What’s in a name…

We, as sentimental, selfish, romantic, loving, generous, narcissistic, jealous, caring, wanting humans, do this thing. We label things…and animals…and people. Not just for the ‘type’ of creature they are, but actually label. We are born with given names, acquire nicknames, short names, pet names and labels.
As my name is quite long, and has several abbreviations, I have been called many things at different stages of life. I have also been given both names and labels by people who feel for me, good and bad (and quite realistically, probably a few choice ones I’m not aware of).

I don’t take too well to alternate names, but some seem to adhere regardless. They have changed over the years from schoolfriends, parents, old ladies, work colleagues, business clients and in the online community.

There are also endeared labels. Two people in my life have always called me ‘Sweetheart’, one of my oldest friends, and my most recent. It sounds strange coming from most people, but from these two sounds quite natural. The former only uses the word on those he despises or loves, and I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…or at least I hope so.
Another person I used to know, for a while called me ‘Lover’, which sounded quite heartfelt, until I found that I wasn’t the only one, literally. Loses it’s gloss pretty quick. Now it sounds more like poison.

I debated once, about the use of labels in a relationship. At what age do you stop using the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ and pretend you are mature enough to have progressed past that point? We were no longer boy and girl, yet supposedly exclusive, but not married? Hhmm.
‘Partner’ sounds ancient or gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so/but essentially misleading. In the end, we decided that it was not in any way a normal relationship, and found odd metaphoric terms of endearment. I like to think they were both metaphoric anyway, although there *may* have been a tinge of truth to mine.

Another friend, who is actually married, never refers to her husband as that, but always just calls him ‘my Mi***el’. It is sweet and completely innocent, like her, yet as mentioned above, a very direct form of ownership.

I’m pretty sure just about every committed couple out there use some form of alternate name for their partners, ranging from gut-wrenching stuff like “Honeybunch’ & ‘Sweet-pea’, to the more widely used ‘Love’ or ‘Darling’. Today I saw ‘Snuggle-monkey’, which seemed very apt considering who applied it, and to whom.
A guy once made the mistake of trying to call me ‘Darl’…wow. He never did that again.

I guess in a nutshell, if you are with someone, that you acclimatise to whatever they call you (within reason-and excluding the heat of argument), but by far the most soul-piercing name anyone has ever called me…is my own. My real name, from their lips. In those moments it wasn’t just about me. It was acknowledgement. It was about this person being with me, and only with me. Even if only…for those moments.

What names do you share Kids? We want the vomit-inducing cuteness. Spill.
V

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Hustle and heart

So, I wanted to write a blog, but the topic…well, there were too many. I couldn’t isolate, narrow down, minimise.
I still have a story to tell, but now is still not the time *put the popcorn away*. That’s for a more level-headed later.
Instead of trying to make coherent sense of all the thoughts, I’ll just write a list instead. Of…things. Things in my week, thoughts, realisations, learnings, re-visits, angers, delights & other…things.
It’s not advice-I’m not qualified or self-assured enough to give it. It’s just ramblings, because I’ve had a tiring week (mine work differently to yours) and today was hard. I was angry and venomous, and I knew it. I need to find some positivity, so I can find sleep, and wake up in a better frame of mind. There has been so much rapid change, I needed to find ground, run my toes through it’s sand, then dig them in deeper and feel the grains.1.’Things’ can be hard to let go of. It’s hard not to relate the things we own, to being a part of who we are, so in many cases, it can be hard to let go of them. If we have them for a long time, each passing minute makes us feel like they are more ingrained in our character…but they are not. The things we own, are merely a reflection of who we are-an extension. We are no less without them, and if we let them go, we make room. For new things, other things, or simply just open space. We create a gap that can be filled with change and forward motion. Sometimes we need to de-clutter our lives to make it better, or give ourselves the opportunity to redefine our image, or bolster/rediscover our sense of self. Letting go of anything important is not easy, but it can be so very worth it.

2. Sometimes the smallest gestures make the biggest impact. A smile can bring a smile, a helping hand can bring a blessing (Actually it was “Bless your heart, and every other part”-Haha), remembering a name lights up eyes, or circumstance, and knowing unexpected things brings engagement to another level. Say hello, use their name, pat their dog…just making an effort means the world to some people.

