Explaining how you feel…

How do you explain depression to someone who doesn’t understand? How do you make someone see, understand what it is, what its like, how it feels? Its something to be honest, I’ve never tried to do. My parents saw the best and worst of me and therefore they got it first hand, for all its peculiarities and oddness.

Its described as that black dog that follows you around, a metaphor for being chased down by darkness, this feeling of being followed, imprisoned, caged by your own feelings. Its always there, like a cloud looming, suffocating you, reminding you that it can rain again any time.

But what is it. Its hardly descriptive is it, this black dog. Its all abstract words and feelings its hardly surprising people can’t grasp it. To me, its this sense of deadness that creeps in. Where I go through a stage of feeling numb, over tired, exhausted, my brain works at a 100 miles an hour worrying about anything, everything, keeping me up. I stop sleeping, I feel nothing about anything. Apathetic,  just very unlike me.

Then you feel lost, down, sad, you feel like crying constantly because you don’t understand why you don’t feel happy, why you can’t feel properly. Like your heads wrapped in cotton wool, you can’t think, can’t process, feelings tear around inside of you rather than drifting, you’re angry for feeling so helpless when there is nothing wrong, sad for not knowing how to put it right, lost as to the answer to this imaginary problem.

Yet it is so very real. It can come around or go as fast as anything. I take tablets, the highest dose of my prescribed meds allowed, to keep me from feeling that way, but then, sometimes, it all gets to much. I’ll have a few down days, where suddenly, I’ll wake up and something isn’t right, I can feel it, this sense of… an absence. My eyes prick with tears and I don’t understand why, I end up overwhelmed, hysterical, hating myself for feeling so god damn useless. Then, I feel OK.

I sit with someone, I talk, I don’t talk, I take some different tablets, I get a handle on things, drag myself out of my own pit, and give myself a good talking too. I put things in perspective, I contact those I love, I force myself to get on, and you know what, I’m OK again, functioning normally. Enjoying friends company, occupying myself with writing, reading, plans, whatever. The helplessness subsides, the empty void is filled, if only partly on occasion, and I carry on.

Its dangerous. Its worrying how quickly things can turn so wrong, how things can get out of hand. How your rational brain, leaves somewhere and this force takes over. Doctors worry, long term depression is a worry, it leads to scary things, they want to put you with people to talk to, they want to make you feel better all the time, but we all have ups and downs, just because your depressed doesn’t mean you should never have them.

I want the highs and the lows. Sometimes you just need to talk and say, I feel like everything’s slipping away again, sometimes you need people to leave it be, sometimes you need someone to understand they cant get it. People that say its a first world problem, damn right it is. How upsetting is that, can you imagine, knowing there are people in Africa, starving, with AIDS and diseases, their children dying and if you asked them, they’d want to live.

I say its ignorant. Well yes and no. Its hard to understand something you cant explain or feel yourself, Its hard to see how there can be a problem when there is nothing seemingly wrong. It is totally irrational, that is not lost on depressives, its stupid, its selfish, its ridiculous, thats not lost on me either. But its a disease, of the brain, its there and it eats you and it makes no sense and its there for no reason.

I was told last week I was considered a harm to myself, maybe I was, last week I didnt care, I couldn’t be bothered, I was fed up of feeling down, of getting these ridiculous feelings, of the hopelessness, of letting myself get like that, if that was my life, I didnt want it. But this week, well, I’ve got my perspective back, my rational brain and I know, its stupid to let something take such a hold, something you can’t even understand or quantify.

I get upset when people question it, I understand how ridiculous it is, I hate myself for being such a drip, for letting myself become so overemotional, when I’m not one for being overly emotional normally. Its because I cant explain it, I dont understand it and I find it as frustrating as everyone does who’s trying to get a straight answer about it.

I want to hide people from my lows. When I could just lose it all completely and cry and shake and dissolve into a dribbling, snivelling wreck for no apparant reason. You look mental, you make no sense, you seem hysterical and nothings happened. Why would people want to see that? But then your being fake, your being fake all the time. No your not. Sometimes we all want to cry, sometimes we all want to scream out, its just your at the extremes as a depressive. There isn’t a lot in the middle, its from Depression to Numbness to Happiness. the place inbetween the polar opposites is not feeling at all.

