Wish Street

As I took a trip with my girl I sat on the tube for the first time in 5 months and looked up. I saw this poem by John O’Donahue called
A Time to be Slow..

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”

I pointed it out to my girl who read it and then turned to me and smiled and nodded….

I listened to this song I love while my girl sunbathed and I walked along the sandy beach of my trips destination (a destination different to the one I had originally considered because I was inspired by someone special to me’s thoughtfulness and care at the end of a worrying time).
In that moment as I walked with the sand in my toes I felt like the girl I am and have always been inside with the sun in my eyes. The girl who has a joy for being alive but who has felt tested and tested. The girl who wishes for dreams and love to be the basis of everything….

It was only right that I should have found myself standing in Wish Street as I travelled to my destination. I made some wishes.

As we travelled home tonight tired and happy from our time together and all the magic that we had shared, I felt the luckiness in being given that slow time with her. I know that  time is taking us to new beginnings, no knowing where this next chapter will take us. On different trips to different places but always being there for each other no matter what directions we go.

Sometimes the journey is far more than the destination and other times the destination holds everything that was wished for in the journey.

This destination was full of sunshine.

 

 

 

 

Letter from a Stranger

I read a letter yesterday from a stranger who started to follow my blog in a moment that I stopped writing it.
When I can’t find another single word to say. When I am so tired of being me and going round and round in circles.

As I looked to see who this person was that could be bothered to follow a shadow of who I am in all my emptyness I found
“A love letter to women”
It was as though it had been written especially for me.
Connecting the Red Coat to Her Secret World.
A post written in English when most of the others were (I think when I googled translation) written in Bengali?

How did her secret world even find me, followed by a few others . More people reading my blog in one day than in the entire time I have been writing. In a moment when I feel most alone in life as I try to make changes. Changes I am making in isolation. Struggling and feeling the pain in trying to find my way to an unknown place, that isn’t waiting for me with open arms or love, where I will have nothing much in my pockets, where I will be tired from all the trying to get there and where I will be just as alone.
Where I’m looking round for all the people that I was kind to, took interest in or helped, only to see that most of them have disappeared.
Holding on to the belief that my really special few will still be there with me when I get to the other side. The other side being a place of resolution and peace.
Where there is the possibility to build a life where I am allowed to be happy and free and loving. It feels such a mountain to climb all alone when I feel like I have run out of everything and have nothing left to say.

And then a few random strangers found me. And I found myself just for a moment wanting to write.

Just to say Thankyou! ❤️

The DayDreamer

I feel like I don’t want to talk.
even though I love to talk. I feel like I’m muting myself.
Happier listening to others if they have something to share but otherwise ok to disappear into my shell and keep all my shit to myself.
I think I’m fed up with saying the same things, or being bothered by things I have no control over or realising how lonely I feel in having to share my thoughts with a blog.
Sometimes I think how can that be. When I have listened to so many people so they don’t feel that way but somehow along the way I have ended up feeling exactly that.
Im finding it much easier to just quietly exist in it all rather than try to find the positive in it or talk about the negatives that are making me feel so numb and empty.
It is what it is. And I can live with it or I can make myself crazy and sad in talking about it.
It only makes me frustrated in myself.
Why is it so hard for me to change my life into a version I wish for. It’s not like I want to be sad. I find being sad exhausting. My natural place to be is happy. I’ve always found it easy to be happy actually. And yet trying to make choices and decisions that make me happy just make others unhappy.
How can I really ever be happy if I know it comes at someone else’s expense.
I did that once before and it drained the life out of me.
I find my confidence slipping away a little more every single day and wishing to retreat further and further into myself and away from anyone I have known .. just so I don’t have to explain anything, or be quizzed or be looked down on or be seen as some weak victim type.
The bubbly fun happy and dreamy me is being suffocated by the responsibility of others wellbeing and happiness.

Im a day dreamer. That’s just who I am. Maybe I will talk again when I am able to be that girl.

A Woman’s Place…

I keep seeing an advert for “A woman’s place… “
And it’s pissing me off.
That usual one dimensional view of “strong women”.
Every version coming in the form of a warrior. And yet when I think of the warriors of this crisis I think of those doctors, nurses and carers who have been kicked about in all their caring. That I imagine inside are now suffering in what has eaten away at a part of them and is being felt deep inside in those moments that things feel a little more difficult in their own lives.
Doubting their strength as they aren’t feeling particularly kick ass and are just trying to take care of themselves and their families. Doing housework and cooking dinner on top of their jobs. That’s what those weak women of yesterday used to be. How disrespectful to our mothers and grandmothers. I know mine certainly weren’t weak.

