Tag Archives: Pensive

Step By Step

The week before last I had a birthday. I am at that age now where if someone said the number I would think, without knowing anything else about their life, that they were a grown up. It’s a very grown up number. Then last week I went to the concert of the band whose album I remember receiving on my 10th birthday; on tape. I am not trying to recapture a lost youth, because going to concerts for boy bands wasn’t part of my youth. I am trying to enjoy my life though.

At the concert whilst I was watching these heartthrobs up there dancing and singing the songs I still knew the words to I was reminded that it has been 25yrs. I am pretty certain that the people on stage did not think that this far down the line they would still be singing the exact same songs, or even still performing. And in that moment I became very aware of something.

These guys were in front of an adoring audience of thousands, who were still going crazy when they went into the crowd and were in touching distance. All those years ago they probably thought by this time they would be too old for this, sure they would still have fans, but they would never be able to pack out a venue that has a capacity of over 20,000. Yet here they were.

My life is not what I thought it would be. Every single day I have now is one I did not expect, and even if I had, I still would not have a plan. I have some idea of where I hope to be in 25yrs time, but as I hear the songs of my youth and sing along to them, I know that even if we do not end up where we perhaps expected we would, that does not have to be a bad thing.

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“The time has come…”

In my mind, this poem has a line that goes, “The time has come to talk of grown up things.” It actually reads, “To talk of many things: Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – Of cabbages – and kings.” That sounds a lot more interesting than the things I’ve been talking about lately.

On the eve of another turning of age I feel more grown up than I ever have. That’s not to say I necessarily feel older, although I have counted more grey hairs lately than I would have liked. Sharing the elevator with one of the more senior ladies that live on my estate who shares the same birthday with me, I was reminded that I will never be as young as I am right now, again. As much as I may bemoan the fact that I am truly a 30-something, she is a 70-something. No contest really, but I feel very much a grown up now.

I have tried to deny it for some time, and I think I do a pretty good impression. I wear t-shirts with Sesame Street characters on – there will be one worn tomorrow. The concept of saving was a thing I sort of did and would do once I got the important fun stuff out of the way, like spending weeks in the jungle looking for apes. I have a grown up job but know that eventually I will get onto the real business of writing. The impression isn’t as good as it used to be.

I am waiting to complete on a mortgage – my grown up investment. I am making plans to settle down – I was told by my friend that she wanted us all settled by 2013, she may get her wish. I am postponing trips, saying that I’ll make them in 20…10…okay 5yrs if I cannot hold out that long, and having to actually save for a vacation – my grown up budgeting. When did that happen? It is not where I thought my life would be, even at the start of this year. Life proves to me once again that I should not count on making too many plans. I certainly didn’t plan on being this grown up.

To be honest, for the longest time I have believed my 32nd year would be my last. It isn’t a morbid death wish; I have just never been able to see me past that age. I am completely uncertain about what the year ahead has in store for me. All I have is that one constant – things will change. For the first time in so many years I feel myself having a touch of the mean reds. That feels very grown up.

I will meet this next year, and whatever it brings, the only way I know how, head on, knowing that I do not face it alone. I told a friend that I realised that I need the people I have chosen around me. He beamed at my realisation; finally I am starting to get it. I wish I could say it was my resistance to accepting that he is right, but I think it is more that these are lessons we have to come to in our time. I am still learning.

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The Puppy

I thought that perhaps if you love something then you shouldn’t need to walk away from it, until a friend told me about the puppy. Imagine you love it so much that you squeeze and squeeze this little pup. Eventually you smother it and what do you have? A dead pup and one heck of a guilt trip. Okay, so she didn’t go that far but that’s where my mind went. Instead she said you have to give the puppy a chance to breathe and give your arms a rest. Sometimes it’s okay to let go for a while.

