The Way Forward

This little snail popped her head out of her shell. As she found her way moving towards the crowd…. ..

.. Inspired by my Italian friend S who messaged me as she sat in the car on her way home to Rome from Milan. Sharing all the difficulties for her and her family. Sharing how sad she has been feeling and wishing that we will be able to meet up again soon. Aaaah such good times with her in Milan!!! The thoughts of a lonely Italian girl shared with the English girl who has definitely known that feeling too but is at my snails pace moving forward. Very slowly, but moving. A beautiful back and forth in sharing the  emotions that don’t fit with the party. All the trials that were  understood in our matching ways of being. Our immediate connection some six years back when we found each other in a brief moment in a fantastical place. How time can fly past when you are dealing with challenges. Remembering lots of wonderful and easy moments. Trying to feel proud of in all the things I have managed to do and be, through all the harder ones. The stuff that builds character and shows what and who you are really made of even when you are on your knees. I’ve always been a worker. I feel a tiredness from that.

The connection with S that has stood the test of time and distance in all it’s beautiful and dreamy real. One of those close few I stayed connected to in the pandemic. A trust created and shared in heart. 
It left me thinking about all those google found versions of self help that I find as I surf. The ones that provide the theoretical and rational ten steps of how to get you and your life back on track. All rooted in moving you back onto the conveyor belt of real life. Enabling you to rejoin the crowd, be productive and be happy. Because if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. Just wind me up like a toy and let me go as I pretend to be a version that keeps functioning but feels nothing. Couldn’t do it. Can’t be part of superficial when I feel so much emotion. I know what the superficial looks like and how I feel in that. Nothing! 

Those steps often have a little mindfulness thrown in. That version of “letting the weight drift out of my fingertips” All the weight still left in my fingertips despite the c a l m i n g tone which maybe was just lacking a bit of pan pipes. Thankyou .. I feel so much more mindful now!!!! Did I miss the boat on that one. I feel myself smiling in the need to be mindful in order to get back to a crowd full of mindless. It made me think of the phrase “stay connected” through the pandemic as those virtual forums got a boost to their economies and people clamoured to be together. The mere thought of disconnection being just too horrible to contemplate. Except for the introverts who happily found the quiet and space that they craved. Only really needing intimacy than the crowd. Someone to share that disconnection with. When I’ve done the test I always have come out 52 per cent extrovert. Did I just learn how to be that 2 per cent in order to join the crowd. Needing that tiny bit of external energy which I would redefine as fun in order to find my balance. In many moments of being “the party girl” craving the more intimate connections. I guess that’s what I went searching for when I went back to school. I love to have fun but enjoy it so much more when it is shared more intimately with people I love and who love me too. The crowd just background noise and atmosphere as opposed to the main part of the show. I can pull out an entertainer if required but there’s a reason that I usually connect more with the introverts. I don’t feel a need to have to entertain. No need to try to fit or be crazy or exciting. It’s more about just sharing. Sharing who you are and what you have. I’m naturally a sharer. But more a sharer of love and care and fun.

It was followed by a walk with Swiss M in the forest who grabbed my little feely tentacles with both hands as I mentioned that I probably need to get out again a little more. 
She asked me to come share a night with her and two of the boys I know. J of which I have known for over half of my life. An old friend who knows me pretty well. Definitely an extrovert but with hidden sensitivity and emotion. Met him when I was 21. Felt nervous in that first meeting as the contrast in our lifestyles was huge. Not wanting to mess up or sound stupid or look common. Wanting to fit in and be liked. Of course the Irish in me kicked in and I ended up getting blind drunk and throwing up in his back garden. But he still liked me. The rich boy who has always had a soft spot for me in all my chatterbox of thoughts, despite the fact that I have challenged him often through the years. And he has challenged me right back. But always with a kindness and care on both sides that gives a confidence to just keep it real. A longevity of relationship resulting in a solid trust. He likes to share ideas. He knows he is completely out of touch with the real world in his millionaire life. The gritty realities of life are something he has never experienced. But he has a respect for what others often don’t see. 

