I think its about time

romance

…to date again. Oh yes, some of you will know it was May time that I split from my last partner and I think i’m finally set to get back onto the dating scene. I don’t know about everyone but I find that a reasonably stressful sort of activity. For someone who loves to meet people, I don’t really get the chance.

There is alot of etiquette with dating that I rarely have time for, for example. There’s the first meet, that I’m all good with, love getting to know people and having a chat, then you exchange numbers and my first problems arise, I’m useless on my phone. Its one of those old school £10 jobbys, with no internet, or fancy apps. It doesn’t do texts in a running conversation but has a capped limit of 100 it’ll hold. As you can imagine, I’m not one constantly attached to it, which for my age I guess is a rarity, but it also means when I’m supposed to be getting to know someone and seeming interest, and I forget to look at my phone for two days, I come off as a little disinterested.Then there is the second, third, fourth dates, where to go, what to where, whether to kiss, to take it up a notch, meeting friends, staying over. Its all alot of hassle that I don’t really buy into. Despite this I’m thinking of giving it a go again. My friends have signed my up to an online dating profile as a bit of a laugh, I’ve got my flirty eye on on nights out, and i’m making sure I leave the house with make up on and something other than a hoody to the shops – you know, because you never know.

With so many disasters its amazing that we’d ever want to date again and get back out there, but someone once said all you need in life is love. Well I can think of a few more things, but the companionship is definitely something you miss, and I could do with a cuddle occasionally from more than my cat or a teddy. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all want to meet someone and have someone to go home to. I’ve never been one for getting married and having babies. Actually I’d say that its something I cant see in my life, nor strive for, but that doest mean that I don’t enjoy having a partner, I was just never that little girl that grew up with a fairytale idea of a relationship and my life. I just think, if it happened, it happened, if not – its really not a concern of mine.

Anyways, I’ve decided to blog about my disasters and somewhat hopeless love life, if you feel like reading it, definitely drop by to datemedaily.wordpress.com, I promise it’ll be a hoot.

Revelation of my brains sex.

I fear this may be one of those posts I dread, when I think I am surely going to offend someone or say something out of turn that someone won’t like but, I’ve realised something today, that I had not ever really given much thought before. I wish I was a man -just because I own a strap on dildo and sleep with women doesn’t mean I want a penis – I want to be, A Man – sort of. Now even writing that sentence seems odd to me, looks odd, doesn’t feel right, something in me says I am glad I am not a man, I have no desire to be one, and yet, I am extremely envious. I am jealous even, of men.Now before I go any further, I do not under any circumstances see myself as anything but a strong female. I am all woman in all senses, I love being a woman, I love the way men look at you, I love flirting, I love being with women… I love the physics of women, I love our figures, our complexity, I love our aesthetics, but I don’t like our traits. I have always laughed and said to people, you need to think of me as a man, not a girl. They’ve all given me the same look and in time they’ve realised its true. I pride myself on my male characteristics.

I’ve never been a woman who wanted to do herself up, to make a massive effort with clothes, with short skirts and outrageous diets, I didn’t wanna look like I’d been pushed through Topshop backwards – I didn’t want to compete. Why? Because I didn’t, don’t, want to be viewed as a woman, to be perceived as a ‘woman’ in men’s eyes. I’ve never wanted to look as though I’ve tried to hard, that I’ve made an effort, that I’m one of those people who spends hours in a mirror worrying about their looks and what people will think, because I guess I don’t. I never wanted to come across as emotional, as stressy, as concerned with life’s trivialities, to talk about shoes, and whose friends with who, to bitch or to get upset that some boy didn’t text me, quite frankly because those things, don’t concern me. I want to be wanted, but not owned, not to be someones missus, to get married and have babies and fall into the role of mother and wife because I have the parts, it wasn’t ever a dream of mine as a little girl.

