Every Day is like Sunday

Ah, Easter. This is the time in our house where chores get done, shit gets thrown away and long-overdue promises are finally fulfilled. Today therefore is a fairly typical day of Resurrection: the garden is now cleared of all the rubbish from last week, and we have a man scheduled to come properly remove the last two stubborn tree trunks and roots, so that’s a boatload of progress. Husband is recovered enough from his second bout of elective surgery to go ride a bike, and with the kids at my parents, I have the house to myself. As the end of the Easter break looms large, I find myself thinking about how much has changed in the last four months because, like it or not, I’m in a vastly different place YET AGAIN to where I was this time last year.

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I love the life I have. It wasn’t awful before, but now there’s a measure of real control and confidence that simply didn’t exist previously. There’s been a couple of genuinely fuzzy days since last Thursday, I won’t lie, but coming out of the back of everything there remains an optimism that I don’t ever really remember owning. Having cast the die on the Patreon, I’m ready to order the Tier rewards to offer to people to sign up with, because I’m absolutely determined to make this entire venture as professional and polished as possible. That means four tiers of participation, from Casual to Hardcore (and yes they’ll be named after game styles because HEY I CAN IT IS MY PATREON) and a real excitement of what this could mean long term. I’m still quietly stunned that with the minimal amount of advertising the @InternetofWords Twitter account already has followers in double figures. That alone makes me think this whole amazing thing MIGHT JUST WORK.

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Then, there has to be content, and there’s already lots of ideas on the table. I’m going to be consulting with some trusted people in the next week as to whether they think these ideas have merit long term, and which should be developed as a priority. Once that’s all in place, starting the beginning of May it is time to just dive in and work on as much as possible so when everything goes live in June we’re future proofed until the end of the year. I hope I’ll have some of you along for the journey, and the plan is to use CoPromote as a means to see if there’s new followers to pick up along the way. There’ll be other means to generate interest too, if it all works out. Only time will tell.

For now, it is time to enjoy a lazy Sunday for all it is worth.

The Bones of You

The last couple of days have been hard work, but this morning I got a lie in (9am!) and a leisurely chance to reflect on where I am. Writing every day has now become a habit I’m really happy with. All those gross and bad ones I can now work on shifting, but this one stays, because the comfort it gives me is becoming as vital as the occasional packet of (low fat) crisps or that first morning cuppa. In fact, some days it is the replacement for sweets or a sit down, but when I can’t adequately vocalise my issues, or there’s undue stress… I still find it tough, and there’s an area I need to work on going forward.

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My legs hurt this morning, but not nearly as much as they did the first time I did the Gym Challenge, so now I can move forwards and do a bit more. I may well be addicted to fresh sushi, if my desire to run out and buy it for lunch is any indicator (I will, but not yet.) I’m simultaneously joyous and disgusted by the news, and as a result have started regularly reading the Guardian’s online newspaper (and am happy at the political affiliation that automatically affords me.) No, I don’t agree with every extremist theory that’s thrown at me: some are genuinely funny, others quite sad. I’m more green than red and always have been, and you won’t win me over by fixating on a viewpoint that intentionally excludes the wider issues. However, this is an interesting time to be political.

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The NaNo projects is going almost worryingly well. There are two elderly men in an office I need to write a scene for this morning. Both their lives are intractably shaped by women they loved and lost and this is a viewpoint that is causing some longer term thought in terms of motivation. I’m also wondering if I can get away with a MacGuffin that might actually end up as being a scientific possibility, and which could end up underpinning a large proportion of my narrative. Options are, at this point in proceedings, fairly limitless. I love having an idea that I can write without stress: a lot of the times writing myself into corners is an occupational hazard. Not with this story. I keep finding ideas just opening up ahead of me and asking for a choice. I don’t think so far I’ve made a wrong turn. Time will tell.

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Stuffing myself with things to do always makes me happy. Writing is double the fun, and I really can’t get enough of it. My only concern right now is whether I’ll get everything done I want in the time available.