I wish I could stop being like that, I wish I could just be happy with my life because I’ve nothing to be unhappy about, I wish I could be like everybody else, without making a problem out of not having a distinguishable problem. But its something I accept, I try not to think about, I get on with, its a part of me. I  was diagnosed 10 years ago, and it certainly won’t disappear overnight. I don’t dwell, I don’t think about it, I don’t will it, but it creeps in, I fight it off, I get tired, I give in, I resolve, I get up, I dust myself down, I slap myself for my stupidity, I smile, I carry on, and I’m back.

That’s as well as I can ever describe it. I just hope, for those I want it to, its good enough.

After all, Life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain.

Not a self promoter.

Now I’m not one for boasting, bragging or bigging oneself up… it would seem I’m not really a fan of words that begin with B, apart from… boobs, belles, boys, bits, bums… We can see what I have on my mind. Anyways, I don’t think it’s necessary or very becoming from a young lady, such as myself. To be honest, it’s not great in anyone. There’s confidence, there’s being proud of an achievement, then there’s arrogance and rubbing people’s faces in your success – it’s a fine line to tread.

I’m not one for self promotion. I don’t wish to attract that much attention to myself. I am confident in my own skin, I know me, what I like, what I don’t, and if I don’t or am unsure, I’ll spend a few hours debating it in my mind, and possibly sharing it with you. But. There are things I know I am good at, and there are things I know I excel. We all know our own strengths as well as our own weaknesses but I tend to focus more on what I enjoy, more than what I think I may be good at.

As far as I am aware, I think its fairly dangerous to trust your own opinion of yourself. Know yourself, like yourself be proud of yourself, but don’t think you know it all, after all, we lie to ourselves all the time. We lie to others about ourselves, we are in effect our best friend and our own worst enemies, for quite those reasons. Always out to protect but also to blind. So well, I thought I’d do something very random, because I am random and I feel like it.

I’m going to share some things with you. What they will be are things I like, things that interest me, things I love, and they’ll be relevant. To me, to you, to something you like, a common interest, to someone you know, or to knowing where I’m coming from when you hear my ramblings a little more.

I’m an English student. I spend most of my days with my head in a book, thinking about a book, reading a book about a book or thinking about what I’m not reading. I spend time exploring history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, epistemology, literary theory, I’m an overthinker by trade, probably why I spend such a long time looking into things on a microscopic level, I’m a lover of analysis – whether its of a page, a character, a period, a psyche, or just my muddled and cuffudled brain.

I’m a TEFL qualified teacher, so I mould the brains of non English speaking students, which is ironic seeing as I seem to pay very little attention to grammar, punctuation spelling, or even whether the word I use actually exists in my own personal life. I enjoy teaching, love teaching, I find it the most interesting and fascinating thing to do. Its inspiring, rewarding, challenging, had work and fun, and they are all the reasons I love doing so.

I’m a writer of erotica. Don’t get too excited, I’m not published (well in an anthology, somewhere… not big time, published) I have a blog, I write sex as sex should be, raw, passionate and without too much soppiness and character. Its all about release and self expression. its another side of me to this one, a more primitive, raw, randy side agreed, but a side I embrace all the same.

I’ve started a music blog, because I’ve realised I listen to a lot of obscure stuff, that people seem to be very interested in when it comes up. I mention people nobody has ever heard of and that have less than 1000 followers on Facebook. I like finding odd little artists and songs, searching for something new to my ear, to prick the hairs on the back of my neck and make me stop and listen. And as I love sharing, well why not share that too, seems selfish to keep all my little musical treasurers to myself.

I write for my University online publication, infact, I’m under interview for Editor in Chief. I’ve been in print issues, and my writing is journalistic, from news to current affairs, reviews and previews, entertainment to fashion, politics to columnist pieces. I enjoy all sorts of writing. I think words are the most powerful tool, and weapon at our disposal, and I’m rather a fan of playing with them.

Now. I know that all this sounds like a bit of a boast, that I’m trying to show off, say how well I write, how many different things I can throw my hand at, how busy I am. Its not. I’m not a great writer, I enjoy it, there are certainly better out there. I’m a fan of commas and long sentences, using the ‘three’ in description and prescribing to clichés when I feel like it. I write colloquially, without thought, or point. I ramble, I jump about, I even forget the point I started with and end up somewhere completely different – not a to b, more… j to r (if you follow my meaning).

