lazing on a Sunday afternoon.

This is the first weekend that I’ve had completely off in a while. I always try to not pack my weekend out because I’m so busy through the week, and a typical weekend now usually consists of Saturday mornings being filled with admin/chores/housework, and soon, thanks to exam season fast approaching, extra tutoring, before heading out for roleplay/catch up with friends, and more often than not, staying over on Saturday, and heading back on Sunday. This works quite well, for a lot of reasons, one being that it motivates me to get the boring stuff out of the way by Saturday lunchtime, otherwise I have to tackle it on the Sunday evening, which just leaves it hanging over the weekend. It also means that I don’t just become a hermit, and hide, which would be a bit too easy for me- especially of late, and it means I actually have some downtime factored in, as well as a ready excuse for the inevitable contacts of “oh its the weekend, you can help with….” Which if I only have my own stuff to get done gets the response of “oh well, you can move that around, squish this in…” And because I’m a pushover, I usually say yes, and then end up without the time to do the admin/housework/my stuff afterwards, whereas plans with others are a lot more difficult to dismiss out of hand.

This weekend though, I went away to visit friends I haven’t seen in a while, which has been a really nice change, although it has been really really weird to have a weekend with such a slow pace, as I feel like I haven’t “done” anything. I arrived on Friday evening, before I would have gotten home had I been tutoring, and got a sandwich, watched a gameplay video and had an early night. Yesterday, we went out for a walk around the centre of the town, had lunch out, and then got ingredients for me to make cake (as I always make something by request of my hosts) and watched a fair bit of River cottage, whilst trying to work out how I would make said cake. I succeeded with the cake, which was a berry topped chilli chocolate cake, and watched some random quiz stuff before bed. Today I’ve gotten up, read a bit, and will probably go for a little walk, to take advantage of the sun before heading home later.  Seems like nothing really, but actually, I’ve had time to think about stuff that’s been going round my head, as well as plan out a little more of my book, which I’ll probably get on with on my way home, and generally have a little bit of time to REST, and therefore, heal.

I’ve still had a fair amount of pain this weekend, but its not been all over, and its been manageable, and has lessened over the time in proportion to my inactivity. Now, my shoulders and upper back are what’s causing trouble, along with my arms, and that to be honest probably has more to do with being hunched up in pain the last few days than anything else, and I daresay a good massage would go a long way to sort that out too (I should be that lucky though), although that’s something I can put up with.

I think I need to look at my time management again, and plan in small patches of downtime through the day. I manage this quite well at work, but I could make better time of it in transit, for example, which might help things along a bit. I also need to try and get back on top of sleep, and eating properly, which means I just need to give myself a good kick up the arse more than anything! Because I’ve been feeling really crappy in general and tearing myself to pieces I stop caring about it, but I need to just do it, even if it means setting reminders on my phone, or notes on the fridge. I also need to go through food groups and make sure I’m planning enough of things in said foods, and generally make it so I try and look after myself a bit, even when its the last thing I want to do.

This week I’ve had to face up to the fact that I simply can’t get away with doing things I had done in the past, when I’ve ended up feeling that bad, and, again, having to challenge myself over the fact that if it was someone else doing that to themselves I wouldn’t stand by and let them. Whether I outrightly challenged it or tackled it by stealth would depend on the person, but I wouldn’t let it stand, so I should let myself do it either.

So, yes, I have screwed up recently. A lot. I don’t think it would be helpful to explain the various how’s and why’s right now, as I’d just end up more annoyed at myself, and lo and behold we’d be starting it all over again. But I can always hope that next time, I will do better, and spot myself falling before I am forced to acknowledge I fell a while before. Not just talking about not looking after myself here, but the same goes. Its just easier for me to talk about that context, than all the other things.

Possibly time to make a few lists as well, and then discuss how best to tackle them…. As well as try to realise that i may not have to try and do this all by myself, and that i dont have to shut myself away until ive fixed things…But one step at a time I think, at least until I can learn to walk again….

 

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It’s not all gloom and doom!

I realised this morning that I probably sound pretty morose of late… I’m actually not, which has surprised me as much as anyone I think. Sure, I definitely feel like crawling into a corner and avoiding everything and everyone until this is over, but I’m also above all else, a realist. I know that things don’t happen at convenient moments, and don’t fit neatly into boxes. I can’t retire from life just because my past has come back to give me a good kick up the arse again.

