It’s easy to forget…

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This post is less about food and more about lifestyle. I had a contemplative moment and realised that it’s easy to forget our past. When the grass is green, you’re surrounded by friends and you feel a sense of self and settledness, it’s easy to forget a time without the things you love, and sometimes take for granted.

My twenty-four year old self is happy and incredibly blessed. I don’t just have a job, I have a career. I’m engaged to the loveliest, sexiest man I know. We live in a nice apartment. We eat delicious food and drink good wine (and gin). We have truly lovely and wonderful friends. Yes, we’re a bit skint and wish we could buy a house and book our wedding, but how many twenty-something’s can afford all that stuff these days anyways? We have it all. And I forget the days when I had nothing. It feels so long ago.

Mum struggled for money. She was a single Mum who only lived off the state when she needed to. Her illnesses meant that she had to have time off work sometimes, but when she could she worked and worked hard. Not like some people these days who get away with doing jack-all. She used to do the big shop on a Friday after school at Kwik Save and Farmfoods, before getting a bus home and carrying it up a big hill. It was a struggle. But I forget that.

When she died I had nothing but the contents of a bedroom. I didn’t even have anywhere to live at first. Eating nice food and drinking nice wine were at the bottom of my to-do list. Survival and sanity were my primary focus. At one point I went through a phase of having crackers and cheese for tea from Netto, and pasta when I could, because I was skint. I’d forgo nutrients and a good meal when needed to make sure I could get to work and have some sort of a life. Mad really. Now, even though we have a food budget, it’s very generous, and I wouldn’t dream of skipping a full meal to pay for something else. I forget those days – it’s like that wasn’t even me.

I’ve been skint, homeless, lonely and struggled to make ends meet. Yet when I’m at home in our apartment, sat reading a book with the free headspace I’ve recently acquired, or watching a film on my Mac or taking pictures with my Nikon, or texting friends on my iPhone or serving dinner to our best friends at our own table, with our own crockery and cutlery and wine glasses filled, with wine we bought with our own hard earned money, I totally forget everything.

Is it because it no longer defines who I am? Or because it’s so ingrained in my personality that I don’t even need to acknowledge it anymore? I don’t know.

What I can tell you is that every now and again it’s good to remember. Not to wallow or feel sorry for myself, but to simply remember, so I can somehow comprehend just how lucky I am today.

Until tomorrow

Hayley Jayne xx

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5 Responses to “It’s easy to forget…”

  1. judilyn

    Great post, Hayley! I haven’t had it as tough as you, but there were plenty of “tight” years in my life. It does really make one so much appreciate what one has! Love your style (like mine) of making something so delicious out of what is on hand.

    Reply
    • hayleyjaynefood

      Ah thank you! I think the quote at the start of my post says it all… it’s always good to look back, so you can see how far you’ve come 🙂 x

      Reply
  2. Marishka Van Steenbergen

    Hi Hayley Jayne,

    I’ve been getting your blog posts for a while now and I have really enjoyed them…I especially enjoy the ones like this! Very inspiring!

    I run a website called Sheffield Unchained (www.sheffieldunchained.co.uk) which is all about independents in Sheffield- we tell the stories behind independents, how they came to be where they are now etc.

    I have been meaning to get in touch with you for ages as I was wondering whether you would like to write for Sheffield Unchained? You often write about local food etc, so I think you’d fit right in!

    If not, the least we’d like to do is to meet with you and find out your story…as I’m sure it will be very inspiring and fascinating!

    Please do get in touch: marishka at sheffieldunchained.co.uk

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Marishka

    Reply
  3. John Hutson

    Glad I read this 🙂 Great words and a fantastic insight.

    Really pleased with how far you’ve come and where you’re at now.

    Reply

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