I do not think, before I continue, I am better than anyone else. I’m stereotyping massively but, sit in a coffee shop all day and observe female behaviour and I hate to say it, the stereotypes there for a reason. Female bonding culminates on three topics, Bitching, Boys and Buys. We love to slag each other off, have a good gossip, talk about what someones wearing as they walk past, or had we heard that… we love other people’s lives, women are born nosey, its something we can’t escape. I pride myself on being someone who doesn’t care, who doesn’t get involved, let people do as they will and I wont worry myself with it too much, my family are the only people who matter, and my friends are my family, as I’ve said before, they are few and far between and I value them as blood. Then boys, women love to talk about men, about sex, who they’ve been with, what they think, what they do, who’s the bastard, the old flame, the cheat, the new lover… It’s all being nosey, again. Then buying, shopping, appearance. What make up you use, how much the shopping was, what bargain someone got, what they wear, what they won’t, what shape they are…

To me, none of this matters. Having dated girls, I dislike the fuss. There is a lot of fuss as a woman, over lots of things and I prefer the more simplistic. Women are complicated, they are illogical, over thinkers, overly stimulated, we dot relax, we don’t enjoy life simply. Dating a woman is a minefield, even as a girl, we make no sense most of the time, we change like the winds and we contradict ourselves, continually. We’ve all heard men say it and we are quick to damn their sex for their insolent remarks, yet date a woman and it becomes clear, even we don’t understand ourselves.

And so I guess, I would consider myself to have a mans perspective yes. But it had never occurred to me that I dislike being a women, or having womanly traits before. I knew I wasn’t a feminist. I believe that women should have equal rights to men yes, that we should have the same freedom as anyone else, but that’s because, I believe I am sort of, a man. I don’t care for the same things other girls seem to around me, or care for female companionship in general because of it. I don’t feel I fit in. I’m called, crude because my humours dirty and normally borderline sexist, but in an amusing way. But I actively dislike myself when I am acting like a woman.

I don’t mean a female, let me make that clear, I mean a woman as in the traits that I see women to possess that make me, weak. Being over emotional, needy, worrying about what people think, or what I say, wanting people to like me, and to understand.. Being concerned with how my nails are, whether my make ups looking good, whether I look skinny enough…Talking inanely about things that don’t matter, like the neighbours or gossiping about someone needlessly, even if without malice… I feel it makes me feel weak. It makes me angry at myself, feel negative about my behaviour or feelings.

I am quick to say, god I sound like a woman, god I’m being a woman, to snap myself out of any behaviour I see as unfit, mulling over something too much, over thinking something like a relationship, dithering, one of my own pet hates. I defend myself when I’m acting like that, saying I must be coming on soon, or don’t judge me I’m having a moment, it’s embedded in me that being a woman isn’t a strength. Or more, the qualities that separate us from men aren’t always a strength many quite the opposite.

Yes we feel compassion and care, and kindness that men do not. We forge stronger more meaningful relationships because we attach emotions, we are understanding, more forgiving, more thoughtful and therefore a lot of the time, more insightful than our male counterparts. But, we also upset ourselves needlessly, think too much into things and tie our knickers in knots, worry about things we have no control about, bitch and back-stab each other. My room is decorated in girly posters, in trinket boxes and photo albums, in kitsch sayings and signs, they make me happy, I am comfortable with cushions and soft things, pretty things, It’s not being a girl I have an issue with it seems. Not my sex, but my gender. My gendered identity.

I focus a great deal at University on the study of men, the study of women don’t concern me, feminist works irritate me, unless they are period pieces. Women who fall down as heroines and need saving by strong men, the opposite women that stand up to men as symbols of femininity and strength, yet they are not, they are emotional and its these qualities that make them the hero, and yet to me, it’s what make them weak. The characters I like are devious, over sexual beings, that use men as they do, that stand defiantly, that have men’s jobs, that wear flat shoes, that swear and spit and all the rest.

