Fairytale

Today is somebody that I know’s birthday. This person… well, I owe quite a lot to them. They aren’t really aware of how much, because I’ve never taken the time to tell them why. Because I don’t want to embarrass them in public I won’t mention them by name, and I don’t have to. They know this is about them, because I took the time privately to check beforehand, making sure they were aware of what was going on. The reason why the whole shebang then is subsequently public? Well, that will become apparent. Because what this person has taught me in the time I’ve come to know them is simple. Friendship is what YOU make it, not what someone else tells you works. It is a delicate and subtle balance of give and take, that you can only maintain with joint effort. That’s the key: any relationship worth a damn isn’t just one person putting in the hours. You both have to want it to succeed.

Mostly this person remains the best reminder of how far I have to travel to be a reality he aspires me to be.

pinocchio

This is my favourite GIF right now. It perfectly encompasses the feelings I have every day I wake up and realise that I need to be a mum and a writer and a decent human being plus all those other things that maybe I’d just like to forget. This is the Black Dog that many people say is their existence with depression: the all-pervading sense of being followed and and threatened by something that could incapacitate you at any moment… except for me, I am Pinocchio. I just want to lie unmoving, and hope that the world just goes away. It’s been a really tough week too for this, knowing what I’ve set myself to do in terms of the health challenge. I’d just like to stop caring, but I know I can’t, and it is due to people like my husband and my friend that I understand why I can’t. My friend pulled himself though an incredibly stressful period of his life, losing both job and a parent, and has become something truly aspirational. He doesn’t know this because I haven’t told him until now, but if it wasn’t for him there have been some days when I would have given up and gone a very, very long way backwards. It is because he cared about me, and didn’t do anything other than just be there for me when it mattered. That’s what friendship is really about, the people I feel I can trust when I have nowhere else to go.

Without him, I would not posses the belief to move forward with my life.

shawshank

Freedom is important.

Mostly, because of the lives we lead, I’ve never actually had a chance to sit down and say all this to him alone. It might seem odd therefore that I choose such a public means in which to do so now, but that’s actually quite crucial to this equation. Because the way the World now works means that private and public are often indivisible, that what matters more is the sentiment as fuel to inspire and motivate others. Congratulating someone privately is great, but ultimately telling the world they’re awesome is better because then everyone gets to drink the Kool Aid of Knowledge they provide.  The problem then comes with that person getting all flustered and unhappy that you drew attention to this in the first place, and then you can often end up going backwards. Having chosen to be public in my struggles, I can put my name to everything with impunity, but that’s not my decision in his case. If you REALLY want to find him then a) you’re a fucking scary internet stalker and  STOP IT NOW and b) it won’t actually be that much of a stretch. I really wouldn’t have done this if I knew he’d have a problem either, and that’s also a measure of the comfort level we hold between us. He doesn’t mind being known as my friend. That in itself is enough to make me beam so broadly my face will hurt, and I won’t care. That’s because the anti-social cow finally worked out how to do relationships properly.

I managed to put the past behind me and move forward.

its_a_trap_star_wars

No, its really not.

It’s not like nobody tells you as a kid that bad shit happens. It happens ALL THE DAMN TIME but if you choose wilfully to ignore it? More fool you. That’s what I was, the biggest fucking idiot on the Planet, and there are days when that’s still true, until I grasp that lots and lots of really lovely people can be an adult and hold down jobs and be responsible and guess what? They’re all panicking inside too. My friend taught me this, a lesson he reinforces every time I see him questioning his own worth, whether he’s doing it right. Some people are just better at coping with stuff than others, and fortunately for the planet? These people are actively furthering the process of evolution. If you want to help with that, it’s not about being silent and scared. You need to find a voice and move forward. Without my friend being the brilliant guy he is, I’d not be here to do that. Everybody needs role models and people to look up to, and I have him, though he’ll probably give me the Evil Bogeye of Doom for even suggesting this before telling me I need better role models. I really don’t, you’re just the one I needed.

