Before I get started, can I just say that Pokemon GO is stupid.
Oh and this blog is completely self indulgent.
It’s Tuesday. I am sitting in the kitchen currently looking at all the projects I have on the go. A TV show, a book, articles for a bike magazine, a potential documentary. All things that are just as unlikely to happen as the other, but all things I am currently working my little (It is expanding) backside on right now.
I take quite a lot of criticism. From the internet, my family, my miserable past. When you put yourself out there and you are different, you kind of expect people to judge and shake their head. Especially when, like mine, your life is sort of unravelling. Actually no. Unravelled. It’s ok. I don’t mind the criticism. In fact I think it is one of the best things we can learn to accept in our lives.
If you read my blogs you’ll know that I have internal reflection down to a fine art. I know my weaknesses. I know my shit bits. I know my problems. The issue I have is I spend a lot of time looking at those and pulling them apart. Trying to work out how to change them, solve them. Improve myself for those around me. For you.
You know what? I really have to stop. And, of the guys that read me whom I follow on Twitter. You do too.
I don’t remember the last time I was actually kind to myself. I spend most of my life feeling guilty. I’m a Mum, this means my life is essentially made up of guilt, despair and desperation. I make crap choices every day that effect my children and that I know they are going to hate. Like grounding my daughter or taking away her iPhone. To forgetting to buy her new trainers. Or not being able to afford for her to go on the latest school trip. With all her friends. Jesus, I have felt guilty since the second she popped out of my womb. It doesn’t stop.
I’m also in a relationship. We all know how hard they are. Two people, full of doubts and fears, coming together in a vain hope they might actually find some happiness. Lol. Good luck with that. Think about how many relationships you have had in your life? How many of them have been the one? Lasted forever? I know, I know I sound like a pessimist. Although it is impossible to call yourself a pessimist in love. We wouldn’t start new relationships if we were, but the facts are most relationships are a dwindling roller coaster into the depths of misery and shit-beans. People come. They fuck you up. They leave. (This works both ways, consider that) And you end up taking every single criticism of your personality like it’s gospel. Don’t deny it. You work too late? You looked at the girl funny? You left your underpants in the bath? You never engage emotionally? Your friends get more of you than I do? Ring any bells? Unfortunately I seem to start every relationship with the same expectations. This is going to end in me being alone. Again. I have thrown myself at my current (and hopefully last) one with a different attitude. IT WILL BE FINE I repeat to myself over and over. Luckily for me, I have met an amazing man. Typically I met him just off the back of a life disaster. So, as a consequence I feel guilty and defensive about my current self. It’s no wonder I need a strong man. Mind you. What looks complicated on the surface, really is quite simply underneath. I’m not perfect. Neither are you. So we all need to make changes to ensure our future happiness. It’s just those changes have to be right for you and you have to stop beating yourself up for being different.
I noticed the other day that I tell Mili off far more than I compliment her. Although in my head I am mostly proud of her. I just don’t seem to articulate that as much as “Tidy your room” And in my relationship? I psycho-analyse everything. Even when the chances are my partner is just having a rough day. I also have a habit of forgetting that I do not have all the answers. I am used to solving problems. When I am not working? I think my brain creates problems for me to solve. I’m on a one woman path to a self fulfilling prophecy aren’t I?
My work? I’m a freelance creative for gods sake? Do you know what that means? It means that I only get paid if I can completely make something from scratch and see it through from execution to delivery, a CEO of one, and even then? No guarantee of anything that remotely resembles success unless you lot, yes anyone reading this that isn’t me, my mum or the dog, decide that what I have written or created is good enough. And you are a fickle bunch, let me tell you. One minute you are Political experts, the next? You’re standing on the train platform playing Pokemon Go. How do you understand the inner workings of those minds? Wow. Tough crowd.
I am a master of failure. Failure after failure after failure. I’ve been called Lazy, I’ve been called fat, I’ve been called untalented. I have been called a bad mother. A shit wife. A control freak. And you know the worst thing? I absolutely buy in to that. All of it. Why?
I’m a woman. A blonde one. This means, by default I was born with a social casting over my head. A little like being ginger, or black, or gay. We are all placed in societies little pockets and judged. To varying degrees of course. I was also born to creative parents. An Art Lecturer and an Architect. So essentially they spent their life wanting to exploit any creativity I had. Music. Dancing. Singing. No matter how much I hated it, it was celebrated. Even if I only hit ONE decent musical note in my life, I was told “You could be a singer darling” We’ve all seen those people on Xfactor, where you think “Why did no one tell this person they sing like a dying peacock” only to have the camera pan over to these completely deluded parents in awe of their childs creative spirit. Oh god. That is my upbringing.
