A Place for Dreamers

Day 1
How happy I feel. As I stepped on to my balcony this morning I heard the bells from the church ring. A magical sound against the quietness of the street and the morning song of the birds.
My friend asked me what inspired me to choose this place. Actually this place chose me. I have spent many holidays and trips in Italy. It is my most visited country.
I have huge affection for it for many reasons. It is beautiful. From Rome, to Milan to Venice, to the Lakes, to Amalfi to Tuscany and now Sorrento and on Monday sailing on a small boat to Capri.
Wow as I type this out I think what an amazing life of privilege for the girl who started from nothing, who worked so hard, fell in love with the boy who had nothing and together they made everything.
Italy is a place that unashamedly shows affection in every way. I don’t feel like I can love too much here. Feels impossible to love too much here.
And yet when this trip found me, (flashing up on my phone in too cheap to ignore wonder), I was feeling like I had lost my ability to love. Like it had been lost like Peter Pans ability to fly.
The girl who has always loved before all else was left feeling very empty.
It felt like a sign for me to go find it.
There is a sturdy tree that sits in front of my balcony. It provides a safe haven to sit and think without the heat and light of the sun blinding me.
It provides Shade and shelter that allows me to sit in its heat without being burnt.
It reminds me so much of the tree that used to sit outside my bedsit which provided a stability to create a safe haven in troubled times.

Perhaps if I stayed in this destination too long, eventually it too would leave me feeling sad and lost and empty.
But right now it feels beautifully magical. Where the imagination has to do its work at home, here nothing is left to the imagination. It is a place for dreamers to lie in rest.
And rest is what I needed.
Where others would be clamouring for more, this is enough. Simple, perfect just where I sit.
I have no doubt that if I explored more I might find better, more amazing, more beautiful. I’m pretty sure I could spend a lifetime travelling the world looking for something better.. but I’m not looking for better.
As I sit here surrounded by pretty flowers and majestic trees, oozing charm and romance there is everything required to create a moment of pure romance and love ..
And I find myself thinking about that very thing. A moment of…
suddenly it is gone and what are you left with. A memory of something that once was.
Suddenly what felt special is beyond your reach. Like an illusion. All the moments of creating something that slipped away in a second.
I realise as I sit in this most beautiful of places that in fact the thing that is missing is real love. The kind where you can feel happy in having absolutely nothing. The kind that is beyond moments and is as solid and deeply rooted as the tree that sits in front of me. The kind that I held in my hands on all those trips to Italy and filled my heart with magic because they were shared with someone I loved and who loved me. In fact even now they never stop telling me how much they love me. How much they miss me and how happy our lives could be if i would let them try.
Never giving up on what they describe as “us”.
This person that I loved so deeply and yet I’ve struggled so much to feel it. Of course I love them. So much. But to feel it in the way it should be felt. The way that I have to feel it. I know that feeling. I had it for twenty years. It is more than love. It’s magic.
So why the struggle. I know I could have a happy life with him. I know it.
Because I fell in love with a moment, a dream, something that understood a part of me that others didn’t. A mate of my soul that spoke a language I understood so well.
But they didn’t love me. I don’t know what they felt for me.
And yet those moments meant everything to me.
I took a risk for those moments.
That risk was my heart.
A heart that is so strong in how it beats for others but so fragile in how it is held.
A heart that can find everything required to love every stranger, to make my friends feel treasured and my girl feel that she is loved beyond the moon and the stars in a way that you cannot imagine unless you have children.
But that has completely lost the ability to love with complete passion and total belief that had always been the corner stone of my way of living. When I love I love.

Perhaps it is lost forever, or perhaps I will find it for a moment and remember what that looked like, or perhaps, perhaps, perhaps???
What I know is that I left it in Italy. And I’m searching for it.

