IT’S FRIDAY…

happy

…and I wish to sprinkle a little happy on the week before diving head first into the weekend.

Just for a moment, let go of the big things. Of the worries and stresses and schedules and expectations.

Humans are only tiny little beings, a dusty speck on the timeline of history – we can’t always shoulder the weight of the world.

So for a second, look for the good. Cherish the smile of a stranger on your way back from work or school; get excited about your favourite colour; dance to a song vibrant with memories; look for the brightness that makes you YOU, and cradle it. 

The way I see it, humans are incredible. Precisely BECAUSE it’s the little things that count the most.

‘I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.’
– Audrey Hepburn

audrey hepburn happy

To my Forever Boy

Today, I have been with the love of my life for a magical two years. I don’t want to write a stream of uncomfortably intimate memories, or gush at how in love I still am, but I do want to tell him one thing.

Thank you. You are the man who I want to grow old with. You are the man I want to kiss every single day for the rest of my life. You are the man who has turned my world around.

And it has been the most unforgettable adventure.

1

Teaching a terrified me the realities of boat life at Dartmouth.

Together in Paris

A spontaneous trip to Paris.

Our first Christmas

Our first drunken Christmas.

Educating trips to the Flight Museum

All our educating trips to the Flight Museum.

Driving in a getaway car to Weymouth

Driving in a getaway car to Weymouth

Because...Pefkos

Another spontaneous trip because…Pefkos.

First year at University

Up and moving out for our first year at University.

Your continued attempts to grow a beard

Our second drunken Christmas and your continued attempts to grow a beard.

My continued attempts at seduction from a pile of wrapping paper

…coupled with my continued drunken attempts at seduction from a pile of wrapping paper.

Becoming superheroes for Easter

Deciding to become superheroes for Easter…someone’s gotta do it.

All of your super exciting Geology lessons. Every time we go out for a walk.

All of your super exciting Geology lessons. Every time we go out for a walk.

And then, perhaps most importantly of all, the adventure of loving you in the moments that carry us from photograph to photograph, my Forever Boy.

16

The Uncomfortable Truths

As friends, as family members, as lovers, we all desire one simple thing from those whom we care about:

TRUTH

This is a concept that, although alien to some, is to others a firm ethic by which to live their life.

Truth is the golden rule.

But because we have been told from a young age that to be truthful is the best and the right thing to be, we are not prepared when we are suddenly faced with the dilemma of whether or not it will hurt the one we tell it to.

What do we do if the truth will only cause unnecessary pain? Do we speak it and seek to help those it wounds in the aftermath? Or do we hold our tongue and hope it’s never found out?

I suppose the real question I’m trying to ask here is: Is it ever ok to lie?

There are times when you find yourself the victim of what I call an uncomfortable truth. Facts come to light that until that moment you were unaware of and you find it difficult to know how to react. It can be upsetting; it can be unnerving; it can leave you questioning the reliability of whatever came before the revelation.

On one level you are glad you know. When all is said and done, the more honesty there is between people the closer they can become. You can either cut yourself off from the person, choosing to recreate yourself as an independent individual rooted in solid facts, OR you can choose to move on, forgive if possible and build on what you have. Whichever path you pick, you can progress to better things. You have been hurt, but you have learnt. You can become stronger by yourself or as a team and there is no denying that that is a beautiful achievement.

But on another level you wish you had never found out. There would be no change to what you may have initially considered perfection, no turbulent emotions or questions of trust. It has taken years of self discovery and challenge to reach the point you are already at and you are proud of who you are. Surrounded by people you love and can lean on, you are living in ignorant bliss. Who would choose pain and uprooting over happiness?

I don’t believe that there is a clear cut answer to any of these questions. Every person is different because every person loves differently. I cannot lay down a blanket rule on who can or should tell the truth. I cannot dictate how to react to a truth if it is presented to you.

All I can tell you is what I believe: TRUTH IS AN EXTENSION OF LOVE. Presenting even the ugliest parts of yourself to the ones you love is the strongest demonstration of trust. And without trust, how can you truly love?

This is only my opinion however. You can’t base the way you live on some other persons’ internet ramblings- that would be dishonest to yourself. But you can expand on the ramblings; you can probe your own feelings…

…and you can ask yourself:

What you would do?

Let me down gently

Everyone has been let down at some point. Whether it was by your new pet dog who suddenly forgot his litter training after months of cleanliness or whether it was a slip of the tongue on the part of a loved one, leaving you awkward and exposed in a lie…we’ve all been there.

But in some ways, it is much easier to cope with being let down by someone/thing else. We have someone to blame that way when things go wrong or when we get upset. It is far nicer to think that if it had been up to you, this horrible thing would never have happened – YOU would have been much more considerate, YOU would have moved mountains to get things right, because YOU are pretty damn fabulous, unlike those other losers out on this planet.

(No offense of course.)

But when we find ourselves with that twisting knot in our stomachs that tells us we only have our reflection to blame…that’s when things get tough.

Now, instead of pointing the finger of blame elsewhere, you start to run through every failure, every mistake you made on the journey that carried you here. You scrutinise injuries that scupper you, probe at the fringes of your emotions, filter through the limits of your knowledge. And after all that, despite already knowing that you were at fault to begin with, you now feel even worse because you’ve analysed every bad point of your body and convinced yourself that you are a failure of a human being.