So I get on with things. I get up, get a shower, and I go to work. I try to make sure to eat, sleep (where I’m allowed) and exercise, and get things done. Counting my regular job plus tutoring (and travel) I work a 52 hour week on average, so if nothing else I’m busy. And that’s not a bad thing as long as I stick to my rules.  First rule is Monday nights are my night off. Even if I end up doing housework, chores or mundane house stuff, as long as I’m not planning lessons or thinking about work stuff, that’s OK.  Second rule is no work at weekends unless I’m being paid extra. I might not always have mega-exciting stuff planned, but even I know I can’t be all go, all the time. Third rule is plan social stuff. Even if it’s just meeting a friend for coffee and a chat. I have the capability to go weeks without seeing anyone outside of work, but it’s not a good idea to do so.

Very simple rules that will hopefully serve me well. I’ve been sticking to them since I decided them, so no complaints really.

In terms of eating – weekdays I have a little bit of porridge in a morning with a banana and some seeds mixed in, and soup for lunch. Teatime varies. Weekends is a lot more relaxed. This seems to be working well, as I’ve lost an inch and a half off my back (as a bra that was too tight now fits, and tshirts are slightly less pronounced around the chesticle area) and definitely a few kilograms. Now I just need to get into a routine with the exercise again. A friend has some chair exercises I can do at work, and also looking into sorting a specific workout I can boot up and do in a morning for 10 mins after stretches.

So I’m definitely not being idle, and if nothing else, feeling the way I do tends to drive me to being mega organised and efficient. Who said a touch of type A personality is a bad thing!! Overall, I’m just trying to take things as they come, and where I can’t believe things, just accept that those who have said them believe it in the hope that I can then move towards believing it too.

The Void – (Probably one of the most thought through posts I’ll write)

That sounds kind of bad really, but I don’t sit and think about my posts when I write them usually. I have a tendency to overthink and overanalyse at the best of times, and so to sit and think about what I want to say when I’m purely writing to get stuff out of my head into a format that’s communicable and as a memory to myself would be severely counterproductive… that being said, this post has had a fair bit of thought.

I started trying to write about this the other day, and stopped, because it was sounding a bit melodramatic and a bit incredulous, however as the week has gone on, I’ve remembered more and more just what experiencing this can be like, and I need to get this out and down, if only to serve as a reminder to myself for the future just why I *need* to deal with this.  Today, I got some stuff written by pen and paper about it and I’m hoping that a third time will be the charm, so to speak.

There have been many times when I’ve gone to try and explain what I’m feeling, or thinking, and I just can’t. Words choke in my throat before they have a chance to be vocalised, I feel like if I go any further then something Really Really Bad will happen.” Anxiety!” is the answer to come from anyone who thinks they know anything’s lips. Perhaps, in part, definitely. The fact that I believe I’m worth less than the scrapings from someone’s shoe, and don’t deserve, let alone am allowed to be able to discuss myself in anyway definitely contributes to feeling anxious, definitely, but there’s more to it than that..  and it’s a feeling that I get at other times as well – usually when I’m feeling raw and vulnerable. Something I’ve been feeling especially over the last couple of weeks. When it isn’t related to my attempts to express myself, it tends to start quietly, building up to a tumultuous roar that refuses to back down or go away.  Always located in the same place. Only once have I been able to do anything with it other than bury it, and that very nearly broke me.  I call it ‘The Void’ And the best way I can explain it is as follows:

Imagine a bottle – a wine bottle is probably best for this. Like all good vessels it is there for storing things. In this instance, it’s the place you put all of the crap that you don’t know how, or don’t want, or can’t deal with. As more happens, more stuff is added, but that’s OK, because it’s a strong bottle, and it’s contents are compressing nicely, and there’s plenty of room, so you add more and more stuff to it – not consciously, not deliberately, and you probably don’t even realise it’s what you’re doing. But the more that goes in, the greater the pressure gets. As the different things get more compacted, they begin to combine, and to form one big thing instead of lots of smaller things, and you could swear, sometimes that it was beginning to look back at you when you went to check the bottle… so you do the only thing you can think of. You seal the bottle and try and forget about it.

