To have and to hold

via Daily Prompt: Since<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sincere/”>Sincere</a>re

Ain’t love grand?  Those heart thumping moments when your loved one tells you they love you, or when you have “that” kiss, you know the one, the one that leaves you jelly kneed and paints a huge smile on your face.  Yea, you know the one.

Love has different meanings to all kinds of people.  Many have different expectations on how they perceive love – for some, being in love is the epitome of success whilst for others it comes in other guises.  Parents providing for their children because they love them.  Partners learning a new skill in order to spend more time with their chosen one.  Offering time and compassion to others less fortunate.  The list could (and does) go on, however, the love I want to discuss here, is authentic love and what it looks like.

The love a parent feels for a child (mostly) is profound, it comes straight from the heart and comes naturally.  When we choose a life partner, things are never that simple.  People are complex mammals – they factor in so many variables on what they want out of love that sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees.

It is easy to shower your loved one with compliments and gifts (compliments are free, gifts not always, but it’s the thought that counts) – it’s also a good way to try and convince your partner that they are special to you.  This is often how love starts out, I get that, but what I would give to be able to go back to my 15 year old self and have a chat about what real love is like. Here follows a story about when a boy met a girl…

I was 15 years old (just two weeks away from being sweet 16 and never been kissed) when I met my Mr Right.  I was rather inexperienced with boys and I had not been a part of the “crowd” that went underage drinking or to clubs, so it could be said I led a sheltered life.  Mr Right was everything I was not.  He was confident, handsome, had an active social life, went to a private school, he was well liked and had many friends.  To say I was in awe of him is an understatement.  He was my IT.  We met at our local outdoor swimming pool; he showered me with compliments but it was the eyes that hooked me.  He told me he had never seen such beautiful eyes, that it was like looking into the bluest ocean.  Corny, I know, but I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

He was very attentive, polite and eager.  He would meet me at the end of the road so he could walk me to the station (to get to college) and he would be outside waiting for me on late evenings.  He made me feel special.  We dated for five years before we became Mr and Mrs and throughout the whole time, he was constant in his affections.  By this time, however, my inner demons had started to claw their way out.  I began to feel a fraud – why was he with ME when he could have chosen anyone else?  Why don’t I feel the same intensity for him as he does for me?  Surely he will soon realise what a mistake he has made and find somebody more suited to him.

I was being swept away with the romance of it all and with the “unsaid” expectation that once you get engaged you must follow it through.  So, follow it through we did.  It sounds like I have a negative relationship with my husband here, doesn’t it?  Truth is, I had the negative relationship with myself.  I don’t know where my poor self esteem stems from but it was well and truly rooted in my psyche at this point in my life.  Every day it seemed that I was waiting for things to fall apart.  For him to have an affair.  For him to just admit he wasn’t happy.  But it never came.  Two years into our marriage we had our first child.  She helped me to come out of my shell a little, after all, it was ME she was depending on now.  The husband was working longer hours and at first I didn’t notice.  After the initial euphoria/exhaustion/worries had worn off and we had settled into a routine, back came my devil.  All of a sudden, I had no identity of my own.  I was my husband’s wife.  My child’s mother.  A housewife.  I was no-one.  I was lonely.

By the time we had been married for five years we had extended our family by a further two children.  Our last child was born with several issues that required hospital treatment and operations up until he was seven years old.  It was at this time that I discovered who I could be.  Not who I was, not yet, but a glimmer of things to come.

Have you ever had someone pay you a compliment and you accept it but tar it with “a yes, but”?  This is something I was more than guilty of.  People would tell me how strong and brave I was.  How organised I was, being able to deal with a baby in hospital (in a different town), getting a child to school and one to playgroup.  Did I believe them?  Did I hell – “it’s something that has to be done!” I reply.  In a way, that was the simple truth – there was no other option that would be acceptable to me or my husband.  That doesn’t mean that there was NO other option though.  We could have given up.  We could’ve asked for more help from friends or family.  We did none of things… we soldiered on.