Men, I do not worship, nor think are perfect. They are confusing for the reasons we aren’t, for their lack of emotion when only emotion seems to be the answer, they are simple, they just want to make tit jokes and be lads, not engage in deep conversation like I like to, like I guess most girls do. They are in some respects two-dimensional, yet even in our society they are still in a better position. Women are still considered weaker in the work place, because we’ll want to go off and have babies at some point, they’re weaker at home, not the breadwinners, they look after the husband and they keep them, they’re weaker in parliament, in politics, in literature, in films, in every discourse you can think of. We are confined by our genders as men are agreeably, yet I never knew I disliked it so.

Recently I’ve grown my nails, they’re long and people remark on how pretty they are, i’m obsessed with painting them, because I’m proud of them, I’d never been able to grow them before, always been to weak and given into a nibble. I’ve shopped for new clothes, for trousers and skirts and going out stuff, something I’d never been concerned with, but I don’t have anything to wear out and my clothes are two big. I’ve lost weight and now I’m thinking about what  I look like all of a sudden. I literally hate it. Every time I say something, earlier I mentioned getting my hair cut, why, why do I suddenly care. I don’t, it was a passing comment about my week and yet I sound like a woman, I curse myself for it. But why? that’s the big thing…

I don’t understand why it bothers me so. Why I see it as a bad thing, where this idea of weakness came from, why I feel the need to rebel against it almost when I do find myself thinking something girly, why I have such a dim view of womanhood… and yet its there. All the time, this nagging when I say, what shall I wear tonight, because, I don’t really care, if I’m overdressed, undressed, I’ll feel no awkwardness about it, I won’t ‘not’ go if I don’t think I’m wearing the right thing, yet I’m saying it so it does concern me. My brain seems to fight my own gender.

Then, we all fight our own stereotypes. If you think about it, a guy may be in a group of friends and they’re playing x box, drinking, enjoying themselves, making a few girl jokes, bit of bantar, he’s perceived as a lad, so a player, and a flirt and probably a cheat, yet he could be the most sensitive guy, but we stereotype immediately. You might sing on the way home from a  night out, take your heels off and walk arm in arm with a girl, guys may find themselves in fights yet we’d hate to be called youths, the ones we hear about in the newspapers, that get drunk, don’t work, are violent and common and lacking in common courtesies, morals even. Yet, you’d no doubt be called one, by someone, somewhere, in their mind. I don’t like people who judge a book by their cover, I’m as guilty as anyone, yet I guess that is my point, I actively dislike being associate with any category, especially a woman’s more sensitive traits.

I guess you could say it all comes down to perception and being image conscious then, and yet I don’t care what people think, whether they like me, think I’m funny, hate me, yet on some level I do. I don’t want to be viewed, more importantly, as weak. Maybe because I am weak, maybe because I’m self-conscious, maybe because I feel I need to prove myself to people somehow, or maybe because I don’t like being sold short, and we all have strength other people never see. But further than that, I don’t want to be seen as anything less than me, and I’m a babble of contradictions, complications, complexities and conundrums. I’m everything I am, and everything I am not at once. Being categorised means you are judged, your sold short, people put you in a category that you then don’t fit into necessarily, if not certainly not all the time.

…What my conclusion to this revelation, I do not know if there is anyone in general, more an understanding of just how complicated we really are. I am indeed a contradiction in terms, myself versus my sex but that’s Ok, we’re all odd in our own ways – I guess it’s just another of my quirks.

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.

The Black Destruction of Words…

As writers we all want to create something new, something poignant, something funny, something heartfelt, something honest…We strive to find that perfect phrasing, that sentence that says more in a few words than a paragraph could. We want clarity, perfection – drama.

We strive to delete all the unnecessary words, to strip back to what’s not needed to what simply is. It’s a hard task. Then there’s the inspiration. Where to start, how to draw together an idea from the hundreds of bubbling brooding thoughts of our mind.