I’m simply saying it because, well I thought you might like to get to know me. Maybe you might want to read something completely different and fancy my other blogs, perhaps I felt like divulging, or maybe I felt like taking stock of what I do do. I think I may have my fingers in two many pies to do any properly or to the level I truly wish to. I’ve neglected my blogs of late with life’s general hiccups as it is, let alone kept on top of everything else, but as long as their a pleasure and not a chore, I’ll keep doing them. Thats what life’s about isn’t it. Sharing. Doing things you love. Talking to one and other.

Do I follow you, do you have another blog I should be checking out? – post it. If I’m not writing I’m reading something, editing work for the paper, books for University, marking for students homework or an album review. Might even be the back of my cereal box. If you fancy some music, or erotica – ask. If you want to know something else –  ask. If you want to chat – talk. I am, as they say, all ears. I fancy sharing, so lets here something about you.

What do you do, what do you like?

If we ever needed encouragement…

We all have days, days when we want to give up, days when we can’t see any point, days when we take yet another knock and think, is it all worth it? It doesn’t matter if it’s at work, if its home life, it’s a hobby, or an interest. Whether its something we’ve just started like that new gym regime, or something we’ve been doing for ages – trying to see ourselves better. Some days it’s a little bit too much effort.

Well, if there ever was a story to inspire, it comes once again in my beloved Mr Murray, who after his Wimbledon defeat, myself and the English Nation poured their hearts out for. A dream whipped away by the greatest man in tennis. We all said, how do you bounce back? How can you overcome something that took so much emotional strength from you, and so much passion to reach in the first place.

By winning, in straight 3 sets, 28 days later, beating the same man, on the same court, and take home a gold medal. It was never going to be an easy task but a glimmer of hope, a window of opportunity opened  and Andy took it. Maybe it was a grudge match, made it was revenge, maybe it was to prove himself but prove he did. The same emotional, shaky and unsure Andy had disappeared. A new man stood in front of us all.

Calm, collected, full of composure and relaxed. He played the best tennis of his life, he threaded the needle down the line more times than we’d ever seen, his shots were sublime, his speed and reaction as fast as ever, and Federer looked, well tired. It’s not to say that he wasn’t, that he wasn’t himself having an off day, but Murray took advantage.

He showed that in loss there is not defeat. That with hard work, with self belief and courage, you can bounce back and achieve whatever you wish. He won, the biggest match of his life, in perfect form and made us all realise, we need not give up on our dreams.

Rutherford, who went on to win a gold medal in the long jump, after defeat in Beijing, nearly gave up, nearly quit his sport and retired for good. How he would have kicked himself. He wouldn’t have realised his potential, wouldn’t have realised his dreams, and accepted his place as Olympic Champion. It would have been easier, to accept and to give up, but with more time, harder work, and the same support – just shows what can be achieved.

We need not give up on things we feel passionate about, when the boat gets rocked and a storm brews, when life seems to throw hurdle and hail storm, it may knock you down but it wont break you. For me, it was another time to realise that despite life’s woes there are so many things to be happy about, so much to look forward to, so much to strive for – so much more to achieve.

We’ll all have our break, it might not be in sporting history in front of 15,000 people, but we all have our moments, our chance to shine, our spotlights, surrounded by our fans – our families, our friends, our partners – ready to celebrate with us. Whatever your back breaker is, lets not give up just yet, because in a months time, your life could have changed completely.

You could write a book…

How many times is that bantared around? Anyone with a half creative brain, anyone studying English, anyone have ever had an english lesson, everyone thinks could be a writer. It’s mentioned like, going shopping or popping to the gym or losing a few pounds.

No. simply no. We cannot all write novels. We are not all gifted enough, it’s a skill, yes everyone can write to a degree, everyone can put across their voice, can write a little bit of a prose, can write things that their friends will gush over, but as in, getting a publishing contract and hundreds of sales, enough to live?

No. I didn’t take the creative writing modules at Uni for the simple reason, that I couldn’t handle, hearing people every seminar saying, I’m writing my second book, this is an excerpt from my first novel, I’m currently finishing off my first paperback… instead I had to listen to everyone bitching about it. Yes there are a lot of authors out there, but compared to the number of people actually living in a  country or in the world? It’s a TINY percentage and it’s getting harder, with funding limited and publishers not so keen to print.