The 50 Pence

”Find a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck”
I had the munchies. I’m a total snacker. It’s an in house joke at work in how much chocolate, crisps and rubbish I can plough my way through and still be a size 8. Im always bloody running and working. Sound familiar?
6 pack of Freddos or a bounty for breakfast is pretty normal. Well it is the taste of paradise.
I found myself searching for change in my bag mid morning to fuel myself up for some more boring admin.
I have a purse of course but generally you”ll find all my money sprinkled about randomly in my bag. On the odd occasion when I feel a need to be more organised and tidy it up I give myself a little lottery winning moment when I find a sneaky fiver tucked in a forgotten pocket and I do a little dance in my head in celebration 🥳
Yesterday as I was rummaging around in the bottom of my bag I pulled out a 50p.
Not any normal 50p.
This one was extremely shiny and had the 1918 Representation of the People on the back.
Giving rights to men over the age of 21 to vote whether or not they owned a property. There’s a whole lot more detail to it than that including new rights for women. I mean small strides against where we are today and even smaller in where I would prefer us to be tomorrow but big strides then in paving the way to more equality. I loved what it represented.
And I know I bang on about equality all the time. But frankly what could be more important.
More power to the people. All the people. Whatever you race, class, gender, sexuality. The list goes on.
Paving the way for future struggles in seeking out more equality in a world that loves to talk it but never puts its money where it’s mouth is.
Paddle your own canoe is a phrase I hear often from people who fall outside of those groups of influence. I mean you only have to look at our government to see who the group of influence are. And it’s very rare I hear anyone who sounds anything like me.
I always love hearing the so called educated ramble on as though they know best. Why? Because you spent time in those very institutions who continue to fuel those inequalities.
Drip feeding you their version of what the world looks like and what has value and what does not. We know best! Says who?
I have met many an ignorant educated person who can’t see beyond their own back garden.
You have to open your own eyes, mind and heart to see beyond what you have been told. In favour of seeing what is right in front of you.
No one has all the answers. I don’t care how clever anyone thinks they are.
The most intelligent people I’ve ever met are the ones who look, listen (hear) and then form an opinion beyond their own experiences.
There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained and shared though others but you have to be open to not being the expert in what they know and understand.
I hear it with friends whose worlds look so different to mine and I can’t see it unless I try to see it through their eyes.
I want to see it because otherwise how else will I ever understand it.
But there is such a fear in sharing. What if they don’t like how it looks through my eyes?
We only know what we know and every individuals eyes are different.
Wow!!! With all those different eyes providing a vision I wonder what the world could look like.
And yet why is it that it always feels like it’s the same voices I hear.
I dream of a revolution where all those who feel like they are not being heard or seen and don’t have those same basic privileges of equality of opportunity, rise up in all their similarities  and differences,  and say we deserve better.
I might be wrong but I think most people just want to be happy and free and equal.
I put that 50p back in my bag. It held a whole lot more value in that moment than a wispa.
Sometimes food for thought keeps me going.

A kiss on the hand x

Today as I was walking through borough market I stopped to have a chat with the man selling The Big Issue. Well I say I stopped.. in fact he grabbed my hand as if to dance with me in the middle of a crowd of people and I was instantly captivated by his beautiful smile.
He was pure charm but in the most wonderful and sunny way.
It was as though borough market melted away and I was standing on a Caribbean beach with the waves rolling in about to be twirled under that hot sun.
He kissed my hand in such a gentlemanly fashion and asked me my name. I was smiling so much. From the crowd of people walking through he had found me in my summer smiles today. I loved chatting with him.
3 hugs later and a parting kiss on my hand we said goodbye. See you when we get married. I was all the happier for meeting him and being given a moment of pure sunshine.
Who doesn’t want to be cuddled as they walk down the street. I’m open to that kind of sweet affection that made me feel like I had a flower in my hair and sent me skipping towards the river. Magical moments come in all sorts of ways and that one felt beautifully genuine. Weird how I felt so me in that moment.
Just before that I had read something that my friend had sent to me in the morning. Something also filled with a pure honesty that had provided the smile that had prompted my hand to be held.
How strange this world moves along connected by randomness that creates a response in me.
Do I see the world like others. I don’t know. I see it how I see it.
And unless you have my eyes you won’t know what it looks like to me.
Nature/nurture who knows the definitive answer but something makes me find my perfect and wonderful in things that sit beyond what’s right in front of me. Feeling a magic in people that touch me in ways that is always difficult to describe. As though I should see it like this but I see it like that.
I feel like I’m making no sense. I like the feeling of a scrambled head.
A kiss on the hand can scramble a dreamy girls head.
I wonder what people see as I drift along in my day dreams.
Am I seen as I appear. In what I see when I look in the mirror. Or are there others that see beyond that outer shell to what lies beneath.
Who knows.
What I do know is how important genuine and honesty are for me. I feel it when it is given in its purest and most simple form. There is real beauty for me in that.
I feel completely safe in that. The stuff that surrounds it is lost on me. It doesn’t even register. But the realness in that honesty of thought and feeling is priceless and perfect.
Feeling safe to show it is a happiness that can’t be measured and I appreciate it in whatever format it comes in. Because I trust it.