What if, there was a way of using another’s work, and creating something, totally unique, unrelated to what was there before, that brings life, colour and meaning to a piece of work. Well, I introduce, Black out poetry.

Created by Austin Kleon, the idea is simple. Take a newspaper, find an article. Do not read it, do not spend time working through the article, do not try to force something out of it that is already there… Find a word – A phrase – something that stands out. It could and probably should be random, something that stands out to you. Skim for related words, words that fit the idea or the topic, the mood you’ve already chosen. Get a marker pen. Heres the fun bit… Draw around your chosen words, link the words across the page, and create something ingenious.

It sounds easy, but it’s a skill, a talent and something that will take time. Everyone can do it, but its a new way of working and as we all know, it takes a little time to adjust. When your little poems formed, black out everything else. Wipe the page clean so its only your words, your work that stands out against the darkness. You’ve made your first poem.

Blackout poetry provides a great starting point for all poets, writers and those who enjoy literature in general. It gets your creative flow going, it allows in the shortest of time to create something unique from something plain, bland – the pages of a newspaper. You can use the poem as inspiration for a longer piece of writing, to adapt into an epic poem or simply, to hold on its own, as its own piece of art.

The best thing about Newspaper Blackout is simply, you can do it anywhere. Over a morning coffee, on the train to and from work, in bed when you can’t sleep, in any spare five minutes you have a day. We all know of five-minute exercises that are supposed to keep us in touch with our creativity and help our writing, but what better way to do it than to, force something from our minds and get stressed about that five minutes. Sit back, relax, and just do it.

Austin Kleon is to me, a hero in his own right. A figurehead for the generation of writers that are finding more creative ways to be, well, creative. To find art in the profoundest of places, to work with something that’s already there, to reinvent the written word and poem.

Stealing! I hear you say… How can something be creative, be individual, be unique, when you’ve stolen someone else words, when you’ve had no hand in the writing itself. If you’re still of this mind, you’ve missed the point of Blackout completely. Its recreating not reiterating. You aren’t working with something already there and condensing, your finding something new, something hidden, amongst the garble of corporate wording.

Now I’ll admit, I’m not that great. I’m hardly the next and newest Blackout poet, ready to set your minds alight and show you examples of brilliance but you know, its a new hobby. Its something exciting and more importantly, its something I enjoy. Why not give it a go, and see what you may discover, lost and found on your favourite broadsheet.

To get a better idea of what I’m talking about check out, Austin Kleon’s book “Blackout Poetry” or http://newspaperblackout.com/ for examples and ideas to inspire you all. The best thing about the website, you can post your own works, and if your lucky (such as my friend and colleague at Uni) Austin may just reblog it himself as a fine example, of just what he wanted to achieve.

But why stop at newspapers. Think of the possibility, every old book you hate, those long-winded Victorian epics that bored you silly, wouldn’t you like to destroy the text and create something, brilliant? A journal, a pamphlet, an old novel, a horoscope… The opportunities are endless. Suddenly every word ever written can be recreated, redesigned, reinvented, recreated.

We always say how can you write something new when everything’s been written once before? Well… start with the stuff that has been done, and find your own magic within…

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.

Rediscovering your past love…

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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.

A little bit Self Absorbed.

For the first time in a long time I can say I became totally absorbed in my life. Somehow, somewhere I have lost two weeks of my time to what I can only describe as a surreal reality. Not to sound overly vague or highfalutin, but literally time seems to have disappeared as I became totally immersed in my own world.

I’ve met someone.  Now that’s a big statement when only out of a relationship for 8 weeks, even if it was a long time coming, and I’m not saying that this is the one, the love of my life or anything like that. But we do seem to get on, too well. I am fully aware that what I may be feeling or experiencing is just a rebound, is a continuation of my past relationship of which I will snap out of, realise it isn’t me and need some time, that I may be feeling needy and lonely and wanting someone to fill a void in my life but whichever…

I’m happy. I’m happily being made happy and happy to enjoy being so. I believe in life we meet people for a purpose. I’ll go into it more one day and it might sound harsh but its true. So maybe my new beau’s purpose is simply to make me realise I need time, or that I’m not over my ex, or whatever but he’s making me happy – happier than I ever was before.