For some time now I’ve been thinking that there aren’t enough hours in the day. With everything I want to do the only place I can see myself making any cuts is in my sleeping hours, and I don’t get that many of those. On my lazy days I am sat reading some book or another to help me improve on all the other things I have going on. I no longer enjoy the bus ride home because I walk in order to get some exercise on the days I’m not training and because I might come across an image for my Project 365. In the morning, when I’m not falling asleep, my journey is spent writing e-mails arranging more things to fill my time. I have to keep every tab open until I’ve done what I needed to do because my mind is so easily distracted by another task I have to do. It feels like my mind doesn’t have an off switch. My life is so very full. But I am falling out of love with certain aspects of my life.

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Filed under Fanaticisms, Passions, Writing

Homework Assignment

1. Get a blank piece of paper.
2. Draw a ‘T’ that goes from the top to the bottom, left to right.
3. In the middle of the left column write the word ‘Yes’.
4. In the middle of the right column write the word ‘No’.
5. In the ‘Yes’ colum list everything that makes you happy.
6. In the ‘No’ column list everything that makes you unhappy.
This may take you a week, a month, a lifetime to complete. There is no maybe. Either things make you happy or they don’t. You will feel it in your gut when you are done with your list.
7. This is the important part. You must now start removing the items in your ‘No’ column and start acting on the items in your ‘Yes’ column.
There will be things on your list that you will not be able to remove completely or act on, for example – nuclear arms, global warming, seeing your favourite actor win an Oscar. The point is to cross off and act on as many as possible. Your list is a work in progress, as are you.

This task was assigned following a lecture that started on 94th and ended somewhere around 59th and encompassed a few loops in the park my teacher deemed it necessary for me to take the lesson home and work on it. Knowing me, knowing them, I should have seen it coming. They know me too well to trust me to do this without the task being set. Sometimes you need to see things in black and white.

The reason for my lecture? It is time I started to do things for myself. Find my happiness. Admittedly, the way I am with people is my best-worst quality, for those few I regard as true friends it borders on ridiculous. I know this about myself. It is not the first time I have had this said to me. At different points though those words are easier to hear, it also helps if it feels the person telling me I need to do more for myself isn’t bashing me over the head with my actions.

My problem, a lifetime of doing what you need to be done. I say that as a matter of pure fact, nothing else. I do so without thinking now, and to me my homework assignment appears contrary to who I am. However, my fear is disassembled. The logic is simple. Two people whose opinion I value highly using the same example. When on a plane you are instructed to place your own mask around your head before helping those around you. If you cannot breathe, how can you possibly hope to help anyone else? This is why they are necessary in my life.

There is excitement amongst them as they imagine what will fill my list. Fireworks. It is harder for me than I thought it would be to list items, in either column. What makes me genuinely happy? I know for certain something that doesn’t. Now at least. Top of the list in the ‘No’ column and already crossed out. Too many items in the ‘Yes’ are undeserved if I allow that one to remain in my life, that’s a sacrifice I am not willing to make. Ahead of the curve, I need it there to remind me that it is a ‘No’.

Its simplicity makes so much sense I worry about making it more complicated than it needs be. Simple question: Does it make me happy? If it is ‘Yes’ then I keep it, if it is ‘No’ then I let it go.

My happiness is on this path. I am set to meet it.

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30 and 1/3

A third of the way through my 30th year and I am starting to feel the changes in me that may form the basis of who I am come my next evolution. With that, I see changes in the people I thought would almost certianly be a part of my life. There is irony in the fact that the very changes they have told me I need to make appear to be what they take issue with.

They seem unable to understand that when they tell me I need to stop being everything to everyone, that also includes them. When they tell me I need to do more for myself it means I will be able to do less for them too. When they say I need to start living my life more for me I can’t live for them. When they want to know what is happening in my life, that can’t just be the good and the exciting parts. Sometimes being able to have an ordinary day can be extraordinary. I exist in the breaths between the moments too.

Telling me they want me to be more, but angry that I am no longer who I am. I have no chance of winning this game and I am unwilling to play it anymore. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Those words branded where they cannot be forgotten. Once upon a time it meant that I would forgive anything, life was too short. More and more it means that I will not make apologies for other’s behaviour. I am tired of being the only one who will admit they’re wrong. I am done with being the only one who is told they need to change.

