Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Do you find it hard to know what you think? To know who you are and what you are about?
I am really struggling with this and I am only just realising what a profound impact it has on my life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a rather opinionated woman. But having opinions about non-personal issues and ideas is pretty straight forward for me.
What I find hard is knowing my own mind, hearing myself think above the racket of comparing myself with others. I really struggle at times to remember what I used to think or feel, especially after being around someone who as a very appealing or strong approch to life.

An example of this is the process we just went through in buying our new car. We wanted lots of input cause we are just not car people. So we asked lots of people, some expert and some not so expert and pooled their advice. Overall there was not a lot of agreement. They were all just their opinions based on their own experience or priorities and in the end we had to make the decision ourselves and carry the risk of that. It was amazing to realise that apart from the obvious, common sense views, everyone makes their own decisions and what one person does can be very different from the next person.

Even deeper than that is knowing your own thoughts. I know it may sound a bit like I am losing it, but when I am around people who seem to have it all sorted I latch onto the decisions they have made and find it hard to remember I am not them. And that I might need to walk a different path. I like the security that a tried and tested way of being offers. Stepping out and making my own way is really scary. The apparent certainty of others is very attractive when I feel so unsure.

I am a details person so even the tiny details of someone elses life seems to affect me. How they organise their day, what food they eat, what pen they use...
When I write it like that it seems pretty pathetic to be influenced so easily!

I think for me the scariest thing I have realised recently is that by not having good boundaries between my mind and other people, I also sabotage my relationship with God. That is a relationship where no-one else is there to copy or filter myself through. So there is this sense of being very vulnerable and also it has highlighted how out of touch with myself I can be. I trully believe I will only know myself really, through relationship with Jesus. But it is scary to be alone before God, with no answers and no excuses. But what freedom I can glimpse in that. I hope one day it will not just be a glimpse...

Sunday, 6 May 2007

I am a teacher so you would think I would love learning, not so much today though.

I have begun a distance course in tutoring kids with Learning Difficulties. It is through an organisation called SPELD. There is a link to their website in the Links I Like. I am excited about learning something new and something which will be so useful for me in my job. But I am having a little trouble getting my assignment done. I have one per month as well as the theory I need to learn. It has been a long time since I have done any study and I am lacking the discipline required. Even planning how to go about completing the assignment has thrown me for a loop.

When I think back about being at Uni it seems like it was just coffees with friends and maybe a few essays but now I am remembering how hard it was. I have new respect for my husband and the work that went into him completing his thesis.

I am excited about all I will learn through the course, I just have to get over the mental block about actually getting the work done. So this week I think there will be a few late nights. Oh well, I can't escape the consquences of my procrastination and hopefully by next month I will have myself into a good routine for completing the next one. Somehow I think this may be quite character building, not sure if I really want my character built but it is a bit late now!

Saturday, 5 May 2007

I think I am one of the most impatient people in the world! I am not exagerating. Once I can see that something might happen I just cannot wait for it.

For example today. We went car shopping. My husband reminded me frequently throughout the day that we probably wouldn't buy a car. But it didn't quite sink in. We went to the auctions and decided not to buy anything. We went to a heap of dealerships and decided not to buy. All the while I am congratulating myself on my wisdom and patience and how clinical and business like I am being about the whole thing. But then the wheels came off, so to speak.

We saw two cars which were exactly what we wanted, except for the price. They were double what we were prepared to pay. But the salesman thought we should still put in an offer. So we had a good look at it and went for a test drive. That was my fatal mistake. As we drove I imagined myself driving it and doing my life with this fantastic car. From then on I was a gonna. As we put the offer in it didn't even occur to me that it wouldn't be accepted, despite the mathmatical improbability of it all. So when they came back and asked if we could pay more I was so disappointed when my husband wisely stuck to the price we had agreed.

Since then I have been in the throws of irrational, impulse buying impatience. I have been trying all the possible combinations we have to be able to afford that car. The car is good, but it is more about having it, having the "problem of the car" sorted. I am someone who likes things to be secure and sorted and I find having uncertainty in my life really scary. To the point where I will make very silly decisions just so I know what is happening.

There have been a few things in my life recently which require patience and though I would like to believe I am getting more patient and trusting God to act in his time, I really want to fast forward.

Hmmm I have a funny feeling that no matter how fast life goes it will never be quite as fast as my planning nature requires and in the process I don't enjoy anything much at all. Instead of being excited about the journey of buying a car today, I just wanted to get it done. I just hope I don't have to buy a car very often in my life! It is not good for me!

And still we do not have a new car.

Friday, 4 May 2007

I just read an interesting article about mental health at different stages of life. I have been wondering a bit about my mental health!
One of the points they make is that the 20s are a really hard decade to live through. You are working out how you want your life to be and deciding whether the values you thought you would live by when you grew up, are the values you still want to uphold. I think it is also a decade of navel gazing because you don't have anyone much who is dependent on you so there is plenty of time for thinking about your identity and your life.
This can be a blessing and a curse.

I am finding it scary to now reach an age where I am living out the adult life I used to day dream about, and it is not exactly how I planned it. I know that my teenage and even early 20s ideas of what being this age would be like were pretty unrealistic, but realising that the world is not quite my oyster has been a bit of a shock.

The other thing which I am noticing is that at Uni I felt as if I was very similar to my friends and that we all wanted similar things for our futures. But now the differences are becoming apparent. Not necessarily in the deep things but in the order we choose to do things in life or the different priorities we hold. It feels a bit lonely and scary to making some life decisions which are very different to my friends who I am used to think are the same.

But I am also excited. This is when my true identity begins and I get to write my own story, to work out what makes me and my husband different from the other couples we know. I don't mean it to sound as if I think it is a comparison excercise or competition. Just that you have to start going it alone and knowing you are okay with your choices, even if others don't agree or choose differently.

One thing I am pondering is the sneaky suspision that there is more to me that I had thought. That the identity I have built up so far is not the full picture and that my life could go in directions I had not dreamed were possible even 5 years ago. I like that. I like that my life is not a path to follow but something I am discovering along the way.