Posts Tagged ‘God’

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what’s natural?

September 13, 2010

So Mike and I were having a cigarette break during work today (the job has been going much better this last week; ironically since the start of term, although I’ve been very busy, I’ve enjoyed it a lot more because there have been less meetings and more actually doing stuff) and he suddenly asks me “If you and Toby have kids, would you have a surrogate or adopt?” I replied “Adopt, but it’s up to Toby what he would like, we’d talk about it.” Mike says: “I thought you would want a surrogate, you’re not bothered about having a blood link to your child?” Me: “No, not really. I know adoption can be difficult and problematic too, but I wouldn’t get involved with a surrogate. The blood line thing doesn’t bother me.” Mike: “So you have no desire to spread your seed? Just as you’re an only child and all.” “Nope, not really bothered.” “What about your parents? I am sure they’d like you to continue the family line.” “It would be my child, I couldn’t give a fuck what my parents want or think or whatever.” “But I’m sure you would care, a little bit.”

I can assure you that I Wouldn’t Care. I understand Mike’s argument totally, but it just doesn’t apply to me. I would love to have a child, but they do not have to be tied to me by blood for me to love them; the idea of a surrogate carrying a baby for 9 months for me and my partner seems both unreasonable, and then I would be scared that they would change their mind and keep the baby for themselves, or that we would have to have some kind of triangular parenting strategy; my mind boggles at that. So adoption to me, despite the legal wranglings and wait lists etc., seems more straightforward, and although I am not an Angelina Jolie / Madonna fan, I think that the idea of adopting a child from a less fortunate background and being able to give them new opportunities and a new start in life appeals to me. But it would be a joint decision between me and Toby, or me and my partner, when the time came, and I would take his opinion into account. I wouldn’t take my parents’ or family’s or friends’ opinions into account that much because at the end of the day, this is MY child, I would be the one raising it and I would therefore have the final say. It would be between me and my man and that is it.

Am I unnatural for feeling no desire to carry on my bloodline, to “spread my seed” as Mike put it? I mean, genetically I’m pretty cool – pretty, strong, talented and intelligent 😉 But seriously speaking, I know that most people seem to feel quite strongly about this idea. Whereas if anything, I would feel a twinge of satisfaction at denying my family – particularly my father’s side of the family – the continuation of their bloodline. Because they ostracised my mother and I during my youth; and because if that is all that is important to them, then they have their priorities wrong. And my mother’s side of the family is ok, but they live in the past somewhat.  This is a new day, and I control my life; not God or my parents or my family or the Catholic Church. My decision; what I say goes. Perhaps I shouldn’t let this resentment cloud my judgement, but even if I didn’t feel any resentment (and it’s only a twinge, anyway), I still don’t think it would affect my viewpoint: I would happily adopt, bloodline and genetics be damned. If that makes me a freak, then add it to the list of other reasons.

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friendship never ends.

April 7, 2010

I just wanted to write a quick blog, inspired largely by the lovely day I’ve had today.  Mike & I (along with his son Billy) spent the day going around Broadmead & Cabot Circus shopping, looking for presents for his wife (whose birthday it is tomorrow) and basically just spending time together.  I got to push Billy in his pushchair, help Mike pick out jewellery, and I didn’t even spend money on myself!  Mike very kindly bought me a bottle of Touch by Grigio Perla, which he really didn’t need to do – but then I bought him True Blood season 1 on DVD a few weeks ago for the same reason, to thank him for being such a good friend to me.  I appreciate his friendship, and apart from the course making such a difference in my job prospects and optimism, his friendship has been an amazing thing that has transformed my life and changed who I am.  Just as if I hadn’t done the course, I wouldn’t have met Toby (nor some new friends that I’ve made, both on my course and through twitter 🙂 ), I possibly wouldn’t have had the impetus to start learning to drive again, I wouldn’t have gotten the tattoos that I now have… taking the Careers Guidance course has transformed my life in ways I couldn’t have foreseen, and in ways I truly deserve.  I don’t believe in god, but it does seem like fate, like things have finally slotted into place.  I’m so happy.

