Thursday, 18 March 2010
Somebody once said to me “you’re always out there with everyone else, you’re never in here, with yourself” while holding her hand to her chest. I thought about what she said for a long time. She was right. I had a habit of spending too much time worrying about what other people were thinking instead of focusing on how I felt deep down and being comfortable with that. I admired her because she had listened to her inner voice and was confident within herself to disregard anyone’s criticism of how she had chosen to live her life. It would seem that some people feel threatened by what they may perceive as risk taking by another person. Some of us of course are just trying to embrace life.

As a child I was very confident, I was probably quite annoying too, forcing the family to gather in the living room to watch me in my latest dressing up ensemble while performing contemporary dance or dramatisation (I neither did dance nor drama class). I wanted to perform, I loved being on the stage. I was popular in Primary School and was recently told by an old school friend that most of the boys fancied me, they would have had strong competition with Matt Goss had I been aware of this at the time.

Secondary school changed all of that. Going through my parents’ divorce and the repercussions from that changed me into a child who struggled to fit in. Performing an a cappella version of Eternal Flame for an Opportunity Knocks event for Children in Need in front of the whole school and missing the final note at the end did nothing to improve my already declining popularity status in first year. The auditorium went silent and then everyone burst out laughing. I remember standing there on stage relieved that I had sunglasses on (fancy dress) because they couldn’t see my eyes. A boy who had asked me out previously, stood up and shouted “stop it” or words to that effect, quite sweet really looking back but it only added to the embarrassment and shame building up inside of me. As I walked off stage my so called best friend turned to me as I sat down beside her, “well, you really fucked that up, didn’t you?”

I endured various teasing with people passing me in the school corridors laughing but just tried to ignore it.
I’m not sure how it happened but I ended up getting involved with a crowd who smoked and would spend my lunch money on a packet of 10 Regal king size and a box of matches (a pound went far in those days!). I was suddenly mixing with people who didn’t judge me and hanging around the 4th year toilets. Smoking made me sick though, I hated it but at the same time it gave me a sense of belonging. Looking back I was just lost and trying to find my way.

Thankfully, I left that school when the family home was sold, spending a 6 month stint with my Grandmother on the Isle of Skye and then finally moving to the Highlands of Scotland. I’d really thrived when I was living in Skye. I excelled in my school work and seemed to gain back the confidence I’d lost at my previous school. It didn’t last long though following the move. Having come from a school where I had to wear full school uniform and was high up in the discipline stakes I suddenly found myself in a science lab where boys were trying to “buzz” off the gas taps. I was told about which teachers had suffered nervous breakdowns, how to get at them during class and before long found myself being pulled along for the ride. Within a year though, the tables had turned and I suddenly found myself the victim of bullying. Being a bit experimental in the fashion stakes didn’t go down too well wither with the Nike Air trainer wearing kids. There was no way I could afford Joe Bloggs gear (remember, this was the early 90s) let alone Nike and because I wasn’t wearing the right names, I got called names. I was miserable so my mother removed me from the school and put me to another secondary in the town. I struggled briefly to find my place, I was torn between the academic attitude of the “swots” and the laughter and fun of the “in” crowd. I later found myself getting heavily involved in the music scene, aspiring to be like Courtney Love (without the drug addiction) and felt a connection with the whole Grunge scene. Suddenly it was cool to be a tortured, misplaced sole.

As the years went on I found myself going through the whole process again at various stages and more latterly when I became a parent. When I had Evie I tried to dress up in a more "grown up" fashion and I removed all my ear piercings leaving just the traditional pair. I was being someone who wasn't me but who I thought people expected me to be.

I made a vow to myself on that horrible Hogmanay night last year that I would not continue "being out there with everyone else". People were just going to have to accept that yes, I am a dreamer, that sometimes I do rush into things, take risks, constantly change my fashion style and that I'm a hopeless romantic. I used to think that being a hopeless romantic was perhaps a bad thing because I was constantly searching for something that I began to suspect wasn't there. That was until my brother said to me one day that he admired me for it. I couldn't quite understand why. He had witnessed me on many occasions feeling let down or hurt by some guy who hadn't been what I'd quite expected. However, he continued to tell me that I always believed there was something or someone better for me out there and that I never lost hope. The funny thing is, as soon as I allowed myself to be just that, myself; Mr Rockstar came back into my life. It was as if the universe realised I'd done my time, served my self discovery prison sentence and was ready for the inner me to be released on the outside world.

Suddenly though, as I get ready to take this home pregnancy test that I bought at the weekend, I wonder if I may soon be taking on a whole new route of self discovery.

To be continued.....


Anonymous said...

I've missed your posts. So good to be reading you again. Your writing is so inspirational and always touching. I find I can really relate to a lot of what you say. As much as there is "company" with our children, there is an incredible sense of loneliness that comes with being solely responsible and being the only person who has to be there, and do everything for them. Best of luck, I hope the test had the desired result. And don't leave it so long to post next time please ;)

Bird on a Wire said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comment, that means such a lot to me.

Bird x


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Bird on a Wire
Imagine Carrie from Sex and the City morphed with Bridget Jones and a baby thrown in for added entertainment – that’s me, the ever optimistic romantic looking for my Mr Big but already with child! Read my blog from the beginning where I find out I am pregnant following a brief fling with my much older male colleague and fast forward to where I am now, stressed out working mum to my beautiful 10 year old daughter wondering if love really does in fact exist at first sight.
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