Whispers from Beyond

They say that timing is everything.
Like sitting in my garden as two white butterflies danced around next to me or the two wood pigeons that spent ages walking round on the grass, cooing at each other lovingly as I sat on my swinging hammock.
I could not help but think of M & J as I watched.
There have been a lot of times lately when I have felt their presence.

Even the magpie in the forest that sat right next to me and seemed to know me as we looked at each other for ages.
Despite my movements he didn’t. He just sat on the edge of my picnic mat and looked at me.
I feel like I’m crazy when I say these things but they feel very real in that moment.
Magpies .. One for sorrow they say. A sign of bad luck.
Well it sat right beside me as I felt my sorrow.
I find it so strange at how close the woodland animals come to me.
Perhaps it is the same as children and dogs.
They always come up to me too. What do they sense?

Despite the fact that when I saw an image the other day and looked up the place it told a story of the devil disguised as a woman.
I’m certainly not perfect but I am a kind hearted girl. I’m certainly not the devil unless I’m so completely unaware of who I am.
I’m very aware of my many faults and imperfections. Often messing up as I try. Ive never been afraid of saying sorry.
I’m always grateful for those who aren’t afraid to say sorry too.
But I also know that I’m a very loving person.
Probably too much for my own good.

I love that the tiny ducklings run towards me every day when I sit down but the other day especially they all converged round me like a little fluffy army as they gathered in behind my back and at my feet.
It’s not like I ever have any food with me.
I love that they aren’t scared to come so close and touch me. Feeling then snuggle into my back. It was a very strange feeling in being surrounded by them.
But who can be scared of an army of fluffy ducklings
They knew they were safe with me as their mothers looked on.
I felt the belonging in just being another element of the forest.
Incorporated into that world without having to change myself in anyway. Without needing to be beautiful, or clever, or rich, or successful or whatever else is deemed as more.
Just being me feels enough in that place. Maybe they sense my gentleness and good nature.
Maybe in the forest world it fits perfectly.

Not long after I reposted what I had removed yesterday I was given a letter by P.
The timing of it coming after listening again to the accompanying song of that post.

As I was given the letter I thought of the words
“no man alive this planet can illuminate your path”.

This letter illuminated my path.

The letters had been found as work had continued yesterday in going through the belongings of his parents home.
A job that has been put off. Everything just as it has always been even before J died. Her clothes still hanging in the wardrobes. Finding my girl up there on the day of M’s funeral as she tried to find a garment that still held the scent of someone who made her feel so loved and safe.
A security coming from things but a lack of closure in holding on to them.

A realisation by all now that in order to move forward, practical things have to be done.
But it’s easier said than done.
Like all things. What is experienced is always very different to the idea of what might be experienced.

These practicalities and feelings being a discovery that no one wishes to make but will inevitably happen at some point in our lives.
The Buddhist theory of remaining unattached!
Yep I haven’t quite grasped that.
I did not grow up with that way of thinking and I struggle to really grab hold of it. At this point in life I’m not sure I ever will.

I’m not attached to things but I do get attached to people I love.
It does hurt me when they are no longer there.
I understand the concept but to feel it is something else.
Perhaps I will never be so enlightened but I certainly do know how to feel Love.
But when I love people then I always miss them.
I learn to live without them. But the love never disappears.

I investigate a lot of different versions of the same thing. Attachment, loss, love. Different versions fighting and clashing with each other.
Open to change my way of thinking but changing my feelings is a completely different thing.
I’m supposed to control them. Tell me how you control your heart? By being rational?

I guess it all depends on who you are and what you believe in.
I can’t say I’m fixed to any one thing but I have always believed in love.
Even though it tends to be the feeling that creates the most pain.
I feel more unenlightebed with every word I write.
But If we were not meant to feel or have emotion then surely we would not have been gifted this wonderful ability.
Do we find a theory that allows us not to have to.
So we don’t have to feel any pain.
I can’t imagine a life lived in such complete control.

The four letters had been stored in a box file. All starting with the same words but each one personal to the recipient.
My one handed to me just as I finished work, knowing I only had a day to go before my extended leave of absence.
An extension that I requested that lasts
for just under a month..
Feeling so in need of it.
My plan in being to have as little a plan as possible but to use every day for something good. Simple works for me.
Looking for a deeper sense of well-being that I can feel as opposed to an artificial version where I retrain my brain. It will still conflict with my heart.
I’m made how I’m made.
And I feel free in being that.
Having more time to put all my efforts into helping my girl.
And the relief in having more space to do that.

The letter was beautiful to read. A man who wasn’t a sharer of his feelings in life and admitted that in his letter but when he was no longer here felt able to reveal his inner most pride and joy and sadness.
Thanking me for being a part of his family. For being who I was and looking after others. For being so loving and making others happy in that. For being a lovely mum and how she was a credit to both of us in how beautiful and caring and warm and funny she is.
What joy she had brought to his and J’s lives and how proud he was of her.
And how much he wished he could be there to see the wonderful things that lie ahead for her.
His letter made me feel like a lovely person in this world despite everything. And so hopeful in being able to help my girl to a better place.

