That Village

They say you know who is true when life gets hard.

The ones who stand forward are the ones who have always been there..

But sometimes, it’s the ones you least expect.

Not because you misjudged their character or their morals

But because they maybe aren’t with you in your every day lives.

All of these people, both the constant and the infrequent

Deserve an acknowledgement,

Some words of thanks.

Sometimes the people who show up

Are not the ones you would have expected.

They say it takes a village to raise a child…

I am that child,

and I am grateful, in this moment, for that village.

Today I Was A Soldier

I have returned ‘home’ – to my mother’s house.

To start this time off well, to hit the ground running – I set off to Church this morning.

I thought a calming and comforting environment would be nice, maybe one or two familiar faces that I would not be opposed to seeing.

I found myself surrounded by people who knew me, knew my grandparents and who greeted me with large smiles.

I had not expected to be approached by the vicar and asked to play a role, “would you like to be a soldier?” I had not expected to say yes, to be thankful and grateful for being asked. A reading took place, everyone had a role to play, a few lines to read.

Speaking out loud is not my cup of tea. For a while as a teenager, I was mute. Speaking out loud in public situations is sometimes still difficult. But I did it and I did it loudly.

The morning was spent being much more sociable than I had expected it to be, a whole morning of;

“Hello, Chloe.”
“How are you, Chloe?”
“Nice to see you, Chloe!”
“How are you enjoying University?”

I almost made someone cry. She had not heard I had moved, that I had got into University. Her joy was shown in the many hugs she could not stop giving me, in the misty eyes looking into mine and in her words, “everything comes around eventually, Chloe. Hearing this has just made my day!”

I did not know what I was expecting, but the unexpected was perhaps the best thing that could have happened. I feel as though I have a little more breath in my lungs and as though a part of me has fallen back into place.

I feel so proud for speaking aloud and being able to hold a conversation with people. Something that I would not have managed quite so effortlessly just a few short months ago.

 

 

Unnoticed

The bangs of the cannon can be heard from the walk up
A smell in the air that baffles my brain as it tries to place it
The canal, calm, as people walk and the taxi boat floats by
There is a plane up ahead; I wonder when it will be me up there looking down
Parents and children walk with tired intention
Another milestone achieved, silently unnoticed.
Even by me.

Who I Am

Me not saying hello to someone in the street is not me being rude. It is me not believing that they know who I am. It is me not imagining that they will wish me to speak.

Today, someone unexpected knew details of my life – common knowledge details – and it threw me.

People did not use to know me. Did not speak. Did not wave. Did not gravitate toward.

So, now what do I do?

Make those Choices

Take a breath,
Wear that dress, that top.

Change your shoes,
Put on those heels.

Straighten your posture,
Raise your head to look them in the eye.

Choose what you want,
Ignore the voices that tell you differently, that shame you.

Embrace your difference,
Choose to change what you aren’t comfortable with.

Make those changes.
Make those choices.

The only person’s opinion that matters

is yours.

 

C

Listen

“You want me to speak? You want to hear my voice? Then listen to me. I’m a subtle person, I ain’t about to start shouting just so my voice rises above yours. You want to hear what I want to say, you gotta shut up for a second and listen to me.”

-JustMe

STOP

Stop living in the past.
Stop thinking that my past defines me.

If the last time we held a conversation was no more recent than a year ago, stop assuming you know who I am. I have had experiences that have changed me, so have you. I acknowledge them, why can’t you?

Stop making promises you will not keep.
Stop giving me false hope that you will one day show up.

People make choices and they live with those choices every day.

Good and bad. My past is there, it is a part of me. It created the person I am. I wouldn’t be sitting here as myself if none of those experiences happened.

Stop thinking of now as being the same as then.
Stop thinking of me as I was then.

Here is the thing

I have often in the past been criticised. Not due to any specific aspects of myself, but for who I am as a whole. They want to change me, want me to conform and be more like them.

But, here is the thing; I like who I am as a person.

As someone who had a literal phobia of people (Anthropophobia), I do amazingly well in everyday life. I go out of my way to start conversations and engage with people.

I like that my personality is more subtle.
I like that I do not drink alcohol.
I like that I do not do drugs.
I like that I have morals.
I like that I have manners.
I like that I do not demand attention.
I like that I am taken seriously.
I like that I am trusted.
I like that I am strong.
I like that I am independent.
I like that I am aware.
I like that I am honest.
I like that I have walls.

I like who I am as a person.