Dear Diary: Here’s Where My Head’s At…

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I wanted to wake up this morning and get cracking on a shopping post. Like, a list post with my hacks slash tips slash I dunno about shopping online and on the high street.

But this post has to come first, because I feel a bit like Dumbledore right now. I need to get all the things clouding up and hogging my brain space into my pensieve before I can think logically and clearly, and well, like me. Before I can move on with my to-do list.

My blog being my pensieve in this situation, obvs.

So here goes.

Last week I wrote a post about things I wanted to achieve in my lifetime, a realistic bucket list if you will, (you can read it over here if ya fancy), and one of those things on the list, was to write a book.

I’ve been wanting to write a book about my life, about being Hannah, about all the things that I’ve experienced and all the things so many of us experience as a teenager and young adult, since I was in my first year of university.

I tried twice back then, both times hitting around the 7,000 word mark and calling it quits. Not because it was boring or too long or because I’d run out of things to say, but because writing a memoir, a book that is about the most personal, sacred and deepest, darkest parts of your life and your mind is, well, bloody hard. Really bloody hard. It forces you to confront things and re-live things that in all honesty, you’d much rather keep locked away in your inner chambers of doom.

And so it wasn’t until I moved to Ipswich that I found myself lurking on the idea again. I tried a few times to put a proposal together, to write sample chapters, but I stepped back a little from my own stories, my own life tales, and I tried to be a little more generic. I talked about things so many of us face – social media envy, a pressure to go to university without really knowing if it’s for us – and I loaded it with stats and figures and findings from other people. It read a bit like an essay, and I’ve never been a great essay writer. And so, naturally, all the agents I spoke to were like huh, there’s something here, I like something, but I don’t like your words, they don’t feel like you, they don’t resemble the voice on your blog.

I vowed to come back to it, to pore myself into it.

I can’t tell you why I need to write a book. I can’t tell you if it’s because I think it’ll be some long-term fix for my brain, my own kind of therapy, or because I like the idea that it might help other people. I can’t tell you if it’s because I want people to read it and understand the reason that I am wired the way that I am, or because I want to prove to the world that I am capable and strong and independent and brave.

I dunno.

But anyway, after writing that post last week I felt this surge of you got this Hannah, you can do this Hannah, go on hun, write that book, you a bad ass babe and you can absolutely handle this. So I did. I got into bed with a cup of tea and I nailed 2,000 words before Chris got home from work. I felt on fire, in a good way. If there is a good way to be in flames, but whatever.

The problem with putting so much emotional energy towards remembering the past, is that well, it’s kind of draining. It takes it out of you. It makes you exhausted and sensitive and it makes you doubt and question everything you know.

It’s given me the most vivid dreams. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and when I wake up in the morning I feel like I’m coming round from a six-month hibernation.

It also made me cry until I laughed and threw my hat and my shoes and my neckerchief and my notebook across the room, like a small devil-possessed child. But hey, what’s a moment of madness between internet friends, eh?

But anyway, yeah, last night’s dream made me think a lot about people I went to school with. People I haven’t spoken to or seen in the flesh for a decade, if not longer.

BRB whilst I go and cry in toilet over my quickly disappearing youth.

And so, this morning, before I could muster the energy to drap my laptop out and get cracking with my plans for the week, I felt an overwhelming urge to dig out my old diaries – the ones I kept as a teenager, the ones my younger brother Luke took so much joy in bringing to school and sharing with the boys I fancied, cheers pal – and read through some of my entries.

I wrote some blog posts based around them last year, and vowed to myself that I would burn them, because whenever I opened them up I felt sadness and I didn’t want to remember ever being that person.

But I didn’t. I locked them in a trunk. In a memory box, along with old birthday cards and love notes and photo albums.

And I am glad that I have them, if only because they are the only physical concrete evidence of who I used to be and how my brain used to work. The only things that proves I existed before I exist now.

I think the weirdest thing about growing up, about reaching your late twenties and beyond, is how long you’ve been an adult for. How long you have memories of being an adult for.

When I wrote these diary entries at 13 and 14 and 15, I felt like an adult. And sometimes it’s hard to believe that 13 years have passed, and that the girl who sits up at her dining table with a mug of coffee and some avo on toast, who gets paid for writing words about herself whilst surrounded by fresh flowers and candles and cats, is the same girl who wrote ‘the boy I fancy at school told me I’d be really pretty if I stopped crying so much’.


It feels like so much time has passed that I can’t possibly have existed as both people, and yet, I have.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, rambling post coming to an end.

I just needed to dump the thoughts taking up all the room at the front of my mind into a post so that y’know, I could function properly for the rest of the day. I also wanted to give you a heads up and say my blog might be slightly quieter this week. I mean, it might not, but it might.

If this all-consuming I MUST WRITE A BOOK AND I MUST WRITE IT NOW feeling continues, then I’m going to dedicate all my energy to that before it disappears again, with the hope that maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to piece together a fresh, sassy, book proposal.

Wish me luck.

Oh and send me Lindt chocolate. All the Lindt chocolate. I think I’m going to need it…

(Dress from New Look, belt from Peacocks, hat and sunglasses from H&M)

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