She found the letters. I think she was meant to.

It is the most I ever felt like I had a dad who cared about me. Who was proud of me, who loved me and felt the need to write to me in the same way as both of his own children and his grandchild.
I will treasure it forever in knowing that I was loved. Just as I am.

In a moment that I really needed to feel that ❤️ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L0H8-TLyQGA

Bow and Arrow

Sometimes when I post I think .. “Do I appear to others to be some flaky and messy nutcase?”
I kinda felt that last night after sharing that I was alone and scared in trying to deal with something that feels so difficult.
Feeling like I’m letting my girl down by not having the answers, not being able to fix it.
And then wanting to remove my post as I felt embarrassed in being seen as a “rubbish mum”or a “rubbish person”. That I would be judged for not being up to the standard of all the “amazing mums”and the “amazing people”
The same embarrassment my girl feels as she tries to deal with this. As though it makes her lesser. As though she is letting us down, herself down and being selfish.
Only I never see it like that when I look at her and neither does she when she looks at me.
We both see someone who is fighting hard every day in all our gentle sensitivity. There is nothing less about either of us.
I love that she is my daughter and she loves that I’m her mum.
I tell her how very proud I am of who she is every single day and she tells me the same.

What we need to do is give some more of that same very beautiful, understanding, and kind love to ourselves.

So this afternoon I thought “ I’m putting it back out there because I don’t wish to feel embarrassed of who I am or who I’m not.
I want to feel proud of me at any moment in any time. whether that time is easy or hard.
Because I do feel scared and alone sometimes as I try to deal with something that feels so complicated just like she does but we are trying our best.
And I love her more than anything in this world. Just as she is.

Thats where all the courage comes from.
Love is Courage ❤️…

… My gran told me two things when I was younger that have always stayed with me through my whole life

  1. In order to be happy with others you need to be happy by yourself.
  2. Your children don’t belong to you. They are on loan to you from God. You can feel so much joy in what they give but your job is to take care of them in order that one day they can fly away freely and live the life that they choose.

As I sat in the forest tonight feeling depleted and like I was in no mans land I spoke to my gran in my head asking her for more courage.

I found this poem that reflected her words and gave something to this tired soul who feels like she is failing in it all.
I’m trying.
Feeling scared and alone as I search within for the best parts of who I am in order to be what she needs.

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet, they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

By Kabila Gabran

My Very Small World

It only takes two minutes for me to walk to my favourite spot.
The pond looks gorgeous especially this morning in this sunshine. Such a peaceful place surrounded by trees especially after returning from swimming and just before I start work.
Last night feeling a different version as I sheltered under a tree from the rain as the thunder rolled overhead. I felt incredibly small and inconsequential in this big world.

But this morning everything looked just right. A natural elegance that was enhanced by the sun. The way the light made the water sparkle and created different shades of green on the long reeds that fill the whole pond. Theres enough room for the ducks to swim and their babies to explore.
I heard someone say the other day “this isn’t one of the special spots. There are much more beautiful places”
To me it could not be more beautiful in all its simpleness.
I never get tired of being here.
It always provides what I need as I sit quietly and take in all its details as my woodland friends run around me like I’m sitting in a Disney movie.
This place Immediately instils a sense of peace within me.

And I need it as I try to deal with what in moments feels like an impossible challenge in helping my girl with this life stunting illness.
It breaks my heart every day, leaves me feeling completely impotent in being unable to make any significant difference and feeling so sad in how she got here.
Feeling all my own guilt in whatever part I have played in that alongside carrying the guilt of her dad.
And on top feeling a sadness in that important loss that has triggered what this now is.

It’s really difficult for me not to feel completely responsible.
I do feel completely responsible even though I know there are many other big factors.
But I’m her mum. It was my job to protect her and make her ready the big world.
I tell myself that I could not have tried any harder to protect her, be there for her and always take care of her.
Giving her so much freedom and independence. Letting her make her own choices.

And then questioning the validity of that approach. Maybe I should have held her more tightly. Been more controlling.
How do you get it right?

And then of course immediately feeling that domino effect in my choice to go in search of more. Now playing the killer hand that is leaving me wishing I could completely rewind time all the way back to that point and walk along a different road.
But I can’t. What’s done is done and I can’t change it.
No matter how much I wish I could. No matter how much I leave it behind me.
It’s still there in seeing the fallout. I can’t run from that. It hurts so deeply that I wonder st times how to even keep going.
But I must.
Having to suck it all up and bury my own feelings so that I can be the strength required to be what she needs.
Remembering who I was before that chapter.
I really was happily drifting through life in my easy going way.
Never thinking for one second that my life would end up being slowly destroyed like another form of cancer.

