Fix me

There are moments like last weekend that provide something good that takes me a few more steps forward in being a me that feels better and that I feel proud of. It can feel really difficult to get to that. So much has happened  and I feel more of a pressure now from others, mainly P to be a particular version of me that carries all of the responsibilities and all the expectations. Things I tried to free myself from but my life has been such, that it has felt very difficult to do that long term. External things and a pandemic on top have felt insurmountable, despite, I think, my very valiant efforts. I think at this point after so much difficulty and challenge I find myself looking for a much quieter and easier life. It sounds like a cop out but believe me when I say I proper went for it. Following my heart in every way possible, risking it all, only to find that I was just a fool. A dreamy fool who believed in fairy tales. But a fool who still believes in magic, what I felt and everything that was shared. It has left  me lashing out, licking all my wounds and feeling completely broken and covered in rubble. But I’m as real as they come and I show it. In time things will feel different. My love doesn’t just vanish. As for a quiet and easy life… it’s no cop out. It’s just called reality and it bit me hard. Don’t judge it till you’ve lived it. 

And now starting to rebuild again from scratch which feels slow and quiet work. Going backwards in many ways but quietly inside unravelling all the mess and little by little trying to create  the version of me that encapsulates all the very best parts of who I am. It can feel like a constant conflict in being two people in one person and trying to balance what that looks like. Trying my best to merge the best parts of both together, but it’s easier said than done. It’s so easy to just say “do what you want” but I have seen the impact of trying to do that, on others and myself. I know I’m made of more. I’m trying to get to that more as I put myself back together. 

A friend I finally caught up with last night, and started that journey with me from the very beginning, described that experience as “traumatic”. Make you right. It really was. Devastatingly damaging for me and with everything else on top and since has left my  head in a complete mess. Trying to balance all my feelings and all those practicalities has not been easy. I wonder how it might all look now if it had been. The only think that I was never confused in were my own feelings of the heart. They were as solid as a rock.

A pandemic and so much difficulty and loss  making it impossible to just push through. It feels incredible really when I look at it all. So much to deal with. I’m still playing catch up I’m seeing so much of my journey to despair. It can feel painful to revisit it all when I remember who I was when I started and what my intentions were. Weirdly I was contacted a few weeks back by the first person I ever met right at the very beginning, and we arranged to meet for lunch before Christmas. I think that will be both lovely and helpful for me. She never continued on. Other responsibilities holding her back. She would have been amazing. A really lovely lady. I adored that ten weeks and I liked her so much. Instant connection as we sat there excitedly and nervously wondering what it would be and stayed friends beyond. I can remember skipping out every week. I loved it. I felt so at home, safe and held in that group and I really prospered in feeling so much genuine love and care. It had so much trust and a cosy warmth that was a big part of who I am. A part that got squashed further along the road, in the need to armour up and try to survive it all in a very different version.  One that felt much darker and harsher and pulled out those versions in me. Somehow along the way surrounded by so much challenge my light went out. Leaving me wondering who the hell I was anymore. Thoughts of others merging into mine and leaving a distorted version who never thought so much about those things before and left me feeling angry with so much. Where did my warm and cosy, easy going, happy, sunshine, fun, gentle and dreamy girl go? I feel her a little more again every day left to my own devices. The cynical beginning to dissipate in favour of friendly and warm. Wanting to rebuild again from my basic version that has a loving and kind heart. That part still in tact as I feel it starting to thaw again. 

Distance is really helping me to gradually find some confidence in being around others again. Getting myself back out there a little more at a time. Sticking with people I really trust and I feel safe with. Impacting on my work and a wish to leave so I can have a completely clean slate. Where no one knows me. Avoiding anything that has the potential to undo what is feeling better or knock down  my confidence. It’s gonna take some time. It’s strange to find myself on a similar journey to when I was 19. But feeling a bit better every day. And smiling more again. 
Sometimes I feel like I am a victim of myself in trying to be a version that I feel proud of. That people I really cared about and have lost would feel proud of. I made all my choices along the way with so many wonderful intentions but real life in the world I live in, demands such a lot and I try my hardest to live up to that. But in moments I hear my voice in my head telling me that I’m more than the life I lead. 

