Thanks Sista for bringing this Daily Prompt to my attention. I was super inspired by your post as seen by the fact that I
stole borrowed most of your list!
Are you a male or female?
Bitch – Meredith Brooks
How do you feel?
Skipping Stone – Amos Lee
Describe where you currently live:
Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:
Empire State of Mind – Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys
What is your favorite form of transportation:
Act a Fool – Ludacris
Your best friend is:
Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
You and your best friends are:
Count on Me – Bruno Mars
What’s the weather like?:
Purple Rain – Prince
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?
The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
Your current relationship?
Someone Like You – Van Morrison
What is the best advice you have to give?
Conversations with my 13 year old self – Pink
Thought for the Day?
Beam Me Up – Pink
Your motto is:
The Things that Stop you Dreaming – Passenger
Today’s Daily Prompt is: Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.
My favourite pair of shoes are my black Jimmy Choo pumps. They’re not particularly exciting: a standard enough pair of pain black, pointy toed pumps. For me, what makes them exciting is what they represent. These shoes were my gift to myself on my 30th birthday. Ever since I was a university student, sitting in my rented flat-share, watching Sex and the City with my flatmates, I have wanted a pair of JCs. To me they represented a life I knew I wanted: an arrival at a position in your life, a declaration of independence and adult-ness. And on my 30th birthday I finally had the resources to buy them and the occasions to wear them. Their representation of all these things would have been diminished had somebody else bought them for me: the whole point was that I was finally in a place where I could achieve this purchase for myself.
As they sit in my wardrobe, carefully stored in their velvet bag, they might seem like a total waste to anybody else. But not to me. If I wore them everyday their “specialness” would be diminished. Because wow, those shoes have taken me to some momentous places: the took me across the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental for my 30th birthday dinner; they took me down the aisle to stand beside my best friend as she married Mr Wonderful; and they took me across Wall St to watch one of my oldest friends take his vows. For me, these shoes not only represent the acknowledgement of an achievement at a point in time in my life, they continue to represent all of the special milestones I’ll never forget. So every now and again, when I spy my shoes sitting patiently in their box, waiting for their next outing, I remember those days that have passed with joy and wonder in excitement at what their next outing will be.
Recently I engaged in a discussion with a fellow blogger somewhere (thanks meds, can’t remember who or where!) about knowing somebody who uses their illness as an excuse to get out of doing things. Since then I’ve been thinking quite extensively about it, as it’s something I’ve dealt with for a large part of my life. A close family member suffers from depression and they played a large part in my own failure to accept my issues.
For the longest time I thought that maybe I was just like them – wallowing in self-pity or inventing an “illness” that was a convenient excuse to hide my own shortcomings behind. I thought there was nothing wrong with me that a good kick in the ass wouldn’t cure. That I needed to stop making myself out to be suffering from anything other than weakness and get on with my life.
Once I successfully cleared the hurdle of seeking a diagnosis and accepting my label as a depressive, this person’s presence actually became a more positive one. Actually, that’s not true. It’s more accurate to say that their presence became less negative. I don’t mean that they changed into a supportive person or shared some insights into their actions that gave me a lightbulb moment of clarity. In fact, this person doesn’t even know about my diagnosis. They continued on much as they always have – living in their bubble of self-absorption and self-reference. What has changed is my perception of them and the influence they have on me and my emotions.
These days I hear the usual “oh I could never do that” and “I had such potential and then the awful life I have had happened” and instead of anger, resentment and guilt I feel pity and more importantly I feel motivated. I spoke recently about the concept of being a high-functioning depressive and what that means to me. I guess I left out a major driver in my life – my determination not to turn into this negative, self-absorbed person who has had such a negative influence on my mental health to date.
The Opinionated Man posed a blogging challenge recently that struck me as very interesting. So here goes my response to: Describe a happy memory of yours and try to recall something lost from it, or perhaps missed until now. Like when you rewatch a movie and see something for the first time.
When I was 20 my Mother, my two sisters and myself travelled to London for a girly trip. My memories from that trip are like a trailer for a movie – brief flashes of scenarios without context or detail. They all hint to a happy two days with much laughter and enjoyment. My most vivid memory is of a Chinese meal, but even that is hazy. I don’t remember what we ate or even where the restaurant was but I could describe the table and it’s position in the restaurant. I could describe the cups and teapot we received after dinner. I could describe the bitter taste of my first cup of green tea and the laughter of four women from the country when they realised their error in trying to order a pot of English breakfast tea in a Chinese restaurant! And I could describe our childish antics as one by one her three daughters proceeded to trick our Mother into drinking our shares of the horrible tea.
It’s a pretty simple memory and to our fellow diners we may have looked like four slightly gauche country girls, displaying a lack of decorum in an elegant city. For me it’s a moment that never fails to cause a pang of longing in my heart. It’s a memory I take out and dust off only when I’m feeling strongest. Because it’s not something that is lost, it’s someone.
Ten years later, I long for my Mother. I long for another girly trip. I long for the ability to go back in time and tell my 20 year old self to soak it all in. I would tell her to write it down, to photograph it, to do whatever it takes to never forget that day. I would tell her to remember the details of the places visited and the address of the hotel so that one day she can revisit them. Because though she couldn’t have imagined it possible then, one day she will be left only with the memories of a horrible green tea and a vague recollection of a chinese restaurant with white tablecloths.
Today’s Daily Prompt is: When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?
My boyfriend says I don’t need him. He believes that if he walked out tomorrow I wouldn’t care. And in some ways he’s right.
If he walked out tomorrow, I’d be okay. I have come back from my lowest point, dragging myself kicking and screaming from rock bottom, and it has given me an odd strength. A kind of zen. I know that, no matter what, I will be okay. If I can survive those dark days then I can survive anything. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t stare into the face of adversity screaming “bring it on” – I’m desirous of a quiet life with some measure of contentment. But knowing that I have survived when all I wanted to do was give up, gives me a sense of calm about the future and more importantly, about things that I cannot change.
If my boyfriend left me tomorrow I would be devastated, but I would not die. If I lost my job tomorrow I would be disappointed, but I would not crumble. If a family member was diagnosed with an illness I would be worried, but I would not go under. Knowledge is power. Knowledge that you are strong is the most powerful of all. I would not trade my own faith in my ability to survive for anything.
The thing that I think my boyfriend doesn’t understand about all of this is that giving me the space to reconfirm my own strength is his gift to me. Of course I know he’s there. Of course I know he supports me. I need him. I need him every day. Not to shoulder my burdens, but to silently watch me shoulder them, ready to catch me if I should fall.