2013… The Roundup… and the post that’s been wanting to exist for some time..

Okay, so I’ve been a little bit remiss with the blog for a while, I admit, but for once it’s not without good reason!!
It’s not that I have just gotten to that can’t be arsed anymore stage, or just found more interesting things to do, which has been wont to happen in the past.
I started tutoring earlier in the year, which has kind of exploded a little, to the point of having 5+ students on the books going into 2014, so as you can see, my time is limited, however, I am now back to the top of my organisational game, so am free to juggle many plates, or some such mixed metaphor.

2013 has very much been all about learning and changing for me. From moving back to Sheffield, changing job, starting up A Cinderella Fable (my more girly blog) to exploring new cultures, to just working out stuff about myself, to tutoring, and everything else that’s happened along the way it’s been one hell of a ride, and I get the feeling it’s only just starting!

I’ll likely forget stuff that’s happened in this post, and I’ll probably ramble on so few people will fully understand what I’m talking about, but that’s the joy of being me I guess!

So, back to January, where having secured a new job, after seven years in retail banking, I made the move back to Sheffield.
I was ambivalent about this to say the least, and wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing by returning – in some ways it felt like a step backwards, and took a lot of sheer willpower to remind myself of all the reasons it was actually a step forwards, and then it was happening and there was nothing that I could do to change it!

February was the start of the new job, which my seven years of accumulated knowledge meant I had a good understanding of the work, and I began a new. I actually really enjoyed just the process of learning – from a new perspective for somethings, and just learning new stuff in general! I started to reconnect with more people I’d known from my life in Sheffield previously, having already worked to establish a new core group around me and started looking into what had changed, and what had stayed the same. I realised that a LOT had changed. Over these two months, I began to feel a bit more at peace with my decision to move back to Sheffield.

April saw me looking for my own space, so I could get my stuff out of storage, and get some structure back. I found a flat at the end of the month, and with help, got my stuff in and sorted, achieving a new thing of finally living in a truly unfurnished flat. This will make things easier in future, as I now have everything I need to be self sufficient. It’s not much by most peoples standards, I’m sure, but it’s home to me.

It’s at this point of writing that I stalled somewhat… and today – the 30th I pick up having realised why. I have been very left brained about it – putting events into boxes, when actually I’m ambi-brained – or to quote a cliche, a bit of an Indigo Child… So this is where, dear reader, you may need to gather your wits to keep up and connect the strands of the web I’m about to weave…. for if only my life were able to be fitted into neat little boxes… it would turn out to be so ridiculously boring that I would bang my head on a wall where paint was drying at intervals to check the rate!

This year has seen an unbelievable amount of change happen in my life – not just in the tangiable physical and material things, but on a more personal level too. I’m by no means the best person to talk about that though, as I know I have a skewed perspective when it comes to myself, but even I can spot some of these… I guess if you wanted to know more, you’d have to speak to those who know me a bit better than just as an acquaintance. So why am *I* talking about it? Well, this is my story, and no-one else is going to tell it. It’s my path, and my journey…not someone else’s.

Very few people actually understand and ‘get’ me. So I don’t expect you to. You’d need to know so much more than I am willing to share with all but a few very close friends to even try in any detail, but I will always give enough to explain something. So here, I guess is the need to know stuff…

It’s commonplace knowledge that I had a hard time of it growing up. Being told repeatedly, and having it reinforced in numerous different ways that I don’t deserve to exist, and that I was the scum of the earth etc etc, had me believing that. The evidence was irrefutable. It’s also no secret that a few years ago, I put myself into the hands of a psychotherapist to start trying to pull what had become a huge mess to pieces in an effort to try and find the truth, as finally, I’d managed to prove ‘them’ wrong. I’d escaped, and managed to move away, and successfully make things better. I’d survived a (still unknown) illness which had been supposed to be the end of me – which of course I felt I deserved, so what was going on? The therapy certainly didn’t fix things, but it did help me to understand the whys of things, and also to an extent some of the values I had.
Skipping forwards to this year, I’d made the decision to once more throw caution to the wind, and make things better. Serendipity had provided a person who challenged me with enough aggression to break through certain mindsets, but not too much for me to respond instinctively in defense, and all of a sudden the time was there. No turning back. I was back in Sheffield.
Still not convinced it wasn’t a huge mistake. But nowhere to go except forwards, and if all of my life experience to that point had taught me *anything* at all, it was to be stubborn!

