Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Am I a Follower, or a Free Thinker?

I think that it’s always been hard to say whether the path we follow is truly our own or shaped for us, especially in this modern world of social media and media frenzy. So much of what we do and say is affected by the world around us, from popular posts shared on sites like Facebook, to the daily news. Too many people just follow all the information blindly, without thinking about what lies behind it, where the truth really is. I’ve always believed that, in choosing which information to accept or to investigate further and which to disregard, that I am exercising free thought and not following the crowd. Yet, perhaps out of a need to feel like I belong, I still find myself falling into “group patterns” and following and accepting most of what these groups have to say. Does that make me just another follower, too?

Whilst I can lead, I don’t see myself as a leader. There are times when I don’t mind being in the spotlight, when I feel the need to be visible (and sometimes I’m visible when I’m less inclined to be, simply because of the fact that I don’t care anymore what people think and don’t hide most of who I am). There are other times when I shun the spotlight, hide away indoors, where people can only see or find me if they know where to look. Throughout my life, I’ve adapted my ideas and beliefs as I’ve grown older and have learnt more about the world, change being one of the most inevitable parts of life. In some ways I have become more defined, in others I have simply shifted one niche for another, always going and arriving at where I feel most comfortable. Who I am now has taken years to develop, a lifetime. Yet I still wonder at times whether it was simply an accident that I arrived at where I am now, or how much the outside world has had an influence upon those decisions.

For those that believe in predestiny, we do not make any free choices at all, as everything is already mapped out for us. I do admit that I partly believe in predestiny myself, that we choose before we are born what sort of life we are going to lead, but that not everything is fixed, that we still have some choices along the way in how to reach that final destination. But then I also look at other things in my life, from my fears to my hobbies. I grew up in a family that crafted, so I still craft myself today, even if it’s not always in the same way that I grew up with. I grew up in a menagerie of animals, with the first pets in our household being cats. I have two cats myself today. I shunned Christian beliefs after bad experiences and turned to other beliefs that called more to my soul, yet I still have minor fears now and then today because of some of the things I was taught during the time that my family took me along with them to church. And yet…

And yet, I do not follow the news on a regular basis, as I know how easy it is to get caught up in the fearmongering that is encouraged by all the mostly negative news bulletins. As a teenager, once I broke away from the fold, I started following my own way more, eventually (after a period of stubborn immovability) becoming more accepting and adaptable to the ideas of others. After learning from experience, I try to promote positive ideals more, rather than encouraging the endless stream of negative information that most of us see or hear on a daily basis. I am becoming who I believe I want to be, rather than letting others dictate to me how I should be. And yet…

And yet I still get caught up in the fear from time to time, perhaps out of sheer human weakness. And I still fear that, because of my acceptance and adaptability, no matter how many see me as a unique individual, that the path I’m following isn’t as much my own as I might believe. Whether it be predestiny, or external stimuli from those around us, we are all a product of the world we live in, whether we like it or not. Perhaps, in that respect, whilst those of us with good intentions can’t forgive or excuse, it is possible to understand extremists. For good or bad, those few are still following the voice that shouts the loudest to them, just like the majority of the rest of us, trying to make sense of the chaos that is the world around us.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Be Cruel to Be Kind

People say that you’ve “got to be cruel to be kind”. Perhaps, in some ways, it does work, by denying people a bit of extra help when it’s obvious that they can do the task on their own, no matter how much they’re struggling. Basically “tough love”, if you will. But for people who use this saying, I get the feeling that they don’t think in those moments of saying it about what cruelty really is…

I can be cruel. I mean, I can be truly cruel. The black thoughts in my mind, that always expect the worst. I’ve said before that I hope that my past experiences haven’t blackened my heart too much, said it quite recently, in fact, here. But I notice more and more how the dark thoughts are still there, how I end up thinking the worst of even the nicest of people because experience says that everyone will let me down in the end, that they will just run away and I’ll be alone again, always.

In times of struggles, no matter how minor, these thoughts come to the fore more strongly. I don’t see my own weaknesses until it’s too late and I’ve made a complete tit of myself once more. Then I’ve got to somehow dig myself out of the hole, repent the things I’ve said in haste and, in trying, it just gets deeper and deeper and deeper… Then they do run away, because I’ve driven them away through my actions. The cruelty inside of me comes out further, blaming them for being like everyone else that’s always let me down, even though I know it’s my fault. But as soon as I sit back and see how much of a failure I truly am, that I let my insecurities get in the way again, I break once more. I prepare to give up trying again, but the cycle always inevitably comes around again, whether I want it to or not.

