Saturday, 1 October 2016

Navel Gazing and Other Hobbies

I'm a peculiar mixture of stubborn, headstrong and opinionated, but also very vulnerable, susceptible to influence by others' opinions and unsure of my own.  Perhaps it depends on the subject matter.  I have no doubts about my personal ethics and morality for instance.

It is, in many ways, my own sense of who I am as a woman that has been far too mixed up with who my mother is.  I don't think this is any sort of deep psychological non-separation from mother sort of Freudian thing.   I do have a tendency to lose my own borders with the people I am close to.  I am better aware of that now.  I am better at looking after and respecting myself than I used to be, especially now that I understand it is a weakness that I need to work on.  I have no doubt that my difficulty with borders, my tendency to literally lose track of where I end and someone close to me begins, contributed to my ending up in an abusive relationship.  I have always thought it my responsibility to fix things, hold them together, bear the burden.  I do it easily because other people's needs and feelings, their strengths and weaknesses are so obvious to me it's like they are my own.  This is what I mean by losing the borders.

Six years living alone has been amazingly good for me.  I have learned a lot about myself and grown hugely.  I have healed emotionally and I am in a wonderful relationship that has built slowly and eventually I will no longer be living alone.  Changes are coming.  They are good changes.

This little bit of self-psychoanalyses is actually related to my searching for personal style, and my desire to know my best colour palette.   I have very much been rebuilding myself, although I'd never imagined I was one of those women who had to run off and find herself.  Finding seems too passive too me anyhow, and I prefer rebuilding. 

I am very close to my mother and we do spend a lot of time together.  At this point in life we are good friends, as well as mother and daughter, but I have to watch carefully how much she influences me.  My mother does not like warm colours much.  She has always favoured cool colours and I believe this has actually contributed to my own ability to see that I can wear neutral-warm colours.  I love warm colours.  I especially love the muted ones and have always said that I like 'dirty colours'.  Mum likes them greyed.  It's a subtle difference; both are softened.  Both of my parents have always worn cool colours and their home mainly contains cool colours.  My brother also tends to favour cool colours.  So I got caught up in the assumption that I too must be suited to and destined for cool colours.  I look similar to my mother; you would look at us and say we have the same colouring, although I have learned from my studying of personal colour analysis, that this surface appearance is deceptive.  It could be quite possible that while looking similar, my colouring is slightly warmer.  I suspect we are both essentially neutral and apparently most people are, but with a slight lean towards cool or warm.  I suspect Mum is a soft summer, could be a dark winter and sometimes wears true summer colours.  I suspect Dad is a soft summer or dark winter.  He avoids colours and tends to wear grey, navy and dark chocolate brown, which all suit him.  Navy blue is a sort of family signature colour.

I simply assumed, well I look like them so I must be the same.  And there was positive feedback if I wore cool colours, but I think really it was more of a response to the clothing, to the colour itself.  Oh that's a gorgeous sweater.  What a pretty blue that dress is.  And since my best colours are not overtly warm, but neutral-warm, and I am and always have been attracted to those, I know I do wear them sometimes and quite any blue or green I choose might lean warmer but blue and green still tend to be seen as cool colours and I tended to stick to them because they were safe.

I wonder sometimes, if other errors I have made in my life have been due to trying to do what others wanted for me instead of what I instinctively wanted.  So often when I made what I thought were mistakes in clothing colour choices it was because I instinctively chose something warm.  Bright colours don't do much for me, but given the choice between bright orange and bright pink my trusty advisors typically would say to go with the pink.  Now I wonder if that was more of a cool colour bias than anything to do with what actually worked for me.  I love a muted dirty orange, rusty orange or burnt orange but the orange colour of the Home Depot store is among my most disliked colours.  Our instincts tend to take us in the right direction if we pay attention.

I chose my first husband (I'm saying first because you never know, there may be a second) or perhaps I fell in love with him, because he was very suitable, smart, going places, hard working, the type you would immediately label good husband and father material.  I suspect he chose me for similar though gender-flipped reasons.  It didn't work out, and as he grew frustrated and unhappy he became more and more controlling.  He always was a little controlling, which I can now see with hindsight and I probably mistook it for caring in the early days.  He was controlling with money but then I"d always been advised that it was important to choose a partner who is good with money.  Does not wanting to let me spend it count as good?  I must have decided so.

Perhaps choosing a partner is always a gamble.  You don't know how either of you will change or which traits will magnify and which will taper off.  You don't know what life is going to bring and how either of you will react to it.  I am gambling once again, but I think I am older and wiser now.  At nearly fifty I am finally getting things right, as I finally see myself  more clearly, trust my instincts and know that even if I am different from all of the people around me, it's okay.  I can do it my way and things will be fine.  If I know anything about myself I know I can get up every day and keep on truckin'.  I've even learned when it's time to change lanes.



  1. Awesome post Shawna ... I am happy that you have learned 'when to change lanes' and I hope the lane you change into is going to bring much joy and happiness.

  2. I completely agree with your sentiments Shawna, and can relate to what you write about meeting someone whom you think would make a suitable partner in marriage. Although I can look back and see some positives - three wonderful children - I realise, just like yourself with the benefit of wisdom and life experience, that I have been living in a "marriage" that I assumed was the norm but in fact was not at all. I too have met someone who is very special to me - someone who knows how to show love properly. I could write my own blog about this subject but I know I should keep a response fairly brief and succinct. This may well be a gamble - however I feel so absolutely CERTAIN this time, I am willing to bet my life on its success. I hope that yours is too - I feel certain that it will be.

  3. Shawna, I am so happy for you - beyond my ability to express at this moment. I sense big positive changes, lots of love and true partnership. I really don't think relationship is always a gamble. It only is a gamble if we are disconnected from ourselves. It is impossible - yes, impossible! - to fool your spirit. Only brain and what we call "heart". Not the deepest part of ourselves. I also think that many of us find this connection with the deepest part of ourselves later in life. Some people maybe even never really find it. "Find" in a sense that it's always been there, but we weren't looking, or were looking in wrong places - we people easily get confused, not just you, many of us, for one reason or another. Controlling people are some of the most confused that I can think of, to tell the truth.

    Love you!


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