I’m going to skip forward several years for the sake of cutting a long story a little less long.  Recognising the power I had to deal with many issues in my life, whilst maintaining a happy family persona, gave me the impetus to go forth and forge a career for myself.  To find the me I wanted to be.  Little did I know though, that it was all a persona!  I was a fraud.  I didn’t feel strong, or worthy or even capable.  In my head, I was these things because others, my biggest fan being my hubby, had said I was.  I didn’t want to let others down so I carried on trying to build a “better” version of me.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing though… it wasn’t the “better” me I should have been striving for, it was for a “different” me.

This is where I would like to go back to my past self and give her a pep talk.  I wouldn’t change a single thing about my relationship with my husband – our marriage hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but without a shadow of a doubt, I can truly say he is my Mr Right.  I love him with every fibre of my being.  I would, however, change my relationship with me.  I have denied my family so much throughout the years because of the destructive behaviour I have directed towards myself.  It has taken two serious episodes with Mr Black Dog for me to finally stop pretending.  No longer do I apologise for feeling “down”; no longer do I say “yes” to things that I do not want to do; no longer do I berate myself for my “failings”.  Instead, I have donned a new perspective.  I walked out of my career (one that I was passionate about, but could no longer remain in due to unforgiving workload, strategy changes and lack of focus on the big picture) – people have intimated that this is a risky move – no more money coming in, jobless on the cusp of 50, putting extra pressure on my hubby to provide.  Well, to them I say, yes!  Yes, it is risky.  But so, so brave.  I am finally able to “see” my strength.  It’s taken a long time but finally I am digging my heels in and doing something for me.  I don’t know what that will look like yet, but I know it’s waiting for me to find it.

Sincere, authentic and genuine.  These words could all be used to describe the relationship between my husband and myself – we have been married 28 years this year and saw our eldest married in October.  There is one photograph that I absolutely adore and it shows how wrong I was all those years ago.  My husband staring into my eyes with the biggest smile on his face – I have no doubts now that he loves me.  He cherishes me.  He’s encouraging the space I need to “find myself” whilst always being there for me.  Yes, sincere could definitely describe our love.

However, I want sincere to describe my intentions.  I wholeheartedly believe that I can turn my worst enemy into my best friend and in doing so experience life from a different view point.  One in which I approve of myself.

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A bit of lateral thinking

A bit of lateral thinking via Daily Prompt: Bludgeon

Looking at the definition of the word, bludgeon, shows that this word can either be a noun or a verb.  Not that that actually helped in any way – I still couldn’t make a connection with the word.

Trying a bit of word association, I started with weapon.  It didn’t take too much effort to leap to battle and that’s where I got my inspiration.

I, like countless others, have/am waging my own battle with The Black Dog.  I’m trying hard to rediscover myself, to start over and thought I would share some sayings that I pilfered from the internet.

Be patient, everything will come together.

Life has highs and lows – moments of great lightness and moments of great darkness.

Understand that the struggle you face today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.

Do you tend to walk away from your thoughts or try harder to understand them.

Go ahead, take a deep breath.  You deserve to be okay.

Everything you want is waiting for you on the other side of fear.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is assuming that other people think the way we do.

Now is the time to stop hating yourself for all the things you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with this my one piece of advice is – take your time.  Find out who YOU are, what YOU want and how YOU can make it possible.  There aren’t any one-fix-all solutions – not even going to tell you that you can do it if you put your mind to it (of course, if it was that simple, you would be swinging from the chandeliers already).  I will tell you though, it is worth it to stick with trying to understand you a little more.  I am surprised by who I am becoming;  am not at the end of the journey (not even sure if there is an end or if I am simply on the path going in the right direction) but I am liking what I have found so far.

