A Woman’s Place…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

That’s what they call a Dreamer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Shallow waters

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

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

 

Lobster with French Butter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Boom!!! Keeping it real

I’m off and running. Yesterday with my girl was the introduction I needed to reengage with the world beyond the forest.
Everything has to be in my own time in a way that suits me.
My Laurelliaga angels were the last people i saw before lockdown and the first people I saw today when everything officially reopened. Miss Dreamy McDreamo reunited with
Miss International Status and Miss Grand Prix.
Finally I surfaced into real life with real people with my very real friends.
Love them both. What a remedy for isolation. Real chat on important things surrounded by chuckles and light hearted frivolity. Interspersed by a few guest appearances from faces we know and haven’t seen for a while.

I have lived and worked round her for a long time so it stands to reason I’ll see people I know when I venture out on a day when everyone is venturing out. It has been easy to forget in amongst all that fake “we are in it together”, how nice it actually is where I live with so many different down to earth people.
That’s what I’ve missed. That sense of real and genuine and having a laugh.

Being able to share my new ambition of never working again. Needing to back that up with a win on either a. Postcode lottery, b. normal lottery
or c. Premium bonds bought with money saved from the mortgage holiday. Hoping for nice payout before I have to sell them to pay my bills in a couple of months.
Be lucky McDreamo!!!
And interwoven in that, mine and my girls daily entries to free online competitions and free trials of products.
Perhaps I might become a professional game show contestant. Is that a profession? It sounds like one to me.

I found out I wasn’t alone. We agreed it wasn’t a bad plan at all.
Laughing our little heads off as an antidote to all the crappy changes with work, the resulting ripple effect that is becoming a wave where kindness isn’t featuring quite as highly as all those pulse surveys suggest.
How are you feeling? No really how are you feeling?
Saying it twice doesn’t mean they care anymore than they did before. We all know it’s lip service. We aren’t as stupid as they seem to think we are.
We eventually said good bye to the birthday girl and L waited with me while I bought my pick n mix from the market stall. And then we parted company too. How we miss hugs.
I wandered back eating jelly babies and strawberry bon bons feeling like I want to see more of the people I love.
Making plans!!! Haven’t been able to do that for a while. A road trip in my car to M’s new place. With no sense of direction and a previous history of crazy car driving, L knows the risks in embarking on another adventure with me. Fuck it!
As I told her .. my mum once drove from Southend to Bromley and somehow found herself asking a policeman for directions on Tower Bridge.
It’s all part of the adventure I told her. How far does the A10 take you anyways?!
I’m the worst driver ever but I always manage to get there eventually.

I feel so lucky to have two such great friends that I can talk to and have a laugh with.
Saving our money In buying lunch, for more important expenses that are part of our real lives and for future fun trips we can take together when the time is right.

I’m finally back in the game and out in the world and feeling happy In just being me. Doing it my way with the people I love.

More of that please!

The day a page 3 bird made me smile 😊

On a sunny afternoon in North East London I ventured out with my girl.
The gentle breeze and the warm sun reminded me of doing this walk to the shops when my girl was little. I didn’t drive then so it was either walk bus train or tube.
I loved our gentle little strolls together as she used to chatter away and I would teach her catchphrases from various sitcoms and game shows from a time when I was a kid. It felt like basic training.
“It’s goodnight from me and goodnight from “… “HIM” she would shout.
“Nice to see you to see you?”… “NICE”
How happy we were 😊
She knew who Brucie was before she saw a single strictly .. she learnt French from Del Boy and Frank Spencer taught her to roller sKate. He was a favourite. I guess we know what we know and these were the happy little things we shared.

I haven’t wanted to go near the high street and wouldn’t have bothered walking round there if it hadn’t been for two reasons. I needed to get a birthday card for my special friend M and my girl was feeling down about her grandad and wanted to just stay in bed.
It felt like an impossible task to coax her out until by luck a delivery driver arrived with a package from quiz. As we tried things on like an episode of the generation game we laughed in the content not looking in real life like it did online.

“Let’s get out in the Sun for a walk” I said.

For a moment as we walked the world felt like it always had in a time gone by. Just me and my girl strolling to the shops in the sunshine laughing and talking about random stuff. Simple happy.