He makes me laugh till I cry, is immature and fun in a way that I’d forgotten how to be, is cute and cheeky and spirited, he adores me and makes me feel special, makes me feel important, respected, wanted… I’d forgotten how that had felt. Even in a long-term relationship I’d forgotten, because we didn’t have that. And its a lovely surprise and treat to feel so.

Do not get me wrong, I am not simply leading this boy up the garden path just for my own enjoyment, I care for him a great deal, having known him for two years, I respect him, treasure his opinion, care for his welfare, and like him immensely. This is not early doors in that sense. What I mean though is despite outcome, sometimes you just have to live.

It would be easy to say there are reasons this shouldnt happen or I shouldnt go along with it, get caught up in things when I’m vulnerable even if not feeling it whatsoever, yet why. Experience as I’ve said before should never be passed up. One of my favourite lines from a film is from the Bucket List, “Three things to remember when you get older – Never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on and never trust a fart” its crude in a way that suits me but its got a point. My own memento would be, “Never waste an experience, never pass up an opportunity, never forget a feeling.”

Dont wait and waste days thinking what you should be doing, do what makes you happy. Enjoy life and take every hand that s offered to you, never forget how it felt to be liked, loved how someone made you feel before it went sour, how pain hurts and experience scars, but learn from it.

I’m not one for being self-absorbed but the two weeks when my new beau was staying have flown by. I wanted nothing more than to just be with him, like a teenage crush or a virgins first touch, I wanted to just be near to stare at him, kiss him, snuggle him… and all the more adult less fantastical features of relationships. We walked. we cycled country lanes and down hill courses, slept and sun bathed on sun-kissed beaches, talked till the early hours, snuggled in bed, ate out, ate in, ate off each other… you get the picture. If you could imagine a perfect two weeks, I’ve had it.

And I’ve woken up with a bump. I’ve been one of those who forgets her friends, forgets her responsibilities, gets absorbed in a fantasy and forgets what life’s about… and yet arent I allowed? sometimes? To be selfish, to be absorbed and wanted and liked and quiet and irresponsible and childish and all those other things. Isn’t life, living for the moment? Capturing life’s essence and enjoying the time we have?

I may not be going on holiday this year, but I’ve had the vacation I needed, right at home, I’ve forgotten my life and my woes and been happily washed away to a foreign land where nothing but sun fun and frolicking were the order of the day. So maybe we should all take a day off or two, enjoy ourselves a bit.

And I’ll certainly enjoy this new little chapter and turn of events, whatever it may hold for me.

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.

Hips, Hernia’s and Headf*cks.

I guess all my posts of late have been leading up to this one – My general mood state and life at present. I guess it might put things in a bit of perspective. I hadn’t and haven’t really wanted to go into details, I’m a positive sort of person and I haven’t felt like going into details. But the more people I connect with in our lovely blogging community I guess it doesn’t matter.

This idea I keep badgering on about, about loving yourself, being less critical, being positive is because, I guess that’s precisely what I’m having to be that moment. Resilient. I’ve just broken up with my partner of two years, currently sat with both my legs cast awaiting news of a massive operation, with a 25% chance of walking afterwards.

I’m a girl with incredibly unlucky health. This year it would appear it’s finally come to a head. I’ve had problems with my lower limbs for years, taking strong painkillers everyday that have caused my stomach to bleed and my liver to panic, my kidneys to struggle, my general health to diminish. I’ve collapsed ankle joints, femoral anteversion (my knees point inwards so I can’t bend my legs without them touching) and hips that dislocate. I spend a great deal of time struggling to walk or on crutches, with swollen joints and agonising aches.

