I don’t really know what motivates me when it comes to writing. What we can be sure of is that it is not a constant motivator. I haven’t blogged consistently ever, and this means that any fantasy I ever had about finding a readership, a following, a crowd, is highly unlikely as no one is ever likely to be turned on by one post every 18 months. All this money on a MacBook Pro just to watch episodes of Good Witch on Netflix. Tsk, I’m a sucker for a brand.
I can’t settle. So I thought I would download some of the white noise in my head. I have felt particularly ill at ease of late. I have significant flaws as a person. I am a superficial person, always wanting the best of the best, wanting things I know deep down I don’t need or will never utilise. I am quite a jealous person, this ugly truth I know. A lot of good people are on my loathe list. Especially so if they are confident, if they are self assured, if they portray a character of positivity and self assuredness. These are all things I know of myself. These are negative things I wish I had the strength to tackle, but I don’t. The strength alludes me and I just keep reflecting on myself. On how I feel small, on how I feel weak, on how I feel negative and how I wish so badly that I were better and different and I were happier.
This cycle continues and has continued for the majority of my adult life. Fortunately I also know that this is just one side of who I am. That if my character were made up of one layer, then I would be rather flat. That for life to be truly vivid, ones personality has to be layered. I am also a loyal friend, I am also really loved by people who I love in return, that one of the reasons I am often upset or stressed or preoccupied is that I care about others and I have their interests in heart and mind. I am sure other people may have other adjectives to describe me, good and not so good. But I am sure they would balance, and I would like to think the good outweighs the negative.
Pete and I cared for our niece and nephew this summer, and I was surprised to find that in the parenting equivalent of good cop bad cop role playing, I was more often bad cop. I was strict and I was firm. My friend Jen wasn’t. She told me that it was obvious, as I am really tough on myself and I set myself high standards to achieve, so I would be similar with the kids. I never realised this. And I wondered if this was some reaction to the late 90’s and early 00’s Blairite “boom time” expectations we all grew accustomed to. When friends were buying flats before finishing education. Parents were buying friends at university houses to live in during the 2nd and 3rd year. When the Law Society Gazette every week was fat with jobs and opportunities, so you were expected to succeed no matter what. Despite the fact all this died a death 10 years ago when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, this culture of expectation doesn’t leave you very easily. And its also hard to weigh up why I feel this way despite the fact I just am not ambitious enough for all this. I have been in my job for 11 years, and I am kinda ok. Yes, austerity means I am probably significantly underpaid, and I am sure that recruitment agencies would be telling me I could be earning a lot more by next week should I want to. But if money were the be all and end all, I would have been shopping around a long time ago.
I know many millennials are obsessed with self care and mindfulness, and perhaps this is what I am lacking, and this is the reason the noise emanating from the negative layers of myself is so loud in my ears at times. Although its hard at the moment to have many “personal” moments, quiet and reflective days when I can be good to myself, I can steal an hour or two I think. Even if its just writing something for the few eyes that may see a link on a twitter feed, even if its just for the cathartic fact I do learn a bit about myself when I start writing. Free therapy, if you will. I am the least reflective person I know, I think. I don’t discuss myself in depth, there is too much going on. Worrying about Pete, worrying about the dog, worrying about my mother, worrying if my dad is doing ok, worrying if people at work think I am being a misery, stressing about court hearings, stressing about deadlines coming up. When I have so many things going on in my head, I insist that the first person to bin off the list of consideration is myself.
In just hitting a few keys for an hour I have realised one or two things.
- I am an over thinker.
- I am quite tough on myself.
- I compare myself to people who I don’t want to emulate, because I think their money and material possessions make them seem more successful, and I am further failing in not even wanting a piece of what they have.
- I allow myself to keep doing the above as it seems easier than doing anything about it.
Look, I am not about to start a personal journey to overcome this. Now is a bad time. But I am also aware that sadly in my life I am facing in my future some really sad and difficult stuff, and if I keep being so hard on myself this will be an even harder time. Just writing this has helped me figure this out. I will be able to have a word with myself. I know I am kind. I know that I am not selfish. I know I am supported. So I can give myself a break.
And do you know, its been quite nice having a conversation with myself. I don’t like to talk about me that much. This has been like looking in the mirror for a long time to confront some of things that stare me in the face every single day. But without the depressing reality of looking at my eyebrows and hairline. And you know what? I’m able to see that some of what I thought big issues aren’t so big in reality. Although some are realities I cannot change. I just need to live with them.
I have enjoyed this. I missed these moments with me, a laptop and an imagined reader. I must catch you up on a few things. Namely- getting wed, turning vegan, cheating on veganism with a pizza, compromising with vegetarianism, trying to lose weight, finishing the work on the house, and everything else, be it marvellous or mundane, in between. I’ll start with the wedding I think.
Here is a wee preview till I write again: