Acting your shoe size

You spend your life being told “Act your age not your shoe size” and I’m here to tell you to stop it! Stop listening to that! Act your damn shoe size and enjoy the hell out of life!

I’m not far off 40 and I know I don’t look it. Some of that’s down to good genetics, looking after my body, brushing my teeth every day, everything you are told to do. I don’t drink much, I eat pretty well and this all helps. But the biggest thing is attitude. Don’t you hate it when people tell you “oh my god I’m too old to do that” especially when they’re younger than you. That for me is instantly ageing. It’s that “I’ve given up”, “I may as well put on my slippers and smoke a pipe” kind of comment, and I hate that people do that to themselves.

I often forget my age, I’m shocked when I recount how many years have gone by, but then I remember it really is just a number, the amount of turns you got to go around the sun. Some people get lots, some people get less, I intend to get as many as possible. Why can’t I reach 150? Imagine the fun you can have in 150 years?

I don’t care what my numerical age is, I care about my perceived age and it takes the pressure off. We get taught to act our age early on, that pressure from child development professionals telling parents when their child should walk, talk, smile, sit, stand, and I get that, I do, they do it to check a child has no problems, to protect the child as best they can. But, and for me this is a big one, it adds pressure. My baby isn’t sleeping, my baby isn’t smiling and all the others are, my child can’t count yet, my child isn’t able to tie their shoe laces and so on and so forth, when actually they’re just doing it in their own time, there’s nothing wrong. But it leads to panic that instills in the child at an early age they have to achieve in order to be happy.

Now achieving things is good, yes, when it’s what you want to achieve. Being pushed to achieve what you really don’t want teaches a child that they can’t be happy if they are to be successful. People mistake success and achieving with growing up, giving the perception that you have to rush to be a grown up in order to be successful. Stop it! You don’t! I’m a grown up physically, yes I do the responsible stuff where it’s a must but the rest of the time I’m there being 15 in my head, laughing at boobies and giggling when someone says something I can distort into something funny, normally dirty. It’s the laughing, the quick mind, the linear thinking, the graph database of my mind that keeps me young and it reflects on the outside.

I am never going to say “I’m too old for this” or “I’m too tired for this”. When it comes to dating I take a person on face value, I disregard their age, because I’ve met 25 year olds who think they’re 50 and 40 year olds who think they’re 20. I’m after the mind that matches mine because that’s what I deserve. I’m not 100% sure but I may well have met him, the one that’s making me forget right now seems pretty damn close, and the guy we call the one is slowly disappearing from my mind, a distant memory. I hope it stays that way, I know my mind has a tendency to flip a switch and send me hurtling down into the depths of hell if I’m not careful every now and then. There’s normally a trigger though, and that trigger is feeling trapped with no way out, like the eight of swords, blindfolded and hands tied, surrounded by swords but failing to see the path of water between them that leads the way out. So I’ve learnt that each time now I must look for the path and never give up hope even when I can’t see it, I’ll use my intuition, because the only things trapping me are the limitations of my own mind.

So beautiful followers, dare to dream big, act you shoe size, or any age you god damn please! Do what makes you happy. If it’s not working out, be honest with yourself and walk away. If it is then tell people, celebrate the happiness. A life of 150 years is too short to be miserable, a life of less years is tragic if it’s not fully lived.

I’ve got just over 112 years left to make it awesome… the possibilities are amazing if I put my mind to it and love every second…

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Same city different times

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It occurred to me today how many people we encounter on a day to day basis and yet how lonely you can feel in a crowded city surrounded by people. I take a break every morning when I’m at work and stand outside my office building that stands right opposite a bar where my last boyfriend frequents, and yet we will never bump into one another in spite of the close proximity of our two separate existences.

I not through choice but necessity awake during the day to go to work and carry out my various responsibilities before eventually hitting the hay for a few hours to repeat the next day. He is awake during the night because the business he chooses to run is predominantly carried out after office hours with people trying to make it to leave the 9-5 drag or people like him who have no real routine or perhaps even responsibilities in life other than perhaps feeding themselves and keeping a roof over their heads.

I used to feel envious of the freedoms they held but actually now I no longer am, the apparent freedom for many is a trap, they drag themselves down and each other with the notion of the struggling artist and the idea that one must have no ties to stop their creativity from happening.

Why can’t it be both? For me the romanticism of the struggling artist is just that, actually it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Why must success always be so painful? Do I really have to cut off my own ear and die poor for my art to be sold for millions hundreds of years after my death? My answer is no. Because what would be the point?

So here are my two sides of the city, the one’s who are working to achieve success and the one’s who are working to well… for what? Pain and suffering I guess. Is taking a good wage really selling out? Or is it actually accepting the value of your worth for the work that you do?

