Magic in my mind…

Oh where to start? I have much on my mind. Like:

  1. I did it! It only took a day of aching all over and feeling run over by a bulldozer, but I did it! I flaked out of something to spend some time taking care of myself! Wow (even though I’m still feeling a little guilty about it, and still have the Sgt Major trying to shout commands at me – “Martina isn’t aching all over tonight, Ragu’s out there climbing away and not aching all over – what’s wrong with you???” Me – “Meh, shut up. This is a niiiiice bath with bubbles and music and loveliness and now I won’t be sick on the weekend and I can have a wicked party on Saturday night. So Wah!” Grown up I know, but then I am very mature.)
  2. I’m kinda lonely out here. I wish for friends – who get in touch with me first. This little admission makes me feel right out there and exposed, for one gazillion reasons.
  3. Choose your life MondaysJennifer Louden’s new *thing* on her blog. It’s really cool. This week I chose to notice when I was trying to hurry away from myself and then breathe and relax my shoulders… Okay, so I didn’t realise just how much I was going to notice. I discovered that I pretty much spend my entire time in a great big hurry away from myself. And my shoulders round my ears! Hah.
  4. In the wishing for more friends, realising that I could be more friendly and approachable. Realising how scary that is for me – I am cripplingly shy and hate having to open up. I go very, very slowly with friends and feel petrified to open up to them. And no, I’m not exaggerating – I am in fact, exceptionally brave, because in spite of this I have found incredible friends whom I trust implicitly. But still – ? – what to do with the quivering ball of snot and scaredness inside with regards to making a move towards new friends…
  5. Yay! for learning how to meet myself where I am
    (goodness it took me ages to choose which of Havi’s posts I was going to use there, because they’re all genius – seriously, read her blog) because in one month I’ve gone from snot and tears and feeling awful and like it was never going to go away, to feeling that I think I’m moving on. That used to take me at least a year, if not two… In letting myself feel what’s come up, listening and just letting it be there (goes with the not running away from myself) I’ve discovered all sorts of really cool stuff about myself. Like I think I might be a nice person…, like I’ve got a really soft heart and how that’s amazing, granted I’ve spent most of my life fighting it rather than protecting it, but that can change now. Like – wow! I might find myself liking who I am and feeling… ahem, wait for it, perfect use of Havi vocab… biggified. And then back to being gentle as another layer of missing that stupid boy comes up again. Fuck I hate losing friends.
  6. And tonight, in that lovely bath with bubbles, looking at my poor bruised knees and my shark bite and bear bite and host of other more minor scars picked up over the summer and wondering why I am beating myself up (literally) to keep up with a pace that is too fast for me. Somehow, I am going to have to come up with a way to do these insane things that fill me with adrenalin and glee and not beat myself up. This basically means getting good at them; which takes time; which – AAARGH. Time? I don’t have time. Oh bollocks, I wish I could do everything, at once, now!
  7. Stopping my blog importing to facebook. Weird I know, because I want people to read this, but still not comfortable knowing that people I sort of know are reading this. Oh it’s a bit messed up and crazy. Like – friends – fine, Strangers – fine, Sort of strangers – whoa there! Anyway, I think it relates back to the whole blogging being able to make you feel vulnerable thing and whilst I’m working on it, I’m just not comfortable with really personal posts being on facebook – because facebook’s just not personal. My blog page is. Oh it’s weird – I’m sure you’ll get over it though.


Anyway, that’s about it really. Not much to say, because I’m tired. But happy – deep down happy – happier with myself than I think I’ve ever been, and I suspect this feeling will only go from strength to strength because, in my gut, it feels as if I’m on a Good path here. Oh! And Edward Monkton – makes me laugh and think and believe all at once – but mostly laugh cos his art is delightful. Check it ooouuuuut.

J

Armour

You’d be surprised at how vulnerable blogging can make you feel. I mean, considering I began this blog to tell people stuff, it’s amazing how much I don’t tell because I’m worried about letting people know what’s going on in my head. There are a number of posts that I’ve just hit the save button and closed down because I’m like,”whoa there – too much – waaay too much info.” I don’t really know who reads this and the idea of someone whose opinion matters to me seeing my rubbish on a page is seriously freaky.

