The inside of my head has its own little weather system, one so complex that the weatherman doesn’t have a hope of predicting its state. Sometimes there are seasons, with a consistent weather pattern swirling round for months at a time. The seasons can be great, because at least you know what you are waking up to, it’s the sudden surprises that can hurt.
Sometimes I will wake up and my entire head will be full of marshmallow. Not the nice delicate homemade kind, but the store bought artificial ones all pink, white and powdery mountains to infinity. On those days I can’t latch on to an idea, there is no depth it is just going through the day with a light touch. I can talk, I can laugh and I can turn up to anything that is already in my diary – but planning? Not a chance. The marshmallow meadow stops me from being able to focus on anything much at all, blog posts don’t move beyond the first sentence and the mere thought of fighting through the soft, squishy marshmallows is exhausting.
Then there are the days or weeks where my little microclimate has all the potential and power of a cresting wave. Everything is possible, each idea just builds on top of the next and the next and the next. Conversation flows like an episode of Gilmore Girls and the world around me crackles like a time-lapse video of daffodils flowering in spring. The wave isn’t afraid. The wave lets me see a hundred different possibilities and draw down through each to its conclusion, being confident to take the next step because I have seen to the end of each option and I know I am choosing the right branch to climb. I can fake the wave with coffee sometimes, and occasionally with red wine and conversations. I love the wave but once it crests all those plans, all those possibilities wash up on the shore, if I’m lucky the impressions of those thoughts will stay with me and continue to excite.
I have a necklace that has been engraved with ‘don’t fly too high’. It’s the moral from the story of Icarus who made wings from wax to escape Crete but then flew too close to the sun and they melted. The Greeks meant it as a warning against ambition, for me it is a reminder that the seductive wave has consequences. I crash hard, I need to see no-one and do nothing. I need sleep, painted nails and an overdose of iPlayer to make me human again. Part of this is being an introvert, I get my energy from being alone. But it is always so hard to explain, I need to cancel plans or be a shitty friend just to be me again. In my little personal weather system after a storm there is always the aftershocks to tough out before finding the calm again.
Don’t get me wrong, the climate of my mind can be fun too. A few times of year, normally around the changing of the seasons, my mind becomes the most perfect Instagram filter. Every experience, every connection with someone is instantly reviewed with through a nostalgia filter. A walk in the park or a dinner out gains a rosy glow before I’ve even caught the tube home. I can exist for weeks like this, when the good becomes like a cherished childhood memory and the bad is looked on with a wry smile as if it was a TV after school special. Life is soft and beautiful, I think some people must go through their entire lives like this.
If there was one word to describe my microclimate it would have to be intensity. It is yet to understand the concept of doing things by halves, a volcano doesn’t ‘kind of’ erupt. I don’t like, I love; I don’t get annoyed, I get stabby; I am either 100% or 10% – the concept of an even keel is a sexy dream. This intensity, these extreme are wondrous though. It means that I can talk for hours about my favourite excel formulas; my tendency towards passion makes me love my job when others would think it’s boring and complex. It makes me extremely loyal in friendships, because my brain makes it an unconditional all or a thoughtless nothing. It certainly makes life interesting.
Then there are days like today, where in my little weather system it is a glassy lake with only a quiet humming breeze to distract me. On days like today I am quiet and calm and I can go deep in my thoughts. It’s like a meditative state, an emotional bubble that helps me process and work through the weather. If I am around friends when my mind is a calm lake it inevitably ends up with a deep and meaningful conversation, at work it’s the start of a detail heavy project. The grey lake, with a toe lazily dragging in the water is the stopping point before launching into the next season, the next storm or volcano. It gives me the certainty over my own thoughts.