I’d started preparing for the move back since the middle of 2012, when I’d first sensed another shift coming, although at the time, I wasn’t aware what it was… and I’d reconnected with people from Sheffield who I’d known before I left, though not to a great extent necessarily, as one of the things I’d really had time to contemplate in the time I lived by the sea, was my own beliefs.
Like in so many aspects of my life, they don’t fit neatly into boxes, either. And I simply can’t believe in commercial religion. Having voluntarily immersed myself in a Christian upbringing in church in my Teens, for several years, it wasn’t for lack of trying… It’s not that I don’t believe in a god figure, or figures, but I certainly have no faith in organised religion. Nor do I strictly fit under the Pagan belt of belief. Mostly because I can’t be neatly classified as being Norse, Celt, Native or other. I take the things that make sense, and build my own system. I don’t rule anything out as possible, because I can’t prove or disprove it…but in the big overall groups, this is the best place – where I fit best, although never exactly.
Anyway… I’d tried to find a moot up in the North East, which proved impossible, for reasons I found out later, and looking back, I’m extremely glad no-one had responded to the tentative emails I’d sent to the groups I’d found. So instead, in my frequent flyer visits back to Sheffield I’d been attending the Sheffield moots when they coincided with my travels. Having known a fair few of the people since before I’d left, and not really being in the same circles as Ben or his friends, it was one of the few places I still felt welcome. As last year had progressed, more and more I was able to get to the moots, and so I knew at least I’d have one bunch of people to see when I got back.

Another big fall out of my life experience to date was my issues with people. See people can’t be trusted. You let them in, you let them see you, and you care, and it’s taken away from you. Which is why people very rarely really see me, or know me. I don’t make myself unlikeable, to the contrary, apparently, I’m very likable (even if I don’t see it), but you only get the surface. But enough experience of that, meant that I can’t open myself to be knocked back like that anymore.

So the start of 2013 saw me back in Sheffield, knowing I could at least do the things I’d set out to do – having already done them when I moved away, but with little to no confidence in myself, or others, for that matter. However, I learned the hard way that no man or woman is an island, so I would have to at least build some bridges, even if they were never particularly embellished.

As the year progressed, people began to identify themselves as those who I could trust a little more, and my confidence had grown as the new job had started and was going well, and I’d achieved the things I’d set out to do. I gathered a small group of people I could count on, people I could confide in, and some of those had already seen more of me than I’d perhaps intended to show, but it was safe to do so, and somewhere I knew that. There are three in particular who have stood out. Two are a couple – whom I value as friends, and count them in my chosen family, and the third is someone who I met very randomly, but we appreciate one another I think…

I am starting to ramble now, so to try to bring it back… I think the easiest summary I can make is that thanks to these three people especially, I’ve reached a point where I’ve been able to work out who I am, and that actually it’s OK to not necessarily fit into a box. It’s OK to know the more complex things, and not the simple things – I don’t need to know the very basics unless it’s fundamental to my understanding. I’ve learned a lot from these people, and have managed to start breaking down some of the walls that have stopped my understanding of myself, the world, and my place in it. It’s complex, it’s not easy, but paradoxically, it’s actually as simple as I make it. Now that I have a little of the perspective I should have had over the last thirty years, (as yes, I turned 30 this year too!) it’s now time to take that, grow it and move forwards.

Finishing the calendar year off, I have people. For the first time in years, I have people I can trust by my side, who I know won’t abandon me for something shinier, and will tell me when I’m being an idiot, encourage me when I need encouraging, and help me along when I stumble. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that, as it’s something I’ve lacked for SO long. Not the false people who want someone who is broken, to try and fix, or someone who is broken, so they can feel better… but people who don’t care that you’re broken, except to care that you are broken, not to do anything about it, and the people in question that I have now, are NOT *those* types of people,and I can and will do anything I can in return. I know that I am small, and I’m not even a tenth of what I could have been by now if things were different, but next year is going to be about growth. Taking what I have gained and learned and moving forwards, and helping those I call my family to do the same. Bringing ideas to fruition, and lending what skills I do have to making things better.
Like I said earlier, I can’t really tell you what’s changed – you’d probably have to ask those people, but I know that as the calendar turns in two days time, I have so many ideas that I could explode, and as sod would have it, less time than ever. All that means though is that I need to be more organised, because by George, Dick, Tom, Harry, or Cheesus, there’s very little that will stop me if I have any say in it!

I’m finding that, as I grow into my skin a little more, things that have seemed far away suddenly make more sense, or seem to work – things are finding the right place. I am an avid believer in Serendipity, and also I believe wholehearted that what is meant to be will find a way, regardless of the obstacles in it’s place. The tutoring is one example of that – for a long time people said I’d be a fabulous teacher and I denied it. I was right to deny the job, but not the role. I am a good teacher, but only with a willing student. I in turn have found a teacher as well – someone who is like me, who’s helped me realise a lot of what I’ve learned this year, and I’m sure will have more to show me – without even realising it. But most do their best work without realising it.

There is so much more that I wanted to say – I’ve haven’t even touched on my plans ahead, or drumming, or Denmark, celebration or anything else. But I’m done writing today. If you’ve kept up, I applaud you, because this is probably as disjointed as heck. But this blog was never meant to be perfect…. Those who know me though- if you’re reading this, then Thank you.

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