Archives for category: Travel

I got flashed, people, that’s what happened. I had to hit that man to get him to leave me alone (he started to follow me). I told him I was going to hit him, and then I popped him, twice. My wrist was sore for weeks. When I asked you who the Boss was a few posts back, I meant my answer, I’m the freakin Boss.

I have to clear a few things up… It wasn’t my stepfather that stopped the counselling it was my mother. My mother went out of her way to make my 40th Birthday a bit of an extravaganza. I start the writing course in two weeks, and I am going to resurrect my book. I’m volunteering for two projects and I’m applying for a writing internship, a paid one! I am learning to make my own clothes.

After living in dire straights for so long a little money goes a long way. So when I nervously asked for money for my birthday, I was very pleased to find myself the proud owner of £300. I bought a lot of material and I fished out my Nan’s sewing machine. I am halfway through making my first pair of trousers.

I also bought three pairs of shoes from Blend. I spent my 30th sailing the fjords of Norway and traveling through the mountains, during that time I bought some trainers. I took a pair in every colour they had: green, blue, red, orange… Something made me look them up this year (nostalgia) and there they were. Now, thanks to the wonder of having friends in foreign places and an internet connection I am proud owner of said trainers. £50 for the lot. Thank you, very much.

I was treated to a weekend away by my mum. We did nothing but eat and drink for three days. We even managed not to descend into complete anarchy. Which is somewhat shocking since we were both drinking. I decided to give up for a few days trying to avoid ‘drunk mother’. Amazingly, my new counsellor ain’t that bad, and I’ve moved from a place of anger to real forgiveness. Not the sticking plaster kind, but a lasting forgiveness. I’m glad because anger is exhausting. So is drinking, I don’t know how people find the stamina to become addicted…

Whilst I was preparing for this writing course, I went through my books and found ‘the book’. I couldn’t put it down, even I want to know how it turns out! It’s also given me the confidence to apply for an internship as a writer. I do not publicise this blog not just because I want to maintain my anonymity, but because I fear my own writing. I worry about my consistency, I worry about my pitch and I am terrified of my grammar. I might not if I renamed the blog “Fuck off, I am Dyslexic” but I’m trying to work on my amiability.

I had a few interviews, which after years of having none is a bloody relief, and while volunteering is not ideal it does give me something to concentrate on. Both projects are in areas that I feel particularly challenged so I am hoping to get as much out as I put in this time. My waistline is also thanking me. I signed up to OKSTUPID again. I don’t know why I bother because most of them scare me, but it’s something to do to relieve the ongoing tragicomic monotony that is my life post recession.

My orchids bloomed. I stopped smoking. And I got thanked for being a feminist!

Something terrible happened yesterday.
I don’t want to talk about it today.
I’m at a friend’s cat sitting.
I’m in a lot of pain; physical and emotional.
A friend wants to know if I need anything, I already said what I needed, I’ve been saying it for months.
I look at my friend’s house and I’m transported to desperately sad and unhappy times.
Every surface is covered. Every surface has something on it. Every. Surface.
There is no view.
I think I’m allergic to her house as much as I am her cat.
I can’t believe the years I have lost to my shit.
All of it, physical and emotional.
Other people could see it, but I couldn’t.
Or at least I did not want to.
Why?
Because I was so very sad, and lonely.
Sometimes I think I haven’t moved on at all, but when I look back to yesterday, I think I’m starting to win.
It’s my time to win.
I so desperately need to travel, it’s killing me staying put. I don’t know how to make it happen, but I have to try find a way. Especially before the world implodes. Honestly, I’m really feeling the political disasters presently.
I feel like I’m in a race against time.
Only this isn’t as much fun as crystal maze.
My pain killers are kicking in now.
I hope I can sleep.
I’m wondering if I have enough masochism left in me to spend another night.
Someone called to invite me to a writing course, I can’t believe the range of emotions swirling around this one.
What is my main aim?
Freedom!
Does writing set me free, or does freedom give life to my writing.
I think we all know the answer to that.

I renounced Buddhism.  I said to myself this is not working!  I realised my life was not shifting.  I had a brief thing with a disrobed Buddhist monk.  This thing we had, full of friction and misunderstandings, brought me back to Buddhism.  If you have been following for a while, you’ll know that I am ever contrary.  I was super focused and full of I’ll show you, but he showed me.

I went for refuge, dedicated a set amount of time to prayer and reflection.  I chose the Green Tara Puja, twice a day for three weeks. It was like something from ‘Eat, Love, Pray’ or what ever it’s called.  I spent a lot of time crying and shouting.  During that time I decided to go volunteer at my local Buddhist Centre, got rid of my mad monk and tried for a job in Housing.