Oh yeah, anyone can self publish, but that isn’t quite the same thing is it? The same sense of achievement, the same sort of, book deal that everyone (it seems) craves. I’m sorry to sound like a heartless woman, damning everyone’s hopes and dreams of literary success, I’m just a realist. I would love to be a writer, a full-time erotic fiction writer…

Oh yes, that’s the other half of my brain, spent delving into dark corners and crevices of passionate embraces and sexy encounters. I would love, adore, to be that good, to give up the day job, teaching and to just write, to do product reviews and enjoy my dark side. But it isn’t going to happen. I don’t write fiction, I write erotic tales, there’s no romance,  no plot, it’s just sex and that’s what I love – and it wouldn’t sell.

I hate this culture of everyone being an author. celebrities bringing out books by the week. Do you actually think they write them? Not some poor twit that can’t make it and is hoping that one day they’ll be recognised by their amazing skills in putting across Katie Price’s life story, and writing something rewarding.

I have an unbelievable amount of respect for writers, for authors and for publishers. The hours writers spend on their own, immersed in their own thoughts, in a story, trawling over sentences and syntax, and trying to get it, just right. Publishers, for the tine and commitment in reading, re reading, editing, making sure we get the very best novel from an author that they can. Its gruelling – it’s not an easy job. What if it doesn’t sell, what if your ill and behind on a deadline, what if you can’t pay your rent, what if you realise, you weren’t that good?

I am not disillusioned, but I am respectfully envious, not of their success, not of their lifestyle, but of their ability, that they have found their niche, and a skill that many of us just simply don’t have. Well, I guess that concludes my rant. Maybe one day we’ll all have a book, maybe we’ll all write about our lives and keep it hidden for eyes one day to see, maybe we’ll call it a diary or something…

Rediscovering your past love…

Image

For once I am not referring to men, or women. No I’m talking about hobbies and those things we used to love doing, yet somehow no longer have the time too. I’ve many, we all have, things in our past that we were almost obsessed with at the time. I danced, nearly gave up school for dance school at 11, swam for my county, amateur dramatics – performances, singing, dancing the whole she-bang (nearly drama school instead of Uni)… I played cards, was an avid poker fan, read for fun before Uni got in the way, played Badminton, Rock climbed…. and of course, the crux of and purpose of my post.

Played the piano. Since returning home for the summer and getting to play as much as I want, having a piano back has been quite something. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed it, the hours of practising, getting a piece, then playing as though you always could, the sanitation, my hands dancing over the chords and arpeggios, my long nails clicking against the ivories with each note. I couldn’t be any happier when sat at my piano for hours.

I get wrist cramp, I swear, I get up make a cuppa in a mood only to return with a “right you bastard” as I stare out the music, the notes, the staves tormenting me. It’s a love hate relationship and I love every minute of it. It’s not that I’m amazing, I gave up lessons after my grade 5 exam, not wanting to put myself through the torment of a theory exam, which now… you could say seems pointless but never mind, Oh! to be young and headstrong. But what does make the difference…

Its my passion. Its something I will always enjoy doing. I rarely play for others, I find it unnerving, I’m happy playing in the hall and if people can hear well then I hope they enjoy. But I play for me. For the personal accomplishment, for my own pleasure, for the satisfaction of completing something. There are rare moments in life when we can literally acknowledge progress, doing well. We work hard at work and feel like we’ve made headway but there’s no proof, maybe a smaller pile of papers, we cultivate friendships, but there’s no pat on the back, there’s just another name in a phone book and maybe an occasional text… That’s pessimistic I realise. But playing the piano for me is progress and accomplishment personified.

I can see me having learnt, I can feel the change and the growth in my playing, in my repertoire, in my mood. I have a favourite composer, I will save the details for a later blog but I determined to learn all of his work. I know that seems somewhat daft and copycat. I have no desire to learn or write my own music, it’s not one of my talents, I know that already, but what I do know is I love his pieces, I like playing them, the way they feel, the running notes, the epic crescendo’s, the softness…

So, this post really only has one message, as ever as a conclusion. What’s your passion? Go find something you loved doing, and do it. Whether it was a squash game with buddies every week, or a bath that you no longer get time to take, or swimming … or anything. Rediscover it, explore it, enjoy it. We only live once and life’s far to full of the un-fun stuff. Its time reclaimed the things we do love.

The joys of Mobility.

