‘If you believe they put a man on the moon’

Yesterday I was in Manchester. I was sat in Starbucks mid afternoon after wandering around in circles looking for something to eat and decided it was time for a coffee. I decided on a hazelnut latte and grabbed a comfy seat in the corner and decided to do some writing about the day and this song came on by REM hence the title.

I’ve had a few stressful weeks and I can’t explain why but it’s led to me being full of cold or as my sister kindly just put it ‘man flu’ Only problem with me is once it’s on my chest I’ve had it and it’s a buggar to shift. However I’ve found that if you drink hot lemon and Munuka honey, have chicken soup, obviously I had tinned soup as not the time to do proper stuff but it can do wonders. The problems with colds that if your sinuses get blocked up and you end up with problems with your ears it can make you feel 10 times worse.

So many things have changed, I’ve tried positive mental attitude, been given a lot of pep talks lately and it’s been much appreciated. I have been here there and everywhere. Book clubs are coming along nicely, still need to do better preparation. I’ve been out drinking with friends a couple of times and got a snog!!! I’m still fanciable. Well it helps to show I have legs and put a bit of make up on and wham bam thank you mam I got a snog!

Friedrich: But I have nothing to give you. My hands are empty.

[entwines her hands with his]

Jo: Not empty now.

Friedrich Bhaer: You must write from life, from the depths of your soul!

-Little Women the film

Nothing has happened since but I felt like a teenager. In recent months I have felt like a teenager, doing stuff I never dreamed of. The blog is one another is the programme I do for radio and going to places on my own, like sitting in a pub reading  or going there to discuss a book in amongst strangers who some have  come to know and love. You see when growing up my Dad was one of the negative influences on my life and for lots of other reasons I became what he called, an ‘independent stubborn buggar’ I always helped Mum out as much as I could and felt like to ask for help myself or to bother people was wrong so I just got on with things. At school because I didn’t learn as quick as others or because I couldn’t grasp the subject things didn’t go to well. I was told I was to shy and wouldn’t go far. I wanted my sister’s abilities, intelligence and be as brainy as her, but I wasn’t, I was led to believe I wasn’t good enough. Although I hate to admit it I think my Dad and I’s temperaments are the same. and this has affected other parts of my life which made me take a big swinging ball to everything and left the people I love confused and some to work away. Since school and they told I wasn’t good enough I fought to get the better grades and then I think I gave up. I struggled through college and just followed a path that people said I could take rather than fighting my corner again.

I keep getting told ‘we want the ‘old Helen’ back well I could say the same for them. But I don’t know who I am anymore. All I know is that since I’ve decided not to care about certain things and just get on with things and not put 110% into everything things have got better. I’ve been trying to put more effort into book clubs and meeting friends and I think last week I was doing something every night bar Monday and I think that along with other things led to the man flu. So I’m trying to rest up today. Yesterday I just wanted to get out of Leeds and have some me time. Although I kept sneezing and my nose wouldn’t stop running. I had a fab time. Granted it took me most the day to switch off from certain things but in the end it was worth it. I also recommend the MOSI museum. it’s amazing an to go on the steam train. I also think Manchester is like how Newcastle used to be when I was young, but it made me realise how much Leeds means to me as a home. The visit to the museum made me realise we take so much for granted these days. The fact we have constant access to clothes and public amenities even if they are miles apart in shopping centres and there’s always a massive queue for the ladies.

We take friendship for granted we take families for granted and we take ourselves for granted. Enemies are what we make. whether it’s enemies against the country, against a cause, or against our selves but our worst enemies are ourselves. That little voice in our heads that keeps us going everyday is the enemy who can raise us up or completely destroy us and it’s a constant battle. Nothing can stay the same, that’s a given but while it is like it is we need to cherish it.  People will walk away, People die and we don’t tell them how much we loved them and how much we miss them when they’re not around. People change for better or worse.

So what have I learn’t in these last three years of being single and living on my own? Well a lot really even if I keep making the same mistakes again and again. I’ve learn’t shame is an awful feeling to have. That I am an intelligent person, and that intelligence can be measured in many different ways. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and once we accept them we can be the best we can even if it doesn’t suit others. We don;t always have to conform, the people who want you to lack confidence in themselves and are following a path they are not happy with. I am not happy with how my life has turned out but I accept. I am creeping possibly rollercoastering head first into my 34th birthday and I am scared. But I now know what I can achieve and what has been achieved, I think how the hell did I do that. I am proud of me even if I don’t like me and can’t wait to try something new. Manchester was a big thing for me yesterday. I just wanted to get away from everything.  When that happens it makes you realise that even know I have no money whatsoever, and that’s what is expected of us these days but I still have a lot to give. It’s not about having the latest gadgets, or car although it would be nice. It’s about being happy with yourself and with others. It’s about being you and fulfilling your destiny whatever that is mean’t to be. Me? Sometimes the best things in life are free and I think I’m mean’t to promote reading and book clubs as much as I can and to try a new  things, and find another form of exercise to get rid of my angst, without damaging my knees further. What do you think?

Thank you for reading



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