“I’m so tired” I said to my husband the other night. To which he responded, “It won’t always be this way”. Under my breath I said “no, it’ll probably be worse.”
And that is where I am at. Tired. Heart sorry and just worn out. My body feels exhausted and drained of anything resembling functioning human. My head feels like it’s drowning in a sea of thought, with each question comes another question, and very little in the way of solution. I’m in much need of a good nights sleep, but I harbour this feeling that it will not rejuvenate me at all. Desperately, needing to switch off and just stay still in a safe space for a minute to clear these thoughts. To organise them into past, present and future. To file away the aspects I cannot change no matter how much I replay or over think scenarios, to look at the points that are still there to be manipulated and touched by me and my hand, and say “hey this is my life, I get to decide”.
And that is also where I am at.
Teetering on the it’s all okay/ it will all be okay/ you got this/sassy Laura persona who will rise to the challenge and get there in the end..no matter what stands in her way. The kind of Laura that you want in your life, because she will make sure you know you are loved and will do anything to bring happiness and support your way. The kind of Laura who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and just get on with whatever life decides to throw her way.
And then there is the small and timid Laura who just wants to shy away, go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. The girl who still believes in beauty and hope, so much hope. And by God, she is no better than any other person, but she deserves a chance, right? For once, doesn’t she just count for something, some peace, something good? And that quiet and conscientious Laura just wants to sit and take it in and cry, and let her broken heart be seen.
Yet she can’t because there is another little girl who needs her to be strong and resilient, and smiling. So that no matter what comes our way, that little blessing of a child knows that her mummy was a happy mummy, that every day we laughed and made the memories count. I don’t want to be the source of pain for the ones I love and care for, and yet it resides deep in me, that that is likely to be the case. And that kills. It just kills…but what can I do? All I can do is get up in the morning and try. And the day after that? Try a little harder.
I brain blurb. That is my style of ‘blogging’. I tend to sit down at the laptop, normally as my child naps, and I just write the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart. I often wonder if I would become a better writer if I applied structure to my writing, or if I tried to get a little bit more intellectual on what I say. Recently, I described to a friend, that the writing I share tends to be the conversations I would love to have, but will probably never happen. The words that sit sharply on my tongue ready to be released with gusto…yet never will.. and so I was thinking of writing a few “Honest Conversations” or confessionals if you will…
Honest Conversation 1 – Sorry.
This is probably one of the most commonly used words in my vocabulary. “Sorry” If you know me, you will know this to be true. I am not one to use it flippantly, and I don’t use it if I don’t mean it. If I say it in jest, you will know that it is just that. I am an apologist to the core.
You hurt me – I will apologise. You walk into me – I will apologise. You skip the queue – I will apologise. You throw me down stairs – I will apologise. You physically hurt, or emotionally torment me – I will apologise. Do me wrong – I will apologise. I think you get the picture… I apologise for other peoples actions, and easily.
Likewise, if I do you wrong, if I cause grief or hurt – I will apologise. If I let you down – I will apologise. If I come across stupid or ask silly or potentially dumb questions, – I will apologise. If I offload worries or truths -I will apologise for the awkwardness I create or the potential drama I add to your life.
And yet through all of this apologising, I always forget to apologise to one person. Potentially, the one who needs to hear it most. I forget to say sorry to me. Plain ol’ me.
So I am taking the next paragraph and doing just that…
I am sorry for the nonsense I put myself through. I am sorry for not standing up for myself. I am sorry for letting unimaginable things happen. I am sorry that I made the choices that I did. I am sorry for letting certain people into my life, and being ridiculously bad at sussing out their characters. And I, am conflictingly saying, sorry to taking all of that and placing it under the great big damaging umbrella that is blame. I am sorry that I have taken advantage of myself. I am sorry that I punish/ed my physical self through various means. I’m sorry that I decided to bring more scars to myself because the turmoil on the inside felt like it needed validation on the outside. I am sorry that I royally fucked up. And I’m sorry that even after all these years I still tell myself that it’s on me. I’m sorry for silencing myself. I’m sorry that I blew out the candle and kept myself in the darkness and silence. I’m sorry for taking something that was vibrant and beautiful and full of potential and putting it in a box and throwing away the key.
(note: If you are sitting reading this line: I’m sorry that you sat through that and read it all. And I’m sorry for the lack of punctuation and bad grammar.)
