It’s genuinely quite frightening the affect that boredom and malaise have on your soul and it wasn’t until I quit my job that I realised the profound effect it had on me. It had sapped my confidence to zero, I found it difficult to enjoy anything or get excited about doing anything, and that was before I ever factored in my predisposition to depression and anxiety.
So, having trudged my way back to some semblance of mental health through an extended period of joblessness, it was quite astounding the effect even a minimal amount of confidence (somebody wanted to hire me, yay!) had on my general wellbeing. Excitement!Ideas!Plans! were all afoot and it was a peculiar yet familiar feeling. One I’d not embraced in years and only emphasised JUST HOW MISERABLE I’D BEEN.
Basically, I’d grown bored with missing out on things because I didn’t feel confident enough to invite friends to events, particularly anything feminist or political. My go-to friend for these sorts of things has moved to Hong Kong, and whilst I love my friends dearly I would feel a profound sense of guilt if I dragged them along to everything I fancied attending and because they’re lovely they’d be too polite to say no. So this new found lust for life has had me extending myself to just saying ‘Fuck it’ and heading off of my own to things I might not have gone to otherwise – and it’s lead to a whole new bunch of incredible experiences that I’m excited to be a part of. As a natural cynic, positivity doesn’t usual sit well in amongst my personality but the past few months have been full of it and it’s nice to be able to admit that.
It all kicked off with attending a couple of days at WOW – I’ve been before to a couple of selected talks but I’d never been for a full weekend of events. It was exhausting in so many ways but incredibly inspiring too. It also got me up off my considerable arse and in the right frame of mind to lend my time in some small way to the advancement of women. I’ll go into more detail on this another time as I’ve met a bunch of women who really do deserve more than a few scant lines, but suffice to say the project I’m contributing to is fantastic and in turn it’s making me a better person.
And so, bolstered by my new found confidence, amazing festivals, volunteering work and so on, I appear to be lending my hands, time and money to whoever will have me. Something that recently caught my eye and made me subsequently rage was an article on sanitary protection for homeless women.
#TheHomelessPeriod initiative have recently been getting some great press coverage – and rightly so. The fact is that homeless women have limited or no access to sanitary products, which means they’re often forced to go without. Where homeless shelters receive some funding towards items like condoms and razors, there is no provision for sanitary protection. More often than not they rely on donations, or siphon funds from elsewhere in the budget to pay for a completely necessary everyday item.
The more I’ve thought about this, the more it enraged me so I decided to set up a small crowdfund. The project were encouraging people to donate towels and tampons to local shelters, and I thought I could bump up my own donation by asking friends to chip in too. Having originally aimed to collect £100, I’ve ended up with over £250, with more donations coming in slowly and surely.
Once more, my usual cynicism was crushed by people being nice.
So I’ve been hitting the shops to spend the fund, enjoying the looks on cashier’s faces when I attempt to buy £90 worth of tampons, and getting stuck in researching projects who might benefit most from this sort of donation. Over the last two weeks, these have all come to fruition and I’ll be scribbling a little more about what I’ve raised and where it’s going, in an attempt to say thank you to my kind contributors, and let them know exactly who their money will be helping.