Before the trials of time had struck the innocence and optimism from my eyes I had dreams that were bigger than life. They were full of love, joy and if I’m completely honest I always wanted to be a teacher. I guess some part of me romanticised the part of Miss Honey characters another part of me rejected completely the total cop-out that’d be to my wild self. I wanted to be a storm on the horizon as well as shelter from it. I have lived my entire life in that in between halfway between a nurturing and maternal figure to my friends (I’m known as a feeder, no one ever has any complaints about that though) and a warrior of Amazonian descent. Unfortunately no one ever told me how difficult it is to aptly juggle these two fiercely conflicting states of being. It’s a little like a game of tug of war that I play by myself desperately trying to encompass and embody the traits I admire but, where am I in this? Do I embody these traits because I desperately want to or because that’s who I am? Most days are a confused blur of emotions and I’ve gotta admit to you, dear reader that I am overwhelmed I feel empty and sad most of the time and I’m not even sure why. I have no reason to feel this way and yet, at this point it feels so valid, so raw and so real. Yet, still that part of me powered by self hatred and anger sits in my consciousness and cackles at my suffering telling me I deserve it but that I also have no right to feel this way or give myself any empathy. To others I am warmth and support yet to myself I am as cold and unyielding as time. My insecurities sit perched on my failures at the points where I feel lowest tearing at my confidence and taunting me. I wish I knew how to fix myself and flick a switch that meant I could turn off this part of me, shut out the cruel and cold ice queen that lives inside me and open myself up to the parts of me that embody light and warmth unfortunately in life there is balance and part of my journey is learning how to balance. I must tell you dear reader, I cannot wait for the day when the two parts of myself embrace each other as if they were old friends, when they live in harmony together using each others different strengths to push me towards the best version of myself. For now, I shall sit on the battlefield of my own mind weathering the constant reverberations of bombshells as they fall on my tattered and fraying consciousness. Here I hide like a child with my face in my hands waiting for the sirens to stop and for my mind to be a safe place once again.
I started this blog with the intention to write every single day, To pour my heart out to you, my anonymous audience. There was no need to fear your criticism nor your reaction to my writing I could simply share my stories and thoughts in any way I chose but, I do fear your criticism I fear the reaction of anyone reading the stories I want so desperately to release from the confines of my mind and yet, my words fall short. I wanted to tell you all my painful secrets and express to you exactly how they define me in different ways and make me a tapestry of temporary happiness. Even as I type this I seek comfort in music, Bob Dylan croons to me as I stare around an unfamiliar room and think of you. Yes, you. Who are you? What’s brought you to this page and what has engaged you to get this far? Are you waiting for me to disclose some horrible secret? Want me to unveil some trauma that suddenly makes your heart ache for me a complete stranger? Unfortunately, It’s gonna take me a little while to work up to that but, in the mean time.. I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I was aptly referred to as Conundrum by my pregnant mother as I occupied her figure. Little did she know I’d grow to encompass just that I would to any passing observer seem like a fairly sane and self-reliant person but on closer inspection the cracks in the paint are more apparent my anxieties and self deprecating humour are apparent as a shield I wield in a constant battle to feel secure in my own skin. I’d love to say I’m winning the fight but in order to authentically do this my candour is a neccesity. I will tell you this dear reader, my constant self critisism feels like a cage but, the bars of this cage are visible only to me. Everyone that loves me can hear my pleas for help but they can see no hinderance to my success. Little do they know I am the property of a conciousness that constantly cripples me. Now, I wonder how many of you are still reading. How many of you have turned away from this in a desparate attempt to find something less self involved and how many of you feel the pang of recognition in my words? I wish I could reach out to every single one of you who feel how I do and tell you how beautiful you are. I don’t mean physically I mean internally. You my dear friend are made from stardust as far as I am concerned simply because you are still fighting where so many have fallen. Which is why I find myself in an unfamilliar living room confessing my inner most insecurities to you. Isn’t it ironic that my desparate attempt to connect and share comes from the part of myself I feel the greatest shame about? Maybe that’s strength.. Or just idiocy… Or both?
Your branches extend up to scrape the sky. I can’t wait till your sunshine speckled leaves hug the endless blue, swaying slightly in the breeze as if dancing to the beat of my favourite song. I even love watching the raindrops kiss the extensions of your being seeing them flow with every single cold embrace. Yet, above all this I love you in the moonlight, drops of star shine ripple across the veins that run up to your branches. I find such comfort in your unyielding growth, seeing you rise every spring watching you stretch out your fingertips to the sky and embrace it. You hold the sky within the gaps in your grasp, holding it tight enough to feel safe yet, allowing it the breath that feeds my lungs. You are clean, untarnished and beautiful.