Of course, it isn’t truly my fault; it’s the fault of all those that have hurt me in the past, with genuine ill intent. They’ve turned me into a bitter, insecure, untrusting mess. The more the years have gone on, the more that I’ve been let down and taken advantage of, the worse I have gotten. I keep trying to break the cycle, but I fear it might be too late. Despite all the kindness and love in my heart, that cruel side, that bitter side, is a fixed part that refuses to leave. Maybe someone will come along one day and prove me wrong, heal the hurts and remove the thorns that cause me to lash out in anger. Yet I fear it is too late for me. I don’t like being alone, but alone is probably the best place to be.

Friday, 10 July 2015


Life is a series of random explosions. Explosions of happiness, sadness, madness – craziness, all of it! It seems to be all or nothing as one event tumbles into the next. The past couple of weeks have certainly been that way and nothing has gone as expected. It feels like everything is building up towards a cataclysmic event that will change my life forever. Everything I have believed in so far will be turned on its head. Whether that will be a good or bad thing, only time itself will tell. Hopefully it will be a good thing, to finally move on and leave all the disasters of my past behind. But I’ve thus far been resisting change at every single turn, fighting it. It’s not that I don’t want to be free of the darkness, no matter how enticing and seductive it is; it’s been a familiar friend throughout the years, inspirational at times, but I’ll be glad rid of its destructiveness, albeit still reluctantly. No, change has to be good, no matter how scary the prospect is. Part of it is that I don’t believe that my life can truly change for the better. Every time my life has appeared to have been taking a good direction, something has happened to change all of that. The disasters and resulting sadness have never stopped. And yet…

On the one hand, I am sure that this latest bubble of hope is going to burst soon, but there’s something else as well. There’s something that’s building up inside of me, something huge that’s waiting to be released. The colours in my mind that are trying to escape into many creative forms are like a precursor to the next big explosion. I’ve hoped all my life for some of the basic things that many take for granted: peace, love, happiness, safety, security. At times I’ve had one or two, but never all at once. I’ve believed myself to not be deserving, like I’m cursed, but now? Maybe it just wasn’t the right time yet. Always so close, yet so far, but if I can be patient a little bit longer (not that I actually know what patience is), maybe I will find myself deserving again.

I’ve waited a long time to find out my true purpose in this world, to make sense of all my suffering. Well, it’s nearly time, I feel it coming. It still won’t be easy, but I hope I will finally be set free. I am strong, like no one can ever believe, and my strength and that alone will win me through.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Misplaced Trust

I’ve spent a lifetime of having faith in the wrong people. You would have thought that, at 34, I would have learnt my lesson by now. But I will say that it isn’t quite that simple.

I have been left insecure and fragile by the experiences of my past, but one thing that hasn’t yet been destroyed is my kind heart. So I still have an unerring faith in humanity, that there is some good and kindness out there somewhere, and if I don’t allow myself to open up in some ways to people, then I will never find it. I still go in cautiously, expecting to be taken advantage of, in a way. It can be even harder when you think that you have found someone who might actually be able to see past all of your flaws. Whether it be just simple friendship, or potentially something more (and it all has to start somewhere, anyway), I still keep searching and looking for those people that will prove my doubts wrong, that will prove to me that there is goodness in the world, that may even potentially save me.

But there are no “knights in shining armour”. In fact, many would-be rescuers have turned out to be demons dressed as knights, those fabled “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. It’s all left me with dents and bruises, leaving me looking a bit mismatched as I’ve had to repatch my armour in various places over the years. But the truth about humanity is that no one is perfect, that we’re all infallible. In looking for perfection you will only ever find flaws, faults, all the things that will just make you feel let down again, whether that is the intention of the other person or not. You want to see the best in people, yet all the demons have left you embittered, so even the slightest mistake can have you believing that they are just another one of those demons, out to get you, to destroy you. Slowly, through the years, the kind heart is so full of wounds and scars that, even when you want to be kind, you find it hard to be. You still want to see the best in people, but the scar tissue means that every new person that comes along has to fight a lot harder to win a treasured place.

So many won’t want to fight for a place, or won’t be able to handle the crazy mix of emotions that comes across as a result of all the damage. Even long-term friends may eventually run away, unable to cope with all the pressure. It’s left me very alone, and I believe that I may well be forever alone, as I don’t believe that there is anyone out there now who has the patience to stick around, to prove themselves and reassure me when I need it. I’ve ended up needing constant reassurance of people’s intentions, as it's become such that nowadays it won’t take much for me to lose faith in them. They say that “actions speak louder than words”, or that “words are wind”, but the right words, when actions are unavailable, can be just enough to allow you to hold on just that little bit longer.

I am quite fragile and break easily, yet I have a strong core. I use my strength to pull myself together again after every betrayal, but each time I remake myself I am not the same as I was before, leaving me trusting less, giving less chances, and requiring even more patience than before to handle. I’ve always refused to let the demons destroy the loving, kind person inside of me that would do anything for those that I care about, but she is slowly disappearing and eventually, one day, will be no more.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Letting Go

There are so many things in life that you can’t fight for, like love, peace, happiness. At various points I’ve tried to fight for them all, with a greedy desperation, thinking that they all must come to me at some point if I just tried hard enough. But all I ended up doing was driving them away. In reality, in that fight, you eventually end up fighting against what it is you’re trying to gain, because in fighting it can do nothing but take a negative turn. It’s not just the friendly fire, but also the stress and pressure of the fight. Fighting can only ever do but one thing: destroy.

I’d realised this lesson before, but I kept repeating the mistake through my dark hours, when everything kept feeling like it was falling apart. I was so desperate for something to go right for once, for something to cling on to, but it all kept slipping through my fingers, pulling away from me. So many people running scared, so many pitfalls that I didn’t see in my distraction. It was only when I was on the verge of losing everything that I understood what I needed to do: let go.

It’s like that film, The NeverEnding Story. Everything is breaking, almost everything is gone, but just at that point when all has collapsed, the boy stands up and lets go of his own pain in order to save them all. That’s the point where I am at now, except the only person I need to save is myself. Unfortunately I can’t wish for a luck dragon, nor can I wish myself a better world, but I can wish to be a stronger and better person, thereby making it a reality by working towards it. I have a choice to move on from all the trauma and mistakes from my past, and I can only do that by letting it all go, accepting it, instead of fighting it.

Luckily not everything is gone. I have somewhere to live, I have a few good friends who haven’t yet run away screaming. I owe it to them as much as myself to finally become the person I am meant to be, rather than just the damaged product of my past. I think I am finally learning to live.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The White Spaces In Between

All the white spaces in between. That’s what bright sunlight reflecting off of the sea is like, blinding and painful, yet at the same time beautiful. You don’t want to look, because it can hurt, but at the same time it’s irresistible. You are drawn into its wonder and its beauty, that place of absolute peace that’s found in the gentle near-stillness. A calm day, with softly-rolling waves, the visible heartbeat of the earth.

But it can turn, become turbulent. Raw fury lashing out, fighting against the invisible restraints that hold it bound, caught in the cycle and order of things, wishing to be set free. You remain mesmerised, trying to ride along with it, hoping that it doesn’t break you. The thrill of the ride somehow outweighing any fear. Yet the fear is still there and part of you wants to run away from it, but you can’t. Once you step on board, there is no escape.

Then it is calm once more, the wonder and joy is returned to your face. Somehow the peaceful calm and stillness is even more beautiful for having survived the turbulence. You want to stay there, basking in its glory forever. Let each wave wash over you, each ray from the sun, fulfilling you, making you whole again.

All of that, that is what love is. It can be raw, hungry, turbulent. It can be calm, gentle, peaceful. It can be blinding, it can sting, it can hurt. But, above all, it is beautiful. It is wonderful and fulfilling if you can learn to ride with it. All the fun, thrills, excitement, but with those moments of absolute terror as it drags you from one rock to another. Yet that feeling of completeness, that white space in between, that overrides it all. That experience in the shared moments, the connection, the inner peace, that is what makes it all worthwhile.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Darkness Within

I live with a darkness inside of me. I think most of us do, actually. But mine is quite alive. Sometimes it seeps out, fed by the brokenness, gobbling up every jagged morsel with an unquenchable hunger. Sometimes it just sits there, acknowledging me with a silent glare, reflecting my inner turmoil and pain back at me. Today has been a day when it has tried to do both.

I run on waves of energy bursts in order to get things done. I can intensely focus for short spurts, during which I am able to achieve much. But as soon as that light, that energy dies, it leaves me feeling empty once more. The emptiness is revealing, showing me all the things I’m missing, feeding into that ever-hungry darkness, eating me alive. I try to scream at the darkness, but it is unyielding. I try to reason with it, but it is unlistening and refuses to leave me alone. Eventually it wins the round and leaves me crying, shaking once more, open and bare, my pain again revealed.

There have been too many losses, too many changes again of late. I’ve tried desperately hard to hold onto beautiful things that have come my way. Yet they always slip through my grasp, as I always manage to chase them away with my greedy need. One thing that my life has taught me is that I can’t have good things. Good things are for good, straightforward, normal people, not for broken people like me. And as much as I am aware that there is not really such a thing as a “norm”, it often feels to me that I am so far away from the hypothetical “norm” line that I will always be driven into being an outsider everywhere.

