personal

On Being A Space Oddity

 

I went to three different primary schools, two secondary schools, tried my luck in four colleges, moved from a city to a town and back to a different city and have moved home nineteen times. I have lost a whole side of a family at once, dropped friends for no good reasons and until March, never found a job I was happy in. I am a creature of change and any familiarity used to scare me senseless. I would create change so that I could be in control of the situation as I felt that nothing stuck. Friends, homes, courses, partners- I didn’t see these things as ever being consistent so I cut the ties on my own terms. Not healthy. Not something I do any more. My life is, dare I say it, pretty stable now. I have the same friends I’ve had for a few years, the same partner I’ve had for five years, the same home for three years (I’m about to move but shh) and now a job I feel absolutely settled in. Rather than feeling scared or overwhelmed, I think I finally got where I needed to be and I think my parents might actually be sleeping these days rather than worrying about their slightly erratic daughter.

Thing is, when change is consistent and any kind of happiness feels like it is absolutely fleeting, there’s no comfort zone. I have read countless articles on escaping this so-called comfort zone and all I ever thought was man, I’d do anything to have a comfort zone. I’ve spent most of my life feeling on the edge of losing anything good and understanding that nothing I loved would stay.

I remember hearing Space Oddity when I was around 17 and identifying with it so, so strongly. I can’t speak on behalf of David Bowie but for me, the song is about being a weird one, an oddball experiencing a new environment and a heightened sense of “I’m the weirdo here” and to me, that’s the closest thing I have or have ever had to a “comfort zone”. Feeling like everything is a million miles outside of where you are and no matter what the environment, feeling like an outsider. A terrified outsider.

When I started in my new job, I felt absolutely like Major Tom. For the first time though, in a very good way. I was scared and of course generally nervous but I was mostly hopeful and delighted. I always try to tell people when they’re going through hard times that they will eventually pass. Not because the universe is on their side and not because fate will find a way but because that’s how life is. I have applied it to dramatic and traumatic events in my life but I never thought to apply it to my life in general. Things can’t always be scary and things can’t always be teetering on the edge of disaster. Sometimes, things work out. Because that’s how life is. And hard work pays off. Passion goes a long way. It’s nice to feel happy and not scared. It’s incredible to feel hopeful again.

And hey, it’s actually kinda fun being an oddball.

The stars look very different, today.

 

I’m In Way Too Deep, I’ve Forgotten How To Swim…

So, a week after I said I was starting it, I can tell you now I failed at NaNoWriMo.

This is 100% not due to laziness, I’d admit that. The thing is, once my story got to around 2000 words, I was stumped. I did all the things you’re supposed to do when you have writers block; I went for a walk, I did something else, I read a book that has inspired me in the past and I tried to just write anything and hope that I’d get back into the swing of things. None of these helped. In fact, most of them ripped away what confidence I had left because if a writer can’t write a ‘novel’ after only 2000 words, what hope do they have with anything else? In my mind, it meant I will never write a novel. Days went by and as I struggled, I got more upset and realised I will write a novel one day but this year, it isn’t viable.

I still wanted to write every day, though. I make sure I write something every day even if it’s just a small page of thoughts, at least that way I’m still writing. On very desperate days where I have no inspiration or reason to write, I use The One-Minute Writer which gives you a small prompt and a minute to write something from it. I try to not rely on it and sometimes do a few in bulk so spend 5 minutes writing about 5 different topics.

I decided that instead of doing NaNoWriMo, I am going to write a blog post every day. Be it within my usual themes, journal posts or even just using a writing prompt. I want to prove to myself that I can write and contribute to this every day. It will be nowhere near as hard as writing a novel in a month but I expect the pay-off to feel almost as good. I expect to be proud and be able to post on this blog pretty regularly after this. My problem has always been consistency, I like keeping a blog like this where I also do articles and things that I actually want to do for the rest of my life. It’s entertaining for me and sometimes I’m even proud of myself for building such a blog that is so varied. I want to make sure I start making the most of this.

This means, like many others, I am unofficially joining in with National Blog Posting Month or, NaBloPoMo. I apologise if you don’t want to see me on your reader every day for a month, feel free to ignore my posts if you wish but I’m hoping to write a lot of interesting posts, some informative, some personal, some about music. I’m hoping to gain new readers and a new confidence in my stamina as a blogger. I realise I am 6 days late with joining in on this but as you may or may have not noticed, I have written a blog post every day in November so far anyway.

Day 03: Your thoughts on religion.

Most of the time, I think ‘live and let live’. I personally don’t like religion, I’m not a religious person though also not an atheist and I’m not wholly bothered by people who are religious who keep to themselves. I like to leave people who aren’t harming anybody to their own lives and I realise whatever religion they support for whatever reason is none of my business.

However, religious or not, I despise people enforcing their beliefs on to others. Atheists are just as guilty of preaching as religious people it seems lately and, honestly, it’s infuriating. I’m happy to have a joke about religion and do consider some religions to be utterly ridiculous but to victimise those who believe in a certain religion is beyond my comprehension; why attack people for what they believe in?