I am what I am. I will be more to you if you let me, but I will not be less.

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The “3-Oh”

I had planned on being in Cuba on this day. Sat on a terrace in Havana sipping a mojito. I’m not a drinker but I figured when in Cuba, why the heck not? Instead, because of a big ash cloud that up until a few hours ago was holding everyone captive – I’m here. I’m not angry though, that’s not an emotion I’ve had much to do with this latter part of my life. Instead I think everything happens for a reason. Some have said that maybe I was going to get hit by a car in Cuba or something; perhaps so. I thought I’d need a full year to figure out the reason, but it’s taken me less than that. Perhaps it’s a sign I’m getting better at figuring out my life. Possibly. Maybe. This trip, my staycation, it is characteristic of how I would describe my life: It may not have turned out as I had planned, but it has turned out how it was supposed to.

There is not a day when I do not think myself blessed for the life that I lead. Yes there are moments when I wish things were different – more money in the bank account, a Triumph in the garage, a spacious place all to myself…but like I said – everything happens for a reason. This year, I think I needed to be here today. I needed to be in the exact place where the people who mean the most to me, that I mean the most to, were within arm’s reach. I was told recently that I have no passion. Where an old me would have taken those words to heart, searched for the validity of that statement, this me knows it not to be true. My family. My friends. Those who transcend any label anyone could possibly give. They are my passion. These people are who I am my very best with. These people who do not feel I am ever too much and am always enough for. These people who say to me, ‘You could rule the world if you wanted to.’ They are my love.

This year I chose thirty people, thirty of those people who have come to mean a lot to me, some over many years of having them in my life and others only recently, and I asked them to do something for me. I hope that they take my request seriously because I have never meant anything more. Because of them, because of the world they have shown me, because of the person they have helped me to become and shown me that I am, I can honestly say that today I want for nothing. There is no gift that they could give me that could mean more than what they have already shared with me. My request is the only way I know how to begin to repay them.

This age, a milestone, the digits have changed and I know that there are many more changes to come, but there are some parts of me that I hope will remain the same. After all, it’s taken me a long time to become the person I am. I do not fear tomorrow and I do not regret yesterday. I wish I could tell people how I had come to look upon my life in this way, there are so many that I hope will one day realise all that they have instead of longing for what they don’t. Life has a way of placing you exactly where you need to be, and it is not always where you expected you would end up. If you’re lucky, if you are blessed, you will have people around you who will make you laugh till your sides hurt, who will support you without judgement, and who will know who you are even when you don’t.

Thirty years. I must be doing something right.

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Filed under (In)sanity, Revelation

Eighty-Two

Every day. Every day at least some words. Always something. Random questions and continued conversations. I kept you company as you went about your day, I revelled in your exploits and listened to your stories. A morning greeting. A night-time wish for sweet dreams. The last person you’d speak to so many nights and my first on just as many mornings. Except today.

With no more words than necessary you tell me that you don’t ever want to be without me in your life. All those moments lost, there can’t be any more. I hear the request beneath the words but I know myself, I know you better.  I would never break a promise, so to you I would never make one. Instead I tell you all that I can, I need you in my life. As long as I know that to be true then I know I will keep you. Your words have troubled me for some time. You don’t ever want to be without me, but every other word you say tells me that you don’t know me. That me you do know, directly opposed to everything you are.

I ask you why you choose to keep me in your life. You tell me you don’t know. I don’t know why either, but I know there should be a reason. I will make no apologies for who I am. Not for you or for anyone. I have been shown that the very best of people choose to keep me, not inspite of who they think me to be but because of who they know me to be. Even if I doubt myself when I’m with you, I do not doubt them. Because they are in my life I know you are lucky to have me in yours. When I am blessed with them, that I choose you, speaks more of how I feel for you than any of my words could ever do. If only you thought enough of me to feel even a fraction of the same.

Eighty-two. Today the first of how many? No longer sure of the truth of my reasoning. No longer sure if I can stay.

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