Saturday, 7 November 2015

Surfacing

Nothing new here, I've just been struggling lately with a pretty equal division of good days, bad days and mediocre days and not being able to do much on either the mediocre or the bad ones.  This means the good days tend to require much of me in the way of shopping, cooking, dishes, laundry, paper work and assorted business in which I am usually behind, and a once a week lunch with my parents.  Toss in a couple of birthday celebrations, appointments and the hiring of  new cleaning help and that's pretty much been my life for the past month.  It feels quite overwhelming but if I'm good at anything it's just plugging along.  I'm not quite as good at dealing with guilt and anything which is not getting my full attention or whatever degree of attention I believe it should tends to weigh on me.  Learning not to let this happen is a work in progress.  I'm getting there but it's probably two steps forward and one back.   What fun would life be if it weren't a journey, a learning process, an experience of discovery?  In all honesty, I like who I am, but I will never ever live up to all of my own expectations.  I've got the bar set too high.   I know this, but that doesn't make it something I can instantly internalise and act on. 

Not only am I not getting all the 'shoulds' dealt with, I'm not getting all the 'wants' done either.  I try to remind myself that it's a journey without a destination.  I just keep going, do my best with each step and consider each place I arrive at the place I want to be. 

Being the muller-over that I am, (if there is a better word for that I have lost it) I tend to arrive at epiphanies which seem like I just woke up one morning and understood.  Although I know it's not actually true, it seems as though I just woke up one morning and realised I was in a bad marriage and needed out.  That was five years ago and in those five years I've been on an extensive personal journey (I am cringing at the clichés here) trying to find myself again.  Of course I was never really lost and yesterday I woke up knowing exactly who I am.  Or maybe it was the day before.  In reality it has of course been a process and this blog has only been part of that process for the past year and a half. 

It's a bit of an odd concept to think that there are people reading this.  A blog audience is mainly invisible and I don't think I have fully grasped that this is as public a space as it is.  Or rather, I imagine it as an empty public space, as though I am standing in the middle of the town square talking but everyone is at home.  The people who take the time to leave me comments and whose blogs I also try to read, give me some sense of an audience but it never feels totally solid and I think I have failed at what I set out to do.  I started this blog wondering if I could write for a specific audience but without any sort of monetary incentive I don't think I can.  It doesn't seem to be in me to have an actual theme to this blog or to remain with it consistently.  If it's other purpose was to help me on my journey, what am I to do now that I feel I've mainly arrived?

Having just woken up and understood who I am, or found myself, or reclaimed myself or whatever we want to call it (I am as yet quite undecided) I now feel immensely satisfied and incredibly dull.  I love my life but it is a quiet one, looking much the same from day to day and I have little inclination to document it.  If I can fit it in, if I have the mental and/or physical stamina, my main desire is to spend my time painting, reading or writing.  Sometimes I want to share what I am working on and sometimes I do not.  The frequency at which that might happen is probably not high, and I am doubtful about the interest of what appears to be a group of followers/readers numbering anywhere from 25-100.  Yes, it's a small-time blog that's certain.

My interest in clothing has waned significantly and although the idea of anyone following me for style guidance is laughable, I believe a good portion of my readers were here to watch that journey.  I am happy to post pictures of my mistakes, terrible poses and smirking or grimacing face.  Ironically, I have finally figured out what was wrong with my camera and gotten the settings sorted out but have really lost the desire to photograph what I am wearing.  Not only that, I've lost any desire to wear something that might interest anyone.

Yes, that's what I said.  The games are over.  I played, I learned, and I went full circle.  At one time I thought that I had to represent who I am with my clothes, that I had to get it right, that I had to present myself to others accurately so that they would know me.  Of course that's not easy if you've lost track of who you are anyhow or if, like me, you are a mixed bag of tricks.  Am I artsy or bookish?  Am I outgoing or reclusive?  Do I like colours or neutrals?  Skirts or jeans?  I am a mixture of all of those things but I don't feel that I have any obligation to represent them in what I wear.   I also do not have to impress anyone in order to get a job, keep a job, maintain a reputation or attract a mate.  None of those things are relevant to my life. 


Here are the things I've found crucial to my personal style and if you'd been asked to describe my style looking at me twenty-five years ago it would be nearly identical.

Casual
Muted colours in small doses-esp in the purple-burgundy, blue and green range
A good haircut
Say yes to lipstick
Simplicity
Quality
Mostly neutral colours -almost no black
Natural fibres
Low-mid heels, granny boots, combat boots, mary-janes, brogues
Light weight sweaters, long sleeved tees, very soft buttoned blouses
Earrings, watch, two rings
Body skimming, no cinched waist, waist suggested
Skirts/dresses are loved but not worn daily
Hats-did I mention hats?
Scarves-no jumbo blankets


Are you curious to know what was different twenty-five years ago?  Mainly it was that I wore pencil skirts where I now prefer flared skirts and I had more black and bright colours in my wardrobe.  I suppose, there were probably also a few shoulder pads given the time period.  I was also more likely to tuck shirts in and belt my waist.  It was smaller then and I was comfortable like that.  Yes, I wore scarves then.  Nobody else did.  Or at least nobody I knew other than my mother.  I still have one that I bought in 1980-something.  It's just cotton, navy blue, and I still wear it.

Full circle.  That's great right?  Good news, that I've got it all figured out!  The only problem is, I am no longer sure what this blog is about.  I doubt that will stop me from continuing to post, but it doesn't really bring me any closer to audience awareness.  In those moments when I do remember you are there, dear reader, I am not really sure who you are, but I am quite sure who I am.

