Lucky Escape

DSC01420Recently I found myself in a situation where instead of being aware, I got completely carried away in the moment. It was fun, exhilarating, I felt giddy, but there was a little nagging doubt in the back of my mind. I overlooked a few things that are important to me. I allowed my usual sense of self to be slightly edited, tempered to fit in with something else. I felt like a paving slab that doesn’t sit quite true with the others, ready to cause an accident. I felt myself holding back, waiting for something.

As I waited the scales fell from my eyes. Who was I trying to kid? It was like being bought a garment by someone else that is more their idea of me than my own. Wanting it, needing it to be right, not wanting to cause offence, rather than listening to my own instincts. If I had only taken a moment to observe my feelings, I would know that it was most definitely wrong. I’m much better off when I make my own choices, like the yellow leather coat I bought the other day, quietly loud, fairly impractical, not everyone’s cup of tea, rather like me.

Often it’s hard to trust our instincts for fear of doing the wrong thing, upsetting the status quo. When we are authentic it can be scary, especially if we aren’t used to it. It also allows freedom, gives a greater sense of self. It says “This is who I am – take it or leave it”.

Style : Font of Knowledge

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People obsessed by appearance are more likely to be fooled by it.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about style and how important it is as an indicator of how much I may like another person or for that matter how much they may like me. If someone has the wrong shoes, haircut or Facebook page will that act as a deterrent? Will I go off someone simply because I don’t like their musical taste or choice of font on Instagram? As human beings, (basically a type of higher functioning animal), we are immediately drawn to things that are pleasing to the eye, how else can we assess a situation or person on first meeting them? Pleasant often equals good or non-threatening and unpleasant means just that!

I know I can be very specific about clothes, but that doesn’t mean I stick to one particular style. Sometimes I’m more rock than elegant, tailored instead of floaty. I always wear flats, but that’s because I have dodgy knees and even if I were to wear 6 inch heels I’d still be shorter than everyone else. You see, I know what I like and that’s what’s important. It doesn’t stop me from trying out other things, experimenting or being inspired by others, it does mean I don’t always get it right. If I aim to dress in a way that supports how I feel on a particular day then different people will have different reactions to me and I them.

So what’s my point? The overall first impression is what hooks us in, but we need to delve a bit deeper, we need to work out what is important, often the devil is in the detail. We may compromise on certain things, yet on others we should remain immovable, these are the things that really reflect who we are. Sometimes we can learn a lot from a bad font.

Alone With Me

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I’ve found it difficult, this being alone. Sometimes the apartment seems vast, I sit as close to the fire as I can, throwing on logs, watching the flames with the dog curled up beside me. I dress for security, soft jumpers, vintage scarves, too many rings, vibrant eyeshadow.

Other days the loneliness feels tangible, it has a physicality to it. These are the days that are the hardest. Clothes often feel “wrong”, nothing looks as good as it did last time I wore it. I have to take a step back, pause, check my weather app and use that to determine what to wear. It’s about self compassion on days like this. It’s all about the heart practices. Sitting, meditating, repeating to myself;

I know you,

I feel you,

I care about you,

I forgive you,

I appreciate you.

I know this will pass, I know the heart practices help, I know I’ll be OK, but sometimes in that particular moment it doesn’t feel like it. 

Then there’s days like today, when being alone with me is just perfect. It’s not that I don’t need or want anyone else around. It’s just that I’m free, I can look at myself in the mirror and think there’s no one I’d rather be with. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing as long as I can keep moving at my own pace, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Keep up world or you’re going to get left behind.

Listening to : Stepping Out – Joan Armatrading

Friday’s Child

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To be honest, I’m feeling a bit rubbish today. Physically not mentally. I’m trying to go easy on myself, which is hard when you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. The temptation is to boost myself with caffeine and sugar, those being the acceptable “drugs” for me.

Really what I want is a Beaded Eye Ring from The Great Frog . Symbolic, evil eye or third eye, I can’t decide, whatever. The ersatz fact, is that the ring will undoubtedly make my life so much better, it will go perfectly with what I’m wearing today (lots of Royal Blue and denim). Even as I write this in the hope that I will let go of the craving, I’m planning a trip to the shop to get it.

It’s a wonderful thing, The Mind, unbridled, daring, ridiculous. Trying to cage it permanently is impossible, I can only hope to tame it from time to time. So right now I’m going to indulge my thinking, just allow my mind to meander rather than fighting against it. I’m going to be loving and giving and let it do its thing, whether or not I let it play out to the end, is up to me.

Friday’ track : Everything Now – Arcade Fire

Bulls Eye

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A short time ago I turned fifty. Big deal? Nah not really. I spent a while deciding how I was going to spend it, not because I wanted to do something, but people kept asking me what I was doing, if I was having a party, even telling me; “You’ve got to do something it’s your 50th!” I am, or should I say was, the Party Queen. I loved a party, organising, planning, out Jonesing the Joneses, weddings, birthdays, just-for-the-sake-its. A veritable whirlwind of parties. There were the outfits and planning thereof, new frocks, shoes, make up, blouses, jewellery, the endless primping, waxing, manicuring.  Then the parties themselves, too many cocktails, too many trips to the bathroom, too much nose powdering, bad behaviour, lost moments. All just too much. In short EXHAUSTING. So I stepped off the unmerry-go-round. Well it would be more accurate to say I fell off it, spectacularly.

Which brings me back to my 50th, it was low key, lunch with friends, 14 people, sitting, chatting, laughing, no rushing, no keeping up, just being. I wore a hand-me-down, vintage, suede Gucci skirt, a blouse from the high street (very cheap and not new) last year’s boots and some fishnets. I didn’t go to the hairdressers or beauticians, I just went and met my friends for lunch.

 

 

 

Candy Cowboy

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Sometimes being me is like wearing an ill fitting suit. Too tight, claustrophobic, I’m not able to sit down for fear of exploding out all over the place. Other times it’s like a new school uniform, unfamiliar and way too big, as though borrowed from a giant version of myself.

And then there’s today’s outfit, part cowboy, part boiled sweet, tough on the outside with the merest hint of a soft centre .

Trashy in a Good Way

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I had a great text conversation with my friend Beyoncé Woolf*. I told her that the reason we were both feeling a bit rubbish over the weekend was due to the full moon in Capricorn, she disagreed. Her explanation, whilst accurate, was littered with expletives and probably best not repeated here. What it boiled down to was that at some point everyone we know annoys, upsets and frustrates us, sometimes all at once. The thing we have to realise is that we have no control over other people. We have to learn to let go of the idea that we can do something to change them, when in fact the only person we can change is ourselves

So on that note I went on-line and ordered myself a gold bikini. It arrived today so I haven’t worn it yet. Just the mere thought of wearing it gives me a little thrill of excitement. It’s sort of trashy in a good way, exactly how I’m feeling right now. Mrs Knowles would definitely approve.

 

 

 

 

 

* See my blog The Icon You Know