The Return of the Kitty

Missed me? Well I’m back and before you run away screaming, I hope you will take a moment to read through my thoughts… Or not, the choice is yours…

You might have noticed a lack of posts over the last few weeks, so I’d like to share a little about my recent adventures.

The world has been thrown wide open to me this year, without a shadow of a doubt, my experiences in Japan will leave an ever lasting impression upon me and I ache to return one day. Recent weeks have ticked seven more countries off my bucket list, which is why I’ve not posted currently (No WiFi you see – but that’s another story) …

… Circumstances offered me a place upon a cruise around the Baltic States and I would have been a fool (and rude) to refuse a place upon the floating city known as the ‘Azura‘. A beauty to behold, majestic and powerful and my home for two weeks. A cruise is something I had never expected to go on, expensive and outrageous, a cruise I considered way beyond my meager pocket. Yet there I was, stood on deck watching Southampton slip away from view heading to Russia – Another place I had never expected to go to!

But I don’t want this to be another holiday blog… I will write about the countries and my travels at a later date, I wanted to write more about my observations people watching and the questions that have come to light in regards to my own life.

In particular, our dining companions… Each evening we would sit at a table for eight for an astonishing meal, which was like eating Christmas dinner every day. I shall mention no names and remain polite, for I have nothing against anyone I was seated with, though I got a glimpse into the life of ‘how the other half live’ those who collect cruises and air miles like nectar points, the retired, the well seasoned traveller and the proud grandparents.

A long daunting list of countries visited, places explored and personal achievements felt a little uncomfortable to begin with as I felt intimidated, like every boast was a challenge. I started to feel inferior and began questioning my own life choices…

What if I had gone into the RAF?
What if I had gone to University (as a Teenager) ?
What if I had got decent grades?
What if I had never got involved with *** ?
What if I had chosen a different career path?
What if I had had children?

All these questions haunted me as I listened politely to the meal time chatter, I felt inadequate, I felt incomplete, like I was missing a great chunk of my life, something everyone around me appeared to grasp with such passion, such love, devotion and pride. I was missing the huge segment that everyone else upon the table held with unquestionable devotion – I was not a parent!

I have a cat, a really pretty cat… But a cat is a cat is a cat… She can not deliver unto me these qualities which consumed the conversation daily, especially, particularly regarding Grandchildren. Frightening! I have friends my age who are grandparents and I’m not even a Mother. I have a cat, sometimes she brings me dead things, a moth, a wing, a bat …

Am I destined to become a crazy cat lady, surrounded by poop and fleas. Living in haunting regret that I have no Children or Grandchildren?

I don’t think so… But I don’t have a crystal ball that can reach into the future and read my mindset in years to come… I am however clear in my thoughts currently and currently I am content as I am, by myself, with my cat. So why must other people make me feel incomplete by their unquestionable love for their own offspring? There is nothing wrong with me, with my life choice, my decisions.

My life is just on a different path to theirs, I can accept their proud boastings, but why could they not accept me being me?

 

Anne Harrison 27.06.16

 

 

 

15 Minute Blog

Why do I always wait until 15 minutes before the end of my lunch break to get a eureka moment for a good blog idea?

Clock is ticking, fingers are clicking and I’m failing to spell check as I go along, so dance with me as I share my thoughts…

There are so many deliciously crafted journals around, these are a source of inspiration, as I absolutely adore the perfection in which these are presented. I admire the attention to detail, the handwriting, the illustrations, the layouts and such. I mean look at this shit here, look how fucking beautiful it is, how elegant and delightful to the eye.

Now beyond my little corner of cyberspace, out there in the real physical world, I write and create journals of my own, I love shit like Smash Books and Wreck this Journal I collect scraps of papers with pretty pictures, quirky quotes, darling little clips of information and those intolerable motivational quotes, which are Ooh-so-Hispter! Yet it doesn’t stop me obsessively collecting them.

I am inspired by this and that yet in reality, as my mind spews its nonsense across the pages, mind thinking swifter than the pen can write, thoughts race faster than fingers tap keys and instead of graceful artistic perfection…

…Brain Vomit! –  Binder1.pdf Blanks
(Inside the boooook-in-a-blanket. An insight into my messy mind)

 

Anne Harrison 31.05.16

After the Storm

I want to try to make this entry my last personal blog, where I share my thoughts instead of my writing, I’ve lost track of the direction this page should have been taking and I have been using this as a platform for my brain garbage.