I’d never really given it a thought, what it means to be mobile, the sense of mobility and its function in our lives. It wasn’t until both my legs were cast and I struggled to move around as normal that it occurred to me. I wasn’t disabled by any means, and I do not think I will ever comprehend how difficult it must be to be impaired in such a way but I was hindered. I was stared at and commented on, I was unable to get about in my usual way, struggled to move in spaces and around town, struggled to move on with my life.

Yes I don’t just mean mobility literally but more in the sense of upward mobility, life’s mobility of continuing on a journey. Since the news of my legs and what not I haven’t been able to, get on with things as I was. University is effectively on hold awaiting test results to decide whether I return or take a year out for recovery, I can’t drive or get to see people with my legs in cast, I am stunted in this place, in this time, in my life as it is at present.

I take it for granted that I can do what I want, that I have the freedom, the means, to further myself and do as I wish. To go to University, to study, to live independently, to plan a career, to make long goals, to develop myself into, well an academic – supposedly.

How many people don’t have that opportunity, the means or the start in life, the physical ability and are therefore hindered in choices, maybe mentally they are held back by experiences or mental health issues, or maybe they aren’t born in the right area, in the right class, the right colour, they don’t fit the demographic that allows us to move on and have chances in life.

Are we all Naive to think that we are all as free as each other, to do as we please, to have the same chances? So yes we all get an education by the state, but anyone who has worked in more than one school, even a classroom can tell you the differences in education received by students not just in the teaching but in the classroom environment and the children’s ability to learn within their group.

Are we to believe we live in a society where racism, gender, sexuality still doesn’t affect those employed, the opportunities we have, that it doesn’t have a bearing on the decisions and the opportunities of others? I am grateful that I have the opportunities I do in life, and am thankful for the start I was given by my parents. I have chosen my career to try to help others, to impart knowledge, to give everyone the same opportunities, but life is unfair, and it hinders some of us.

We are held back by aspects of our lives, we are hindered by our experiences, we are changed by our environment, we are dictated to by the state. The only thing we can hope to do is, try, be happy and  continue to fight. Not literally with violence but to not give up on a dream, on an idea, on a desire, on our ambitions. Its important, its something we can all do, despite whatever may be in our ways, and its the one thing we can all hang on to.

I dropped out of college due to health problems, I passed my GCSE’s with 5 after having not attended school in the last two years, and suddenly the specifications for my board of examinations changed. I had to restart my two-year studies, and be way behind. I found another way, I wanted to do an access course, I was too young, had to pay 6 grands worth of fees, every excuse and measure, and rule book was thrown in my face. So I wrote to the council, I wrote to the education secretary, I got my place on my course and ended up at University just a year later than I should’ve, even more determined to study than I had been before. I didn’t stop there, I went into schools preaching about access courses, the chances they offer, I worked in schools helping as a Volunteer Teaching Assistant, I showed people that you didn’t have to be Einstein to do well, but everyone had a talent.

I’m not perfect, and I am not a saint, please do not think I am trying to preach my own praises, I’m simply saying that, mobility is a something we all take for granted. The right to move, to go where, to do as we please, to have the opportunities we all share, and its something we should always strive for, work for, look for – something we should remember and cherish.

Quiet Time.

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practise improves us, but we need quiet time to find us, to figure things out, to emerge from new discoveries, to unearth original answers”  – Dr Esther Buchholz

So I’ve been a little quiet of late, well for a week at least. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about blogging, or that I thought that well, I didn’t need to. More, simply put that… I didn’t feel like talking. There are times in your life when tis important to spend time with yourself, not really thinking about anything. Just spending time, sitting, clearing your mind rather than spending too much time contemplating the world.

For me I spend a lot of time in my head. I enjoy working through stuff, contemplating stuff, musing in thought and thinking about every little detail. Not of situations or people, I’m not one for getting paranoid or hung up over the little details, “What did he mean by that” – that sorta thing. More about general big picture stuff, or my own thought processes, my reactions to stuff. I’m a great believer in thought and the power of the mind, in growing as a person, in finding out about yourself, in understanding yourself, in healing yourself…

So i’ll apologise for my absence. But I needed some quiet time and that’s nothing against you it is just I wanted some time out from all of that. The past week has thrown up a lot of things to think about, too many in fact that I simply needed time to recuperate my brain and then spend some time over the next coming week going through stuff, getting my head around this weeks events.

Next time you feel like you need a break, from life, from relationships, from your own mind and its thoughts, then take one. Sit back and clear your head completely. Its easier said than done and I promise you it won’t happen over night but you will finally get to that point that you can sit and just, think of… nothing. Clarity, clear minded clarity.