And as for my Caribbean sunshine .. let those moments never stop finding their way to me. That’s exactly how life should be.

 

My Big Opportunity

Why did something that seemed small for some, mean so very much for me.
Because it cost me way more than the 4 grand I spent on it.
In making a choice to continue it would become a life changing decision.
Never has something that already felt important become even more important in needing to feel worth it. I watched my whole life evaporate in front of my eyes. I was in charge of that. No one else. If I had walked away perhaps everything would have looked so differently. But I took the biggest risk of my life in that moment and I paid a very heavy price.

Everything I had worked half my life for, gone and replaced by the kind of struggle that I never envisaged when I started that adventure.
You can not begin to understand the sliding doors effect of that one choice which left me feeling selfish and guilty.
Desire over duty. Just for one year but the consequences of that choice created a tidal wave that crashed through the landscape of my life and left me floating in a dinghy trying to survive the waves.

The consequences of a choice which for some felt small, but for me felt absolutely huge.
I found myself navigating all the obstacles and emotions and challenges under the spotlight of 13 pairs of eyes. The pain that was boxed up and hidden within, was balanced by the kindness and compassion and friendship of some very special people.

Helping to create the dreamy magic that I so desperately needed in that moment to make it beyond a battle but something to feel proud of, treasured and alot of what I hoped it might be.

I remember P saying to me.. “ you don’t fit with those people. They don’t care about you.”
I remember standing up tall and saying “yes they do”.
I believed it. I really believed it.

When I think how sad I’ve felt over the last month or so I just couldn’t understand why. Why did others judgements bother me so much. But I know it’s not their judgements. Those judgements came ftom a place of ignorance. A lack of understanding and insight.
My reason for feeling so sad is that I needed to be left with that dream. I needed to feel as though they were a family who cared about me as much as I did about them.
I needed to feel that all the trust I placed in that moment and in particular people meant something. That I was right in taking those risks. That I placed that trust in people who cared about me.

Why did I care so much about them?
Because I really liked them. They were all so different, unique, wonderful, interesting. And we were in it together. Sharing something that felt really important. For all of us whether it was realised or not.
It was beyond getting a diploma. The end goal for me became how to survive and not give up. The qualification was just a cherry.

It was always going to be about the experience even though it was completely different to how I had imagined it. I wanted to be tested and challenged but not on that scale. And yet when I finished I don’t think I’ve ever felt prouder of something other than bringing up my beautiful girl. The sane girl who sat at the kitchen table this morning and said
“Mummy (she always calls me that when she wants me to feel loved) Do you know what a kind and lovely person you are.
How the hell did I get so lucky!

But THE most important thing in that whole experience was the people. Friendships.
Their kindness, their belief in me, their love and care was the difference between me staying afloat or going under. And I wanted to be the same for them.
They allowed me to find happiness amongst the sad, dreaminess and magic amongst the real, sparkle amongst the grey.
They gave me my much needed smile.
When others were annoyed about the poor organisation in elements of the course I didn’t give a shit. I just got on with it. I was just fucking happy to be there. I felt lucky. So so lucky. If I was gonna feel the selfish and the guilt I was gonna balance it out by feeling fucking lucky and trying to enjoy every moment of it that I could. There were times when that felt really difficult and I stumbled under the pressure.
I’m just a human and I could not hide it. I was completely real because I did not have the energy to be anything else.
And I became more and more confident. Those 14 little slips of paper that I still have and treasure and all said “lacks self confidence” were being adjusted with every challenge.

And then that moment came when everything became different.
Perhaps I had received my share of compassion.
Maybe if they had seen what the reality looked like beyond that room they might have felt differently.
I wonder whether the incessant moaners would have survived the reality of my world in that moment.
I remember absolutely and completely exhausted and dead on my feet and doing all my washing round someone else’s. As I walked up the road in the dark and the pouring rain the bottom fell out of the black bag containing all my clean washing. It went everywhere. All my knickers scattered over the pavement. Which seems funny as I type it now but In that moment I remember just sitting on the kerb in the rain crying my little eyes out thinking how the hell did I get here.

When I think of the people I see and some of the things they talk about it’s amazing how much I can relate to. I wonder sometimes if they can see it in my eyes. Or that I can see what it looks like for them so clearly because even though it might look differently to my own experiences I know exactly what the feeling attached to that is. Desperation.. I know it. I know what it is to feel desperate.