For the first time in 10 months, probably, I went into the Perfume Shop.  Walking past with Mike & Billy, I gauged who was in there, and seeing Henna, Ebony and Liz (i.e. none of the people whom I really don’t want to see again), I thought I’d pop in and see how everyone was.  It was interesting to see how their lives have changed, but they have effectively stayed in the same place (though the shop does look more vibrant and full of stock compared to how it was a year ago when I was working there) whereas my life has changed so much and I’ve moved on.  Ebony was telling me her experiences as deputy manager (my old role), and it rang so true for me (a lot of similar issues with the manager to what I had, interestingly!) .  I hope she can escape soon, because she’s an intelligent young woman who can do so much better for herself rather than working herself to the bone in retail for not enough reward.  Even down to the fact that I had to explain that Billy was not my child (I haven’t given birth to a 3 year old in the last 11 months), Mike was not my boyfriend (everyone whom I came into that shop with during my time there, regardless of gender, age or anything else, was my potential sleeping partner according to them – that’s an accurate indication of how much the shop consumes your life to push out almost anything else), and that I was happy working at the hospital and studying on my course. Ebony and Liz were chatting a lot, and we really need to catch up with a coffee to exchange full stories.  But it was nice to se that after everything that had happened since I left, and despite the fact that I will very rarely go into that shop again because I have no desire to ever see certain people who work there again, I still have some friends there.  It won’t be the same, but it was a surprisingly pleasant experience to reconnect with those people, and I feel now that those friendships I cultivated during the time I worked there may not go to waste after all.  Time will tell.

In life, I’ve made some really good friends.  Sometimes we drift apart for a season, other times we remain close no matter what happens, but friendships are things that I truly cherish.  In the past, I’ve been really let down and disappointed by people, but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned lessons and that disappointment occurs a lot less nowadays.  Perhaps I’m just a better judge of character, but life isn’t a popularity contest – I feel lucky and happy to have the friends around me whom I have, and I pray that they never go away because they make me a better person, they teach me things about myself, about themselves and about the world which make me a more valuable, wiser person or it.  Thankyou all 🙂

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the one.

January 28, 2010

The most honest and one of the most difficult things that I have come to realise about the whole Mike situation (read back if you don’t know, although this entry will no doubt catch you up more or less anyway) is that he is The One.  Not that I actually believe in the concept of “the One”: I find it extremely improbable that out of the billions of everyone on earth, there is only one single person with whom you are meant to be happy.  I don’t believe in God, so I don’t believe in that sort of destiny or pre-determined fate.  I don’t find it logical in the sense of considering issues like gender, sexuality, race, religion, culture, even people of different languages?  I mean, what if my one meant-to-be person happened to be a female homophobic person from a tribe with their own language, living in the middle of the African desert?  I’d be more than a bit screwed, and it’s an unlikely match to start with.  So I don’t believe that there is one soulmate.

So let me clarify: when I say that Mike is “the One”, I mean that in my 24 years of living, he is the most important and closest thing to a soulmate with whom I could imagine spending my life with, that I’ve ever met.  Of course, he’s straight, he’s 11 years older than me, he’s married, he’s a father – so again, it’s not going to happen.  Last week we were discussing our feelings, the situation and so forth, and he said “I truly wish I could reciprocate your feelings.”  That meant a lot to me, and what else could I say but be honest and reply “I wish you could too”? I know that if things were different and he could be with me somehow, we would do it and that would be it, end of story, happily ever after thankyou very much.  But things aren’t different, and I ended the conversation with “In another life, maybe.” and left it at that, and proceeded to talk about other, less serious things (and I later got very drunk, vomited over a bridge near a swan and then stayed at T’s place).  Nevertheless, that discussion will be one of the many things that I never forget about Mike – there are so many even after just 5 months of knowing each other.  And before you say it, I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation either, but my mind is a little more open to that than the “one sole soulmate in the world” concept.

After starting the week with some insecurities over my friendship with the third member of our little love triangle (which were proven unfounded – I overthink things, misinterpret little subtle gestures and take them far too personally), I’ve made a real effort to be the best friend I can be to both Mike and V, and to focus on my burgeoning friendship with T.  Things look good, and although I’m not really comfortable at letting someone get close to me in a more-than-friends way, I’m starting to feel a little more at ease with it.  I’d still like to slow down the pace somewhat, but I enjoy spending time with him and I feel so flattered that he appears to think so much of me.  I’d be a fool to just throw that away, and I’m glad (most of the time) that I haven’t.  He’s a really good guy, so why not see if it leads somewhere?  My feelings for Mike are there and I acknowledge that, but there’s no need for T to know about them because that would just cause needless questions and possible hurt.  I am glad to say that I consider Mike one of my closest, best friends, and everything I’ve been through and we’ve been through has ultimately contributed to that rather than broken it down, which I think is testament to the both of us.