It even works for a while. You get the breathing space to begin to learn how to actually deal with situations you never should have had to experience, so not so much goes into the other bottle, and you keep on top of that… and you go about life… until one day…  you can feel a weird sensation in your chest, almost like something is squirming around. You pay it a little attention and it dies down, apparently sated, and you carry on, but before long, it comes back, and you find that isn’t enough, and that the writhing increases, and with it, you swear you can feel claws… so you push back… and once more, it dies down for a while… Eventually, you manage to block out the sensation, but what’s left is somehow worse, and you feel like there is a black hole at your core, threatening to suck every part of you into it. Empty. Black. Nothingness. Acknowledging it only  brings the feeling back. The tearing, clawing writhing feeling that is going to rip you apart from the inside before spilling out into everything you are,taking you and everything and everyone you care about with it. The pain with it is real, but you know it isn’t caused by anything physical. Explaining it sounds crazy, to the point that when you stop and think about it, you’re not even sure it’s possible… and you find yourself physically pushing it back down constantly, because if you stop, then that’s it. You don’t know if there’ll be anything left. You find yourself wishing that you could show someone what you feel, but you’re also sure that if you took someone else’s hand and placed it over that spot of both nothingness and screaming agony, they would feel nothing. But you would feel a little better. You’ve seen that happen before. And so instead, you find yourself holding yourself together, pushing it back in, back down, physically sometimes, because you’re afraid of what would happen if you let it take it’s course. That there would be nothing left to recover. You tried uncorking the bottle once before- it was open for seconds, before you jammed it back in and you lost yourself for days … and it took someone else coming to find you curled up in a corner sobbing uncontrollable and literally holding you for three *hours* until you regained enough wits to stop feeling nothing but the pain and to realise that you were still there.

The thing is… I *know* that this needs to come out. The contents of my bottle are not pretty, hurt like hell, and probably have a vendetta against me for being shut away for so long. But it meant I survived. It meant I could continue. In my bottle is all the stuff I remember, the things that haunt me in my nightmares. The things I’m remembering somewhere inside, when I look like I’m daydreaming. the things I don’t remember because they’re too much, my own self hatred, guilt and everything else I’ve taken on because ultimately I feel like it’s all my fault. The bottle is cracking under the pressure, and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it together, and I can’t risk a volcano erupting, and people being injured in the fallout. Enough people have been hurt because of my existance.

Thing is, I just don’t know what to do… I don’t know if there *is* a safe way of starting to siphon some of this off, and keep my sense of self, let alone my sanity intact. But I know I have to do something. And time is starting to run away. from me. I can’t ask anyone to help pick up whats left either. It’s unfair on them. This is a mess of my own making, even though I know that I simply did what I had to do to survive then. These are the consequences of that. And I fully admit that frankly, I’m fucking terrified.  But I’m more terrified of not being able to control it.

I think this is a good definition of stuck between a rock and a hard place. I just wish I had a clue as to where I could go…or what to do…

I wither, and render myself helpless….

Well, last night, I’m pleased to report that I did actually sleep. It took me a while to nod off, having been quite anxious, but once I did, I managed, partly I think through sheer exhaustion…but I’m not going to object to that at all, and don’t remember what, if anything I was dreaming about, but I’m going to guess something, as when I did wake up at 7-ish I had tears streaming down my face and feeling extremely sad, but at the same time quite disassociated from it… It’s a really peculiar feeling to try and describe, and I know I won’t really come anywhere close to it – I think you’ll either get it, or you won’t…

Anyways, made sure I had my headphones, and whacked the music on on the way into work. Anyone who checks the music I have on anything will probably be pleasantly surprised and horrified in equal proportion at the selection sat on there. On my phone, it’s just whatever random stuff happened to be laying about.. at the moment, Bowie, Dire Straits, The Rasmus, a playlist I was learning for a wedding, Megadeth and Ramnstein…

So getting lyrics to a Dream Theater song stuck immovably in my head usually means my brain is trying to tell me something… so yeah… for once it’s not obscure and half hidden… at least I don’t think so… Those who know me know I’m not a massive fan of Dream Theater as it gets very pretentious and complicated, but occasionally they do come out with a gem or two, especially lyrically… and they actually did this version themselves – stripping it back to just voice and piano – which invariably is the version I have going round my head…

Wither – by Dream Theater

Let it out, let it out, fill the empty space
So insecure find the words and let it out
Staring down, staring down, nothing comes to mind
Find the place turn the water into wine

But I feel I’m getting nowhere
And I’ll never see the end

So I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me

Turn it on, turn it on, let the feelings flow
Close your eyes, see the ones you used to know
Open up, open up, don’t struggle to relate
Lure it out, help the memory escape

Still this barrenness consumes me
And I feel like giving up

So I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me
I wither and give myself away

Like reflections on the page
The world’s what you create

I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down
And all my best creations burn into the ground
The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed
Tear it out again, another one that got away

I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear

I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me
I wither and give myself away

Like reflections on the page
The world’s what you create
The world’s what you create

Let it out, let it out
There are a few things I could draw from this… but as a whole I guess it’s pretty apt advice to give myself right now… except we all know the thing about advice… much easier to give than to take.  Especially when it’s yourself doing the giving!! If only I could just stop and actually allow this… but I just simply don’t know how to, however much I want to. Even if it means what i think it may mean.