So I’m back out of quiet time, ready to hopefully share my minds ramblings with you once again. I cant guarantee they’ll be any less jumbled or more coherent, written with more purpose or  intention than usual but they will at least be coming from an un-jumbled uncomplicated place.

Lies, Laughter and Life.

We all lie. We do it everyday, all day. We present the us we want to be seen, the one that’s perfectly happy, with no problems, dressed and looking spotless or unintentionally not. We pretend to lead the life we want to, and cover up all the blemishes in the brick work.

It’s not intentional, we just do. We aren’t the same at home as we are at work, the same at work as we are out on a night out, the same there as we are with friends, or with a partner. We all lie to get through the day. We pretend to know what we’re doing and yet really, we don’t. We’re all bumbling along pretending to know what we’re doing.

But we don’t really. None of us do. We’re all trying to make our way through life the best way we can. We make mistakes try to forget we havent, try to learn and rush headlong into the next drama, dilemma and discovery. Isn’t that the fun in life though?

It makes me wonder though, what do we hide. What do we hide about ourselves. I guess it relates to this idea of being to harsh with ourselves, but we do hold a lot back. I’m a surprisingly private person, this blog is fairly liberating to speak my mind. I’m not a closed book,I’m open and honest but rarely will you hear me in person actually talking directly about my life. I just tend, not too. Not intentionally, just that’s me I guess. Private is private.

With those that do know me well, and are involved, they know as well as I do – there’s a little bit of me you’ll never touch. A little piece of me I keep just to myself, not just my deepest darkest secrets, well not primarily, but the essence of me. People say I’m mysterious, or intriguing whether I agree or not I’d debate but… however long we’re together they feel like they’re always getting to know me, finding things out. I like holding something back. You give everything of yourself, to someone, especially a partner and they leave, what do you have?

What’s important is to not conceal the true you completely. You can’t be guarded, a closed text, something that people have to prise into, or they wont. They’ll give up, they’ll think you’re hard work and they’ll realise they never will get you. The world doesn’t have to know your business but someone has to know, you.

It was listening to this song and musing further about my recent more, philosophical posts that I just thought- Maybe we should take the time to make sure we do know everyone around us, that we’ve really connected. After a break down of a relationship of a year and a half, we realised, we never dated. We never got to know each other, properly. Things got complicated and shit happens as does in life, and other things got in the way, he moved away, then there was family problems. Somehow we didn’t have the time to find us or find each other out. We’ve lived fairly, superficially, liking each other, loving each other but missing something in between.

How many people do you know and yet know nothing about? How many people in your life you spend a great deal of time with, get on with, laugh with but no virtually nothing about them and they you. It’s a surprising number and I think, well, its kind of funny. What an odd way to spend our lives and yet we do. Maybe those friendships work and survive because we don’t get bogged down with each others problems and become friends that are agony aunts, comrades and counsellors all in one, maybe. Or maybe we don’t feel the need because, it’s easier not to get to know someone, and just, have acquaintances. Less effort, less time, less… energy wasted if you don’t get on. After all, maybe you can just be there and be the support by your presence, doesn’t mean they need to know all your woes or you them. You’re the, positive friend.

Well anyways. Another fleeting thought…The Weepies, ‘Nobody knows me at all’, from ‘Say I am you.’

When I was a child everybody smiled, nobody knows me at all
Very late at night and in the morning light, nobody knows me at all
Now I got lots of friends, yes, but then again, nobody knows me at all
Kids and a wife, it’s a beautiful life, nobody knows me at allAnd oh when the lights are low
Oh with someone I don’t knowI don’t give a damn, I’m happy as a clam, nobody knows me at all
Ah, what can you do? There’s nobody like you. Nobody knows me at allI know how you feel, no secrets to reveal, nobody knows me at all
Very late at night and in the morning light, nobody knows me at all
Nobody knows me, nobody knows me, nobody knows me at all

We’re all to critical, we’re complex creatures.

We are all culprits of the self-critical. How hard to we push ourselves, work ourselves, how self analytical. As people we are so eager to focus on our own faults, to draw attention to the times we do things wrong, get it wrong, make a bad decision. We obsess about our negative qualities, the place about ourselves we don’t like, the worst parts of us.

