Fact of the Day

I had pause yesterday to stop and think why I take more pictures of myself than was the case a decade ago. Is it because I’m happier with my appearance now that I’ve lost weight, or maybe that I realise I can sell myself better with an image than will ever be the case with words… there might be a bit of both of those in the mix, not gonna lie. However, the real truth is a lot simpler: I’m comfortable now, so much more than I ever was before. Looking ‘good’ does not make me feel good. This is a point that never really registered before, but it is true. Feeling comfortable in clothes, not wearing make up, being strong enough to do a 5 mile burst of exercise without collapsing in a heap… these are my notions of ‘beauty’. Those changes I now find make me happy, and I want to share them.

As I begin my Internet of Words journey, labels and definitions are subjects I will be dedicating considerable time to discussing. I already know that conventional labelling has no use to me, that it is for other people to use and direct at me as they see fit. I’m now, after a number of years, also beginning to understand that how I define myself is beginning to alter. This isn’t just the clothes or the music or indeed the basic feelings that live inside me, it is every single cell of my body. The differences I’ve felt were for years explained away because I was depressed, or angry, and often when I was both. Now I have had the chance to really look inside myself and work out some truths, I am cautiously examining what it is I might truly be. It’s a slow and meticulous task. I’d like to think I’m evolving, were that not a blatant misuse of a definition to begin with.

The fact I’d have to choose a label for other people to identify what I am so they can treat me accordingly I find beyond depressing. I have a mentoring application to fill in today, that pretty much demands there is labelling so that I can be identified as a minority. It is both annoying and depressing that this has to happen, and I hope I can find a way on my application form to express this disenchantment, and that only through writing I have ever truly felt like myself. This is the moment where there comes a reminder that expression means a clear and concise ability to do just that, normally in a very short word space. If I have learnt my lessons well, I should be able to sell myself appropriately. In the end, if all you have is an impression and a moment in which to make it, that is all that can be hoped for.


From now on, my personal post is what I write first every day, because this is the journey that matters most. Everything else is thought and planned behind that, the banner wielding front line of ‘every day, writing makes life better.’ I can only hope that my age and experience will eventually count for something. If I keep applying for mentorships, maybe eventually there’ll be one that hits the target. So what if I’m 50 and apparently should know everything? I have very little grasp of the harsh realities of so many things, and yet the implication remains that only youth will understand and wish to learn and evolve. That has to change. If I can’t do it by conventional means? Then I’ll have to find a back door.

This journey is never going to be boring or predictable, that’s for damn sure.

You’re the One


History will remember yesterday for many things. Personally speaking, for the first time in my life, I voted outside my family’s traditional politics. I don’t care what that makes me, or how people might now look at me. In the last election, this was how my constituency voted:



Yesterday, for the first time in DECADES, my vote genuinely made a difference:


So what if Labour didn’t win? Look at those people who appeared and decided that change needs to happen. Those voters, like me, chose to show their displeasure at the political situation, resonating in kind across the country. The result this morning proves how much it counts, that real change is possible if you desire it enough. I am utterly knackered, and last night’s joy and excitement at the Exit Polls is more than worth the hangover. Once where there was simply ignorant, blinkered outlooks there could now be revolution and possibilities. Mostly, this morning, I feel a year’s worth of thrashing about has produced forward momentum.

Last year’s vote to leave Europe may finally have a positive outcome after all.


However, this morning on the way to school, came the realisation that somewhere between January and now I have become something new. I may still struggle with a lot of the basics, but the core of my being has altered. I’ve spent the morning considering this, and the timing of this realisation is neither accident or largely unexpected.

Going forward, I am ready for whatever may be thrown at me.

It’s My Life

Warning: Certain graphic descriptions in this post may upset some people.

It is apparent that there are those in the world who think the process of embracing other’s needs is often pointless and annoying. A case in point appeared yesterday: trigger warnings in a set of book contents, which one author decried as spoilers and pronounced were fundamentally wrong. The process of acceptance, that certain people (given the choice) would like to know what they’re going to read beforehand is part of the evolution of words that I spoke about yesterday. Authors might consider ‘spoiling’ work ahead of time a bad idea, but honestly, it is far better to make an informed decision. It was like when I discovered my 12 year old watching the first episode of 13 Reasons Why because a friend was doing the same, and that made it somehow okay. If you don’t know this show… well it has been critically acclaimed, but even I get any drama with the elements this one contains is going to give me nightmares regardless of age. I think I made the right choice in telling her exactly what she’d end up seeing, and in the end she told her friend it was a bad choice too.

Life can be about honesty and truth without pain, if you choose to walk that path.


Last night I dreamt of an air crash, but it was so much more: the details so vivid when I woke up that they can be recalled even now. A gun battle in the cockpit, the plane having to circle to lose fuel, and a landing so frightening I woke up with a gnawed lip and blood in my mouth. The worst part however was the fact that due to a malfunction only half the plane’s passengers got off before the aircraft burst into flames, with remaining people effectively cremated inside the fuselage. I had to watch all this too, wasn’t able to walk away, held in place as the horror unfolded. Waking at 6.30am as my husband went to work, my hands shook, and I used the mindful breathing exercises I have learnt to take away the pain. Then, I slept again, and the dream this time was a revelation.

In my dream home, entirely of my own design and furnished to my needs, nothing would go right. I’d ask people to respect the way I’d organise things and they’d leave surfaces in chaos. My son flooded the front room in innocence and destroyed thousands of pounds of irreplaceable books. For some reason an increasingly exotic number of birds arrived to sit on my kitchen table, and ended up not leaving, and there was a point I reached where I just ran away, and kept running. The perfect world created myself was ruined ultimately by other people, but inevitably they had no idea what they’d done. The birds of course were the final straw, but the best metaphor: you can’t prevent the Universe destroying your plans sometimes, it just happens regardless.

The key to both of these dreams, effectively, is the sentence above. In my head are a set of perceptions and beliefs that create the unique being that I am. I can learn to control those perceptions in differing ways, the beliefs can shape and mould my understanding of the World around me, but unless I am capable of adequately communicating those to other people, there is a problem. In the case of trigger warnings, asking someone to communicate for me when it is difficult for me to do so myself is beyond useful. It gives a choice I would previously not be afforded and, if I’m honest, is sometimes a relief. On days like today when talking to people will be tough, because I am the one with the faculty issues, words come again to save me. I can express myself though a medium other than speech. Concepts can be expounded that would normally be left well alone.

Some days, the only way I can communicate successfully is via the written word.


That revelation’s only recent, and it comes as I begin to grasp that there are moments when the intellectual process of having to build sentences and construct metaphors and deliver them dispassionately is simply a better alternative to opening my mouth, because when I do all the emotional components of these arguments falls out, without any of the structure. I don’t want to speak to people, I need to jam headphones so tight into my ears that none of the outside world gets in. I’ll want to lose myself in ambient noise, even without lyrics, and just have sound as the means to sooth a brain that’s only now beginning to grasp how it works best. Those days where other people demand you make it about them, when you just want to make it to the end. It isn’t that I don’t care… it is almost that I can’t, and that’s a concept I really do have trouble trying to make other people understand.

Today, therefore, there will be lots of pictures. I suspect I may end up throwing plants at a lot of people. Most importantly, having made this significant step forward, I think I want to try and listen more to what my subconscious has to say. I’m sure a lot of it is rubbish, but if there are revelations like this to be found that I can understand and resonate with, it is well worth both the time and effort. After all, only by better understanding myself will I ever be able to become a better person overall.

This seems like a decent place to start.