For me, the idea of people seeing through the chinks is terrifying. I’m not sure why, only that instinctively, deep down I know that if they see through the chinks then they’ll be right there, in the freak zone with me. It’s my assumption that they won’t be saying, “Cool! I’m liking this freak zone!” Rather, they’ll be calling people with special suits and large doses of sedative to take me away.

But one day I’m going to have to start being okay with the fact that I’m about the softest person I know, exceptionally sensitive and really desperately scared of being hurt cos I feel a lot. That’s not to say I’m walking around pretending to be someone I’m not; you’re just not likely to know the exact extent of your effect on my life unless I trust you implicitly (i.e. you’re my sister). It’s exceptionally hard for me to let someone know I like them, in any capacity, because they might not like me back. I can listen and support and empathise till the cows come home, it’s easy. What’s not, is talking, because there’s a consequence to my words and there’s a chance it might not be positive.

Why am I bothering to post this? Because I’m trying something new. I’m thinking that if I’m so worried about being vulnerable/transparent/open…trusting then maybe what I need to do is be just that and be really supportive of myself whilst doing it, so that I can learn that the consequences are not always negative.

I’m no longer feeling so shit that I don’t care who knows I’m feeling shit and since this now allows me to lift my head up and look about me a bit, I’m seeing my zero-confidence-in-me-as-a-person-because-I’m-still-waiting-to-come-out-the-other-side, I’m noticing my cynicism developed to protect me from my heart yearning to find someone to love for the person they are and be loved back for that same reason, and I’m thinking that as long as I stop the world from seeing me (including this sickly blog- aargh) by putting up defences and letting nothing out, then how the hell am I ever going to be able to let someone love me for the person that I am? I’ll be so fucking scared that they’ll bugger off once they see past the sea of defences, that I’ll never be able to be me. I know this thinking, it’s happened a lot. I’ve kept my mouth shut, bottled up what’s to be said and hoped that letting the other person get on with doing whatever the hell they want will make them want to stay. It’s not a nice feeling, because you know that basically you’re giving them permission to not respect you at all as it’s obvious you don’t respect yourself to begin with, and it sure as hell doesn’t ensure they stay. (The Ungrateful So and So’s!)

I have to give myself permission to let the feelings out just a little bit more. Baby steps… I hope to one day be able to lay the armour aside and just relax about the whole, “oh hell, they’re gonna see that I want to be loved and that’s what drives pretty much everything I do.” I’m hoping this blog is a step on that road, as scary and as uncomfortable making as it is.

And just to confirm, I am so very aware that pretty much every human is driven by the need to be loved, and that pretty much every human has their crap and therefore what’s underneath the armour is pretty normal. But insecurity is personal. It has a nasty way of making you feel that you’re the only one. And my thinking is that acknowledging it might just help one more person not feel quite so alone and it also gives me permission to share a little bit of me. Two birds (hopefully), one stone…

 

THE Birthday

Yeah, okay… I’ll write about it. Nearly two weeks on, it’s not obvious, is it, that this is a sore subject?? No didn’t think so!

So basically, I got older. Pretty straight forward you’d think since it’s something that happens to everyone. This year it was a Problem. Cos, for some odd reason 27 feels like I should be Growing Up. Which is an idea which fills me with horror and dread. Growed Up = YUK! And why 27 particularly, except that now 30 really doesn’t seem that far away? (Goodness I can see 30 being an even bigger problem now – hold on to your hats as I may have a full on mid life crisis then) {This year I just joked about having one, but actually I’m too poor and can’t afford a Bentley or Aston Martin}.

But I had a fantastic time. My fab fandamily came to Wales for one night specially to have dinner with me at the most fantastic Italian (La Trattoria if you’re interested – it’s well worth a visit) Restaurant in South Wales. A bigger plus is that it is about 10 minutes away from our house. J Friends joined us and it was a night of laughter and giggles. I had to wear the most appalling hat that played Happy Birthday in my ear rather loudly and Martina made me about the most delicious cake ever. And…… and the restaurant even gave me a present – so impressed. During the day in the lead up to this Marti and I spa’d it away in the Vale Hotel, treating ourselves to some serious time out and full body delicious massages. You see – what more could a girl ask for? I felt exceptionally special and was so happy to have my nearest and dearest around me. On Monday (my birthday proper) I had Lemon Meringue Pie from the Italian Cafe in Llandysul (again a fantastic place which makes the best Lemon Meringue Pie. Whaaat??? You think I like Italian food? Nah – just LOVE it). YUMDIDDILY SCRUMPTIOUS. Oooh and I had a Turkish Delight Hot Chocolate which is definitely the way for Hot Chocolate to go.