None of us are terrible, we aren’t murderers, we haven’t committed any great crime, we haven’t truly hurt someone beyond repair, and yet we act as though we have. We beat ourselves up, riddle ourselves with guilt, of shame over the silliest things.

Sometimes things go wrong. Relationships don’t work, despite how every much work and effort we put in. Sometimes situations don’t go quite right, despite the best of intentions, situations or our comments, our actions are taken the wrong way. We cannot predict how people will take anything we do or say, and yet we take it to heart when someone  doesn’t understand what we meant, what we were trying to do. We don’t take the time to say, we didn’t mean it like that, we explain and yet we still take it personally, as though we really did mean for things to go badly.

How many times do we accept a compliment. This may just be me, but I’m not one for self praise. If someone gives me a compliment, it’s normally followed by a quick thought of, what’s their intention, what do they want, what are they trying to get… How ridiculous a way of thinking. Maybe they just, wanted to make you feel good, maybe they just said it because they were thinking it, with no thought or provocation, just a simple comment. Why don’t we just accept our good qualities, focus on them, say thank you and receive praise gracefully.

Why do we have to be so self-critical. I have made a point of being positive, of accepting that we aren’t going to get on with everyone, not everyone is going to understand our point of view, or even like it. That we can’t change, so believe in your own beliefs, your intention, your heart. Accept yourself for all its qualities good and bad.

I am no perfect individual, I make mistakes. I’m quick to write people off for not being my sort of people, to stop putting effort in when others aren’t putting the same back – that doesn’t make me a bad person, that s just a part of me. I make an effort to be different, to acknowledge this, and to try to change. But I don’t think I’m a bad person for it, I don’t beat myself up, I accept that I have high expectations of friends and that people aren’t perfect, people fall short of them.

I’ve made mistakes. I’m screwed up good relationships, given up, been focused on the negatives, been to slow to forgive. Its human nature, we’re hurt, we’re upset, we can’t see the trees from the wood. But we should. We should take the time to understand ourselves, the way we work, the way we think, why we act certain ways.

We should all strive to be the best person we can, but we shouldn’t be too harsh. We are after all only human, we’re a flawed species to start with. We are overly emotional, or not emotional enough, we’re quick to judge, to pass comment, to jump to conclusions or assumptions. Why not just accept it and try to acknowledge when we’re doing so, but not be hating ourselves because of it.

I welcome my flaws, it makes me human, it makes me a rounded individual. My mistakes have given me lessons, experience, I wouldn’t change anything because of it. I’ve been wrapped up in my own life and own problems when I shouldn’t have been, I’ve been overly harsh when I needn’t have been, but guess what. I’ve learnt. I’ve grown, I’ve become a fuller person because of it so I’m going to suggest…

We give ourselves a break. Love ourselves, take the time to think about ourselves. We’re all good people deep down, trying to muddle through life as we can, find the right path, our way through a world of inconsistency, problems and drama. To be loved and accepted we must love ourselves, our whole selves. Believe in you. Love you.  Strive to be the best you, you can and then… Well regardless of outcome situation, you can never disappoint yourself. Let alone anyone else.

I’m a person and I love myself, in the most non arrogant, not overly confident or self-assured way possible. Lets all do the same.

Wimbledon, A National Treasure.

So it’s finally happened. I know there will be a thousand posts about the tennis tournament, people wishing Andy the best of Luck, pinning their hopes on one game. For those of who you aren’t clued up for the first time in 76 years an Englishman is in the final of Wimbledon.I say Englishman, there has always been a lot of contention surrounding Murray, when he’s losing he’s Scottish, when he’s doing well he’s England’s next best thing, that I guess is the way of the media, they want to sell papers, make controversial headlines and if they back what they think is local opinion or put something that will cause debate on front page, well then they will. I guess poor Murray’s just had enough stick.

Either way, he is our guy, born on bred on these shores, if not down the Southern End. Watching todays seminal final, the sublime first two sets and then the third, him crumble under the pressure, Tsonga suddenly come out with some strokes of pure genius and the fight that was the last set. It was one of those moments I can appreciate what all the fuss is about. I was out of my seat, cheering, urging him on, heart pounding, feeling his pain, his stress, urging him to do well.

What’s more, is I’m not fussed about the title for England or for us, but for him. To see a grown man cry and breakdown at making the final, that shows how much it means to him. I was so pleased for him, for his achievement, for his victory after struggling for two sets. I just, want him to do well, because you can see it’s all he’s ever wanted, the Wimbledon title, for a year at least.