Now women apparently are liberated because they can do what men do. As though that is the measure of success. To be equal to a man.
Having to constantly shout that out and prove it by taking offence if a man opens a door or offers a seat on the tube.
The women with real strength could not give a shit about such things and in fact would just be grateful to sit down for a moment.

Who are these people that have created this one dimensional version of a woman that I need to be to show I have strength.
Please don’t speak on my behalf and assume that every woman is like you or wishes to be.
Or that because you drink from a feminist mug that you are somehow a superior woman.
A real woman has many strings to her bow than just being some kick ass warrior. It takes more than that to fulfil the many different roles a woman fills in a lifetime.

Right now I am feeling what it is to be a woman and share in the worries of other women in that basic function of motherhood. Both for my friend who wishes to be a mother and is fighting for the  chance and my girl who is anxious in a referral where the C word has been mentioned.

I’ve been on the floor today in trying to get my head around what it is to be a mother and a daughter and a sister and friend. To try to work and keep a home.
Did I march through my day swinging my sword and standing there like I could defeat an army single handedly.

No.. far from it. I messaged my friend with a story of childhood and my lack of confidence, I sat looking blankly at a laptop not giving a shit about any of it only caring about looking like I was doing enough to get paid for another day, I watched Tarzan wishing someone would swing through the trees and rescue me from all these worries and troubles, I cried uncontrollably on the bathroom floor when p and my girl went out, feeling like I had nothing left, I curled up in my bed and fell asleep wishing with all my heart that my girl and my friend will be ok, and I hugged my girl in the way she knows she is the most precious and wonderful thing in this world.
It doesn’t make for a beautiful and empowering image against the marketed version that is apparently the modern woman. Yet I know there is real strength in this woman despite being different to the version I am sold.
My strength also comes in compassion. It comes in love and care. It comes in gentleness and warmth. It comes in day to day resilience and routine. It comes in surviving another day in a life that isn’t full of perfect.
Perhaps we might celebrate real women with real lives and real struggles.
That for me would feel like solidarity in womanhood and would make me much prouder in standing alongside the many different versions of what being a woman really is.

 

That’s what they call a Dreamer

It’s Saturday night and I’m on my own having little heart flutters again. I think they are anxiety related due to so much going on. I’m trying not to let it affect me but these things find an out.
I feel tired from the heavy conversation in how we are finally going to resolve this issue. Selling the flat. I feel like I’m in a time tunnel. I’ve had this conversation a million times.
Im so exhausted in it. I found myself wondering if I would be 100 years old, still having the same conversation.
Feeling a desperation to start something new. Anything new.
To try to find some semblance of a happy life for myself.
I should feel something but I’m just worn out. Knowing that I’m starting from scratch again. Everything I previously built up feels lost and I feel like I have to find new things and make new friends again.
Only I feel like I’ve lost my ability to do either.
And knowing there are still challenges to overcome I feel like I’m being thrown out to sea again, all alone with not a life boat to be seen.

Reaching this point is leaving me feeling a little erratic. I’m not quite there.
Holding people even my closest few at arms length as I don’t have the capacity to be what I would be normally. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s like someone stole a year of my life and I don’t remember what it looked like before.

There is so much big stuff to deal with and I can’t hide from it. I’m having to get my head down and get my hands dirty. Keeping myself to myself a lot makes me feel very isolated but also protected and in turn, protecting. Not wanting anyone to be caught up in my stuff. I’m happy that I’m aware of this because it will help me to avoid fucking up really important relationships in a way I might have done previously.

But I’m also very aware that it leaves me alone in it all. And that does make me more vulnerable.
I’m hoping I’m stronger and more aware, and that as long as I don’t allow myself to get completely exhausted I will be ok.
I find my release in crying in the forest. I’ve cried a lot in the last week.
It can feel like a very lonely place to be.

I had a sleep this afternoon when I got back from my walk. It is easy to feel exhausted from the differing responses to the constantly evolving change in this situation.
I feel like I am controlling the storm. That in itself is tiring but necessary. I have a handle on this in a way I previously didn’t. I know how I need to be in order to keep things steady and calm.