Having said that, I doubt this to be the case and anticipate that I shall ignore my words entirely, as usual, totally disregarding my current thoughts and getting distracted by other thoughts which pop up randomly to steal my attention.

 

 

2016 has Not been an easy ride so far, in fact it has been a little bit of a bastard. With the exception of my glorious holiday, I have had the sensation of spinning round and round in circles, chasing my tail, waiting for appointment dates, visiting times, more appointments, assessments, cancelled appointments, cancelled assessments, more visiting times and among all that chaos, work – eat – sleep – a wobbly social life and cancelled plans. I shall spare you the details of the chaos erupting situation, suffice to say that as briefly mentioned in Tuesdays post – this regards my Mother’s Health Care.

For the record, apart from my Parents and an 102 year old Great Aunt (somewhere) I have no family – No brothers – No sisters – No aunts – No uncles – No grandparents – No hidden cousins – No children of my own and No husband. So everything has laid directly upon the shoulders of myself and my father, we have had the support of some great friends, but we can only ask so much.

We have turned a corner on Tuesday, we have the support we hoped for and yet this good news came with a price… The painful understanding that there is no form of recovery, nothing but a slow decline to the end…

In some respects this year has been a fluctuation of emotions, normal life scattered with the struggling to mourn someone who is not physically dead.

And that is my own journey and that is also where I need to leave this subject…

 

 

From 12.05.16 Onward…

At Christmas a Darling friend got me a ‘book-in-a-blanket’ (I’ll post a picture at some point to help you understand this concept – which she personally designed) This book has been dreadfully abused by my hands, it has fell apart, lost pages, repaired and utterly loved. I write in this near every day, stick in images and snippets of information. Random crap with no theme or focus…

…So, how is this related to my earlier thoughts?

By writing and going through old notes, my being able to have somewhere to mentally dump all my emotional baggage, my ideas and all the various plots and plans (which never come into being) has been a tremendous way to deal with everything. Even though the majority of subjects scattered throughout the book are hardly related, the process of writing has kept my mind focused on keeping going, instead of getting wrapped up on misplaced grief and suffocating in my own negativity.

Each time I have dipped I have leaned against a good friend or two, who have always kept me upright and prevented my from stumbling into doom and gloom, I would be lost without their support, for they have kept the Black Dog at bay…

… Then I have written, utter nonsense, but I have written!

And that my friends has been my answer, I have turned a corner today, the clouds have lifted and I feel I can move again, breathe again and focus. So maybe it’s time to actually write something beyond my garbled thoughts and create something more beautiful (or tragic) with my words…

 

Anne Harrison 12.05.16

 

 

Curious Encounters

… Or the metamorphosis of Anne

… Or how lucky I am

… … …

Sometimes it takes a blast from the past to make you realise just how much your life has changed in the last decade. These usually happen when you least expect them, however in the last few months I appear to be collecting friends from the past, from past jobs and even college, people I used to see on a daily basis, close friends, once, connections severed throughout years, distance and change in circumstances.

It was one such curious encounter recently (yesterday) which resulted in two cups of coffee and a long natter at lunch time, that spurred the frightening realisation that I am not who I was. So if I wasn’t who I was, as in the person who people remember me as, who am I?

Is this an external change? Different clothes, pink hair colour, splash of make up, my weight… All these elements can alter your appearance, can make you look different, feel different, carry yourself different… And indeed changes to these elements of my persona have been implemented throughout the years. But… I still get this sensation that I am totally different ‘inside’… Something deeper than a mere external changes.

I hesitate to use the phrase ‘reborn’ that gives the whole process religious overtones (and the subject of religion must wait for another day) also the concept of being ‘reborn’ feels as though this would be a near instantaneous phenomena, whereas the change I am processing in my mind, feels as though it has taken years to cultivate.

