Think thoughtfully.

Thinking. Its something we do all the time, something we cannot escape. When we are not actively thinking about anything our brain is computing something, thoughts are subconsciously running through our minds, even if its about what we’re doing. When someone asks what we’re thinking about, we suddenly think about thinking, about what we should be thinking, were thinking, thoughts about, thinking. And then we say, nothing, because actively we weren’t thinking anything…

Then there are the things we need to think about, the daily activities, remembering specific information, about work, life, family, our relationship, about the milk that’s getting low in the fridge, when we’ll get to the supermarket, which one, the one near work or when we’ve returned had tea and go late, what are we having for tea tonight, what’s in the cupboard… our thoughts run away with us constantly, on tangents and processes we’re not aware of.

As a depressive and having done cognitive behavioural therapy, thought processes, interest me. How dangerous a thought process can be. Our thoughts affect everything, the way we feel, the way we act, we present ourselves, how we achieve, how we cope. So, sometimes we’ll wake up and ‘ta da’, we’re in a fabulous mood, we look in the mirror, we feel fresh, rearing to go, our brain keeps on a positive note and we blissfully and excitedly bustle through our day… OR we wake look in the mirror and our brain decides to attack us, tells us we’re fat, we look horrid, that today’s going to be one of those days. We cant do anything because our brains decided its a shit day and therefore we’ll subconsciously make sure it is. We’ll turn down coffee with a friend because we don’t feel like, despite it probably being the thing that would bump us out of this funk.

But what scares me more than that is over thinking. We all think to much, and sometimes we seem to get stuck, musing, mulling things over, ruminating about things that weren’t a problem, aren’t a problem – creating a problem for our own sakes. We become obsessive, paranoid, totally consumed and preoccupied by this one thought. Something small becomes bigger so it becomes unbearable. I do it all the time. So I get up, I’m not having a great day but I perk up and I say hi to flatmate/friend/family member. They are equally as off colour as I am and grunt, not bothering to speak before leaving the room. Brain – she hates you, they hate you, you’ve upset them, what have you done, your always upsetting people, you cant even think what it is because you’re a bad friend, go and ask… so you do and, nothings wrong, but she’s saying that because somethings wrong… and before you know it you’ve become an annoying friend who suddenly thinks you’re a nutter and caused a problem by being, you.

It’s not just friendships – i’ve thought myself out of twenty or so decent relationships, with good people because i’ve over-thought stuff. we’ve had a rough patch and i’ve been to quick to go, this is it, they dont care, this is how its gonna be, do you want to spend the rest of your life like this (as though marriage was on the cards at 2 months) or they’re nice but not fun, you want someone fun, someone exciting someone who will push your buttons, you’ll break up with them anyways, somewhere down the line so do it now, they don’t really care or they’d make more effort and another one bites the dust. Its irrational and unlike me, who prides herself on being non judgemental, a logical thinker and a fair person, I certainly don’t think like it at times.

And its not me, its me being something I’m not. Suddenly being insecure, or over thoughtful, second guessing something really insignificant and it all goes tits up, and amazingly because i’m so preoccupied, I cant see how its happened. The confident, happy, calm, collected, secure in her own self Carla disappears momentarily and a monster takes over and destroys me. I’m not blaming the depression, I just think, we as people, don’t really like being happy. We like having something to think about, an issue, life is going great and we fabricate problems and drama from nowhere for, as all I can see, entertainment purposes. Mental.

I did it recently, nearly talked myself out of a new relationship thats building because he’s not my ex and to my family I know they’ll be comparing and they’re different, they’ll think i’ve just jumped into something, have I jumped into something, am I happy, he makes me happy but, am I just going to end it, do I even want a relationship now, but now i’m kinda in one, and he really cares and i’m just going to hurt him because he’s not the marriage and children that I had with the long term ex, but how can he we’ve only just met, and that’s it, we have only just met, we’re still so early on and yet we’re so serious, I don’t want serious… And suddenly, I’m being weird, he;s acting oddly because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s done and we row. And my brains response? he”s not the one for you see, you’re already rowing and you’ve only just got together. Its utter madness.