I am holding both my own and my girls emotions which are up and down. Mine being a mixture of the both. She is more volatile right now and I am needing to be calm so that she can find hers too. She struggles to let her emotions out but I’m her safe place to do that. It can feel hard always being that place but I don’t take it personally. She feels safe to be as she is with me and Im glad. I often feel her anger followed by her sorrow. I am trying to help her find ways of letting stuff out
Because when she does throw it out I know she feels better.
Little bursts of angry rather than previously building and building inside until an explosion. So that feels good.
I know I’m really patient with her.
With P I try to just blank it out.
I’m not his mum or his counsellor and he needs to take responsibility for himself. It doesn’t feel like my job anymore. I just manage my response more. Easier in some moments than others. Avoiding tiredness is always helpful. Being in this confined space has meant that I have needed to be resilient and find my space.

The fall out of all my patience is being less patient with the rest of the world. Hence my irritation with superficial and ungenuine people. I have to put it somewhere and my blog feels like a place I can throw out all my negativity so that I can keep hold of the good stuff.
I’m not a monster or an angel but I am a human and I’m not limitless in patience and love even though I do try.

I would do anything for my friends though. That’s just a given.

My girl is a person of logic. She likes things to be in their place and know what is coming. I can feel her hidden anxiety and fears because of all the unknowns. Like most girls her age she isn’t yet very aware of herself with a warped view of how she looks and how she is perceived. If only she knew how amazing she is and yet that is part of her beauty.
Trying to deal in logic is more of a stretch for me because I function very little in logic and completely in feeling. And right now in this current situation there feels like logic doesn’t exist.
We are always going to be coming at this stuff from very different places. That can feel a challenge for both of us but we love each other so there is our middle ground.

Day to day is how it is works best for both of us right now and I know that I will recognise that point when she finally feels more safe and settled. The next couple of months holding all the answers. We both feel in limbo.

I’m suddenly thinking Fucking hell, its really tough being a parent and not getting it all wrong. She’s not me and I’m not her. I find myself often saying to her as she gets frustrated.. I know I’m getting this wrong but I’m always trying and you know I really love you and I really care. It doesn’t help but maybe when she looks back at all my fuck ups she will remember I did everything with the best of intentions. There’s a huge amount to be said for that. I know what the difference looks like.

It can very often feel like playing chess. Pretty much always letting her win or sometimes its a stale mate but the point being, she gets to move all her players around a little or a lot depending on how she is feeling. Sometimes being cautious, sometimes frustrated and sometimes out an out aggressive. She is in control of the game because I have no need to win it. Winning for me is pointless in the long run. What will that achieve. A stale mate usually ends up with us resolving something small, or agreeing to differ, or her being able to release something she’s been holding or just feeling like someone knows how she is feeling. And is often followed with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
But when she wins she has just asserted herself and knows she can. She’s naturally a sweetheart. She finds her way as she goes.

Its not easy though. This thing has made her stress more. I mean it can feel stressful enough when you are an 18 year old young woman with all the details that come with that without a virus messing with your head your life, your future and your relationships.

I saw some terrible programme with parents completing with each other to have the best parent style. Who thought that up? Who has the time in real life for a strategy with your kids as though you are managing a project. That’s got messed up written all over it.
Doing my best and loving her with all my heart was the approach that I took.
She laughed when I asked if she would vote for that strategy. If she hadn’t laughed I would have worried that she didn’t have a sense of humour. And she’s gonna need one of those in this life, that’s for sure.

Especially when I think about my my own life which has been all over the fucking place for the past year and is in need of resolution. I found a way to exist in this ( omg how did I find that way) but that ability is wavering now. With everything opening back up I’m needing to reclaim back my life. Well I say reclaim .. there isn’t actually anything left to reclaim other than freedom and possibilities. Of course at this point it feels more complicated than me just stamping my feet and saying I want my life. Getting my girl to her settled place is basics.
I feel my own frustration in that. So much hanging in the breeze. Predicted grades, uncertainty if universities will even open, what will it be like with extra restrictions The stress levels increased in what already feels like a big moment of change and independence. No wonder she feels stressed.
And on top I am experiencing a shift in my interactions with P. Before I was able to avoid. Now I’m having to live in it more and it’s not easy. Trying to manage the very intense and complicated dynamics of what this looks like and the effect it is having on me is draining. At times detrimentally affecting how I am viewing myself and the world around me. Feeling myself getting lost again and my confidence taking big hits but then fighting a bit harder to try to big myself back up. Again at times I use my blog to big myself up a little. It was easier to feel my confidence when it was just me. Im hoping that will kick in when that happens.