Your life isn’t anyone else’s to dictate or guide, unless you make that choice. I choose to let this man be my friend, and he returns the favour. Honestly, this is all I could ever ask for. Being a grown up isn’t as scary when he’s around, and I will never thank him enough for that fact alone. Happy Birthday, Squire.

Yes, you’re utterly awesome xxx

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Welcome to February 29th, a day that only exists once every four years.

There is something magical about an experience that only comes around once in a while, it occurs to me. I woke up full of determination to make this as productive a time as possible, so I can say the extra 24 hours I was gifted is as properly utilised as I can manage. Mostly, people will be doing another Monday, but I love the idea of this having an extra relevance. The start of this week is somehow less traumatic, more exciting as a result, and it occurs to me that perception really does matter in the general scheme of things. HOW you see is almost as important as what is there to observe.

Having come to some quite revelatory conclusions about my own mind in the last week, I’m also starting today in a deliberately relocated head-space. Now I realise that there are those literally desperate to deflect me from my path, it is time to make sure I’m focussing in the right places. Despite numerous assertions to the contrary, some are literally so desperate to attract attention they will indeed do anything for that vital moment in your gaze. Once you understand that you’re not actually the problem? Everything else becomes a heck of a lot easier to rationalise. That means today I write, I Gym and then I write some more, but all of this in the knowledge that I’m making genuine and sustained progress, and most definitely not going backwards.

Make you extra day count, people, because you have no idea where you’ll be in another four years, and as a result you should have something to show for that which actually matters.

Walk like an Egyptian

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I’m quite an avid armchair Egyptologist. That means I actually watched some television this week, as Channel 5 showed a documentary on the current theory that King Tutankhamen isn’t buried in his own custom built tomb, and may actually be shoved in the corridor of somebody else’s, namely his mother Nefertiti. Or rather, his mother in law, who could easily have been his father’s first cousin. Needless to say all of this is quite controversial to begin with, yet the evidence appears fairly compelling. The screencap typo from the documentary may have sent me scurrying to be a pedant with Blink Films, but the whole thing (made clearly for the National Geographic channel) was surprisingly watchable, except for the narration. I totally ‘get’ why these things are voice-overed the way they are but all I wanted to do is grab the script from the guy reading, shove him away and just read to the important stuff at the end.

Mostly, you can’t just knock a section of wall down in the Valley of Kings and take a look, considering the significance of the spot to begin with. However, should this actually prove to be correct, the collective nerdgasm that would result should not really be underestimated by ANYBODY. One assumes that a small hole could be drilled in the corner of the suggested voids and a camera sent inside, at least to ascertain whether anything exists beyond. Along with the evidence that suggests Tut’s burial mask was actually made for a woman and his Canopic Jars were also designed for a female, there’s a lot of doubt thrown on just what happened to this 19 year old when he died. Then comes his significance in the scheme of Egyptian Dynasties generally: the suggestion that Nefertiti could actually have been elevated from simple Pharaoh’s wife to Pharaoh proper was mentioned in passing by the documentary but now expanded upon in nearly enough detail for me, but it is clear that traditional gender roles are being reassessed in light of a more ‘liberal’ outlook by historians over just about everything.

After all, Vikings had mothers too.

pasts

There are those who will say, perhaps with justification, that reassessing history with ‘modern’ sensibilities is not helpful or indeed productive, and that the ‘traditional’ gender roles remained the way they were for good reason simply based on physical strength and ability. Mostly, things were just they way they were, because that’s how life works. The bigger issue, of course, is that education and writing as practical skills weren’t afforded to that many women historically as a default, and so presenting an accurate female-centric view of the World isn’t nearly as likely as a male one. So, looking at this stuff with fresh eyes is all well and good, but it doesn’t escape the fact that society has only evolved to this point in recent times.

There is of course, another theory. Tut’s family paid a bunch of cowboy labourers to do a quick and easy burial because they’d not adequately planned for funeral expenses. If people don’t think ahead now, I see no reason why that couldn’t have happened in ancient times either. That’s the great thing with history, it’s pretty much guesswork for at least part of the time.

Anything is possible with an active enough imagination.