It’s like a roller coaster. In moments scrabbling for the right words, the right thought, the right action that will allow her to eat. Feeling a sense of relief as I see her eat anything. As though I am just keeping her alive.
Finding every ounce of compassion and understanding and calmness required to get through those sticky moments where I gently and pain stakeingly encourage her to make the right choices for herself. Gentleness at its most powerful.
Being the place for all her frustration.
Getting more help but they don’t know how to help either.
It feels exhausting.

But in the moments after when we get to the other side of it and I see her pain subside until the next meal, it all feels worth it.
And then other lovely moments where she feels happy, or she goes out with friends or does something fun.
I feel a pure joy in her being able to just be 19 for a moment. And wishing that moment would last forever.
I’ve never dealt with something that is so complicated, so unexplainable, so beyond my realms of understanding and so completely linked to things beyond what this illness suggests.
An image I saw last week that made me feel so incredibly sad. As though it were an attack on my girl.
Only she’s never hurt a fly.
Always keeping faith that we will get there as I look for more specialist support. Whatever it takes for her to get her life and herself back.

In the meantime I find myself taking greater care of myself in order to have what is required to help her.
Feeling the sadness of letting go of someone that really mattered to me and I love while having to accept that I didn’t and I wasn’t. Feeling sadness as opposed to bitterness.
I know how to really love.
Bitterness can never consume me.
But sadness hurts.

As I wrote that Bella the dog came running over and snuggled up for a moment before bouncing playfully into the water, as her owner shouted after her to get out.
Run Bella Run I thought as I looked across at the owner and he looked back at me with despair at her lack of care in following his instructions. When she finally came out, all dishevelled and covered in dirty water she found herself straight back on the lead.
Her happy freedom taken away.
But in that moment in the water she looked very happy and free.
A lovely feeling that kept me there for another ten minutes despite seeing my bosses name flash up on my phone as if putting me on a lead to to my laptop.
I ignored it.
Run M Run I thought….

As an end of day addition … as I find myself back in the forest I received an email from the forest bravehearts …

… Turns out sometimes when little people stand and fight together for something that matters, they win.
Plans to build on our little flats community has been rejected.
All that hard work made a difference.
Providing the much needed familiarity and security for all.
My own feeling of relief rather than power as I breathed in the magic of this forest and carried on in my very small world ❤️

Gentle Souls

Today as we travelled back after my second vaccine we stopped at the sweet shop. The sweet Muslim man that owns it was there. He was away for a long while leaning his son holding the fort.
He has been there since my girl was at little school.
Originally from Bolton he is what for me is the perfect version of a really gentle soul.
Always friendly, always kind, always remembers who you are, always remembers what you buy.
A real genuineness to his way and a real care in the questions he asked.
Always checks in on my girl whenever I go in there on my own.
Often not there because he hasn’t been well as the pressure of life and work got to him and he just disappeared for a long while.
Getting little updates from his son who must have felt the affection for his dad.
Just a lovely man.
It has been nice to see him on the odd occasion back behind the counter even though he has lost some of his sparkle. A real tiredness. But when I go in he always makes an extra effort in being chatty and warm.
I told him how much I missed seeing him when he wasn’t there and would always look in if I passed to see if he was there.
I don’t know him beyond our chats in the shop and the things he has shared about his family but I have a genuine care for him despite the fact that our lives don’t cross beyond the sweet shop.

He hasn’t seen my girl for ages until today.
He couldn’t believe how old she was now.
She looks so young. You would never know that she was 19.
She still looks like a girl. A very fragile girl right now who who feels very lost and doesn’t know how to be the gentle and wonderful and beautiful girl in the wider world.

Feeling it all deeply inside in all quiet gentleness.

When we look at each other we recognise each other.
Sitting in the forest sharing thoughts and stories.
I told her about my Nan who was another truly quiet and gentle soul.
Always looked beautiful in pink against her comfy trousers and running shoes.
Loved watching the teletubbies which always made me smile, cleaning my mums skirting boards whenever she came. Loved Christmas with the family, loved going to the boozer on a Saturday afternoon with me and my mum for ham egg and chips. The same boozer that would always have fights outside in the night.
I remember her sitting next to her when we all went to the pub one night at a pub near my mums with my brothers and my sister too. They had a disco going on. She was sitting right next to the speaker. My mum asked if It was too loud for her but she didn’t care at all. She was as happy as Larry just watching all the laughs and holding my hand. She would laugh when anyone asked something that she couldn’t hear and then I would repeat it to her in her ear.

Always friendly and polite to anyone.
But behind all of that she was so strong. This little person who was so unassuming and quiet had such a grit to her.
No one could tell her what to do. She would listen and then go do it
In her own way.
When I used to go to her to put in her eye drops she would always tell me that I was such a good girl inside my beautiful shell.
I loved the care I felt in gently placing the eyedrops in her eyes and then giving her a cuddle when they were all done.
A simple shared experience of young and old and feeling her proudness in me being her grand daughter.

