A fickle farewell

Every so often something trivially dramatic happens in my life to trigger an unexpected yet poignant revelation. Some minor inconvenience that skews the balance of my routine enough for me to gain an alternative perspective of the bigger picture, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

I have always been terrible with phones. Every single mobile ever cursed enough to be in my possession has suffered an ill-fated destiny at the hands of my clumsy and reckless nature, always subject to water damage, multiple cracked screens and occasionally full misplacement (quite an achievement for an object that is permanently glued to my hand).

There was the time my friend and I were in adjacent toilet cubicles and laughed at the sound of someone dropping their phone down the toilet, only to realise it was mine a few seconds later. Somehow I managed to FaceTime my ex boyfriend on it for the entire journey home until it gradually lost battery and died. I put it in a bowl of rice and attempted reviving it to no avail. Two years later someone recommended I check the charging port for any dirt that could be blocking it, and lo and behold, a loose grain of rice was lodged in there and it worked perfectly after all!

On another occasion I lost my iPhone whilst hammered on a night out, so returned to the ladies toilets in case I’d left it there. To my horror I discovered a group of girls desperately trying to salvage it under the hand dryer, meaning it must have fallen out of the back pocket of my skinny black jeans and into the bog. Unsurprisingly, that one didn’t make it.

Or the time I left one on the front seat of an Uber after helping a drunken new mate get safely back to her AirBnB in central London; the drama that ensued being painfully difficult and ended up with Josh and I driving to Essex to retrieve it from the taxi driver himself.

Not to mention the countless occasions I have dropped, trodden on and unwittingly thrown my phone onto unanticipatedly hard surfaces, smashing the glass to smithereens thanks to pathetic cases not offering much support.

So when upgrading to an iPhone 10 last year, I decided to invest in a pricey but protective (not to mention very funky) Casetify case and tempered glass screen protector, to give the phone a fighting chance at survival.

This was genuinely the best move I could ever have made and I would definitely recommend the brand to anyone as disaster prone as me! Despite a number of accidents there is no exterior damage and as the case is shock-proof all bases are covered… well, nearly all of them anyway.

You’d have thought by now I’d be shit hot at backing up the contents of my phone as a precaution to any blunders, yet I still stubbornly ignore the frequent warnings that both my iCloud and phone storage are full.

My terrible track record was almost completely cleared until my iPhone decided to crash the other day, getting stuck in what the internet calls a ‘restart loop’. Ironically, only hours prior to this I had surrendered and purchased more storage, as the aggravation of not being able to download any more apps or use the camera became too much. I stayed up until the early hours pleading with an Apple supervisor to help me, before finally calling it a night and convincing myself I would solve it in the morning.

Long story short: I had to reset the factory settings, which consequently wiped everything that wasn’t backed up – essentially the last two years’ worth of photos and messages. Thankfully somehow my notes were synced to my iPad so I salvaged the writing drafts I’d been working on.

In the moment, I was distraught. It may sound silly and materialistic, but the some 10,000 images and videos clogging up that device captured precious memories and special events, were a source of comfort to flick through in times of doubt or melancholy, and provided media for my creative channels.

I felt incredibly sorry for myself despite knowing the bitter truth that it was totally preventable and all my own fault, however it goes to show how flimsy and unreliable the technology we weave into our lives really can be.

A lovely friend reminded me that all the good times live on in my mind and can’t be erased simply because there’s no material evidence they happened, which soothed my fragile ego and reminded me not to be so fixated on recording everything for the benefit of my camera roll or social media. I’ve ordered some fresh film for my Polaroid and, although the same principle applies here, I’ll try to use this as a spontaneous method of photography.

This situation is the exact kind of thing I have to attach a deeper meaning to, otherwise I would have just sat and cried about it for weeks. So I’m taking it as a sign from the universe that I’m once again burning the candle at both ends and need to shuffle my priorities a little.

I have been trying to juggle blogging, starting my novel, work and hobbies for a few months now and honestly it’s overwhelming and hindering any progress. Dividing my energy across multiple projects is splintering the quality of the output, and I’d rather reflect on what I really want to achieve and focus solely on that.

Recently I have been criticising myself for not being able to keep up with other writers and creatives I see on Instagram and online, who seem to churn out continuous cycles of content while I struggle to complete one blog post.

I now understand that many of these people are freelance or full-time writers, and that I simply do not have the capacity to compete while also committing to my professional career, so need to stop comparing my achievements to those of others.

On losing those photos I lost some content I had been planning for future posts, and it dawned on me that I am spending the vast majority of my days curating outfits and pictures. While I love sharing my fashion and thrifted finds, this isn’t where my heart lies at the moment. The enjoyment of it is clashing with the gut feeling that it has become a chore.

I’m saying farewell to the blog for now, so I can anchor my attention elsewhere and nurture those plans that have been sat on the backburner. It’s not goodbye forever as I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away for too long, but after regularly maintaining the blog for over four years without much more than a few months off I want to try a new form of literary expression.

There is still a lot of ideas I want to write and share, although I’m yearning for longer, dedicated periods to curate posts I’m proud of by formulating and developing pieces when I’m inspired rather than squeezing them out each week.

In addition, I’m figuring out how I can restyle and mix up outfits to reduce my effect on the environment, which I think will be helped by not constantly divulging the entire depth of my wardrobe on here. The weekly update format has definitely encouraged me to wear more on rotation as I’m not assigning singular ensembles to each post.

The photos included in this blog are those I have managed to shoot in the time since the storage incident! Evenings have been spent watching day turn into night, finally meeting friends whose faces I have missed dearly, and I even took a day off to visit the beach with my sister and niece which was incredibly restorative. It’s my birthday next week and I’ll be spending with Josh it in (hopefully) sunny Cornwall, which is unbelievably exciting after the restrictions of lockdown.

Take care and with any luck I’ll be back chatting shit again soon! I’ll be active on Instagram in the meantime.

Let’s face it, though, I will probably never learn to back up my phone.

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