Nudity or Naturism?

I have a little confession. It’s not one that will shock particularly, I’m sure we all do it occasionally, but I love being naked. I mean love it. We all have days when we jump out of the shower, we’re warm wrapped in a towel and we just, laze about. We drop the towel and head downstairs, make a good old cup of tea, sit and read the paper, dry our hair and pamper ourselves, maybe we do the household chores.

This I find quite a regular occurrence, in fact I avoid getting dressed if at all possible. At Uni I spend 60% of my time in my room and 58% of that time, will be naked, or in pants, busying myself doing whatever. I can be writing an essay, having a chat with someone, tidying or just sitting. I just love the feel of the air on naked skin.

There is something about being naked that feels totally free. My figure isn’t perfect by any means but that doesn’t matter. It’s not attention seeking or anything, I’m not popping to the shops naked after all, but its liberating. I’ve always wondered if I’m a naturist at heart. Whether I should explore that side of myself further.

I am tempted to the do the naked london bike ride, be liberated, see how it feels. My issue with Naturism is simply that, one its sort of, forcing nakedness and nudity down people’s throats if not contained in specific locations, and, its kind of an older generation thing. What young people, my age, 22, want to walk around naked?

There are enough guys and girls who drunkenly happily take their clothes off, flash, walk along with their arse hanging out of a far to short skirt, but soberly, to show the world yourself, in its truest form, without hiding behind anything? That’s something else entirely.  I think I’m a little bit of a hippy at heart. I hardly ever wear shoes, I walk around the city without them on, on pavement or sand or dirt, I like the feeling of your feet touching the surface your on, having contact. Its grounding, makes you feel very much there, rather than separated from nature and your surroundings.

Don’t get me wrong, like everyone in this world I conform to the social norms, I wear shoes when appropriate (after bare footing the underground, this is somewhere there needs to be a separation)  I wear clothes to cover myself up, and not dressing like a slut either. I havent got my cleavage on show, my legs out, have my back and my arms all at once. I’m quite conservative with it all. But maybe that’s the thing.

Conservative at heart and my nudity is a rebellion from conformity, from being straight-laced, from being, restricted. Maybe I’m a free spirit, a wannabe hippy, or maybe I’m just a girl so comfortable in her skin, she doesn’t feel ashamed to cover it up – at least when she’s by herself.

Love conquers and confuses.

“Love, is a losing Game”. A famous line, but really isn’t it? Does it not cause endless heartbreak, suffering, upset because the one you love can live up to, can never be all that you want? No that would be a pessimist talking and not something I care to indulge in. Love, in every form, friend, romantic, the full-blown affair of your life, is after all, one of those things that makes life worth living. Even for all the emotional trauma, it’s still great.

But I’ve got a question. Its one I don’t really know the answer to, I’m not even sure I’m asking for one, it’s just something that’s bothering me and I can’t seem to make my mind up on. I am a person who likes to think psychologically, philosophically about life and when I can’t find a conclusion to something, my own stance. It gets to me, so here it is…

Can you be in love with someone, fall for someone, lust after someone and have someone be in love with and you love them as a friend, all at the same time? Is it possible to illicit so many closely related feelings towards so many different people, all at once.

To love someone, means to care for them, means to love them as a person, their flaws and intricacies, their strange traits and habits, the essence of their being. But are you in love with them? Can you love someone but not be in love with them any longer, and therefore fall for someone else?

We’ve all been with people when things have got tough, you’re going through a rocky patch and suddenly you meet someone, who seems – like a breath of fresh air. You laugh and talk for hours, cry at their jokes, you have chemistry you can’t imagine, but is that just because of the situation. Are you confused, down, needing comfort and reassurance that you are still, lovely, attractive…

I’m a woman who can differentiate between sex and love. Sex to me doesn’t have to be, loving or intimate, it can just be sex. That doesn’t mean I can have one night stands, I have to know the person, have been seeing them, but I don’t have to have, an emotional attachment to them in that sense. I can just fancy them, and want to screw them, and that be the end of it. If you love someone, should you never feel that primeval urge to get with someone else? How can you, we’re not monogamous creatures. I’m not advocating cheating or acting upon these feelings but their they’re, so you can’t argue that you don’t lust just because you love.

