Go With the Flow

I’ve had two rejections in the last 24 hours, and they couldn’t be further apart in tone. One was the depressingly generic ‘sorry, you failed but don’t ask us why’ type and the other gave a depth of reasoning and insight that I’ve genuinely not seen happen anywhere else in the Industry. Needless to say, I know which people I’ll be submitting more work to in the future.

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It helps, of course, that this is the first Wednesday for six weeks that I’ve woken up after a counselling session and felt like I genuinely got somewhere.ย All that hard work is mine, of course: the tools were handed over, and here I am, getting on with the job. That’s how this works going forward too, a process of learning and then practical application. This is all good. Amazingly so, as it happens.

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As I emerge from my cave, blinking and startled, with sunshine warming a cold face… fuck I have a lot to catch up on. Seven weeks seems a very, VERY long time ago. There are projects that started their lives Back Then which now desperately need a redo. The poetry also could do with a rethink, all told, and that’s now what’s going to happen. Brakes on the bus for a day or two. Let’s do some ACTUAL THINKING.

Doing so with a totally relaxed brain will be a joy. The transformative power of ‘just doing stuff for yourself and nobody else’ should NEVER be underestimated…

I Think It’s Going to Rain Today

It’s not just that today, either. This is the week when I come out of counselling and get a decent night’s sleep, because nothing is a surprise.ย This is where, finally, parts of my life get left behind for good.

Today is when being Different stops being an issue.

Something Changed

This morning all the people that were lost along the way are recalled, as if this were the end of a long and difficult battle. The people who I no longer wanted to know, for many reasons, because I could never be to them what they obviously wanted me to be. Those I cared for desperately, whose own lives were so much more important than our friendship. The people who just made me laugh and feel comfortable. You’re missed most of all.

So much has been sacrificed to get here.

Also, I know brains can’t exhale. Don’t @ me.

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So, next up presumably is the period where all this just becomes normal and I finally head out into the world and make new friends, based on this change of outlook, and everything either fits or it doesn’t. Having a reasonable number of immediate worries effectively wiped out is also a decent start to the week, all told, so no real concerns in any department is a bonus. So, why am I not sleeping properly?

It’s all the fallout that’s not yet settled, possibilities that now rise as a result of these changes. There’s too much light in the bedroom and not enough ventilation, so that needs to be fixed. I should be doing at least an hour’s vigorous exercise. There are still things to fix. All of these things are undoubtedly true, but none of them can be immediately dealt with.

Instead, time to do what can be done.

Free

Special Secondary Sunday Blog post, because many things are evolving, many of them worthy of note.

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Park Life

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This morning I needed to go and walk, so ticked off a bit of Project photography in the process. This means, not really trying, I’ve managed 600 plus calories of exercise today, which is not bad for a day when it was decided to not really bother. Tomorrow is a day of organising and deadline setting, plus getting the web theme I’ll be using for the Poetry all nice and ready to receive the work which is very much now ‘in progress’.

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Three bike rides a week really needs to become four.ย Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday is probably the best plan, leaving Blaze nights untouched and Friday as my day off because, YES I NEED A DAY OFF.ย Rest is important, kids. I’ve not touched a weight since Thursday, mind, so some press-ups will probably be an idea. It’s a tough life, all this fitness, you gotta get organised and work hard and everyfink.

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This story is back.ย It’s bothering me when I’m not thinking about poetry, is asking me to finally edit with the new mindset, which will happen, and then IT IS SO BEING SENT TO PUBLISHERS. There’s an updated playlist on Spotify, and kinks in the narrative that were once intractable have begun to shift. Cautious optimism is breaking out everywhere. Be careful, you might get infected.

Let’s see how well the week pans out.

The Greatest Love of All

Okay, where to start…?

My PT knows I like taking pictures, so asked if I’d be willing to come visit the site where lots of clients were taking part in a sport that could one day be considered as an Olympic one. The plan, of course, was to try and persuade me to take part. Here is your test of ultimate fitness. My trainer does not as yet grasp the real reasons why I’m exercising, that the assumption initially is that ‘oh look, I need validation of my efforts…’

Three hours I stood, taking pictures, before anxiety finally consumed me completely and I had to leave, simply did not want to stay there any longer. My counsellor has now taught me to ask ‘why’ such things happen in these circumstances, and so I did, in the car. Why was I so anxious? Because I was lonely.ย The feeling of comfort and security I’d felt on Friday had simply vanished and this was difficult, exposing. What had happened?

You could tell instantly the people on the course who were racing for themselves: these two, for instance, the early (super fit) part of the Gym team who didn’t need to have a GoPro strapped to them or be part of a group of others for encouragement. Their race was theirs without the need to be be part of a collective whole. They were comfortable in their ability, something that still needs to happen with me, because being part of a ‘tribe’ has always been a struggle.

I thought it was the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) that was my problem but actually, it’s far more judgemental. I am the person who suffers from FOBC (fear of being criticised) and that if I couldn’t do the course, I’d simply not be good enough. It didn’t help that my husband didn’t want to come with me yesterday, and an opportunity to talk (which hasn’t really happened for weeks) didn’t take place. That’s why anxiety rose, clear definition to it’s occurrence.

So I came home, got upset when I couldn’t help my daughter with a trivial issue and ended up taking over in an effort to show how helpful I was, cried some more and then had a bike ride, which was a small but definite improvement on the last bike ride, before making my husband stop and make time to talk about stuff because it has been bothering me for ages. At the end he told me he’d enjoyed the fact I’d come and found him to do so.

Only now, this morning sitting here as the rest of the house sleeps does the complexity of what’s now taking place inside my brain begin to really make sense. No, I’m not lonely now, like I was yesterday, and if I find myself in that situation again now I know what to do. I still don’t have a Tribe, I sit on the fringes of many places and actually, given the choice that’s where I’d like to be.ย This isn’t about feeling like I am a particular type of person.

This is about feeling like I’m being true to myself.

My PT messaged me, after she’d raced, and asked me if I’d been inspired to compete. When I am sent to Hell, whenever that finally happens, it would look and feel like this obstacle course, and I’d be forced to compete it wet and cold for the rest of my days, appropriate penance for the sin of refusing to conformย to other people’s perceptions of my worth. I was honest with her: it made me uncomfortable and frightened. Both of those feelings are easy enough to deal with, but I’d still not need to do the course even when they are

When I’m finally comfortable and confident, I won’t need a medal as validation.

I Go To Sleep

This week, I stopped feeling lonely.

It’s got nothing to do with needing friends, or feeling left out. I don’t require some miracle cure or displacement activity. All that has been required is basic understanding. Living in the past is potentially dangerous. However much I may have convinced myself that I wasn’t there, so not true at all. Not for the first time, gaming provided the metaphor. Validation is no longer mistaken for consent.

I can be this person and that’s no longer bad.

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Now, all I need is a decent night’s kip to cement it all.

Fields of Gold

When I finally slept, at about 5am, it became apparent that things are really beginning to change.

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I made some changes on Sunday, knowing that life needed a poke. Counselling has pushed some things into view that weren’t there before, and dealing with them isn’t as hard as was previously thought. Everything, undoubtedly, needs a shift about sometimes.

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So, here we are.

I need a new plan.