Sometimes we just need help in finding that other voice that says .. pick your knickers up girl. Tomorrow is another day with magic to be found.

Despite drawing a line, and another and another even bolder and more colourful line I am still walking into the invisible wall that is making it difficult to accept and move on.
And I think it’s because I’m seeing my dream being pulled apart and I am finding myself desperately clawing through the wreckage searching for the magic that that I believed in. The dreamy magic that made it worth all the pain, the upset, the broken hearts and the disappearing dreams.
Well I do have a diploma certificate winging its way to me by recorded delivery.. still haven’t picked it up. Sending with no responsibility for loss or damage.. all costs for replacement to be paid by myself.
It made me laugh. I have cried so much over the last month or so that I think I may be turning a corner into sarcasm.. I know.. the lowest form of wit. The only way is up right!

I can fix my life. There are better things on the horizon. Happier beginnings are awaiting me.
I don’t care about that one person who didn’t believe in me.. I believe in me.
But.. What I need to release me and allow me to walk forward is to know that all that I held so dearly through that journey was real. That I didn’t imagine it. That those special friendships meant something. That it had some meaning beyond just a qualification, a stepping stone to something better, another little course with more friends to collect.
The only thing I really cared about in it all was those beautiful and special friendships. The ones that were there for me in the dark and the rain when no one else knew and In magical moments that will stand the test of time. The type of friends that people talk about from their time at uni. That are made of something special and they remain with  you through a lifetime. You were my uni friends. You were what I cared about.
It fucking means something to me.
You mean something to me.
Please let it mean something to you.

 

A little something for the insomniac party girl.

Feel like I am getting rid of all my tears. It’s good to have a little cry.
I think crying is the antedote to cynical and bitter.

I know there are people out there that don’t believe in me, or those that just don’t understand me, or those that just don’t care one way or other.
I’m thinking a little like the Cincinnati kid
“You just ain’t ready for me yet”

I’m feeling so proud of myself in how much I’ve learnt, omg I’ve learnt so much. I’m like a sponge soaking it all up. Im proud of my strength and resilience. Even in times when things could not look any worse… I could have given in, gone against my heart and my beliefs and taken the easy peasy road. Blimey that road has at times looked so very appealing.

I mean I’ve been tempted to take it. This road certainly has not been filled with easy fun and anyone who has known me for a long time will know I’m a girl who loves easy fun.
Nicknamed the eternal party girl a few years back I think there are people who would struggle to believe where I sit right now.

That party girl is still there. She has taken a backseat to allow the lesser known, lesser socially acceptable side, to have a moment to be in the world. The melancholy girl who sheds her tears alone. She still sheds them alone but she isn’t covering them with party. She is just existing in her own right.
Being thoughtful, gentle, emotional, alone.

Strangers and close friends are propping her up without realising it and giving moments of sparkle to keep her going.
She’s not particularly dark but she is very deep.
The lightness of touch from others keeps her close enough to the surface to find her way back up but she is not looking to party right now.

I feel like a series of contradictions at the minute.
Light but Deep.
Happy but Sad.
Alive but Dead.
But just not party.
I think eventually I will.
And when I do I will set the dance floor on fire.
I will totally own it.

As I get ready for bed I put my phone on charge. Someone tell me that I’m imagining it when I say tunes and videos find me rather than the other way round. As I walked back from the bathroom this tune was playing. It ain’t on my play list but it was playing.
A little something for the insomniac party girl who is giving room to the believer in the power of the universe to shed her tears.
Easy fun party girl may be resting but she is by no means asleep. And hearing that tune felt very reassuring.
She will find her way to the party when she is ready. But not quite yet!

The Fool

I’m about to embark on a beautiful trip on Friday.
It’s purpose.. to spend time with my girl, to spend time with myself, to be somewhere beautiful and romantic and to remind myself of who I am at the very root. A person who loves..

This very basic and founding element of me has been rocked in a way that has tested it to its core and I’ve sat on the corner of love and cynical many times.
I can see how easy it would be to let your heart harden.

I read a quote..

“love is for fools and dreamers who don’t know better”

And then I saw another

“To the world – lover is a fool, to the lover- the world is deaf and blind, only if you could – take a sip of his yearning, your soul would- rise, hang- and burn like crazy.”