I was given a spare ticket for a gig in Kentish Town. A venue I have spent lots of nights at and the only place I have ever crowd surfed before I was dropped on my head. I was in my own little crazy jumping zone at the time as I was being pummelled by the crowd and was just picked up before being unceremoniously dropped. I think perhaps being dropped on my head again might be good for me. Something that I have in common with the other boy M who I’ve known for less time but still a lot of years. A sweet and funny gentle giant. Happy doing his own thing and looking out for his two boys. Remembering at the end of a different night that was over ten years ago now, and five minutes after I had said “goodbye and get home safe” had fallen all the way down the tube station escalators also landing on his head and ended up in A&E needing stitches. Drunken mindless is sometimes the antidote for real life mindless. Certainly has worked for me in moments as I certainly have felt the weight leaving my fingertips. I feel my nervousness in the thought of being back in the crowd but also feeling the comfort of a small group of people who I know well and trust,  and will look out for me. Hopefully without major incident or injury. Not sure how I will fair but sometimes you just have to start somewhere. This version I know.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about intimacy and the crowd. What it takes. What it takes of me. Very different parts of who I am and what it does and doesn’t give. Somehow needing to find a balance in real life. That balance has changed a lot for me. Time with my close crew makes me happier. It takes so much effort to build something new and meaningful beyond and I have seen in more detail how some others function and also that sense of entitlement that can come with financial privilege. I saw it as a kid in that very white suburban world I moved to where things were very often about how it looked on the surface but with not much substance underneath. Knowing what it looked like on the other side where you didn’t have it. I know what the different shades of white looks and feels like. Beneath all the perfect. The versions of what’s being said in comparison to what really sits beneath. And the differing power held in those different shades. Why is it that all the people who seem to head up equality and diversity in the workplace seem to be posh white birds. Where did all their expertise on the subject come from? I’m not imagining it. And also how easily I can be seen in the same way. A shade of many differences despite our similarity of look. As a white girl with blonde hair I would perhaps be seen as the mean “prom princess” who owns it all, despite the fact that my version looked very different. Blonded up in a journey to find some confidence. In the end what sits inside a shell  has its own individual look and feel. You have to get closer to understand the differences. I see what feels important to others in their identities, understanding more in how important that is and why. But beyond that I’ve always looked for what sits inside. The stuff that makes us individual. Whilst always remembering what surrounds that. It can influence a person to be and feel a certain way where life hasn’t afforded them the same privileges. In any version. It’s easy to be an angel when life has put you at top of the tree.

I’m certainly no perfect article. I don’t even wish to be. I have so many flaws. I get so much wrong. So much. I’m a mere human. I’m always learning and growing and trying to understand what I don’t. I make mistakes and have no doubt I will make many many more before my life is over.  But I do try my best and my heart is in the right place and I always have good intentions. I guess that has to be enough.

What I do know is that I’m so very lucky in the beautiful people that really matter to me. It’s all I need and want. I still love to chat to random strangers. Connecting for a brief moment in something beautiful that comes from within them. I’m a mixture of all sorts inside but the red of my heart being the most prominent colour in this  pallet. Even though it’s truest feelings are often hidden very deeply away. I can share that more easily with people who really know me. I realise that my needs are met in the relationships already built. It feels nice not to have to chase that. It feels like a tougher version for me to chase now. Beauty, youth, money and power is what the crowd loves. I have none of those. I often wonder if those that do are happier? Or maybe they just fit into the crowd a little more. 
But I do know that I’m definitely much happier in intimacy. I find that so much nicer and easier. Comes more naturally for me. It feels like more. It has more substance. It provides a feeling that lasts. A depth of feeling that comes from a place where all the trueness of who I am really lives. That feels like I become intertwined with something more beyond myself. At its most beautiful and intimate it’s a closeness that moulds you together. Where as the spice girls once sang “2 becomes 1” although I believe they call that co dependency now. God forbid you should ever feel dependent on another person in this life! Tell that to the mum taken care of by her son as she died. Total dependence. Through a life the give and the take evens out as the care is given and taken with the same depth of feeling. Belonging just in that. Intimate connection that comes in so many different forms. Sexual, emotional, familial, maternal and so on. I have known it in all different versions. I feel so lucky in that. Relationships have always been the most important thing for me in life. Investing in those few more than any other areas of my life. They make the most meaningful difference to my life. The rest feels like smoke and mirrors. It’s why I love the people I love so much. They’re the best bit of life for me. I treasure them. The rest being a nice to have. 
I’m also aware how much life can dictate how those relationships look and work. Or perhaps that’s just my life?! Time and distance can easily result in disconnection. I’ve seen that with friendships of the moment where I can easily drift away in the lack of mutual love and care. And yet my feelings aren’t fickle. The people I love most are still the people I love most. Investing in the few rather than the crowd. Creating some of my own limitations and restrictions. Wanting relationships that are  weighted in values. The kind of values that enable me to be a person I can feel proud of. That I respect. To live a life that is about more than just me. Meaningful rather than Many works best for me. 

