Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pros and Cons

I had one of my "moments" the other night about myself, which basically involved me sitting on MSN to one of the girls going "I'm not this, I'm not that, I'm not the other" which she very patiently listened to for about ten minutes. Once I'd finished my rant, she challenged me to list everything I *am* rather than focusing on what (I think) I'm not & put the 2 lists side by side. Pros and Cons of the Beautiful Intellectual, if you will.

The lists ran something like this (slightly edited for the sake of my embarassment/eternal judgement at the hands of my readers)

CONS: (yes, of course I started with the negative stuff!)
  • getting chubby
  • thunder thighs (yes, they deserve a listing all of their own they're getting that big)
  • hair that does very strange things that only resemble curls for abot 5 minutes then just goes frizzy
  • hate-inducing eyebrows
  • still living at home with my parents at the age of 22
  • can't drive
PROS: (and it took a LONG time to get these out of me)
  • make awesome brownies
  • good musician
  • good at my job
  • determined
  • easy to get on with
  • fiercely loyal
  • good friend
It was a really strange time having to analyse myself - serious, rational introspection is not something I often indulge in, particularly when I realised that I judge myself on hugely shallow attributes that have nothing to do with my value as a person. And then insult everyone around me by expecting them to do the same. I spend far too long focusing on the negatives to realise that no-one else does - they only see in my the positive things it took so long to drag out of myself. I try to make myself what I think others want to see, and, in the process, totally miss that they seem to like what's already there.

So what if I'm getting a bit chubby - clever dressing will cover that. Bad hair day? That's why there are hats/hairbands/paper-bags (joke) But a person who is weak-willed? No make-up can change that. Bad friends can't disguise themselves in color co-ordinated clothes. Loyalty can't be created like a hairstyle can.

No-one can understand [their] mystery. The best you can do is get immersed
in it. It is no use your arguing about pros and cons; dive and know
the depth. Eat and know the taste"
Sri Sathya Sai Baba

I don't think I'll ever stop seeing my cons, and I very much doubt my friends will ever stop impressing upon me my pros, but I'd like to find a happy medium where I know my depths. Where I know myself and like what I've found there. And even if I don't get there, there is one thing I'm sure of, no matter how much I laugh about it - I *am* a daughter of the King of Kings of whom He is proud, no matter how I feel about myself.

love, etc

p.s. and as for the eyebrows...everyone has a cross to bear, right? :p

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Possession is 9/10 of the law...

But its that other pesky 1/10 that really gets to you...

I was chatting to one of my girls yesterday about possessiveness - there's a girl in our friendship group who's possessiveness is legendary amongst our peers, and she's lost friends over it and alienated others with her attitudes. Having come up against that a number of times, I've struggled hugely to understand it - if there was any jealousy to be felt, it would most logically have been directed AT her, not received FROM her.

I've recently started to understand better her position (outrageously honest moment alert) if only because I've started to become equally possessive over something that is so drastically important to me. The Drummer's ex-girlfriend (to be blunt) properly did one over the fact he was going out with me (not because it was me, just because it was someone other than her) It upset him a huge amount at the time, and he's really appreciated recently her attempts at returning to their old friendship (particularly seeing as how they work together and have a number of the same friends) I, on the other hand, am being a complete cow about the whole situation and would quite willingly damage her if she crossed my path. Its childish I know. He's with me I know. But there's still a part of me that isn't entirely convinced he won't change his mind.

We've had many MANY talks about it (rational on his part, normally prompted by irrational tears on mine) but I'm still not utterly convinced. And not, before you start making assumptions, because he's ever exhibited ANY kind of behaviour to lead me to think that - I'm not convinced he'll stay with me because of how *I* see myself. I try to persuade myself (and him) that I'm concerned because I love him and don't want to lose him, but really, its because I'm hugely insecure when it comes to my self and my self-image. The Drummer watched my previous "relationship" damage me hugely - my self-worth took a massive beating and my self-belief was practically non-existent, and its for that reason that I'm so possessive of him towards The Ex - sometimes I fail to see why he'd stay with me when he could go out with someone else.

In this case, I'm the one who the jealousy should be (and I suspect still slightly is) aimed at, but yet I don't know how to convince myself he's not going anywhere - he can't do anymore than he already does to convince me of that. I need to change how *I* think and act. How *I* see myself. The fact I'm his and he's happy to tell the world so is the 9/10. The other 1/10 is up to me.

So much for the New Years resolution.

love, etc.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just take some time...

