Monday, 18 November 2013

Pen vs Laptop

Happy and creative?
No surely No
Tormented and twisted?
Sure I'll produce.
Destined to play
the tortured artist?
Choosing pain over happiness
to find inspiration?

Did I wish this hell upon myself?
In some twisted way
did my subconscious say
here's some creative drive
to last you the rest of your life?

When life got too much
I used to pull out my pen and paper
Now I tap tap tap
on a laptop
But you can't see the emotion in the words on the screen

My tired journals show tear marked stains
words scribbled out in a downwards spiral down the page
as I try to get the words out in the dark
under the influence, my hand drifts
the lettering is not even
words scribbled out, rewritten and rewritten again
and yet, not considered.
Bled onto the page

These words on the screen seem too perfect
too thought out
lacking the emotion they're meant to portray

You can't see how my pen presses through the page
as I angrily try to work it all out
The lines get heavier, the letters, bigger
Exclamation points and question marks
left right and centre
It just isn't the same

I miss...

I miss
you telling me to come closer on the sofa
nestling me under your arm
pressing me to tell you what's wrong,
no matter how many times I said
'I'm fine'
Hearing you say 'come here'
in that way that made me know you were about to make it
Your kisses
Your laugh
Your smile
Your hugs - how you held me so tight
How you gently wiped away my tears from my cheeks
and let me wipe my snotty nose on your jumper
as we laughed about it together
How safe I felt in your presence
We could go to the ends of the earth together
and I wouldn't be afraid, as long as you were there
How I knew you were always there to catch me if I fell
The way you got on with everyone
You making me laugh
Winding me up
Winding you up
Making breakfast together
Making dinner together
Watching Britain's got Talent
Sharing a bottle of wine
Family dinners
Holding your hand
Afternoon naps
Late night phone calls
Text messages
Making plans

I could keep listing all the things I miss about you but the list would go on

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Time to Make a Change

I've been reading a book recently, lent to me by a friend, called 'Finding Your Element'.   I moaned incessantly that all the book talked about for the first 70 pages was people who had already found their so called 'element' and were highly successful, famous, and wealthy.  I kept screaming 'I KNOW that finding your element leads to success, but how the HELL do you FIND it?!?!?!'

Well....the latest chapters have started to hint at how you might discover the thing that you both enjoy and that you're naturally good at, your niche so to speak.  I always thought it was acting but then I got out there, in the real world, and now I'm not so sure.  Or rather, I don't enjoy it enough to put 110% effort into it like I would with a true passion.  But I of the tips?  Change the way you think.  Change your mindset.

I am a glass half empty kinda gal.  Not when it comes to an actual glass because I like to savour my liquids but in the metaphorical sense.  I have known for a long time that thinking positively yielded more opportunities and a healthier and happier life.  But when P was lying in the hospital, I read The Secret and I subscribed to it's thought process thoroughly, like it was my own personal Bible.  I prayed. I visualised.  I thanked God and the universe for healing P in advance.  I believed.  Even when there was very little hope left to cling on to.  I still believed.  And it didn't work.

I still find it hard to hear anyone even mention The Secret in my presence.  And I still struggle to step through the doors of a church.  But I am starting to realise that P had to die for a reason.  His life journey was over.  And it is up to me to learn lessons, and to grow as a person in the wake of his passing.  So perhaps its time.  Time to start changing my mindset.  It is incredibly hard.  It's crazy when I stop to think about it.  How my negativity pervades my every thought and every action.  Perhaps I should wear a rubber band on my wrist and snap it every time a negative thought enters my mind? Negative reinforcement to stop negativity?  Why the hell not.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

You Hold My Hope

You hold my hope in the palm of your hand
You alone hold my hope
Don't break my heart again

16 months of darkness
broken by glimmers of light
16 months of drifting
Unsure of where to go

4 months of feeling stuck
stuck stuck
4 months?
Is that all?
Feels like forever

And now you come along
here to offer me some hope
A chance to start anew
A chance to plan again

Looking ahead
My heart lifted
my smile shifted
I started to believe again
Don't take it all back
Don't destroy it
You hold my hope in your hand

Be gentle with it

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Unemployment Ain't Easy

I have been trying to find the motivation to write again for so long.  The words don't come easily anymore.  Sometimes I think I was only able to write because of all the pain.  And now that it doesn't hurt so much, or rather, that it doesn't hurt ALL THE TIME.....I'm scared I've lost my creativity.  But if I'm honest with myself, it's probably down to the fact that I've allowed myself to be consumed by Facebook, Netflix, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.  The past few days I've found myself in a strange position. With no work on and no real ability to look for work, I have been b.o.r.e.d.  SO I regularly check all my social media sites, troll the internet for new recipes, and generally avoid using my creativity.  How lazy have I become?!  Rather than sitting in front of a site, looking at what all the other people are doing with their lives, why don't I use this down time to write?  To work on future creative projects?

