am entitled to mine.
03.02.20: ‘Lack of sleep leads to over-flow of creativity.
So my sleep isn't amazing per say - it can get pretty terrible at times, particularly when I'm thinking a lot or under a considerable amount of stress (which I'm sure is the same for a lot of people). And whilst I'm not trying to diagnose, or generalise in any way, insomnia can be utterly crippling, and I have found that there are definitely times I give in to it. If I'm awake, I find it very difficult to relax or to take my mind off things; I need to constantly be in a state of 'doing' or 'working' and I don't often have a natural inclination to just TURN OFF. I find it hard to pinpoint when my sleep became irregular, as I definitely have had periods of more regular sleep, but I do remember Secondary School being unkind for my sleep. I want to say around Year 8 or 9, so when I was 13 years old-ish, I would be so consumed by the amount of work expected and this (combined with the pressure I put on myself) meant the earlier hours of the morning would be dedicated to homework, revision or research. There were SO MANY nights during my GCSE year where I would stay up until 4 or 5am, or all night, drawing for my textiles course, spending hours at a time on each design to ensure it was as close to 'perfect' as I could make it. This continued during my A-level years too; when I couldn't sleep, I'd find another source to cite, another essay to credit or supporting piece to analyse and use in my works. What I'm trying to say is, I didn't have a very good balance between work and rest, and whilst I still struggle with this now when I don't have any educational 'goals' or standards to meet, I have had to find a way to manage irregular sleep, live with it and utilise in a way that I feel comfortable. I have found reading to be my 'happy-medium' of sorts; it's become one of the best ways for me to deal with a restless night, allowing me to create the sense of calm I am so mentally and physically needing, whilst also fulfilling the part of my brain obsessed with further contributing to my work (which for me now is all things hmrwrites). When I say 'creativity', for me this is thinking in a new way, teaching myself to view a different approach or a way to understand a situation I would never have given consideration to before. Harnessing the creative outlet of my brain, and the energy and inspiration I get in manic times of sleep-deprivation. can be over-whelming at times, and reading doesn't always solve this - but I have found recently that it still allows me to 'work' (by writing notes and researching references alongside forming my own response). I cannot speak for everyone here, as I am sure we all experience periods of time (however long they may be) where our sleep is irregular and can play directly into our emotions and how we react to certain situations. And I am not suggesting that we should all stay up until 5am every morning because, I assure you, it is not sustainable and I certainly don't. I am just saying that it feels good to accomplish some sense of balance in what is otherwise a fairly turbulent issue that can have a knock-off effect on the other aspects of my life.
04.02.20: ‘Sometimes you meet the most incredible people and your interaction(s) with them are truly a blessing.’
On Tuesday (04.02.20), I had my first meeting with my local food-bank to discuss volunteering opportunities and how I might be able to fit into their team. Through wanting to respect privacy - and to keep your imagination on its toes - I am not going to name any names or give any specific details as to my interactions on this morning. Sometimes, you meet people and you get a good feeling; you feel so awed and inspired by their presence, manner and story that it is the most all-consuming rush of appreciation and gratitude for experiencing meeting them. I've been lucky enough to have had this before on a few occasions (in particular with a friend at school, with a teacher during a very vulnerable time in my life and (more obviously) with my parents and with my partner. The way we interact with others, what we choose to share and how we choose to share it, impacts so much more than just the time we are with them; the meeting and the being with someone is only the initial part of the effects our actions can have. I was so nervous before this meeting - even though this is a cause I am passionate about and have considered being a part of for quite some time. Ultimately, I was concerned as to whether I was stable enough to be in a position to help others, but thanks to the person that introduced me to the organisation, I felt assured that volunteering could be something I'd be able to manage in order to help others. Some people are the greatest blessing in your life; they may not be around for long and you may never see them again, but that kind of experience really grounds you, humbles you and makes you recognise what matters in this world is a far greater force outside of yourself.
Until next time, H.M.
References and Further Reading:
- All pictures taken by H.M. Reynolds and posted on the @hmrwrites Instagram account between 01.02.20 and 04.02.20.
- I listen to 'The High Low' on Spotify, but I believe you can find it on all good podcast channels.
- You can find Dolly Alderton's 'Everything I Know About Love' here.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you want to be featured, have new ideas or want to write for The hmrwrites Blog; I’m always looking for new people to collaborate with. Feel free to drop your own blog/website/socials in the comments.