I feel more lost in a crowd. Knowing that it doesn’t really care if I am there or if I’m not. It survives in its need to survive. It moves along with or without me. It tells me in moments that I am a part of it but if I disappear it doesn’t notice. It can easily replace me with a new version. It changes often and if I don’t change with it then I  can easily find myself no longer part of it. It holds all the control. Ever more so in this modern world. I don’t like being controlled. Especially by a world that often feels fickle. The crowd where everyone flows together or clashes. The clashes leaving me wishing to retreat from it all and the flow often moving me  in directions I don’t wish to go. Knowing what really matters to me but struggling to find it in a version that looks good on the surface but is just made of words and no action. I often feel the hypocrisy in views that are expressed against actions that show something very different. Although I don’t have the energy or inclination to challenge now. It’s like being a gladiator trying to fight the mob. It only takes that powerful thumbs down and you are done for. I think I’ll leave the angry podium for Greta. How I would like to take her for a few beers. Has she ever had a chance to be carefree? Or just a kid? although she doesn’t strike me as a girl who has grown up in poverty. I wonder if one day when she reaches my age she will be more disappointed by her lack of carefree fun, the world still continuing to put economics before a planets survival or how big her own carbon footprint has become as she tries her hardest to beat an invisible monster that’s way more powerful. I hope you smile sometimes G more than I hope you help to save our planet. 

At this point in life I feel more happy in the flow within myself. It comes from a good heart that believes in what I believe in. It doesn’t travel in one direction, often feeling more fluid in working things out for myself. But always comes with a whole lot of real and a whole lot of care. The world is complicated. Differing ideals clashing against each other in the need for survival. But if only there were a little more care and share. Where everyone could have a little piece of happiness that comes from safety and security and a fairness of opportunity. 
My care that tries to look beyond my own version of life. I have always tried to fight for what I believe in. But it can wear you down when you still have to survive yourself and take care of others. Sometimes you have to know when to stay out of the ring. I know exactly how I feel and what I believe in. I try to live my own life in a way that reflects that. Which is what I’ve always done. Never have needed the crowd to tell me how to be. My own mum always told me to be kind and respectful to all. And to try to help others who need it. I followed her lead. It feels simple but cuts through so much.

Existing and surviving in the crowd can create a lot of conflict for me that is the equivalent of trying to travel up escalators that are going down. And yet in that moment I surfed above the crowd, I enjoyed that feeling. A feeling of freedom and flying.
In the crowd there’s a collective energy that lasts for just that moment. I can feel a moment of belonging or a feeling of being completely lost and lonely in it. But in those moments I really feel part of it, that feeling of belonging can very quickly disperse before completely disappearing. Leaving an empty feeling. The crowd is an energy that lives for just a brief moment in time in contrast to the longevity that is felt within me from intimacy. The moments of life that I really remember. The person or people who I shared things with and how they were shared and the feeling created in that. I love that feeling so much more. 

And then thinking about the contrast in my feelings when I feel that force of the universe. I feel an intimacy in that as I connect to something that feels so much bigger as I stand there completely alone. An invisible power that seems to move me from beyond and yet I feel a sense of intimacy within myself. A feeling of something that lives within and beyond me that is just made of feeling. A universe of feeling. An unknown and invisible collective that becomes a part of me. Manifesting  and rising and providing an energy that crashes together within me that leaves me feeling a part of an incredible and dreamy more. A more that feels so very real. A more that makes me want to fight harder for life. A feeling that is created within myself  lifting my soul higher than any visible crowd has ever been capable of. Always left with such a deep feeling of being so small and insignificant but with a powerful feeling of something so much bigger than me. Do others get that feeling too? It feels steeped in humanity. A collective in that very basic version. The moment passes and the feeling disappears but those moments come with such a slow and gradual build up of feeling before a beautiful climax that can leave me feeling so much wonder. And all created from abstract and untouchable. 
A true and deep connection is everything for me.

As ever,  none of my thoughts have any purpose. They are just random rambles about nothing and everything. The stuff that I often have nowhere to share so I just put it here. Out into the invisible crowd who might catch and feel it for a moment in all my anonymity. 


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