Well...I blame unemployment.

I know what you're thinking.... 'what a cop out!'  Surely if I'm unemployed I should have all the time in the world to be creative and productive.

Truth is, I never knew how hard it was being unemployed until I found myself in it.  Sure I still have promotions work generally once a week.  But mostly, I am not working.  And the fact is I have only been working part time for the past 2 years.  And it is beginning to wear on me.  First there's the financial implications.  Seeing all your money go out of your account every month and very little come back in gets depressing.  And let's be honest, applying to jobs is one of the most tedious and time consuming things ever.  And then there's the ones with the on line forms, which force you to retype your whole CV into their tiny, formatted boxes.  Those are fun.  I once spent 3 hours on one such application because just as I finished it, it froze and deleted everything I'd inputted, twice.  THEN when I finished doing it for the third time, the job was gone.

But what I'm really talking about is the soul destroying, confidence crushing nature of unemployment. It's said that 'the longer a person is unemployed, the harder it is for him/her to find work'.  True.  Employers don't look favourably on these type of people, BUT it's more than that.  The longer you've been unemployed, and the more job rejections you've faced, the less confidence you project.  I KNOW I could do a lot of things out there but deep down I am overwhelmingly scared of failing.  I know I reek of desperation in an interview room.  But sometimes I want to scream at them.  'I NEED this job!  You don't understand, I NEED something to hold on to.  Because everything, and I mean everything, has changed in my life in the last few years, and I need something that is mine.  That will give me a focus and a reason to get up in the morning.'  I need a reason to get up in the morning.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Disappointingly Stuck

Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.

Ok, so I haven't written in awhile.  I was working.  Busying myself getting the flat ready to sell.  Playing tour guide to my parents.  Busy.  Living.

And then school holidays started and a job I had set up for the school holidays fell through and then a job interview I thought went well, didn't.  And then I spent all day today applying for a job I really wanted.  Technical difficulties made it take FOREVER and by the time I finished the job was gone.  

And I started sobbing.  Again.

And then, as I watched Grey's Anatomy, I realised I wasn't upset about the job.  This is the grief at work again.
I thought I was 'over it', 'better', 'ready to move on'.  And I am but the world seems to think differently because at every turn that I make I feel like I'm stopped in my tracks.  I am stuck. Still.  Nearly 2 years later and I am stuck in what feels like a holding cell.  A friend told me 'you've got a lot of life still to live.  You can't live like you're going to die tomorrow.'  And I wanted to scream.  Life has taught me differently.  Life is short.  Immensely short.  So every waking moment that I'm not moving forward feels like a waste.  And I begin to panic.  

I'm an active person.  When I spend all day at a computer I begin to feel the energy building up in my body, ready to explode and the only cure is to workout, run, punch a punching bag....And that is how I feel about my life.  But I can't run away from it.  Even though every bone in my body is telling me to pack my bags and take off.  To give up on the idea of making any useful contribution to society and to just live like a vagabond, moving from place to place.  Which is exactly how I felt 18 months ago.  So how am I back here?  How do I fix this?  

People have said I am strong for so long.  I believed them.  But now I'm starting to seriously doubt. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Reflections on the West Coast from the Midwest

Wow.  Ten days of driving, exploring the west coast, taking endless photos, chatting about life, going to wine tastings.....and I only blogged once?!  What was I thinking?!

I wasn't!  I was living in the moment!  Correction, I AM living in the moment.

In this blog entry from The Kid in the Front Row, The Kid talks about how he lost the joy he once experienced whilst watching films because he was constantly trying to produce a unique commentary on the film or the industry; his critical/creative mind was running non-stop, I imagine, and it distracted him from purely enjoying the present moment, the simple action of watching a film.  And I was doing the same thing.  I too had started to find myself constantly writing a blog in my head as I walked from place to place, sat in the car, as I started to fall asleep, in the middle of a conversation, and while reading a book or watching a film.  One minute to myself and my mind would start racing, but these creative thoughts weren't free flowing as they once had been.  I was trying to make something of each moment; the thoughts were forced.  And thus, somewhat lazily, I rarely reached for my computer or notebook, and I started to berate myself for not pinning my ideas down, for not utilising my time away from the UK to write, as I'd planned.

