Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Flipside of Diva

At the centre of my being, in fact with every fibre of me I know that I was born to be a mother. Slowly over the past few months I have let the diva act drop a little, the "Ruby Show" as it were has calmed down as I too have become calmer. Many of my friends now know me as "Momma Bear" as I've let them in a bit more and it is in my very nature to want to mother and care - nothing gives me greater pleasure than fulfilling this role. The matriarch. I have always known this yet I suppose it's in the past 3 years that I've really grown into this role, I had to overcome some trials and tribulations of my own before I was able to fulfil it properly but I know now I'm there. Nothing gives me more of a sense of pride than when people turn around to me and say they can see I'd make a wonderful mother.

It probably sounds quite strange at 21 and I'm sure many of my elders would tell me I need to have my own life etc etc first - and I know this and I will do, there's very little chance of me nesting just yet but I can't displace the incredibly powerful desire I have right now to want to settle and have a little family of my own.

The 21st century I think is possibly the most trying time for women or certainly women with my disposition - combining driving ambition with instinctive maternal feelings. The modern day woman really can have it all - we have no limits - but often that translates to "I should be everything" to me. I want my career, I want my family, I want to be beautiful, I want to be successful, I want to be nurturing, wise, giving, loving yet robust, focused and driven all the same time and I'm discovering that trying to appropriate all this and fit it all in is increasingly difficult. Yes I am only 21 ... but then there's university years to take into account, time to travel, build my career, meet someone, have my family ... and to do it all before I'm 32 - is that really possible? Maybe it's the path I've chosen - the fashion industry I know requires one to sacrifice the soul at times and I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to do that.

I often sit and think about myself in ten years time. Will I be that high flying career woman or that earthly mother of many? I'm not sure I'm able to think of a middle ground because I feel both my career and my children would both require all of me to be what I want them to be ... maybe that's the ever steadfast obstruction of perfectionism in me? I often wonder sometimes if my years of anorexia were an expression of not knowing what to do with these conflicting feelings. I have certainly read enough Susie Orbach to realise that's probably true.

I think I could die content at least if I didn't have my career but not if I didn't have my children and I feel that ever biological clock ticking. My mother at my age was almost married and just a couple of years older than me when I was born. I have many friends with children, some of them two and younger than me...

I guess I'm writing here scrabbling for resolution - but as it stand there isn't one. Maybe I need to slow down again, go find my earth roots and trust in that what will be will be - something will show me the way, maybe I am trying to control and foresee too much ... que sera and all that - but I suppose this is the one thing that I feel is just too important to leave to chance.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Friday, 25 June 2010

I Fancy Some Chocolate

I have been mocking myself slightly for the amount I've been eating since I got here. It's true already that I am a dress size or so bigger than last year (noted somewhat sourly trying to stuff myself into some of last years summer dresses).

Once upon a time this would've been the epicentre of my world, and indeed it was being out here in Canada two summers ago that was the beginnings of me being the thinnest I had ever been (the most consumed by my eating disorder I'd ever been). Now it would be a lie to say that I am completely accepting of my figure and that things are all fine and dandy. I'll still always hesitate upon deciding what to eat, trips to a supermarket dependant on mood leave my decisions ruled by content and fear about the effect one way or another on my thighs. I unfortunately pretty much know the contents of everything that passes my lips and guilt still follows a particularly sumptuous meal - but it's much more in proportion these days and much less sinister is the self ridicule.

This really has been brought to light as I met up with my Canadian male friend again last night. I didn't see him last summer due to the girls being out with me and last time I saw him I was 25lbs lighter and now am almost 40lbs heavier than the first time we met, everyone else around me saw these changes gradually and knew that I was ill - he didn't. I can't deny that waiting to meet up I was somewhat filled with dread, what if he was repulsed? What if he commented? Would I be able to keep myself in check? Of course all these thoughts were completely irrational but such is my thinking around this area.

As it happens we met up and went out for a beer, we got chatting having over 18 months of stuff to cover and then he mentioned about him going to the gym and getting fitter for his motocross racing. Before things could progress further I dropped in a joke about me probably needing to join the gym and he immediately looked taken aback and spoke of how great I was looking these days. Not a single negative thought seemed to have passed his mind about my suitable ballooning. He didn't know I was ill back then so I know his judgement wasn't with intent of keeping me well and it filled me with great hope. Yet another reinforcement that bigger is better these days - it's what suits me and that'll do me thanks.