So actually, in spite of my tantrums about getting older, I had a most fantastic time and the most fantastic food.

Food, friends, family and laughter – basically perfect.

As for things since then, well apart from our neighbours being prats, it’s been pretty much work, uni, work. We went and watched a bouldering competition last Friday which was awesuuum and highlighted to us just how rubbish we are! But it put a spark in our sparkly knickers and made us all fired up to Get Better at climbing. So we’re hitting the wall all day on Sunday and I’m properly looking forward to it. (Good grammar J) I’ve also finally decided to change the pedals on my bike! Since they were pretty much stopping me from going out. Thought process = oooh sun is shining, woods close by, bike? Argh, pedals, yuk, no. *sigh* So whilst my new pedals are on order, (spiffy ones that are normal on one side and cleats on the other, cos I do like how easy they make hills, but normal pedals for technical bits so I don’t have to fall off quite so much) I’ve decided to use my old pedals. Only problem was that the pedals were on so tight I had to take my bike back to the shop to get them loosened! However, now that’s done I should hopefully have a thought process something like= oooh, it’s not raining, woods close by, bike? YEAH BABY LET’S GO! J Kinda looking forward to it.

And of course, this year’s lessons continue to sink in slowly through my Brita Jug Brain, but it’s just not right, right now to be writing about them. Sometimes I just wonder if I should give up and concentrate full time on perfecting the sock goblin’s dance…

Neighbourhood Terrorists!!

I tell you what – George Bush and Gordon Brown are after the wrong people. Troops should immediately be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq, taken off standby for imminent invasion of Iran and deployed to Number 11 Meiros Close, Llanharan. Because by god those people are F*CKING NUTS!!! And absolutely not in a good way. Jeez I thought old dudes were supposed to be short on energy and high on having lived life and therefore in possession of a shred of perspective. No way José!

Last night, approximately 9:30pm (I’ve said before, it’s the details that count), Martina and I got back from university and as we’re pulling into the drive the headlights pick up something unusual on our doorstep. Curious and a little cautious we exit the vehicle and discover a pile of cat’s digestive by-product and a laminated note saying,

Cat Owners Beware!!!!

Your Cats continue to use my front garden as a toilet facility. We are fed up of clearing up their mess, so here it is for you to clean up. Everytime they use it in the future I will bring it across to you to get rid of, perhaps then you will realise how inconvenient it is for those of us who don’t own pets to clean up after other peoples.”

%$*&£$%*&%*$£%!!!! WTF???

Perhaps I should post a note back saying, “I have now given George and Stout a stern talking to and they apologize most sincerely for this behaviour. Had I been aware of it before hand I would have let them know on no uncertain terms that they are NOT TO DO THIS. They will not use your front garden as a “toilet facility” in future (but am assuming your back garden is still kosher?) Also I’m just wondering if you’re aware that you should have put a full stop after ….across to you to get rid of. Perhaps…. and that it should be other people’s not other peoples, oh yeah, and it’s every time not everytime? Dimwits.”

Not only can they not drive/park/converse politely with a fraction of normality, but they also can’t write. Good god! If you’re going to write a rude note to go with your harassing and insane behaviour at least take the time to ensure your grammar, spelling and sentence construction are correct. At least use spell check…. please.

Martina’s suggestion was to put a plaque on their lawn saying, “POLITE NOTICE – could all neighbourhood cats refrain from using this front garden as a “toilet facility” with immediate effect. The occupiers find it very inconvenient. Thank you for your co-operation.”

Because cats can read…

And I have control of where my cats go to the loo…

And I’m going to win the lottery even though I haven’t bought a ticket….

And there’s a god…

Bloody nutters.

 

I called the police…. heh heh heh.

No idea what the hell this one’s called

No idea about much really… wondering, in fact, if that’s the whole point? Wasn’t it Confucius or someone (Socrates even???) who said something about only knowing they know nothing?

Ah, who cares? I might be a bit tired and rambling!!!

