Do you have a song that makes you cry as soon as you hear it? I have a few.

One is our first dance song. Thomas told me what it was years ago, way before we got married. Don't you love that he picked it too? He loves music and gosh I love him. Anything by George Michael or Prince totally gets me too right now as well.

But today's song was a song that makes me happy, not sad. I was listening to it a second ago but now I've swapped to Glenn Miller Moonlight Serenade which reminds me of my Grandad and today I can say that makes me happy too.

Maybe not tomorrow but right now, I'm embracing that I can listen to it. Its beautiful. My Grandad had good taste.

Today's song was Penguin Cafe Orchestra... And as I'm sat at work, my eyes prickle. Tears fall. I used to feel a bit ridiculous when that happened. But after the last 6 months and all the reactive tears, I think people probably just think i have allergies from all the occasional sniffles. Luckily I don't think they realise the sniffles are usually accompanied by silent tears. At least I really hope they don't realise.

Anyway Perpetuum Mobile (by Penguin Cafe Orchestra) comes on the radio. And it reminds me of how happiness feels. We listened to it planning our wedding, it takes me to the beach with sand between my toes, its the sound of holding Thomas's hand and seeing my brand new nephews little face and the way his mouth moves when hes sleeping (is this a baby thing? Either way its adorbs). It reminds me of how I imagine it feels to finally own your own puppy ha. The way it dances in my ears makes me want to dance with my whole body. Its just amazing to listen to and to respond to.

One of the most bizarre lessons Ive learnt so far in my 8 months of having the word happy for my year, especially whilst 6 of those months have been grieving, is that you can be so very happy whilst being so very sad.

For the longest time I was so sad and caught up in negativity that I thought emotions were a scale from happy to sad. Excited to scared. 1 to 10. Perhaps thats because its how we explain our emotions to each other in the most basic way. How happy are you from 1 to 10 right now? Ten being the best score of course.

The older I get the more I realise again and again that its not how I feel about my thoughts thats the problem, but how I think about my feelings. Did I ever post the post I wrote about that? I feel like perhaps not... that fact alone also reminds me that perhaps I won't find wisdom in my old age but in my past, in the things I've already written but never been brave enough to share. In the connections I made then but never had the conviction or trust to believe in at the time. The universe has a way of reminding you the lessons you have to learn though lovely people... the universe can lead a horse to water, but obviously it can't always make it drink either... and its the universe!

Anyway, the point I actually came here to make - 500 words in ha - is that I'm ready to reconnect with you guys - I'm ready to take photos (I've actually got 5 films waiting to be scanned right now, and gosh its the best feeling knowing I took some photos after nearly 6 months of not... tears are falling again because I'm honestly so happy to be back in this place again, grief is a shocking experience, it really is....) and more importantly, I'm ready to give them to you. 

I've listened to two and a half podcasts by Yoga Girl today and in one she talked about vulnerability and giving and receiving (Eadaoin I hope you still read my blog love, you should check this podcast out for sure). Currently Rachel and I have opposite problems... she feels she gives to much - whilst I know that for the past 6 months I've effectively shut down and stopped giving - I just haven't had anything apart from sadness and sorrow to give. Do you remember how in 2015 my word was 'give'? Isn't it funny how the feeling I have the most today, right now... is to give. Give my words, give my experience, give it my all. And to give without worrying about receiving... just to want to give, because its been so long since I really could completely. Again... my wisdom is in my past, I'm sure of it.

Another wonderful lesson I've learnt about happiness this year, is that happiness is right now, considered just another standard - something else to aspire too... 'if you have this, you'll be happy. if you wear this, if you look like this, if you whatever, whenever... you'll be happy.' I must say that I read this idea on the amazing Imogen's Instagram page (its a disabled womans body positivity page, so perhaps don't click if you're at work... theres some skin on show), its not something I came up with - but once I read it, it totally clicked. Happiness is mostly a concept

Oh as I'm writing this, While my Guitar Gently Weeps sung by Regina Spektor just came on my Spotify... this song makes me cry too. Have you seen Kubo and the Two Strings? We watched it not too long after Grandad died and it broke me into pieces, again, its amazing and beautiful. And this song.. just sums it all up perfectly. If you've been blogging for a while, I'm sure that you'll be amused that after 8 years I finally like a Regina Spektor song too haha. 

