My Friend, the Inside of my Head

head-196541_1920

Me and the inside of my head are very good friends, we hang out all the time.  Nothing happens in my life, from big events to small daily activities, that we don’t spend time discussing and assessing.  Some might say we spend too much time together, that the inside of my head is a bad influence on me.  And I would probably agree with them.

I like spending time with the inside of my head…or at least I used to.  Being an introvert, a thinker and an analyser, it allows me to think things through and get quiet time from the rest of the world.  At some point though, the inside of my head started taking over.  We spent too much time together.  I started hanging out in my head all the time and not in the real world.  Like a possessive partner, it started distorting how I look at the world and myself.  I became the silent one in the relationship, the friend of a bully who kept me down all the time so it was the powerful one.

I recognised in time my friendship with the inside of my head was not a healthy one and I began to distance myself from it.  It did not want to let go of me though, there was and still are arguments over how to see the world and my place in it.  Our friendship has become toxic and I need space from it.  Yet I still need that friendship, it is my refuge from a world that I find too much sometimes, it is a place of processing and protection.  So I am trying to build bridges with the inside of my mind, to find a partnership with it where we are equals not enemies.

 

Image from DasWortgewand @ pixabay

Advertisements

What’s in a name?

At the moment I am stuck. My whole life feels stuck. I keep feeling I am on the verge of doing big things, making big changes yet never actually taking any steps forward. Ever since finishing my last deadline I have felt unanchored and drifting. I feel the weight of all our plans and my work closing in around me, not knowing what to do or how to do it.

I don’t know if it is the reason for this blocked ‘meh’ feeling or a symptom of it but this blog seems to be a big tree blocking my way at the moment. Or more specifically its name is. My blog’s focus has moved away from my little button jewellery business and deserves a new name. It is about me now – my fears, adventures and hopes. So I want to refresh it, give it the new start that I working so hard towards.

Can I think of a new name though? Nope, the inspiration boat has well and truly sailed leaving me stranded here. I have been stuck thinking about this for weeks. I have read articles on choosing blog names, written lists of words, thought about my aims and goals, all that sort of jazz. Yet that name is still hiding from me. I keep getting tantalising feelings like the perfect name is about to pop into my head…and then it doesn’t. Or I think of a good name only to find that someone has got there before me.

Maybe I am resting too much on finding this name and that it is why it is hiding, fearful of the pressure I am placing on its shoulders. All I know is that I am one frustrated blogger at the moment…please if you have any ideas or suggestions, save me from this misery!

 

Strolling and Street Art in Sheffield

20170603_110518149_iOS

We went to Yorkshire Cosplay Con in Sheffield a few weeks ago so Phillip could do his thing and take lots of awesome cosplay photos (check out his ColobusYeti Instagram feed to see some of his work!). He got two press passes so I went along as the plus one. Now I like a little manga, anime and sci-fi, 2 days of it though is kinda not my thing. So one of the days I took myself exploring the streets of Sheffield so I could see some of its famed street art. Visual art means lots of photos and not so many words…a change from many of my posts. Hope you enjoy!

 

Charles Street:

20170603_105116118_iOS20170603_122657671_iOS20170603_122649666_iOS

 

Brown Lane:

20170603_122533022_iOS

 

Brown Street:

20170603_110324726_iOS

On the wall of the Rutland Arms

 

Sidney Street:

20170603_110907187_iOS

Even the skips are arty!

img_7851

 

Sylvester Street car park:

20170603_111213619_iOS

 

Arundel Street:

20170603_112140514_iOS

20170603_112018175_iOS

 

Here I found a suitable arty place to stop for lunch called ‘The Holt‘ where I had a rather scrumptious TLT (smoked tofu, lettuce and tomatoes with vegan mayo) and a lovely soy cappuccino.

 

 

Street art is not for everyone and some will see this as plain old grafitti possibly. I’m not a fan of someone simply lazily spraying their name without any real effort put in to it. This though felt like it gave character and life to this part of Sheffield and I for one loved it.

img_7901

Harry Brearley – inventor of stainless steel

 

 

The Life in Your Years

 


“It’s not the years in your life that matter…it’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln (*possibly*)


I had a completely different article in mind to write today. Instead I came across this article on the BBC website about journalist Helen Fawkes who died earlier this month.  It talks about how she faced her cancer with a ‘list for living’, blogging about her experiences both with cancer and with life. It made me cry as all too often stories like this do, I cry for myself.

This is quite a raw post for me to write and I feel more exposed and vulnerable than normal. I had a bone marrow transplant in 2001 for chronic myeloid leukaemia and have spent the 16 years since often grieving for the life I thought I would live before I received my diagnosis.  I have spent those years torn between fear of living and fear of not living enough. I am often paralysed, stuck between wanting to live, to experience this life to the full and yet unable to do so, terrified of what could go wrong.

I lost me after my transplant, I lost that person with dreams and plans for the future.  I wasn’t that person anymore and it took a whole lot of hard times, of fighting to get back to ‘normal’, to realise that person had gone and I was causing myself harm by holding on to that image of me.  Eventually I stopped looking back so much and looked for who I was now, for where I wanted life to take me.