*eats chocolate*

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Victoria's Secret

There were more than enough signs that today I was being called to spend time reflecting and rekindling childhood spirit.

It began this morning as I sat out on the front porch eating my breakfast and I spotted a little chap plodding down the street towards me. He seemed completely lost in his own world, ambling away, nodding his head from side to side with a big goofy grin on his face, completely on his own and carrying nothing. I think he could've quite possibly have been the happiest little soul on the planet at that given moment. I couldn't help but beam at him when he got level with me, he faltered a minute like I'd interrupted his thoughts before sticking a chubby paw in the air to say hi and smiled back before carrying on his way.
I knew today was going to be good after that.

After getting myself dressed I positioned myself back on the front and contemplated responding to a load of worky type e-mails but then I watched a piece of paper flutter down the street, normally I'd dismiss it as paraphernalia but it stopped level with the front door and I took that as a sign to investigate further. It turned out to be a piece of maths homework belonging to "Victoria" who (by judging by the level of complexity and the handwriting) can't have been more than 7. I kept it.

Today couldn't have been more picture perfect really, a really delicious blue sky with clouds that would not have been out of place in a child colouring book but with a considerably cheeky level of wind. After watching the lines of school kids (with the odd wave) saunter passed our house to head back to school I decided that I must go and play in this wind. Taking cue from Miss Victoria I decided that I too was going to sack off anything I should've been doing and let it flutter about in cyber space for a bit - I was going to go to the park.

After packing myself off with a "juice box" and miniature picnic I skipped off down the street with the wind merrily and frequently blowing my dress up around my face (much to the delight of passing truck drivers I'm sure). Passed a new house being built that I fantasised living one day, played pretend in my head (it was pink - how could I not) and I arrived at Riverside Park with a rather silly level of excitement. I was going to run about with no shoes on if I wanted and play on the swings! I couldn't help but have a moment of anxiety and insecurity - I am a 21 year old woman - I'm not actually a child anymore and never will be again.

After deciding to sit a while to collect myself a little I watched a little boy clamber around on a climbing frame and with a note of amusement observed his interaction as another cute little fellow toddled over to play in the area. The pair regarded each other with an element of hesitation and carried on playing individually but frequently looking over at one another. It took the whole of three minutes before they were together building in the sand around the swings and jabbering away. I smiled to myself thinking how such trust and interaction just doesn't happen between adults these days, I admired their ease and uniting in the common need to play and play well. Why must we lose these qualities? Why did I have hesitations because of what other people may think? If I wanted to run about with no shoes on and play on the swings why shouldn't I? What happens to us as we get older? Why do other people's opinions matter more than doing what makes us feel free and happy?

I took my shoes off in defiance (hell I'd have taken all my clothes off if I hadn't been almost certain it'd have got me arrested) and rolled around a bit on the grass until something spikey stuck in my hair, I regarded the object (just a bit of plant) and continued. Nobody actually batted an eyelid - or they might've but I wasn't looking to find out - I was absorbed in enjoying myself, trusting in my urges and my environment - it was truly liberating. Oh how Sark would be proud.

I had little regard for time, I just stayed as long as I felt right to before setting off to leisurely saunter home. I popped into the local store and bought myself a can of fizzy drink and a lucky bag to seal the deal and plonked myself back on the porch to enjoy them both noisily just in time to see the school kids walking home from school. Thoroughly content I got in contact with my friend over here and arranged to go out for a beer later in the night feeling an element of debauchery but fantastically so that I could have the best of both adult and child world.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010


A Druid friend of mine told me last night that it was indeed most auspicious to be in the air of the day of Solstice and I have no reason to disagree with him, it most certainly feels auspicious as I write this peering out from my 12cm cubic square space down at hundreds of miles of Canadian expanse as my plane is hitting the coastline at Labradore looking down on thousands and thousands of tiny icebergs sprinkled across the sea like white glitter.

I had a simply perfect last day in the UK yesterday. After showing up to work to find out I'd booked it off (happy chuffing days), I was promptly stolen away for a mad mission with my partner in lunacy and "ex husband" Mr Austen. We ended up in Blackpool and naturally ragged around the Pleasure Beach with me dressed (ever appropriately dah-ling) in a floor trailing white cotton and lace maxi dress and wooden flipflops. I dined most magnificently on England's finest dish - fish and chips (award winning no less) before being deposited on my doorstep to spend an evening sat in our bit of "stolen-council-land-masquering-as-a-garden" with my beloved neighbours enjoying the long hours of daylight as the Solstice hit.

