Sunday, 14 January 2018

Lone Wolf

I sometimes wonder if all humans are really pack animals. I don't think I am. I love my family and friends, don't get me wrong. But I often find it really hard to find the desire to spend time with them. Once I'm there it's great and I generally enjoy myself. But the get up and go can be hard to find.

Perhaps it's because I've become part of more social groups as I've gotten older. There are more people to see and thus more people I feel beholden to. Add to that family obligations and a job where I am customer facing (in a very demanding and hands on way) and suddenly I'm spending a lot of my time interacting with people.

I'm an introvert. I require time on my own to recharge. But getting that time feels selfish these days. Turning down friends because I want to sit on the sofa with my cats and knit feels awful when it's so hard to find time that we're all available. Shutting myself away in the bedroom because I really have no energy to interact with my husband and daughter makes me feel like a terrible wife and mother.

How can I balance all the demands that people have of me whilst not losing myself in the process?

I guess the answer is by trying my best. Making arrangements with people and trying to stick to them. Crying off when I know I need some time alone. Taking the time to sit on the sofa, or having a crazy long bath. Knowing that at times I am going to come off as frustrating and accepting that. Getting good at making apologies and being the most present version of myself that I can be when I do socialise.

I suppose that is all that I can do.

Friday, 5 January 2018

The weekly blog

So I've tasked myself this year to write a blog every week. It'd funny that I waited until the new year to start as I am so opposed to new year's resolutions. But the year started on a Monday and I liked the idea of a measurable 1 a week against the 52 of a new year.

I'm not thinking of it as a resolution though. Just like I don't think of any of the things I want to do as resolutions. It's just a to do list. I hate new year's resolutions. We all think about these giant changes we want to make and then we put them off until this arbitrary date. At which point we work really hard on them for a couple of months, realise that actually these things take quite a bit of time and effort, slack off, eventually give up. Rinse and repeat next year.

I'd rather we all took steps RIGHT NOW to make the changes that we want to make. To ourselves, to the world. Look at what you want to do. Look at all the steps it's going to take to get from A to B. Start plotting them and then just make a start. It may take more than a year. It may take your whole damn life. Don't give up if you fail or struggle. Just get right back on it again. Start over, make progress.

Life isn't just going to give you what you want. I mean, it might, stranger things have happened. But that chances are it won't. Which means work and effort and time and commitment.

So what do you want to do this year?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Oof, it's been a while

Yowzer. 16 months since I last wrote anything here. I've mentally composed many a blog but I never get around to writing them. I like to type on a proper keyboard for things like this and lately it seems that there is never a time when I'm alone at home long enough to write.

It's silly that I need to be alone to write. I mean, I'm going to release it into the world where anyone can read it. But heaven forbid anyone glancing over my shoulder at what I'm writing!

I'm going to try though. There is so much bouncing round my brain and my heart at the moment that I honestly feel I need to write.

We'll see how long it lasts.

Monday, 18 January 2016

The Oddness of Grief - Part 2

This week I feel sad.

On Saturday it was my birthday. A local cinema was showing Labyrinth in honour of it's 30th year. This was planned before Bowie's death. It was sold out before Bowie's death. Labyrinth fans, we are legion. Before the film they showed some old gig footage and some of the newer music videos. David and Tilda Swinton? Yes please. That was a delight. Lazarus? Less so. I'd seen that video earlier in the week and been fine but it really hit me on Saturday.

The film was wonderful as always. I sang along. I felt sad at all the parts I usually felt sad as. I admired the fans that had come to the showing in costume. There was a raucous round of applause at the end. It was a lovely experience. I left the cinema not exactly happy but feeling that I had enjoyed myself.

Then I went to work on Sunday and I felt sad. I felt sad all day. Close to tears on many occasions. I feel that way today too. The bittersweet realisation that whilst we still have his work he is gone.

I know Jareth isn't real (Shhh, I'm just saying that for any psychologists reading) so he will always be there for me. But now there is no way at all the sequel that get's talked about will involve Bowie. And somehow the idea that some part of the Goblin King is gone leaves me feeling hollow. As a young teen all I wanted was someone to look at me like Jareth looks at Sarah and that has stayed with me always. I think I will be re-watching it more this year than I normally do.