My mind had other ideas though. It was almost like it saw me getting hold of myself and putting myself back together…and didn’t like it one little bit.  So it threw health anxiety into the mix.  Understandable perhaps given what had happened to me, the physical effects my treatment continues to have on me, the death of my brother and of Phillip’s parents.

Still it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to cope with. Constantly worrying whether this or that is a sign of something that is going to kill me, sheer overwhelming panic that I am going to die and the battling that goes on between my fear of doing anything and my fear of not doing anything, of not doing enough. I am tired of living like this.

So this article about Helen who faced her diagnosis with such a positive and open attitude really got to me.  She lived her life knowing her time was limited and determined to fit in as much as she possibly could. I cried for the years I feel I have wasted in not grasping hold of this life with both hands. It is such a brief, amazing, fleeting life we live and I am so aware of a need to make the most of it.  Too aware maybe.

I can’t do anything about what is in the past. Those years, all that time I feel I have wasted, well that is unchangeable.  And the future, who knows.  All I have is now, I need to stop worrying and put more life into my years.  So I am going to borrow Helen’s idea of a ‘list for living’ and fill it with things from the normal to the possibly impossible.  I don’t want a bucket list, that feels too much like having to achieve a list of things before I die.  I want things to aim for, I want to celebrate this life and I want to live it not simply be alive for it.

When my list is more than an idea, when it itself has life, I will share it with you. For encouragement, for support, for the sheer kick in the backside I will probably need to push through my worries to actually do this.  If you have any suggestions for my list, share away please!

If you are interested in reading about Helen’s story in her own words, take a look at her blog.

Sunday Sunrise

Took ourselves off in our little Bongo for an overnight stop at Tan Hill Inn ~ the highest pub in the UK last night.

We had a slight food issue which was a little grrr.  Phoned to ask if they could cater for a vegan, they said yes, got there and they said no!  This inn is on the middle of nowhere and we had already sampled a couple of beers so we were driving nowhere.  Luckily we had enough breakfast with us to eek out 2 meals.  Oh and some frazzles!

The surroundings of the peaceful Yorkshire Moors with sheep and birds more than made up for it and this beautiful sunrise would have been worth missing a meal for (*possibly*).  Beautiful spot, beautiful morning.  Happy Sunday everyone!

‘Everyday Inspiration’: wrap it up

Finally I have escaped the dreaded work deadline that has been hanging over my head and sucking up all my time these last couple of weeks! So I am back and ready to blog. First up, here’s that summary I promised on the Everyday Inspiration course I finished what seems like months ago now…


Day Twenty: Wrap It Up


And now, the end is near…yep it is the final day of the ‘Everyday Inspiration’ course that I have been doing over here on lovely WordPress.  Funnily enough they have made the last task a wrap-up piece, a look back over the course…never saw that coming…

I choose to take part of my curiosity about some ‘whats’ ~ what do I want from my blog, what I do want to write about and what direction or focus do I want to take?  Sprinkle in a few ‘whys’ ~ why do I write and why do I blog? ~ and that gives you a glimpse of the me that started this course.

It has given me both answers to those questions and at the same time given more questions about how and why I write and what I write about.  Stretching my writing muscles and trying new things has been an interesting experience.  I have not always been brave enough or pleased enough with the results to publish what I have written, I have though written and learnt **

Has taking part in this made me a better writer or blogger?  I don’t really know and maybe it is not for me to decide.  I am not even sure I would be able to answer, I would be too busy looking at what could be better or what I feel is still missing…the damn perfectionist in me hasn’t quite let go yet despite my efforts.  It has certainly given me ideas and shown me blogging doesn’t have to be simply spilling out word after word from my over active mind.

All tasks taught me something, either about my writing or about myself.  These three are the ones that go ‘hey I was really special though’…

Home is Everywhere and it is Anywhere – based on the single word ‘home’ this piece struck a chord with me and with people I shared it with on social media, it reminded me how home is not one building or place.

Dear Tokyo, I miss you– writing a letter to something rather than to a person is a style of writing that was completely out of my comfort zone and I so nearly backed out of it.  I didn’t and was really rather chuffed with the result.

If we were having coffee right now… – This task introduced me to a new way of writing and I loved it!  I will probably introduce it to my blog as a more regular feature.

So now the course is over and what comes next?  A little part of me is concerned that without the focus and prompts given by the course I may lose my way.  Right where’s that positive hat I don’t wear often enough?  Okay found it, yes I may be a little concerned but what sort of anxious person would I be without some worry?  Worrying is nothing new to me.  Accepting that and with my little hat on, I will continue to write, explore new ideas and share my thoughts with you all.  The focus and style for this blog will come together in time, my little thoughts will find their big voice.

**I may have missed a couple of tasks out…**

Hello…I am still here…

I haven’t forgotten about you all or my little blog I promise!  Life has been a little…well busy…and I was feeling a little overwhelmed so something had to give before my sanity did.  

Feeling slightly more on stable ground now so hopefully will follow this quick update with some more blog posts soon (the doofus that I am forgot that I had a couple of drafts ready to go including the summary of my Everyday Inspiration course…doh). 

Catch up with you all soon!