So what about confusing lust with falling for someone. When things are rough and you meet someone and you get along, is it to easy to confuse wanting to get with them, to wanting to be with them. Make you contemplate throwing away your relationship for something that you’ll inevitably realise was, nothing more than two people who got along.

And then there’s the question of friends. We’ve all been in that situation, and had someone like us more than a friend. You care about each other a great deal, you’re incredibly close, maybe you even fooled around a bit when you first met or got drunk and slept together. But you know they like you more. you don’t want to lose them, so you inevitably continue on a path that will one day collide with their feelings intentions and your own.

I believe if you are madly deeply in love with someone you can lust but you cannot fall, if you love but aren’t in love, then anything is possible, you are conflicted and torn and its dangerous to get to close to anyone, if you’re lusting after someone, and insecure, in a bad place then confusion for falling for someone is inevitable. And friends? I personally don’t see that you can lead someone on, you wouldn’t, you either like them more than that but wouldn’t manna ruin a friendship and lose them, or your heartless and manipulative and lead people on.

I know someone in most of these situations at this time in their life, and the thing that always comes across to me, is that, they’re conflicted. They don’t know what they want, or where they’re at. How can you commit yourself to someone or start developing feelings when you are so all over the place in yourself. It’s a dangerous path, you seek comfort and appreciation from others around you that, you wouldn’t normally, wanting to feel loved, accepted, wanted, based on your own mental state at the time.

My advice to anyone in a difficult situation, remove yourself from it. All of it. Take a break from your relationship, take a break from the fling or person you’re starting with, no more sexting the person you lust after, or meeting up all the time with that friend. Take time out, sort yourself out. Even if you think you’re Ok, sit down and think about it, are you really feeling like you, or, feeling a bit out of sorts. Acting a bit, unlike yourself.

We’re complex people, with complicated emotions. But at least I guess, it keeps life interesting.

Firsts, Experiences and that ‘New’ Feeling.

“I’m giving up on girls, I’m giving up on the heartache, whats the point in it all, in setting yourself up for heartache or disappointment, who wants that?”

I do. This is a question posed to me by a friend the other day. I couldn’t quite understand, as for me. It’s always worth it. There is nothing more exciting or brilliant as getting to know someone. Talking to them, getting to know them as a person, being interested in them, what they have to say, involved in stories and experiences. Getting to know how they react to stuff, what they’re like deep down, not just the superficial, but under the façade.

Having all those debates on subjects, hearing their points of view, learning their voice and the way they think. Having that buzz of excitement when they text, that ridiculous smile on your face around them, the incessant grin. Laughing uncontrollably at what they say, as though your hearing humour for the first time…

And then there are the first times. The first time they touch you, your arm, hold your hand, the first time they make you laugh, your first play fight, the first kiss, the first fumble, the first encounter, the first experience, first dates, first meal out, first cinema trip, first walk, first words… Everything is so new, so refreshing. The world suddenly becomes more interesting as you see the world from someone else’s perspective…

To me – that’s all worth it. Whatever happens after, whether it all goes tits up, whether it ends in love, lust or heartache, whether you find you aren’t as well matched as you thought, or they turn out not to be the person you thought, that feeling, all of that, I wouldn’t pass that up. The giddiness, the happiness, the excitement, the expectation, the anticipation. It’s a feeling that s unique. Whatever comes to pass, you always have that, you always remember those first days, and the way they made you feel. When you feel unique, special, appreciated. You’re at your best.

“I smile a lot these days, and everyone knows. Everybody knows it’s because of you, everybody knows except you”

I would never pass up on an experience that made me happy, that gave me that feeling, that made everything  a little bit better. If you live your life thinking about the consequences, you’d never do anything. You have to live life for the moment and maybe a step or two ahead, but only positively.