The man in the sweet shop chatted to my girl like he did when she was a kid buying some sweets. She told him what she is up to now.
Talking about finishing her first year at uni but not mentioning that she might not go back or all the things that she is trying to deal with at the moment in all her frailty.
They laughed together with such kindness and warmth on both sides.
Two very gentle souls.

When she came out she mentioned that he seemed so sad and wondered what was happening for him.

It is true he is sad. I spoke to his son who works in there with him now.
He explained that he had left for a while because he was struggling in life. It had worn him down.
This beautiful gentle warm and kind man had got beaten down by all of life’s challenges.

As I’m sitting here working thinking about this I find myself wondering why life feels so difficult for gentle souls.
That being a gentle soul can leave you feeling very alone in this world.
I see it such a lot.

I guess it’s why there is the phrase if you can’t beat em join em.
But rarely do those gentle souls choose to join em.
Sometimes feeling alone and sad than try to become what feels unnatural.

When I lay under that tree last night feeling sad and alone it hurt. As quietly behind my glasses I felt the tears I had been holding release themselves where no one could see them.
But I also felt like me.
In its purest and most sensitive version.
As though my Nan was putting eyedrops in my eyes.
Feeling all the beauty that surrounded me in that quiet and natural place and not having to try to be a tougher version.
I don’t like the tougher version.
I don’t want to be that.
And I don’t have to be when it’s just me.

I’m sure the tougher version would make life on the surface feel so much easier and better.
Would make me more successful and admired. But inside it would make me feel like a fake.
Because the fact is that I do feel everything. I do care and I do love.

Perhaps to others that makes me appear weak and stupid.
But despite how much it often hurts and how that hurt can make me react in ways I don’t wish to be or feel proud of I’m still glad I’m made the way I am.
It’s certainly not perfect, it’s certainly emotional and makes me irrational, but in the end it’s me.
My little sign in the bathroom says
“The bravest thing you can ever do is just to be yourself”.

And today I feel proud in returning to being me. A quiet and gentle soul ❤️

The M M Mouse

As I sat as quiet as a mouse under my umbrella in the garden yesterday morning an old song I like found its way to me from my random playlist. I love this tune. It has such power, hope and motivation in moving forward. It gave me that once before.

The rain poured around me as I sheltered. Just feeling the tickle of its spray on my bare shoulders.
Looking at the red rose bush that I cut right back a few weeks ago but is growing back up again with healthy new stems and accompanying leaves of red and green that look so vibrant in the rain.
The combination of everything gave me a feeling that I love. Like a beautiful simmering fire building within me from the depths of who I really am. My voice telling me that I can do anything. If I want to.
And I am.
As I finally start making plans to see people that I love. Just “say yes to adventure” as my new hammock cushion says with a picture of a bike with wheels of daisies. The reappearance of the vanishing lady commencing with chocolate and ice cream on Thursday.
Feeling real movement within as well as beyond as I start to move and reengage. Feeling the connection to myself as well as a connection to what surrounds me. Of course I got a little help from my beautiful friend who helped this little person put her shoes back on. The little person who was actually once a mouse.
The mouse who knew how to fearlessly navigate a maze.

The battle that immediately exhausted me got a boost as I received beautiful wild flowers from my neighbours and a reminder of what my care can do in listening to the young woman in her twenties in the next block. She was feeling the pressure. The flat she inherited a few years ago when she lost her mum. A larger than life woman who had old school east end fight and would see prospective builders running away with their little tails between their legs.

This young woman who was once a little girl when I first moved in. Stunningly beautiful like a young Lisa Bonet.
“Let’s just do what we can. It’s all we can do. We are totally in this together. Just enjoy your day.” These words said quietly with big concrete meaning.
Feeling that powerful solidarity in a group that care about each other and are fighting as one.
Funny how and when and where you find the things that you always look for. Suddenly feeling like I fit with a group of very random and different people that have one thing in common. We all care about something more than just ourselves.
The old boy who has vowed to lie in the road and the giant polish guy in the next block who said he will hang like a cross on chains from the buildings should they try to take it from us.
What a fucking army this is.
I have to find the comedy in another ridiculous episode in my life.
The forest bravehearts.
This is a group I can be part of.
This I can connect with.

Conformity is like a prison for me. A way of making me the same, like a robot on a conveyer belt. Doing what I don’t wish to do. Making me fit into a box that I don’t want to be put in. It just makes me feel trapped. I thought for a moment that I wanted to fit. To be part of the many. To be part of what on the surface looks like more.
But really I just want to be dreamily happy and have fun.
I know how to have fun. I’ve had a lot of fun in my life. But the fun is always related to who I am sharing it with and the kind of energy that I feel in that. I’ve felt the different energy in different crowds, groups and individuals. I can be doing exactly the same thing but the difference is made in the feeling I get from those around me.

In those perfect moments when I find myself somewhere at the right time with the right person and the right surroundings then that feeling of fun doesn’t have to be searched for. I feel it inside myself and in who I’m with and I am completely lost in it.
It’s real, it’s felt and it’s memorable and epic.