Also… I am one of *the* most stubborn people I know, and I have a long history of fighting. Myself, the world, anything, and I do worry that this will be no different. Even if I know (which I do) that fighting will be of no help whatsoever, and could even make it worse, it’s so deeply ingrained that I need to fight against things that I can’t even stop myself. (I don’t use the word ‘can’t’ lightly or often, either. ) Then, there’s getting way ahead of myself as well, and wondering if by some miracle I manage to stop, surrender myself to the process and let it happen, what, if anything will be left? Then what happens? I don’t understand how people see me as confident and self-assured when I am so far from it that it’s almost laughable. But then I see the bits no-one else can. The insecurity and the fear that people will see what everyone else in their turn saw and decided. In my head it’s mostly a matter or time. Breaking that thought pattern is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done up to now. I just hope that it doesn’t break me permanently in the process as well…

 

On the edge of Darkness. (not necessarily an easy post. Dark topics, and not necessarily safe for work. )

It was only a matter of time until I ended up back here – on the edge of the Dark Lands.

I’d dared to hope that for the first time in a long time that I might have escaped it for the winter, but it wasn’t to be.

Stranger still is how it’s always something entirely innocuous that starts that journey… although I’ve got a feeling that the current solar storms may well have something to do with it – as they always unbalance me a little… Eitherway though, I’m making this journey again.

The innocuous thing that started this was being asked whether or not I get lonely. I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback by it, as I really haven’t considered that for a while. I’m too busy to really think about it, and in hindsight I answered as honestly as I could, and think I still can. I’m too busy really to get particularly lonely… and I don’t think I get more lonely than other people – as everyone does sometimes, right?

Unfortunately, at this point, my brain went off on one, and tried to work out *why* the question had come up. Was it just because I’d said I was going out by myself, and not meeting anyone? Was it because they are fed up of seeing me as often? Have I come across as being needy… and so the spiral begins. The spiral of what ifs and maybe I’s. Round and round, and down and down.

Then, as my brain started kicking this around, I was caught off guard again… and I think mistakenly managed to give the impression of being annoyed and upset. Not easy to explain, but I wasn’t. Not at them anyway…

I’ve never been easy to categorise. I don’t fit neatly into a box, and I don’t conform to expected specifications. Never have, and probably never will. It’s not something I’m overly arrogant or proud about, and it’s not something I’m ashamed about either, now that I’m happy with that. I used to be, because everyone told me it was wrong. It’s not, just different. And I’m OK with that.

HOWEVER. People often fall into a bit of a false assumption that I have more life experience in some things than I actually do…. especially when it comes to smut and sexual contexts and content. People laugh at me and dismiss me when I point out (usually in a semi-jokey way) that I am ‘naive and innocent’. Usually met with guffaws and ‘yeah right’s. Don’t get me wrong, I can have a dirty mind with the best of them, but generally I don’t think like that, and it’s not something I can just ‘switch on’ when it crops up. But actually, I *am* the strange person, who was married, but didn’t have sex until a long time after that relationship ended. Actually, I was 26 when I lost my virginity. It’s not something I publicise, because I don’t enjoy going into the reasons why, but actually I do get kinda embarrassed about certain things, not necessarily at the content, but because I feel so vastly out of my depth, and lacking any way of being able to actually contribute to a conversation, and I don’t like *that.* Being drawn into things like that generally make me feel inadequate and lacking basic tenets of human experience, which then in itself throws up a lot of questions I have to wade through and a whole minefield to negotiate without doing further damage. The saving grace in all of this though, I guess is that I *know* that this is my own shit, and I have enough of a head about me to be able to draw the line of separation. So when people realised that something was kinda broken last night and apologised, I meant it when I said it was OK, and I didn’t blame them one bit.

The problem is fixing this. I don’t want to and would never expect people to treat me like a china doll. That’s happened before – and I hated it. It made everything so much worse, and then I go and hide, or walk away. But I don’t really see a way forwards out of it either. I’m not the kind of person who would jump to attempting to make up the things I’ve missed out on and assume that will fix things. Because it won’t. At all.