Change

Often, a blog of this type will start its existence with a story. It might be the moment someone decided to change their life, or they began something existence altering or affirming. For some of us, life doesn’t work like this. For people like me, every day is just a step, the way forward, chance to discover more about myself in the process of existence. I’ve often wondered if the epiphany metaphor is overused, or if some people just spend their lives never experiencing the bolt of inspiration from above as the entire Universe suddenly shifts on its axis. I can say I’ve had amazing thoughts or I’ve come to significant conclusions but at no point did I ever feel the need to drop everything and just go another way. That’s just not how this works.

At least, it wasn’t.

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Then, one day, I stopped menstruating. Now I look back on what preceded this event, with amazement it is abundantly apparent that the end had been on the cards for far longer than I’d initially realised. With the benefit of hindsight, a lot of shit suddenly made sense. Now I live in a world where hormonal surges no longer dictate actions: once upon a time it would be PMS, and when that added to my depression, things would sometimes become very black indeed. Now, amazingly, my life has altered in a manner I didn’t think would be possible a year ago. It is almost as if there was a light that switched on, sudden inspiration to push myself away from the person who just survived to the individual now who wants to start to be more. Without the hormonal issues, I’m suddenly more liberated than I ever thought would be possible.

However it is so much more than simply one moment of change.

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The alterations I have made, starting after the holiday to the West coast of the US in 2015, hinged around a very real need to be physically stronger than I was at the time to survive. It has been a year, and I can confidently attest that on that front, there has been significant progress made. Weight loss used to be the reason I’d exercise, now exercise has become the catalyst for so much more . I stopped being about the petty and the details and finally embraced a completely different outlook, and when my periods stopped earlier this year, a whole level of worry simply vanished. It is only then I grasped that if I’m not dictated to but direct physical change, maybe the same can be true of everything else. The key however is a vital and small sliver of understanding that happened somewhere between 2015 and here.

It all revolves around being different, yet wanting to be the same.

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I’ve known I was different since I was a kid, but only now am I able to tell you why. It’s not just a simple descriptor either, there’s a lot wrapped up in the understandings I’ve come to in the last few years. Knowing you are different, it occurs to me is only helpful if you wish to use the knowledge in a particular way: perhaps you hope it will help people better understand what you are, or why you have been the way you have for so long. Certainly for key medical or psychological conditions, that’s probably the case. However, if you conclude that you don’t want anything to change except yourself because of what you now understand to be your situation? That’s gonna be interesting. My family already know how to deal with the exception. What I’ve never really considered is how that goes the other way. 

How do I deal with different, to make it better?

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Today, I gave it a try. In two (potentially) contentious situations with family, I threw away the rules. Instead of the normal approaches, I went another way, and in both cases, things went far better than I could have anticipated. Of course, everyone else will be calling this a triumph for them making me alter my intractable, inflexible ways, and they might well be right, but in my head there’s a re-connection of neurons that’s only been possible after I found discipline and focus via exercise. The peace that routine has instilled allowed me the opportunity to approach parts of my psyche without fear for the first time, and come to conclusions I’m betting other people have been making for years, but because they loved me they just let it pass. In the end, it’s not a bolt of lightning or a massive epiphany, it’s just time and effort finding a way. Except some things won’t change: not because I’m unbending or inflexible, but because I don’t feel the same way I did any more.

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Some will tell you the only way to find salvation is to forgive and find love in your heart for those who before you hated. This is a lie. You find salvation by accepting truths, and moving on. That means I won’t start loving people again I stopped loving before, regardless of their relationship to me. That’s absolutely fine too. No problems with this at all, and life will continue regardless. The difference is I can be polite and respectful now, whereas before I’d be other emotions. That’s all gone, and the hormones make all that trauma so much easier to cope with.

If someone asks you what you’d change about yourself give the chance, normally you’ll think of something that could use improvement. I’m currently altering just about every attitude I have, in a slow and systematic fashion, and I think I’d like to keep doing this until my last day on Earth. It’s not about opening my heart either: that’s never been shut for business and continues to be broken and brilliant by turns. I’ve lied a lot over the years using words but now I just want the truth to be out there, because in the end it is far easier than living a lie. I did that, and it won’t happen again. If I don’t want to let people know stuff? I just don’t write it down.

Everything else however is fair game.