Depression is a tough battle – it’s not merely a feeling of sadness, of loneliness – it’s so much more intense.  It’s the state of being where it hurts to share your deepest thoughts with your loved ones because you are trying to protect them, but it’s alter state is that you know that if you do not share those thoughts with someone/anyone, they will overpower you.  It’s being so brave on the outside that people tell you “oh, you don’t look depressed!”  It’s looking in the mirror at yourself and giving yourself a pep talk – “come on, you can do this, don’t cry”.  It’s being exhausted just from  listening to the thoughts in your own head.  It’s also not the same “process” for everyone, so don’t despair if people trying to help you (who have been through the same thing) are not equipped with the right words/actions to help you.  They still want to help you.  Depression is indeed a tough battle, but the warrior inside of you wants you to win.  I know, have the battle scars to prove it.

So, I say, grab a bludgeon (noun) and bludgeon (verb) that damned black dog.

 

 

OCD and a Christmas Tree

OCD and a Christmas Treevia Daily Prompt: Rearrange

We all have our little “ways” of doing things and I believe that this is just great.  Life would be so boring if we all behaved the same, had the same routines, thought the same thoughts.  I’ll let you in on a little secret, my family have long since believed that I suffer from OCD – in my defence, I prefer to think of it as my “quirkiness”, the thing that makes me different from everyone else.

I see myself as a calm, patient and easy going person (honestly!) but for a while now I can appreciate – and to some extent, agree with- the thought processes of my family.  Life is hectic – three children, one house, one husband, four dogs and a full time career makes for excellent time keeping skills.  Roll into that mix the fact that we used to own a beautiful horse too – a dream come true, but a living nightmare to organise.  Feeding twice a day, exercising, cleaning stable, filling hay nets and poo picking fields – all with three children under the age of 14 and me being a full time teacher.  Oh, did I also mention, my husband works away each week and generally is only home Friday-Sunday?  Calm, well, I think so but reflecting back on it all now, I think I had controlled the situation and had reached a level of “calm” that meant I didn’t explode all the time.  It seems I control many aspects of our life – hence my “name” – Easy Going Control Freak.  Sometimes I wonder if I am aware that I am doing it, or if it is just second nature to have a planned way of doing things.  I like to be organised.  Plain and simple.  I am a list person.  I like things to be accomplished well and to the best of our abilities.

Herein lies the problem, I think.  The abilities of everyone are not the same!  Nor should they be, I hear you say… well, I agree with you.  As an educator I am well versed in accepting (and enjoying) the many different talents of my students and I am the first person to tell child A that YOUR best might not be the same level of  best as child B but that doesn’t matter because it is still your best and that’s all we can give.  Sounds cliched but it is something I wholeheartedly believe.

So, where does the Christmas tree come into it?  Well, remember I said that I believe that everyone’s best effort is the epitome of success?  That doesn’t apply when decorating the Christmas Tree!

In our home, we usually have two trees at Christmas.  One, always a freshly cut tree between 7 and 8 foot, that takes pride of place in our hall and the other, an artificial one that sits in one of our front rooms.  For me, decorating the tree is an absolute joy.  I love the idea of playing carols, singing along with the family, a glass of something sparkly to give some festive cheer and everyone laughing together as we all dress the tree together.  The IDEA and the truth of it are so far apart that it’s become a family “inside joke”.  When our children were smaller, we all used to do exactly what I thought would be ideal.  Little faces filled with delight as they put their favourite baubles on the branches, giggles as they adorned themselves with tinsel before wrapping it around the branches and sheer excitement as they helped put the fairy on top and switch on the lights.  Sounds idyllic doesn’t it.  It was.  The children would go to bed happily and before my own bed time, I would rearrange everything so it looked “better”.  The children began to wise up to this by the time our eldest was about 9, however, I managed to “deny” any such skulduggery and got away with it for a few more years.

Then came the, “if we decorate this tree are you going to change it when we go to bed?”  Of course, what self respecting mother would dream of telling fibs to their children?  Yep, I changed it around, just a little!  It came as no surprise when they stopped helping altogether, to be honest, I think they persevered well considering.  These days, the children (all grown up now, youngest is 21) still get excited about the trees going up but they all steer well clear when it comes to the decorating.  There are perks of the job though. The children keep the sparkles coming and reload the music playlist so I can just get on with the job!

Gotta love a bit of control, but OCD, not me!