I refuse to walk down cynical. I kick back against all the clap trap I’m fed that says only loving yourself is the answer.
Yes to love yourself and be happy in yourself is truly important… but what a very sad and lonely world this would be if everyone just loved themselves and no one else.
Sometimes I have moments when Im alone and sad and I think does anyone really care. Usually when someone is horrible to me, hurts me, or makes me feel sad. And then someone wonderful will rock up and remind me that love exists. That there are people who care beyond themselves. That makes me want to stand on top of a mountain and cheer.
It’s what makes the world go round. And forget that at your peril.
You only need one friend who you love and they love you back to know what real love is. And if you have that then you are lucky indeed.

I heard from a friend before I went to sleep last night who knows the value of love. And I felt hers and sent mine right back. What a beautiful thing that is.

I slept so well my friend ❤️

If love makes me a fool … then call me a fool.. please!!!!

That’s what makes you beautiful

I’m feeling good.
I finally posted my response to that letter.
I had always feared yet another rejection by sending it, but now I don’t. Sending it is for me and for me alone.
I don’t want to be left with feelings of guilt in years to come. Carrying that weight of not saying what I needed to say when I still had the chance to say it. That kind of stuff will rip a person apart and I’ve done enough of that through my life on the back of their way.
I’m feeling very good in it all and that feels pretty epically wonderful.

There is definitely a lightness to me and things are falling into place in so many different ways.

Only a heaviness of heart with my friend who I really love. We are complicated friends. Total mismatch of epic proportions.I don’t think anyone has ever rocked my world in the way they have. Keep telling myself that they are way more suited in friendships to others who are similar to them. And laughably I doubt I’ve been given a second thought. So also reminding myself of that every time they come to mind. I’m a sensitive soul and stuff bothers me more than most But what can I say.. in all those differences, I still miss them.

Ive found over the last few days that I have been surrounded by lovely people. People who are being nice to me, kind to me, helping me, wanting to give something of themselves to me to make my world nicer.
They are little things but they matter hugely to me.
Like a convo I had with my old tutor who had helped me a lot. I wanted to share the news of my little successes. Like a mini sub dad he responded with proudness.
When I responded we were taking in the same view in very different ways and we made each other smile in that.
He took a lot of shit at different times but I think he is a really good bloke.

Ovs my friends are their normal beautiful selves and my girl is something special. She watches a lot of the other kids around her being given new cars and a constant stream of nice stuff. And unfortunately we just don’t have the means to do that. But she can totally share my car and I am in the process of pimping it up for her. She is very particular and likes things neat tidy and beautiful. Yeah we are a mismatch in that. Gonna be interesting sharing that car when she passes. I’m gonna be in trouble a lot for all my sweet wrappers.
When I see the other kids get everything I feel bad. She is such a beautiful person. So kind, thoughtful, caring and hugely protective of me and P. She so deserves the best. But maybe the fact that she doesn’t get it all, reminds her of what has value. She certainly has that down. Makes me proud.
But my lovely friend L threw a little luck her way in a possible job opportunity where I used to work. On the positive I know the person recruiting always liked me so that might help. Maybe/hopefully. I’m keeping everything crossed for her.
She would really love to go to Paris with her friends for her 18th birthday, and that bit of summer temping will really help.

When I was in the supermarket the man behind the counter was his usual self. Chatty, friendly. He has a way about him. Always happy and it cheers up a persons day. Thankyou!

I got to work today only to find I had no clients and none for tomorrow. Which means I have two weeks off. That feels lovely actually. I’m so looking forward to getting away.
Could not have a more beautiful destination ahead of me. Sorrento. A complete bargain even by my own standards and I’m gonna enjoy every single second of what it is.
I can’t really afford new clothes right now but treated myself to a couple of bits of new makeup. The lady in Debenhams was a little diamond. She was the personal shopper who just happened to be on the shop floor and spotted me and became my personal shopper. Helping me in getting my £10 back by finding something for 3 quid so I would be eligible. Then filling my bag with free samples. She reminded me of P’s mum. Funny chatty and sweet and wanting to help. She made me smile so much I gave her a hug.
Haha do people usually hug their shop assistants… sorry personal shopper. She was a little gem.
I then dropped my car park ticket which blew underneath my car. The man washing cars laid on the floor to get it for me. What a total sweetheart. Gave him a hug too.

They waved me off as I left the car park.

Maybe it’s the summer sun, or my lack of hurry in finding a moment to chat or the lightness that I’m feeling in myself and the absence of clients feelings but all these little things made me feel so sunny.
And making me feel sunny is what makes you all so beautiful!