This Week & Thoughts

Since I last posted, not a huge amount has ‘gone down’ (see how ‘with it’ I am).

  • I went out to dinner with two of my best girls and had a wonderful time. Laughing hysterically and always having about 3 conversations at a time. We apparently enjoy tangents.
  • I met another friend for lunch on Saturday which made for a very enjoyably 1 hour lunch break. Every little helps on a Saturday in retail!
  • I wrote a tweet about Justin Bieber which got over 40 retweets from little teeny boppers – I found that hilarious.
  • I started reading “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green, which I’m really enjoying. As much as I’ve been enjoying reading the Moomin books, I was starting to feel my brain going to mush so it’s nice to read something a little more adult.
  • This week Jenny Lawson released the paperback version of her amazing book “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” – despite the fact that I already have the book in paperback.
    see, it's a paperback! confused.com
    see, it’s a paperback! confused.com

    Apparently my copy is a lie and this new edition is its paperback release. Colour me confused. Anyway, I really want this new edition because it has an additional chapter in it – but only in the US version. Annoyed much?! (p.s. Jenny I love you!) Anyway…..

  • I have rediscovered Damn You Autocorrect and it’s iPhone app, and spent many hours wetting myself laughing over it. So what if some of them are faked? They’re still damn funny!
  • So many of my friends are getting married or planning their weddings, and I’ve been getting so excited over it all. One of my best friends has asked me to go dress shopping with her next month and I CANNOT wait. G Man and I have also been invited to a wedding reception in June – I need to find an outfit!! I love weddings!
  • I’ve been enjoying saying ‘Yes’ rather than freaking out and saying ‘No’, of late. It’s been refreshing to say yes and mean yes.

And here are a bunch of thoughts that have come to me over the last week:

  • Why is there a fashion for girls to wear foundation coloured lipstick? It looks like no one explained what a foundation stick was and they accidentally put it on their lips. It makes them look ill.
  • Leggings as trousers – this one could run on and on.
  • So many young people I know have ‘health’ problems which they use as excuses not to do stuff. They act like old men and women and when they get to adulthood they’re going to regret not making the most of the freedom they had before responsiblity.
  • Too many young people wishing their lives away waiting for a day in the future when they could be making every day amazing and every day count. (Do I sound old and bitter yet?)
  • One of my tweets from last week: “My mantra used to be feel the fear and do it anyway. Since doing that, I feel the fear a lot less. I don’t miss it! #progress
  • What’s with this trend of not using ANY capital letters in blog posts? No where. None. Nada. These are educated, well spoken ladies, who should know better.

So that was my week! I’m off to finish reading my book now……

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This week I have been mostly

This week I have been mostly:

1) Enjoying blogging again. And at the same time enjoying other people’s blogs again. It’s a big wide world out there and I like being able to live some of it through you.

2) Realising that it’s a big wide world out there. So much to see and do. Why would people want to live their whole lives stuck in one place, sheltered from all the excitement that’s out there?

3) Appreciating my friends. I have quite a large bunch of people whom I would consider to be my close friends. I love that I’ve known some of them all my life and some of them only a few years – but it seems like I’ve known them all my life too!

4) Getting used to going back to work after my holiday but staying in a good place in my mind. Change can be made at any time. It’s my life.

5) Rolling with the punches. You gotta do what you gotta do.

6) Feeling no shame in being who I am and feeling what I feel. Again, it’s my life. It’s liberating.

7) Being proud of my friends for being who they are and doing what they do. It’s amazing to watch them grow up in front of my eyes and become who they are and will be. Change can be wonderful and scary. Embrace it.

8) Looking back on how far I’ve come. I’m a stronger person than I was two years ago. Yes I was dragged kicking and screaming through some of it. My friends and husband helped me with that. (I also learned to allow people to help me!)

Wow that’s a lot for a week considering it’s only Tuesday…..

A Family is what you make it

A lot of stuff has happened to my family over the last month. I won’t go into it all here but it has really made me think about family. We all get along. Yes, we have our differences and we argue, but it’s the dynamic of our family. The events that have happened recently have helped to show my parents how I have grown up and how I react to certain big things that happen in people’s lives. It’s shown them and myself how I cope and how we can all support each other. It’s taught me how protective I am of my family too!

It’s also made me think deeply about how we make family what we want it to be. When people leave we re-adjust and we create siblings from the people around us. It’s not all about blood. I have so many close friends whom I would consider family – brothers and sisters. I know I’m lucky in that respect and I hope they would consider me in the same way. It’s nice to meet up with a friend who you haven’t seen in ages and be able to be comfortable and pick up from where you last left off.

I like that I can choose my family both from blood, marriage and friendship. I surround myself with people that I love and am there to support them and they support me. At this stage in my life, I didn’t think I would meet new people who I would consider in this way, but I have.  They are people who I would see myself being friends with for years and years to come. They’re my kind of people, and it makes me feel blessed.

 

How Do You See Me?

I think everyone wonders how they are perceived by others. It’s a natural human curiosity, which I personally think is fueled by the media. We all know that the tabloid’s reports on celebs are usually bogus, so why are we so naive as to think that the impressions our peers have on us are accurate?