He’s a really good man who has really struggled too, and it’s hard right now with his job and his dad. Both my girl and I try to help him. But he is resistant to changing anything and I just don’t have enough in me to keep trying forever. Ive wiped myself out in it. That makes me sad because I do really care about him and he is my girls dad. But I just can’t be responsible for a grown man for the rest of my life. I just don’t have that same love I once felt. It was lost. This is a different kind of love and it’s not enough.
And yet of course I sit with feelings of guilt. FFS.

And that very thing creates a lot of conflict inside me. Always wishing to be a “good” person who cares about others.
Having an inward battle with myself in the frustration of wanting to make big changes for me and to free myself but continually crashing into my brick wall of honouring my responsibilities and obligations. Foundations of that wall are built on the very roots of who I am in values and beliefs. Ones that belong to me. I’ve been through all of them. Some I threw away but many I own. They may have been learnt but I know which ones sit right with me even if at times they can feel very inconvenient. I actually care very little in what most people think of me if I’m honest. But it does matter what I think of myself. And also I have a care for what my girl and my closest think. Not that they ever judge but I care. I think because they display the kind of values that feel important to me. They are all very beautiful humans.

As for that battle inside, it is like two fearless warriors going at it with equal force. Freedom and Responsibility. Funny how I put Freedom first today. It’s never felt so powerful. Perhaps it is sensing its moment in time is coming. But there is impatience too.

For now I need to dig a little deeper. It’s not my time quite yet. It will come. I believe in it.
I so want to grab hold of the next chapter with both hands and make it something.
I’ve learnt such a lot along the way. I might often have a childs mentality but believe me I’ve been living in a grown ups world. I have battled through lots and have continually got back up again.
Its funny that I have so many fears when I think of adventures. But perhaps because that still feels very new for me. Less comfortable in what I don’t know. Me let loose in the world. That feels frightening. And yet it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. And while others might just take it for granted I will have worked for it. Just like everything else it will mean something more to me which will make every moment that little bit more magic. Perhaps I will be somewhere having adventures while everyone else will be in moment of responsibilities.
Although of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wish for love. I would rather share adventures with someone who wishes for them too.

Anyways don’t give up on me yet. I might at times be down but I am certainly never out.

And I believe that is what they call a Dreamer  😊💭❤️

Safety

An article was shared with me today talking about safety. Something that resonated with me for sure but the recommended fixes all containing the same old chat that I have heard constantly in the one size fits al approach.
You need to connect with others.
What’s wrong with me then? I’m a friendly person. I’ve always liked people. So what’s wrong with me? That’s what I’m left feeling every time I hear that phrase.
Why did I feel safer in being left to my own devices? I felt so safe and free in the forest. When i told various people that I Had been really happy spending time alone deep in the forest I was told i needed to be careful. It didn’t feel very safe.

Is my sense of what makes me feel safe completely fucked up?

I had built some trust during this period but I am finding myself throwing it all away for fear of demands in having to try and be what I’m not.

I’ve been allowed to live in a more natural place for me where I felt really happy in myself and felt less pressure to conform. I could be quiet and gentle and dreamy and that was ok. No one questioning or judging it.

But like a tidal wave I already feel that pressure. You must connect. Initially with 40 people in a group team meeting. Like taking me out of  isolation and locking me in a room with lots of people.

I’ve hated every moment of it today. If ever I was going to feel like I’m not made for this new way of living this would be a good way of proving it. As every moment ticked by I felt more isolated and disconnected from everything and everyone simply because I am being forced to connect with everything and everyone. Leaving me feeling completely uncomfortable, unsafe and wishing to be as invisible as I could.
The overall result ..
Not wanting to have contact with anyone.

No you can’t be as you are. It doesn’t fit. Only I can’t say “well if I don’t fit then I’m off” because I need to pay the bills.
So instead I’m finding myself watching the clock waiting for the time to tick down until I can escape and retreat back into my own happy  little world where I feel safe and free.

None of this virtual working is made for people like me. When I wrote yesterday my friend told me she felt the same. There must be others who are feeling this need to run in the opposite direction to where we are being herded.

I found myself chatting to my bro today about travelling. The more I am feeling people are wanting to put me back in that square cage the more I am fighting against it.
By the time my girl goes to university I may be kicking and screaming in a straight jacket. I’m just not getting back in.

Feeling less fear in being let loose in a world full of unknown dangers than finding myself locked back in that cage but wondering if I have to pay a price in being completely alone.

I’m following something just not what  I’m supposed to be following.