How conkers made the connection

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/banned/”>Banned

So here I sit, in my kitchen, overlooking the garden in all of it’s autumnal beauty.  The leaves a symphony of colours and shades, the air crisp and still and sounds of the local avian population busy in their communications.  A perfect opportunity to create new thoughts. I was pondering on what I could write about for the daily prompt, when conkers clambered for my attention and started the ball rolling.

The spiky outer cases that open to reveal the treasure hidden inside were something of a staple in my childhood.  Perhaps I am showing my age, but the excitement and determination to find the largest or strongest conker amongst friends was a normal activity.  This is when my brain sparked a connection.  Children of today aren’t savvy to the delights of conker battles, because, like so many other “rites of passage” they have been banned from our society.

Perhaps a little over dramatic, but when you consider the amount of childhood past times that are no longer available to our younger generations, I think I can be excused.  Health and Safety has it’s place (my better half makes a living in this field so I can appreciate the need) but it should be measured against the risks involved and in no place more important than in our schools.  I am saddened to see the ability of children to navigate their way through some of life’s challenges being slowly stripped away because we deny them the opportunity to measure their own risk assessment.

Accidents happen, I couldn’t agree more.  Childhood, in its whole essence, is about exploration (of themselves and the world around them) and discovery, and this, almost inevitably, will lead to a “scrape” or two along the way.  Guess what though… those scrapes are the foundation of building a confident, well-rounded and informed person of the future.  Instead, at the rate that “blanket rules” are being enforced for all children, we will end up with a generation of individuals who have no voice, no tools for dealing with disappointment and no accountability for their own decisions/actions. Rather than trying to avoid accidents, we are creating a disaster waiting to happen.

You might be wondering about these blanket rules… what sinister things are lying in wait to capture our children’s individuality?  Well, I might have exaggerated their existence a little – or have I?  The rules that I am referring to are the ones that are systematically banning any activities that may cause accidents/upsets to our young charges.

Think about conkers, the game TAG, British Bulldog, Clackers, Handstands, Cartwheels, Dodge-ball and even snowball fights.  How many of you enjoyed such past times as a youngster?  How many of you suffered terribly from such participation?  How many of you are scarred (mentally or physically) after these interactions?   How many of you grew up to be sensible and competent members of society?  I don’t think it’s an over-exaggeration when I say that our future will be taking such a different form to the one we are used to.  All because we are refusing our children the right to manage their own risk taking.

In all honesty, can society expect a generation that has had all kinds of risks eliminated, in the guise of protection, be able to flourish as independent, confident and cooperative people of the future?  The banning of such games may seem trivial but the benefits of encouraging them outweigh the negative.  Tag, you’re it!  There can’t be many people around who haven’t played this game, however, in their infinite wisdom, education leaders across the land have decreed that this game be banned as it encourages slapping, pushing and hitting rather than ‘touching’ their intended target. Alarmingly, I have read that children wanting to participate in the game must NOT run, but walk!  Seriously, where’s the fun in that?  Competition is a normal part of our society.  After all, if we don’t encourage competition who is going to take responsibility for the country?  For the workplace?  To go for that promotion? Or simply, just to further your own boundaries.  In the education system, competition is frowned upon.  Sports days are often celebrated with the “I participated” badges – few of the “1st” “2nd” and “3rd” are encouraged because we don’t want to hurt the less skillful children’s feelings!

So it is with playground games!  Don’t play Tag because in your excitement you might hurt (either physically or emotionally) another’s feelings – I don’t know about you, but I’m the same with the rather sedentary game of snap…give me an opportunity and I’ll   be found slapping that pile with such ferocity that if your hand happens to be underneath, it will likely be  smarting for a while!  In the guise of protecting the safety of individuals in the likes of Dodge-ball (a contact sport??) we are missing out on exploiting opportunities for team building, determination and dare I say it… having some fun.  It seems that we spend far too much time worrying about risks and hazards that we forget who we are dealing with – children need to experience fun and frivolity and not be wrapped in a cotton wool bubble.