We all have to do the things we dislike sometimes in order to do the things we enjoy. Getting up for work in the morning is a daily struggle but I do it for the things that I can achieve by doing it. The joys of seeing my daughter smile, the joy of knowing the roof over my head is mine, the joy of simple things like planting flowers, reading books, seeing friends to go to a gig. All of which I would not be able to do were it not for the 35 hours a week I sacrifice. But then, is it really such a sacrifice when there are things I gain? The interactions with people I would never have met, the chance to learn something new and be part of something great.

When I told myself aged 18 I would never be able to work in an office I had a dismal view of the world of work, the idea of being free to be who I wanted to be, outside of the norm, but then I have never been a part of the norm.

So the two sides to the city, whilst I rest he works, whilst I work he rests but I gain from my day things that he could never understand. And no longer wish for the life of suffering, no longer see my choice as a sacrifice, more an enabler to do what I want, to become great in my fairy tail and rule my own kingdom. The only limits are those that I put in myself, I’m not tied, I can run if I wish, but for now I’ll stay. Running away doesn’t solve the problems you are running from. But staying and dealing and overcoming them makes your life that much richer.

The life I have I did not necessarily choose but then again perhaps I did, because I chose to succeed where others told me I couldn’t, I chose to work hard when others told me not to. At a young age I had two choices, suck it up and make your daughter proud or lie down and let others deal, I chose the former and have no regrets because everything I have I worked for, nothing was handed to me in a plate. My university fees I mostly paid myself, my house deposit provided by me, my car paid for by my own hard work. My future will be built by me. When I could not afford bread, I worked harder, when my flat was cold, I worked harder. Today I stand on my own two feet and I’m strong because of the lessons I leant, you can have whatever you want when you put your mind to it and work hard. Yes some get the help of inheritance or parental support to give them a start, that is great as long as they use that help to make themselves a success and show that a wise investment was made. This is why I have no guilty feelings when I invest in myself. You cannot be strong for others if you haven’t. My life was not created for me to suffer for some art that may never be discovered, and nor was anyone else’s. Find something each day that makes you love what you do. And never wish for the life of another without fully understanding the implications of that. There is no honour in martyrdom, but there is honour in gratitude for what you have and the talents you have gained in getting there. Enjoy your life and everything it brings, the challenges are just that, don’t give up on your dreams or limit yourself to the views of others, it’s your story to write make it a good one.

 

 

Wedding Photos

IMG_0462Often I scroll through social media feeds and get that bitter sweet feeling when a wedding photo of a friend or a friend of a friend that someone I know has been tagged into. Why so bitter sweet? Because marriage itself confuses me. I’ve never been married and never really believed I ever would be or wanted to be.

I remember my drama teacher when I was 16 telling us about the history of the wedding ring being the guild around a woman’s neck when she became the possession of the man. I’m not sure whether that is true but it’s stuck with me forever. As a woman who believes in equality that was something I did not want, to be a possession and yet so far most of the time that’s what I’ve been but only by allowing myself to become one.

My perception has been what’s been holding me back and not the reality of the situation. They often say a man is happiest when he’s married in a relationship and I have often found that a man who is serious about you does move to the marriage chat pretty quickly if he sees himself being with you.

My own previous engagement was in my mind something that was a label but not a serious intention to ever get married. Saying yes to my daughter’s dad felt like something we should do and I really don’t think either of us had any motivation to actually go through with a wedding. Changing my name to his was out of the question for me, but for him I think it would have been a must. I sometimes that his motivation for his proposal was status, ownership, and doing what you should do and not really love for me, yes one time it was there but in the end that had died. If I was to surrender my name and become a wife it would have had to have been because of love and nothing else and that just wasn’t there, this was purely habit.

When I see a friend beaming with happiness I hope more than anything else in the world that it’s love and not habit. I know with those I see today that it is. Those Disney princess photos I hope stay with my friends forever and that the beginning of or legal confirmation of the rock that is their relationship is something they will treasure forever.

I have friends who have dreamed of their wedding dress since they were tiny, they know how they will look and feel in that perfect dress. I have no idea, I change my mind daily, sometimes it’s a full blown ball gown, others a demure 1950’s style dress, then other times full on wolf princess because the idea of snow, nature and forests appeals to me.

I often want what I tell myself I can’t have, and when I start to get it I get scared of losing it so my walls come up in preparation for the hurt. The one we call ‘the one’ joked he would only ever have been able to have afforded a Haribo ring, was he thinking about it or telling me he just wasn’t suitable? I think it was both.