I was a creature lost in the dark, scurrying from one day to the next, years merging into each other with no direction, goal or motivation. These where fleeting fancies of a distracted mind, I would always have good intentions of bettering myself, but these intentions most frequently ended up in the bottom of a Stella can. Looking back… (Something I  try to escape from doing) I can understand how I dissolved into a pit of depression, nights of brutal self harm and alcohol use. Truth is, I was miserable, tired and fed up. Tied into a life where I had lost who I was (in my teenage/20’s) and became this thing of self loathing & self punishment. Pain was the only thing which felt real and alcohol deadened that pain.

This is not easy to write, not something I long to dwell on and even harder to address to my invisible audience, but these faces from my past have churned up all this buried emotions and I am left with this overwhelming sense of total self understanding.

I want to scream ‘LOOK AT ME NOW!’ I want to stand proud and strong, my life enhanced by the drastic changes I have adopted to make me who I am today. I am different, I can see that now, by looking back (briefly) I can see just how much process I have made. Naturally, I still have moments of weakness, where old me tries to pull me back into the depths of despair. I am not always strong, but I am looking ahead, I am more aware of who I am, what I am and my goals are more realistic.

LOOK AT ME NOW… I look at my life and hold my head up high!

I might not be the person my old friends remember me as…

Truth is, I never want to be that person again. Before you now is a stronger, braver, thinner, cleaner, crazy cat lady. Someone who actually likes herself!

Truth is, I’m doing the best I can, each day, every day, to make my life whole…

 

Anne Harrison 01.03.16

 

PS: I am lucky, I am grateful every single day I thank my blessings. I do not desire to appear big-headed… More like… I’ve survived!!

Frustrating February

Frustrating February or the not so happy new year…

… I had mentally written this whole blog earlier in my tornado of thoughts. Inspired by a short text conversation last night with a good friend of mine who pointed out that my blog was kinda catharsis for me. This I like and has given me the urge to address my Frustrating February in clear words, to focus on all that rumbling shit in my head and transform it magically into words so that it lifts this dark cloud of gloom from my life and I feel tremendously restored to my usual shiny glittery self…

… Trouble is, as soon as I sat down with my lunch at the keyboard, all those words, all the deep grumbling doom, all that stress, shit and general misery… It’s not there, the careful yet painful words I wanted to share, my speech, my inner monologue… Nothing, Silence… Beautiful clear peaceful silence. As though the decision itself to sit and write has lifted a veil from my soul, a calm voice in the back of my head is like a soothing warm perfumed bath I can sink in to and relax.

… Ooh the shit is still there, but I don’t hold the stress that had fueled my desire to write all that shit down. Granted I have coffee and (Birthday) cake with my lunch, this alone appears to be a magical winning combination, which turn the lips up into a content warm smile. My inner filing cabinet system has neatly filed away such emotions under the ‘don’t-get-stressed-over-shit-you-cant-control’ heading and I feel more inclined to sit back and ride the wave instead of drowning in an emotional tide.

… I’m not sure if it’s the meditation class I attended last night, the decision to write or the fact that I spent this morning mentally writing everything anyway… Maybe, possibly, could-be a happy combination of these… But it’s gone and I feel lighter, my shoulders don’t ache so much, my headache has ceased and my inspiration has returned.

… Maybe with March on the doorstep I can finally cast off this drowning sorrow and focus ahead upon my forthcoming adventures and new courses. With a new month, a new day (and pay day) a time of travelling awaits me instead of ragged nerves over a situation I can not control… That feels much better…

 

Anne Harrison 26.02.16

 

 

Mental Clear Out

Sometimes it is the most simplest acts which can make all the difference.

There were around 900 emails in a ‘saved’ folder in my old Hotmail account. Emails from  people I would sooner forget, people who are dead, people I have forgotten and a very different me…

Emails dating back to year dot, crap that got bombarded around before social media made it easier to share pictures of cats.

Useful Useless snippets of information witch *might* be interesting one day… Old orders, old mailing lists, old blogs, old Myspace notifications and general shit…

It took less than 3 minuets to delete EVERYTHING without thinking, it’s all gone, finally… Those last tendrils of connections finally severed and released. An email clear out,  an emotional clear out, a mental clear out.

Sometimes it is the most simplest acts which can make all the difference.