3. Know who you are. Don’t be afraid of it. Your emotions and moods and quirks. Your fetishes and fantasies, dreams and reality, passions and peeves. Take the time to get to really know what you like and dislike, and how you react to things. Be ok, with you. Really know…and understand it. NEVER apologise for it.
4. Accept who you are-own it! There is NOBODY else out there on the planet like you. Be brave enough to feel, to love, to anger, to react, to defend, and to do exactly what you want and how you want (as long as you’re not hurting others intentionally in the process). And I mean how YOU want. Not how others think you should, or how it is expected. You are enough, and there are plenty of people out there that know that, or soon will. If you ever feel like you are not enough, or too much for people…then they are not your people. 5. Don’t settle. Life is a journey, and a tough one. Adulting sucks, and loss and heartache and loneliness. But love…love doesn’t suck. It can be amazing if you do it right. And puppies are awesome, and warm pan au chocolat, and walking in fresh air, and new places, and good (or if you’re lucky-fantastic) sex, and roast dinners, and pampering, and loud music and, and, and….
Small delights are to be found in every day. We hurt and heal. We experience a huge amount of emotion, and there are adventures everywhere if we stay open to them. You never know where being honest and brave can take you. Settling is a limitation we place on ourselves when we don’t feel we can do, or get, or deserve any better. Don’t settle, please. Please.
6. Love and like are completely different things. When we love someone, or are in love with them, we just are. They can do silly, awful, disrespectful, hurtful, or indifferent things to us, and we continue to love them, just because…we do. The human heart and brain don’t always see eye to eye. But that said, we can still feel the impact of those things…we can still not like them for what they do, or who they are, or how they are. We can still get angry or upset with the things, the words, the lack of anything. But love is steadfast. We just need to understand the difference, and act accordingly. Because no matter how much you love anyone else, the first person should always be yourself.Well, stick a fork in me…I’m done, and as someone said to me in the week..it’s getting too late for philosophy or anything that doesn’t involve sex. Time to join the monsters on, and under, my bed.
Goodnight Kids, thanks for listening.
V

Orwell that ends well

largeGeorge Orwell said it over 70 years ago, and I believe he said it best…
““The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening.”
There’s nothing like travelling through a big city, and people watching to make you realise just this. To see just how many of them are not watching you back, or even noticing you are there. On a crowded tram or train, on a lonely street, a hustling shopping mall…it makes no difference. ‘They’ don’t even look up…the masses, the zombies, the technologically focused…’they’.

Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant brains of the 20th century, is said to have predicted something almost identical: “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
251F794A00000578-0-image-a-1_1422408964508Well, maybe not all idiots, maybe well educated by google, but definitely suffering from an over social-media-ised anti-socialisation. Tragic.

I watched a couple sitting side by side. He casually flicked his arm around her, tried to talk, joked a little, and then gave up trying to win her attention. A second later they both were glued to their phones, and not a word more was spoken the entire trip.
I spoke to someone casually (because I have no filter) and they seemed shocked, surprised, hesitant to reply. When they did it was brief and disjointed.
I chatted with another guy for near 30 mins a few days last week, and on the third day, we realised that of the 20 travellers in our line of sight, we were the only ones not plugged into some type of socket. Actually talking. *GASP*.

This week alone, I have spoken to at least a dozen people I don’t even know (although now I chat frequently to one), made a baby giggle hysterically, patted a dog in a shopping cart, watched the same terrain affected and change in 3 different lights of day, listened to funny, stupid, dramatic, and joyful conversations. I have been aware of a very highly strung junkie, thanked 20 different drivers, helped 3 lil old ladies disembark, and given up my seat for numerous disabled or elderly passengers. I have given people directions, been surrounded by cute, hungry little sparrows, jumped off a stop early a time or two, and been unexpectedly complimented by a girl who felt the need to justify speaking to me, by explaining that she also had no filter. I told her no excuse was required.

