Saturday, May 09, 2020

Sitting Outside Again

I posted the photo above earlier today on Instagram. I took it as we sat outside underneath the tree in our backyard here in Wiltshire, England. It has been an all too rare pastime for me even before the lockdown of this pandemic. It's not that I dislike sitting outside in nature...that isn't it at all. I'm a great nature lover. The reason that we aren't usually sitting outside is...well, I'll just say it has to do with a rather unfriendly set of neighbors who are in very close proximity next door. There is a fence separating us and we were safely socially distancing. However, they are always watching us, especially me, with an accusatory glance as if they are keeping an eye on me.

Note to the "neighbors": I am your "neighbor", not a burglar. 

The environment has not been a good one. However, today we just decided to go out and ACTUALLY enjoy our own backyard. Maybe it's the lockdown, maybe it's our freshly cut little lawn, maybe it's just finally getting to a point, after all that we've gone through recently on top of the pandemic...but we were just like "this is our space...let's enjoy it" and that's just what we did and it was wonderful.

I know that this may sound extreme to those who read this, but the effect upon our enjoyment of our yard and other places for me, especially for me as the "outsider", has been profound and has been hard on my mental health. The "outsider" experience has definitely left a mark on me that I am finally fed up with and am actively working on healing. A shift has happened and I really don't care anymore. Let them look...let them think whatever they want about me...just let me be. It's easier said than done when you have to deal with this ridiculous scrutiny, but I'm done folding myself into a tiny square in order to take up less space in this life. Life is to be lived. Losing my sister and all of the heaviness of these times that we're living in, has changed my perspective on so much forever.

I had forgotten just how wonderful it is to just sit outside in your backyard...I can count the amount of times that I've sat out there over fourteen years on one hyperbole...just facts. It may sound ridiculous, but oh the crippling energy has been so real for me. It's sad when I think of that, but I can't go back and change it, I can only go forward.

When we went outside, we both took a book to read, but I ended up spending 95% of the time just looking around and looking up at the beautiful green canopy of leaves overhead. I listened to the sweet birds singing and I felt more alive than I have in a long time. Imagine that...something so normal felt like heaven to me.

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