I have been increasingly restless in the run up to this trip, at time checking the minutes off just desperate to get the hell away from home, to see my Mummy after being separated from her for the longest period of my life and generally just find time for myself - selfish as that may be. I find it difficult to believe actually that it has now been an entire year since I made this trip with my favourite girlfriends. It's been such a year of events! Since I last saw my mother I have; moved out of home, moved house again, had my 21st birthday, acquired two tattoos, shown my own styling collection at a fashion show, become a fully fledged fashion design student (of sorts), been discharged from therapy, developed a talent for cider drinking and going out up to five nights a week without dying, coloured my hair approximately 15 different times (and lost a considerable amount of it), had a stint in "rehab", walked around the streets of Preston wearing little more than a corset, knickers and a set of ostrich feathers on my head (on more than one occasion), grown enough balls to sing infront of a live audience at an open mic night, set up my own fashion blog, been enlisted as an official curator of a big nationwide museum exhibition project, been on a digital journalism course, been and visited countless art galleries the list goes on and on - actually just writing that I've just widened my eyes even more - it's incredible what can be done in just 12 short months!

I think though what has struck me more than anything though looking back over those months and going away from it all for three weeks is the level and quality of new friends I have had the blessing of meeting. Those things are just that - things, they may be achievements and landmarks in my life but these people have become landmarks on my soul. I feel almost like I have been reborn through acquiring these friends and been taught vast amounts about life and actually about myself. As much as I am relieved to have some space away I know where my home lies still, my heart lives and thrives with these people and I'm feeling a little guilty for saying I wanted to go away so much - but now I'm looking upon this time for me to find some stronger level of spiritual equalibrium, heal and rejuvenate so I can back with more to give and in turn hope to teach them something back.

Friday, 4 June 2010

I Blame Oscar Wilde.

"Looking good and dressing well is essential. A purpose in life is not" - Oscar Wilde.

My head feels divided. I fear I've been fitting myself into a mould for far too long and I'm beginning to see the cracks in it.

27 Hours

My ignorance and naivety has become somewhat of a disturbance to me lately - in terms of the greater picture anyway. Over the past few weeks I have become progressively quieter - more introverted and consumed by thoughts, more content to watch and absorb, listen and learn. I have spent many hours in the company of two particular people that provide great wisdom and life lessons and I have in turn become "quite the avid note taker".

Frivolity I do not frown upon - in fact I positively encourage it - it's essential at times but recently I've been presented (through my own doing) with quite large philosophical questions about my life - about my purpose, my role, my function and where it's all going ... and what for. Then I realised it was probably more the wiser to stop trying to find the answers than it was to actually come up with a conclusion. It's a journey and what will be will be - if we knew the answers what would be the point in having the journey at all?

I've felt myself the past six weeks feel progressively weaker - physically and certainly spiritually. There's been too many parties, too much substance and not enough time with self and soul. Whilst these things are absolutely fantastic in moderation - I became increasingly aware that I was running away from something - trying to shut out something about myself I wasn't happy with. I let this carry on for far too long, my physical health was ravaged, weak and run down one day lead to 14 hours sleep one night - followed by being awake for only 5 hours the next day to feed myself before sleeping a further 13. Hibernation. I experienced a lot of dreams and sensations within those hours of very deep sleep and I woke feeling altogether shifted.

Why I didn't realise these things weeks, even years ago I don't know - I suppose it wasn't on my map to get to this point until now but I've made some strong decisions to work and focus on my spiritual self. I'm going to rejuvenate (the word detox has been bastardised), stop the drink, stop smoking and take a purer diet. Nothing too extreme just take care of myself, restore order and routine, take care of myself so I'm well equipped to give back to the world.

That isn't to say I won't go out and party on occasion but that is what it shall be - an occasion - not just because. The main thing is that my head and heart are in a different position with it all. I want more mental space for creativity and being educated instead of it being plagued with chemical and drugs. I'm excited by this gift I'm giving myself and how I can potentially be enriched and acquire knowledge now I've got more of a chance. I feel quite blessed that I had the epiphany.