Certainty. There is no such thing of course. Not any longer, at least. There never really was. I just wanted to think there was. To believe it was achievable. I breathed it in. If I can only do that, I used to think, be with that person, earn that kind of money, acquire that thing, all will be well. It never was, I’d turn a corner and a whole new set of doubts would be there facing me. It isn’t the achieving, the getting there, the decision-making but the travelling toward. And what happens along the way. I know this, the sagacious me, knows this and welcomes it. It’s the learnt strength what counts. What have you learnt? What scar tissue have you developed? How much stronger are you? It isn’t romantic. It never was, I just made it so. It is humdrum mostly. An endless waiting. Yes, but how do you wait? Are you clenched-up like a fist or at ease like an oak tree, steady but open to the sun, the sky, the air and all that passes underneath and above it?

What a revelation. I can recycle it, chuck it, unplug it. Get rid. I’ve never liked it. A cheap, tacky thing that never worked properly and used an inordinate amount of batteries. The other phones seem to work fine without it. We shall see.

It’s going to be a lovely day. Such promise.

They’ve buggered up our pay. It had to happen sooner or later. And this is an example of uncertainty manifesting itself. How will I respond? Will I catastrophise – telling myself that this is it they will only pay the basic from now on? Or will I breathe and calmly wait for it to be resolved?

I get quite stressed at the thought of it. I’ve never responded well to them, they flummox me. Online forms. Yesterday it was for HMRC and today it is for a visa waiver for the US. Just be steady. It will make sense in the end.

It really unsettled him. Our neighbour parking his car in another bay really unsettled him. We all have our numbered slots. Ours is round the back. And how he hates it when someone takes our space. It winds him up like mad. He, my darling boy, does like rules. More than you’d think. He believes it is about respect, paying dues to what belongs to someone else. He can come in quite shaken. It’s the anger, he doesn’t want to lose control. So when our neighbours blue BMW was in another neighbours’ place he was truly flummoxed. His space is empty, he said, why has he done that? Perhaps he’s on holiday and their guest has parked it there in error. He wasn’t away. I saw the light on in his window this morning. Has he asked him yet? Has he solved the conundrum?

There is a plan, said the man with no teeth and the Siamese cat that miaowed all through the reading. There is a plan, I can tell you that, he said, and you won’t be disappointed. I expected, hoped for mastery. Mastery of something. It seems that this will not be. I must settle for a mistress of many things, a chatelaine of a many-roomed castle. Is that OK? It has to be, doesn’t it? How will I manage it, conduct myself with care, lightness and compassion?  Wait and see, I whisper, wait and see.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.