I don't know. I knew all this last week but now it feels really real.

I finally solidified my ideas for my Labyrinth tattoo that I've wanted for what feels like forever. I want a Victorian style oval frame but the top instead of being all curly Gilt style I want it to be Jareth's pendant. Inside it I want a stylized barn owl. I just need to find someone to draw it for me now. I've been collecting reference pictures ^_^

Last week I think I was in shock. This week I feel sad.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The oddness of grief

David Bowie is dead.

Did I know him? No. Am I grieving? Yes. It almost pains me to admit it but yes, I am indeed grieving.

The man was a huge influence on my life and I am incredibly grateful for his presence. It all began with a little film called Labyrinth. It came out when I was 4 years old so I never got to see it at the cinema. However it was always on at Christmas time growing up. I would watch it and we would record it on VHS. By the time it was on tv again I would need to re-record it as I had watched it so many times that the video was wearing out. The forest wouldn't be glittery any more and you could hardly tell that Jareth's eyes were different. It went out of print as a VHS for a while and when it came back my then boyfriend bought me a copy straight away. He is long gone but I still have the VHS even though I have no way to play it. I bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. I have the soundtrack on CD. I even have a copy of the script somewhere. I can quote it at will. Words from it were the first thing my now Husband ever said to me.

Like I said, I love it. I have been fortunate enough to go to the cinema to see it once. This year is it's 30th anniversary and there will be a late night showing on my birthday to which I am going. I know I will not make it through it without crying.

As a teen I discovered glam rock and bisexuality and discovered myself as well. Bowie and the others of his time were icons who allowed me to learn how to express myself. I owe a lot of my personality, don't give a dam style (and general love of glitter) to them. I also owe a lot of my eclectic musical taste to Bowie. If I loved one artist who worked in so many styles then surely it was ok for me to like folks from all styles of music. To this day, although I have a strong leaning tot he alternative, I love music from almost every genre. Artists like Bowie and Madonna are responsible for this.

In 2000 Bowie played at Glastonbury. I was a skint 18 year old and I have always regretted not being able to go. We watched it at home on the telly but it's not quite the same thing. I did always say though that he was the one celebrity I never wanted to meet because all I would be able to do is say "You're the Goblin King". Now I'll never be able to test that theory.

So yes, I am grieving. I am grateful that I got to be influenced by this man and I am grateful that I will be able to pass that influence on to others. He will live forever through his music and films. As a  Buddhist I have to let the loss go and just be grateful. But today I will wallow in sadness and that is ok.

So long Jareth.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Why I don't want to kick the ass of 2016

I really dislike New Year. This concept of an arbitrary date being a magical turning point has always bugged me. Every day is the start of a new year if you choose to measure it as such. So with this in mind you must understand how much I hate all the inspirational crap I've seen this week about kicking the ass of 2016.

Now let me get one thing straight. I totally advocate having a kick ass year. Try your hardest, do the things you really want to do, step out of your comfort zone, try new things, get really good at stuff you love. Experience the year! But for people to be aiming for the year to be perfect, or the best, or just all round great is scary.

Life is about ups and downs. There will (hopefully) be wonderful and amazing and fantastic moments in 2016. There will also (unfortunately) be terrible, sad, annoying moments too. This is just how it works. Maybe your year will have more up. Maybe it will have more down. I hope for the former for you all but what I hope for more is the grace to deal with the downs.

I want you all to start 2016 with the determination to kick the ass of tomorrow. And then on the evening of Jan 1st to have the determination to kick the ass of tomorrow. And the same on the 2nd and so on and so on. Try to make each day the best you can. Count in moments rather than years. Find joy in tiny things rather than feeling that events have to be massive to have meaning. Accept set backs, learn from them if you can. but don't let them derail you. Get back up the next day and try and kick it's ass.

I set my bar for happiness really low and thus I am, generally, one of the happiest people I know. There isn't a week goes by that I don't feel shitty at least once, Often it's daily. But I no longer let that define me overall. The sadness, and the feeling of worthlessness can have it's place in my life but I will be damned if I let it rule me.