I sometimes wish my parents had taught me the basics. How to be organized. How to be tidy. How to conform to society. How to have reasonable expectations of a life. To save money. They didn’t. They taught me that anything was possible. To throw myself at life and create a masterpiece. That life was a canvas. Anything I did was beautiful.
Well, I have had some really incredible experiences. That’s true. And no matter how terrible things get I do have that attitude of “It will be ok, no matter what” It’s just I can’t help but think? Would I be going through all this crap if I had just craved a normal education and a normal job. Bought a crappy house and married an accountant (Sorry accountants) No, the answer is I would have a completely different life. But would I be happy? I don’t know. Are you? If I was that person, would I have ever attracted the man I am with today? No. No I wouldn’t. I would have attracted Brian. And Brian would have either got content and fat and boring or, got bored and got laid somewhere else. Desperately seeking a taste of a life where things aren’t so bloody 2.4 children. God, I don’t blame Brian. Let’s not judge him. The problem for anyone coming into my life is it’s a little like owning a Lamborghini. Oh it looks exciting, it sounds great, it’s so fast and brilliant and weeeeeeee. But hang on, warning lights on the dash, huge maintenance bills, the discovery that exciting things come with danger, failure or leave you feeling a little bit let down. I used to buy Lamborghini’s for clients. 90% of those clients would enjoy them for a few months of summer, then sell them for a Range Rover or a Porsche. The ones that didn’t? Loved them for their flaws and absurdity. I am flawed and absurd.
I aim so high that the inevitability is I will fall. Don’t worry, I am a riser. I always get up. And I know the cliche “Every success is fuelled by failures” etc etc. The problem is I get up with marks from those failures and to make a success you have to accept those flaws. You also have to be accountable. As such? I feel like absolute shit most of the time. I didn’t get that job because I didn’t work hard enough. I didn’t sell that article because it wasn’t funny enough. I don’t have a house because I am not organised enough. My marriage failed because I wasn’t right enough. I’m not wealthy because I am too lazy.
It was late last night as I was lying in my bed considering what a mess I was and what a failure I have become and how I got here and that it is all my fault, that I realised maybe JUST maybe this process of thinking is actually the thing holding me back.
I’m not lazy, I am exhausted. Why am I exhausted? Because I am not procrastinating, I am creating. These things I do? They involve my brain to be active 24/7 when combined with life’s problems, are pretty draining. Some days I feel like an over used Siri. I am not very organised, but I am free which is why I have the ability TO be a creative. A fearlessness to live with my self doubt and just do it anyway. I am not successful, I am independent. But I do crave a support unit. Because in my office, all day, everyday, there is only me. Not someone I can delegate work too or someone I can go to when I am stuck. I am not thick, I just get bored of the academic stuff. I can work out an equation if I have to, or remind myself what the hell a perpendicular bisector is, I just get more excited about the possibility of creating some food in my kitchen that fills the people I love with that gorgeous full up to the brim, cosy and loved sensation. Yes. Yes I am very untidy. There’s no excuse for that really. My brain is untidy too. If it wasn’t? I wouldn’t be me. Nancy. You know? That reasonably funny – oh fuck it – that hilarious woman who might not be capable of making sensible life choices but who is very capable of loving things, life, people, experiences with her whole heart.
I am not a failure. I am a woman who is absolutely petrified but gets on regardless, avoids the things that frighten her but when faced with them? Kicks the living arse out of them on her imaginary unicorn that blows flames from it’s mouth and pound coins from it’s arsehole. Which by the way, is far more exciting than just getting on, avoiding the hurts and traveling through things on a kind of ‘correct path’ conveyor belt all the way to death. I am more frightened of facing death, looking back and thinking “Oh. That was … average” I would far rather crash into the doors, hair a mess, laughing and saying “Did you SEE THAT?”
Stop apologizing for what you are. Stop analyzing it. Yeah, you might be a weirdo freak but that is who you are. You are just as special, just as beautiful as the next person. And one day, your uniqueness will deliver you something that no one else could achieve. And trust me on this, the value you will have for whatever it is you achieve will be immesurable. When you find it, which you will, you will also have an incredible partner at your side. I truly believe I’ve found mine. I count that blessing every day.
Surround yourself with people who you adore. And make sure you are adored too. But mostly? Be kinder to you. You really aren’t that bad you know? Unless you are playing Pokemon Go right now. Then, I’m sorry. I can’t help you
I’m going to go and pat myself on the back for being bloody awesome this morning. Then get prepared for my next incredible success. Or failure. Whatever.