We are in a world of people who are switching off more and more every day, just by switching on. iPhones, iPads, iPods, ithis, ithat, ieverything.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate social media. In fact, I think it’s fabulous. Some days, and in many ways…it’s the only way I can stay in touch with some of my nearest and dearest. But, everything in it’s place. Snapchatting, tweeting and face-timing, seems to be replacing good old fashioned talking, visiting, writing. People don’t send letters, they send ‘likes’ or ‘pokes’ or messages. People don’t visit, they email or post on your virtual wall.

We are all being desensitised methodically, and in the process, losing empathy, sympathy, respect, affection and love, yet hate still seems rife, and tempers shorter. People use the platforms to clearly express what they hate, are upset about, can’t stand or are even slightly disgruntled with. They argue politics and war, religion and sexuality. They complain about bad service, lack of service, no service and not being serviced. Perceived anonymity is making people bolder, and the boundaries of personal privacy are becoming slim to non-existent. Anything goes.
CDNk5TjUEAAoXeaMaybe I’m just different, maybe old fashioned or being left behind, but I find it so…sad, to see all of this ending. I’m happy enough receiving messages, but call me and it puts a smile on my face. Video-chat and that expands exponentially, because then we are actually sharing our lives together. Send me a letter, and I’ll probably read it more than once on the spot and then again next week…just because you took the time to write it.

I don’t want to be part of the Umbrella Corporation’s infected masses. I don’t want to be the inanimate body that stares at a screen while the world passes by in the background. I want to be that kick-arse chick with the big gun, making the world a better place to live in. Feel free to press ‘end’ and join me.

Goodnight Kids, I’m off to read my book (you know-the kind with real pages)
Cheers
V

Spray-paint, name tags & great coffee.

I promised you my story…but it will have to wait for another day. Today is a little cloudy, and while things sort themselves into fashionable order, I will take the opportunity to just share a few ‘in the meantime’ thoughts.

I’m having a night. One of those ones I haven’t seen in a while. It’s not exactly ‘bad’…just flat and grey and I know in the corner of my mind, like a catching a fleeting glimpse of something…something is not quite right.
It’s been a long week. Oh…hang on…It’s been a long few months!!

While I haven’t been super forthcoming with details (with nearly anyone-don’t worry, you’re not being singled out) my whole life has changed. Why?…because I made it so. Because it had to, to save my sanity and self respect. Because there just comes a time when it should. And I knew it was exactly that time. Time for change.
Someone said to me this week, that it seemed I had a new ‘persona’. It was interesting, because all it really meant, was that that person had never seen/noticed this side of me before. I haven’t changed, I’m just more of me than I was before. I still can’t decide what I want from a menu in less than (at least) 5 minutes. I still have trouble crawling from underneath warm covers in the morning. I still have an unquenchable thirst to create and be inspired. I still run through the house singing, and crash tackle my dogs when they’re not expecting it. I still love rainy nights in and clear nights out. Strong coffee always features in my day and I smoke cigarettes.
Those things are parts of who I am, but they are not all of who I am.
Maybe the thing that’s changed, or just become more obvious, is that now I have found this place that I love. A place I actually want to be, explore, and let inspire me. And I know what I do want, don’t want, and what I deserve. My boundaries and desires have become quite clear. And from somewhere, I have tapped back into my reserve of independence & self-confidence to establish in my mind, that I am completely capable of achieving.

You see, through my life I have been respectively told that I am nothing, nothing without someone else, that I am plain, and that I …cannot. And I have repeatedly taught myself that I can.
Maybe I am not pretty or feminine or delicate. Maybe I don’t inspire second glances or stand out in a crowd…but I am beautiful and colourful for who, and as, I am.
Maybe I don’t make the most money. Maybe I am not a world celebrated artist or business owner. Maybe I have not grappled my way to the top…but I am proud of my achievements and strength.
And maybe I cannot do everything I try…but at least I try.