My point to all of this is that today I am feeling EXACTLY that way. I made a promise, a plan that I woke up facing this morning and simply couldn’t fulfil. I let myself and the one I love down and I am ridiculously miserable about it.

Which, when you stop to really think about it, is an utter waste of time.

No one can control the challenges thrown their way on a daily basis. No one can hold a hand up to the face of Life and say ‘Please go away, I’m not in the mood today.’

We all know that we feel at our worst when the person we’ve let down is a person we love. Chances are though that our loved one is not nearly as upset as we are-in fact, they may not even consider it an issue, too worried themselves about the state you’re in, and yet we continue to tear our hair out about it.

It’s taken me a long time to realise that ultimately, there is no point wallowing in self pity or despair. If life gets in the way and you have no other choice than to let someone down, then do it. It’s not going to stop or change their love for you. You just have to accept that there are times when you simply can’t do everything.

But you sure as hell can try.

 

The Silence in the Midst

To-do lists

Chores

Meetings

Deadlines

All of the above govern the lives of so many of us. We find ourselves struggling to get to several different places by certain times with a variety of belongings nearly every day.

We fill our weeks with things to do and spend the weekends trying to make the most of the freedom by forcing ourselves to wake up early and race to the nearest beach or shopping mall.

This is not an accusation. In fact, to an extent I think it’s the wisest thing to do. Life is precious and worth filling every moment with memories and adventure. Even if that adventure is a casual stroll to the office photocopier.

The thing is, we may find ourselves rushed off our feet; we may find ourselves out of breath with our blood pressure soaring through the roof. But as I lay in bed this morning, I discovered a beautiful silence that we all overlook.

As we exhale, just for a second, our body stops. We stop needing any more oxygen; we stop needing to move our diaphragm; we don’t even need to think if we don’t want to. All that’s left is a contented body and our heartbeat.

Just our heartbeat.

Don’t you think it’s beautiful that within such madness, with our lack of time and crazy schedules, our bodies have this gem of magical stillness that continues even when we are ignorant of it?

So next time you find yourself fighting against a crowd or cursing under your breath as you weave in and out of traffic, rueing the day you agreed to start a career – whether that be vocational or the impressive journey of mother/fatherhood – just breathe.

Because in the midst of it all is this wonderful nugget of transcendent silence, the calm in the storm. And it is just you.

Just you and your heartbeat.

Hello Sun!

It has been a glorious day today. The sun has been shining quite fabulously for Britain’s standards, so unsurprisingly we have seen the emergence of pasty English men proudly strutting from the darkness of their homes, socks and sandals their preferred footwear.

Which, as we all know, is tres chic.

The sun has this wonderful effect on people: it brightens their mood, gives a certain squint to their eye and lives up to the well known song, making people believe ‘THIIIIIIIINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTEEEEEEER!’

I, for one, am incredibly happy today. I have booked a holiday with my boyfriend, successfully completed Day One of the ‘generally nicer body’ diet and got out of the house, camera clutched in hand to commemorate the beginning of summer.

*Pause for satisfied sigh*

I have not the energy or the philosophy in me today for a deep insightful message. After a stress free and largely thought-free day (who wants to REALLY think about the amount of money they just spent?), I am simply sitting at my laptop, a glass of red wine in hand, virtually penning my thoughts and sending them out to all of you.

In the vague hope that all of you have a smile on your face too.

Because what’s sun without a little joy?

A shadow of life

You can be perfectly content in life; you can be blissfully happy. And then, the shadow of a pain rears its ugly head and hits with the devastation of a natural disaster.

It leaves in its wake a ruin of what stood before.

Some people hide their pain; they coat it in paint and don their masks. They don’t feel comfortable displaying it to the world or feel ashamed or unworthy of the feeling.

Others wear their pain with tentative pride. They don’t wipe away the tears that fall and show their vulnerability to complete strangers. Maybe they can’t stop themselves. Maybe they need the support.

There is never a right way to deal with a thing so intangible. It would be like trying to pin down the soul and stuff it in a cardboard box, ready to be taken out for use as and when it pleases. There is a reason that there are countless songs, poems and books all fuelled by it. Pain is one of the sharpest emotions, one of the most raw. It can tear apart the strongest of us or creep up on us at any moment – we are powerless in its approach.

I say all of this because I believe that in all its suffering, it is a beautiful thing. Like all beings, we crave learning; we crave the knowledge that can only come with years of living.

And pain is one of our greatest and cruellest teachers.

With one foul swoop it can knock you off your feet and you know instantly what love is because you have just lost it. You want to rip yourself apart and dig out the hard nugget of heartbreak and throw it away. But despite this, you hug that dark little gem closer to you. When truly broken, we cling to our pain for it is our reminder that we are alive. This, right now, is what living feels like.

So let yourself live. Let yourself sob over a novel. Give in to the raw cries of heartbreak. Surrender to the racking sobs that take your breath away and shake you up so hard that you’re left without a solid footing because it is LIFE that you’re feeling.

Life never promised us eternal beauty or a smooth ride. It offered us choice and love and adventure and maybe if we’re lucky, a happy ending.

But in the meantime it is good to be scared, it is good to hurt. Because then we know exactly how much we have to lose.