I try to find my more in a version that many others looking in would see as so much less. But I’m not Less. I’m actually a stand up girl who tries to do the “right thing” which often prevents me from doing the right thing for me. It’s difficult to blend those worlds. They feel on opposite sides of the ocean. I find myself writing as though I am justifying who I am. I think more I try to justify it to myself. Knowing that very few of those sitting on the other side of that ocean would really understand it. I talk about the privilege of money because it really does make a difference. It’s easy to be free and  easy and make any choices you like when you don’t have to worry about it or consider your impact on people that you love and care about. I often feel such an arrogance that comes from those types that don’t  have  to consider that. Their arrogance is their ignorance. A safe home of your own feels so basic but isn’t just a given. How lucky for you If it is. The oppression of making choices based on security can in moments feel tough and the need for me to compromise are great and at times soul destroying but I know why I make those choices. It’s just the living with them that feels hard sometimes especially after opening Pandora’s box.. And why I often wish I could rewind back to a time when I didn’t question things, when I didn’t know any different , when I thought that who I am was all I was. 
But I look for my inspirations in the confines of my choices and it helps me to keep going and keep moving forwards. 

In this case two inspiring individuals who are made of so much care and are struggling in their own different ways. 
A moment of travel to see my girl who said as I started my journey “It feels like Christmas Day”. What a lovely feeling to journey towards. I felt such a longing to be with her just to give her the cuddle  that she said she needed and feel the loveliness  of that myself. A cuddle that says more than a million words ever could.
My impractical, unplanned, completely disorganised and dreamy version kicked in as I sat on the train by myself in all its haphazard chaos. The variety that makes me chuckle to myself and look like a dizzy day dreamer. In the  confusion and last minute panic of being kicked off the train early with all my stuff everywhere, I found my purse on a lone trip to the seaside  in not so sunny Bognor. Call in reinforcements as my purse was found and handed in. Enter my girls housemate number one who took us in his car to pick it up. Made me laugh in his little boy chat and his continued circling of the route while I tried to explain to the army of station staff. Comedy gold bunch in finding my little purse. They were all on it. What a lovely bunch of fellas. Then leaving my phone in the back of the cab which my girl noticed before he sped off. And to finish off on the way home discovering that I had left all my Christmas shopping on the station platform. Call in housemate number two as she drove my girl to see if it was there. And unbelievably it was. As my girl spotted the big red lips of my favourite shopping bag sending her a  kiss from a distance. What a nutter I must have looked. But I didn’t stress in the slightest about either. This is the small fry stuff that doesn’t even break me into a slight sweat. When I returned to London I reached my tube station and saw a man lying on the floor being given CPR after some kind of incident as the police rushed us by. It looked pretty bad which felt incredibly sad. And yet I still felt that feeling of home. Sparkle and perfection appearing  in shorter supply here but feeing more at home in that imperfect version. I realise how little I am made for perfect. I’m a little more rough and ready with a dreamy head. I can’t conform to that “better” version. Others are much more suited to that world. Too much real going on in mine. Perfect would require me to change myself completely and then who would I be? All glitter and no substance. I don’t want to be that. Which leaves me preferring to just be on my own. 

But I am slowly building some confidence and a real feeling of independence of mind and an inner strength. You can’t see it but I feel it. 
I am feeling my roots very strongly. My nan and gran were always different gravy. As is my mum that has never followed the stereotype. She totally has her own individual vibe. Probably why I love individuality more than those who fit. It’s more interesting and has so much more unseen stuff that sits behind it. My mum is still like a rebellious teenager even in her seventies. She inspires me and reminds me often in who I am. Seeing the restrictions in where I am, but a proudness in me of what to others is invisible. She knows!!!!

