Hurray :)

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I’ve been accepted to a course in TA counseling. This is mad exciting, as for the first time in a long long while I’m extremely interested in a ‘project’ and am going to have the opportunity to seriously work with this interest. It’ll take a few years of studying and placements, and I’m excited about these years to come.

The material we’ll be studying is eye opening and we’ll have the opportunity to do very valuable volunteer work during the course. Personal development is a big part of the course, which will, even if I bail out, be incredibly valuable professionally and personally.

To top all these things, I will get a student card which is going to give me discounts on coffee.

Hurray 🙂

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The lady on stilts and the hobo

I took on a new old job (temporarily) in a pub and needed some shoes. As most people who have done this kind of work know: shoes attract beer. No matter how superfly your pouring skills are, at the end of the night you will ALWAYS have at least one shoe soaked in lager (oh the evil Tennents smell), Guinness,  and/or  vodka cranberry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALong story short: I needed me some cheap black, shitty shoes, so I went to New Look. I found a pair (canvas, rubber sole, 7 GBP, basically slippers) which were perfect. Now, I combed my hair that morning, had some mascara on, put on a clean pair of trousers…  and sat down next to a princess. She smelled of musk and plastic flowers, had spider legs for eye lashes and no visible skin under the cake display of powder on her cheeks. She was trying on a pair of black glossy stilts, walked (wobbled) around in them a bit, I think decided they were perfect and grabbed her golden glittery purse for her credit card. Her hair did not move, and I believe, could not move, yet is was perfectly shaped into a fluffy bun on the top of her head. She was thin with well pushed up breasts and a teeny tiny bum, squeezed into faux (not fake) leather leggings.

And there I sat next to her, with, in all honesty, pretty uncombed hair, which I might have washed and straightened 2 days before, but in my opinion did not need to go through that 20 minute process again just yet. There I sat in my ebay gathered outfit of slightly worn burgundy jeans, slightly tatty boots and a purple tartan coat I picked up from Primark 3 years ago, with two of the buttons dangling on its last threads. There I sat with slightly runny mascara, skin looking blotchy and flushed from the cold, smelling of nothing but the soap I had washed my hands with, trying on a pair of the ugliest shoes I’ve every owned. And I felt less of a woman than her. I looked at the mirror opposite us and realised that compared to her, I looked like a hobo.

I’ve told Steve once that I don’t really get that intimidated by dolled up girls, but I do get intimidated by how they smell. They smell of chemicals, flirty intentions and confidence. They smell like they are looking down on me for not smelling ‘nice’, but instead just smelling like a human being. They smell like they have spent hours on how they look before they walk out the door and think I’m a lazy fuck for not doing so. They smell like I should try a little harder. Or a lot harder actually.

And then I come home after a long day at work and a short walk through a Scottish gale and Steve tells me I have beautiful eyes, which is so much better than ‘your make-up really makes you look pretty’. He’ll hug me and smell my neck and say ‘ah, you smell of you’, and I realise that’s heaps better than ‘your perfume smells nice  (consisting of musk (‘glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer’-wiki) and plastic flowers)’.

The princess next to me probably didn’t even notice me. And I’m sure I am too lazy to spend so much time on myself as a beauty project, instead of as a professional/emotional project. I hope it makes her feel as confident as I perceive her to be. I hope that she doesn’t break her bloody ankles with the stilts that she bought. And I hope I smell like me again tonight, even though I look pretty shabby.

I need help

Help-Sign-Above-Water-007I need help. It’s one of the hardest things to say, even harder to admit to oneself. Having to say this means that I’ve used all my recourses to solve the problem, and have not succeeded. It means that if I don’t reach out, I will only continue falling down, do more and more damage, or make it harder and harder to keep fighting. It’s a very humble thing to say, a very trusting and a very vulnerable position to take. It’s scary as hell, incredibly hard yet I’ve convinced myself it is a sign of weakness.

Of course I want to be an adult, want to be able to do this all on my own and only CHOOSE to share something because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to. I should be a pillar of strength, one that only cries when grieving, only gives up when it’s useless, only need help when it’s a job for two. I shouldn’t be a bendy twig that cries when I’m sad or disappointed, give up when it’s just too hard, and need help to deal with things, when I just can’t do it on my own. No… That would be humiliating and childish.

At the same time though, at work I have no inhibitions to ask for help when I don’t really know how to do something. In our professional life it’s what we have to do. We have to depend on the help of others in the army, otherwise we will get killed. It’s what we have to do in school, otherwise we’ll fail/never learn. It’s what we have to do at work, otherwise we’ll muck up. These are the places where we can admit that when we don’t know what to do, we can always ask for help. When we don’t have the proper recourses or are just not strong/knowledgable enough, we can ask for someone to assist us. But to do it at home with our loved ones… god no. Even when we don’t know what to do with ourselves, or don’t have the proper recourses, suddenly asking for help is… the last resort.

It is incredibly hard to ask for help, but once I do it, without exception, it’s so much easier than the scene I had in my mind (where everything about me, my life and my relationship changes). I’ve never been disappointed in any of my friends or family who told me they needed help, from me or anyone else. Ever. Only when someone insists on not needing help and continue on damaging themselves and our relationship with each other. And actually it’s not disappointment, just a sadness for knowing how hard it is, and that feeling of ‘I cannot be weak and reach out’ is what kept them, and me from doing it.

I could see ‘the issue’ as a shackle around my ankle, something I have to drag around. And even though I’ve put it there, or allowed for it to be put there (because I was powerless or it was the safest option at the time), this doesn’t mean that I can’t ask for someone to help me take it off. The weight of the iron is what is making me weaker, so if someone would help me take it off, this would empower me. That makes sense, and everyone would understand that the help I need is not because I am weak, but because I am sensible and want to be empowered instead of trapped. Everything is simpler in analogies though…

When I say I need help, it should make me feel powerful, not weak. It should make me feel confident enough to trust people and make me look forward to being empowered. It should make me feel like a proper adult, not the adult that I though I should be when I was a kid. Also, as long as people are willing to help me, it means they have faith in me, which is pretty valuable, but often ignored. For a fear of weakness/hurt to be the reason for not seeking help, is like a fear of drowning to keep me from abandoning a sinking ship (I might get hurt vs. I will get hurt). Yet again, analogies are always so much simpler. Or maybe not.