I believe that is where I left you?  Since then the centre has upped my days and made me chief soup maker.  Each week I make soup for 40 people; it’s incredible the quality of reflecting you do chopping onions. They offer more days, but anyone who has worked in a cafe will be able to tell you it is hard work. I am unable to take more on.

Where was I?

1) I volunteer in the cafe.
2) I’ve submitted an article for a website, for a paid gig.
3) I am designing an album cover, which I am being paid for.
4) I went on a retreat to the biggest Temple in Britain and had the most amazing time.
5) I am letting go. Ha! I know! But seriously, I really am letting go.
6) I work for a Talent Agency as a Social Media Officer and they want to give me more work.
7) I am still getting rid of the mountain of possessions that I acquired in the old flat. I had a lot of stuff.
8) I am practicing mindfulness every day.
9) I’m speaking up.
10) I am learning to stay with who I am, not who I was. Or rather, now I can no longer hide behind my work as a Hostel Support Worker, I am figuring out who I am really. Turns out, I’m quite shy underneath this balshy exterior.
11) I’m still allergic to the cat!
12) I recently went on a date with a nice man, who wanted to see me again. I declined, as nice as he was, he wasn’t for me. I’m still looking.

I laugh every day, speak with my friends and loved ones regularly, spend time on my own through choice and work on my house (it’s a bit more broken than I thought it was). I’m looking forward to better weather so I can get out walking again, I miss it. I haven’t written anymore for the book, but it is still there, waiting patiently for my return. And I am returning. I’m going back to the beginning and doing things right this time, slowly and with patient effort.

Happy Spring.

As a child and teenager I used to enter these periods and I would endure them for a short while and shake them off like water. I’d make a motivation and step through walls and climb mountains. The time I experienced the Long Dark Night of the Soul, I sincerely thought that I would not make it out alive. Until of course I shook that off also. It took years. Maybe 10, maybe 14. I still functioned, I progressed in many ways, in ways that were unexpected. And yet, on other levels, I was barely alive. I was moving through this world like a ghost.

Despite acquiring wealth, possessions, stability, a degree, a reputation as a person with integrity among friends and within my career… I felt like a fraud. At times I was angry and anti-social, at times I was classically depressed, at the lowest point I was 100% convinced that there were secret messages hidden in songs, which contained clues about how to resolve my emotional pain. Fortunately, I had an infatuation with a Muslim man who talked to his Imam about me. His Imam said I was seeking refuge in music, ever the Contrarian I said, “I’ll show you”! I wrote a poem and then silenced my stereo for the better part of 3 years.

These songs? This endless list of songs I play, they are just songs with lyrics or melodies that move me. They may be relevant to my current emotional state, they may not, they may be directed at one person, a group or solely at myself; they are all just songs. Audio glitter to sparkle dreary days and nights, there are no secret messages contained within.

There is an understanding that none of this even remotely matters. In my heart of hearts I know that I can unravel this life, right now. I could just choose to walk out of the door and disappear into the night. Thousands of people do it every year, some stay gone for days, weeks, months… some for years. Personally, I have always known that regardless of how far I travel I will always have to take myself with me. And so I ran away standing still; in comfort.

I used to engage in day dreams in absence of action. When I was trapped by my circumstances I resorted to my rich and fertile imagination. Sometimes, these fantasies bled into real life and I was dragged into a shared reality when other people strayed from my script. I hated it when people did not respond in accordance with my dreams. I used to mind read. That is to say, I used to believe that I knew what other people where thinking and feeling, and would rarely ask even reasonable questions.

Since my grandmother died, I entered a period of existential crisis. I am not depressed, I am not stressed, I am slightly numb, occasionally angry (I am not patient); I have chosen to experience this state of being as a period of waiting. I am waiting. What am I waiting for? The bodies of my enemies to pass me by? No. Sometimes our enemies have the most valuable lessons to teach us. What I am waiting for is a revelation.

I am waiting for a door, that once opened wide can not be closed, that will not be ignored. I’m waiting for the wisdom to recognise that door when I see it, rather than when I’ve gone so far passed it I’ve lost it. In the mean time I am meditating on my weaknesses and learning what to do with them. Accept them or develop them into strengths. I know that any time I can change this life, with a word, a thought, an action. I am not powerless. I might not be fully self actualising, or perhaps in going for refuge, I *am*.

These are dangerous times. The world is going crazy. We can only make it a better place by being as authentic as we can, with ourselves and other people. We have to learn that sometimes the people who smile the most tell the most damaging lies. We have to understand that other people sometimes have a vested interest in making sure we fail. It absolves them of having to take responsibility for their own lives and subsequently the consequences of their own choices.