I am able to express these views on two fronts.  My first, as a parent to three children that grew up with tears before bed, dirty hands, scraped knees and elbows (war trophies to be proud of) but also as an educator for over 15 years.  Do I enforce these ridiculous rules? Of course I do.  Do I agree with them?  Hell no!  The moment schools allowed “anxious” parents the assumption that they had a right to veto any activity/policy that did not suit “their” child was the moment that schools gave away any positive chance that our future generation ever had of finding their own, individual, way of navigating the real world.  In my opinion (as humble as it may be) I think it would serve society better to equip our children with the tools to avoid and measure any risks rather than eliminate them all and hope for the best!

All change… again!

via Daily Prompt: Transformation

You know that feeling, when you are just settling into something and starting to understand it and then something happens to pull the rug out from under you?  Yea, it kind of sucks but you move onward.  You do, don’t you, because there really isn’t another choice.  I’m not against change, as the old saying goes, it’s as good as a rest, but sometimes I would like things to just stay the way they were.  I suppose change is one of those ‘certainties’ in life (alongside death and taxes) and whether we choose to accept that or not is irrelevant.  It’ll happen anyway.

Take the seasons for example.  As much as we might like to hold on to a favourite time of the year, reality is, it’s moving away every second.  Scenery changes, weather changes, lifestyles change.  It’s all change.  This made me think about how finite our lives are and just how many changes we go through in our existence.  Some of these changes are wonderful – changing from being dependant to independent, from inexperienced to wise, from being a parent to a grandparent, from insecurity to confident.  Of course, there are changes that are more difficult to cope with, most obvious one to me is the change from a loved one living to a loved one dying.  As I said, it’s inevitable.

Every woman changes so much throughout her lifetime.  Changes from childhood to adolescence (and all the fun that brings) – moving on to adulthood.  There might be changes to their status – from single to married, or vice-versa.  Changes in their bodies – the time a girl becomes a woman.  This can be a trying time. Hormonal changes, mood swings, bodily aches, and of course, the cyclical change that happens every month.  For some, the next change is cherished.  Change from ‘me’ to ‘Mum’.  I have totally enjoyed this change – it has given me great pleasure to nurture my children into adulthood.  I learnt many things about myself.  I began to like myself.  I learned how to appreciate the power of a woman isn’t in her looks, it’s in her strength, her passion, her empathy and the smile behind her eyes.  This change has been slowly evolving but I feel that I want to hold on to it, after all, I’m only just beginning to understand what makes ‘me’ me!

Mother Nature, on the other hand, has a different plan.  She’s thrown another change at me and it’s one I’m not sure of.  I wonder about how things will change, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too.  The menopause is one of those subjects that people try to steer clear of – there are questions that need asking but do we really want to know the answers?  Will it change a woman’s personality?  Will she still be able to show off her nurturing skills or will she face an attitudinal change and decide to reinvent herself?  Will it increase confidence or push us back to uncertainty?  One thing is for sure, change is happening again.  It is within us all to decide whether to embrace our new self or not.  I read a lovely metaphor for the transformation gained from menopause – linking it to the creation of a butterfly…

I’m ready for my new wings.

A cocoon is, in a way, a place of rest, almost a place of death, for it is a place where some creatures go in order to die out of their previous form. Thus it is also a place of rebirth, a place from which the new form, in its own time will emerge.”

How do you know if you’re on the right path?

Seems like an odd question to be asking, or does it? I have to admit, I’m in no way, shape or form, equipped to answer it. I should be. Having my fifth decade alive looming in the no so distant future, surely I should know.

What does this say of my ability to help guide and shape our future generations? I consider myself as down to earth, patient, nurturing and fairly knowledgeable. I have been successful in raising three fabulous children with my better half. I keep a lovely home, drive a decent car, enjoy the company of four crazy dogs, have a caring family and some wonderful friends. So why the hell don’t I know what’s right about the path I’m on.

