Open eyes on a Tuesday morning.

In my own dazed daydream on a Tuesday morning heading across London to meet my brother, sister in law and baby nephew, I’m two coffees in and although I’m a little sleepy, my eyes are wide open.

I’ve never commuted for work aside from a couple of weeks I spent doing an internship with my other sister in law when she worked in the fashion industry at a head office based just off Oxford Street when I was 21.

I quickly realised that not only the fashion industry but also the commuting lifestyle is not for me and I’m lucky that I’ve found a career that doesn’t require dragging myself across towns, dashing from train to train every morning.

This morning is different. I woke up as I normally do to my 7:18 alarm with my man beside me, but not to get myself ready for the usual daily 6 minute drive down the country lanes to work, but to head across London to see my family. I got the 8:50 from Hurst Green just down the road from my house, so presumably most of the people on the trains I’ve taken are either starting work later, on their way to different meetings or, perhaps, like me are on their way out for a leisurely day.

I have my headphones in, listening to a very chilled acoustic mix on Spotify so I am well and truly in my own little world, but I look around and observe. Like me, most people are on their own, so I automatically assume they’re on their way to work. Perhaps not, but that’s my assumption. First of all, I noticed the first thing I would naturally notice – about 80% of people have a coffee cup in their hand and I start thinking about that. My thoughts wander from the mixture of different branded cups from takeaway chains to the reusables. I wonder whether those people brought them from home or if they took their reusable to their favourite kiosk en route to the train. What’s in there? I start to wonder. How bizarre is it that the coffee culture is so universal, I begin to think. How many of these people are drinking black coffee? Is it tea? Or an oat milk latte? I wonder what the lady opposite me with her ceramic mug covered in bees is drinking.

I then find myself thinking how strange I am, spending my Tuesday morning on a train to visit my family silently analysing the population’s morning routines, drinking habits and flavour choices. I rationalise by the fact I own a coffee shop and it genuinely interests me, but without actually ever knowing the answer to the questions I’m asking myself, I realise I’m simply just a little bit odd.

My mind returns to the music in my ears and I’m silently singing along (fortunately for everyone else) listening intently to the lyrics and enjoying the fact that nothing is going through my mind other than the present moment.

As I approached my first stop, I prepared myself to get off and began wondering where everyone else was heading. Clapham Junction, one of the busiest stations in Europe apparently, was full of individuals darting from one platform to another. I could tell they were used to this. I, on the other hand, had no clue which way I was going. I got off and walked to platform 17 only to find out I actually needed to be at platform 1 so I turned around and walked leisurely to the other end of the station. No panic, no fret, no stress. I was taking in what was going on around me and I seemed to be the only person that wasn’t on a mad morning dash.

On platform 1, the train was waiting. It was the beginning of the line so people piled in one by one and assumed their positions on the overground. I took a perch and leant against the little cushions they have that allow space for buggies, bikes and the like. Nobody needed that space so I leant back against it. I was only 4 stops from my destination so I left the empty seats for others to fill.

My short time on this train is what has sparked me to write this this morning.

As I looked down the open train, it hit me: I’m not the only one that’s odd.

90% of the people on that train were staring at their phones. I looked over the shoulders of the people I could see and most of them were scrolling and swiping through various social media platforms. Instagram to my left and Facebook to my right. Opposite me thumbs were moving up and down screens and I just stopped in my tracks, perplexed for a second.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I use social media. I use it for work, I use it for fun, I use it to reach audiences for my food, I use it for inspiration – be that fashion, holiday destinations, exercising or motivational quotes – and I use it in boredom. But one thing I inherently do not use it for, is to compare my life to others. I have always been very conscious not to fall into that trap.

Again, I went back to wondering what people were looking at. What were they thinking? What do other people use social media for and what are they trying to achieve with their scrolling thumbs?

Yes, we are all individual. We are all unique and in that, we all have our own strange habits and quirks. But this morning on my journey across London, it hit me.

I am a really happy young woman. I may be divorced at 31 but I loved my twenties and unfortunately the future I thought I was going to have at 25 took a different route. I had a rough year or two but today, I’m on my feet and in a really good headspace. I’m here right now and wouldn’t change a thing. I run my own business that comes with its struggles but I am on my own timeline. Although I don’t make the same money I used to make when working on yachts, I have a better quality of life and that’s a sacrifice I was more than happy to make. It may be with help but I own my own house that I absolutely love, I can pay my bills and I eat well. I may not make the same money my friends make but I work for myself so have the freedom to take a Tuesday off work to visit my baby nephew. I have what I need to enjoy nice evenings out and take a few trips away when I get the time.

I’m in a new relationship with somebody I absolutely adore. It has a whole host of complications and it may not be what I thought would happen when I separated from my husband but life has taken me on a journey that I am really happy with and I get to share it with somebody I care deeply about.

I don’t need to compare my career, body size or shape, my relationship or financial status to anyone on social media. I share what I want to share and I log the moments I want to remember – the good and the bad. Equally, I don’t need validation for what I’m doing. I am more than entirely aware that social media is a highlight reel of falsified reality. Nobody is happy 100% of the time and we are fools if we believe otherwise, so I’ve always been conscious to remind myself that when I do find myself scrolling through different posts that pop up on my timeline. But then I think, isn’t that an odd concept in itself? Why do we need to sit and watch what other people are up to through our screens? I’ve been guilty of feeling like I’ve caught up with friends because I’ve seen what they’re up to when in reality, I don’t know if they are actually enjoying whatever it is they are up to or sharing online. I make an effort to text to ask how people are instead of just hitting a button. On the flip side of the coin, social media platforms all connect us to our friends and family all over the world and have so many positive features of course, it’s just remembering to use these platforms in ways that benefit us as opposed to in any negative way.

Ultimately, my journey this morning has reminded me of my own journey through highs and lows. We will all reach our destination eventually one way or another and our destination may change along the way, but all we should ever strive for is happiness and fulfilment, which is something that is unique to every one of us.

What makes me happy won’t necessarily be what makes you happy and that is absolutely fine. It’s what makes us each who we are, our individuality and that’s what needs celebrating. So let’s not wrap ourselves up in other people’s lives and judge the way other people live because let me tell you, there’s only one truth if you’re continuously doing that: you haven’t reached your own happiness.

People all live in their own worlds and whether that’s sitting wondering what drinks people are drinking in the morning or, probably, doing something entirely different, that’s absolutely fine. So as I embrace my own quirks, I urge you to embrace yours.

And as I arrive at my brother’s house, rounding off this post, the lyrics I’m listening to are by James Bay: why don’t you be you and I’ll be me.

So I’ll just leave that there and wish you a Happy Tuesday, because for reasons of my own, I bloody love a Tuesday.

LL. xo

One Comment Add yours

  1. Nolene says:

    Amazing content and beautifully written


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