But trying to be part of the many just the sake of being part of something “more” just doesn’t provide that feeling. My heart has to be in and so does theirs.

I thought maybe I avoided it as a protection for not fitting. Feeling sad in moments because I don’t know how to be part of it.
But I know I’ve always found many times people and places when I’ve been completely part of it.
Times when noone fits which makes them fit. When no one has to adapt. Just be you.

I feel more alone when I have to become what I’m not… minus the energy and fire I have when I’m alone and I don’t.

My heart rules my head. Sometimes I have to follow my head to survive in this world but when I follow my heart it is to live and to love.

It’s easy with people I love. It wouldn’t much matter where we are or what we do. They’re there. It’s all I really need. And I love sharing what others love.

When I am on my own and feeling that fun and happiness I always know who I wish to share it with.
Wanting to transport someone in just so they can feel it with me.

I found myself feeling that perhaps there was something wrong with me because I don’t see things the same way or I don’t get it.
Or that I don’t have the ability to be part of groups and enjoy all that comes with that.
But it just depends on the group and how accepting they are of what’s not like them. Groups that allow you to be who you are without consuming you or owning you. I don’t like that feeling of being smothered by a majority who place me in a role that I have to conform to. No room for evolving as the demand to be what others want from me steals away the freedom to just be and give what I want. Feeling their disappointment when I don’t deliver and feeling my frustration in having to be a one dimensional version where all the rest is suppressed.

A selfishness and arrogance perhaps in not wanting to just do as I’m told. Only I don’t think I’m either. I don’t require others to do what I want. I’m happy to avoid what isn’t for me. Less rebellious and more just wanting my space to just breathe and live.
To be as I am without all the constraints that come with fitting.

And I like the quiet. And often it can all feel so crowded and noisy. You’re in or you’re out. With everyone telling everyone what they have to do and be.
A lot of white noise
Don’t do it like that. You need to do it like this.
I can disconnect from that very quickly.

I don’t always know who I am or what I want. So how do you know?

I guess I like peace. I like space. I like to be just as I am without being told who I should be. I like doing things spontaneously just because I feel it. I like feeling free and autonomous.
I like living life in my own way, in my own style and without feeling the need to do what others want me to do.
I like having people around me that understand that and don’t feel a need to control me.
I’m my own person. I came into this world on my own and I will leave it on my own but in between I would like to feel all the love and fun that makes this life worth being a part of.
That makes me feel connected to more.
Caring for those I hold dear in their moments of need but trusting in their ability to do what they want when that need isn’t there.
I’m just there.
I try to give what I wish for.

I spoke to my best friend from school yesterday.
One of only two people I remained friends with from that time of my life. Love them both. This particular friend has always been lovely bubbly beautiful. And she looked out for me when we were kids. I say I kept in touch but in fact she always reaches out to me when I go missing for a while.
But yesterday I reminded her.
Her response being as ever to address me by my full name. The name that was given to me at birth before i got married.
It always makes me laugh that she calls me that. Like a reminder that I’m still that same girl.
“MN We’ve always loved your smile laugh and your kindness. You’ve never changed” she said.

And with that we made a plan for me to go visit her in Suffolk in September.

In order to run I have to leave the past behind. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t take some of that with me into my future whether that be what is held inside me or in the special relationships I have that can be shared in a new time and a different place.
Because I love to run on my own but as I run I always find myself wishing to share it with those I love and who love me too.

Run with me ❤️

Hear the gentle girl Roar !!!!

“I Object”
Yesterday I felt the strength and courage of the lion within me as I whipped my blonde mane in defiance as I pressed send.

As I’m writing this I can see a tiny baby snail moving slowly across my garden. In no rush. It’s long black tentacles at full stretch as it senses the way. Carrying its home on its back while it navigates the various obstacles in its path.
Those moments of hiding away replaced by some movement. Completely up and at em in very slow motion as it silently glides along.

Yesterday I went into battle.
For a moment transforming from the down to earth and friendly blonde bird who lives at number x to a rebel leader for the over 70’s crew in the flats.
They’re just nice people. Lived here much longer than me.
I remember their husbands or wives that they’ve lost.
They remember me in my early twenties as I came home from drunken nights out and then as a young mum.
I was never no trouble. Never having loud and crazy parties at the flat.
Always preferred to go out for fun.
My home being more of a sanctuary.
Loved singing out loud to my tunes that I can never remember the words to. “I heard you singing” they would say.
But I always respected the rights of everyone else in the flats. You live so close together it feels important to be considerate. I was grateful for that when i had a tiny baby to get to sleep.
There is something special about this place. Old fashioned I guess you would call it. Filled with all sorts of different characters. Actually they are a crazy little lot. I got stories that would make your hair curl.
New people coming and going and always welcomed but the majority have lived here for twenty plus years. It has a nice little down to earth vibe where everyone looks out for each other but without invading your space. When I close my front door I feel like I live in a house.
Even though I always hear the polish man upstairs playing the piano. I love that.
We’ve grown and evolved together like a strange little family.