 

Anne Harrison 19.02.16

Monday Morning Musings

Then suddenly it happened, exhausted with the constant drama, politics and depression awareness re-posts, the unspeakable happened. The mobile phone went away in the bag and instead of the never ending thread of scrolling-scrolling-scrolling I reached for a book and opened the too-long-closed pages and breathed life back into the words. My mind felt refreshed as I let go of social network, for a while at least. Its strangle hold upon my attention is diminishing as I feel the need to check updates slipping away in favor for the next chapter, am I just replacing one hunger for another? Or am I reading to expand my own spiraling thoughts? At least by reading I do not feel so many tumbling emotions, I’m not annoyed, frustrated, angry… This cocktail of negativity having lifted as I have withdrawn my attention from so much bull shit, looking back briefly as I have over the last few days, I become aware of this heat rising in my chest, like a mini tornado of emotions and cute pussy cats… Why do I subject myself to all this nonsense when reading helps?

It is not the only thing I have neglected recently for the sake of my own peace of mind. I have ceased to write in my pretty pretty green notebook with a rainbow unicorn design and such pretty pretty pages. I have left it at home since it was damaged in my bag, it has taken up resident within a crate of various notebooks, smash books, colouring books and a sewing bible, I brought with every intention of teaching myself to make my own clothes. Most of these pretty pretty books are crammed full of ideas, plots and plans, rules and regulations I self imposed upon myself for personal development and self improvement… Drowning Drowning Drowning… forever drowning in a whirlpool of my own ideas!

I paint such glorious images in my mind of how my life should appear to be should I actually implement any of these ideas, instead of writing the same to-do lists over and over again in different words, so I feel good about having a plan then get home and do nothing! Because I find myself so bewildered by how much I want to do, I find that I don’t have the energy to focus on any of them, nothing zip… Adding to the frustration already circling around my thoughts, numb without motivation, I start scrolling-scrolling-scrolling and here we go again…

So the phone is away, in my pocket, the book is at home, I’m a few chapters more into my book and the only list I have for today is a shopping list.

This feels like a huge turn around in a few days, already I’m sensing a few subtle changes… I cease to mentally torture myself if I miss my morning exercise routine, I listen to my body instead of forcing myself through glum moods, period pains, the illusive cold (which neither comes out in full or fucks off completely) and plain tiredness are all valid reasons to rest and I should be able to rest without guilt. In fact I feel better for doing so, I’m ready to face a 5am start with a fresh mind instead of a tortured soul…

All these elements feel as though they are related to this unending need to impose self restricting expectations upon myself in order to live a life that the media would conclude us to believe is normal and healthy, when I actually like biscuits and never see anyone in reality skip and dance through the streets as they do in adverts.

My health is important to me, this impact has been painfully enforced upon me by old photos of myself, horrific memories (which turn my soul cold) and the current illness of my own Mother, yet neither do I desire to live as a nutritional monk, sweeties are nice, chocolates taste good, cake is possibly my largest weakness and I also feel comfortable with the fact that I will never have the body of a 20 year old model, or a fitness fanatic. I’m starting to love my body as I feel healthier, even with it’s flaws and battle scars. My mind feels healthier as I release myself from my own fucking to-do lists and never ending reaching out for a life, which really isn’t my own. As such, I’m actually getting more done by actually doing stuff instead of constantly planning ahead to do stuff.

Maybe the answer is to just let go, breathe and do whatever feels right to do along side what you need to do to make the most of each day, whilst allowing yourself to relax and simply unplugging yourself from social networks, getting lost in the pages of a book, freeing your mind and writing your own path instead  of trying to follow others…

At least that appears to be working currently…

Anne Harrison 15.02.16

The Enigma of …

Following on from my thoughts on Monday, I wanted to just sit before an empty page, to write and see what words pool forth from my foggy brain. Not much currently, maybe I’ve not had enough coffee yet?

I started this blog to explore my reflections upon attending a Creative Writing Course at Leicester University. I cover writing themes which pop into mind and I add some of my own silly scribblings from time to time. Then I will slip off course entirely and ramble cryptically regarding life events, my emotions and fluctuating head space.

Granted I have a lot on my mind currently, 2016 has started with drama which continues to be unfolding, though I have now settled into that chaos around me, choosing to deal with one day at a time, one situation at a time and trying to provide the best support I can throughout it all. I keep typing what I want to say then deleting whole chunks of text, I’m not ready to share everything, which means I’m left writing half thoughts and nonsense.

