Define Me! Define Me!

What defines you? What gives your life meaning? Is it definition and meaning enough simply that we are here?

Possibly the simplest way to give life instant purpose is to become a parent. No longer are our own petty foibles allowed brain space because our whole reason for being is now the child and the responsibilities that accompany that role; well some parents are like that. Yet does being a parent define us? As we are told that we mustn’t allow ourselves to be defined by another, this surely must also include our offspring.

For the rest of us childless wonders, what else is there to give us just cause to walk this Earth? Loving our partner? Tireless charity work? Entertaining the masses with music, art, prose? What about those that have no extraordinary mark to make? The individual who has no-one to love; lives a lonely life; has a dead end job; no family around; lost ambitions? I know of such a person. He is an intelligent man; great sense of humour; a wise head on his shoulders; a grafter at work; and has a lot of love to give. He successfully kept two jobs for many years, until his progressing alcoholism cost him his nightclub pot boy job (yes, he was drinking the profits in the cellar); and he kept his day job, and bedsit home, by the skin of his teeth when the business owner’s son agreed to cover up his onsite drinking, and the landlord showed him continued mercy at his rent day failings. Friends, including myself, helped him at times but his path just seemed to grow darker and lonelier. How did life forget him? A person I am no longer in contact with, but whom I still consider to be amazing; a truly honest, genuine, beautiful soul. If I was a religious person I might suggest that God had forsaken him. What meaning, or definition, has he and his life?

An instinctive response to his predicaments is that he chose his destiny, he allowed his addiction to take control by not fighting it. The reality, of course, is not so black and white. Having said that, we are not born alcoholics, drug addicts, food addicts. We choose our addictions. Unless fought these problems will control us and what happens to us. I have remained overweight my whole life because, for years, I chose not to fight it. Now it is an ongoing battle to reverse the weight problem I have caused.

How big a statement do our lives have to make before we can feel accomplished? In truth, as there are endless potentials, we can never accomplish everything life has to offer. One of my life goals is to get (cough) stones off. When I achieve that, what next? Winning the fat battle won’t define me, but it will strengthen my character. Life doesn’t stop once you’ve reached a goal, you simply set a new one. I dream of finding someone where love and life combine harmoniously; and of a wedding day so full of love and beauty there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house, and that I’d leave the ceremony looking like Alice Cooper for the make-up that has disintegrated from the river of happiness befalling my eyes……sorry, off on a tangent there…. But would that define me? Would becoming a wife give my life meaning?

None of these life events should be afforded the responsibility of giving us purpose. If I put all the weight back on or ended up divorced, the illusion of post-life-event-definition would, therefore, be shattered. Belief systems would crash and burn.

No, I vote that what gives us meaning, or defines us, should be reflected in the kindness we show others as well as ourselves. The simple things. My friend has made his mark by being memorable, loveable and providing fond memories. It may not be grand enough to change the world, but it’s enough to have affected my life, and others, in a positive way.

I’d like to think I’ve already made my mark in this world. We may not be everyone’s cup o’ tea, but if we know that we’re well regarded; we have helped people and are remembered and thought of fondly because of our actions, then that makes us most accomplished indeed. For me, being Mrs Slim will be an added bonus!

JG

Get Them To The Church On Time!

I am a guest at my first gay wedding this week. My friend is marrying the woman she proposed to two years ago. I’ve known her for many years and we share many memorable times. I couldn’t be happier for her. She called me earlier to read a poem to me: the poem that she wrote and is dedicating to her beloved during the ceremony – just incase it needed any tweaking and for her chance to rehearse it aloud. It needed no tweaking. It was honest, genuine, it flowed and was from the heart. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to accomplish that.

Naturally in situations, you tend to reflect upon your own circumstances. I surprised myself when I felt my heart warm and my smile broaden at how happy I was for her. The old me would have collapsed in despair; wracked with jealousy and resentment at life for providing ‘everyone else’ with love and marriage but not me; like I was the unlucky recipient of a severe cosmic bullying…

However, a funny thing has happened within me. Before I met my ex, I knew I would love again; I knew it was coming. I felt it. Life prepared me to love again, with a series of events that led me to her door. I have had my ups and downs since the break up; from the questioning, self doubt, confusion; to asking the Universe for love, to help me find ‘the one’ and being excited about the prospect. These are all the varying stages of grieving, but now, all that has gone; and today confirmed it. Talking to my friend, I realised how much love and happiness is within me and how much I felt at somebody else’s fortune. I love my ex, of course I do, love doesn’t just switch off, and there is so much about us to miss; but the fact that I loved again, when I never thought it was possible, is enough for me. Not forgetting that I, too, was loved; more than I’d ever felt before; that is more than enough.

All of this has brought me to a point where I can finally say I am happy. I may only be young (ish) but if I never find love again, that’s okay. I have enough love in me to keep me going. I can be a singleton. Finding someone doesn’t seem as much of a priority anymore. The relationship may have ended….but I did find it. I found what I was looking for.

If it happens one day then I will probably burst with joy, but if not, there is plenty of happiness to be gained from the joys of the people I care about.

All the best to them two herberts, I wish them a lifetime of wedded bliss.

JG 08.01.14

New Beginnings

What a God send it is to finally see clear skies through the fog.

Today I start another new phase of my ever changing life. Currently I am en route to a new residence in familiar settings; a changed woman from when previously there in 2011.

My life, my horizons, my beliefs have all been broadened by the decisions I’ve made, the love I have gained, the experiences afforded me; all the joy and pain of the last two years. What a ride! I am, in so many ways, lucky to have had so much good, in spite of the negatives – nothing in life is perfect; but much of it is to do with perspective, reaction, an understanding that if you believe you are where you should be, even if it’s not totally ideal for you, then everything has it’s purpose, whether you are aware of it or not. There is comfort in that. Knowing that, for whatever reason, I am where I am meant to be, is what strengthens me to carry on; as well as hope of course. I am ever hopeful for better days; for realising dreams.

You have to love yourself enough to let go of all the bad things; the pain of loss; lamenting; as hard as it is. There can be no future if you live in the past; and, sometimes, you have to be ruthless; you have to cut people out; leave a place behind, anything in order to forget the sadness and move on. It doesn’t mean you have stopped caring for, or loving that person/place, (nothing could be further from the truth), it just means you are putting yourself first. An entitlement of which we all possess.

A new beginning is always full of excitement and I have had many new beginnings – but, the truth of it is that, everyday, whether it brings change or routine, can be seen as a new beginning. A new job, a move, a new love interest, any of these are obvious changes with potential for fresh excitement; but simply waking up to a new day can prove the start of something amazing.

So I look forward to today’s fresh start. I have made exciting plans, living the life I was so used to, galavanting around, living to the best of my ability. I will forever miss what I had but I choose to inhale the love I still feel, the happiness and thankfulness for all that I had; and I exhale the sadness and pain so that I may welcome future happiness. I deserve it.

JG 04.01.14