If you've read this through, thank you - thank you for still connecting with me, after all these years and after a couple of months of not even being here. I'm not really sure if I've made the point that I meant to but its good to be here and its good to write again and I'm excited to share some new photos very soon. 

p.s. I've scheduled this so I don't not post it and I didn't spell check... cos rereading sometimes encourages that save button instead of publish, so please forgive any glaring errors!

An unexpected gift...

For a year where I picked the word 'happy' - I've been so very sad. My Grandad died last month. I'm heartbroken. I'm broken. Yet I feel more me than I've ever felt. Isn't that odd. It wasn't a surprise as such, he's been so sick for a while, his heart was failing him. It was very quick though, when it happened, and I guess I'm most upset because I wanted more time, more of him,  I definitely wanted to get to see him again, yet... here we are. 

He's gone. I'm broken. I'm going to have to rebuild myself... again. I'm really not ok, but I'm probably the most ok I've been for a while. 

I've been thinking about grief - like you do when one - you're a highly sensitive person - and two, you're an over thinker. And the truth is that, its real. Now I understand that is a bit silly of a statement 'of course its real Rhianne - duh' but hear me out.  By real I mean its coming from a very real part of me - a part thats born of love, a part thats true and raw, thats unaffected by the materials of the world - a part of me I'd forgotten existed in the last few years.

In feeling real sadness and heartache, I'm starting to feel more and more real emotions and I'm starting to see my depression for what it is - unreal. Nothing about my depression comes from me. None of it is born in love. None of it is from 'me'.

Grief flows freely from me.

Depression sucks me in and away.

Grief is sadness, unexpected laughter, heartache, devastation, sorrow, forgotten memories, leaking eyes.

Depression is despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, apathy, numbness, ruined nails, a sickness to the stomach.

Grief is carrying me through the days, the time has passed by me faster than I imagined - yet I seem to float through it, somehow getting by, my body reminding me to eat and my mind protecting itself from the usual stresses of the day in order to cope with what it needs to do.

Depression weighs me down, taunts me, provokes me, grinds at me, insults me, lies to me, drags me under, pulls me deeper.

Depression disconnected me, yet somehow, the love for my Grandad, expressed through grief, is reconnecting me - reminding my brain that it knows what to do in these situations (honestly, I'm so blown away with myself its a bit bizarre to witness), reminding my cells that they feel, they love and they can thrive in awful situations.

Now I'm definitely not saying this is easy, or that I'm floating through the days in a good way and I'm definitely not thriving (even if my cells are ok) - I'm not ok. I'm so incredibly sad, I'm at a complete loss of what to do with myself, I forget to eat, then I only eat biscuits and chocolate, I find myself with tears leaking from my eyes (yet I'm not crying?), my thoughts are all over the place, I nearly forgot to get off the train today, tiny things set me off - today it was a bag of potatoes on the floor, one of the potatoes was smashed.

Yet riding this rollercoaster of real... I'm somehow finding the strength to give my depression the finger - to hold my sorrow above my head and shout 'this is real, this is true... you have nothing on this pain, this pain is born of love, this pain is an expression a depth of feeling you couldn't even comprehend - yet alone try and pile on me.'

Depression is cold and heartless, yet today my grief is warm and full of heart - a broken heart yes, but a full one, of love as true and heavy as my sorrow.

And the unexpected gift is that in remembering that I can truly feel sadness how it should be felt - in a real way - I have hope that I can really remember how to feel truly happy too - to remember what happy means and not what it 'should be'. So maybe 'happy' isn't a completely ridiculous word, if in being so sad, I find a way to reconnect to my happy.