Now. Do not get me wrong, I love thinking, i spend hours musing about the oddest things, about philosophy and ethics and English related stuff, and theories, on films and they’re influences, on how we change, on us as people, on the big life questions, I love letting me brain run off and form some conclusion eventually. But on other things, I think we all need to keep it on a tight rein. we need to remember that our biggest enemy at any time is ourselves. If someone beats us up, mentally, physically, verbally, its the affect and the way that we deal with it that has the biggest effect. Its how we let the experience change us, bother us, influence us. No one can hurt you if you don’t listen, don’t care for their opinions and know, deep down, you’re a decent human being.

We have the power to make ourselves great, to build ourselves up, to give ourselves the strength, the drive, the determination to succeed, to make life long friends, lasting relationships and a career we want. But its our minds that hold us back, our insecurities, that little voice in side of doubt, of dilenma, of diliberation that has the final word. It’s hard to be carefree if you care for yourself, your life, and those in it, but its harder to let your brain settle and care less for what it says than what it does to help. I genuinely believe we have a power inside us stronger than we can imagine, our brains have the ability to heal ourselves, change ourselves, make us lose weight for example without effort, to develop and guide us. We know so little about its capabilities that we have to treat it with respect and an air of caution and a sense of awe.

Thinking, over thinking, under thinking, not thinking, always thinking, thinking pointlessly, thinking logically, thinking pragmatically, thinking irrationally. thinking without thought… we all do them, we all have our ways, our processes, our thoughts, the way we form them, they way they develop, but thoughts are just that. They are meant to be times for self reflection, ordering and understanding, not berating, irritating and confusing our worlds and the things that our happening in it.

Think about thinking, the way you think, what your most common thoughts are, and I bet you’re surprised what they are, and how they affect us all.


Lifes intricacies.

We all love the simple life. Or we like to think so. Our lives are so overcomplicated, its life’s little treasures, or own little pleasures that make it worthwhile, really.

  • Walking along a beach. I’ve mentioned it a lot on my blog recently, and that’s because I’ve returned to my parents home at the coast and have spent every evening if not most of my day sitting, or wandering blissfully. Its my calm place. my special place. What beats a deserted beach?
  • A sweet cup of tea. With just one sugar. When your tired at the end of the day, or maybe your feeling under the weather. That hot sweet taste, glancing your taste buds. Just gets me – every time.
  • Unexpected smiling. You know when you just smile. For no apparent reason, a good old grin. It might be a song comes on you like, or you may just have a little thought to yourself. It could be seeing someone you didn’t know you’d missed or wanted to see. But that massive grin that just creeps up on you. The one that makes strangers in the street look like your mad.
  • Singing out loud with headphones on. I know I’m not a great singer, but singing at the top of your lungs, is something incredible. Doing it when no one can hear; the song cant mask your own terrible attempts at a well-known tune, well that’s carefree at its best.
  • Plucking my eyebrows. Yes an odd one. But I’m a little brow obsessed. Having been lumbered with my fathers brows and constantly teased for having slugs as a kid. I love looking at them when they’re perfect, if a little red, gorgeously shaped.
  • Antique shops. I never buy anything, it’s just a browsing activity. They’re mainly full of rubbish or old furniture, costume jewellery and war memorabilia, but there’s something special about items from the past. Of times good-bye, the good times, or so it always seems. Everything looks full of character, decadent, loved.
  • A good row. Maybe that’s just me, but getting all that tension out, having everything out in the open, a good shout. Getting rid of tension and pressure, or clearing the air.
  • Getting post. How irrational is it to excited about receiving a letter. I guess it goes back to being a kid. Your parents always seemed to get a letter, and the only time you did was a special occasion, a birthday or a ‘passing your exams’ sort of thing. But I still, love, getting mail. Even if I know it’s secretly a bill disguised.
  • A good cry. Especially at an emotional film. Nothing better, sometimes you don’t need to cry. Your not upset but a good cry, a release of emotion, letting go. Something about it, just, makes you feel better after I guess.
  • Nonsense conversations. When you sit and muse about nothing, someone makes a random comment and that’s if you are off at a complete tangent, discussing something completely pointless and hypothetical, with excitement and a great deal of enthusiasm.
  • A cuddle. I mean a proper cuddle. One of those long hugs with someone when you completely relax and just stand or sit, nestled into them, a perfect comfortable fit and feel altogether safe.
  • Laughing Hysterically. Everyone likes laughing but with my mum its a whole new experience. We both get the giggles over nothing. Stomach crunching, shaky giggles. When you can’t breathe and looks slightly like your having af it, heaving in silence with your eyes watering, only to suddenly take a massive deep breath and carry on. Laughing till your stomach hurts.
  • Driving.  I know that’s an odd one for most people who find driving a means to an end, a boring experience, but for me its the ultimate freedom, driving around aimlessly. you can go anywhere, do anything, see anything. It’s not just the experience its the drive.  Changing down to slow and hearing the revs kick higher, the acceleration as you overtake something, the gentle wobble as you sit chugging in traffic. The smooth leather of the wheel, worn where your hands are…. I am never happier than when out on my own, down some country lanes, just driving, for driving sake.
  • First times. First experiences of anything. That mix of trepidation, anticipation and excitement all rolled into one. It could be a personal achievement, or something you’ve always wanted to do, it could be conquering a fear or starting something new with that special someone in your life. Whatever it is, that mixed curdling feeling. You know your on the brink of something great.