I often find myself on this bench. Thoughts tumbling across each other like pebbles moved by waves. My music the only thing impacting this, music has always had a really big impact on me. I hear lyrics, I crave rhythm. It completely takes me, my mood, my anxiety everything is completely fixed upon it. I close my eyes, lean back and just listen. Every single string plucked and each intricacy performed by practiced hands. I find safety here. Sanctuary from an isolating world. One where service is key and your polished smile must be put forward. Here I can enjoy my bench, imagine some stars and loose myself in someone else’s art. Here I have no one to please, no smile to force across my face and my sanctuary. Exactly where I left it. Warm, safe and completely my own.
I promised myself I’d keep up to date with this project. I swore this would be something I did every day but things just tend to get in the way. Words won’t work, ideas don’t seem to correlate or make sense on a page. Winter nights washed away with waiting for the sunshine to appear again. I’m so tired of being cold. It seems to seep into your bones this time of year. It gets to that point where I truly don’t believe that I’ll feel the sunshine on my skin again. I’ve been trying to will myself to write and yet I find myself blocked once again. The only cure I’ve found for this to put pen to paper. No matter how many times you rewrite the words you’re putting something out there letting light lay across the little bits of yourself that you haven’t had eloquence or perhaps even time to put across. No matter how many words you erase the ones that you commit to that page are eternal and that is beautiful. Use your words carefully though. They have power more than you will ever be aware of. You will never be able to see the way your words affect someone else the ability they have to lift spirits and damage confidences that had taken years to develop, Time and pain you hadn’t even seen fall into place to make that particular person who they are in a second torn to shreds by a careless phrase. Wield your wit wisely. Keep your conversation compassionate and consider kindness a condition of your company. Hold other people to the same expectations you have for yourself. Don’t protect people who aren’t providing positivity. Do these things for yourself not for anyone else.
I really don’t remember the last time I woke up and wasn’t worried about money. That’s pretty messed up right? I’m sure there was a point where I wasn’t agitated or stressed but I just don’t remember it. I think it’s pretty remarkable the power that paper with value printed on it can dictate the way I go about my life. Instead of going out and doing things that make me happy I spend my time working towards an unattainable goal, having enough not to work. So, I save and I save but with every pay check comes more responsibility and I realise with more and more certainty that this is my life now. Dictated by a currency that I desire purely in necessity. I guess this means I’m a grown up now. Maybe that’s the point you reach adulthood when you wake up for the very first time thinking of money. Coveting the comfort that comes with wealth and envying those who possess it. The thought that one person could truly hate another for simply having greater wealth than them is a truly disturbing concept. Blind hatred scares me. The way technology has become a way to disconnect us from any sense of guilt when targeting eachother. The hatred and envy aimed at those who excel is something that really unsettles me. Just the rage that can be spilt across a keyboard with no consideration to the recipient. It leads to a huge disconnect in our society as in order to protect themselves from the scrutiny of their onlookers those with financial power don’t even look any more. They chose to remove themselves from the line of fire to avoid the aggression and therefore close down the lines of communication between different wealth based class systems. Before I digress into a semi political rant I will say this, without any personal knowledge of a person any anger or resentment you feel towards them will be motivated by resentments and anger you hold in yourself. I guess I’m just mad I’m not doing something I love to earn money, maybe if I did that I’d be so caught up in being excited to do what I love that I wouldn’t notice that I was earning money while doing it. Well, that’s the dream I guess.
I’ve worked in the service industry for three years now. Bouncing from place to place I’ve always encountered either anger, sexual advances or kindness. The latter two being the most common as usually I’m pretty good at deflecting anger. Whereas sexual advances are aplenty from “why aren’t you smiling?” To “I’d bend you over that table” in one night. It’s agressive and offensive yet whenever I stand up for myself I find myself greeted by familiar phrases such as “you’re asking for it” or “you love it really” I’d firstly like to address the concept of asking for it. I have never and will never invite you or anyone to bend me over a table and I smile for myself, not you. I apologise sir/madam if my demenor offends you but working in the service industry does not mean I owe you any kind of emotional response to your advances. In fact I will feel exactly how I feel as I tend to wear my emotions quite openly. Secondly I’d like to talk about the use of the phrase “you love it really” If I hear this phrase leered at me from one more beer breathed bar crawler I will give up on society all together and become a hermit. If I have said to you that I do not like the way you’ve spoken to me or to stop doing something I mean exactly that. There is no hidden meaning I am not playing hard to get I am simply making you aware of my boundaries. It is not an invitation for you to continue to aggressively assault or verbally harass me. It is not okay. It’s harassment. Although, amidst all this I am so grateful for the compassion I see everyday working in this industry. I see families, friends, lovers and lots of children enjoying eachothers company and good food. I also have had remarkably respectful advances from kind men. I’m grateful for every single moment that I find myself smiling at random act of kindness that the individual may not of even realised effected me. I guess I just wish we didn’t live in a society where it’s acceptable to treat people in a way that reduces them to a vechicle to attain what they desire but I guess in serving people we learn humility and for that I’m grateful as well.