And now I am here, in this brand new chapter, feeling pretty brand new. I am experiencing new things, and trying to feel every moment of the present for just what it is. 3 weeks ago, someone I had literally just met, looked at me and asked me point blank “Do you always run away from things?” And I replied…”No, I’m not running away…I’m moving forward”. It was either forward or down, and I decided I’m not ready to go down just yet.
One day I might tell you where I am, and what has changed, but right now that’s just geography. The important stuff, is where I’m at. And it’s a better place.

It’s pre-school bedtime hours for me tonight kids. Have to be up early with the morning people, but I’ll be around the way again soon.
Hope you are all well, and looking for your better place…if you haven’t already found it. Maybe you have and you just don’t know it?
Cheers
V

 

The opening act.

So, I’ve made some decisions and plans lately. Not your average, off the cuff kind of things. Not the fleeting things that are fairly inconsequential or lacking in substance. The huge ones. The ones that change everything. To make it just a little clearer than mud, they are the kind that leaves me with the only two things in my life that are constant, remaining. Everything else…nada.

In time, I’ll tell you about them all, as they inspire me to write, to feel, or to vent. For now, let’s just say they are monumentally life changing, and leave it at that.
However there is one catch…

To truly change and move forward, one must let go of what was, to embrace what is, and what will be, or can be. We need to rid ourselves of not only ‘things’, but the ‘things’ our minds also keep. We need to become versed in letting go of the past and things that are bad for us. The things that lingered and stopped us from living the life we deserved, wanted or needed to. Especially the toxic things, or fabrics made of lies.

That’s one of the hardest things in the world to do, for any living soul, that has an ounce of love or compassion in their bones. It is made easier with anger, hurt and pain. It is made easier when you see certain ‘truths’ for the lies that they are, and it is made easier when you start admitting your own self worth and desires.

You see…love is one of the strongest things there is, a force to be reckoned with. It can fix broken things. It is in everything. But the catch is, some people use it, twist it, and then rely on it to save them from consequence. But if you abuse it, disregard it…when it is gone…what can save you then?

So, I will be, moving forward that is. Because everything in my life…it is my story to tell, and the time seems just about right to do that.

I’m guessing that most of you are not going to want to miss this, so you might want to keep an eye out for the next blog. I have been accused of often being vague, misleading (in a harmless way), unfocused and have been told I can digress. This post, will not be one of those. It might be long and difficult to digest…but life often is. It’s really not the happy stroll along the waterfront that you think it’s going to be.

Til then Kids. Get your beauty sleep.
Cheers,
V

 

The other C word

When life gets hurtful, people say there are no words. There are always words…the real problem, is that some cannot put aside their ego or selfishness long enough, or are not strong or honest enough to say them. Because words make how you feel into reality. Words like Love, sorry, promise, loyal, hurt or goodbye. They put a part of you out there in the world in some way, to be acknowledged in some way, to be seen. Some people are not real enough, to use words.

If there was a word for this, what I feel now, above all others, it would be conflict. It was even a conflict, as to whether or not to write here, yet, or ever again. Because I currently have little tolerance for anyone or anything. I have depleted people skills other than wanting near everyone to just fuck off and leave me to my own devices, and no desire to share personal feeling with anyone, let alone that one person. I can likely rest safely assured however, that he will not read this, and has happily turned away, seemingly secure in the knowledge, that he never has to set eye on me, my writings, or anything else to do with me ever again. And I have accepted that is what he wants. I have accepted many things in that regard.

Me however, I am caught/torn in this intense situation. A cocoon if you will. It is this painfully real transformation of one thing into another. A myriad of truth and painful realisations.

It’s like piecing this puzzle together, as as it all slides into place a light comes on, and then the ground drops from beneath your feet. All you feel is falling, and after a while you stop fighting it…

It’s not just feeling down. It’s an intense feeling–as intense as any you’ve ever felt–of betrayal, profound and irredeemable sadness, and despair. It bounces between needing and not wanting.

It has a lot of different feels, and lack thereof. The common factor, is that it all feels so fucking hard to do. Every little thing. Talking, eating, moving…and then you go to sleep (if at all possible), wake up, and it’s the same all over again. It takes the form of anger, irritability, resentment, hurt or just a deep chasm of emptiness. It is a near complete lack of sensory input.

