It’s difficult to keep throwing out blog posts but especially when you are your own worst critic. I’m critical of myself and my own work to the point of just being downright harsh. Right now however I’m putting those feelings aside in an attempt to reconnect with you all.
What’s been happening for me? I gained two new qualifications and completed two creative writing courses so I’m leaving 2014 feeling accomplished and proud of myself. I set goals for myself and was lucky enough to fulfill my own wishes. The resolution to do this came during the Summer so I also learned that not every great resolution starts on January 1st.
I was foolish enough to think that items were going to make me happy. Then I figured that people might make me happy. Now I get it. I really genuinely get it. I was already happy just the way I was/am without being surrounded by people who drag me down or make me feel bad about myself. I enjoy owning certain items but that enjoyment could never compare to the happiness I feel in the company of my wife. I once wished that I’d be surrounded by a dozen people I could call my friends but when I actually had this I was more miserable than ever. Moral of this story: I don’t need to follow a recipe to make me happy and I certainly won’t find this happiness in others. Luckily, I found it in myself. If you find yourself thinking that having loads of people in your life will make you happy then think again because it may not be as simple as that. I’m looking forward to the future but I’ve started planning it rather than hoping for good things to happen. I’m loving taking control over my journey.
Things are starting to look up so much. Where I’m heading in life, metaphorically speaking, seems to be a brighter and better place.
Let the bough break, let it come down crashing
Let the sun fade out to a dark sky
I can’t say I’d even notice it was absent
‘Cause I could live by the light in your eyes
I’ll unfold before you
Would have strung together
The very first words of a lifelong love letter
Sara Bareilles – I Choose You Lyrics
One of the biggest lessons I learnt was also one of the hardest. In a moment everything can change and we cannot predict when that moment will arrive. When I was thirteen years old two of my friends were taken away from us in a car crash that almost killed two other kids also. They were the same age as me when they lost their lives while simply travelling home from school. The most difficult thing was that I was forced to learn first hand that even the young aren’t guaranteed to live as long as we hope. Even the young can suffer so much and can leave so quickly before their lives have even really began. It’s terrifying to be ripped from the comfort of your own safe bubble and be cast into the harsh reality of the damage this world can inflict.
When I was twelve I almost went head first through the windscreen of a car following a collision. What saved me was the sun visor. It was pulled down because of the bright sun that was beating down that day so instead of the much worse alternative I hit my head off of that and was slammed back into my seat. I didn’t realise the full extent of how lucky I was at the time. That shock only hit me much later.
The hospitalisation of someone I was once close to really shook me up too. Drugs put him in intensive care fighting for his life. Once he came back from the brink of death he had another battle on his hands as he struggled to regain full functionality of all of his organs.
This brought back memories of a half – brother of mine that I never got to know because of a series of unfortunate events. Drugs took him away from us when he was only twenty two years old.
What happened to these people served to emphasise the fragility of life. It reinforced the idea in my mind that our lives are to be cherished and that the people in them are so very precious. My aunt was recently in intensive care and the doctor in charge of her said that “She had come back from the claws of the devil”. She recovered from her illness, luckily, and is back home now. My family and I are all awaiting tests now which will reveal whether we have inherited a brain aneurysm or any other brain issues which are becoming a very common occurrence within our clan. Life is all too fragile and nobody is invincible or immune to the hardships it brings so I encourage you all to live it. If you need to say something then say it. Love deeply because that could be your greatest legacy. Allow yourself to breathe in hope and exhale experience.
Sending you all kind thoughts and good vibes.
I was inspired to write this post because schools and colleges are back in action this month and some people may be feeling the way that I was.
I’ve been pretty hard on myself recently. I found myself feeling like I was under pressure to change myself and my life or to achieve something more. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough or as much fun as other people. I even felt like people were looking down upon me because I don’t have as much money as them. I blamed other people in my mind for instilling these feelings within me but I was wrong. The only person to blame is myself and the high expectations I actually have for myself.
Every time I heard someone say “X is starting this course soon” or “Bla bla’s daughter has gotten a promotion” it felt like a personal attack. I viewed these flippant comments as digs towards me. In my head they translated into “They are doing better than you!”. I was being ridiculously harsh with just a hint of paranoid thrown in just to make myself feel a bit worse.
People are proud of me because of who I am and what I do not because I’m like other people. Nobody wants me to be like anyone else because that’s the whole point of being you – you’re obviously unique. I volunteer my time often, I do not judge people, I have two qualifications already and I’m working on getting more, I write regularly for Gaelick (check them out, it’s an Irish lesbian website), I have a successful marriage and I’m good to my family. I’m a good person and that counts for a lot more in my opinion than a degree or an expensive car. What fun is a car if no one is in it with you anyway? That glamorous house will be very empty without life to fill it.
The mistake I made was comparing myself to others and what they’re doing or what they have. That’s them and their choices, not mine. Even if I got the same job as them or the same qualifications it doesn’t mean I would be as happy as them because it’s not what I want to do. I’m sticking to setting my own goals in life. My reflection is way too hard on me but I told that wench to back off. I’m being the best me I can be and that should be good enough.
Do you dare to talk about death? Yes, I know, it’s a horrible topic and no one particularly enjoys talking about it but I think the real problem is that we are so afraid of it. Afraid of facing what happens after our loved ones die or what we may be facing if we were to ever fall ill. I hate the harsh reality of The End. It’s final, it’s terrifying and it’s awaiting all of us…
I pictured my funeral a lot when I was younger. I was going through a rough patch at the time and I was so scared that no one would attend. That was before I realised that dozens of people may attend but what really matters is how many of those people still remember me days, weeks, months and even years later. I want people to remember me for a good reason and I want to be the best person I can be until I am no more. I just finished rereading The Fault in Our Stars which reminded me of the fragility of life. We make plans for all of the biggest occasions in our lives except the most life changing one, well, life ending one.
I have made plans for my funeral simply because I do not want my loved ones to be in a position where they are left feeling lost and confused, worried that they may be making the wrong decisions. It is sensible, in my opinion, not morbid. I have made my plans known to the most important people in my life. I trust them to do the right thing with that information. Enjoying life is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves but taking a moment to think about what comes next might be a good idea too. I don’t spend too much time dwelling on it but it is definitely worth thinking about.