As we passed one of the many hairdressers in our high street I glanced across to three people and smiled at them. And then realised
one of them was the Queen of the Sun page 3 icon Samantha Fox.
I wanted to hug her for being there in that moment. (But of course we can’t touch). A woman who created a little sunshine on grey days with just one turn of a newspaper page. She put a smile on many a face during her reign, in a time when harmless frivolous fun was ok. Well it was to me. I’ve never been bothered by such things. Like kiss me quick hats.  The internet provides a very different version now.

On a day that began with me wishing to keep the dream alive, before taking a downturn in seeing the struggles of someone I love, I will remember the day the sun shone and a page 3 bird made me smile. You can’t make it up.

It touched me!

And you certainly can’t get that on the internet!

Keeping the dream alive

What the strangest feeling. I woke up this morning to this song playing inside my head.

“Tonight the rain is falling
Full of memories of people and places
And while the past is calling
In my fantasy I remember their faces
The hopes we had were much to high
Way out of reach, but we have to try
The game will never be over
Because we’re keeping the dream alive
I hear myself recalling
Things you said to me the night it all started
And still the rain is falling
Makes me feel the way I felt when we parted
The hopes we had were much to high
Way out of reach, but we have to try
No need to hide, no need to run
‘Cause all the answers come one by one
The game will never be over
Because we’re keeping the dream alive
I need you
I love you
The game will never be over
Because we’re keeping the dream alive
The hopes we had were much to high
Way out of reach, but we have to try
No need to hide, no need to run
‘Cause all the answers come one by one
The hopes we had were much to high
Way out of reach, but we have to try
No need to hide, no need to run
‘Cause all the answers come one by one
The game will never be over
Because we’re keeping the dream alive
The game will never be over
Because we’re keeping the dream alive
The game will never be over
Mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh-mmh”

 

Trying to fit an undefined peg into a square cage

The past couple of days have felt more difficult. P’s dad was rushed to hospital in need of a blood transfusion and has been kept in since. I felt his weakness on Sunday when he came for dinner. I can feel the weight of worry in P and my girl.
As ever I’m trying my best. I really do try.

I feel I have no interest or motivation in work. Going through the motions in order to get paid but unable to give them the kind of fake enthusiasm that I hear from others. I just can’t be bothered to pretend. Always friendly, polite, kind but don’t ask me to be fake. I’m doing the work. Is that enough? Or is it more important to play the game? I ovs know the answer to that but I’m just not playing.
Saving all my love and energy for people and things that I actually care about. Right now I feel strong enough not to need anything back. Self sufficient and taking care of myself. But using my blog as a little release for little thoughts that have no place to go but for some reason I just wish to share.

I love the sound of rain on the windows. I have said it before but there is something so very sexy and romantic about a rainy day that transports me into my own world of unadulterated fantasy. My beautiful imagination can conjure up magic that in the secrets of my mind make me feel happy.
What a waste of a rainy day.

I sat alone later this afternoon watching a programme about the life of Marilyn Monroe. I felt tired and had it on as background noise.
She had such charisma that has stood the test of time.
Her “rescue me” vulnerability that was so attractive to men all of whom ended up using her in some way. The sort of attraction that was short lived as that same vulnerability eventually became more of a burden.
It always appeared she was looking to be loved but instead found herself with a variety of lovers who eventually denied her existence in their lives.

As I watched and listened to the series of people who had something to say about her, I came to a quote by an old Etonian and Oxford educated film critic and writer for the Guardian. As he talked of Marilyn’s relationship with the playwright Arthur Miller he said

“ can you imagine the uneducated girl from an orphanage falling in love and trying to be the equal of one of the greatest intellectuals of that period, Arthur Miller. But she tried very hard”

I found myself replaying that comment a couple of times. What did he mean by that?! But there it was. As bold as brass!

Previously I had stumbled on videos for some songs by Novo Amor. Birthplace had originally found its way to me at the beginning of lockdown and has ended up leading me to a story that resonated with me as the wheels start to turn again.

The film depicted the life of Mongolian nomads who I learned are gradually becoming culturally extinct. An indigenous group of people whose existence is being affected by rules that are made by people who don’t really understand their way of life and make it difficult for them to live in the way they choose. Just wishing to be free but watching it gradually being stripped away from them..
freedom may be a state of mind but It feels like the state still try to control it.

It made me sad when I read about their challenges and showed me how easily and with so little respect we believe that we own everything including the lives of people and this planet. We like to put a label on things and say “this belongs to me” .

My girl is my daughter but I don’t own her. I have had the privilege of borrowing her. Of sharing in her life so far. She is free to live her life however she chooses. I wish that for her above all else. I hope of course that her life includes me but more so that she folllows her heart and is guided by her soul in where she goes.
Why do we wish to own it all when it displaces others. People who just wish to be able to live within their different customs and pass them on to their children.

