Reflective Journal, Uncategorized

Moments in time

My literature so far has uncovered the depths of my relationships with people I most value, the lessons I’ve learned and my background growing up within my family. I find it remarkably easy to show gratitude for previous challenges, appreciate life’s intricacies and write about others unfiltered. However, when I delve into the depths of myself I experience a wave of discomfort. Many of my stories so far capture moments in time, without the full picture but when I look at myself, like lots of people, I often fear what is staring back at me.

Life began for me at 11 Earl Street, a small terraced house in Great Harwood. I shared a room with my older brother; Geordie, and my younger sister; Autumn. our space was adorned with a memorable purple carpet, a cherished climbing frame, and a bunk bed where my sister and I shared a bed for a number of years. The small yard held stories of our adventures, evident in the three names etched into the concrete of the back alley. There was a lot to be said for Earl Street, it was small, but it was home. Amidst its walls, I recall cathartic moments —a tiny bat’s unexpected visit, turning our living room into a temporary sanctuary; the walks to ballet class with Mum, who whimsically convinced me the moon was tethered to me by an invisible string, the playful warning that avoiding cauliflower would turn me into a terrible dancer, and sneaking into to the Primary School garden across the road with my brother to steal daffodils to give to Mum.

Yet, as I contemplate the positive recollections of Earl Street, a sense of urgency to move on also surfaces. Alongside each cherished memory, there’s an underlying ache, a grieving for what’s been lost, and a actuality that the seemingly good stories may not have been as idyllic as they appeared. I remember witnessing violence, on countless occasions, I remember arguments and unrest and I remember the declining health of my older brother who suffered with a brain tumour at ten years old. Like a double edged sword, behind the laughter of yesterday, echoes the silent sorrow of untold stories.

The contrasting memories from childhood have frequently shaped my self-perception, creating a constant oscillation that has eroded my confidence on levels I haven’t fully acknowledged before. Most people from time to time will doubt their abilities, their worth and their sense of expression, but for some time I feel like I have been stuck within these moments in time, struggling to let go.

Despite my ability to navigate tough decisions effortlessly for others, when it comes to making choices for myself, I find uncertainty clouding the path, unsure of what that journey would entail.

My family frequently praised me as a straightforward and independent child. Yet, instead of embracing it as a badge of honor, I often wonder if I’ve simply been molded into the person they’ve always hoped I would be, and as a result I am left wondering who I truly am.

Reflecting on the response to this question, I’ve realised that the distance is much closer to home that I initially realised and what I once considered my major flaw at times is, in fact, my greatest asset. Amidst the uncertainties of life, I’ve surprisingly embraced remarkable versatility— in my diverse wardrobe, eclectic hobbies spanning sports and arts, and my open-minded approach to relationships with both men and women. My uniqueness lies in rejecting simplicity, opting instead for authenticity and doing things on my own terms, especially when it aligns with my sense of purpose.

Forgetting to acknowledge my own name for years, by simply fighting the mental battles of a previous life; I now understand that the most authentic version of myself lies within liberty. I feel most like me when I am free to act, think and speak exactly how I see best. I express myself freely when I’m painting a picture of my favourite animal, playing hide and seek with my dog Lana, baking a cake with my niece, having a Christmas dinner in September and smothering the people in my life with an abundance of love. I firmly believe in living a life unrestrained by limitations and norms, cherishing each individual moment in time as a once in a lifetime experience, because when yesterday has passed today begins again.

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