I’m not a religious person. Growing up, I was a firm atheist. I did not believe. Nor did I feel the need to. I fully understood the reasoning as to why people did and I respected them for their reasons. Afterall, my grandparents were religious. One grandfather was a church organist. My other grandparents were devout church goers, heavily involved in anything church related. My childhood was never particularlly religious. I sat on the cusp of it all, involved in the occassional religious events at school, and aware of it via the older genertations, particularly my grandmother. (Take the image of a regular grandmother and add in talk of the devil coming to get you, and that at a young age you were going to go to hell, and you will have almost captured this grandmother perfectly).
When I was bout 6 years old, the local minister held a service at the school, and I won’t go into detail with what was said, but upon telling our parents on what had been preached as gospel, my parents pulled us out of anything religious throughout our schooling. At a similar time, we fell out of favour with my grandparents. And so religion ceased to exist within the four walls of our house. We were raised to be welcoming to people of all faith, and understanding of all beliefs, including our own. And so here I am writing this blog.
I call myself an atheist, and yet there is a part of me that has ‘struggled’ with God and religion. Now I fully believe Jesus was a real man. A healer of his time, and a pillar of good intentions. However, I stumble when I begin to think beyond that. That God created this world and all it entails. All the miracle stories. Now, I know there can be explanations attributed to these moments, and time and history has a way of changing verse as it gets retold.
So I find it highly laughable, that in some of my darkest moments, I’ve ‘prayed’. I have consciously sought out a higher being. To not necessarily rescue me (knights on a white horse do not exist, so surely an all powerful entity isn’t going to come to the aid of some Scottish girl) but maybe just as reassurance that in this great big space, in the emptiness, that I counted for something and that I was and am not alone. I think it’s only natural, as humans, particularly in times of need, when men around you fail you, that you seek out something to see you. To simultaneously ground you and lift you up.
And yet when devine interventions don’t occur, even for skeptical me, there is a sense of rejection, of being unworthy. And so with a lot of thought, this is what I’ve come up with that fits me – in the here and now.
I don’t understand those who say it’s “all part of God’s plans”. I don’t buy into this “everything has a reason” mumbo jumbo, because if everything has a reason, then I don’t want to have air filling up my lungs. And let that be a reason. I’m tired of the people who hide behind the ideology of “God doesn’t give you anything you cannot handle” and use it as an excuse to forgive bad behaviour. I wince at the believers who turn the innocent into the ones seeking forgiveness and redemption.
Maybe things have happened, or haven’t because of my lack of belief. Maybe all it takes is a little faith and a bit of effort. Maybe what my grandmother said to me all these years ago were true. Maybe.
God is not in my corner, or maybe he has put me on the back burner. Forgotten about me. And maybe that is okay. Maybe, that is actually for the best. For if not in my corner, then surely it is up to me to put in the fight. I can’t expect a saving grace when I’m not putting in the required work for myself. So maybe I just keep God on the back burner too.
I’ve been debating for a little while over what to call this blog. Do I go for something simple, and quite frankly, brutally honest? Or do I go for something up lifting and positive? That is currently where I am in my head. I am striving for optimism and positivity. Bestowing kindness upon my self. And yet that lovely little voice of my inner critic, is happily whispering self doubts. And so here is this blog.
I don’t like mirrors. I don’t like what I see. To me, my reflection brings emphasis to my feeling of being broken. Or incomplete. That I have been robbed of something that once was there. I fear that the spark is fading and that all the hurt and anger are turning me into some sad and bitter, cynical girl. I don’t like mirrors because now on top of my past behind my eyes, I now see my body (who doesn’t like me, health wise) and how I’m flawed. At least I used to be able to put up a good show of being a happy, go lucky, cheery me. Now do people see through the cracks, or is that just me?
Enough with the brutally honest part, and onto the uplifting chapter.
I’m doing a happy thoughts jar for the year, and the aim of the game is for each day of the year I write a happy thought (duh) or something I’m grateful for, or something positive. The idea being that I can call upon these kind words whenever I am in need of them. Sometimes you need to be your own hand to pull yourself out of the dirt.
And so day 2 of 2018 is this “I am stronger than I give myself credit for.” Part of me doesn’t want to give way to this positive belief, but it is true. I am stronger. I. Am. Somewhere along the time line, hidden in amongst the secrets and the shame, I have not allowed myself the breathing space, the messy grace, that is strength in the hardest and murkiest of times. I forget that I can move from victim to survivor, to thriver. I can overcome rape. I can say goodbye various assholes in my life. I can take on being unwell to the point of having to retrain myself to walk again. Twice. I can move on from the hurt I have caused myself. And I can tell all the doubters, that they can doubt all they want. The naysayers can miss out on the good that I say, I do, and that I will do. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. And whilst at times, I may doubt it, rather, I will doubt it. Doesn’t change the fact that I am here, strong and still standing tall.