I hear about progress all the time. How I laugh. we have followed our tried and tested strategy when we talk about change.
The people who think they own it all try to fit the life that works best for them into the same thing but just packaged slightly differently.
When we all found ourselves in lockdown we immediately looked for solutions in living life in exactly the same way through different means. Fitting an undefined peg into the same square cage and calling it progress and innovation.
A desperation to stay connected even though no one was really connected before. Perhaps we can now hide the superficialities of life and relationships behind the excuse of everything being virtual.
I have never felt more disconnected. Exacerbated by being bombarded with a constant stream of  how we all need to stay connected. It’s easier to herd sheep if they are all in it together.
I feel I have to switch it all off just so I can breathe.

As ever I feel lucky to have that special few.
I would feel very alone without them.
Hearing or seeing their real and genuine in whatever format it comes is enough for me. They are my magic. I wonder if they know that.

The forest is the best part of my life right now I feel connected to something more. Something bigger than me. A feeling that can change my emotion as I walk beneath the trees. From complete emptiness as I finish a tedious and purposeless days work in my job, to total connection within myself and all that surrounds me as I walk under the trees. Feeling the energy from all the life that surrounds me as though I am part of it. I love the feeling of being so alive. Smiling and then chatting to every random I pass. Perhaps not quite connection but it feels real and untainted.

I read this today. I feel like I want to share it just because I liked it. I’m not sure why exactly. I think perhaps I like the idea of heroes. It made me think of all the people that I love who are heroes to me.
I hope they know that.

“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.
The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.“ Raymond Chandler

I feel better for sharing

 

The Dream

I feel like I have turned a massive corner in making decisions that have my best interests at heart.
None of them feeling long term. Just little choices, moment to moment, knowing the patterns I sometimes follow and how easily I can find myself caught in complications that I want to avoid.
I’m looking for happiness. I am feeling it in myself. My current situation being unconventional for sure but as I said to P the other day.. we are probably getting on better living in the same place than most people who are actually together. Although to be fair this is definitely helped by the fact that I am in the forest most of the time. But still, it makes for an easier life.  Being good parents to our girl is fundamental for me but I wish for more in my life. That much I know to be true in my heart. I don’t know what that more looks like exactly but I need to feel like I’m alive. That I’m not wasting it. When I think of what it looks like right now in this most simplest of life,  I know I’m making the best of it. Inside all by myself I am feeling  alive. Knowing exactly what takes that feeling away. Recognising my need for freedom and possibilities and love.
I don’t need the promise of being rich and successful but I would like the possibility of trying to be everything I can be and perhaps if I’m lucky being loved for that.
I’m already lucky that I have my girl. She being the most wonderful time of my life. But she will be moving on with her life in all its future excitement and wonder and I can either settle for drifting along listlessly to the end of my life or I can grab the next chapter and make it something incredible.
I’m no fool. I have smarts and skills. But right now I also have responsibilities and when thinking about my dad I am reminded how important it is for me to fulfil these obligations. To be what I had promised to be. To not just put my own wants and needs first without considering others. In short I don’t want to be like him. Obviously taking care of my girl is an absolute given but i also want to see P ok. It is never so evident over the past few months in how much we have both changed from the kids that fell in love. And we really did fall in love in the way you do when you are twenty.
Neither of us are twenty anymore and we both want such different things from life. He being happy to sit in front of the tv for hours watching racing. Which is fine. I get it. It’s his thing. He loves it. If he wishes to be a professional gambler then I say go for it. Just please don’t bet the flat well at least until we have sorted out what to do with that.

I on the other hand want to experience this one opportunity at life in a different way. I don’t need to travel the world or live in luxury although I won’t turn them down if the chances come my way, but I do wish to be inspired and see and feel different things and to share those things with someone who wishes for those things too.
That’s what my dream looks like. It’s pretty simple really. Basically just me in its best, happiest, most creative and enthusiastic and fun version.