As I finished writing my objection which took me two days I thought about how much I’ve learnt from getting up this time. It’s been the hardest version of what that has looked like. An exhaustion felt after coming full circle as I finally stopped.
So much loss. So much difficulty. So many scars.
And yet it is feeling like my strongest return as I start to see my strength and energy grow.
Dealing with a lot but I’m seeing so much in myself that I feel really proud of. I’m certainly a tryer with a very good heart.

I think I also feel the strength from getting myself back up. Not relying on others. Not wanting to be a victim or that person that can’t sort her life out. It’s just been a very tough chapter that’s all. I took myself out of it all, gave myself a chance to just lie down before shouting at myself to “Get back up!”
And not just to get up but to fight harder for me as well as those I care about. Putting in some time and effort in looking after me too.
Because I’m worth it and I deserve to be cared about too.
So I’ve been doing it for myself. Without feeling like I’m a drain on others.

Feel like I’m rising in realising how well I have done in surviving it all and reflecting on what I’ve learnt in it all.
Gentle I may be but I’m pretty resilient by all accounts. I think many might have ended up having a nervous breakdown. Believe me I’ve come close a couple of times. But kept pushing through. I definitely feel something else emerging. Someone wiser and more capable.

Trying so hard for my girl right now. Sometimes I think I turn a corner and then other moments it feels like we are getting nowhere. It’s hard not being able to just fix it.
But I keep my faith that time will mend things. She’s such a sweetheart. She certainly deserves to be happy.

I felt good as I tiredly submitted my carefully thought out 6 page document that addressed all the various points in their plan.
Using their gifted line of “plans reflecting the limited possibilities of the existing site” as a basis for ripping their limited possibilities apart. A poorly thought through proposal that is based on a fantasy.
I love a fantasy myself but this existing building doesn’t have foundations deep enough to safely support a build on top along with a whole host of other dangers. A little like the picture of Henry VIII’s 4th wife, the drawing looking nothing like the reality.
As they talk of communal areas that aren’t in fact communal.

Their limited possibilities being so limited that they actually don’t exist at all.

If I’ve learnt anything in life it’s how important versatility is. If you have nothing else sitting behind as a back up then you’re not gonna get far or last very long. Things change and if you can’t find a way of adapting to that then you will just fall down and stay down.
I’m reminded of the amount of times I’ve had to adapt in this life in order to survive it.
I think a lot of mums especially will recognise that. It’s probably why I’m a jack of all trades and master of none.
Change doesn’t really scare me. But being controlled does. I can change but just don’t tell me how to. I don’t want to change the fundamental values that drive me. They come from a really good place. They will never make me rich but I sure do feel proud of them.
And eventually I find a way. Something new within myself that emerges to meet a need as I keep the rest in tact. Making no apologies for being who I am because I know I don’t go around hurting others.
I just like doing my own thing in my own way. I don’t tread on anyone else to do that. Even my swimming lot know now that I look for my space.
I love being around people but I also find a lot of people demanding. I just like to get on with it and I have my little moans on here. Noone has to read them.
Realising that I don’t really fit with the way of the many and no longer wanting to try. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I don’t want to feel like I have to try to be what I’m not.
I can armour up for need but I just want to be me the rest of the time. Without having o try and be part of the cool set with all their fabulous lives and confidence and go getting ways.
I can’t relate. It all seems fake. I’d rather chat to the old boy at swimming where it feels warm and genuine.

As I wrote my objection I was reminded of those diploma essays that I hated doing…. 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 ,3.1 etc what a waste of time.
I had no motivation for what felt like a pointless process. I thought I had gained nothing from that other than jumping through another hoop.
Now I have to jump through this hoop to protect my home I realised I learnt something very valuable from that previous experience. I know how to write in a way that is required.
Not an emotional rant. But a clear and concise argument that highlights the flaws and the mistakes and the inconsistencies in a plan that falls short of lots of standards.
This building is just a job for them. I know how to do a good job in something that holds no real interest for me. I cal it work. I always wish to feel proud in whatever I do even if I don’t enjoy it. But it’s just a job.
But real passion, real fire comes from caring. From really caring about something where you push beyond your limits to a place you never thought you were capable of. That gives every ounce of who you are because it really matters.
If passion helps wins the game then let’s play.

Fighting for what’s ours in a document that is now doing the rounds as I am suddenly seen in a whole other light. Being told that “no expert/surveyor or lawyer could have done a better job”. And that I’m a very clever lady”.
Can’t lie. It was lovely to be seen as clever. Not just the friendly smiley girl. Just because I don’t have a fancy place and a fancy life doesn’t mean that I don’t have a brain. Getting judged in how I speak has often been a thing in places I’ve worked. Immediately assuming that they are so much more intelligent. I’ve heard an awful lot “educated” people talk out of their arses.
I might not have those bits of paper but I’ve learnt a lot in just living.
And I always loved writing when I was at school. And I’ve always been curious and pick stuff up along the way.
I may not be a genius but I certainly do think for myself.