 

Shallow waters

I am feeling down.
I walked in an empty forest yesterday and cried. People are leaving there in favour of “more exciting” places. I was glad of its emptiness yesterday. It matched my own. Along with not caring. Actually I do care. I think it’s impossible to switch that off. I just don’t want to care. I’m fighting my feeling of caring. I want to not give a shit.
I feel tired in being back in the world already. With everyone telling me that it will all be back to normal very soon as though that is the greatest thing ever.
I liked it better in lockdown when I was able to switch it all off.
Now it is switched back on and I am feeling like I have no choice in being part of it. I want to be part of something. Just not this. I find myself feeling like I am drowning in shallow water listening to people talking about their latest passion for five minutes before the fashion changes again.
I have always been a person who loves people and yet right now in this moment I feel like I don’t anymore.
It is all feeling completely superficial and soulless. And I feel lost in it all. Wishing I could run away to somewhere that provides anything of real substance or depth.
Knowing that I would rather just be all by myself

(other than my few specials.. I love you)

 

Lobster with French Butter

I came home last night feeling tired and emotional after visiting my mum and my little bro. My girl came too.
It’s the first time I’ve seen my mum in 4 months. She has finally returned home.
We had laughs all afternoon. My bro was on form. He makes my girl chuckle.
But from being completely isolated to a weekend of not, took more out of me than I thought. I actually like having lots of time to myself and doing my own thing.

When I saw the crowds in central London I couldn’t have been happier in being nowhere near it. Or in fact any of the pubs round by me. Most of which were closed down five minutes later.
Shocker!!!
I feel less bothered about them being closed than my hairdressers where I am currently on a 3 week wait to get my hair cut.
Bearing in mind the last time I had my hair done was at Christmas, it could be worse. I’ll be transformed when I go into August.

I realised as my girl showed me the pictures of the post lockdown festivities, how little I wish to be part of that.
It felt like a similar vibe to New Year’s Eve which is probably the one night of the year I never  want to go out. I’ve always felt this sense of forced fun. As though it more important to be seen to he having fun than actually having fun. I’m sure many people love it. It’s just never been for me. Although I always loved Christmas Eve.

I felt myself feeling like I had way more than my share of being a party girl. I just need to be more that that. I can dance anywhere and I don’t need a crowd.

It feels like I have seen that part of the show.  Only I’ve seen versions that felt more free and easy.  Where people aren’t constantly filming everything and you could just let your hair down and enjoy yourself without having to look or be a certain way in case you find yourself on utube five minutes later.
How glad I am that I was born in a world before social media existed and I could party my little heart out without ever caring about seeing it again. Lost in the mist of time. Just a vague memory of happy and fun times. Able to be completely uninhibited in that moment in the knowledge that no one would be secretly filming me and it wouldn’t come back to bite me years later.
There is something so lovely in knowing I had those crazy times and other than those who were there (who I don’t have any contact with through some friends reunited Facebook thing) no one will never ever  know what those times looked like except me. Imagine the freedom of that. That freedom really did exist once upon a time.

Lots of things have been reinforced for me in this period.
I don’t need stuff, I don’t need to be in big crowds or groups and I don’t need be in the most glamorous locations.  But I do like a little adventure. I have those every time I step in to the forest, or in fact any time I’m out and about. But as I gain more freedom I hope that will come in the form of exploring new places.
I want to do things that feel fun and frivolous and have a party vibe alongside things that are real and beautiful and interesting and inspiring.

Im a girl who wants a little more from this life. A more that challenges me, inspires me and excites me

As I chatted with my bro who is the king of Just Do It!, he suggested three things to do.
Walk with him up the Yorkshire 3 peaks, do the Camino de Santiago, and travel on the TransSiberian railway and visit those Mongolian Nomads I told him about.
“ I stayed with them” he said “the first time I went travelling. It was one of my favourite things. I want to go there again so I’ll come with you M”

Are you joking me I thought. I’m not even sure why I mentioned it. If I hadn’t we would never have made what suddenly felt like quite a serious plan with a price tag attached. I mean not yet. I have my  girl on my mind, things to resolve and no money.
But it felt like the sort of spontaneous plan that reminded me of that Milan trip to see a pianist I loved. Is this possible?

And just like that life looked a little more of what I wish it to be Realising that once my girl is settled in her next stage of her life the world is my lobster.

I’ve never tried lobster but I hear it’s flavour is unique, sweet and light.
Apparently it tastes even better with butter. I’m thinking it probably needs the French variety.