I’m aware of the harm religion causes the world, in fact I’d go as far to say that religion does as much harm on Earth as greed does and if we had a little less of both, we’d have a happier, cleaner planet. I’m disgusted by some of the passages in the bible and of course by how certain belief systems leave no place for any kind of individuality but I feel that all of this has been, and will be covered by more intelligent, informed people than myself.

Most of all though, I don’t believe in letting anything or anyone dictate my life. That includes religion. I believe that life is too short to live it according to a God who may or may not exist and I believe that people are stronger than they realise and have the ability to find their way without any kind of religion.

Day 02: Your thoughts on death.

I’m not scared of dying. I just want to live a life that is admirable and full. There are so many people who have been dead for such a long time and their lives are still written about, that’s the kind of life I want. One worth writing about. I want to leave some kind of imprint on the world and in a good way.

I don’t fear dying myself, it’s inevitable and once it’s happened, I won’t even know it so there’s nothing to fear. Fearing the inevitable is futile; it doesn’t make it stop or change. It’s still going to happen no matter how scared I am or how much I don’t want it to.

A few days ago I was thinking about a friend of mine who I am very close to but rarely see. I thought about another friend who’s best friend died and wondered what I’d do in that situation, how I’d feel, how I’d cope. Loss is not something that eludes me but losing somebody to death does quite a bit. Distant relatives have passed away, friends of friends, celebrities but never anybody I’ve loved or been very close to and that scares me. The thought that they’d be gone. That close friend would just be gone and would leave behind nothing but memories and remnants of his life. If I needed somebody, I couldn’t call him, I couldn’t wish him back, I couldn’t do anything really. That scared me. Death is irreversible. It also scares me that it’s something I wouldn’t be equipped to deal with. It’d be an entirely new experience to me and my usual coping techniques wouldn’t be enough.

On a final note, I don’t think a dead body means a dead soul, spirit or person. I think it’s just a body and we live on a lot longer than we realise. A year before I was born, my great uncle (who was pretty old at the time) died. Still, to this day, my family have stories to tell about him. His memory has outlived him and the things he taught my family have stuck with them even after his passing and I think that’s what I mean when I say I want to be remembered. I want to be worth remembering 22 years later. I want to make a mark on the world and be the best version of myself in order to do so.

I Thought That To Be Strong, You Must Be Flame Retardant

I have trust issues. Doesn’t everyone? Mine run deep to the point that I struggle trusting people to take my money to the bar for a drink. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in two separate schools of drama and in both, I couldn’t do one of the core tasks of team-building; I couldn’t let myself fall backwards and be caught by somebody else. In order to do this task, you need to trust the other person to catch you and let go of your body completely. I could never do it, I always desperately tried and felt pathetic because I couldn’t but I didn’t want to have to trust somebody to catch me. I wanted to know how to catch myself before I hit the ground.

This lack of trust has lead to me really sinking into myself. I make myself appear like an open book and some things I’m not really bothered about sharing, I don’t feel ashamed of my secrets so I share some but there’s a lot of me I don’t show. I’m seen as mouthy, argumentative and somebody not to be messed with. The truth is, most of that is a way of protecting myself. Sure, I can hold myself in an argument and in a lot of ways, I am made of steel but mostly I’m scared and I’m hiding behind this façade in the hope that I’ll mostly be left alone, I’ve been a victim one way or another for my whole life and I don’t like being seen as that so I act like somebody who can’t and won’t be victimised.

I worry about those I love turning their backs on me, leaving or betraying me so I always have a plan in my mind of how to cope if they do. I trust myself, I love myself and I’m not scared of being left alone. I’d just much rather not be because as much as I say I hate people, I need them and love them.

The title of this post was a lyric from Amanda Palmer’s song Ampersand that always stuck with me, it’s exactly how I’ve been for the past 5 or so years. I’ve tried to show weakness as little as possible and when I do, I feel disgusted and ashamed as if it’s something to be ashamed of and it’s only been recently that I’ve really realised that the people that do love me love the less aggressive side of me which makes me feel a lot better about myself but there’s still the issue of how do I let these people who see through me in? I trust very few people and with them, it came naturally or in my boyfriend’s case, with time. Aside from the few people I trust, I seem to have forgotten how to do it. If only trusting was as easy as self destructing, I’d be fantastic at it.

Writing this was hard and I was shaking most of the time but it was worth it. Even if everyone sees through me, and knew this anyway, even if someone does find out I’m weak and decides to victimise me because of it, I’ve been completely honest about who I really am. I don’t like arguments, I don’t like being the person who shouldn’t be messed with and I don’t like being angry. It’s just easier to be that way than it is to let people in. I’m not sure how much more rejection my heart can handle but when I put on my metaphorical armour, I feel stronger and like I can’t be beaten. Anyway, this is me. Scared to trust, scared to love and ok with admitting it.