Perhaps every girl wants that princess moment, it may be Snow White, Belle or Pocahontas but we all secretly want to be the princess for a day. It’s the bit that comes after that sometimes we’re not sure about.

The idea of saying vows in front of people I know scares me a lot, the idea of being judged for loving someone because love was something to make fun of when I was growing up. Something that wouldn’t be for me. I know that my parent’s were probably trying to protect me from doing it all too young by discouraging the idea of love, and my mother would often tell me career first. I rushed in and did relationships anyway, but probably out of rebellion.

Now I sit and wait for my Disney moment, it certainly isn’t all I want out of life but actually is one of the things I’d like to have. ‘The one’ said that fairy tales always end in tragedy, but tragedy is okay if there was happiness before and after.

Perhaps if I change my perception on marriage and realise that you’re making a promise, just like casting a spell you’re putting your dream out there for all to hear so that it will come true. If you don’t tell the universe exactly what you want, how do you expect it to grant your wishes. And if you act in a way that opposes what you really want then the universe will give you more of that because that’s what you’re actions ask for.

So dream your dreams, be that princess every day in your head. Look at your wedding photos and remeber that that princess is you, you may be in PJs or your gym kit but inside you are that princess. The bitter feeling of what I tell myself I can’t have is fading when I see the happiness of my friends and the hope that one day I’ll have that too if I only believe a little more.

 

Anti depressant free

I took the step I’ve been wanting to take but was way too scared to do for the last few months. Yesterday I stopped taking my Sertraline. I’m on day two and feeling strong and able to do this. I had planned to phase off but I’ve just stopped and feel good. I think they had become a habit when actually I’m better now, my mind is healed and my future is there right in front of me. I needed them when I had them, they gave the the ability to keep strong when the seas of my life got incredibly rough.

At the beginning of the year there was no way I could have done this. I’d actually self harmed because the feelings of no control over my life were overwhelming. I’ve been reading the book “The Secret” and really do believe that if I keep my mind focused and continue to strive for what I want, visualise myself getting it and being very grateful for it I’ll do it. So I’ve started to write down what I actually want out of my life. This may change but right now I know what I don’t want and that’s the past. By wallowing in the past and thinking I’m trapped I push myself back into it and that’s been my downfall for so many many years.

I had always felt guilty about the things I just couldn’t change when actually none of these things were my fault. My approach to breakups has changed. I’m not 100% over the one but I will be. And he’s not the one that got away, he’s just another one that wasn’t right for me and would have held me back because of his own fears of life.

I am no longer going to sit in my house and wonder what I could have been, I’m going to strive to be the person I want to be. Each step will be a small step towards my real happiness and no one will be able to take that away when I’m doing it for me because I’m not relying on anyone else to make it for me.

All good things end, and that’s okay. Books, films, relationships, childhoods, life, they all end and it’s that fear of that change and the events after the change that often hold us back.

Today I’ve reached some ends of my own. My reliance on antidepressants to boost my mood, I boosted my own today. My reliance on an unsuitable guy to make me feel loved, I’m loved anyway and the right person will find me if I just allow myself to be found. My need to starve myself to be thin, I’m going to eat properly and feed my body. The need for people I work with to tell me I’m good at what I do, my results will be the reassurance I need.

Today I’m visualising a girl who can fight her own battles, who’s a pillar of strength for those around her that need it. My inner Daenarys just got born and my dragons await. But life won’t be a battle, life will be a dream, my dream.

Here is what I see… the beautiful dreamer that the one was sat in his flat afraid to make his dreams come true so will be forever alone unless he changes. His inability to step up and make stuff happen dragged me down and stopped me believing in the dreams we had shared. My dreams stay the same in many ways but without a reliance on him to be in them. I’m happy on my own, being myself with no one to hold me back anymore. I will travel and see all the things I’ve wanted to see and I’m not afraid to do that alone. I will at some point make that change to work for myself when the time is right and the plans are in place. I will do everything I told myself I couldn’t and the right man when he appears will be there to cheer me on. In the mean time I’m filling my life with the things that I want, gym sessions, walks with my dogs, reading good books, making new friends, sharing with old friends and my life is only getting better.

 

 

Game of Thronsing the shit out of it…

Work situation today… okay my esteemed colleague, a male is struggling with my errr… let’s call it energy. We are poles apart in personality, I am confident (often faking that bit still), vibrant and generally follow a “let’s get this shit fixed” approach, he like rules, meetings, discussions and for god’s sake do not change anything!!!

We actually get on we’ll as people, he’s pretty sweet, very prim and proper, well mannered in general, I swear like a sailor and take no prisoners. But we sing database lyrics to Disney tunes and he seems enthused by my madness. So we get on.