The first time I realised that people may see me in a different way from how I saw myself, was right at the end of my last year of high school. I’d just done my A Levels and everyone was having to write applications to Colleges and Universities. I had decided not to go, but was being forced to write long paragraphs about myself anyway, just to appease the teachers. (I think they hoped I’d change my mind, not realising how badly they’d warped my idea of the whole education system forever). So we had to fill out a little questionnaire to help us along our way. So I asked one of my classmates, and a good friend, how she had perceived me when she’d first met me. She said when she  joined the school (first year of 6th form), she was scared of me. This surprised me a whole lot! To be fair I was, at that time, slipping into a rather deep depression, but I had still thought of myself as an approachable, fun loving good person. (In fact as I’m writing this, I’m sure there was something that Oprah did once about realising you can be a good person, but at the same time not be a nice person, and then admitting to yourself  ‘I am not a nice person’.) Anyway, this really surprised me and sent me on my way to thinking hard about how others perceive me.

Another time this happened, was when I was 19 and I started to go out with one of my work friends, who quickly became as best mate. We would often just jump into her boyfriend’s car and drive off to other parts of the country on a whim. It was the first time I’d not really had anything else to do and a lot of cash to burn so we just went with the flow. At the time I’d be struggling hard with what I now know is an Anxiety Disorder. But I found that by just letting everything go and doing whatever came into our minds really released me from all of that. It was an amazingly freeing feeling. So much so, that my friends told me that I was the “most laid back” person they had ever met. Inside I found this hysterical. I think I am probably the most uptight and anal person they had ever met, but because they didn’t know the background and the internal stuff, they saw my relief and free feelings and perceived me as amazingly chilled. It was refreshing!

In my line of work, I have to be very careful about how I am perceived. I am a manager of people, a lot of them young, and for many of them they are experiencing their first job. I am very careful to try and keep a line (a thin line) between friend and manager. I find it kind of hard because most of these people turn into actual friends, so I have to sometimes flick a switch between friend and manager, very quickly. But I think my crew understand this and are able to see the whys and what fors. I hope they trust that when I do this it’s for a valid reason. And I think I’m, for the most part, perceived correctly by these people. I know my face reads exactly what I’m thinking (which I hate) and I think my colleagues are sympathetic to that.

But just yesterday I had a funny conversation with my work mates about another colleague who for some reason has taken to thinking what I say is gospel. We had been discussing a Christmas party and I had flicked through the brochure for a venue and expressed an interest. She had said she would probably get a room at the hotel, and I’d said not everyone could maybe afford it, and that my husband could even give one of them a lift home if she’d wanted to have a drink. The next day I find that she’d been preaching to my friend saying she wasn’t allowed to stay at the hotel and that I was giving her a lift home. Full stop. And also that we weren’t allowed to go to any other party because ‘Erin doesn’t want to’. This, other than being ridiculously funny and untrue, was puzzling. How did I all of a sudden become the queen of the Christmas party? So I immediately stripped all responsibility to organising the thing (which I hate anyway) to my said work mate. The fact that I had kept saying to her that many other venues would be coming into store with their leaflets to sell us their parties, obviously went over her head.

Now I know I sometimes come over a little strong and hot headed. I am aware of this, and sometimes I can use it to my benefit. And at no point am I going to squash my personality to please another person. But I do believe that I am able to mould by behaviour to my audience and choose which parts of my personality show in relevent situations. And it’s something I’m still working on.

I wonder what my obituary would say?

fields of memories and memories of fields

This time of year is festival season in the UK. It’s kicked off with Download & Isle of Wight, followed by Glastonbury, and then Global Gathering, Virgin Festival and then rounded off by Leeds and Reading. The best, IMO, is Glastonbury. I am a bit biased though! In 2002 I went to Glastonbury for the first time with my best friend and her boyfriend. And apart from it being one of the most amazingly freeing experiences in my life, I met Gary – my now husband. So that was 7 years ago this weekend 🙂

from the glastonbury Q times a year after we ment
from the glastonbury Q times a year after we ment

Glasto (as we veterans call it :D) is amazing for a lot of reasons. First of all, you’re in Somerset in the sun in the fields. There’s a very spiritual element to the place. Not far from Stone Henge and situated very near ley lines, there’s a buzz about it. You’re living in the elements, tenting it and without showers and proper loos, there’s a real sense of everyone ‘surviving’ it together. I’ve managed to avoid the mud every time I’ve been – but when it gets muddy, it really gets muddy. My sister went one of the years they were having to treat people for trench foot!

I’m also very addicted to listening to music, live and outside. It’s as if you can hear the music on the wind. And that’s literally true sometimes. Lying in your tent, getting a quick nap, and you can hear the music from the stages waving in and out as the wind changes direction. There’s nothing better.

I met Gary, one night, after watching Garbage, followed by a little Coldplay. We met in a dance field underneath a tree filled with lit up paper stars – fairly romantic!

So every year when it’s Glasto time, I go a little insane. The price of the ticket and the methods you have to go about getting a ticket are a little mad now, so I don’t know whether I’ll go back any time soon. But seeing the pictures and hearing the radio coverage brings it all back to me all too clearly. And so a little part of me goes back to those fields every year, and a little part of my soul wants to be there in reality. I’ve never felt more free in any place in the world, as I did there and that year.

(see what I’m gushing about : http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/)