So, here I am again, alone, no hope of being saved, no hope of being loved. The darkness is winning the fight again. I know that it is still up to me as to whether I let it win the war or not, but each individual battle takes its toll and there will come a day when I am so exhausted that I won’t want to fight anymore. Let’s just hope that it’s for the right reasons and not because the darkness takes me forever.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

About to Derail

There is so much stress in my life right now. Too many things to get done, with time running out in which to do it in. Plus, getting older, feeling every day as my life moves forward. I’ll soon be thirty-four. It’s not a pleasant thought at all, knowing how few years I have left to settle down, a time frame of about six years in which I can have kids, if I so wish to. But that isn’t primarily what’s driving me right now. No, what’s driving me right now is despair, that feeling of being a complete failure, of bringing destruction to everything I touch. I’m an unwanted reject, too broken to be of any use to anyone. Who wants damaged goods nowadays? Too many have come into my life leaving behind piles upon piles of destruction. All anyone has wanted to do is to destroy me. Me, being the fool, has gone in, open-hearted, giving my all, as I always have done, loving with very little return, until it eventually destroys me.

After everything I’d seen and been through, I had decided that enough was enough, that I would give up. Me, unwanted, unneeded, not willing to ever give a single part of me to those undeserving ever again.

But then, something happens, something that took me completely by surprise. A light came on. Someone turned on a light inside me, a fragile thing that I hadn’t seen for such a long time. All those times I’d tried to relight a dwindling flame that was barely existent to begin with and here, all of a sudden, was a light that lit itself. Greedily, desperately, with fear, hunger and wonder in my eyes, I try to grab it with shaky hands, as if it is the most precious thing in the world and I just have to have it. Such a rare jewel that I was losing all hope of ever finding and here it suddenly was. Yet, I’m a clumsy fool. I burn myself on the flame, drop it on the ground, try to smother it with a heart that is so achingly reaching towards it, desperate to feed it. The caretaker comes to remove it to a safe place, puts a glass tube over it and a cordon around it. It is taken away from me. I can see it, but can’t touch. I can still just about feel the warmth, but from a distance, an all-too-safe distance. I’ve fucked up again.

So, here I am, again. Unable to cope with the possibility that there might be hope for me out there, but at the same time unable to cope with the other possibility of a lifetime alone. Yet, alone appears to be where it must be. I wasn’t ready to love again and perhaps I never will be. But, there again, are any of us ever ready? I don’t know if we actually have much choice, really, when the arrow chooses to strike. We all have a choice of how to react and I know that, because of my past, I can never react well to it. I am a frightened fawn, caught in the headlights. I want and need so desperately, but at the same time I am terrified of being torn to shreds again once more. I become a jittery fool that scares everyone away. So, thus, it leaves me doomed to the only choice left available – being alone.

Perhaps, in time, it won’t become a bad thing. Perhaps in time I will learn to trust myself, the only person I know I can truly rely on. I have been too nice to and too trusting of others in the past and it has been my downfall. So I say no more. I am done being that fool. It’s time to let the bitch start her reign.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Long, Lonely Thoughts

Sometimes, I just like to sit and think, to watch the world go by. It can be anywhere: at home, on a bus, on a bench just watching the many people walk by, rushing to and fro. I sit and think a lot, try to find that place where I can gather my thoughts and take stock of what’s going on in my life.

The reason for this is, sometimes my life seems like a rush. My mind, often working in overdrive, getting even worse if I’m nervous or excited. Well, I’ve spent several weeks in various mixed states of both, with the depressiveness lurking in the background, constantly trying to creep up on me and snatch me away back into the darkness. With all the drama and trauma of the past few months, at points I didn’t think I’d survive it, and with my life in a constant state of turmoil, it is, perhaps, quite surprising that I’ve made it this far at all.

So, a lot of my time, currently, is spent alone, just thinking:
Where am I going? What am I to do next? Am I doing the right thing? Will everything work out in the end?

This life seems so filled with unanswerable questions. Sometimes I really don’t have any faith at all that the next stage of my life will go any better, so I continue to ask them, to the empty air around me, sometimes shouting, screaming them out, ‘Don’t I deserve to live?!’ But nothing ever answers. The wind, the traffic, the subtle shuffling of life whispers in the silence. Yet, apart from that, there is just silence.

So, I look to the answers within myself, yet they’re always further questions:
Do I have the strength to try again? Do I even want to try? If I do try, could this be my last chance? But, considering it all, what other choice to I have but to try to make the best of what I have here, right now?

I sit and let the silence fill me, almost watching the world turn, go by, conserving my strength. If this is going to be my last fight, my last battle, then I will need all the energy available to me. I’m on my own now. I have a handful of great friends out there, but they can’t hold my hand where I’m going. So, I truly am on my own.

Somehow I need to find that strength to pull myself through, to bring myself to the next stage of the journey. I need hope, belief, however vague, that it will all be worthwhile in the end. For I know now that if I fail again, if I fail this time, then it will be the last.