I love people in general, I love getting to know people, I love talking to people I don’t know, when you just get talking to people, on trains, at a coffee shop, in a queue. People are interesting, other people’s lives are interesting. This morning I shared a table in a coffee shop with a woman, and we spoke for nearly an hour about everything, her life, her kids, her plastic surgery, life, people, from the personal to the political to the philosophical and back again. And I loved it, it made me smile. It made today better. It made her day better. It was friendly, and kind, and open.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to get to know someone, to be with someone, to talk to someone, because of the what ifs. What if they turn out to be your best mate, your future boss, the love of your life? That person that you can’t imagine not having in your life? Live for the experience, the feelings, live life, for the now.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you”  – Dale Carnegie.

Lyrics of Love and Loss.

There are enough posts about heartache rolling around and insecurities that I felt the need to offer comfort, a shoulder, a song that says it all. For all of us who have loved and lost, who feel insecure sometimes, who are haunted by lost loves – Who want to be loved…A breathtaking song. Get lost in its truth, the clarity and its message. I learnt the piano the other week and cannot stop playing it.

“One foot onto the ice
I hold my breath
And try to believe
Can I look at you at different eyes?
Like the girl that I was, when I was 17

The falling Empires,
The shattered glass
The wicked echos of my past.
I’ve seen it all before that’s why I’m asking.

Will you still be here tomorrow?
or will you leave in the dead of the night?
So your waves don’t crash around me,
I’m staying one step ahead of the time.
Will you leave me lost in my shadows or will you pull me into your life?
Teach me how to be loved?
Teach me how to be loved?

I got caught up in a maze
All the wine and roses
Such a sweet escape
But I watch it all slip away
Like running water from my hands
Raining on this picture land

The falling Empires,
the shattered glass
The wicked echos of my past.
I’ve seen it all before that’s why I’m asking.

Will you still be here tomorrow?
Or will you leave in the dead of the night?
So your waves don’t crash around me,
I’m staying one step ahead of the time.
Will you leave me lost in my shadows or will you pull me into your life?
Teach me how to be loved?

Can I give myself just one more second chance?
And put my trust in love,
Please don’t hurt me.
If I make myself like a feather in you hair
And put my trust in love,
Please don’t hurt me.

Will you still be here tomorrow?
Or will you leave in the dead of the night?
So your waves don’t crash around me,
I’m staying one step ahead of the time.
Will you leave me lost in my shadows or will you pull me into your life?
Teach me how to be loved?
Teach me how to be loved”

Rebecca Ferguson, Teach me how to be loved , from the INCREDIBLE and delectable album, Heaven.

Blogging – an extension of you.

I’m guessing you don’t know a great deal about me. If you did then you must be of-fay with reading into people’s writing and telling bits about themselves. What you do know is how I write, and I guess that’s my voice, how things come out, how I speak.

I’m happy and reflective, contemplative and calm. That’s kinda me to a tea. But isn’t that the best bit of blogging. You know so much about someone and yet nothing. I could have a mohawk, ripped jeans, sleeves of tattoos but on here, I could come across as girly, conformist, almost naive.

Blogging is the ultimate expression in some ways and the cheats way out in others. You put so much of yourself into  a blog, onto the page. You and your thoughts are laid bare, and yet its faceless. No one really knows you, unless your linked to Facebook and then your friends may know its you, but its anonymous.

A chance to be you, and whatever you, you want to be. It’s a chance to start over, to contemplate mistakes and move on, much like a confessional or a prayer. Its you at your most vulnerable, for the world to see, except they don’t see you, appearance they see, the essence of you.

I guess that is the real you, more so than how you look, but its the irony of being as open and forthright as most are in their blogs, and yet hidden by a veil of trust and comfort, they only know what you write. They can’t see if you’re lying, exaggerating, putting on a brave front…

I try to be as true to myself, as my thoughts as possible on here, I try to let the real me, however hypocritical, emotional, ironic I may be, to shine through. Even the uglier sides, because that’s me too, just a me I shield from public view in reality.