I had a fantastic day today. I really enjoy the people I work with; they’re good fun and they’re good at what they do. I feel I can truly stretch myself there and go ahead and climb and reach for new experiences. Then I get to the end of the day and I find myself feeling rubbish and wonder what it’s all about. How much of this is my creation? How much of this is just life? Am I just a self obsessed spoiled brat who can’t do anything but think that stuff’s not good enough?

I’m pretty upset with my mum tonight because I feel like her stuff has gotten in the way of us being a family together – for just one night. And then I feel that I’m not being fair in my assessment. In actuality I know I’m not. Given her circs in my life I would probably do the same thing – i.e. think of myself first and that’s the way it should be. But it doesn’t stop me being disappointed and it doesn’t stop me from wanting her to be a different person right now and for this weekend to go ahead as planned. Because I love her loads and I was really looking forward to seeing her and I’m disappointed that I won’t, so that’s why I’m upset. It’s frustrating.

It’s all frustrating. The whole Tom thing, the Mum thing, all of it. I’m not in control. It sucks. I’m supposed to be able to move on – I can’t. I’m stuck in this hurt and this vulnerability and feeling like it’s all going wrong for me at the moment. It’s not – it’s going fantastically. I’m having wonderful relationships with my friends, being able to depend on them as I’ve never let myself before. I’m having a great time at work, enjoying looking at stuff for myself and going for it. University is…. there! What more could I ask for? But it seems my vision is narrowed down to this one thing and that’s all I can see. All that I can focus on is this one rejection and how much it has hurt me. That doesn’t seem right to me – and I’m sure it’s not. In my head right now I hear myself thinking1 that it should be easy, now that I can see that I’m just focusing in on this one thing then I should be able zoom out and refocus – on the bigger picture. On the loveliness that is my actual, exceptionally fortunate reality. See this situation for the small blip that it is. In my heart…there’s a big yawp. Whatever that is – it just is.

A. Big. Yawp.

Caused by I dunno what. A big monumental shift, of something inside caused by something pretty insignificant, and I’m waiting to come out the other side like I know I will, cos I always does.

Waiting…. and waiting… and waiting…

I did manage to walk around Tesco’s yesterday thinking charming thoughts about myself (Thank you Kathy – I did indeed walk very straight) and would recommend this method to anyone.

I did just have a little epiphany whilst writing this about how I’m all focused in on this one thing and how I need to back off and look at the bigger picture.

I did just realise that thinking about all the stuff that’s good in my life is far more enjoyable than thinking, “ugh I feel rubbish” and thought it might be worthwhile to focus on that stuff more instead so here’s a try:

  • Here’s to my wonderful Mum, for being brave and true to herself, even though I know it was scary for her and that she knew I’d be upset.
  • To Kath – for being fantastic and talking to me for AGES last night and telling me to remember I’m gorgeous all the way round the supermarket.
  • Marti – for being the bestest housemate ever. No, I’m not being too sugar sweet – she is fantastic.
  • George and Stout – they give me cuddles all the time, especially when I’m feeling rotten.
  • And my work, because it’s just a fantastic place where I can be myself.
  • Last but not least…. my bike – cos it’s a beautiful thing of wonder!!! Lol (and I can’t work the pedals properly still!!!)
  • Blogs too, cos they can be pinky purple…

Yeah okay… you get my drift J But I do feel better – yay!

BTW – Socrates also said, “Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” Seems not much changes eh? J

1 On an aside, do you really hear yourself thinking? Or do you think your thinking? How do you realise what’s going on in your head? Anyway it seems like my voice to me…

Life, Love and Inspiration

“Life is an occasion – rise to it”Mr Magorium in Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Happy Samhain to everyone!

Because it should be said – why not? (Actually, since I’m in Wales, should it be Happy Nos Galan Gaeaf?) Anyway, Samhain is the time of year for remembering and looking back. The apparent thinning of the veils between worlds is supposed to make it possible to commune with the dead – whether this is true or not I don’t know, and in any case, I’m exceptionally fortunate and all my nearest and dearest are still around… kicking. J

Soooo, I thought I’d spend this festival thinking back over the events of the last year, because (in case you haven’t heard), it’s been eventful for me; and I’ve learned A LOT… I thought it would be good to get that learning out of my head and onto paper/ computer screen. Cos it gets it out my head – and then I can think about other things, you know, cos the other stuff is out of my head…