One of my favourite times of the day is when I get to sit and go through my Google Reader. That time is my time, even when I'm with The Drummer. Those few minutes are mine to read and think and comment - in the same way writing my blog lets me arrange the thoughts in my own head, reading other blogs gives me new things to think about (and a lot of smiles and laughter at all the cute kiddos)

Some of my favourite blogs are people's tumblrs, as rarely a day goes by without me writing down one or other of the quotes from them in my notebook ready to file away for another day and another blog post (yes, that's the blogging inspiration is rarely my own. It nearly always comes from other people's quotes *shame*)

One such example was this morning when I read the following

"Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing
what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book and remembering - because
you can't take it all in at once"
Audrey Hepburn

and for some reason (possibly because I'm in the throes of planning my trip back there) I was reminded of the day my fellow goddesses and I went to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Now, for those of you who have never been, the Sistine Chapel is tucked RIGHT inside the Vatican and takes a good ten minutes walk through the galleries to get to it. Now, when you've been standing in a queue for an hour before the place has even opened, there is, admittedly, a certain amount of impatience to just get to the Sistine Chapel already, bypassing all the tourist bus groups who are stopping to take their pictures and generally be slow. Turns out that in our haste to get to our destination, we missed some epicly beautiful tapestries and carvings. We missed the stunning views out over the city and the pristine Papal Gardens below. We had our eyes so firmly on the prize, we weren't really looking around, and certainly weren't stopping to value and enjoy.

How many of us do that with life?? I'm determined that my trip back this year will reflect my new outlook on might take Miss Africa and I an hour to get from the entrance to the Chapel, but we'll have got to the same place in the end AND we'll have seen everything on the way too.

So yeah, just slow down and look around you. Don't miss the little things just because you're going too fast.

Love, etc.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Setting the summer out in style

Summer '09 is going to be good. Possibly better than good. I have a small inkling that its going to be the best ever, if only for these three reasons:

1) celebrating the end of my first term at work directing lighting here:

2) Spending a whole week in the sun with The Drummer (& his LOVELY parents) here:

3) Going back here after 3 years away:

There's also three weddings, plenty of time spent in Egham with my extended family and the small matter of a Take That tour with Sound Man.

I'm pretty sure there'll be a whole lot of this kind of behaviour too:

and hopefully some of this:

DEFINITELY some of this:

and most likely a WHOLE lot of this:

Bring it on.

Love, etc.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I went looking for my ideals outside of myself and discovered its not what the world hold's for you but what you bring to it...

I knew this was what I'd call this post just as soon as I read through Lele's post. She's got such a knack of getting some really deep stuff about God and life and being a grown up sprinkled in a day to day post, I love days when she pops up on my reader!!

So without further ado, my first guest post from the lovely Lele:

Hi, y’all! My name is Leann and I want to thank Laura for coming up with this idea of being a guest blogger. I feel honored! I’m from the beautiful state of Arkansas in the Southern U.S. Most people think that my state is full of hillbillies and rednecks and while we do have our share, there are also a lot of classy people here. Like myself. :) Some can even write and speak properly. We do have a lot of strange colloquialisms, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum here.

While I do love the U.S., I heart England so much. My ancestors came from England, Scotland, and Ireland. I have red hair and turquoise eyes. I’m as pale as they come. I watch BBC-America (LOVE Doctor Who, especially David Tennant) and enjoy British musical artists (in particular, Morrissey). I love Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters. In 2000, I had the opportunity to visit London and Bath. I was in college at the time and most of the kids in our tour were still in high school. I still had a great time and someday I’d love to go back and take my husband with me. We talk about “moving to Ireland someday” quite a bit. We have lots of dreams...

I have always lived in Arkansas and growing up, I romanticized adulthood. All I wanted to be when I grew up was an adult/mother/housewife/working woman/etc. My parents never explained to me just how hard adulthood is. I dreamed of having a white, three story house with three balconies and a Jacuzzi tub (seriously) by the time I was 25. I poured over house plans before I was even in Junior High school. I just knew I’d do better than my parents financially. I was, after all, going to attend and graduate from college (neither of my parents graduated). Fast forward to today—I wish I could go back to the innocence of my childhood! Being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I never thought about bills, working 40+ hours per week, all the inconveniences that pop up when owning your own home, having to wait until you’re in a better financial situation to start having children, realizing your parents’ flaws, admitting you’re overweight and submitting to an exercise regimen, disappointment when your dreams don’t come true, etc. Sometimes I wonder if the disadvantages outweigh the advantages...

And then there are very adult issues such as depression, with which I was recently diagnosed. I get it dad's side of the family is filled with depressives, so it was bound to happen. After the diagnosis, I realized I’ve probably been depressed for a very long time but only recently have I had a difficult time dealing with it. There are only a few times in my adult life where I can remember being genuinely happy. I know that God never promised us happiness; He promised us joy but not necessarily happiness. But even still, I have a hard time understanding why I’ve only been happy during a few periods of my life. I do want to get better and am working on it, but I think it’s going to take longer than I want.