Take a step back. I met my soul mate when I was three weeks shy of 16. He was everything a girl could hope for – funny, thoughtful, kind, handsome, smart and, apparently, head over heels in love with me. That was back in 1983. We were married in 1988. We had three children; one in 1990, one in 1992 and the last one in 1995. We’re still joined in loving matrimony and neither of us would have it any other way. Our children are happy, healthy and successful in their own rights. My husband’s career has taken off and he is well known in his field of work for his passion and professionalism. I, myself, held a career that I served with passion and dedication. We have holidays, nice meals out, weekends away, treat ourselves to new clothes etc when the whim takes us, we drive a 2014 Sportage, have four fabulous dogs. Life should be good. I’m still missing out on something though. To make matters worse, I don’t even have the faintest idea what it is I’m after.

It seems I’ve lost my way. I’ve lost my voice. Almost lost my mind.

I walked out on my career in July 2016. I loved it – it was my passion. I was a natural at it. I motivated people with my enthusiasm and guided others who were struggling with the pressure. All along, I knew what my role was. I was an educator – first, foremost and definitely in for the long haul. Many of my colleagues would mention how well I connected with the children, especially those who “carried too much baggage” for one so small, but I always had my “Jimini Cricket” voice in my head that said, I’m doing nothing special, I just do what it takes to make things better for the children so they can be free enough to enjoy learning. I honestly believed that. Eleven years later, and a deeply flawed education system finally snuffed out my passion. It was no longer for me. I had put up with too much bullshit already and didn’t have the patience for anymore.

I didn’t just walk out on my career, I walked out on financial security. On my dreams and hopes for a better life for the children in my care. On the ability to make a difference to their lives. On the children themselves. On my husband’s peace of mind as we are now down to a single wage. Just get another job. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, it should be, I need the money to help my husband support us.

But, it isn’t! There are so many jobs out there but it’s a minefield. I’m too qualified for some. Have the correct skill-set for others but not the experience. Some jobs either don’t interest me so I scan over them or I am so interested in them that I spend to much time procrastinating background information on said “new” path that by the time it comes to fill out the form, I have already talked myself out of applying. I can’t help it. I feel vulnerable and insecure. Why would anyone want to hire someone who walked out on a decent career? Who’s interested that my reasons for leaving have nothing to do with my workplace, but that they are connected to the fact that I could no longer do a job where the children were not seen as a priority. Where I had to put practices into place that went against every fibre of my personal and professional ideals. Where learning has become more about rote to pass a test and reach a benchmark and nowhere near enough about the joys of independent learning for the love of wanting to expand a mind. I had just had enough. I couldn’t carry on in a job where my heart had already left, but that too leaves me feeling guilty. I walked out on the children – walked out or ran away?

I have ideas of what I would like my life to look like, however, they won’t pay the bills – at least not yet. It is my fear that I will embark upon a path out of necessity and have no thoughts or feelings for my job, merely go through the motions. Where does that leave me? With more security than I enjoy at the moment, obviously but at what actual cost?  I would love to become a writer – I have no experience, no training, no contacts but I DO HAVE the desire and the motivation.  I would also like to have my own florist business, but again, no contacts (I do have a small amount of training and some experience) means a long hard slog to get to a point where I could pay the bills.

So, I guess it’s back to the question… how do you know if you’re on the right path?  I suppose the only way to find out is to actually get on one and see.  Time for me to stop wishing for things out of my reach.  Time to stop the fears over not being successful.  Time to get on with life, after all, I have my health, my sanity and my family.  It’s only money after all!

 

I say Honey…you say G!

Tiny

Haven’t watched that ridiculously over-rated “talent” show in years and quite frankly, think it needs to end and pdq.  What is the message it sends to our younger (impressionable) generation?  Sod the hard work, sod the talent, just concentrate on becoming a court jester, because, in my opinion, this type of novelty act is only promoted to entertain those with TINY minds.  

You say Honey… I say, enough already.

Daily Prompt: Volunteer

via Daily Prompt: Volunteer

The first thing that entered my head when I read this word was Oh no, sit on your hands and keep your lips firmly shut.  Don’t get me wrong, being the person I am, I love to volunteer because I love to help people.  I just don’t help ME when I volunteer.