Ignoring it doesn’t work either. Because it comes back, and this is the haunting. A part of the legacy of everything that happened. I wouldn’t change what happened though, because then I wouldn’t be the person I am. For all of the crap it’s left behind, there are a lot of positives that have come out of it as well. At least I’m told that. Today, I’m not sure I can bring myself to believe it, but I know others believe it, and anyone is a better judge of me than me at the best of times, let alone in the worse times. I can’t exactly avoid situations where it might happen and become an issue either. That gets noticed, or I become a pariah.

Fortunately last night, I was too busy thinking about other things for it to turn into anything more than red glowing cheeks and being rather tongue-tied – in itself embarrasing – especially for a 30 year old. There’s always the danger of it turning into tears. And when that happens it’s a whole different ball game. Add in a pinch of frustration, and a whole big swirl of what I described above. And then throw that onto someone who finds it very difficult to express deeper emotion and you open a whole floodgate….that and anything else that might be lurking.  I’m just glad that didn’t happen!

But how *do* you fix it, and move forwards?

I guess the first step is accepting the fact that actually, I’m still pretty broken. But less broken than I have been… so at least it’s progress…. right?

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.

Spiritual musings.

Finally finished the post I’d started last week…. so on to the next one.

I’m off work today, not feeling well. So using the time, in addition to resting up some, to thinking about some recent events…

When it comes to all things spiritual, I’m by no means conventional – I don’t follow a particular line of thought or practice, and I don’t particularly align myself with one particular thing. I follow my intuition, which is my biggest guide in this. As a result there are ideas in there from many sources. Some more than others, and if I had to actually use a label, then it would probably be along the lines of pagan, with a celtic/norse leaning. HOWEVER: that is certainly not the be all and end all- add in there some native american, as well as eastern ideas, and you’d be getting a little closer. Also, don’t forget the British and European ideas as well… I’m sure that you see where I’m going with this….

 

The last few weeks I’ve been having a think about all of this, now that I’m in a position to consider things a little more than I perhaps have previously. Coming back to ideas I had been considering some time ago, which had gone to the wayside for various reasons – mostly not being in the headspace- and watching serendipity do it’s wonderful thing; for example, thinking to myself “it might be a good time to think about sorting out getting the runes I was thinking about making done – finish collecting the stones and then crafting them” before being given a set of clay runes by my brother a few days later… as well as looking at natural/complimentary therapies – the ideas behind them as well as the practice of.  These are something I tend to approach quite scientifically. I certainly don’t for a second believe that we’ve learnt all there is to know scientifically, and there are things that happen out there, which work but we can’t explain why – acupuncture, t’ai chi are just two examples.

(Excuse me if this jumps about a little as I go by the way – I am just writing it as it comes… and this is as much for my benefit as anyone elses… !)

I’ve always had a bit of an affinity to a few different things – mostly looking at natural ways of healing and improving things – massage, herbs, ‘so called- superfoods’ etc as well as looking into other things. Massage is something I’ve just been able to do instinctively, and there are a fair few people out there who’ve been on the receiving end of one of mine to say that I certainly know what I’m doing, even without any formal training (done a fair bit of reading though!) I’ve always used my intuition to guide me in that – leading me to troublesome spots, which I fully admit is enhanced by a working knowledge of the body and muscles. I’ve also passed on a bit of what I know to people I trust as the one downside to it is that you really can’t actually do it to yourself!

On Saturday night I was giving a good friend of mine a shoulder massage and thinking about what and how I do it, and had paused to think about where I was going to go next when I heard an ‘ooh’ of surprise. I asked if they were OK and got the yes, fine, and I went back to what I was doing. It was only a little while afterwards that I realised that at that time, I wasn’t actually touching them  with my hands. I was thinking about where to go next, and i guess the easiest way I could explain it is that I was feeling it with my mind before I carried on….  I spoke about this with my friend the next night, after thinking about it for a fair while and coming to a conclusion as to what might have happened, and started out by asking if he remembered that particular point and why the surprise, before saying what had happened, and my thoughts on it. After discussion we concluded that I’d managed to transfer energy, in the most basic terms – much like those who practice Reiki, Qi Gong, or other forms of Energy Healing would. We also concluded that it’s probably not the first time it’s happened, but in the past I’d have been in contact whilst doing it. So what’s different now, and why has this happened? I have no idea, but I’m looking forwards to finding out a little more and exploring what this means, and seeing if I can actually do this consciously. So some learning and practice required.

Another tentative step forwards in the journey of life. Sometimes in a direction you never expected to go!