Im originally from the Northern hemisphere, the place that changes seasons and has too many timezones. I spent large part of my growing up years in Moscow, Russia. It’s not freezing there, but i know what below zero temperatures feel like.
But quite a while ago my family moved near the equator. The perpetual summer, paradise island of Gods. For me it was a time in the shadow, hiding from life and sun altogether. So i was doing everything i could to leave.
So now we are back in England. February 2020. Pandemic starting, fear spreading. My relationship/breakup unraveling. Winter in my heart, the outside … and inside the flat.
Our heater broke. Actually the radiator in the room stopped working first, so the kitchen was the only warm cozy place to be in. And then when it got checked, they turned the whole heating off entirely in the fear it can leak into the flat.
So the two weeks of winter hell commenced.
We always think that hell is burning, but there’s definitely a place for at least one ring of hell to have an eternal winter.
As what i felt through those weeks was awful. I had my battles with depression before and this was on a totally different level. I didn’t want to wake up, i didn’t want to eat, but at the same time that was the only thing i was doing. Any kind of work or art was out of the question as just getting out of bed was impossible. It was cold, and none of my numerous blankets could help me. My thoughts were dark and dull. I was in a cage of my eternal nightmares.
Most day i was alone in the house. cold, sad and in bed. Most likely sleeping, as that is the only thing your body wants to do if you constantly live in 10 C.
Apparently we are more close to animals than we think. Winter hibernation works on us just the same as bears, snakes or other creatures.
But I had my monster, and my eye was starting to open very slowly. The coldest time became my biggest reflection.
I thought if i will leave and change my surroundings, things will be different, things will change.
I blamed a lot of my problems on the perpetual hot. I thought i was longing for seasons, for cold, for changes. Only to realise that perpetual cold is worse.
To realise that what i was longing wasn’t the cold but the coziness it brings. That moment when you go outside, air is crisp and heavy, and you walk in to the door to the warmth, to the comfy, to the cuddles and blankets. It’s the contrast i lacked, not the cold.
During that time i also started to discover who I am, what I am, what I like and what I don’t like. I started making small steps in shedding the programs and rules my parents have imposed on me over all my years growing up. It was first steps into the transformation.
I uncovered that my desire for a desk was a distraction from my inner turmoil. I didn’t need a desk to make art, I needed motivation. The desk was just an excuse for me to say that i can’t. And when i got one, of course, i wasn’t using it. It wasn’t the core issue. Needless to say, i work very well on three bar stools put together near my couch. I never really needed a desk.
Same with working at night. Im a night owl. When i came to England, i didn’t have a chance to work at night. I was scared to wake people up, distract them or annoy them. So i thought if we moved, things would be different. So we moved, but the dilemma stayed. I was afraid to wake up my boyfriend, or not allow him go to bed on time. So i didn’t work at night. Possibly that was another excuse i made to myself.
What I realised now is that, it doesn’t actually matter: morning, noon or night. If I have work to do, I will do it regardless of time. If I have art to make, I can make it until 5 in the morning or I can start at 5 in the morning. And if this is what I need and what I want to do, I will do it regardless if I will be a nuisance for someone.
Through cold and the demons it brought with it, it made me shed my layers, and allowed me to emerge what was inside me all along.
“Who would have known that heat is fundamental. I always enjoyed the cold, but when it came to my doorstep, I wasn’t ready. But all kinds of demons were, they all queued up and barged in, like a gigantic wave. Alongside them, all the negative feelings flooded as well.
And maybe this cold has been a premonition of the cold in our plushie hearts.”
- little green monster