My place

At 21 I feel very much in search of my own place. Life as a student is like living in a venn diagram: you exist in two different places, almost simultaneously yet the places shape you automatically.

My place at home is with my mum, in my childhood bed, the house I grew up in and the town I know so well. The more I’m away from this place, the more it feels mine. Its not somewhere that feels like forever, but that doesn’t stop it feeling like home, intrinsicly a part of me everywhere I go.

My place as a student has changed. First it was in Lincoln. It took 3 years for me to find my place there, my place came with the people I met. I only found my place when I found my faith and when a network of friends developed around. It was never permenant, only mine for three years, but it’s the place of so many people I’ve loved and its always in my heart.

My place as a masters student is in development. I feel more at home in this place than ever before, in my corner of the country yet still so new. For the first time in this place I’ve found a church that fits, feels like home and I can settle into. This place is bringing huge challenges, highs and lows shared with new people who are becoming a part of me. This place has two years to be adopted within me, then I may move on.

I have a vision of my place in the future: close and far at the same time. Somewhere that I can settle, make my own over the years. My place will be linked to so many other people’s places, found through this. My place may change a few times, maybe more, maybe I’ll get so used to change, I’ll no longer recognise myself. I trust that I will be shown my place at just the right time.

Inspired by : Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

Advertisements

The first and the last time

The first time was based on the unknown.
Lets try this way,
This might be the place,
Finding new beauty amongst function,
The unfamiliar steps I came to know so well.

The last time didn’t feel like the last time.
It was just one in many,
Home by now,
Yet still that little bit novel.
A love still inside me.

I have to learn to mentally move out,
Physically doing it was so much easier,
Heavy lifting,
Slightly emotional,
Yet not quite real.

I always feel most at home the day before I leave,
Looking into the unknown,
Clinging on to where I am and have been.

But moving on means leaving something behind,
The next chapter only starts when you let it,
Take another leap of faith.

A blog about blogging

If we were to have coffee today I would talk to you about blogging…

I feel I have been neglecting my blog a little but, its in need of a bit of TLC. Perhaps people don’t notice because I schedule 99% of my posts, but I have been neglecting my blog. I started this blog as a form of self expression. If I’m really really honest, I started this blog as a form of procrastination while I was finishing my last assignments and revision for my degree. The times when I should be doing something are the times when I write the most. I have lots of ideas for what to write all the time, I just only seem to be able to get them down when I should be doing something. Even know, I’m procrastinating on getting dressed and starting the day.

This blog is the third blog I’ve started in my (relatively short) life. Its the most creative blog I’ve ever had.I used to almost exclusively write about myself, usually posts were very angsty or they didn’t go anywhere in particular or were fairly dull, or all of those things rolled in to one. I’ve been able to make this blog something different. That probably has something to do with the fact that I’m no longer a teenager and I have developed a lot as a person over the last year or so. I’m more proud of this blog than I have been of my others, but with that comes some pressure.

I want to do well at this. Ideally I’d like to build an audience and be able to have a bit of a conversation with them. In the past I have definitely blogged out of loneliness: a desire to share my story in some way, wanting to talk to people who understand. Thats never really gone away but I decided to do something different this time. This time I set out to share things that mean something to me, rather than share me. I guess I want this to be a fulfilling experience for myself more than I want other people to like what I write but also I kind of feel that for it to be fulfilling I would like an audience. I’ve got myself in a weird paradox.

One of the weird things I find about blogging is that I’m very happy for strangers to see what I write but I would never dream of sharing it on facebook with people I actually know. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but I almost have two worlds which I really want to keep separate, I can’t really explain it right now: maybe it’ll make itself into its own post one day.

I have a lot of thoughts about the unique thing that is blogging that I wanted to share, perhaps to get me out of this blogging rut. Let me know if you have any thoughts to add!

Daddy

My relationship with my dad is complicated.