Blogging for me is in this way both an outlet for my thoughts and a closed diary at the same time. I think that’s why I blog, why we blog. We aren’t standing on a soap box preaching to the world our face laid bare, but we’re doing it from behind a screen, and that makes all the difference. 

Late Nights, Long days.

Some people worry when you say you aren’t sleeping. You must be stressed, take a tablet, go for a run, wear yourself out, you don’t look well… Well I look like I had dark circles and I might be a little sluggish in the morning but, I’m fine. I don’t know why we worry about sleep. Its something we all do, and will do, our bodies get exhausted and if you’re it will happen. So you’ve got a lot on this week and you’re staying up a bit later, your worried about a presentation, or something coming up on the calendar… You can’t find your keys and its driving you mad…

Well. Fine. Accept it, do something. Lay and think constructively, about anything, about your life, about problems, use the hours. Lay and relax, read a book, catch up on telly, enjoy your time. I’m not saying get up and run a marathon or you would never sleep, it’s just it is only sleep. I’ve seen the sunrise everyday for two weeks and its been gorgeous, looking out of my window at the sun kissing the sky, hearing the birds getting up, whatever the weather its gorgeous. But it got my thinking tonight…

What is sleep? We all know its do with healing and there are processes we do at night, digestion and, repairing our brains from the toils of the day, but isn’t sleep kind of, random. Think how odd it is, we just, lay and suddenly that’s it, our subconscious is still ticking over, but our brains, gone. Dreaming or not even  that, processing. We can sleep walk, sleep talk, thrash about or lay so still you wake up in the same position come the morning…

It’s a daily coma. There we all lay, on our own, by a loved one, spooning a pillow or cuddling a pet… on our backs, on our sides, arms under us, propping up the pillow… leg in the bed, leg out the bed, thick duvet, sheet… such a lot of preparation just to sleep. I’ve slept on floors, in showers, the boot of a car (easier not to ask) and I’ve slept, fine. So I woke up a bit achy, but christ some morning I wake up in bed and feel like I’ve been beaten up.You can fall asleep anywhere, it’s this primal thing inside you just takes over. You’ll just start dozing off, on the bus, in a meeting, with a cup of tea or at the theatre. Your body just takes over, starts to shut down and there is nothing you can do.

When you wake up do you ever wonder, what you’ve been doing. What have we been doing? You could’ve gone out and done anything, and you’d not know. We lay, unconscious, vulnerable, for hours. Think of the poor beggars to hibernate, Christ you’d at least want a lock on your door, well or door at all if you’re a woodland creature I guess…

Sleep is one of those things that makes you realise, your body and your mind are quite separate. I’ll rephrase, your consciousness and your body are separate. Your mind may control movements, but you, the little voice in your head you, that thinks and responds and contemplates, that has no real say in it what so ever.We’re machines, we’re a series of processes, amazing processes, thousands of processes all at once, just to type, think of all the different elements working, your heart pumping blood, muscles, oxygen, tendons, concentration…Sleep makes me remember I’m an animal. I have basic functions. I have things I need to do, that’s really why we all get so panicky about it. About eating, about sleeping right, it’s because we’re programmed to know they’re important, that’s what keeps us alive.  Apparently, if you were to not eat, not drink, not sleep, you’d die of dehydration first, sleep depravity second and starvation third. That’s how complicated machines we are, that your brain would literally short wire itself and you would cease to be, because you haven’t rested it.

Sleep is one of those things in life, we don’t question or think about, but really, its vitally important, completely random, and a little bit odd. We all have ‘sleep’ personalities. You can be a really calm person but mentally fidgety in bed. We have sleep patterns, individual to us, routines, cycles… I don’t know if any of this has made any sense, I guess that’s the lack of sleeping talking now, but,When you think about anything in life, how odd does it all seem. And on that note, I think I may, just, sleep.

Confidence in Clothing.

“If I dated you, I’d buy you clothes…”

“Why?