14 comments:

  1. You're a Taoist, Shawna. You've figured out that there is nothing to figure out -- there is simply The Way, a journey without a destination at which you have already arrived. Being IS simply that, not a performance, and no one can be you better than you. What you offer your readers is authenticity -- very rare when well expressed -- sadly, perhaps, because your illness forbids wasting energy on maintaining illusion. Your musings remind me of the writings of artist/philosopher Frederick Franck!

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    1. Beth, I think I've tried for most of my adult life to avoid being a Taoist because although I instinctively am, I kept on believing all of the 'shoulds' I heard around me. I made some up for myself too because that's what is asked of us. We are told to figure out the shoulds and then respond to them. How right you are, I am far too exhausted for maintaining any illusions, though at the same time I am more private than I seem. My musings are freely given away, shared, tossed out. They have to spoken or written to be worked through anyway and then they must be removed from my head. Purging doesn't only happen in my closet! xo

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  2. I always look forward to your posts because I like you and want to connect. I don't care what you write about or if you just post photos. It's all interesting!
    BTW that is why I called mine Natural Medley, because it was a whole host of topics and just life really.
    I'm glad you know who you are. I keep changing and struggle to keep up, as do those around me. But as Bushy says, "It's never boring!"
    Much love, Jazzy Jack

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    1. I like you too! I shall test your loyalty and write a post that consists entirely of blah blah blah just to see if you show up. ;-)
      Natural Medley is a very good title for your blog. It suits it really well.
      Everything changes so don't try to keep up, just be who you are today. That's all any of us ever can be. I love the French saying (forgive the lack of accent marks which I don't know how to make) Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme.
      Love you too and love Bushy! Don't tell him or I will blush. ;-) XO

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  3. There's no rules here … nor is there a necessity to have a theme … post what you want, when you want and nothing at all if you don't feel like it. I think it's easy to feel you are blogging for others … but unless you have a huge readership, you're really blogging for yourself … so do what pleases you.
    xx
    xx

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    1. Rules and themes are much too confining! Doing what pleases me without guilt does not come naturally but I"m getting better at it! XO

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  4. We're complex entities who usually have only limited grasp of our complexity. Which explains some of your points. As women, we're bombarded with the message that how we dress is important yet, truly, it isn't. It's merely social communication and there are times, as you mention, when we don't care to say anything. So it's okay not to care about your clothing. For now. Your attitude may later change and you're entitled to feel differently then.

    I come here to listen to you talk. As long as you keep talking, I'll keep coming. (Oops... that sounds dirty. Sorry!)

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    1. Never be sorry. I have a very dirty mind somewhat akin to that of a 14 year old male. I'm also a pretty good actress so I think really I should consider a career as a dominatrix or a phone sex operator. ;-) Too much black though with a dominatrix so on second thought, nah.

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  5. Well, this is exactly where I'm at, so I added the tiny sentence in my title, "and other stories" so I can do whatever. And I think you should keep blogging because your views are quite interesting and your humor makes me laugh miles away! I like peeks into your home and paintings, etc....it's hard to give this up totally because of the connections we make and I'd really love to meet you some day too. I already miss Natalia. ;( I've blogged off and on and always end up missing the few connections that I felt really mattered and developed in to something.
    I love your conversation above with Ally! I have a friend I've had since 2nd grade coming to town this week and we haven't seen each other for about 20 years. She's been a call girl for the last 25 years so I'm on the edge of my seat excited to talk with her in person and listen to all the intriguing stories....! Maybe I'll change my career while there's still time....NOT. I'll be keeping my jeans on, thank you. ;)

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  6. Wow, what an intriguing friend. I suspect I'd only manage phone sex or whipping and verbally abusing people 'cause I am not into sex with strangers. That would be too much work.
    I miss Natalia too and I love the connections I've made through blogging. I struggle but I keep going. I'm just having to be more realistic about the rate of posting and commenting that I do. I can't maintain what I started out doing and that is really the whole story of living with M.E.
    I'd love to meet you someday too. At this point I don't even have a passport but eventually I will get myself sorted. I have a friend who regularly travels to Tacoma in the summer so I might be able to travel with her and take a little south of the border holiday. It's just a random idea at the moment.
    I'm glad you have not totally disappeared from Blog Land. XO

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  7. I'm also at the same spot as you. I don't know if I'm writing my blog for my readers, or for me. Often disappointed with my blog and probably in junction, myself.

    I think it is brilliant you woke up knowing who you are. Please tell me your secret. I think you could write a best selling book if you wanted to spill the beans.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  8. I think you are too hard on yourself but it's something you said you realised already. You don't need to worry about the audience you are writing,or how often you do. Just do what you feel like and write about whatever you feel like. You have a talent with words and this is what we love . So your blog will evolve in whatever you are evolving. Me personally love the way you describe your feelings and this has helped me sort out some of mine.I like it that you are an introvert and feel happy spending time on your own doing the things you enjoy!

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  9. As Ally said, we are complicated creatures. I think one thing we all share is some degree of connection to at least one person. And I agree clothing is not very important, unless it's our job, and it's not. It's how we cover ourselves from being naked, and for some, it's an artistic journey. For you, maybe the journey is waking up and feeling more like you, more often. A worthy journey, imho. xo

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  10. being sure who you are is all it matters....I think we all overthink this blogging thing...I think we should be free to write whatever the heck we want, you know what I mean?

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