At the age of 11 I became fatherless.
In a way.
He died after a year of illness that I knew little about.

My memories of him are not always good,
The devastating thing about his brain cancer,
It changed his personality,
My mum tells me that all his anger, all his frustration,
Fell on to me.

At the age of 20 I realised that I’d built this picture of him as a bad person.
I realised the impact of that last year,
A year I remember so little about,
Though the emotional scars may still be there.

My memories are few but sometimes good.
I know he loved me,
I know that he and my mum laughed,
They were very much in love so he must’ve been pretty great.
I know we hugged and had a relationship.
I wish I could remember how it felt.

At the age of 12 I was covering this hurt,
Big time.
The consequences haunt me now,
But I think thats the only way that I could cope.

I once saw a quote:
“death ends a life, not a relationship”
And I realised that my relationship with my dad was oh so real,
I’m still his child,
Just not the one he knew.

Weekend Coffee Share

If I went out for coffee with you, you’d soon find out that I don’t like coffee. I don’t like any hot drinks at all. I’m perfectly content with a glass of water, maybe a sweet treat as well.

If I went out for coffee with you, you’d find out that I’m good at relating things back to myself. I don’t want the attention on me, I’d probably rather hear your stories, but relating it back to myself is the only way I know how to carry on the conversation. Its how I connect with people, if they let me.

If I went out for coffee with you, you’d know that I like to know what I’m doing when. I have this inability to cope with not having a plan. If I’ve arranged something, I’ve done it a couple of weeks in advance. That is something that I’m working on, something I think I’m changing about myself.

If I went out for coffee with you, you’d find out that I’m no good at steering the conversation. Hidden agendas aren’t in my mind. I either let you set the topic or I have a burning subject I want to get out.

If I went out for coffee with you, you’d know that I cannot be late. Its almost physically impossible, especially if I don’t know you very well. I also hate being early, even though I almost always am, right on time is the perfect timing for me.

If we went out for coffee together it would probably be awkward at first. I don’t make a habit of going for coffee with people because I’d have to explain that I don’t do coffee, because I’d probably feel awkward. Maybe we’d connect, if I was lucky.

The arty type

She is an arty type. Musically talented. Able to sing, act and draw. Able to do everything that I love but am useless at. She probably makes YouTube videos and has a group of cool friends to be arty and live this different kind of life with. She is a performer at heart, hanging out with all these other performer, drama types. In that community, the oddballs find their place, being able to show off who they are. Somehow, these types of people find each other and form these amazing tight knit communities, families where they all belong.

Somewhere, she lives inside of me. She is modelled on real people I know and have admired. I can’t access her talents, as much as I might want to. Maybe one day I’ll marry an arty type, have this wonderful half and half life, being able to enjoy the community whilst using my real talents. Maybe I’ll never be a part of it, destined to be an admirer.

I wish I was that person, with a life so different to mine. But I can’t be that person. My calling is something different, I’m not meant to be there. Its time to fill my own shoes, find a place where only I fit. I’m on my way, don’t fill it yet. Sorry, I took the long way round.

Is there any other way?

Clearing out the cobwebs

Sometimes all I can do is watch BuzzFeed videos. One after another. Every click thinking of what I should be doing. Without the ability to do it.

Sometimes all I want is connection. Desperate to talk to someone. Find a deep connection and be able to bear my soul. Have them understand. It never comes.

Sometimes I feel that I’m in the right place but its all wrong. Wrong university. Wrong attitude. No personality to show.

I once had an identity crisis because I was asked what type of shoe represented me.

Thoughts bounce around in my head

I want to tell someone

Have someone understand

But I need to build a close relationship first

Once thats built, I think, I can have that person

But when I do build, I can’t escape the barriers of expectations

This feeling is not new, I know it well. Like an old friend, who isn’t really a friend at all.

Sometimes, my head is so full, there doesn’t seem to be room for a relationship with God, let alone anyone else.

