Yes, you read the title right. I just went to the cinema wearing nothing on my legs apart from a pair of thermal bottoms bought for the school ski trip I went on when I was 13 (and until last night when I decided they would make fantastic pyjamas, had only been worn under ski trousers when it snowed). I am aware that this is a little odd given that it is currently May (and therefore summer) in England, but allow me to explain:
- They looked more trouser-like (and were thicker and less see-through) than leggings (which I could never allow myself to wear outside of my house because they make me feel all exposed and I’m kinda weird like that) and I was also wearing underwear before you recoil in horror.
- I didn’t have the energy to change… (this was mostly it, but I’m trying to persuade myself there was more of an active decision making process than my body just saying Mmmm hmmmm, I ain’t got time to be taking off no long johns, I’m trying to keep my eyes open!)
- They were so comfortable and soft that I couldn’t break my own heart by removing them.
- As future flatmate cooked us both up a stirfry in my parent’s kitchen, she pointed out multiple times that “It’s going to be dark, nobody will even see them. They look like trousers” At this point, I was sold (and also briefly kind of almost grateful that my legs are so thin they made a supposedly tight fitted pair of long johns look like trousers). The long johns were staying (is ‘long johns’ starting to sound weird to anyone else at this stage, or is it just me?).
- This is England. England does not do conventional summer weather. It has rained pretty solidly for the past two days, to the point that our driveway and several roads flooded, and the patio in our back garden soon became a riverbed to the water flowing into the swamp that the lawn has become.
- Earlier, in the middle of the day, my phone said it was 13 degrees Celsius. 13 (apparently it only felt like 11 degrees). In summer. I currently have awful circulation because my heart doesn’t want to heart (heading back to the London borough of Tower Hamlets/ HOME, tomorrow to see my regular cardiologist, who will hopefully fix this somehow), and I’ve had a pretty awful day health wise today (which I’ve managed to hide very well from everyone in my house). Also future flatmate and I stayed up far too late last night, and when I woke up in the absence of my dog (who had gone downstairs to vomit EVERYWHERE – not nice to discover at 7am when you’re the only one up) I didn’t feel safe enough to sleep. All three of these things combined mean that today I especially felt the cold. So thermals were just necessary. Poor health instantly teaches you to favour comfort over style.
Now that I’ve justified the whole wearing my newfound pyjama substitute in a public place when the situation meant that I didn’t actually have to (I have frequently been on the London underground, and to lectures, in my pyjamas, on the numerous occasions I left hospital to go and remind people that I existed – if they weren’t going to visit me, I figured I’d just have to walk out and do it the other way round!) I kind of want to rewind back to the start of this post. Forget the whole ‘I just went to the cinema in long johns’ (ok I’m still pretty judgemental of myself for this, but this is not the point any more). I. Just. Went. To. The. Cinema.
Me. Me who last night lost the ability to breathe sufficiently after walking around my house a little, just walked from the car, across the road to the cinema, and then all the way to the furthest screen from the door. I mean… My body astounds me sometimes, and this was a prime example. I climbed Mount Everest to get to our seats, and felt like I’d actually achieved something as the adverts told me to turn of my phone and future flatmate, my little brother, and of course myself, waited to see the new Captain America film (it was awesome, go see it!)
I did something a normal 20 year old would do. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I spent a significant chunk of my afternoon in the kind of involuntary sleep that occurs when your body is all I’m up against so much stuff I don’t know how to human any more so I’m just going to not… You want to keep your eyes open? Well… Oh hey look you’ve been asleep for an hour that plan didn’t go well did it? Trying to talk? Nope, back to sleep. Because finally, after a few weeks of missing out on being able to do anything expected of someone my age at all, I fell back into my own self. I wrapped myself in the comfort of my own skin. I may have been dressed interestingly, and I may have almost passed out multiple times trying to walk out of ‘screen 9’, but for three hours all I cared about was Captain America and Iron Man having an argument. And I mean, the avengers kicked all the health crap out of my mind for a little bit, what more could I ask for than that?
I was aware of but refused to acknowledge how exhausted and unwell I felt. It was my own fault – in the presence of future flatmate I don’t want to appear like a particularly ill person, and stayed up until half past midnight last night (at which point my dog decided he needed to pee, and upon making it outside decided to sing my neighbours and the fox he saw, the song of his people). Even though we just sat on the sofa watching TV (I spent most of my time buried under 34kg of chocolate labrador), staying awake so late was far too much for me in my current level of health, and I paid for it – worth it though! I used to stay up until the early hours of the morning, and the realisation that I won’t achieve that again for quite a while made me feel like a sub-standard version of myself very briefly.
You may think this post is pathetic, you may call the fashion police, you may not understand why this is such a big deal, you even may roll your eyes as many times as I have (in my mind) rolled my own while writing whatever on earth this collection of words has become… But I’m still making an effort not to see myself like that, through the eyes of other people or through my fears of how others may react. And when I look at myself without any of that fear, and without any of that worry, I feel like I’ve just moved a mountain. I probably didn’t even walk 50m. But there was a time little over a week ago where I couldn’t even lift my head.
I did a thing! I finally, the day before a consultant drags my mood through the mud, taught the nervous baby bird of my (whatever this emotion is, I’m not sure there’s a word for it) to fly. It just needed a shove. It just needed a few moments of free fall. And my health and I have been free-falling all day.
I just went to the cinema. I finally came home to myself again.
Not sure why I shared this, I think I’m drunk on tiredness, as it is once again 3 minutes to midnight and I am nowhere near a bed. Anyway, thanks for reading if you did, night.