I know what you’re thinking… I thought this blog had been condemned, boarded up and likely become a squat. Well, you’re right. I haven’t written so much as a sentence in this derelict space since 2017 and after this I’ll likely not write another. There are a host of reasons for my radio silence. I felt the online world had become flooded with nature blogs, most of which had far more scientific, knowledgeable things to say than this. I also realised I wasn’t interested in any of them. That filled me with self doubt. What is a naturalist? Do you need to be studying biodiversity? Do you need to have a book deal? Do I have anything to say? Does anyone give a shit even if I think I do?!
It’s World Mental Health Day today and if the above didn’t give you a clue, I’ve been battling with depression for the last couple of years. I think in some way maybe everyone does. I don’t talk about it, haven’t written about it and I don’t do much about it, apart from run – really run, I mean, not metaphorically. Running has replaced walking. Walking was what connected me with nature. Nature was what I wrote about. I’m going to go for a walk today but I probably won’t write about it. I might do an instagram story if I’m feeling inspired, because that’s about the limit of my creativity these days – a 24hr disposable clip show with a couple of hashtags and one liners thrown in now and then. It’s an outlet I suppose. I used to call myself a writer. I don’t anymore. I don’t even feel able to write a speech for my brother’s wedding.
I don’t have a very good reason for feeling miserable a lot of the time. I’ve got a lush family and good friends. I am not starving. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know why I feel this way though – my job. Aside from posting instagram stories now and then, I spend most of my waking life trying to teach the youth of St Blazey, which is in the top 10% most deprived areas in the country. It’s fucking hard. Everyday contains some, if not a lot of verbal abuse from children and parents who don’t know how to conduct themselves in society. It’s a vicious cycle. Our school is failing and we’re blamed. I’ve been there a year and I feel completely destroyed by it. Everyday is a battle just to make it to the end without breaking down, then once a week we’ll have an hour or so of ‘You’re not doing enough for these children.’ I had an apple thrown at my head the other day… by an eight year old. I don’t even teach that child. I was simply walking past! Every fibre in my body wanted to turn around and shout but I didn’t. I just died a bit more inside instead. That’ll learn him.
Now, I apologise if you were hoping for a happy ending to this post, there isn’t one. I’m still here, still not really dealing with it, still a bit depressed BUT… last night in my weekly pilgrimage to Par running track, I did meet a hedgehog and help him find a more suitable spot to hang out. My heart grew ten sizes.
Also… Wild Mid Cornwall doesn’t really have the same ring to it.
Stay strong nature fam.