She thought, "If I close my eyes I can't cry"

She laid on her bed, her pillow arranged in such a way that she could cuddle it for comfort.
Curtains pulled closed.
The world shut out.
She felt them start, brewing away. The warmth and the tingle rising.

She thought...
"If I close my eyes they won't appear"
"If I close my eyes they won't fall"
"If I close my eyes, I can't cry"

She closed her eyes gently at first, then tighter. Head buried in the pillow as extra protection.

The tears couldn't break through. And with those under control, all she had to do was breathe.
That's it. That's all she had to do.
Then she would be ok.

Calm, so she thought, she kept her eyes closed.
"If I sleep this will all go away"
"If I sleep I won't feel this anymore"

Hearing a noise, she opened her eyes.
And then she realised, you can cry with your eyes shut.
One. Two. Three. Four.
Heavy, warm tears fell from her eyes and down her face, onto the pillow.
Taking her by surprise.
She left her eyes slightly open, letting the remaining tears roll down her cheeks, no longer holding them in.

Knowing there was nothing to comfort her she slowly closed her eyes.
"If I sleep this will all go away"
"I can't cry if I sleep".



The Gap in the Curtains

She welcomes the gap in the curtains. One she might usually huff at and, annoyed at herself for not closing them properly, will dramatically get out of bed to rearrange, tutting as she goes. 

She opens the windows slightly, unsure really of what she will be woken up to during the night or in the morning but for now the peacefulness is as welcome as the breeze of fresh air filling the room.

Everything else is dark and quiet. 

The light coming through the curtains from street lights, the noise of distant cars, reminding her that outside of these walls life is there. And she isn't alone. 
No matter how much she feels it. 
She isn't alone. 

After a while of feeling so sure and confident of herself she all of a sudden feels so overwhelmed. 
Consumed in thoughts of self doubt and "Why am I here?" "What am I doing?" and a resentment of "Why can't you see what I am capable of?" "Why can't you appreciate all I have to give?".

She looked in the bathroom mirror. The reflection of numerous tattoos, long black claw-like pointed fingernails, dark hair. A chubby girl. She liked it. She was happy (would rather not be chubby but she made herself this way and accepts it)
This is the shell. And as life goes on she isn't sure what this shell is supposed to look like. 
How it is supposed to be dressed. The colours it wears. The type of nails. The length of the hair. 
She has days when she can see herself and feel so content with "this is who I am!" but the echoes of previous voices of others and the words she has told and still tells herself make her crash down with self doubt. 
She looked again in the mirror. Wondering if the reflection of numerous tattoos, long black claw-like pointed fingernails, dark hair, is what holds her back. 

"Do other people not like this?" "What are they thinking of me?" 

Her only "friends" are work colleagues or her cats. And even then, she questions what they think about her and her worth (other than the cats. The cats definitely love her). 
She leaves work and goes home, exhausted by how much she analyses how someone looked at her, spoke to her. Their body language. "What are they thinking of me?!"

And hiding away feels like the only option. Be alone. Be away from everyone. That way. You won't feel those things. 

But loneliness becomes too much sometimes. 

She welcomes the gap in the curtains. The slightly open window. 
Her reminder that outside those walls. The world is continuing. 
As she will too.



She Breaks

She laid on her bed. The light off. The evening darkness rolling in, the only light coming from the opening in her curtains.
She listened to the cars outside. To the rain hitting the window.
She looked out at the glittering light bouncing on the raindrops resting against the glass.

She hadn't felt like this for a while.
Like she doesn't know who she is.

Only this afternoon was she thinking how badass she felt and how for the first time in so long she felt as though she could achieve anything. Like all the plates were spinning in time.
Confident in everything she does. Confident in her full control in every area of her life.
Confident in her choices.

And then suddenly it went dark. Not black. But dark.
She was reminded of how hard things can be. The challenges. The lack of support.
The feeling alone and feeling like it's her against this big monster. The monster that chases her that, for a while, seemed to be a big distance away.

And for a moment she laid there. Scared because she can't remember how this feels.
There have been some horrible moments this year. And it's been dark before but she managed to get through it.
She managed to be strong enough to crush her way out.
But right now she feels like she is still falling and there is so much darkness set to come.

She lays there in the dark and hears the cars driving past.
The rain now nothing but drops on the window and puddles on the road.

Tomorrow things will be better. She tells herself.
She reminds herself that despite the dark she will put on that mask and smile and not let anyone see the cracks underneath.
The fact that despite having a hold on some of her life, she feels confused about other areas.
About areas that are now grey and cloudy and empty.
And the areas which she feels she is clinging onto so bad.

And then.
Her eyes fill with tears.
Her heart races.
Her tummy clenches and there is the feeling almost like butterflies.
The warm tears fall down her face.
She breaks. 



Five Things: Isle of Man TT 2019

I had booked my ferry journey for the Isle of Man last year and ended up selling it thinking I wouldn't go. I had a boyfriend who wasn't keen on going and we had plans to go to other places so I sacrificed what I loved for that. Having not gone last year and the state I was in due to that (seriously, the sport and island mean that much to me) I knew it probably wasn't the best idea to not go but I really thought it would be worth it.
I still had the TT week booked off work and with the relationship ending I instead planned to take the boys away on a caravan holiday in the UK. Except a month before I had an email from the ferry company saying there were still spaces to be able to get over to the Isle of Man for TT week. I checked and there was availability for half term week. 
Despite always saying it was "my" thing and that I wasn't sure I would take my boys I went ahead and booked. I booked camping for the three of us at the usual camp site. Then phoned them in tears of happiness and excitement to tell them. 
They were surprisingly excited too (Charles more than Harry) which really made me feel like I'd made the right choice.
The holiday there was going to cost less than a caravan in England, plus with the added bonus of them experiencing the sport and getting to visit my favourite island, it was the most sensible decision really. 
Here are five of my highlights from this years Isle of Man TT.