So what have I learned? Weeeelllll mainly:

  1. I don’t like break ups. They suck. Whether you are the dumper or the dumpee (I’ve been both this year – just crammin’ in the experiences), they’re a crappy time that bring up loads of STUFF. They make you feel like the bottom is falling out of your world and you want to curl up in a ball and never, ever uncurl. The vulnerability that you suddenly and shockingly come face to face with is hugely threatening and you have to find massive reserves of inner strength to just be with the sucky, sucky feelings and not try to hide them, fix them or run away from them. However, if you can just be with them, I’ve learned that you do find that inner strength and discover you have bucketfuls of it and that you are amazing just because you’re getting through this with a modicum of dignity. Sitting with the vulnerability has, strangely, helped me be so much more accepting of it. Which is huge for me because…

     

  2. My biggest fears are rejection and failure. My buttons have been pushed big stylee by these fears this year and by being able to accept the vulnerability which these two fears are created by I’ve begun to be able to take the baby steps of being able to reach out when I need help. My thinking has changed and I’m realising that I’m worth other people’s affection and love and that I can ask for it and I should. Because other people are just as vulnerable and sometimes need to know that you need them too. What’s more, in realising a little self worth I’ve been able to realise that…

     

  3. Generally, the shit that other people throw at you has absolutely nothing to do with you. It’s their shit, not your shit; therefore, when you’re busy asking yourself for the thousandth time, “What did I do wrong?” it’s worth remembering that the answer is probably NOTHING. It’s enormous for me, because until now, whenever I’ve been blown off, chucked out, downgraded to shit on the bottom of someone’s shoe etc, I’ve blamed myself. My thinking has always been, “Well they don’t want me, so therefore it’s probably my fault.”

     

    It is logical, but also a pretty hard and exceptionally untrue thing to think. Not so good for feeling good about oneself.

     

    Being able to think, “I know I’m worth something. I know I’m a pretty special person. In fact, the reasons for me believing that about myself are that I’ve acted with kindness, compassion, integrity and honesty in this situation. I’ve been understanding and supportive beyond what is deserved by this situation and therefore there is nothing more that I could have done to influence the outcome and the decision that person made. They made it because of their stuff, not because of me…” has been a monumental shift in the way I think. It’s cool. I could write about it all day. I don’t even think I would mind if it bored you senseless in writing about it all day – cos it’s cool.

     

    Very, very cool.

     

  4. True friends and family are irreplaceable. They’ve stood by me this year. Held my hand, passed me tissues, given me hugs, places to live and encouraging words. They’ve told me I’m wonderful, marvellous and magical until I started to believe it just a little bit and it will be impossible to thank them for it and imbue those thanks with just how grateful I feel. It makes me want to pop with love for them. And now I sound corny and insincere. SEE….?
    J

     

  5. Last but definitely not least – HUGS ARE IMPORTANT. End of. I need say no more – we all need more of them. Quick hugs, bear hugs, long cwtches, cuddles and sob-in-my-shoulder-I’m-not-letting-you-go-and-I-don’t-mind-if-I-get-all-snotty-as-a-result life savers – they’re all amazing and one of the most comforting things available. The world needs more hugs.

     

That about sums it up. J

Oh, and that happy endings aren’t guaranteed even if you do act true to yourself (even if all the books/ other people/ websites etc seem to imply that if you act true to yourself you’ll be rich/happy/in love/ floating on clouds forever and never have a care in the world again) and that acting true to yourself and learning from life is something you do for yourself rather than to get rich/happy/in love/ floating on clouds forever and never have a care in the world again. These things have all made me realise that the person I have to consider most in my life is me; that my approval of myself is of utmost importance and, whilst this may seem to be the most basic logic in the world to some and a statement of the utmost obviousness, other people’s opinions (or my imaginings of other people’s opinions of myself and consequential acceptance/ disapproval of me) are not the important ones.

So I have said before that I wouldn’t wish this last year of upheaval, moving and enormous mounds of emotion on my worst enemy, but the lessons I have learned are pure gold and, I suspect, will prove to be invaluable to me in the future. For this, I can say that I’m truly happy and grateful, and properly listening when it’s suggested:

“Have more faith, not in what other people think you are, but in who you know you are.” – Jonathon Cainer