Friday, 30 January 2015

7 things

The latest round of 'nominations' sweeping Facebook is the listing of 7 things that people don't know about you.  I was nominated by a friend to list mine, then took a moment to think "What the hell can I list?" and  "I can't think of 7 things" so I slept on it an wrote them up the following morning.  This is my list:

1. I am obsessed with homes, interiors and how other people live (maybe I'm just nosey) and wanted to be an interior designer from ages 10-16. My ultimate dream home is either a canal narrowboat or a proper old school gypsy vardo (complete with outdoor tripod cooking pot).
2. When we got engaged, Hubby and I considered eloping - I think there is something very romantic about that. But as we all know weddings are rarely just about the couple...and are really for the family - neither of us would ever have been forgiven if we had indeed eloped.
3. I was vegetarian from ages 16-21 - it all ended when I stayed the night at a then-boyfriend's, who's dad made rolls on bacon and brown sauce for breakfast next hungover self and ingrained manners meant I didn't refuse. I love bacon
4. As a teenager I always thought it would be cool to be arrested - but for something good, like at an anti nuclear protest. (I have never been arrested)
5. After dropping out of uni due to being on the wrong course and therefore bored, having had more jobs than anyone else I know, I discovered that I am not a good manager (too much interest in the people than the paperwork/organisation..and dislike of lack of autonomy), I have come to realise that I still don't know what I want to 'be' when I grow up.
6. I did a tandem 10,000ft parachute jump for charity. Loved the jump out the plane and the free fall, but was then bored for the next 10-15 mins as we floated back to the ground (plus the instructor I was strapped to was a total creep)
7. I used to play the violin...badly!

For one reason or another, I have revisited this list all day, and it is glaringly obvious to me that I have more in common with the girl I was at 16, than I have, with the woman I was trying to be for the following, almost 20 years. I have said to Hubby over the past couple of years that on reflection I seem to becoming more who I was as a teenager in terms of my outlook, interests, beliefs etc. Today's list cemented this for me. While its a comforting revelation, its also brings with it a deflated notion that the past 2 decades have been an inauthentic waste of valuable years. Or have they? Were they not authentic at their time? My love of Ally McBeal and the short skirt suits I used to wear to work were not exactly in keeping with the grungy indiekid that I was a few years prior; the heyday of Sex and the City with its excess, parties, cocktails and shoes is so far removed from my present Earth Mother lifestyle. Surely they have only been a waste if I haven't learned anything?

How did I veer so far off course that it took nigh on 20 years to find my way back?
When I think back to my childhood, I was a proper 'artyfarty' kid, always drawing or designing. If I wasn't creating I was reading. I adore books and as a child I could easily get lost inside the stories - some of which I read numerous times, particularly Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series and Come To the Circus (which was the first book I read which had me in tears). I remember first coming across the world of interior design  through Sweet Valley High/Twins (the Wakefeild Mother was an interior designer) and deciding that that was what I was going to be.  I had a folder with all my drawings and room designs (all bedrooms) that I'd drawn up in it and I was very proud of my 'portfolio', as any 10 year old would be...
In high school, my 2 favourite subjects were Art and Geography (I loved Mrs Stewart, my Geography teacher who taught me through all 6 years from S1 through to my Certificate of Sixth Year Studies. It was in 2nd year when we studied the Amazonian rain forests, that I got into environmental issues).  It was in 2nd year that my creative side started to be crushed. I wanted to take Tech (woodwork and metal work were brilliant, I loved working with the materials to make spatulas and letter racks), but I had to take Home Economics - worst subject for me as I found it to be incredibly dry and lacking in any learning, although I think my teacher may have had a liking for the cooking sherry...  Then again at Standard Grade subject selection in S3,  I wanted to take Drama, but I was "not allowed" (parental decision steered by school) and talked into taking Accounts (which despite achieving a credit grade 2, I found infinitely dull and boring). Come time for Highers and I took Secretarial, because "it is a really useful skill set to have and something you can always fall back on".  I can honestly say hand on heart I would an awful secretary, however I came away with a B, and an irrational loathing for letters that are addressed/signed off incorrectly. It is a major pet peeve and something which I have had to work with, particularly over the past 10 years with my current employers when staff members sent letters that did not meet my standards. The final death knell in my artistic path came when I made the mistake of comparing my work to others.  Never ever do this, people! It suddenly became out with the art and in with business studies and management.  This is what I was going to do - be a manager and make lots of money! Having previously had a conversation whereby I had stated that I would rather be skint and doing something I was happy in, rather than being wealthy and hating my job, only to be told not to be ridiculous.  Fast forward a few years and in 3 separate occasions that is exactly where I found myself, twice times making me ill through the process. Now, I can honestly say, I'm skint but happy! Money certainly did not bring me long term happiness.