We have the power to unravel this life, now. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective, sometimes it requires something more radical. But we, no one else, are responsible for our current realities. The only advice I have that is of any use is this: When making decisions make sure mind, body and soul are in alignment. A sense of calm will help you know when you have made the right choice, and you will be able to act with authenticity. Be kind. Yes, to yourself and other people.

Play Your Cards To Your Heart – Groove Armada

I’m really ticking over time now… (Mos Def – Umi Says) spent sometime with the female parental, and my nephew who is 7 and one of my favorite people. I’ve been wondering where my ‘fuck you’ came from and more recently, where the hell it went. Well it is coming back with a vengeance.

I do not get how ironic it is that I need a job to be able to sack in working! I want to get rid of all my stuff. If you do not have stuff, DO NOT GET STUFF! Seriously, you need very little and with hand-held devices that connect to the internet you need very little else.

Anyway, there is a lot of political activity among my friends and mostly I’m just a bit of an idiot, I’ll do anything for an easy life. In the absence of being able to run around lala land though I think I’m going to set up a thing. It will be fun and I might learn something.

I need to write all this stuff down because it will be important for the book at some point. I can feel the bubble, it’s about to burst, the plot is there, but I lack something… that thing, that just won’t appear.

I have a head ache with all the stuff I am trying to hold in my head…

Ah yes, trust and respect… You can not make people trust you or respect you or like you and it’s not important for people to do any of the latter, but you must have a certain amount of trust, even in your enemy… Trust that they will behave as you predict! How’s that for a hook?

In this case the enemy is not really the enemy it’s a game I’m playing but it is yielding interesting results. If they are who they say they are they get rewarded with my time and skills for free, for the benefit of Bradford. If they aren’t, well that bit will reveal itself in the fullness of time.

I can honestly say that I am having fun, and I don’t mind which way it goes for now.

Really though?? I just want a passport and a plane ticket still. And a man with a hairy chest.

Which reminds me, last night, one of my exes was back in touch… Long term readers will know that a while back people from my past turned up en masse trying to reconnect, I was not having a bar of it. Except for one perhaps. Anyhow, this one lad will just not go away. The relationship is getting more and more unhealthy the more he tries to reconnect.

It’s been a year since I said that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore and he just pops up, “Are you in a better mood yet”, he says. “Aye”, says I, “if you don’t go on about sex”… “Oh.” Sez he. Enter huge argument and lots of swearing and name calling, the likes I haven’t engaged in since I was a teen! Proper words were said… Right in the middle of my bloomin puja none the less… I’m wondering if I need to start again? Or if this is part of the process? 9 days to go.

After moving the papers on my desk around for the millionth time, trying to change my address on my student loan (from 2004) for the millionth time, looked at my bank account for the millionth time… It is fair to say that nothing has changed. For the better. After 4 months of paying bills for two homes I’m about ready to default on some payments. Even with £235 of tax refund this month.

Couldn’t care less. £70 went on two months internet supply owed to the landlord because the ISP will not put the account in my name. £60 on a night out for 3 pints and bus fares, looooooooooong story… £30 for the new ISP up front so I can have all my bills in my name (WHY!!!!!). £25 on council tax for the old house. The rest on food and rent.

Why I chose this month to have a melt down and repay a £50 debt from ten years ago I can only put down to sheer fuckery. Today I went to my doctors for my initial counselling therapy to be told that they didn’t have me down. Back home and the session is next week at a different doctors.

I think if I tried to keep doing this on my own, I really would break my mind. I am punishing myself to pay off a credit card debt I can’t afford, why? Because I was brought up to pay my debts. Never mind that these debts were incurred by my ex, or more properly my idiocy. If I hadn’t moved him in, he couldn’t have defaulted on the rent and I wouldn’t have had to borrow to pay it back, this you might have already been told (another long boring story).

So, now, I’m just flat fucking broke and full of anger. I keep telling myself I’m a fraud and people treat me… like I’m a fraud! That amazing job should have been mine, I have all the right skills, but I told myself that somehow I did not deserve to get the job. I am not worthy. I tell myself all the time that I know nothing. Sabatuer!

Oh well. One of my friends showed up and another stayed with me on-line, I was also blessed to go to a house party and was treated like a princess, taxi home to stay over night at another friends scrambled egg on toast for breakfast and a lift home. Just what I needed (except for the job you understand).

There are four jobs to apply for this week, all outside of the area that I live in, but it has to be better than this surely? Fantasising about a friend I haven’t seen in the flesh since 2008 who just sacked in a job and trotted from France to the Ukraine… I wish I had the guts… I wish I had a passport…

I’m Leaving – Mos Def.

Oh well, Praise to the 21 Taras morning and night for 21 days; 11 days in… 10 to go. Yeah, this is me not doing Buddhism, I’m a messed up middle aged kid. My friend wanted me to write about the time I went for a job in a strip club, but I don’t have the humour for it.