And then I told my self-critiquing mind to 'Shut the hell up!!!'

Because instead of burying my head in my laptop, I spent the last week and a half experiencing each moment and soaking in all the beautiful sights and sounds of the long and winding roads from LA to Seattle.  My laptop will always be here, my thoughts may be fleeting but I trust if it's a truly great idea, it will return.  This journey must be lived, for I can feel myself healing, day by day, and that is worth more than a blog entry will ever be able to convey.  So now, with ample time in a quiet cafe, I will try to reflect on what has happened, from then to now.

I had no idea what to expect of Northern California.  For me, north of San Francisco and Napa Valley was a non-entity.  My only 'prior knowledge' of the region was so cleverly derived from the Visit California Ad:

And Napa Valley itself was previously just a dream destination.  The reality could not possibly live up to the elaborate images I had created in my mind over the years.  But even though the olive branches were bare, the beauty of the region shown through, and I could see how incredible the place must look at it's peak.  Having arrived at 3, we only had a few short hours to get in a wine tasting, and we chose Beringer (for the fact that I always enjoyed their wines, and....we had a two for one voucher). No one ever tells you how expensive wine tasting can get!  What an incredible experience.  The woman doing our wine tasting poured us generous samples of 6 wines, and talked with us at length about wine, her life, the region, the life of a server....she became a friend very quickly, and made the experience memorable.  Then we ventured down a quaint street in the town of St Helena, and bought the gourmet ingredients for our fashionable hotel room picnic.  There is nothing I love more than wandering around a gourmet supermarket, trying all sorts of fancy goats cheeses and talking about the various flavours with the cheese guy, debating about wine choice with a friend, and discovering unique gluten free products like locally produced chocolate chip cookies that did NOT taste gluten free!!  Our night was set to be a success.  Until D spilled red wine on the white bed spread and had to run out to get stain remover, while I started having a mini meltdown because I'd failed to keep track of my finances and P is not around to clean up my mess or fix my problems!  I felt horrible snapping at D, and giving him the silent treatment for the remainder of the night.  I was never an easy woman to be around.  My mood swings are erratic like most women, but now.... they shock even me.  I'm not always able to control the angsty teenager that lives within, who's filled with bitterness and rage at what has become of my 28 year old life.

But the next day was a new day, and with the sun shining, we started the day by watching a geyser erupt, and giggling over fainting baby goats.  And then we were back on the road and headed for the Redwoods.  We drove through the Avenue of Giants, and pulled over to do a bit of hiking.  Whilst the hiking paths were generally very easy, and thus not as fulfilling as we'd hoped, the views were spectacular.  The size of the Redwoods is impossible to describe.  There is something magical about those forests.  The light patterns cast upon the soft, cushiony floor of pine needles is life affirming, alluding to a world beyond, making me aware of my small presence in this vast world.
Until we reached Fortuna, a small town just outside Eureka.  There is nothing in Fortuna of note, but the hotel room was huge and luxurious, the hot tub was an added treat after hours in a car with the worst designed seats ever, and the local brew pub across the street was a wonderful surprise.  It was 'peanuts on the floor' night at the pub and the place was packed with locals and hotel guests alike.  D was highly impressed by the quality of the beer and I couldn't get over my bowl sized glass of red wine that tasted like heaven.
The next day was our last day in the Redwoods but it involved the most exciting part of the drive since Highway 1.  We drove through a national park to reach Fern Canyon and I truly felt like I was in a jeep in Jurassic Park, taking a tour of the dinosaur park, certain that a brontosaur would come trudging through the dense trees at any moment.  The dirt roads were rough, steep, narrow, and flooded from time to time.  But then!  Oh how we were rewarded!!  Fern Canyon was another site used in the filming of Jurassic Park and it was spectacular.  A rather deep stream ran through it but D and I were determined to hike through it, so over and across logs we carefully made our way, me more hesitantly than him.  But still, I was reminded of how I used to whine and carry on with P, how I had little faith in my abilities previously.  Whilst my confidence has not grown tremendously in adventures such as these,  I am happy to push my comfort boundaries these days.  After all, I've been through much worse than falling into a stream!  Great experiences and unforgettable moments are forged through facing your fears and there is nothing more rewarding than doing something that scares you, even if it's just a little bit.