My fantasy of living my gypsy bohemian dream on a narrow boat or in a vardo, I think, stems from my need for independence and desire to travel when I was younger. I never did travel other than package holidays to the Med (always had a 'secure' job then a mortgage at a young age), I went to university close to home, where it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't leave home to move into halls. As it happened I "wasn't allowed to move out" and then it was too late to pick a uni outwith a reasonable commuting distance. I dropped out of uni as hated course and didn't know what I wanted to do so got a stop gap job in an insurance call centre. I was desperate to leave my comfortable family home to strike out on my own, so I got better jobs with good salaries, jobs bigger than my maturity level/capability, but allowed me to be financially independent and achieve my long yearned for flat.  Of course, not going to halls or living in student digs meant that I did all my daft-living-on-my-own stuff once I was an adult, and as such learned a very valuable lesson in finance. There is a very good reason why I am so frugal now. Actually there are thousands of good reasons why...
Until I can convince Hubs that living in boat or caravan is a good idea, I have my pinterest board

The eloping scenario appealed as a truly romantic way of getting hitched. Doing it because we wanted to get married, not for the big show. Here's that indi streak again - desire to fuck it and just do it. But alas, the parent pleaser in me makes me a wuss, and I didn't dare.

Going veggie was me finding and setting my own moral compass and establishing my own beliefs/principals. It was a key stage in my own growth to understand that I could and should make my own decisions about situations that were important. I was horrified by what I discovered about animal welfare.  Yes, I lost my way after a while and happily munched unknown numbers of cattle, poultry and swine, with my head firmly in the sand of "I don't want to know". I can't say ignorance was bliss as I wasn't ignorant, just chose to edit my concerns. These days I am still not vegetarian, although I refused to eat chicken for a 3 year period.  Its all about welfare (animal and farmers, local and seasonal versus supermarket) and what we are actually eating/growing that concern me and dictate what I buy, but am constantly conflicted with moral ethics versus economy and budget.

Growing up I was known as the 'sensible one' and my sister the 'wilder one' - this was not strictly true in reality, but we all have our parts to play in family dynamics. I don't think getting arrested (regardless of cause) would be deemed very sensible...

Despite leaving school 19 years ago and trying my hand at different jobs, I still dont know what I'm meant 'to be' : from childhood and school ideas of interior designer/ geography teacher to business mgr, to going to university (for years I wanted to go to Glasgow School of Art to study Interior Design, in the end went to Stirling) to study business, psychology and Japanese (only choosing Japanese as I thought it would be cool to go to Tokyo for 6 months!)then dropping it after 3 classes for philosophy, which I hated so switched the following semester to social anthropology which I LOVED - people are such fascinating beings.!!! I  wasn't happy so I dropped out, to work full time in a call center, then a manager within the Civil Service, then pub/hotel HR & Training Manager, to supermarket Dept Manager, then Recruitment Consultant, running my own cleaning company, and back to supermarket retail, where I still am 11 years on, have gone from travelling with the company over the UK as part of the new store team, then into store as HR Manager, down to HR Supervisor, then dropped down again to part time Supervisor, to where I am now, 1 shift checkout chick. I'm qualified in Indian head massage, almost finished (3 years ago) training in meditation and massage. Currently full time mum and home educator - which I love and am very grateful and privileged to do, but I still need more. More for me as a person, and more to be able to financially contribute more to family, taking the pressure of Hubby a bit, I'm just not sure what that more 'looks' like, but know it has to be creative.

The violin I was rubbish at, only taking it up as the music teacher at my primary said that kids were joining some fancy pants orchestra and were travelling through Europe - how cool was that to 11 year old ears? (Actually it sounds really cool to 36 year old ears, but hey). My violin teacher was weird, I didn't like him and now each time I watch Grease 2 (some say its a terrible film, but I say boo to that, its better than Grease! Where else do you get songs about reproduction and  the cool guys all smoke and ride motorbikes?), Mr Spears (the teacher that had the nervous breakdown) reminds me of him.....not good!

There's nothing I can do about the past, but there is plenty I can do about the future. Starting with something I wrote about in Taking Care a coupe of months ago, and that is making decisions for me and my boys and not other peoples opinion/expectation of what those decisions should be.  Its all good and well thinking what could have been if I had followed the path I now think I ought to have, but that probably would never have lead me to Hubs and to Kiddo and the family life we have now, which is the most precious thing to me in existence. I am a great believer in the old saying, "whats for you won't go by you", and perhaps, I was meant to try other avenues and experience the life I had, inorder to fully appreciate where I am and who I am, and what/who I have now.  And who says that travelling is only for the young, or studying, for that matter? It's not too late. As I have said before, age schmage, who cares how old we are, or what order we do anything in, there are no rules (social expectations yes, but no rules).

I have debated with myself as to whether to post this or not - its been a little like a self therapy session to understanding where I am today. In my bio I state that we are always learning and forever growing, today I learned a little more about me and grew as a person; the person I am destined to be. Continually evolving.

Here's another list of 7 I found online. Seems quite a fitting bookend to this post.