I have brought balance to the Force that is myself and I hope you all can too. It is a constant battle but it is so damn worth it. Fight for your balance rather then wanting everything to be better. And for the love of all that is holy stop chasing "How it was Before". Move on. You are who you are now with all the things that have happened making you this person. You cannot go back. We don't have time machines or magic wands (if you do please contact me, I have ideas). All we can do is move forward. Keep going. Be you, in this moment,

Wishing you all a 2016 you can be happy with ^_^

Friday, 23 October 2015

That time of year

Tomorrow is None D Day he 12th. Usually at this time of year I am full of enthusiasm and joie de vivre. I'll admit that I am struggling this year. I've been mulling this blog over in my head for a few weeks now. Even after all this time and all my grand talk of how we should talk about these things I still find it hard. I am a firm believer in no shame but even so. I worry about how my word affect others. Especially those closest to me.

But I have to hold myself to the standard I set. So I am writing.

This year has been hard for me. There has been a lot of change which historically I am not great with. Not even change for the better. I just don't like it. And boy howdy has this year been full of it. It's been almost constant. There really hasn't felt like I've had a moment to get used to one change before something else has happened.

We moved house in January. To a house we are much happier in. But it was a move away from our first house together as a couple and that was hard in a way. In February my job moved premises. Again to something much better. But we are still finding homes for things and I don't know the area we are now in all that well so feel very out of place when customers ask for directions and the like. In April we closed the other store we had so all the mail order things moved to us which was quite a change in routine. In May/June my hours increased. In June/July they increased again with added job roles and responsibilities. A lot of which has changed and increased since then. It is very much a learn as I go kind of thing which obviously leads to mistakes. I am learning from those mistakes but man do I hate them happening. In July my wonderful Stepdaughter came to live with us permanently. Most people get 9 months to get used to the idea of a child and then they get a baby. We officially got 9 weeks and a teenager. We knew for months beforehand that it was happening but it was all very uncertain until 9 weeks before. She is great and as teenagers go she is rather fantastic. But it is one hell of a change to our lives. Where there has only ever been the two of us to consider now there is three. It takes some getting used to. But we are all learning to live with each other I think.

Things seem to have quietened down now. There has been no major changes for the last couple of months. But you see what I mean about it being all go? I don't really feel like I've processed anything. And it being all go means that little things have gone my the wayside. We didn't celebrate our wedding anniversary this year for example. In fact there seems to have been very little time for any kind of celebration of anything this year.

This is definitely a fault on my part. I can feel myself pulling away from people. I've not really wanted to be social. I've not really wanted anything. Yet at the same time I want company and love. There are things I need but I don't ask for them because asking has always felt a little bit wrong. In many ways I am rather selfish. I expect people to know what I need and to offer it. Asking for it takes some of the shine away. Stupid right? ::sigh:: It's something I've gotten much better at over the years but I do still suffer from. So I want to be left alone but not.

All this leads to me just feeling a bit shitty. I kind of want to cry all the time right now. For me crying has always been a great emotional palate cleanser. I generally feel much better after I've had a good sob. So why don't I just go ahead and have a good cry? I have no idea. I fight it for as long as I can every damn time. No idea why. I suppose deep down I feel it is some kind of weakness. That I should be stronger than that. I wouldn't expect that of anyone else but hey, we hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations.

At this time of year I think about how I used to cope. As most of you know from talking to me or previous blogs I self harmed for a long time. 12 years of slowly worsening harm. It happened both when I felt bad and also if there was anything too good. Anything that changed the delicate emotional balance I was trying to maintain.  I haven't deliberately harmed myself in over 9 years.  But if I'm honest I haven't really replaced that coping mechanism with anything else. Mostly if I feel bad I just try and ignore it. It generally works. In fairness I rarely feel that bad any more. I am much better at processing the emotional ups and downs than I was.

But this year has me beat.

So as much as I will be celebrating tomorrow it will be a determined struggle rather than a genuine expression of joy. I am so very grateful for the last 12 years. I have so much in my life that I love. My family, friends, job, everything. But that doesn't mean that I can't feel bad. I can have everything and still feel sad and angry.

It will pass. It always does. On None D Day I hit the bottom of my metaphorical ocean and I pushed up hard. I sent myself towards the surface with as much power as possible. I'm still swimming towards the sunshine, I just feel the weight of the water occasionally ^_^

 (Apologies for typos ect. This is not the kind of thing I can proof read. It's write it and send it to the ether)