But this quiet “legally blonde” girl has learnt and grown alot. I’m not intimidated and I won’t be pushed about now. Standing my ground alongside others who don’t want to be pushed about either. There is a lot of passion in our little army.
Perhaps we won’t change the outcome but there is something to be said in just standing up and being counted. So just in that …
Hear this gentle girl Roar !!!!

Armour vs Amore

Armour or Amore

How do I live and survive in this world and keep hold of all the parts of myself that I hold dear.
Being gentle, warm, dreamy, kind, caring, and loving.

The realities of real life in this real world always requiring me to be something more. Something different.
The real version can chat to lovely J in water world where I don’t have to worry beyond swimming.
But in the real world where I am responsible for more than just me especially in these particularly difficult times where everything feels uncertain and there has been so much sadness and loss, I need to be more than just caring and loving.

I have to be a protector. Like a warrior armoured up. A version that most people don’t see but I would not have made it through so much if I didn’t have it in me.
There is no one there protecting me. There never was when I was a kid. I learnt how to do that for myself.
When I did show my vulnerability I just ended up getting hurt and feeling stupid.
Because the reality is that in order for me and others like me to survive in this world when you don’t have that luxury of protection that others just take for granted, you have to toughen up. You have to scrap it out. You have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to hold yourself back.
And sometimes you have to fight.
Being able to just be the soft and dreamy version is so wonderful. It’s when Ive felt at my happiest in this life. To be able to share that is epic and rare.
Especially as in the wrong company it just made me appear weak.
Made me someone that you can bully and laugh at and look down on.
Made me doubt who I was and who I could be.

J gets the real version when we smile and chat in the pool as my defences take a break and I just swim.

But in the real world, especially now, as the world starts to turn again and I start to see what that new version is going to look like, there is no choice but to armour up ready to do battle with those who don’t see life in the same way as me. Who don’t hold any of the same values as me. Who don’t care about the things and the people that I care about.
That feel that they have the right to walk over those they see as weaker.

In the end it’s those people that own this world. That have control over the things I need in order to take care of those I love.
They don’t care about people like me. We are just inconveniences in this world who they see as less than them.

And yet inside I know the opposite is true. Because even though I have to armour up in order survive in their world, inside mine, there is something pure and beautiful that they will never really understand.

This one is for all those beautiful natures, who are out there in the world battling. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6lt2JfJdGSY

The Fast Lane

This morning as I started to drive back from swimming this tune caught my ear on the radio reflecting back how I’m feeling this morning. Feeling better after last night releasing my frustration and sadness in my previous post.
It always feels good to get rid of it so I can take the next step.
To speak out loud. Sometimes removing when it feels more personal but just putting it out there for a moment makes a difference.
The song lifted me a little more after my up and at em swim with a lovely encounter at the front desk with my old boy J who I’ve made friends with in water water. I normally only see him in there and at first he didn’t recognise me with my long hair down and clothes on.
I like him the best probably because he’s smiley and very sweet and chatty but in a quiet and gentle way thats not in your face. I recognise that.
He looks and sounds like an 80 year old version of my bro.
And he’s a doer.
Alternating days in the gym and in the pool.
I love his gentle and warm way and his amazing energy.

While I sit and have my morning after swim cuppa on the hammock before I tackle todays job of putting in my objections to the 3 x proposed plans for our flats, I felt a wish to post my previous thoughts that had already been written just prior to receiving that letter.
Before my lack of motivation set in as I thought “why can’t I just live in my own way in peace?”
And then ending up watching the hunger games part 1 and hearing the phrase. After survival comes the fight.
Yep love that but I wasn’t quite ready for it as I tiredly went to bed.

I made myself laugh as I just wrote that in how I can turn my much more boring version of trying survive in this life into something more dramatic in my own invisible revolution with some movie provoking inspiration.
Perhaps the odds are always stacked in favour of those with more power but that doesn’t mean I have to become a victim in it and not fight back. Win or lose I gain something in standing up and being counted.
I’m not just gonna lie down and be walked over without throwing back a few punches.
Can’t be bothered unless it feels important.
Don’t try and bully me. I may be small but I have the strength of a one woman army.
With a brain that I am using as I look through the plans and spot their discrepancies and mistakes in them. Talking of communal areas that are contained in my lease and land registry. Thankfully the solicitor back then was very thorough. That lease last for another 980 years.
And I was just as meticulous over the past month as I spent my time going through every old piece of paperwork. Shredding what was not required so I could easily get my hands on what was. All easily to hand in this moment.

Sometimes I have to wait and be patient for those moments while I keep my head above water.
And then times like now, to play them at their own game with my own strategies and intelligence as I swim a little harder and faster to assert my right to retain my little bit of space in this world. You want it then you’ll have to fight me for it.

Sometimes in life there is no choice but to join the fast lane…..