I’ll go to sleep. When I wake up it’ll all be different, this feeling a memory.

Until the next time.

Demisexual

I guess this is me coming out. I am demisexual. Thats my sexuality. Its not one that is ‘mainstream’ and its not something that many people in my lifeare aware of. A demisexual is someone who only experiences sexual attraction to people with whom they have an emotional connection. That means that I don’t experience sexual attraction to many people, definitely not to anyone when we first meet. It does not mean that a person chooses not to have sex until an emotional connection is formed, just that sexual attraction does not occur prior to a connection.

I currently identify as hetero-romantic which means that I am only attracted to romantic relationships with men. This means that I am able to live my life with a certain amount of privilidge. For example, I don’t feel the need to tell my mum or my friends about it and when I am in a relationship I can pass as being straight. That also means it comes with some confusion though. I only discovered that I was this when my ex-boyfriend came out to me as bisexual and I started looking into what sexuality actually was since I found that I lacked a lot of understanding around that area. Finding the label made everything click.

 

Demisexuality is on the asexual spectrum, within the community I believe a demisexual is an ace of diamonds which is pretty awesome. The asexual community as a whole is pretty awesome to be honest. Personally, I haven’t engaged much in it myself, I’ve stayed a bit of an observer because I haven’t come across anything that made me really want to get involved, maybe one day.

I decided to make this post just to show another side of myself. As I said before, I don’t really feel the immediate need to come out to anyone really but recently I’ve found myself wanting my close uni friends to know and haven’t worked up the courage to tell them yet. I guess its just another level of knowing me.

What is church?

I’ve been going to church for as long as I can remember, since I was about 3 years old. I’ve only been a Christian for a couple of years. For me, the type of church I go to has a profound effect on whether I experience God or not.

I grew up in the Church of England. Well, I grew up in Sunday school in the Church of England, I very rarely went to actual services. I started going so that I could get into the school attached to the church, I carried on going because my mum didn’t think it was right to just stop once I got in. I have always been quite happy to go, even when I grew out of the Sunday school activities, I just became a helper on the junior church team. Its always been a part of my life. But I never believed. Most of my teenage years I went back and forth, in sixth form settling on “I believe in being a good person” and being pretty comfortable with the not being to sure what was out there. I carried on helping at the creche at the church I’ve gone to all my life, occasionally going to services. That was fine, I was pretty happy.

I found God and truly became a Christian when I was at university and started going to a non-denominational church that was young, vibrant and on the evangelical side of the faith. My journey there was hard and I went following months of unhappiness and with a hope that things would improve. It wasn’t instant. I never had that one moment thats always talked about when you ‘become’ a Christian. It happened slowly, but it happened. Only when I attended the right kind of service and only when I could benefit from it the most.

Now, I’m not an expert, I haven’t been in every kind of church and experienced how every kind of person experiences God but I do know that becoming a Christian happens because of a number of things. I really think that a church that is bold and asks you to make a commitment to God every week is a church that works. Prior to going to somewhere that every person so clearly had their own personal relationship with God, I didn’t know how to do that.

Church is an important thing. Finding the right church for you is perhaps one of the hardest, but definitely one of the best, things that you can do. There’s a lot more to write on this topic, maybe I’ll do a part 2 at some point.

I’m good where I am

“I’m good where I am” I think watching a family load into their car. Guiding the children in and dismantling the pram before driving off. My mind goes back to when I left my cousin’s  house after visiting him and his family. I left with a twinge of “I really really want that”. A couple of months later, I’m good where I am.

Of course what that really means is that I’m good where I am right now. I’m good in the emotional place I am, developing confidence with a good support network around me. For a long time I’ve only really looked forward. I know what I want and when I want it. I’m driven by a desire to have a family of my own and lead that ‘perfect’ life I’ve always assumed I’ll have.

But right now, in this moment, I guess I’m good where I am.