Do not under estimate yourself and the words you say. Y’know the ones that come second nature to you, yet when they fall through the air and land in someones head and heart, can be all the difference. Sometimes the simplest of words. Ones that roll off the tongue without great intent or purpose.
Do not sell yourself short on the smiles you make, and the hugs you give. Y’know the ones that just happen. Spontaneously, because you get caught up in the moment, the ones with intent because you know that person in your life needs it. Or maybe you do too.
I am a wall flower by nature. Ironic given how bubbly a girl I used to be. Funny how things change, and how I like to preserve myself by blending in and disappearing. And then in 2017 something happened, in that some people in my life saw me. Saw the real me. And they didn’t back away. Instead they stepped forward and reached out with their hands and hearts and have been trying to direct me into being seen by all. I hid away for many reasons, the bright, bubbly girl had gotten me into so much bother in the past. And so to save myself from the outside world. I built up a wall, and yet some people in my life are adament at tearing it down.
It’s in the words of my husband as he messages whilst at work just to say that he loves me. It’s in the touch of his hand in mine as we face whatever comes our way. It’s how even on nights when we go to bed angry or hurting at each other, somehow we always wake in an embrace.
It’s in the mumma my daughter yells. It’s in the cuddles and kisses she gives me, as she tries to suffocate me by snuggling in so tight. It’s in the cheeky grin she gives as I chase her around the living room.
It’s in the moments when my parents call me on the phone because they want my advice. It’s in the afternoons that they drop on in for a coffee because they just want to tell me about their day.
It’s in the days where I just can sit and laugh with my sisters and recall all the good times we have together. It’s in the laughing until we all are out of breath and our cheeks hurt. It’s the holding each other tight when the world falls apart. It’s being brave and standing on your own to protect them.
It’s in the “morning” that a friend sends just because they care and see you. It’s in the inside jokes between friends. It’s when a friend calls your bluff and tells you to step up. Or to stop. It’s when a friend knows some of your deepest and darkest secrets and does not condemn but offers support and love.
The kindest of hearts and souls can make the difference in the harshest of winters. Don’t doubt your worth in someone elses life.
I was going to write down my thoughts on 2017 but to be perfectly honest, the year does not have much in the way of good or happy news to report on. It has been a long, dark and twisty year, with more hidden potholes than an unmaintained road in the UK. I have been tempted to fall off the beaten track many times. And even as I type this brain blurb on the 29th of December, I still feel like what is the point. What is the point in it all? The truth: I don’t know. I’m not even sure if there is one, let alone what it is.
so here it is. No one said life is going to be fair…no one said that it was going to be easy. In a nutshell, life is pretty terrible on a frequent basis. Yet all we can do is take the pieces we are given and try to find a way of making them work. So what do we do…we try to take the life lessons from the past and put them into use in the future.
Yesterday I wrote my 4 goals of 2018 and i thought i may go into them a little further here…
- HELP. I don’t do help for myself. I, have been burned too often in the past by people I trusted in times where help was all I needed. So I don’t ask for help. For anything. Something too heavy to carry – I’ll pull a muscle or throw my back out before asking for help. Something too complex for me to understand – I will study and research until I know how to do it/understand it. The truth is though, everyone needs help at some point. Even when it is as simple as someone listening, or giving you a hug, or someone allowing you to wallow in your hurt but call you out and tell you what you need. So 2018 is going to be a year for me to ask for help, to recieve it, to accept it and to then be in a position to share more help.
- HOPE. Despite being full of fear and negativity for the unknowns that are on their way, somewhere deep inside resides a pocket of hope. A moment that things will fix themselves. That all will be ok. That all the hopes, wishes and dreams, however small to however big, can happen. May it be finding 5minutes a day to myself, to starting my own business. It’s time to make these hopes a reality.
- HOME. This one is the simplest one of them all. It’s time to finish making my house a home. To make my mark. I’ve laid my roots down and now it’s time to flourish. Whatever that may be.
- HEALTH. 2017 was an awful year for health. Yet here I am, still trucking along. Time to get on top of it, and embrace it and realise that I havent changed. This is just yet another hurdle to overcome. And the thing about me – i’m a fighter. I was born blue and struggling to catch my first breath. But im here. I am here. And until that light in me decides to fade to darkness, I will keep on trucking along.
Links to blogs I’ve written and had published elsewhere