Postcards from Wymondley Woods
I can't believe we're almost at the end of February already. Time is something I don't think I'll ever fully wrap my head around. Since I started working full-time, and have been trying to cram as much as I can into weekends, it seems to just slip away. Not that I'm complaining though - at one point, not too long ago, time would constantly be on my mind. I'd be paralysed by the thought that it was passing, yet couldn't bring myself to engage in anything without constantly reverting my eyes back at the clock. Now when I realise how much time has passed by unnoticed, I feel really quite grateful for it!
However, I have gotten a little caught up in the notion that I must always be looking towards what I'm going to be doing next. I know I need this constant stimulation to keep me functioning properly, as well as making healthy progression, but there is a point where this trail of thought starts to become unhealthy. I find myself rushing through books to meet reading goals, powering through various TV shows to keep up to date, and furiously typing out blog ideas to avoid messing up a posting schedule... Somehow forgetting to enjoy these activities for their original purpose along the way. And with the world moving so quickly, I find that constant pressure not only from myself, but from everything around me too. Surrounded by highlight reels, I am struck by the feeling that
if I'm not repeatedly achieving, what am I doing?
Sensing time to disconnect was well overdue, Luke and I made the trip to Wymondley Woods; to get some fresh air, take in the sights, and play around with our cameras. Since last year, we've been making attempts to explore our local area more and more. We visited Barton Hills, Hoo-Bit and Pegsdon Hills in 2016, and now we're eager to seek out more options. I've always loved going for walks, but admittedly lost my affection for them when struggling with severe depression. This is something I find particularly strange, as during the recovery process, I have found spending time in the outdoors works wonders for my wellbeing - so much so, I've gone from not leaving the house once in a week, to needing to get out at least once a day or I start climbing the walls.
The brilliant thing about Wymondley Woods was that there was so much to see. Instead of sticking to the pathways and beaten tracks, Luke and I traipsed our way through the thicker parts of the forest. Ducking under branches, jumping over fallen logs and crouching into smaller spaces - all of which I referred to as possible entrances to The Upside Down. We even came across a tree adorning a few baubles which I can only guess were still hanging in there from Christmas. Studying all of the textures, patterns and colours of the bark, camouflaged at a glance, had me feeling like a kid on a school trip all over again. The lines, cracks and dots. Reds, greens, browns and blues. The softness of moss, smoothness of the leaves and rough edges of the bark. It honestly just felt great to stop and appreciate all of these little details.
When I'm out on a walk, away from the bustle of a town and the buzz online, concerns about advancing my career, life and hobbies fizzle away. The prominence of these looming expectations lessens, and it almost seems to flick a switch to remind me that being happy is all that really matters.
. In all seriousness though, 2017 is already shaping up to be the year I focus on myself with the intention to learn more about where I want to go, as appose to where I want to be. At this point, I feel working towards a single end-goal will never leave me feeling truly fulfilled. Instead I want to put my energy into building a life that makes me happy. To find the difference between pushing myself to do the things I want to because they bring me joy, and doing the things I feel I need to in order to find joy. Taking this breather was exactly what I needed, and I'm excited to say that I already have an idea of where to visit next!