Another weird thing is that I STILL don’t feel like a grown-up. Am I the only one? I mean, I just turned 30 in March and you’d think that I would feel like a grown-up. But I don’t. I still feel like maybe I should be in’s almost as if my brain isn’t progressing as fast as it should. Shouldn’t I mentally feel like a 30-year-old? I do feel like a 30-year-old physically (*groan*) but not in my heart and head. Someone once told me that you never truly feel grown until your parents pass on. If that is the case, I hope I don’t feel like an adult for a long time. I sometimes wonder if having children will change this. I guess we have to see when that time comes.

I currently work as a technical writer for a government agency (it’s not as exciting as it sounds) but the last few years I’ve had this vision of being a freelance or book editor. I’d also love to own a used bookstore in an antebellum home. I don’t know if these goals will ever be realized, but at least I have something to strive for. I wonder if that’s why I don’t feel completely grown. If you achieve all of your goals, do you then feel satisfied and grown up? I doubt it.

Someday when my future kids are old enough, I will probably warn them of the dangers of idealizing adulthood. I don’t want to discourage them by saying, “You are so lucky! Just wait until you’re an adult. Then you’ll see how hard life is.” No, I do not want to be a downer. But I do want to be real and I want my kids to know that life is hard work and is what you make of it. I just hope that I’m a good example of that and can live my life to the fullest. I hope I can help them from making the same mistakes I did. I know that God is with me and if I let Him work in me, then I’ll have the best life possible...better than I could have chosen for myself.

From us both,
Love, etc.

Friday, May 22, 2009

All roads lead to Rome...

Do you ever wonder sometimes in life whether you've ever strayed too far from the path allotted to you?

When something seems to good to be true and you follow it then it all goes wrong, does it ever make you question whether it really had been too good to be true and you weren't meant to be doing it at all?

Something I've learn in the last few weeks is that things are nearly always too good to be true. There's nearly always a catch. But its what you decide to do when faced with that catch that matters I think. Everyone over-idealises situations in their lives, but it takes real guts to face up and admit that its not what you thought but that you'll work with it anyway.

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always
reach my destination"
James Dean

Love, etc.

p.s. When I said all roads lead to Rome, what I really meant was all roads lead to mixing sound for Last Night of the Proms. Somehow.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Coffee & Chat (part 6)

I always thought turning the other cheek was a lesson about humility and submission. Turns out its not. Not really.

Turns out that if someone is struck with the back of the hand puts them in their place as a servant, but if you turn the other cheek, that forces the person to strike you with the flat of their hand, the move of a fair fight, which places you as their equal. If someone demanded your cloak and you gave them your undergarments too, they would be causing you to be naked, which was one of the biggest taboos of the time and put them firmly in the wrong for asking it of you.

And as for going the extra mile?? Did you know that Roman centurions were allowed to make the local peasants carry their packs while they marched? But that if the peasants passed out/collapsed whilst doing so, the Centurion would be court marshalled??

Its amazing how fresh a perspective can be brought to a situation through an understanding shoulder to cry on, a cup of coffee and some tlc

love, etc.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

No Regrets (a.k.a. Time Flies When You're Having Fun)

And once again, my blog becomes cliche central!! With good reason today though - I only realised when the mothership pointed it out that I left Egham 5 months ago. Somehow, its May. HOW?! HOW IS IT MAY!! THAT MEANS ITS ALMOST JUNE WHICH IS HALF A FLIPPING YEAR!!

What have I done in the last 5 months? And how has it gone so fast? And why am I not prouder of myself that I'm successfully standing on my own two feet (away from Egham) starting a new life for myself (more or less away from Egham)?!

I have never been surer of anything in my life than I was that leaving Egham at Christmas was the right thing for me to do. Its rare for me to feel called to do something (it means God is shouting REALLY loud) but ohmigosh was I scared. To leave the place that I'd called home for 4 years, and to make that decision in a matter of days. Scared doesn't really begin to describe it - I had nothing to leave for apart from a feeling, and an awful lot to stay for, including a job, somewhere to leave and my life there.

The last time I was making a hugely life-changing move that I was resisting very much (Petersfield to Egham) (ironic I know that the reverse was then so hard!), I was given a very good piece of advice - look back, but never turn back. I know that when I go back to Egham (yes, when) (as if that was ever in doubt!) I won't be an English student who does sound in her spare time. I'll be a Sound Engineer. I'll be an adult. I'll have a different place in the same ever-growing, ever-loving family that I left behind me 5 months ago. I'll still be me, I'll just be a different me.

I might not be Laura Robins though...

love, etc.