Being Me, In My Own Eyes, For My Own Sake

Today I have tightness
A tightness in my head
A tightness in my heart
A tightness in my soul
An anxiety. An annoyance
A shimmer of violent energy
It has to be released onto a page

I am drained by all this ”Proving”
All this proving “Who I am”
Proving “I am worthy”
Proving “I can match up”
Proving “I am clever enough”
“I am sociable enough”
“I am trying hard enough”
Proving “I am worthy of your/their praise”
Proving “My thoughts are valid”
“I am moving fast enough”
“Sharp enough”
“Outspoken enough”
“Tell it like it is enough”
“Chatty enough”
“Quiet enough”
“Sharing enough”
“Caring enough”
“Well read enough”
“Cultured enough”
“Bubbly enough”
“Have enough friends”
Proving “I have fought enough”
“I have felt enough”
“Have lived enough to know the things I know in my heart”
“Have been hurt enough to feel the way I feel today”

Proving I am enough of every damn thing that every damn person expects of me every damn day

What about “Being me” enough?
Just that
Just being me

No, it is not you
I am never going to “Be you” enough
I shouldn’t have to apologise for that
I won’t apologise for that
I shouldn’t have to try, and fail, so you can feel better …
That you “Did you” better than my ill advised attempt
But I have a really good shot at being “Me”

I care deeply, but I won’t measure my emotions on a scale for you
I share what I can, when I can, how I can
It is not always enough. It is not always eloquent
But it is what I’ve got to give in the moment, and I will give it as honestly as I can
Sometimes it is just hard to share,
Like handing someone your innards on a plate
I won’t do it with a filter applied so you find it more palatable
And I won’t tie my value as a person to a “Like” button – so you can ratify my soul

I have valid ideas. I have strong opinions
Sometimes I can express them well (sometimes)
Sometimes I choose not to and that is my choice
I have a lot of thoughts (a lot, a lot!)
Sometimes they are overwhelming
Sometimes they are overwhelmed by the weight of others
Their strong characters, their voluminous opinions, their …
“Do you understand?” “Do you get it?” “Because I said it and you didn’t?”
“If you aren’t being as vociferous as me, can you really think it?”
“Do you really think at all?”

I love being sociable, sometimes, for a short time
Sometimes I like to be quiet.
Please let me
Even in a room full of people.
Please let me

I don’t like to be outspoken so much
When it happens I spend days analysing and berating
Is that what you want for me?
Then can I just “Be me” in my way, not your way?

I don’t like to state all my lived accomplishments every time I meet a person
Or go online
Or sign up for something
When did meeting someone,
I mean TRULY meeting someone, involve a CV?
Can’t we just be? Together?

I know what I know
I’ve lived what I’ve lived
I’ve achieved so much!
And other things have brought me to my knees
And you know what?
I am proud of how I’ve come through it all

So, I make a commitment today and for always
I am going to be me
To the very best of my ability
And try and curb the contamination of others judging my success whilst I do it


Copyright © 2018 · Forty and Everything After

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A Book About Shame

He told me I should read the book
He thought I might enjoy it
It was a book about shame
His favourite book he told me

I avoided the book
I hid from it with knowing intent
He inquired if I had read the book
I had not. I was ashamed

No reply came the reply
And so, the chain was off
Now I could, should, read the book
This favourite book about shame

What an uncomfortable read
What an uncomfortable life
What a familiar discomfort
I shy from my knowing this plight

I don’t want to meet this person
I fear to be near that demon
And yet I know her inside out
But let us keep those insides in

Far too close for comfort
A girl I once knew
A girl who terrorised my days and nights
Oh, if those insides were to come out …

And how could I help such a soul
What made me think that I might?
With such a creature as this inside
This phantom that shares the same shadow

And yet perhaps I am ideally placed
Perhaps this book a mirror faced
Who is the most ashamed of us all?
Come, let us light a path away from that thrall.


Copyright © 2018 · Forty and Everything After

Mobilising Monday Mantra

As I breath in and out, in gentle voice, to the me within:

“Love me”

“Lift me”

“Heal me”

A pause – to absorb the energy, the warmth, the spirit

 

And then, as I breath in and out, in gentle voice, to those around me and to the Earth:

“Love you”

“Lift you”

“Heal you”

A pause – to share the energy, the warmth, the spirit

 

And so the week begins

Energy mobilised and making waves

So may it continue

 


Copyright © 2018 · Forty and Everything After

 

I need sleep, I need sustenance and by God I need a new sofa!

I haven’t had a lot of time to write of late. There has been so much to do, so many people to see and places to be. Work has been a bit stressful and the course I am doing all consuming – in many good ways and some that are less healthy and certainly not sustainable. Self-care has gone out of the window. I haven’t been to meditation in months. I haven’t been exercising. I haven’t been eating well. I have been drinking more than I know is wise. I have been sleeping badly and when I do manage to sleep I am plagued with bad dreams. I keep having to put my friends off, and I haven’t been seeing my parents nearly as much as I would like. My body hurts all over from lack of care. I am exhausted.

On top of not allowing myself time to write, or to read anything but a text book, there are all the bigger tasks I should be doing – all jostling for position to berate me for my lack of progress. I need to do my tax accounts, I need to look into a builder to get some work done on the house that is years overdue. My grass is too long. The windows are filthy. I need to get down to the writing project I promised I would do with my dad. I need to sew up the holes in my clothes before people start to notice.

I need to ……..

Oh hell! If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the cupboard under the stairs in a box – a box of things that needs sorting for the car boot sale *starts to sob*Read More »

On The Road To Find Out

If I had a cat he would be called Stevens. As things stands I don’t have any pets – but nevertheless, this is an understanding we have in our household. That one day, Cat Stevens may become a family member.

When I was a young girl in the 70s, we used to go out for drives in the country at the weekend, legs scorching on faux-leather seats, with the warm smell of my dad’s plaid shirt in my nostrils, and our favourite 8-tracks on the stereo. Read More »

Finding Joy

I was delighted when I was asked last year if I would be happy to contribute to a book about childlessness that was being written by Lesley Pyne. Lesley’s website was the first place I ever released a piece of my own writing into the wild – when I felt compelled to tell my own story – one of the hardest, but most important things I’ve ever done.Read More »

As You Be What You Will Be. As You Go Where You Will Go.

I sat, and as I breathed, I looked around inside my head. And in there, there were dark masses. Masses I had created, formed, sculpted, thought into life. Some of them were jagged, some of them too hot to touch, some of them now smoothed through the tossing in my mind’s waves but heavy nevertheless. I looked at these dark masses and I said …

“It is time”

I said to the accumulation of anger, formed from the frustrating exchanges. That cooling lava of irritation, of injustice and unexpressed indignation. With steam still rising from its surface … 

“It is time”

I said to that boulder of sadness, about that sad thing, the thing that will always be sad but is taking up space I now need back …

“It is time”

I said to the shame, those stinging leaves of derision, those thorns of remorse, that I cultivated and watered with bitter tears …

“It is time”Read More »