They are but a few things in life that make it all a little bit better. I could go into the more amusing personal ones, but they’re the ones that always spring to mind. They may be obvious, but isn’t that just because, they’re the things we all appreciate and enjoy most?

Rain is coming.

“You know when you get that smell. That smell that rain is coming. It can be a hot summers day, not a cloud in the sky but you get that smell. And you know. Change is coming”… It might not be rain, it might be a storm, thunder lightening, the whole she-bang. But there was a something.

We all get it. That feeling. A sense of things. It’s not quite poignant or exact. But it’s there, a thought in the back of your mind and feeling in the pit of your stomach, just in front of your fingertips and past the tip of your tongue. It’s not audible or explainable. You can’t say to anyone with clarity exactly what it means.

But it means. Change is coming. I had that today. Standing looking out to sea, over the waves, the surf dancing on the wind, a feeling. You could say that you make a change, you force something to happen because that feeling is you wanting something to. But is it? Do we want it….

Or do we let it. Do we just have a heightened sense of perspective, that feeling and we accept it as it comes. A change is about to happen in my life. I know not what or when, only that it’s coming. That sense of rain. Rain suggests something awful. But rain can replenish, and save as well as dampen and depress.

A change is coming. And I embrace it whole heartedly.

Four Quarters are better than 100 Cents…

Last night I was texting a new-found friend, and we were discussing the value of friendship. It is a hard thing to measure, and it seems to differ depending on the individual. There are, it seems,  people in this world that collect friends, they are more concerned with the number of Facebook friends they have, or the number of people they can recognise in the street… People are more concerned with knowing people than getting to know people.

Said friend say the phrase above, “You and I both know the value of things, four quarters are always better than 100 cents” .

I think it’s a shame that people have come around to this way of thinking. When people are more concerned with public opinion and perception rather than reality and a persons essence.

In response to this I have one thing to say…  I don’t have many friends. I’m not that popular, I can’t list 100 people I know or have that many numbers in my phone. I don’t throw big elaborate birthday parties, or drop names to sound self-important. I don’t care if you think i’m uncool for not knowing as many people as you. I’m unconcerned with your perception of me for not caring.

To me, friends, real friends are hard to come by. They are few and far between, diamonds in the rough. A friend is not a person that fleetingly drop into your life and in a year has disappeared out of it again. A friend is not someone you just go out with, or someone you know from your course/work. A friend is not something gained over night or lost by the morning…

As a man put it more eloquently than me…

“True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice.” – Samuel Johnston

I am privileged to have five friends in my life, that I truly love and adore. I would jump in front of a bus for them, drive to them whenever they needed, answer the phone to them at 3 am, understand that if I don’t speak to them for a week, it doesn’t mean they don’t care… We have all heard it say that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves” well I don’t know about you but I come from a very small close-knit family, and my friendship circle reflects that.

Most of my friends don’t know each other, they are part of different areas of my life, and there paths seemingly never cross, but despite this, without them, my life would be incomplete, superficial. They help to ground us, to comfort us, to guide us, to laugh with us, support us, thank us, berate us when need be.

For all of those friend whores, people collectors and acquaintance counters, I pity you. For you shall never know friendship as friendship was intended to be.

“A friend is trust, a friend is love

A friend is giving a supportive hug

A friend is kind, a friend is fair,

A friend is always there to care

A friend is honest, a friend is won

A friend is there till the day is done

A friend is rare, a friend is sure

A friends intention is always pure.

A friend is dear, a friend if true

A friend will never leave you”