The Fast Lane

For the past three days I’ve been swimming in the fast lane.
Originally not by choice but the whole pool was heaving. I had the choice of being caught in the slow moving lane where I couldn’t swim, the crowded middle lane with the majority, as they struggled to find any space to swim or put myself in the speedier, but less filled fast lane.
So over the barricade I went taking a deep breath.
Swimming amongst the three men who when I entered were already controlling the pace.
The young white man “The Shark” in black hat black goggles who powered through the water with super speed but with a seamless accuracy to his stroke that created few splashes as he silently and invisibly glided through the water with purpose. I was always aware of how much distance there was as I started another new lap but never knowing when he was behind me until I could suddenly feel his presence on my heels. Id make it to the end just in time and then wait at the steps as he glided on by.
The young asian man “Splash of Red” complete with red shorts, red hat and black goggles.
I always notice all the little details even when I’m swimming.
Again front crawl with a few splashes but considerate in sharing the lane. Much faster than me but after he did a few lengths he would take short breaks before then continuing on.
I had enough distance there to avoid being caught for at least one length before then swapping back to being the follower. Worked for me.

And the older fella. Also asian. “Beach Boy”
He reminded me of my friend, just in an older version and with no hair. But a greying beard. No hat required, black shorts and no goggles either. He smiled and I would say the odd word every now and then as I finished a lap.
Just swimming lane small talk. “Isnt it busy” “feel like I’m being chased by a shark”. Again faster than me with his messy front crawl, making loads of splashes.. but after 1 lap he would take a long rest. I mean a looooong rest man! He just had this super chilled thing going on. Not a serious swimmer all all but with a presence that said I belong in this lane.
Timing his moment to start a new lap when the coast was clear and swimming as though he was in an azure blue sea before just standing around in the water feeling the sun.

Made me feel like I belonged in there too despite my lack of similar speed and style.
He has been in there every day that has followed. Always starts out in the jacuzzi first. Always stays till the end of the session.
Feel the comfort a little more in that lane, because of his chilled out vibe.

And then me. “Miss Broadstairs Breast Stroke”. Sounds slightly porno but anyways .. swimming quietly and without a single splash or ripple. That’s ripple.

What I noticed in that environment was that I had to adjust my strategy. No changing of directions in this lane. Having to push myself a little harder and stopping for a few seconds at the end of each lap to avoid shark attack. But in the main swimming up and down at a slightly faster but still consistent pace. I felt happy if a little more under pressure. But what I lack in speed I make up for in stamina. I just keep going for 45 minutes without a rest. Only those few second pauses for the shark.
Like a swimming Duracell bunny. I just keep going. I like the feel of the water as I push it to the sides with my arms as though I’m laying a pathway through the water. I like the weightlessness. I like the feeling of leaving another world behind me as I enter this water world where everything feels more peaceful and simple and everyone exists together in all their different swimming types and styles without any serious discussion in how to achieve that. Just swim.
But in the fast lane I feel the pressure more. Having to hold my own to prove that I have a right to be in there.

Of course Water World isn’t a complete utopia. I’ve heard the odd argument. Some lady got her swimming cossie in a twist one day because the man in the fast lane was splashing so much it got her hair wet. The man said sorry but she then complained to the lifeguard. He didn’t know what to do.
I mean its water world .. you’re gonna get wet.
But I guess she just wanted to avoid having to wash her hair.
My gran would have been the same but whenever she went in swimming she would always put on her big flowery cap. Like a Vivienne Westwood creation. Full protection in place for that rinse and set.

Anyways as I continue on with my thoughts from the other day, I found myself this morning taking my “work a little harder” approach back into the middle lane. The fast lane was rushing like a motorway. It’s a Sunday. Im needing something a little less crowded.. but there were only two of us in the middle for the last half hour. Interestingly the man who tried to race me when I wasn’t racing.
Starring at different ends of the pool. I had the space to be able to swim my perfect version of swimming. Where I have space to really move through the water with more grace and strong arms pushing that water to the sides with wide strokes. Taking my breaths at correct intervals as I moved rather than forgetting as I avoid others to find space.
Pushing myself a little harder as I felt energetic and strong. Setting myself the objective of catching “The Racer”. It was less competing and more to see how much of the gap I could close if I was trying. Little by little passing him nearer to his end as I felt the gap begin to slowly close. Not within a couple of laps but over the course of 20 minutes. I could see it closing little by little and I could tell he did too as he pushed off a little harder against the wall. But I kept on coming until I found myself swimming just a little way behind. At which point I diverted off into the empty slow lane and rolled over into my back and floated away slowly like a little kid.
I didn’t feel a need to go past. It wasn’t anything to do with beating him it was to show me that if I have the space and try a little harder and believe in myself a little more then I’m a force to reckoned with. It’s in me. I was only really racing with myself.

“All battles are first one or lost in the mind”
Joan of Arc

And heart ❤️ totally heart ❤️
Don’t underestimate what cannot be seen