Today however after a confrontation from him about a decision I’d made to publish data documentation to our developers on an intranet site, I snapped. I’m on week 7 in a new company and so far have learnt, after his 4 year tenure, my counterpart has not really implemented all that much. His documents are ignored, people just do what they want. I’m on week 7, me and the developers get on (boobs might be helping my case here) and they actually like that I listen to them and guess what…. we all dream the same dreams… we all want to make our lives easy so we spend less time working out how we fucked it up last time when we’re fixing it this time.

The trouble with this guy is that when he sees me doing something that’s in my remit, he panics, he doesn’t know what it is and feels like I’m doing something that makes him look bad. And then the machine gun like questioning begins. The why, the constant need for me to justify an idea, he needs to discuss and agree everything I do, disputes the fact this is my area of speciality and he has his own. When I justify my actions his response “oh that’s okay we’re aligned” or “oh we’re on the same page” etc. This guy likes to waste hours in a meeting arguing about things we can’t see when a picture will tell you a thousand words and save you some hours of frustration.

Today I snapped. My reply after the 20th question and the reassurance (to himself) that we’re aligned, “Yes I know we’re aligned, seriously stop saying that after everything I do, this is an enhancement of what we have already!” And yes I sounded exasperated. Much to the entertainment of the surrounding developers. My Hadoop project, it’s mine and it’s exiting, he just can’t keep his damned nose out. So I cut him out of my discussions because quite frankly he just confuses everyone and wastes time. My response… you’ve got a million other things to do, I got this shit handled, don’t worry and just trust me.

I call this “only child syndrome”, little sister just emerged and she needs her own domain… she’s your equal and you’re gonna have to share your toys. You can either fight for daddy’s attention and I’ll always win because I’m damned cute… or play my game and we’ll share the toys and daddy will give us both the attention we need… guess it’s his choice… but he’s learning… little sister isn’t gonna be second best, the competition will be healthy, but piss her off and she’ll Game of Thrones the shit out of it! See I’m emerging as a combination of Sansa Stark with my red hair and “I’ve had enough of this shit” attitude, Daenerys with my “mother of dragons I’ll free your slaves and they’ll join my army” management style and my Aria Stark style “you’ll regret this when I’m feeding you a pie made with your first born sons” before killing you. There’s always gonna be a bit of Red Witch and some Cersi thrown in for fun! Perhaps next time I’ll just refer to him as “Little Finger” or continue with my retorts of  “You know nothing John Snow”. Either that or exclaim winter is coming and send him off to defend the wall….

 

Positive power

As a girl who always cuts herself down today I’ve started to try and be positive. I always believed second best was all I was really good for, I didn’t want to be second best it was just my way of protecting myself from the disappointment of being let down. Perhaps the crashing disappointment in myself for yet again not being good enough. Today I’m faking it to get to making it.

I overthink, that’s why I’m here, but writing this down stops me bursting after dwelling for such a long time. Sometimes the spoken word is too hard to speak, but the written word can be considered, formed, edited until the real self is realeased. Words spoken in angst never really relay the true feelings behind it but the writing can make the meaning that you didn’t quite know yourself come out.

Today I’m trying being thankful for whatever has come to pass and whatever is coming my way. My faith has never been in gods to carry me through, I carry myself through the path that the universe opens up for me little by little. Sometimes I don’t know where that path goes so I think of where I want it to go and it opens up that way.

In the past feeling second best made my path open up to reveal second best was my lot. Scared of getting hurt, abandoned you push away the good because losing it would hurt so you never get the good to heal the hurt and battered and bruised your heart carries on guarded, like the marathon runner with the sprained ankle trying to finish but no personal best.

Today will start my days of personal bests. The best I can be, my competition is me, my Yesterday self to push her forward to my better self. When I forget what the others do, I stop caring about comparing myself. Our downfall is always in comparing ourselves and betraying ourselves for not being as good, but we forget our background, our journey is different from theirs. Nobody tells you about the pain in getting there, they just tell you when they got there. That was the part none of the guys I’ve dated so far could understand. When other people hit a life event for some reason guys get insecure and either try to force that life even on you or run away because they don’t believe in their ability to get there.

My life is not about jumping through hoops anymore, it’s about following my heart, if the hoops are in my path I’ll jump for them but if not I can walk away. like when you play a computer game and have to collect the coins or gold hoops, I’m not Sonic the Hedgehog anymore. Because we need to stay focused on the end point the path, what we want to get to, collect the hoops on the way, ignore the ones that lead you down a well. It will be okay, it is okay have faith in yourself because you can do whatever you want when you decide it’s right for you.