For those of you who don’t understand what all the fuss is about, Wimbledon is kind of, an English Thing. It’s an event and tournament everyone loves, not like football where you support a team or if your female, normally don’t have that much time for. The Tennis on those greens, on centre court, on the outside lawns is, somewhat of a treasure. It’s all very English, Tennis; like Cream Tea’s and scones, bowling and croquet; it’s the old school Englishman, with his walking stick and wife with her parasol. It goes back to a time when we were great, when we were undoubtedly English.

Wimbledon itself is the centre of the summer for many. There have been films on it, endless coverage on telly and in the papers, it’s our thing. The grounds are famous; all players from around the globe know of the lawns, of playing at Wimbledon, what it means. They’re the best grass courts in the world, and there the place that everyone wants to do well, just because its Wimbledon, not because it’s a grand slam or because it’s another tournament, there is something special the place itself.

It’s the atmosphere. There is a buzz, tennis, comes alive. Everyone after watching that wants to be tennis pro, sling a cable knit sweater over their shoulders and a polo shirt, eat strawberries in the sun and watch a marvellous sport. We all want to be in whites, serving for set, there with the crowd cheering, that sense of achievement. We want to be sat up on Henman hill or in the stands staring down, cheering along, sighing and applauding every forehand and backhand, lob and slice. It doesn’t matter who’s playing either, it’s about the tennis, the amazing matches.

There have been some epic games in recent years, some amazing titles, the never-ending Federer- Nadal battles, Djokovic last season and to date last year’s champion, for two more days at least. But of course, we all remember the record-breaking match of Isner and Mahut. The longest, ever recorded and ever played tennis match, in history. It was Wimbledon 2012, The American took on the Frenchmen in the first round, both eager to make a good start and move on. It had been a close match all the way through. It came down to a tiebreak in the final set, incredibly tense, each man matched well. It was only the first round and both men burned each other out, knocking each other out of the competition, one by defeat, one from sheer exhaustion. The match totalled an incredible 11 hours five minutes and finished up, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(7-9), 7-6(7-3), 70-68. Yes that was Seventy, Sixty eight, a total of 183 games. It was an endless battle; each man served over 100 aces that day, and made history.

Its events like that, not just of that grand scale, but that level of tennis, that desire to win, to strive to do well on those courts, that atmosphere that make Wimbledon what it is. We all desire to go, to be there, in the crowd, to soak up that atmosphere, to see anyone, everyone, the big seeds and the freshers coming in that season.

It’s another one of those events that reminds us of our national pride, that thing I was talking of the other day, it’s something I am proud is British, that I treasure each year, it makes a British summer, along with the rubbish weather, endless coastlines and seaside holidays. So can you imagine, to have someone representing our country, in the final. The last man to do so was, in 1936 by Fred Perry, who had also won the two previous years. Standing at Wimbledon, a statue to the legend still stands today, and since then, no Englishman has been able to reach the title.  We had Henman and he never made it, now we have Murray, and we all pray they’ll be a statue in his name soon. He’ll be the player we all remember for breaking the English Wimbledon Winners drought, the man we’ll consider the treasure of our tennis history.

I’m not going to sit here and say Murray should win, there is enough pressure on him after all, but, Wouldn’t it be fantastic? It would make 2012 the UK’s true sporting sensation. He’s on good form, there’s a sense of timing, of things coming together, a glimmer of hope for all us Wimbledon and Tennis Fanatics, could this be our time?  I’m too jumbled with nerves, elation, pride and ecstasy to even write reasonably, with clarity and cohesion let alone start predicting scores and pinning the hopes of a nation on the racket of one man. I’m  just proud he’s got this far, proud to have the chance  at winning and for his personal achievement, proud to have sat sharing that experience with my nation, all watching and enthralled all the same. Come Sunday my only hope, is that he plays well, to give it the best shot, I hope he is as proud as we are for him taking us all to a final we won’t forget, whatever the outcome.

Come Sunday the country will be sat, glued to their telly’s, with munchies and refreshments ready, hardly daring to go to the loo, to glance away from the screen, to breath, desperately urging the our nations hopeful on. I’ll be there, talking to Andy, Yelling Murray Chants at the top of my lungs, jumping up and down, crying out in elation, and hopefully, hopefully…Triumph. Whatever Sunday holds, a records already been broken and It’s a match, no of us will miss.