Pavement, terrible metaphors, winter and anxiety.

London street art birds flying

This post is going to be one long and rather terrible metaphor. Long because I don’t know how to do short sentences (side note, apparently Charles Dickens was paid by the word which is why his books were so long…I am not paid {by the word or otherwise} so I don’t have any excuse [in my defence I talk like this too]), and terrible because I failed English and I don’t actually think it’s a metaphor. Oh and its not one maybe-metaphor it’s two. Ok, still with me? Let’s go.

Near my work there has been a bit of pavement cornered off for a couple of weeks. Two weeks of council workers crowding round looking at pipes and exposed wires while one guy did all the digging. I didn’t really even notice the area was cordoned off, barely registered that I had to walk around it. You get so used to things getting in your way when you walk around London that you just adjust your course and keep going. I mean most of the time the obstruction is a group of French school children smoking on a school trip, or an obnoxious banker talking to his mate Tarquin on the phone – but regardless after a while you don’t even notice.

But then today it was different. I rounded the corner and all of a sudden there was a clear footpath, a whole two meters of clear paving stones for me to march over like a boss.

POTENTIAL* METAPHOR WARNING

*because who the fuck knows if it is actually a metaphor

This sudden stretch of clear pavement made me think about anxiety and winter.

That cordoned off piece of pavement near my work is your brain when it’s high on anxiety. Without noticing that you have changed your course, you find yourself covering the same tight path time and time again. Parts of your brain are all of a sudden inaccessible while particular thoughts (normally not great ones) become high traffic. Trapped in this one path you traverse the same route again and again and again. Thanks to anxiety you can’t see a path out either, you didn’t know you were shifting course in the first place. But then like the council finishing roadworks you can suddenly use all the pathways in your brain again, nothing fundamentally changes but your thoughts are more open and chilled. You can use your full footpath again.

And a cordoned off piece of pavement near my work is winter too. February in London has everyone on the edge of insanity, googling holidays in the sun just to get through the day. It’s not the cold, it’s not the dark, it’s not the rain; it’s all of the above. Even in a mild winter, like the one we just had, come the end of February we are all just fucking over it. But I know (trust me here) that give it a few weeks and we will have a whole new pavement to play on. With the vaguely more reliable weather and it actually being light when you leave the office London will open itself up. For a magic few weeks everyone acts like giddy children, staying out far later then they should enjoying the freedom of those two meters of pavement that spring will bring us.

If you are still with me after all that you deserve gin, all the gin.

Happy Friday y’all

1 Comment

  1. Kate
    March 3, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    I TOTALLY agree that winter here sends you bonkers. I don’t know if it’s because the winters are So. Damn. Long. here, or whether it’s the billion and one photos of everyone enjoying their holidays at the beach back home (at a time when daylight lasts approximately 15 seconds…), but my husband and I (both kiwis) realised that we tend to have our annual meltdown about moving back to NZ right around February, every single year (and we’ve almost been here 10 years now, so there’s definitely a pattern emerging).

    You’re also spot on that in a few weeks’ time this seasonal lunacy is conveniently forgotten and we’re starting to get excited about parks and summer and Pimms.