2019 (a year in a poem)

2019. the year of

anxiety & sunshine

& beauty & depression

of drinking good coffee

& soul-nourishing gallery visits

of leaning into therapy & pain

of hours & days lost as buried tears were found sitting on the kitchen floor while Saturn played

2019. the year of

feelings felt & found & held & felt

of grief faced & waves crashing

food uneaten, weight losing

chasms opening

heart cracking & life shaking

of questions asked

& answers found wanting

as festered rage & long-accepted values

were both…released

2019. the year of

pain & striving

for peace

of lost memories found & faced

of emotional breaking & life & self shaking of inner light dimming

& slow sparking match-light reviving

of healing through

the mind-soul-body medicines

of meditation & journalling

of 29minute whatsapp voicenote musings

of beauty & art

& poetry & space

of lush bath-bombs & masturbating

of beautiful smells & netflix binges

& m&s champagne sipped

by fairy light

of radically


self grace

& the gift of



& making

& giving

space to me

to breathe & be

& feel & see

& wonder & wander

Nayyirah Waheed

2019. the year of



to cry & laugh & rage

the year of breaking

boundaries & beliefs

of (nearly) breaking apart

& being held in the breaking

2019. the year of


& finding

& freeing

of shuddering beauty

& (beautifully) ugly crying

of breath quickening & catching

& deep exhaling

2019. the year of

frustrated containment in white spaces

of colour seeking & power claiming

of being unseen & seen

of being unanchored & held

in grace & love

2019. the year of feeling

& being




of me

Sunflower counselling

Yesterday evening, for a WILD Friday night, I had my first counselling session. It’s been a long time coming. And I found a therapist I related to, who gets my comments about gender and race and keeps up with my flicking between received pronunciation and street language. A therapist who is REAL, in her gold reeboks, natural black-girl hair & statement t-shirt!

So 50minutes of ranting/ mature sharing later and I’m feeling ‘yep, I could work with you’…. and then the price was shared. Pow! The tears which had been building as I’d so freely shared my anger & pain spilled out. Cos it felt like a door that was opening had suddenly slammed shut!

Fast forward five minutes, as I came to the bottom of the stairs of her office I saw that the cosy waiting room was empty (cos y’know, it was FRIDAY NIGHT!)… so I walked to it to sit, cry, pray, & process.

AND THEN I SAW THIS: a Sunflower painting.

And I knew. This is my place. This is my counsellor. This is my God / the wall (delete according to your theistic belief!) confirming it to me. Saying ‘I see you, I’ve led you here, trust and proceed’. To add a little context, my nickname is Sunflower. But it’s more than a nickname. My being is Sunflower. I am Sunflower. So I sat, cried, listened to soothing music & prayed: I will go forward & TRUST the money & timings will work out. As sunflowers move to follow the sun, I’ll keep moving into this space that’s been offered, following the sun & helping to put the shadows behind me.

Whyyyy Meeee?

How often a lifetime, a week, or even a day, do we impulsively decry ‘Why Me?’-be it to God or just LIFE itself? I’d venture the answer is, for many of us mortals: A Bloody Lot.

The question is bizarre, & largely rhetorical, but it seems innate to our human psyche; an internal groaning against the injustice & un-goodness which permeates life. But, perhaps it’s not innate, maybe it’s a result of our North-world, (economically) developed culture? We have, thankfully, been largely inured against so many day-to-day-life-and-death hardships, so perhaps we’re more easily struck by a sense of deprivation, attack and confusion when adversities come do along?

Personally, I hate the question! Because my deep & frustrated response is almost always ‘WHY THE HELL NOT ME? If I ask ‘Why Me?’ because of accidents, losses big & small, and deep tragedies surely I’m required to cry ‘Why Me?’ when I sleep in my warm bed having passed a homeless person? ‘Why Me?’ when I hug my absolutely amazing husband while other people far more worthy & qualified for spousehood than me grieve their lost dream of a lover & children to come home to? ‘Why Me’ when my intense pain passes & I can get up & walk, dance & crack on independently when other chronic pain sufferers frequent hospitals while I frequent bars? So basically, why the fuck not me? We all hear tales of people who smoke 500 cigarettes a day & live to 90, and yet know healthy people who get cancer. It is unfair! But, it’s equally unfair that I am happy and healthy when others are not-hence fighting to help others’ lives be better while remembering that regardless of how ‘good’ any of us (think we) are , shit. just. happens (see my blog post aptly titled ‘Shit Happens’).
Because of this view, ‘Why me?’ is a question I rarely ask…but I confess I did ask it a few weeks ago, when my pain was worse than usual and I was emotionally low & physically draaaiiined. At the time I was laying down with needles stuck in me, seeking relief through Acupuncture (God bless the NHS!), but instead I was overwhelmed by a needle literally stabbing my knee, & was near tears in pain. So, I confess, I had a little pity party in my head & cried to God ‘Why do I have to deal with this pain all the time-why me?’. The answer from God/my sub-conscious (delete as you choose) was unexpected. I expected Him/me to agree with what I’ve said above (i.e. Natalia, whyever not you, are you Miss Oh So Special?!). Instead, I felt a sense of how sorry & sad God was that I had to go through this & a simple, comforting reminder that He was with me through it. That’s all. And, in that moment, it was enough.