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My heart is weak when I am tired. It doesn’t want to have the strength to fight for people to see themselves. It is now that I don’t have space to hold other people’s tattered worlds; my own world unravelling, bereft of air, cannot afford to be the last earth set in motion anymore. Accepting that today I can’t, but perhaps tomorrow I will be able.

I battle with my nature everyday to be autonomous of people’s approval, and to be living outside of their praise or criticism. It felt narcissistic at first to be enjoying a reality that exists as a separate entity to the ones dancing around me.  There are some heart strings I haven’t learnt to detangle yet, and often I find myself singing songs that aren’t mine with more conviction than I speak my own words with. But I’ve found that a childlike spirit conquers the voids that linger where my reality can’t be assimilated with that of those I love. If I can find energy to be joyful- to think of my father and his joviality- joy will multiply in front of my very eyes, finding new souls to inhibit at an arms length. 


Identity crisis has fled the area. I know some things for certain:


I am in love with the idea of being in love

I am highly sensitive to the opinions of others 

I am extremely confident and bubbly when I have energy (yet to isolate and identify the practical relationship in its entirety) 

I am heartfelt and sincere 

I am honest with my emotions and intentions 

I have dreams that are so big they frighten me 

I often struggle with feeling unworthy 

My struggle with unworthiness is inextricably linked to my relationship with my mother 

Discussing my body image is something that makes me feel very uncomfortable, to the point of shutdown


NB: Things I am not satisfied with leaving for “certain” to govern


I don’t know why these ideas feel so important for me to be clutching, but with them in my fists, I feel safer somehow.

In a perplexingly paradoxical way, I think what 20 has led me to is the grand freedom of realising that my world doesn’t have to stop for ideas, or emotions. No, my car probably won’t crash unexpectedly whilst I am at the wheel. No, I won’t feel this way forever. No, this existential mental loop beckoning me probably isn’t going to make my day better, so I might as well do anything instead.


My eyes have been leaking unusual amounts in complete disarray with my hormonal cycle. I cried twice yesterday in moments that were otherwise incredibly joyful. I could almost get away with calling them tears of joy if it weren’t for this dislodging of a strangely heavy feeling in the very centre of my chest. Often these bouts are accompanied by random nostalgic visions in no sort of chronological order, just unravelling in succession as if I were a magician pulling rope out of a hat. It’s wondrous how much I didn’t even know I’d forgotten. It’s equally strange that these memories never disappeared entirely, instead just archived themselves until they wanted to be seen again. I feel a great sense of return to my essence. My laugh feels lighter than it ever has, my cheeks widen with ease, and they like to do so often. That is my home.

This work I’ve been doing- the emotional documentation, the habit reprogramming, the meditation, the affirmation practice, the self-care rituals I’ve integrated into my hours- has not been easy. But it has worked on me just as I have worked on it. I am closer than ever, and yet couldn’t be more excited by how far I am from the end.

20 knows self-control. 20 feels closer to true love. 20 loves its friends so dearly its almost painful. 20 knows that it doesn’t know a single thing, and knows to be excited by that now.




There is absolutely a “maniacal masterplan” of sorts, and all it involves is prioritising happiness and love in an incredibly visceral way. 

Author Sophie Marsh

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