A Naturally Dubious Nature

If there is one thing I would like to change about myself it’s my self confidence. Not as in ‘can’t step out of the house’ confidence, I mean confidence in my own ability to do things. I have a phrase that perfectly sums me up.

I doubt therefore I don’t.

Because I have such a dubious view of my own ability sometimes, I end up not even trying. Why try if you know you are going to fail anyway? Why waste the energy? Believe me, I don’t like this about myself and I hate even more the fact that I have just grown to accept this about myself.

Someone hands me a task to do and my first instinct is to cry because I just know I’m going to screw it up. I start going to the guy but end up giving that up because I know I’m not getting anywhere. Why bother trying to stop biting my nails when I know I’m just going to start again at some point?

I could go on.

This is why I have always operated online through … secret identities. I have had a couple of online personas in the past, most notably for when I was writing fanfiction (under a different name back then). That way I didn’t have to worry that if it wasn’t any good then I would be blamed for it, I always had deniability and the ability to disappear and become someone else.

Why am I like this? Well, I could always use the good old crutch of the fact that I was bullied a lot as a kid but was that the cause or a symptom? I don’t suppose I will ever figure that one out (See? there I go again).

My life at this particular moment is on a knife edge of the biggest decision my husband and I will ever have to make. Do we stick with living where we are now, in boring old suburbia with a low paying job, or do we up sticks and move everything we have to somewhere beautiful and remote where we can run a home business? My hear says “YES!!!! Go for it! Don’t let this opportunity get away!” but my head says “eeeehhhhhh, I’m not so sure …”.

*Sigh* Would someone like to make my life choices for me please?

Response to word prompt “Dubious“.

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Being An Adult

When I was younger and I was being bullied by other kids at my school I used to long to be a grown up so that it didn’t happen any more. Now bullying just seems to be more subtle but still just as prevalent. It’s not the name calling or throwing mud at you anymore, it’s so-called friends skulking around behind your back. It’s people turning on you in the blink of an eye over the word of someone else.

It’s a lonely place to be when the group of friends you thought you had, don’t even have your back offer the most basic things.

Facebook and other social media outlets have given us a false sense of security in our friendships. With over 300 friends on my Facebook list you would think I had people talking to me, hanging out and generally being good friends to me ever day. Nope. Most of the people on my friends list are people I have maybe met once or twice, and a majority of them I don’t even really know who they are, just that they are friends with other friends who I do kinda recognize.

We have come to use it as a crutch, but out of those 300 friends, only two ever make an effort to talk to me outside of it. Even then those two friends live 2-3 hours away and can only visit/be visited every so often. Those are the type of friends that it takes effort to stay in touch with but when you do hook up it is like you have never been apart.

but how do you deal with the depression of knowing that you don’t have anyone immediately to hand to talk to. Anyone at all. This is what my husband is facing at the moment and it is heart breaking knowing that I can’t fill that gap he feels in his life.

Human beings are capable of amazing levels of compassion and kindness, but also astonishing levels of cruelty and hatred. Be it on an  inhumanly large scale or down to intentionally hurting one person emotionally.

When I grow up I want to be a bat so I can just fly away into the night.

The Shadow Of Doubt

Doubt. It is a terrible thing.

It can make a person reconsider a decision that could vastly improve their lives for ever, just because that person is afraid that something bad might happen. It clouds judgment, blinds you to new possibilities and prevents you from taking that leap of faith.

Sometimes it can be over something truly monuments, like getting married. I never had an ounce of doubt in my mind over getting married to my truly amazing husband, but I know a fair few who did feel a pang of “what the hell am I doing?!?” as they walk down the isle.

However it seems to be smaller, but still reasonably big decisions that cause me the most anxiety from doubting a decision once it has been made. Well, we are both feeling this level of doubt right now. We just bought a motor-home.

We have been wanting a motor-home for a while now, we currently have a caravan which is perfectly good but the car that we use to tow it is a total and utter money pit and hardly gets about 13 MPG. But that car was my husbands favorite toy, he would spend hours working on it, cursing at it and then grinning with pride when he finally got it to do what he wanted it to do.

But now it and the caravan has to go, and although we are gaining an added level of freedom in the form of this motor-home, we are taking a rather large financial risk.

We have no real way of knowing if this thing is any good. we know it has some faults and we managed to barter the salesman down by pointing out some obviously broken (but fixable) things. But there are still so many unknowns and now we are without the 4×4 car that has always been the workhorse in our lives.

It’s doubt over which one was the lesser of two evils. The financial drain of the car and caravan or the unknown of the motor-home.

Yes, this is a material issue and is not in any way intended to reflect against people going through much more serious situations. However to us, this is a big step and I have been going from nervous to excited to down-right nauseous just thinking about it. I’m still not sure if we have made the right decision over this particular one.

I guess we will have to wait and see …

Internal Filters (Or Lack Thereof)

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” – Thumper the Rabbit

When I was growing up this was one of the key quotes that my parents taught me. Always be kind, polite and considerate to people and they will do the same to you. It always confused and upset me, therefore, that the bullies in my school seemed to be able to say whatever they wanted and never got in any real trouble. My mum would tell me it was because they were being mean and that I was the much better person for not rising to it.

20+ years later the same rules still apply yet the same types of people break them on a daily basis.

Freedom of speech is an amazing thing. It means that people can stand up for what they believe in, for a cause they feel strongly about and for themselves in general. However, freedom of speech comes with consequences for those that abuse it and turn it into a weapon to be used against others. This has always been happening but now, thanks to social media tearing away geographical barriers, it appears to be much more widespread and aggressive that it ever has been before.