 And then Sunday  afternoon spent in a place of jazz that has a sophisticated elegance and history of a time gone by, while scoffing a giant Yorkshire pudding. Of course for me it’s all in who you share these things with and my friend was the perfect companion for such a day. Looking like she belonged in a bohemian world of music and artistry with her own unique and cool vibe and a skirt and scarf to match. A weekend of loveliness with people I love and care  about. And real feeling that was shared in both. The kind of relationships that life is about for me. The stuff beyond being  distractions and time fillers. I neither want to be that or have that. I can end up feeling  more alone in that version. Surface chat leaves me disappearing within.  
But  in that deeper and more meaningful version I am finding moments of feeling the other me and it makes me feel better. Feeling more capable and together than I might appear.  Feeling like I have so much more about me  that has been  hidden underneath for a long  time now. A strength gained from living through so much real  that makes me feel like I have the ability to do anything and go anywhere. To do all sorts of things I might want, even though I  have to rein it in. Learning to just find my freedom in moments quietly where it isn’t seen. 
Thinking of my gran as The band played and remembering what an amazing musician she was but living  a life of duty.  And yet always playing  to her small and loving audience that still wanted to hear her. 
The instinct and learnt behaviour to really care coming from women that I really admired in their heavyweight qualities. More so than anyone would ever know. No big crowd of people at their funerals. Just family. People who really loved them. That same  care  being a massive and fundamental part of myself that I don’t wish to ever change because it feels really important to me. But that care can also leave me feeling caged. But real care is the  stuff of life that actually counts.  And I’m really proud that I’m made that  way. I like to think, Less down trodden and more a woman of substance.

A similarity I share with women I am closest to and are part of my life. That inspire me in their versions. Noticing after going  through so much that I need very little from the world at large. Especially the types that think they are better. Feeling that same independence of mind that I saw so clearly in those women that came before me. I don’t  think anyone can push me around now. I am totally standing up straight with my head held high although in a moment it can drop. But trying to let that happen less as I remind myself that I’m more. I just need more time and moments to figure out who I am and to find my strength again. Still work in progress but definitely a person  who is feeling more comfortable  in doing my own thing in my own way. Feeling a little more of my feisty and my frivolous. Again quietly hidden but shared in moments and with people where  they can exist more easily. 

Being with my little flats community the other night in the pub felt nice in all its down to earth. Lots of different in a variety of ages but with their fighting spirit showing as the developers keep on coming. They will continue to do so until they get their way but I like seeing people come together to fight against greed. Something real and uplifting in the little people saying NO! I like that vibe. 

I’m a mixture of so much but without being loud and in your face. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me but I also don’t feel a desire to upset others. My angry feelings are gone and I can now keep annoyances to myself. I don’t have to engage in what’s not for me or I for them. Besides it achieves nothing in expressing them. Most people don’t care cares for real. Positive and energising is where it’s at. My words would just fall on deaf ears that don’t like to be challenged. Especially by those they see as less. Ivory towers come in many shapes and sizes.

 But I know who I am on the inside. And I know I’m a “goodun” who is worth way more than I have felt. Feeling that inside. A slowly growing quiet confidence that is more accepting of who I am and what I bring because I’ve always been a good person. Not needing to be seen but feeling a need to share for a moment on my blog. To validate myself for a second beyond the confines of my own mind. To be nice to myself. 
Remembering that I have never cared about money, success, power, popularity. It feels more important for me in how I live life than what I have or what I do.. it’s all about the How. It means something to me in how I treat other people and how I get to the things I wish for. Not because I give a shit what others think. But because I care about being a person that I feel proud of. Knowing that I’m not perfect and I make plenty of mistakes. But I always have good intentions and I always try. And that’s the  bit feels really important to me. I know, and that’s what matters. 
Why would I wish to step on top of others in my attempts to be happy. But In moments where  I have, or it has gone wrong or I’ve messed up, I do try to fix things. It can often take more in fixing something that’s broken than just replacing it with a new and improved version. I get it. It’s so much easier with new. Who wants to deal with lots of difficult crap. But some things and some people just can’t be replaced by a new version. I call them my family and friends. 