Going Home

I didn't go to the Isle of Man last year. I had been to Fuerteventura and had plans to go to Cyprus which soon changed due to moving house and funds, and instead went camping in Scotland.
I didn't tell anyone just how broken I felt not going.
I went to my car in my lunch breaks at work to listen to the racing. I was constantly refreshing Twitter and Facebook looking at race updates. Looking at any Isle of Man and TT related hashtags on Instagram.
I don't really believe in regrets but I can't forgive myself for not going.

I was due to go this year, booked a ferry with 2 weeks between arrival and departure and due to a comment made by my ex-boyfriend ended up selling the crossing. I wasn't going to go. I thought I'd be fine. Then we split up and I knew that there was no way I would be able to cope not going to the island.
I had half term booked off and was going to take the boys away to a caravan in the UK. Surely that would be enough to take my mind off not going?

I just curiously looked at flights to see if it was an option but at over £1000 for the 3 of us one way I knew it wasn't possible....
Then I had an email one day stating there were ferry crossings available. I looked thinking it would just be for foot-passengers or bikes but no...half term week I could go in my car, with my boys, for around £350.
Quick maths of the ferry crossing plus the price of camping for those 5 days made me realise I could combine a holiday with the boys with my yearly dream trip.
I phoned them at their dads just to make sure they were happy to go....but in all honesty I knew that I had to go so if they said no I would have gone by myself and would have taken them away later in the year.
Which might sound selfish, but I knew that if I'd instead taken them on holiday to anywhere else in the UK I would not have had a good time and wouldn't have been the best mum I could be.

An hour later the ferry was booked and so was the campsite.
And the tears didn't stop.

Not only am I going to the Isle of Man, my children are too. And as nervous as this makes me because I like to focus on the racing and this is usually "my thing" I am SO excited for them to experience everything about the racing. For them to understand why I feel so passionately about it. But also for them to visit the place that I truly believe is my spiritual home.
For them to visit the place that made me who I am now.

The thing I am most anxious about, is how I cope with my emotions as we get to the island. How I cope with my emotions when we hear on the radio that the first bike is away. How I cope with my emotions when we are waiting for the first bike to come past. How I cope with my emotions when we walk around the paddock and I get to show them the racers if they are there.
How I cope with my emotions when Michael Dunlop rides past us. When I get to point and say to my boys "there he is!!!" or point out his bike and trailer at the paddock.

It's only 4 and a half days but I'm going home.
I'm going home and I am taking my babies with me and my heart, despite the anxious feeling, already feels so full and excited at the thought.



It was May last year I first discovered Imagine Dragons. Two of their songs were playing on the radio at work, one called Thunder which I LOVED instantly and another, which became my theme for the TT that year.

Whip, whip
Run me like a racehorse
Pull me like a ripcord
Break me down and build me up
I wanna be the slip, slip
Word upon your lip, lip
Letter that you rip, rip
Break me down and build me up
Whatever it takes
'Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do whatever it takes
'Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
You take me to the top I'm ready for
Whatever it takes
'Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do what it takes

With lyrics that will always remind me of the TT because they fit so well and because the lyrics are just incredible in so many ways, this has become one of my most favourite songs, and is regularly played in my house and in the car.
As well as the lyrics above that all made sense and with with the TT, I realised that there were some other lyrics that stood out to me and almost felt louder whenever I listen/ed to the song.

I'm an apostrophe
I'm just a symbol to remind you that there's more to see

The more I listened to the song the more those words seemed so prominent and so fitting. And over time I just felt like I needed that part of my story added to me, as I have with other things.
And that feeling of getting it tattooed on me was so strong that within 4 days of completely making my mind up I was sat at my tattooists.
I had designed an apostrophe which also incorporated a yin yang. I wanted it small and actually wanted it somewhere where I could see it and be reminded, and not having it hidden within my sleeve. 

 The yin yang is simple: describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin) , and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang) , whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

The apostrophe, the little symbol to remind me of the words in the song. "I'm just a symbol to remind you that there's more to see", means a lot in terms of who I am and how I should be seen.

I've always felt, and in fact it's a fact...not just me overthinking, that people have this certain image of me. Mainly, I guess, because I can be a bit sassy, and because I am confident when it comes to certain things, open about talking about pretty much everything. Because I am quite comfortable talking about sex.
But soon you come that and nothing else.
Because you once said you enjoy sex then, as a single person, you must want it all the time with absolutely anyone and everyone.

But there is more to me than that, and sometimes people either just don't want to know, don't care enough, or just want to see what they want to see, or even worse, just don't believe it.
They've made their mind up and that's it. They'll say they care about you, have a soft spot for you, that you are an amazing person...and in the next breathe [or message] will immediately turn it round to something sexual "because we know what you are like".

It's not even that though. It's seeing past the being a mum, seeing past being divorced, seeing past the fact that I have put on weight, that my hair is now dark, that I have a lot more tattoos than I thought I would, that I don't have the particular accent you expected me to have....or that I own 4 cats...I
was never meant to own 4 cats!

That tattoo is a reminder to me, that no matter what anyone says or how anyone makes me feel there is more to me and it is absolutely their choice to not want to see that. But I can be there to remind them that I am better than what they may assume about me.
That not only is the symbol there as a point of reference when someone else is making me feel a certain way, but when I also doubt myself.
When I wonder who I am, what I am. When I am not my greatest fan. I can look down at that tattoo, at the peach tattoo on my other wrist, that "you can be the ripest, juicest peach but someone will always hate peaches" and to remind myself that there is more to me.
That no matter what people see or who people meet, there are these different sides and different layers.

That's the story of my apostrophe.

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