“Because I think you could pull some really edgy gear of, something really different… You’d look so good”

“But I don’t care, I don’t… want to pull it off”

Clothes. Theyre something that define us, something that make us who we are, something we put on that tells you something about us or showcases our personalities. They can make us feel part of something, individual, alternative or segregated. We can feel, smart, professional, sophisticated, alternative, edgy, sexy… as many adjectives as you can define a person by.

Clothes represent us. They are a signal to the world of who we are. They tell you we’re professional, we’re proud of our job, we’re confident; they tell you were womanly, sexy, sultry, we’re confident; they tell you were different, an individual, non conformist, we’re confident…. I see a pattern emerging.

What makes a person attractive? What makes a person, someone we are drawn to, want to spend time with, seek out for company. It’s all down to a simple thing called confidence. I know girls who look as sexy as pie in tracksuits and baseball caps, professional in ripped jeans and a tank top, it’s about your confidence.

It’s about poise, and integrity, in believing in yourself and what you stand for. Those of us who are far more concerned with our appearance are, I would like to suggest, not that happy with themselves. Always trying to prove themselves, make a statement, be up to date or fit in. They care where they shop, what things say, what logo they have, how people look at them…

We all care about people’s perception to some degree but how important is it? If you’re confident with you, then wont everyone just accept you – regardless? They’ll be drawn to your personality, to that glow you have about you, that warmth, or that smile… whatever it is that makes you, really you, not how you dress it up.

You can dress the ugliest individuals up in the nicest clothes, I don’t mean appearance I mean personality, their true person, and they would still be unattractive. Your essence is more important than how you choose to present it.

So when I had the conversation as above, or as close to as can be twenty odd hours later, you have to ask yourself. Why? Why do you care what I wear. I was in a lovely top, skinny jeans, brogues, not a track suit, not anything flashy, but comfortable, fashionable but understated. Just because it isn’t what you’d wear to draw attention, I didn’t need all eyes on me.

I saw the guy look me up and down as we walked past him, his and in his girlfriends, the cashier keep smiling and talking to me, staring at my mouth when I spoke, the girl crossing the road, eyeing up my top… It’s not what I’m wearing, it’s how I’m wearing it. I don’t care whether you think I’m fashionable or not, that I havent genuinely bought clothes in a year, that I am not bang up to date, and because I don’t care…

No one else does. My carefree attitude and good mood regardless of how you look at me, is reflected in my walk, in my posture, in my poise, they way I talk to people, the way I smile at people as I pass them, THAT’S what people notice.

If you feel the need to look as though you’ve been pushed through ‘Topshop’ backwards, fallen through the market place, or that every item down to your boxers must have a label worthy of your approval, then, well… I pity you, because deep down, you haven’t found you, and what you are, who you are.

Know who you are, everyday, show who you are, not with what you wear, with the way you hold yourself, the way you command yourself, the way you treat others and the things you say.

Proud to have a past.

I read a lot of blogs on here, daily updates by those who have suffered, found difficulties and hurt in their lives. Been unfortunate to witness or have succumbed to life’s worst scenarios. We all have them, pasts. Things we would rather forget, things we are not proud of, things that make our lives a little more difficult – pain that we’d rather forget.

They can be on any scale, from the bigger picture to the everyday stuff, and it all affects us. It can be stuff we’ve done, stuff others have done to us, stuff that’s happened to us despite our own efforts for things to go right, or things we can’t help, we can’t come to terms with.

To all those people, to whatever has happened, is happening, the difficulty you are facing in your lives I would say. Be proud. Be proud to have a past, be proud to have overcome difficulty, to have surpassed expectations, to have found inner strength. Be proud to be coping, this minute, this day, this week… Be proud to have had an experience in your life.

Because from experience. We learn, we grow as people. We adapt and function, we become more rounded individuals. We are the people we are because of what has happened to us, what has happened in our lives; our experiences.

I am fortunate enough to have not overly suffered with strife or great ordeals, maybe to some they would be considered a lot, to others, a minor scathe, I guess that’s all down to our own lives, what we cope with everyday and consider normal. But I am proud, to be a person, proud to be the person I am, proud to be individual, with my experience and wisdom because…

I like me. I like who I’ve become, I like the way I cope with things. Like everyone I may not like my life at times, or enjoy the ride its taking me on, but I like how it changes me. How I change, how I grow, how I adapt, how I surprise myself.

