Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
I’m not a person to believe in things such as the above verse, but many people do. Then again, many people think the Daily Mail tells the truth, Bella magazine depicts the real world, olive oil is bad for you and that the Tories are here to help the country, so there we go.
I was born on a Wednesday. Whether by accident of birth, accumulation of experience or sheer bloody mindedness, I am a cheerful soul. I excel at cheerful. So that full of woe thing doesn’t apply. I try to see the joy in all the things, from big to tiny. Ok, I’m having a crap day physically, but oh! Look! A robin! Or a pretty flower, or the sky on fire at sunset. I still love crossing the river on the train, and press my nose to the window to see it better.
This does not mean that I am the kind of person who will say to a depressed friend “Come on, cheer up, could be worse! Pull yourself together.” because I’m also someone who tries very hard not to be a dick. I might say that to myself, when I become aware that I am wallowing in whatever negative emotion has hit me, but not to others.
I am, for my sins, an empath. Not in the Anne McCaffrey Talents sense, because that would be a truly unwearable burden – although there have been spooky happenings throughout my life – but in the way of being able to put myself in someone else’s place. Perhaps because my imagination is very good, so it doesn’t take much for me to ‘feel’ what someone else is feeling. On occasion that has become an almost overwhelming gift, and I have had to remove myself from some people, and situations, but mostly it helps me to be a good friend. I hope.
I have an eminently practical side, and that practicality will switch on with a second’s notice. I remember, years ago, being utterly distraught at a situation, so much so that |I was panicking, in tears and preparing to leave a venue even though I had nowhere to go and was in a place that I had never been to before, when another guest had a crisis.
My partner at the time said afterwards that it was like watching a light flick on. My emotions got buried, while I sorted her out, organised transport and directed other people in what they should do. Apparently it was quite impressive.
That’s me, that’s what I do. I suspect that’s why I am in the profession I am – PA/Administrator – because there’s always someone who needs help, be it sorting out last minute travel at work, or rushing to the aid of a bike crash victim on the way to the office.
The empath side of things can prove problematic, too. I take too much to heart, get overwhelmed by it too easily, so I tend to build up a few walls. Some people say it’s building an echo chamber on social media, but that’s the way it has to be if I am to retain my grip on my own sanity. I lost that once, and I am never, ever losing it again. When you’ve been through a stage of finding the front of an oncoming train a comforting bringer of oblivion, you learn to recognise the signs. (If you ever moan at me about a person under a train at rush hour, it will not go well for you, as someone at work found out.)
I am full of friendly enthusiasm, and curiosity. Nobody is too much trouble to talk to, there’s always something of interest about other people, something to be learnt from them and their stories, though I do have to stop myself getting too involved at times, and taking on their emotions before I can get a wall up. I freely admit there are energy vampires out there, interested only in telling you all about themselves, never actually having a give and take conversation. I have learned to avoid those kinds.
I recall my husband asking me once “How do you DO that?” when I’d had an animated conversation with the cashier at Tesco and found out all about her in under 5 minutes. I just like people! I take after my mother, I have her temperament, her kindness, and have inherited the gap in her front teeth.
I do not like sheeple, as I agree with Terry Pratchett in that ‘The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.’ and I have an unwillingness to follow a trend. I’ll come to it in my own time, not just because everyone else is reading/watching/listening to whatever it is. It was 5 years after the first book was published before I read Harry Potter.
Bloodyminded. See? Told you.
Over the years, I have found myself out to be mostly a forgiving sort. If you have hurt me, then I’ll deal with that as it comes, and sort out how to react to you as we go along, but if you hurt someone I love, you do not get a second chance. You will not regain my trust, you will not be a part of my life again if I can help it. It’s not quite grudge bearing, but you will never be in a position to hurt that person again, because I will be in between you and them.
A Hell’s Angel went to hit my husband once, in a club in Essex. Neither man knew what hit them, as Angel was shoved across the room, away from my Husband, and into his idiot girlfriend who’d started it all in the first place, and Husband was propelled off the dancefloor, across the pub and out of the door. I then sat outside shaking for a while until people came and apologised.
If need be, I turn emotions off. My Grandmother tore up my letters and sent them back, calling them lies and hateful works of fiction. She disowned me, told me that I was dead to her, and I just wished her well, told her I loved her, and closed that door. Nothing I could do, nothing I could change, why waste time and feelings on it. I missed her, yes, but that part of my heart was shut off. I had nice memories, so wishing for more was futile. She lost out, not me.
My Greek family dropped me like a stone when my Mum and Dad divorced, when I was 14. My Dad then didn’t speak to me from when I was 15 until I was 22. His girlfriend forbade him, so as far as I was concerned, if he didn’t have the balls to find me, he lost out, not me. The family lost out, not me. There was that shutter door again.
The family stayed gone. Dad and I made it up, when he finally contacted me, but I’d never let him hurt me again. That door only partially opened. I’m glad that he was there to give me away but I wouldn’t have been upset had it not been possible. I would gladly have asked Tex’s father to do it, and if my beloved step dad had been alive, it would without question have been him.
One cousin and one Aunt came with him, which was odd, but nice. They had been caught in the crossfire by the other harridans.
I was there before Dad died, showing him what a good Greek woman I was. We were given time, and for that I am grateful.
My lifetime of experiences, some awful, which are not for here, some upsetting, yes, but so so many which are good and uplifting and amazing, make me who I am. I’d change nothing, because without those experiences, I’d not be me, and I really like me.
I’m not a person who hates her body size or shape. I don’t see the point in it, I will not practice it.
I refuse to look at myself in the mirror and deliberately pull my features apart. Why the hell should I, and how dare society try and make me feel that I am not already good enough?
I don’t wish to be like anyone else, I don’t envy people for their lives or their bodies, though I might covet a kitchen.
Occasionally I might like to find it easier to get clothes to fit, but that’s about it, and that isn’t my fault for having the wrong body, that’s the world not catering to everyone, because there’s no wrong way to have a body.
My body is amazing. It lives and it breathes and even when it’s not working right it keeps my lungs working, and my synapses sparking, albeit something in the wrong direction.
I can think and feel, and sing, and breathe and feel the sun on my skin and the wind in my unruly hair. I can cook whatever I feel like cooking, just for pleasure, or to feed my loved ones. I will continue to do so for as long as \i am able, and if one day I am not able, I will sit in a chair and direct.
I am me. Nothing is going to change that. Nothing ever has, and nothing ever will.
Nursery rhyme, this child is no woebegone thing.
She’s ME, and that’s awesome.