Right now I feel like I am having to play it safe. Unlike these people who are masked up and scared of dying I have no fear in that. When my times up it’s up.
More so financially this virus has obliterated all my hard efforts from last year and I’m starting all over again. Back to basics in trying to work out how to sort out the mess. Only this time around I’m not feeling completely traumatised and I come at it with some experience. Where there’s a will there’s always a way. I can’t be bothered to worry about any of it anymore. It really doesn’t help.
While others might feel traumatised from this lockdown I feel like I have been on a cheap detox retreat. My very own Betty Ford Clinic known as the Forest Club.
And I’m now starting all over again with a completely blank canvas. Leaving my placement which has given me more time that belongs to me again. Thinking about how I might get the best from who I am to take me where I want to be. I think I’ve been massively underselling myself. There are also less feelings of animosity flying around which also feels helpful. It will hopefully help both me and P find our ways to better places that are right for us as individuals. I mean it’s not utopia, our situation is pretty unique and in need of resolution but there feels a little more respect coming my way and that feels good.
And I certainly feel less scared in the unknown.

I’m determined to keep hold of what I’m feeling right now as I find my way through the next part.
My freeness of spirit which has struggled to find its way through all the difficulties of the past few years just isn’t willing to be pushed down anymore. She is me and I am her.
And I feel her dancing in not being suppressed. No longer willing to be caged by anything of anybody.

But I’m also aware of complications and obstacles along the way and how easily it can be to mess up all my good work in taking care of myself. I’m determined not to let it.

I bumped into one such complication for the third time yesterday.
Are you following me I thought. This is a big place and I am exploring. I know a lot of people who live locally but rarely do I see them in here even though I’m in here all the time . And yet there he was again like the cool rich kid on his state of the art bike smiling in finding me again. Happy to stop and chat. He is easy company. I know him well. I could have stood there for ages chatting. It has felt like a long time for me in socialising with anyone but I heard those alarm bells in me and put my ear phones in as a sign that I was on the move.
But not before being invited for drinks.
Come over tonight for a glass of wine. In fact whenever you want.

I knew that look. Funny how the forest provides such freedom.
Those alarm bells ringing in my own head in that moment in the prospect of all my good work being undone by a charmer from a time gone by.
Yes I should imagine there is a wish for the warm caring girl to be around as an antedote to an irritable wife who once loved the excitement of meeting in exotic locations round the world but now finds real life with him a disappointment, despite their big and beautiful house and lack of financial worries. Although as he told me yesterday. It’s all relative.
He knew I wouldn’t judge as he told me but was also aware that if he cried too hard it might result in me asking if he was counting up that penny jar yet.
Happiness is a fine line that can’t be bought with cash but tell me the last time you met a homeless person that said “I have no where to live and I’m starving but I feel so very happy and free. “

I know him pretty well. We have been friends for a long time and he has always liked talking to me. There is so much more to him than the arrogance that many see in him. That arrogance is certainly less evident in him with age. Go back ten years to the man in his thirties. He had the world in his hands. Birds throwing themselves at him.. well I say at him. As he always told me, I certainly became more attractive to women with every single bonus I earned. Driving around in his flash motor, money no object, parties, the best restaurants and trips in five star hotels. I remember years ago being at Ascot with him and his then girlfriend. I can tell you for nothing, if he had been a dustman she would not have given him a second glance. I have no doubt that other blokes must have been as jealous as hell as he strolled along in his expensive Prada suit with his dolly on his arm. What they didn’t witness was the behind the scenes dramas where she was moaning at him all day to get her another glass of champagne while nagging and nagging in why he wouldn’t commit.
I can remember him looking at me embarrassed many times as she stamped her feet and he threw a little more cash at the problem to keep her sweet.
And then coming to chat to me instead. We laughed and talked of life and debated the issues. He was always more than the superficial stuff but he knew how to play that part. But he never played it with me. Ever. I didn’t need to be bought. I was always happy giving my time for free because he was always respectful to me and he always talked to me like I was a someone. Whenever I have been around him it has always felt like he felt lucky to know me and was just happy to get those odd moments with me. It’s nice to feel appreciated.

And I felt that as I stood in the forest and promptly said, “maybe another time”

to which he replied
“Ok, but I will keep asking”.

As I wandered away I thought about my dream and knew my response would continue to be the same.
Perhaps my dream is completely ridiculous and impossible. But I believe in it because more and more I believe in me. Maybe I will never reach it.
But I touched that dream for a brief moment once. Only I wasn’t ready for it.
I didn’t know how to be completely free in it.
Im rapidly remembering how to be that and how good it feels. I practically feel like I’m twenty years old again with all my new found energy.
And I don’t want anything to deviate me from that.
Because if I am lucky enough to have a moment like that again at some point in my future, this time I want to feel completely free and ready for it.

There’s always time to live your dreams ❤️