Nothing in life we cannot cope with, with self belief, with determination, with the support of loved ones and friends, with inner courage. Be proud to be you, turn your hurt into a positive and remember. It’s all what makes you, you.

When you’re down, and troubled…

“…And you need a helping hand
and nothing whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name
and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running oh yeah baby
to see you again.”

It may be cheesy, and I’ve blogged about friends recently, but its all that I said before, I am lucky to have some amazing friends. This weekend, I needed some support, I wanted to see someone, my weekends plans fell through and I went from enlightened excitement to the biggest anti climax, and then. A light.

A simple text that made it all better. “I’m coming to see you”. It wasnt prompted nor was it planned, and yet three hours later one of my dearest friends stood on the platform at Norwich Station, bag in hand with a smile that made me realise, they were just as glad to see me as I were them.

Long late chats, cuddles and heart to hearts, its been an emotional weekend, and one that just confirmed how lucky I am to have friends surprise me, drop everything just to come put a smile on my face.

We are all incredibly blessed to have people in our lives that make it all seem better. To make a bad day good, a sad day better, A slow day, memorable. For all of those people in your life that mean as much to you as my friends do me, sit back and take a second to thank god, thank your life, thank whatever it is that you believe in, that your privileged enough to have people who care…

Words.

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time” – Ernest Hemingway.

As an English student and qualified TEFL Teacher, I understand the importance of language, the qualities of which make it important, the uses of and flaws of it. I see the importance of it for communication, for expression, for understanding.

Yet something always perplexes me, why are we so hung up on some words? Words are but a series of letters, codes, to quote Derrida, signs that attribute to our sign system, encoding our ideologies and lives within them. But they are just symbols, a sound we make, to one another, a picture on a page.

We ascribe meaning to words. We created them, we adapted them, we invented them for our own purpose, so why be bothered by them, swear words spring to mind. Fuck, Shit, Bollocks, Ball Bags… Cunt. They are but words, but a series of letters and yet we place so much emphasis on them. Why? If we take away the meaning or their importance to us, then they cannot affect us.

I know you’ll be saying, it’s not the word, it’s the context, and that is totally true. The meaning, of a word, is only important in the context its said in. If someone tells you to F off, it’s the connotation of that phrase, rather than the word itself that causes the damage. But we created those connotations, the denotations of each word. We made them for self-expression, to describe something. As individuals therefore we have the power to react to them, to place importance on them as we see fit.

Words like race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, they are words that we use to describe an idea, yet their own linked words, become words of hate, their meanings evolve, adapt. They are used to hurt, to differentiate, to other as Edward Said would say. But then, don’t place emphasis on them. Take the word as it is intended.

We cannot stop people creating words to cause hurt, or to offend, Chav, Skank, Slut, they’re all words that we use to describe and to disassociate ourselves with others, but the second you choose to not be affected by them, you’re immune to them.

I swear, not continually but I do, sometimes the phrase, “I don’t give a fuck” can only express exactly the feeling I’m trying to explain. But it’s just a word, I’m using it for my own emphasis, with my reason, not yours.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying go out of your way to use words that offend, or to challenge those people who are affected by swearing or such, but if we could eliminate the meaning of words, if we could recast the connotations of phrases, how many words would become, just words.

We shouldn’t be so hung up on those with so little importance. We should focus on words like, loyalty, friendship, trust, truth love, integrity, morality, honesty, honour… pride. There are words that mean more to any of us than any swear, slang, or jibe could come close to. Place emphasis and importance on those. Do not us them when you don’t mean it, don’t degrade them with misuse or overuse.

I may have to eat my own words here, but as Churchill once said, “I have never developed indigestion from eating my own words”. A word is just a word. Take away your personal attachment to those that mean nothing, and place emphasis on those that you value, that represent and describe, you.

“Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon absolute truth” – Friedrich Nietzsche