I spent the day with Mike today as we walked his son up and down Bristol docks on the train tracks (he educated me about trains, I taught him about raspberries), got Mike’s first tattoo (it looks fantastic, and watching him get inked up was a tiny bit sexy but mainly really interesting – as well as enthusing to play off his jubilation when he saw it in the mirror and was so happy – just like my reaction!), booked my second tattoo – the revolver – for next week (arrrrgh here we go AGAIN! No doubt I’ll post up the picture just like with the first one 😉 ), spent time with his family, had chilli and smoked lots, and watched Snow White with his son.  I was so privileged that they wanted to spend time with me – not just Mike, but his whole family – and that really means a lot to me.  He is one of my very best friends, and I hope to death that that is something that never changes, because losing him would be a catastrophe.  I feel close to his son, his wife is absolutely lovely, and although sometimes I feel that it might be weird considering the way that I feel about Mike, I adore watching his family interact (especially considering my own family’s ups and downs in terms of emotional push and pull) and feeling as if I am part of them.  Knowing his wife so well, rather than infuriating me in terms of “damn, you got my man first!” (I occasionally feel that, but really very rarely), seems to normalise me and I don’t think of Mike romantically so much when I’m in his family’s presence – it’s just not appropriate and doesn’t enter my head.  He’ll always be a sexy man, he’ll always have a sexual magnetism for me, but in that kind of situation the pull is less.  And considering my possible relationship with T, my close friendship with Mike which I don’t want to jeopardise, and the many ways in which my romantic feelings are inappropriate, whatever minimises my attraction to him is welcome.

So I hope that T and me work well, I hope that Mike and me are best friends for many years to come (as well as tattoo buddies!), I hope that I can always feel comfortable with his family and that they can always feel comfortable with me.  Within one month of 2010, I’ve got one tattoo, one on the way, a possible new boyfriend, and I’m working on passing my driving test – all with strengthening my bond with Mike.  I sense a lot of positive accomplishments to come, and that makes me really happy. 🙂

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vulnerability.

July 19, 2009

Yesterday I wrote about façades and what people see on the surface, how we portray ourselves and what that says about who we are as a product for public consumption.  Today I want to explore underneath that surface, and let you in on what the façade of fashionable confidence that I try to display is hiding.  So I guess this entry is a little more personal, but I’ll still try to keep it light and brief (as much as I can, y’all know me by now!!!).

It’s my dad’s birthday on Monday, and I have bought him just a couple of small gifts that he asked for (swimming goggles and a blues CD he saw advertised on tv), along with a juvenile pop up card “For my Daddy” that I appreciate more than he probably will.  But anyways, normally on a Monday at the moment (i.e. when I’m not working) I go to the gym before going to my nan’s for lunch.  Tomorrow however will be different: my mother has the week off work, my father has the week off work, it’s his birthday.  Not only will I not get a lift to the gym, but I’m probably going to stay home just in case we end up doing something “as a family”.  These “family outings” invariably involve my father driving us to a pub, where we have a quick drink, make awkward conversation with his friends at the pub (while I go on twitter / msn / text on my phone) and wait to go back home all while promoting our “happy family” façade.  It’s not particularly enjoyable, and it’s a bit fake because we rarely spend time together as a family, apart from at the dinner table, and only 50% of that is in conversation if none of the three of us happen to be annoyed with anyone else.  So I am unsure whether to stay home tomorrow because of my father’s birthday (which I know is what I really should do) or just do what I would normally do, i.e. go to the gym and then visit my nan.  And here is the crux of the matter, and the first example of the titular vulnerability:

I’ve always known that my father never really loved me.  He paid for me to go to a private school and he’s supported me financially on the rare occasions that I’ve had to swallow my pride and ask for money (3 times that I can remember).  But the early part of my childhood, up until maybe 16 years old, I spent quietly hating him for his absence, for the way he would boss me around and try to make me cry in order to make himself feel more powerful in the face of the close bond between me and my mother, for the pain he put my mother through, for the rows he would instigate because he would come home drunk every night, for the nights I spent in tears in my bed or on the stairs or crouched behind the door listening to them arguing and throwing things and praying it would stop (another reason why I stopped believing in God).  This is perhaps more than you want to know.

