take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here" 

To complain of my relative lack of popularity as a blogger is to do a disservice to my many and varied, loyal readers and commenters, some of whom have been more-or-less constant companions on my interwebular journey of words which started nearly 3 years ago.

My people are not commenting in order to promote their own blog, nor are they competing for the coveted "first comment" slot. They do not come to flatter my inflated ego in the hope that I will pay them a return visit. They come because they are interested. They come because they care. They come because there is something in here, however small, that they recognise, something that they admire, something which interests, inspires or intrigues them, something which makes them want to come back. They come because of who they are, and because of who I am.

As humans, we exist in groups, in couples, in families, in communities, but we are ultimately alone when left to our thoughts. To realise that others share the same thoughts, doubts, anxieties as us can sometimes offer a glimmer of recognition, a scintilla of comfort. On a number of occasions, my readers have said that I have managed to express something they have felt, but never told.

My blog will not change the world. It will not become a bestselling book. It will not lead to a career as a columnist in a glossy magazine. It is not particularly funny and not particularly clever. It is usually jumbled, often confused, sometimes contradictory. But it is true, honest and completely and utterly unique.

What is becoming clear to me now is that I have just as much right as anyone to tell my story. And I know you've told me all this already, patient reader, but I had to realise it for myself.

Getting there. I am.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I have spent so much of my life putting myself down that it's essentially a way of life now.

During my teenage years, my attention was directed toward the superficial: I would curse the excessive height, the ghostly (ghastly?) complexion, the crippling shyness and the imbalance between breast and hip (too little up there, too much down there).

I then decided, in my late teens and early twenties, that not only was I a freak physically but also mentally: too different to fit in at university, too directionless to decide on a career, too quick to ditch everything for the (latterly broken) promises of a selection of men.

In my late twenties, settled in what I thought was a career, I directed my self-hatred toward my singleton status, confirming in my mind that my suspicions about myself were true: I just wasn't good enough.

With the advent of the dreaded thirties came a few home truths. I took myself and my life by the scruff of the neck and made some changes and some plans for the future, enjoying a brief period of respite from the self-loathing.

Now, however, slowly but surely, the demons are returning, constantly bubbling under the surface, and have been joined by new concerns. Why can't I cope with running the house? Why am I still overweight despite doing more exercise and eating much more healthily than many (non-overweight) people I know? Why am I still doing the same work, three years after declaring that I wanted to do something different? Why did I have to go and fail one of those diploma papers when I clung to French as the one damned thing I was actually good at...

During one of my recent flaky moments, however, with Big patiently wiping the tears and picking up the pieces one by one, I came to a realisation. At the risk of breaking the habit of a lifetime, I'd like to state the following:

Overall, I believe I am a good person

People like me - once they get to know me
I am loyal
I always try to do the right thing
I am bloody reliable
I have a sense of perspective about the important things in life
I am honest
I am playful
I am kind
I am helpful
I am affectionate
I can be a calming influence
I can relate to all sorts of people from different backgrounds
I am an extremely good listener
I am very diplomatic
I am open-minded
I am interested in other people
I am environmentally responsible
I make people laugh
I can laugh at myself and do so on a regular basis
I can sing
I am a good cook
I am sensible and practical (*yawn*)
I am disciplined (in a healthy way)
I am humble
I am modest
I am responsible
I have very good instincts
I try to live my life in a way which does not impact negatively on other people
I love with all my heart

I resisted the temptation to counter each point with a "but..." followed by a negative assertion.

Sometimes it's good to venture tentatively out of one's comfort zone, even if just for a few moments.