I had an interesting conversation yesterday. It was about insecurity. More specifically, it was about perceptions of security. I am not an insecure person, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer from insecure moments. Everyone does. If I find myself in a situation that I don’t have control over, I work as hard as I can to gain control. If it can’t be gained, or not to the degree that I’d like, then I feel insecure. And that is what has happened.
This conversation interested me. The person in question couldn’t imagine me feeling insecure. But it’s a relative thing I guess. Compared to many I’m not. Compared to me, right now I am. I think the reason for my general security has a lot to do with the fact that I always fall on my feet. Nothing has happened in my life so far that didn’t work out ok in the end – even if it hurt along the way. I think that having that kind of faith helps.
But you only have to do a quick search for the word bulimia in this blog to realise that there have been times of extreme insecurity in my life. Those times were definitive and for that reason I am grateful for them. It has only been 3 years since I unconsciously counted every calorie that went into my mouth. I will never like my body and I will always have insecurities about it. It has always been functional and more recently I am learning that it is possibly even likable, but some insecurities are so ingrained in our psyche that it would only take a very light breeze to bring down the house of cards.
Having said all of that, insecurities about specific subjects don’t really reflect on the whole. I have always had the kind of internal security that comes from having a strong family that brought me up to like myself – or to question and change the things that I don’t like. I think that being a realist and having the ability to look at loss philosophically also helps. Sometimes things don’t work out perfectly, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to try them. You can always cry and get over it.
But even the most secure people in the world will find themselves feeling vulnerable at times. I guess for me, now is one of those times. If you put those vulnerabilities into the hands of someone else, you lay yourself open. I both love and hate that. It makes life exciting but it’s a risk.
But then, what’s life without risk?
I have never done this before. I am going to use someone else’s words. I’ve never done it because I have enough of my own, but these particular words are so innocently powerful that they need to be shared. These are the words of an elderly woman and they so accurately reflect my idea of utopia that I need to pay them forward.
Chickens know how to live. They get out of bed with the sun, raring to go, as if the day is going to be wonderful. They’re just focused on that day – they’re not worried about yesterday or tomorrow. They do something creative every day – like laying an egg – and they’re so pleased with themselves when they do it. They do something special and pampering for themselves every day, like having a dust spa, just to feel good. They stick with their friends and they go to bed when the sun goes down. I think that’s perfect.
And you know what? So do I. If I could gift just one thing to my children it would be the ability to live life with passion and not worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Just live in the moment.
If you read this blog with any regularity (which would be considerably easier to do should I bother to write with any regularity), you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m all over the place at the moment. I am. I don’t think anyone is more surprised about it than I am. I’m not prone to mood swings and I generally see the good in things, but this winter has been long and hard. There is something about being shut inside with two (feral) kids for weeks on end that takes it out of you. But if I’m really honest, it’s the general lack of freedom and independence that has taken me down.
So I’m doing something about that and things seem to be on the up and up. It’s amazing how being true to yourself is good for the soul – and for your mental health…
I have a couple of girlfriends that get what they call the ‘bad persons’ every now and then. I used to wonder what they meant but that, but I think I’ve figured it out. I think they are better described as moments of self doubt. Like when you do something when you’re intoxicated and then you spend half of the next day dwelling on it and wondering whether it was inappropriate behavior. I’ve been doing a bit of that lately, but without the intoxication. It’s not so much a case of having lost my confidence, it’s more the fact that having kids makes you question how you behave a little more. I want my kids to have the freedom to make their own choices and act as they see fit, but I am painfully aware that they use me as an example and I’m not sure that that is a good benchmark for anyone!
Things aren’t all good. Over the last week I have had two people that are close to me become gravely ill. One is fighting for her life at the moment and the other has already lost the fight. She won’t live out the weekend. Life has a cruel way of reminding us that we’re never going to be in complete control. But as someone I know said recently, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone is bs”.
I’ve got a lot of good things going on and I’m grateful for every one of them. Life makes me smile.
I’m sitting at the airport and my head is full of random words that, if pulled together, would read like one of those greeting cards that are both poignant and sad, but beautiful at the same time. There is something about doing airport admin by yourself that is inherently sad, even though nothing sad has happened. I always seem to go home from work trips feeling like I haven’t slept for days. And I guess that sitting in the departure lounge marks the end of something and the start of real life again.
I have a lot to look forward to at the moment. The next month is going to be a busy one full of crazy experiences. I’m going to be a best(wo)man for the first (and only, not doubt) time. I’m going to my first (and only, not doubt) stag’s do and I’m backing it up off a hen’s night. Ouch. I suspect that next time I come to the office I’ll be slightly more jaded.
Today is Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to seeing my dad tonight. I spent some time this weekend with a friend who’s father is sick and it has reminded me how much I appreciate mine. Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer a couple of years back and my world turned upside down. I had never before been faced with the mortality of my parents. As it turns out, the diagnosis was wrong and he’s still as healhty as ever, but it was a good wake up call. Nothing is forever. Not even the stuff that has been so far.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this post sounds a bit depressing. That’s not actually how I feel. I’m in a good place at the moment, but I only sit down to write when I’m feeling philosophical. It is true that I’m more emotional than I used to be though. I think having kids does that to you. These days I have an acute awareness of how other people affect me and I find it frustrating that I don’t have control over that. I won’t pretend to be someone that I’m not though – I live for the moment and you can’t do that if you’re not true to yourself. Great things don’t happen without collateral damage of some kind. But if you run too fast you find yourself all alone. I think it’s important to remember that. I should tattoo it somewhere.
That’ll do for now. I have a plane to catch and a life to get on with.