The words left unsaid, those deleted, they are the most important, they tell the truth. But how can I express myself so deeply, when I can not find the correct words? How do I tell the truth, when I don’t know who to trust? Therein lays my enigma…

Anne Harrison 27.01.16

 

 

I am an Enigma to Myself

Each time I find a way to get my posts back onto the subject I created the blog for, albeit in the roundabout way of my rambling inner monologue, which frequently divides off into unintentional tangents, I find myself wanting to pour my heart out onto the screen.

It doesn’t really serve any purpose to do so as I don’t like to share this page on Facebook, this is my secret corner of cyberspace. As such I feel safe to write my thoughts, I have no fear of ridicule or judgement here and I do have a lot crowding my thoughts currently!

There is a lot said within that last paragraph, which speaks volumes without a word. For why do I fear ridicule or judgement from Facebook? I don’t know, I feel lost, lost within my own thoughts, lost within life, lost from my friends, from spirituality, from creativity, lost in time. Like my life is dangling in permanent limbo, while the days merge into weeks, weeks into months and all that time everything is on hold.

I feel suffocated within my mind, though I still maintain that I have beaten depression in my life and that I am not currently depressed, I am, however, desperately stressed, fearful and anxious. Which are vastly different from depression and all related to current events which are beyond my control, I want to be able to wave a magic wand and make everything better again or at least back to how everything used to be, a liquid sense of normality which has been lost in recent months.

I have so much on my mind, so much I want to say, but I can not begin to express any of it into words. I want to talk for hours over a slowly cooling coffee, collecting crumbs on a fork from something tasty that I should regret. To pour my heart out freely in regards to my Mother, my love, my stagnant ambitions, recent generosity and forthcoming adventures.  I’m swimming between despair and excitement yet I am silent. For recent outpourings have fell upon deaf ears and I feel as though I have hit a staggering brick wall, one I did not expect. So I write cryptic blogs, absent in any sense of direction, skirting around issues I want to address and, as is true in life, getting no where fast.

So I will keep my troubles to myself, play with words and return to the steady foundation of work. For I don’t know where to start, if I was to share anything anymore, fear of humbling rejection has made me mute.

TBC?

me_by_nixihix-d729scj

Anne Harrison 25.01.16

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Food

Music is the first thing which goes on in the morning, last thing to go off at night (if I bother) as I also like to fall asleep with  my music on. Music is relaxing, inspirational, motivational, uplifting and so much more. It can ease a broken heart or destroy emotions, get you moving or soothe shattered nerves. These are all simple examples of a complex psychological connections between music and the mind that I can think of, off the top of my head without any knowledge on the subject. I make this shit up.

I am quite sure that there are plenty of really clever people out there with PhD’s or Degrees who can tell you far more about how and why music triggers an emotional response, but that is all very technical and possibly boring, involving quotes from even cleverer folk who wrote several books on theories and wot not.

Alas, I’m not that academically minded and cant talk that language. If I want to explore the relationship between music and emotions, or lyrics and stories, I feel that there is only one way to do this. YouTube!

  • 30 seconds of music which promises action, explosions and superheros. Funny how just a few seconds can open a doorway into a whole world of Excitement and Adventure
  • How about having your own theme? A theme which can be translated into menace and darkness… A classical piece of music which has been widely used, yet ultimately belongs to just one character. However, there are many characters who own their own theme. Such as this character or that character. Sooooooo many to choose from!
  • Music can tell a story, without any lyrics, basically it’s darn clever like that! I couldn’t even listen to this all the way through without a tear rim my eye. Funny thing is, I’m not even sure I know the story too well, but you don’t need to when the music can carry you there without words.

I’ve only humbly touched on only the subjects of themes, characters and story telling with the use of music and I’m already nearly out of lunch time, so so so much fun and I’ve only scratched the surface of this subject. I still want to return to what I was rambling about in regards to characters last week and I have a feeling that if I follow this trail of bread crumbs upon this journey through music, we will pop right back on track… eventually…

Also, I will include some more of my own writing one day, but for now, I’m enjoying this little detour and I wonder where this train of thought will lead to next?

 

Anne Harrison 20.01.16