Nowadays, he has improved a lot and I am glad my parents stuck it out, but if it were anyone else in that situation, I would have told them to split up because to stay together through what my parents did took incredible strength and also perhaps a lack of sanity.  It’s hard to ever move past that, because that was my life for the first 16 years, and as much as I have tried to forgive my father and appreciate the changes he has made, something like that never leaves.  Truthfully, I think about it most days.  A couple of people tried to psychoanalyse my “daddy issues” and explain my sexuality thus, but I don’t really know if that’s connected (IMO, possibly but probably not).  But these days he acts as if I don’t exist half the time, which gives me the freedom that I cherish but also makes me feel semi-left out because as much as my mother feels hard done by because my dad is now always picking fights with her (or occasionally vice versa! nobody is completely innocent… I have inherited a little bit of a temper from them both too, I must confess), I see it from the other side because at least that’s where his attention is focused.  If he is always trying to upset one person, if he always looks for one person when he comes home, then as much as he causes that person pain, at least that person exists to him.  Sometimes I wonder if I am a ghost in my own home, only visible when the telephone rings or my dad needs me to do him a favour or he needs to pride himself on my Oxford degree.

Honestly, I don’t hate my father.  I love him and I appreciate how much he has tried to change and improve.  But I can’t forget what he put us through, and I can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that if he’s not trying to compliment me nor enrage me the way he does my mother, it’s got to be because I am just less important to him.  I don’t really see any other explanation.  And I guess it does hurt to know that you are second best, that you’re not who he perhaps hoped you would be (I’m not a usual drinking buddy, which is what my mother told me was his primary excitement about having a child at 30, because when he was 48 I’d be 18 and we could go drinking together – I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened) but I am lucky that me and mother are extremely close (when we argue, it’s blazing but usually short lived, and usually because we are so similar that we know exactly what ticks each other off), me and my nan are really close, and I have some really wonderful friends.  I don’t lack for love, and I feel that I give love in return.

Talking of love, I finally met Brett (guy I’ve been chatting to who is referenced in this post) last night at a club, and we spent hours together. It was really fun, his friends were open and welcoming to me, and I had a good time. We flirted a lot, got on really well (as far as I could tell) and were quite touchy-feely.  No kisses until the very end when we said goodbye (and that was only v brief), but then it was the first time we’d met in person and it would be too much too soon.  I want to have fun and to keep things light, because the last relationship I had was far too much too fast (despite my attempts to put on the brakes) and ended in disaster (and I must admit, relief for me).  But at the same time, I can’t help but hope that it will work, because I’m tired of dusting myself off and trying again.

Life being single is certainly fun, and as I said above, I don’t lack for love and I don’t lack for friends, but there’s a little part of me which hopes for something more, and needs to prove to myself that I’m not some kind of unlovable leper.  That the longest relationship I’ve had thus far has been 5 weeks is depressing to me, at 23 years old.  I don’t think I am unlovable, and it scares me that perhaps I am not aware of how repulsive I might be to potential dates and mates… in other words, I can’t fathom what is wrong with me to not have had a more successful love life.  My sex life has been average I guess, but it’s holding someone’s interest as more than a friend that I seem to have trouble with.  Maybe it’s not my fault, but if I’m the common factor in all these cases then I’ve got to shoulder some of the blame.  So right now, I am feeling vulnerable because I am scared Brett will lose interest just like all these other guys have, that he will suddenly stop texting me (the balance of power so far is pretty equal, I believe, and I’m not keen to tip it in his favour) and not want to take things further.  The last thing I want to do is jump into a relationship again, but I want one to slowly blossom in a fun, healthy way, and I can’t help thinking that this is a chance for that to happen, and I am scared that it might slip away.  I got home at 5:30 this morning, so I am waiting until tonight to text him and say hi (he will be awake, sober and hopefully by himself and in a space to talk) and quietly hoping he will beat me to it (it has happened!).  Because at the heart of it all, I’m feeling vulnerable because I guess that I like him and I don’t want to feel a fool one more time.  These are things that Prada and Armani don’t tell you.