I remember sitting in a large room with many other people all listening to a discussion on a topic that was relevant to my family and many others around the country.  It was a charity run by a hospital nurse.  At the end of the meeting, said nurse hung up her “chairperson” role and asked for someone else to take part.  It was our first meeting.  We had only been involved for about 6 months.  We were still learning about the topic.

Silence in the room.  A lot of shifting about, heads down.  It felt awkward.  Don’t even know what possessed me, but I put up my hand and offered my services!  Offered my services to a charity that was the other end of the country from me.  Offered my services to be a spokesperson and liaison to families and practitioners from all over the UK.   Offered my services to something I had no idea about.

I thrived at the challenge though, kept at it for two years before finally hanging up my chair.

Don’t regret a minute.  Just don’t want to fall prey to this word so hard next time.

..and so it begins..

Don’t you find it strange how quickly “blogs” have taken off?  There are blogs on just about anything you can think of..even blogs on blogging.  What is the attraction?  Who reads them?  Why?  Who writes them?  Why?

Enough of the questions already.  I’m inclined to think that there isn’t one single, hard fast rule to why people either read or write blogs.  For me, reading them is interesting.  It’s a line into someone’s mind that you might not necessarily have access to otherwise.  What I find fascinating is the level of intimacy some bloggers go to – they explore their deepest thoughts, desires, fears and share their findings with complete strangers, but I totally “get” that.  I’m not without close friends nor a loving family but one thing I do lack is the outlet to explore my own thoughts without prejudice, sympathy, judgement or understanding.

Life is complicated – doesn’t have to be I suppose, but it just is!  Everyone is different and behaves in a different way.  Some like to talk about anything and everything to anyone; others prefer not to share a single thought, keeping so private that people have no idea who they are interacting with.  There are braggers, bullsh***rs, drama queens, exaggerators, con artists, cynics, hypochondriacs, wannabes, doubters, snobs, sheeple, complainers, know-it-alls, pessimists, pretentious gits, the “in” crowd, the doers, optimists, time-wasters, leaders, helpful, hopeful and many, many more different types of people in our society.  That’s not even including what “class” you are in.  So, it’s not difficult to see why life is complicated – too many differing points of view, personality clashes, misunderstandings.

So where does that leave the majority of people? If you’re anything like me, you’ll be a little lost.  I am a survivor, of that I am positive.  Life has thrown some challenges at me along the way and despite falling at some hurdles, I have always been able to get myself back up and dust myself off.  Why do I do this?  Because it is expected of me!  Insanely, if you ask any of my family or friends they don’t expect me to be anything other than what I already am, but deep down, I know they expect me to be the strong one, the capable one, the survivor.  This leads me to think that it is just me that expects this of me – but why?  Why would I put myself through so many trying situations.  Hence, my feeling of being lost.  I just have absolutely no idea why I behave in this way, when I feel the exact opposite.

Take this blog for example.  I decided to write about my own thoughts because I wanted to “find” myself, to work out “who” I am.  I can hear you asking, why don’t you converse with others you trust to help you to understand?  Why indeed!  Simple answer, I don’t know.  Am I afraid of rejection, or of ridicule?  Do I shy away from sympathy or empathy?  In my head, thoughts are running riot, scrambling to stay in one place long enough for me to make sense of them, and I have no tools to help me sort them out.  So, running riot is what they do!  For now anyways.  The thing I “get” about blogs is that it makes ‘saying things’ seem easier.  Bizarre outlook I know, the potential to have many strangers reading your innermost thoughts versus discussing them in private with people you love and trust.  However, I see the appeal.   I welcome it.  You don’t know me, you have no preconceived ideas about who I am or what I am like.  I don’t know you either.  For all I know, this will never, ever be read by another single soul, but, for now, for me, it’s an appealing outlet.  It’s a place where I can be ‘me’ and talk about the thoughts in my head without feeling the need to curb my words.  Don’t take this personally, but I am not afraid of hurting your feelings if you don’t agree with something I say or believe in.  This is empowering.  This is the way forward.