I’ve never  wanted my life to be a trail of destruction  behind me. Because I do look back. Memories are everything to me. Otherwise what’s the point of having those moments. I’ve never wanted to live a wasted life. I don’t think I have. Wasted time would leave me feeling empty. But the memories that mean something to me replace any emptiness and that feels good. I love feeling those beautiful memories. The here and now is a wonderful thing. Covid inspiring that way of being. “Live for the moment”. But somehow in this new version I struggle to  find any real connection in certain places. It can all feel very surface  with not so much substance. As though we are all supposed to come out the other side feeling amazing. Not everyone does. I guess that positive and energised version being better for some. We all have our types. But not for a girl like me. It just leaves me disappearing. I’m a girl who wants and needs depth in relationships. Realness. With all the other beautiful and fun stuff on top. I can easily do frivolous with the best of them but if it’s just that then it’s just the acquaintances brigade. Small talk and keeping in touch. I don’t really do that  much. Just feels like less to me. I’m the wrong girl for that role. But there are many much better versions than me to fill that void. I guess I know where my  strengths lie and where they don’t. Always looking for those deeper connections. The  versions that thread through a life are my preferred version. And why I value my closest so much. Those connections mattering way more than anything else. . An investment in maintaining a connection over a longer period where it demands something more of you. A piece of you that is given to them for keeps and holding theirs in the same way. Knowing that for them to exit from your world will cause a pain in yours. Less about what you share and more about what you mean to each other and  how much you feel their joy and their pain. That’s what intimacy looks like to me. Those strong connections that stand the test of time and distance. Just a fragile but strong thread that holds you together. A similar and reciprocated  give and take of investment and real care. That’s what I believe I share with those who are closest to me. Knowing that if broken it will impact on me. I haven’t felt that often in life. Perhaps in my discernment in who gets close. But when I have it really hurts me. 

I suppose that everything I’ve ever had, that has been really wonderful and memorable for me in this life, has come from shared caring. Caring beyond myself and them doing the same. Meaningful relationships. Where you can share the good the bad and the ugly.  This is everything that matters to me. The rest is just the scenery that surrounds it. 
I’m finally starting to feel that this period of sadness and difficulty is beginning to pass which will eventually lead me on to better times. Times that I will still wish to share with those same people who have been part of the bad and vice versa. Still things to deal with but more manageable. 
When  I have really struggled harder to get to something whilst still caring about those around me, and when I achieve what I hope for, it comes with such a gratitude in knowing what it took to get there, and who was part of that. What I had to give in order to get the same thing. Knowing that nothing has ever been handed to me  or walking over others to get it. A pleasure and enjoyment in knowing that “I did that.” And I did it in a way I can feel proud of. 
Feeling proud of me is a recurring thought and feeling. But it belongs to me.

But that doesn’t mean that sometimes I feel really hard done by. Or that I don’t feel angry with both myself and others who make it more difficult for me to get there, or feeling the unfairness in watching others constantly land on their feet as I struggle to get up off my knees. I’m a human not an angel. But we are dealt our hands and have to journey according to our means. Everyone has their own versions of struggle. And I remind myself in what those different journeys to the same thing look like. I can sometimes feel good in knowing what my version looks like.  And thinking how In an easier version I could do it  blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. Maybe I will get a chance to test that theory out. But it’s always  good to remind myself of what  I have achieved in life in doing it the hard way. It’s so easy to forget in the bad times. And even easier in the bad times to forget what others have given to me too. Buying myself a little vintage elephant brooch with a red coat from a second hand market for a fiver, which I saw when I visited my girl at the weekend. Will wear it as a reminder of who and what matters to me. Funny that I forgot it in my bag on the platform. Sometimes I’ve just been trying to keep my head above water and as much as I wish I were limitless and the greatest friend or family member on the planet,  I know that at times I’m not. But over time I will try to remedy that. I can’t always be everything to everyone especially in amongst so many big challenges, but when I can I always try. When I get it wrong I try to right it. Can’t say fairer than that!