Now instead of children being afraid to go to school because of the mean kid that sits behind them in class, people are afraid of nameless, faceless people on the internet hurling abuse from other continents under the guise of free speech.

People died so that everyone regardless of gender, colour, race or religion could speak freely for themselves. They did not die just so some cyber bully can call someone the most awful racially/sexually motivated names and expect the other person to take it because they are using their “right to free speech”. We should be more civilized than that!

If everyone would simply engage a mental filter before they speak out the would would be a happier place. Find more constructive ways of rallying against oppression or to sound out your beliefs. Instead of hurling insults engage in a debate with your verbal counterpart and maybe, just maybe, you will both learn something.

Everyone has their own demons they need to deal with, some are routed in cultural history, some are more recent and personal, but everyone has them. Everyone has something they get upset about, feel strongly about or wish they could change. Likewise everyone has small accomplishments and victories that they want to jump up and down about to celebrate. There has to be ways of getting what you want to say across without being intentionally aggressive, smug or just plain rude.

What A Difference A Year Makes

This time last year I had very little concept of the effort it takes to design an invitation, let alone everything else that goes into planning a major event. This time last year I was gearing up for a trip away for the weekend with my boyfriend to celebrate the one year anniversary of us moving in together.

We were going on a short UK city break, just to do a bit of shopping, hit some clubs and just generally be away from the daily grind for a few days. Little did I know that this trip was ll a very cleverly constructed LIE, and also that I am quite possibly the most gullible woman on the planet.

I didn’t even cotton on the fact that something was afoot when he started weighing suitcases like a madman the night before we went away.

Anywho, long story short, that UK city break turned into a 3 day trip to Paris where said boyfriend got down on one knee under the Eiffel tower and asked me to marry him! Naturally I said yes, but even then I couldn’t anticipate how much of my soul would have to be poured into an even that is supposed to be about us and our love.

Which brings me on to the topic of this post. The invitations. In an attempt to keep costs down I decided to make all of the invitations and order of service booklets myself. This meant hours sat at my computer, editing images, adjusting sizes of pictures pixel by pixel. Printing a run off and then finding a spelling mistake, deciding to make a colour change, miscalculating how many invitations we would need to send out …

This stage of the wedding planning process was very stressful and ended up taking a lot longer than I ever could have anticipated.

So. If you are planning a wedding anytime soon and you look at the price of personalized invitations online, trust me, there is a reason for that price. Based on the amount of blood, sweat and the many many MANY tears that I shed in the invitation-making process, others would be going through the same things too.

Having said that, I am so very glad that we made our own invitations as this allowed us to put another aspect of ourselves into that day, and I wouldn’t change any little thing about it.

 

The Monster Under The Bed

“I can’t do this” is, in my mind, one of the most crippling thought anyone can have. It has such a vast range of interpretations including “I can’t do a handstand.” or “I can’t live like this” and everything in between and beyond. In a majority of cases it stems from a fear of failure, the unknown, or just of trying something new. Even though we regret the things we don’t do so much more than the things we do do, we still deny ourselves the chance by telling ourselves we are simply not capable of whatever ‘it’ is.

It seems to me that this starts in childhood when we are afraid of the monster under the bead. Imagination is a wonderful thing, it is what brings books to life, allowing the characters to form inside our minds. However it can also turn shadows into monsters that send us leaping across the room in fright when imagination gets tainted by fear.

Fears develop because a person doesn’t understand something enough to truly grasp what it’s impact would be. If left unchecked these fears can very easily become phobias, despite the individual in question knowing that their reaction is disproportionate to the threat. As a personal example, when I was little I was afraid of spiders because I didn’t understand how they moved the way the do. Now, even after obtaining a BSc in animal behaviour, I am still scared of the little creeps!

So many people in the world today allow fear to hold them back, to tell them that they are not capable of achieving or doing or even just seeing something. They are afraid that the monster under the bed will come get them if they step outside of their comfort zone. This despite believing that there may be something out there worth seeing, but then resigning themselves to the fact that it is beyond their reach so why try in the first place.

I myself have fallen into this state on many occasions in the past.

So, instead of saying “I can’t do this” or “I’m not capable of that” try saying something like “I might be capable of this, who knows? Lets find out!” and give it a whirl! Learn  new language, go on a trip you’ve been longing to make, just take one step outside your front door and see where the world will take you.

Who knows, you might just enjoy it.

Let It Go

We cling to a lot in life it seems. As children we cling to dolls or toys or blankets (in my case a small stuffed bear called Rainbow) and as teens we cling to our group of friends. As adults the scope of what we cling to for security widens considerable. some people cling to family, others cling to jobs, others to money, pets, possessions, property, faith, religion … the list is endless. But everyone clings to something.

We cling because we consider the thing we are clinging to to be safe and secure. Something that can protect us when we feel vulnerable, give us strength when we feel weak or give us guidance when we are undecided. Even if that thing is an Action Man you have had since you were a kid, it is something safe, something you consider to have never, and could never let you down.

While in a majority of cases these personal totems can empower us to do something we never have before, in some cases they can also hold us back. Their is a disadvantage to being safe. Safe means that while nothing bad can happen to you, maybe, just maybe, the good things are being kept away too.

If the thing you cling to, be it a person or an object, isn’t empowering you to get out there and gain new experiences, reach a new goal, or just generally see how amazing  the world around us truly is, then maybe you need to let it go. Take a deep breath and just go for it! You will be surprised what can happen once you step out of your comfort zone.

And if the thing you cling to gives you the strength and determination to you need, then keep hold of it, take it with you and reach for those stars!

A response to The Daily Post prompt: Cling