I’m currently sitting in an office that is over 30 degrees with a small desk fan that is about as much use as someone blowing half-heartedly on my skin. I’m reminded of romantic films set in the Algarve, with a rumpled detective, his knees knobbled and dry, with papers stacked around him. A fan chugs meekly overhead, while he pulls out a rather crumpled looking handkerchief and dabs at his perspiring skin. His moustache sits wilted on his face, beads of sweat glistening within the hairs. Except I don’t have a moustache, and I’m not a dishevelled, if brilliant, detective, and instead of working on a spine-tingling and thought-provoking case I’m crafting and compiling the next generation magazine. Although I’ll admit it is pretty fascinating.
It amazes me how much the slightest fraction of movement on InDesign shuffles your entire document into a new format. But unlike four months ago, I am no longer swearing under my breath every time InDesign tries to take the biscuit. Instead I seem to have become lovingly resigned to it’s antics like a mother attempting to scold her child with a soft “now really dear, I’m quite sure that is not the way to behave.” (I’ve been watching a lot of period dramas lately, and I think the language has gone to my head). Despite the fact that the summer has left my eyes almost permanently semi-closed in a sleepy haze, I seem to be picking up InDesign and the magazine composition well. It turns out having a go and guessing is the best foot forward.
That’s not to say it’s been easy. There are very few things when you have a chronic mental health condition that are. Take going to interview Lord Billimoria. An exciting opportunity, of course. It was my role to record the interview, take photos of the process and make notes. I found this out the day before the shoot and so of course the anxiety over the journey, not knowing where I was going, what I should take, what to wear, whether I’d be able to pick my laptop up afterwards, what time I’d be home, whether I’d be expected to have some kind of a small-talk-centred conversation, kicked in. But I went. I came, I saw, I conquered as they say. Thankfully, after working in music journalism, and completing a degree I’ve become quite adept at note-taking, and it was there that I felt in my element. I can safely say that I didn’t die, I wasn’t sick, I didn’t sink into my Dr Marten’s in sheer awkwardness. I actually did really, really well, if I do say so myself (Who else when they hear that line, thinks simultaneously of both a man in a plum suit, grasping his lapels in the 19th century and Jay Z on Drunk In Love? No one? Really? Just me? Oh, alright then). But I was exhausted.
I don’t think that many people realise how completely enervating it is. Having your adrenaline and your anxiety peak, your moods jump up and down like Tigger on acid, has immediate and lasting effects on both your mind and your body. Fighting alongside those feelings, leaves you feeling weak and small, unable to take up space and claim your own voice. It is so important to realise, whatever kind of business you’re in, the value of your introverted employees and to allow them the space to be heard and when needed, to remain hidden. While on the outside, they may appear unassuming, inside they are passionate, fervent, creative and bold in their choices and will work just as hard, if not harder than anyone else.
I know that I am supposed to write with a beginning, middle and end. I know that I’m supposed to have a profound point, and to link back my ideas to the beginning. But if I try to write that way, when considering my thoughts, my words no longer flow, but become solid masses that stick to the page ungainly. Sometimes an out-pouring of consciousness is all that I have. And whilst I may find life difficult, whilst my arms might be sticking to this desktop, whilst my bracelets may seem to have permanently stained my wrist green (so much for that guy in the pizza shop thinking they were real), I need to remember that whatever I have, in whatever form, IS actually enough.