 I’m a person who has never much sweated the small stuff. But what I’ve been dealing with hasn’t been small. It’s been an overwhelming mountain of so much BIG  that I have had to face head on. And I’ve got through it all and still am. And I’m still here and still trying. If that isn’t strength I don’t know what is. Forget that marketed variety that makes me roll my eyes in all its bullshit. This is the real deal of real life, where you don’t have the time or energy to whip your hair like some diva without a clue. And it also tells me how much I’m actually capable of, given the right circumstances and time and space. When I feel like me without so much big  I know I can do all sorts. Finally feeling that belief in who I am that still currently resides underneath where no one can see me but is quietly and slowly rising. And being given a voice on my blog. The pure grit version that comes with bucket loads  of dreamy. “Don’t stop me now” as Freddie sang, even though I’ve not been having such a good time. But I’m planning to burn through the sky. In all that continued trying, seeing more clearly who I am and what I have, and beginning to give myself what I need whilst still helping those that I care about. Even if invisibly in moments. I’m feeling myself get back on it, but doing it out of sight

Finding the stuff with my dad helping in this moment despite the fact that he has disappeared again five minutes after his reappearance. But feeling ok in it. Putting myself in his shoes and my girl in mine  has helped me to see our difference in what love really looks like and what it means to me to be a parent. His reappearance came with conditions. Conditions that I am no longer able to meet. Knowing that my own version in being a parent doesn’t come with any conditions. That it requires nothing of her but everything of me. But in that everything she meets me all the way. Finding myself being the parent to my dad. Hearing in his message that he wants the perfect version of a daughter who runs back into his arms, as I would have as a girl after he hurt me. But I can’t give him that version now. I’m not that girl anymore. Instead I found myself thinking of P’s dad who stepped into my dads shoes for all those years and was there for me in the good times and the bad. Which made me want to be there for him when it really mattered. In taking care of his beloved wife when he struggled to cope and then caring for him during that painful ending to his life. His letter to me meaning so much in his effort of care., no fancy or big words. Just heartfelt. I feel glad that I was able to be like a daughter to him. He was  absolutely like a dad to me. Wishing that I had thanked him for being such an important and special part of my life but feeling like he knew it anyways through my actions. Actions will always speak louder than words for me. A thoughtfulness that comes in effort. Time and thought mattering to me more than three little words. My own dad unable to do that. Not wanting to have his boat rocked by  any kind of conversation of real and only wanting to know he is loved. Without requiring any time or effort. Those three little words  thrown at me in a text message but nothing concrete to substantiate them. They feel meaningless. Just words. I don’t doubt that on some level he loves me. I told him that I have always carried him in my heart and that I love him but also giving him the choice in whether he really wants to meet me and have that difficult conversation. His silence over the past week providing me with my answer. A momentary connection via text being enough for him. Maybe he is thinking about it. Or maybe he got what he needed. But I’m just going to get on with my life again. He doesn’t leave me feeling like my life is less without him. He hasn’t been there for any of the good times or the bad.  There is such a difference in that for me. A big difference that I have noted. 
What have I really missed? A version of a dad that doesn’t actually exist and never has, but I was able to find in P’s dad. I wonder how I haven’t been able to make  that connection until now. I guess sometimes it’s harder to see when you are in it. But it sure makes sense at this point in the show when I think about how sad I have felt in his loss For over half my life quietly and without fanfare providing what I needed in a way that my own dad was unable to do. 

I feel a sense of closure in all those dad feelings of small and rejected in knowing that I don’t actually need him. That there is no loss in what I have spent the majority of my life living without. Wanting to make things right between us but it takes two, and feeling his lack of need in that, in his silence. Happy to meet him still and leaving that door open . 
But I am now the woman who is feeling completely his equal in a very different way,  as opposed to the girl who didn’t think she was good enough. 
Knowing that this girl, this woman has always been incredibly loving and who always will be. And he has missed that even if he doesn’t realise it. I couldn’t imagine missing that with my own girl. My life would feel like a huge failure. 
It’s no fairytale movie ending with him, but at least I can feel like I tried. And that feels enough.


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