Self. Sense of self. Sense of potential of self by watching others and understanding that we are comprised of just the same flesh, bones and psyche as others who achieve all, and that the limits we impose are merely constructs, safety nets for our minds.
Don’t settle. At least, don’t settle if you don’t want to. If you do not aspire, there is no wrong in accepting. We all have different aspirations. But don’t dismiss those of us who refuse to settle.
Some people are always chasing wheels. Some people ride side by side. And some are incapable of riding a bike without pushing themselves to the absolute limit of physical and mental capabilities - if you can still walk when you get off you’ve not tried hard enough. Not about being first up the hill. Not about competitiveness. Not about beating the opposition into a pulp.
If you don’t stretch yourself, you’ll always stay the same shape. There’s nothing wrong with staying the same shape (as long as the shape is healthy and happy). But why scorn those who refuse to settle? No laurels to rest on, no heels to drag. Don’t want to stay the same, don’t want to open eyes and see the same thing every morning. Don’t want to always be at the back.
Don’t believe in god. Don’t believe in higher beings. Do believe that if a collision of fertility resulted in my having potential to do things which are fun, which are fearful, which stretch and push and allow me to grow, then it would be irresponsible to ignore. That’s my belief. It doesn’t need to be yours. But don’t dismiss mine.
I didn’t want to be shy any more so I worked on it and now I’m not as much. I didn’t want to worry all the time so I worked on it and now I don’t worry as much. I didn’t want to avoid making decisions for the rest of my life so I threw myself into situations where I had to and now I don’t avoid them any more. I used to be afraid of the dark. I worked on it and now I’m not.
What does that mean? It means not settling. It means not accepting. It means a lot of hard work, a lot of hard questions and harder answers. It means I will get on a plane despite being terrified and likely sitting white, tense and shaking for 8 hours. It means I will get on a bike and ride it fast because I am scared. It means pushing, sometimes relentlessly, to beat things into submission which are invisible to everyone but me.
I aspire to be a better person. Not because a book tells me, not because someone else told me I should, not because I am trying to prove anything to anyone else. It is as simple as ‘this bit is broken and so I will fix it’.
I don’t believe in mediocrity. I don’t believe there is a place for it in my world. I believe that if I’m going to get fit then I might as well be the fittest it’s possible for me to be. If I’m going to become more healthy then I’ll be the healthiest I can be. If I’m going to pay to go to a gig, I’m going to enjoy it intensely, and I’m not going to waste time reading a book which hasn’t grabbed me in the first chapter.
But most of all, I believe if a jobs worth doing, it’s worth doing properly, with full commitment and a little bit of enthusiasm.
Don’t kick my ass for doing it and I wont kick yours.
‘you’ve lost weight, I think’ he says. He hasn’t seen me for a week but it’s only a week. What about me looks different this week that was unnoticeable last?
I look in the mirror and my face is different. Slowly but surely the puffiness is melting away, leaving behind cheekbones and smiles. The wrinkles will come eventually - someone commented a while ago that being fat keeps the wrinkles away. Being my mothers daughter helps too.
I walk and my muscles change shape. I walk more, far more than I used to. Along pavements, through alleys, down steps and up again. My calf muscles are deconstructed, reconstructed again. Over and over and over. At first there was pain. Then it stopped. Then we went to the Lakes and we walked some more, through prettiness, and it transpires that exercise is not the answer to one particular legacy of being unwell. More pain, less pain again.
No pain, no gain.
I just choose not to box myself inside a gyms four walls to inflict it.
But of all the people who could finally notice, I am most proud of all that my boyfriend finally did.
Should probably explain why this is here. I wanted somewhere to keep on writing. I wanted somewhere to be able to play. I wanted somewhere for me that no one was expecting anything wonderful from.
I wanted somewhere to make grammatical errors and shameless posts full of emotion and light and laughter without feeling judged and scrutinised.
I might talk about work. I might talk about weekends with my boyfriend. I might talk about riding my bike. I might talk about the things I over hear, or the snapshots in my mind that I click when I see something beautiful or challenging or different.
I want to write beauty. No small aspiration, then. But striving to be better seems to be doing me just fine these days, so why not shoot for the stars?