Not all those who wander are lost
The last six months knocked my feet from under me with moves that constantly surprised. It’s been week after week of, “What NOW?” and from what I’ve heard and seen, it’s been that way for a lot of us. If it’s you too, I feel you.
With spring and a couple of days of proper sunshine arriving, I already feel the return of some hope, promise, potential. Last summer was abundant in them despite the stress of the day-to-day, and I wondered recently, what was different between then and now? The only rational answer: sunshine.
Hibernation is over and frankly, it can’t pack its pyjamas soon enough. I try to winter well but I simply don’t. Fifty nine experiences tell me so. Or maybe I do but the modern world doesn’t play along? I’m not sure, but I freely admit that I’m a different person in sunlight and warmth. After just two days I feel as if I’ve woken up. Come home. Remembered.
I remembered that I’m the woman who wrote this and meant it. Still mean it.
I remembered I’m the woman who felt this. Still feel it.
Here’s a little back story about her:
At 30, thirteen years after I dropped out of school before my A levels, I went to college to do a vocational course in Journalism and Radio. These days it would probably be Digital Content and Podcasting - how very Substack.
I was a print freak. Music, film, design, culture…I loved them all in magazine form. All teen me had wanted was to write for a music paper and that evolved to dreaming of my very own magazine column where I could be witty, incisive, cool and yet quirkily likeable.
Back in the real world, on completing the course, I was offered a trainee position by this legend at his PR agency. For some reason he then continued to hire me, post-agency, while my personal life fell apart, on a freelance basis. I wrote features, news, reviews, all of the stuff, on a bright blue iMac he bought for me on the understanding I paid him back out of my earnings (I did). I found Charlie with that iMac. Applied to adopt on that iMac. Kept food on my table and in several dog bowls with that iMac. Legend.
A few years on, I got a position with a marine mammal charity I’d long admired. They swiftly moved me from admin to the Marketing and Communications team and there I stayed for 13 years. I left in 2015 to take a year to pursue other interests, then found myself homeschooling. Now that’s done and here I am. Still writing.
I started blogging in 2003. Eventually switched, like so many, to “micro-blogging” in my Instagram captions. Fell permanently out of love with the recent iterations of that platform and made friends with Substack. I think we’re ready to take it to the next stage.
It’s a no-brainer that I love it here. I’m not an author, a literary type, a news journalist or any kind of reporter. I don’t write fiction. I just write to process my endless thoughts. Primarily for myself, but also to communicate and connect with other people in a way that has always been beyond my reach in person. There’s room for all of us here.
All this to say: as I come alive again, I’m reviewing the promise I made to myself that Substack would “be my job”. That I would attend to it with the discipline and devotion I saw for myself as I planned (ha ha ha ha ha) 2023. That I would commit to writing, communicating, and getting better at it.
In honour of my renewed vows, I’ve taken up the one-off option of changing the newsletter’s name without losing all the lovely links I’ve built up. It’s not a decision to take lightly!
Welcome to Uncharted.
This post-50, post-change land that Life’s tides have carried me to is all new.
I’m all new.
It’s wild and interesting and frustrating and bewildering and bloody amazing. Maybe I am too, I think I’ll just write and find out. What could possibly go wrong?