Yesterday I went for a scan of my abdomen and have two congenital hernia’s, holes in my stomach wall I was born with and my intestines are poking through the muscular wall, causing a great deal of discomfort for years and never realising what it was. I’ve a heart condition, that causes me to randomly blackout and feel as though I’m having a mild heart-attack, not being able to breathe, shaking uncontrollably and slipping in and out of consciousness.

I’ve had depression since a child. Diagnosed ten years ago, I’ve had everything, CBT, counselling, Psychotherapy, and drugs everyday. My brain simply doesn’t make those lovely happy chemicals that keep us all ticking over nicely. To put it simply, I’m a bit of a mess at the moment.

Everyday is a struggle to get up, find the energy, suffering with insomnia, no sleep because of pain and discomfort, I spend much of my time uncomfortable and wandering whats the point. But there is one, I refuse to give in and have everything affect me. So I may be clinically depressed, always in a state of depression, but if you met me you’d see I’m one of the happiest, most positive people you’ll ever meet.

So it may be a well placed mask, a front to cover up how I feel, but to be honest, my life isn’t that awful. I refuse to give in, lay back and feel sorry for myself. I’ve a lot on my plate yes, but it isn’t unmanageable. It isn’t something I can’t handle, it’s just life. Its full of ups and downs and curveballs and mine, well are just as anyone elses I guess.

I refuse to be self loathing, self-interested, self obsessed. To think about my life and no one else and get down about it. It’s just one of those things I deal with and I’m ok with that. You’ll never hear me moaning that I’m in pain, that I’m not feeling great. I’ll never say I’m having a bad day or I can’t cope because, tomorrow I could be fine. I stay positive, look for the good in life and focus on being happy, whatever that means.

Life isn’t a box of chocolates. We can’t pick the path we’re given or the things we have to deal with, but we still have to. Whether I feel like it or not, I still have a life to lead, things to be doing, things to concentrate on. I have many things going for me and that’s what we all must remember. I’ll no doubt go into detail about everything at some point, but to be honest, I don’t feel the need to dwell, to linger on things that I can’t control.

Best to carry on, to remind yourself that life could be far far worse, and carry,well in my case, hobble on 🙂 Everyone has problems, no ones are worse than anyone elses because they’re relative to what we’ve dealt with in the past, what we’ve had to face, a small bump to one person could be a big deal to someone else. It’s not ok to put someone else down or demean them for being upset about something trivial, if indeed it’s affecting them, well. It’s all about being understanding and respectful of other people and their lives.

I like my life, for all its ups and downs and traumas. So its stressful, so I’m likely to have a heart-attack by the time I’m thirty, likely to end in a wheelchair and to struggle everyday to want to be here and carry on, but it’s what makes me. We are made by our experiences. I have resilience, self-respect and a self-awareness others can only dream of. I am the person I am because of what I deal with. I cope because I have done and will always continue to do so.

I am positive because I want to be, because life’s to short and life is about the ride, the journey. I enjoy living, I enjoy my pain, it makes me feel alive, I enjoy the struggles because it’s when your realise who you really are, what you’re truly about – your essence and core is, revealed almost.

This may be the only time you hear me being, negative if you like. And it’s not so much that, it’s just stating life as it is. I’m not asking for sympathy of for people to be concerned about me. I don’t bang on about health issues for attention or love. I am just me.  So I may hide whats really going on, I may wear a front some days, present a happier me than I’m really feeling but, it’s not that I don’t want people to know, that I’m ashamed or that I think people would think I’m a whiny bitch… It’s just, it isn’t a big deal to me – it isn’t a focus.

What is, is being happy, helping others, getting my education, spending time with loved ones, bettering myself as a person, enjoying every minute as maybe pessimistically put, It might be your last. That’s not negative, its optimistic. If you live life as though today is your last day, you never waste time, you embrace every second, even if that’s sitting down and doing nothing or out and about making the most of your day.