It has been a calm rational thought ‘I should kill myself’ or ‘I am nothing’ and it didn’t even feel like sadness. It can be very cognitive, like -the world is an evil place, and people are heartless. You just feel the light drain from your eyes, and the eyes drain from your smile, and wonder if anything can ever bring it back.

Then, in stark contrast, there is this opposing desire to be strong and overcome. There is a passion to prove, that if I can make it through a minute, a day, and a week, then there is hope to survive another yet. And then defiance, opportunity, plans and other things creep in and push, whisper, push…to keep going. To do better. That there is more.

So, here’s where it changes, just one last time. Just as others have made choices, so have I. Only these ones are honest, resolute, progressive and some, concrete.

They are selfishly only for me, and surging with primitive desire to not only survive, but succeed. They are raw, spontaneous, laden with fear, anticipation and change, but I’m making them anyway. I can no longer stand still. Because if I do…I won’t make it. I can’t just exist any more.
Hence, I’m not sure what you all do for shits and giggles on a Friday, but I’m pretty sure it’s not diagrammatic reasoning, cognitive ability, personality factoring, verbal aptitude, inductive reasoning, psychometric and situational judgement testing. But today that has been my program, and a doorway to other things. Out of this closed dark room in my head and my house, drapes pulled shut.

I have this world of possibilities and new options in front of me, and I have to piece it all together again, but I will, because I can. I have done this before, clawed my way out of the dark…it sharpened my nails.

This time the hole is darker, deeper, and full of the broken bones of promises with debris of scattered dreams…but this time I know which way is up. And I will do it the only way I have ever done anything. Alone.
I just…need a minute.

Always know which direction you’re heading in Kids.
V

Night owl

Night-Owl-Moon2For all and any of you that continually tell me to get to bed (to sleep)…I do actually have a valid reason, to tell you to put a lid on it.
DSPD-social jetlag mutation
They found out I had this years ago, and again recently, but I just never really remember to tell anyone, because it’s just a part of who I am. It doesn’t bother me, and you can make life work around it.
I get asked if I have insomnia, told to relax, or go to bed earlier, neither of which makes a difference.
But a few of you are probably nodding and saying “Ahh, yes, this makes sense now”…
It gets worse when you are stressed or adhering to an irregular schedule too. “Oohhhh, right…that explains even more”.

They say it’s commonly linked to and/or aggravated by anxiety, depression, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and a myriad of other things, but this is not always the case, and with only around 10 percent of the population confirmed with it, they have done a relatively small amount of research. Because it is technically just a ‘disorder’ or mutation (yeeeah, I’m a fucking X-Man!) there is no ‘cure’. There actually is, no rest for the wicked 😉

It means that my body clock runs differently to most, and that there are quite literally, not enough hours in a day, for it to make sense of it. You can regulate it somewhat if you try hard to get into a routine or remove yourself from the general distraction of Society and technology for a while, but the other facets of my personality make that very difficult, so I have just adjusted around it more often than not.
UntitledIt means that I love the night-time (which I think is pretty cool). It’s when I feel the most awake, and able to coherently communicate or create better. It means that I have absorbing thoughts and ideas at 2am, that I just ‘have’ to write down, draw, remember or say. It means that I have to force myself to go to bed on the off chance that I will sleep. I have always had mixed feelings of guilt and satisfaction for it. It also means that I am ‘not’ a morning person-quite literally.
84dc3ae760e5dc14b07949b33bfc1215That said, my body still reacts according to my situation. If I am excited about waking up to something or someone, I will often naturally wake up without prompting. If I have something important to do, or somewhere to be, I find it extremely hard to fall asleep, because my brain convinces me that I may not wake up in time, yet my eyes open 5 minutes before the alarm sounds. If I am sleeping in a strange or uncomfortable place, I will sleep lighter, and wake up earlier.

Anyway, so now you know a little more about me. Not only am I admittedly a touch psychotic, focused and determined…but also sleep deprived and running largely on caffeine most days. Pretty fucking scary thought huh?

Cheers Kids.
Here’s to being different enough, to not live the slow death of fitting in. 😉
V