The invisible presence

Got the writing bug yesterday and felt the need to share a little mental health post.

On Saturday night I went to bed with a pounding headache, and woke up with it again Sunday morning. It stopped me from exercising and left me feeling quite lethargic. I soon realised it was my social hangover greeting me after a full on day of socialising with my friend at a vintage event on Saturday. Tempting me to the dark side with overthinking and over analysing what had actually been a lovely day previously. (I’m quite proud of the fact that I didn’t succumb to those thoughts too much, but the mere fact that I am writing this blog, is a sign that I am).

I did get anxious on the drive over. As I got closer to the event my nerves kicked in. I was getting hot and my stomach was churning. And when I arrived my head was buzzing, there was a lot to take in and timings to remember. So I felt wired and slightly disconnected. Not really fully aware of everything around me as I desperately tried to calm down and take it all in. It was like stepping outside of my invisible comfort zone to make an effort, and be noticed, and it felt exciting and daunting all at the same time. We met a photographer who wanted to do a little photo shoot and I tried really hard to relax but I was so self conscious. In the end I actually enjoyed the session, it was fun and both my friend and the photographer were really patient with me. I felt a little more confident. People were watching and I only felt a little bit silly. I’d love to look good in photos. To feel proud of myself and comfortable with how I look. Rightly or wrongly, it would be a real confidence booster.

When you become good friends with someone who is comfortable and confident in themselves, who enjoys the attention and knows how to work it, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to watch. How do I fit into this? Do I just step back and play the comfortable less interesting sidekick, and continue feeling invisible? Or do I try and discover my more noticeable and outgoing self- (I know she’s in there somewhere).

She has fast become a very good friend & a teacher, and I have a lot to learn from her. There’s a definite art to being noticed and she naturally has it by the bucket load. Yes, it’s about being friendly and engaging – which I hope I already am, but it’s also about your ‘presence’. You can look great and wear all the right stuff but if you don’t have ‘presence’ then you’ll go unnoticed.

You could also be the most vacuous, un-genuine person to walk the earth ( I know one of them as well), but if you have presence, you can draw anyone to you. There’s good sides and bad sides to having this magic like quality.

So what’s the big deal about being noticed? Why care so much?

Well, you could also ask, why go to all the effort to attend an event if you just want to blend in with the crowd?

It’s not a competition (although I know some think it is), but for me it’s an opportunity to be a part of something. To feel like I belong, and rightly or wrongly, to feel accepted. I know I shouldn’t care so much. I know I should just do whatever the hell I want and not worry what anyone else thinks. But the thing I want, the thing I’ve always wanted, is to be accepted. To feel a sense of belonging. To be a part of the crowd. To be noticed.

I expect I will always be a little on the outside, because I can’t talk all day long, and be engaging, witty and stylish continuously. I need to step aside a little sometimes and observe and be quiet. I need to take ‘time out’ breaks to breathe and digest everything that’s going on around me. But it’s in those breaks, that I risk becoming invisible, and you can’t afford to let your guard down in a situation like that or you’ll be overlooked, and when it doesn’t come naturally it can be exhausting.

It’s a whole new world for me really. A complete learning curve. It’s exciting and lots of fun. Its not about changing who I am, but more about adapting to situations. ‘Putting on a show’.

Will I ever be noticed, will I ever feel like I really belong, and will I ever have ‘The presence’?

I hope that with each adventure and event I attend, I’ll learn a little more about myself and become more comfortable with who I am. Because essentially right now, I’m a little lost.

to be continued…

Advertisements

Cutting it…(exploring a vintage world)

Today on my IG Page, (@midcentury.muser) I posted pics of some 30’s style wardrobe combinations that are inspiring me for a forthcoming trip in the Spring.

I can’t wait for this trip to happen. I am beyond excited. Not only will I be going with my fabulous friend, but it will be a learning experience for me. Packed with a mix of historical sightseeing, cabarets, and hopefully a bit of vintage shopping. What’s not to get excited about?!

Well…there’s a rising panic I’m feeling, that despite my excitement, I am overwhelmingly worried about how I will look.

I’m dealing with the usual issues of weight loss etc, but one thing I’m very aware of in the ‘vintage world’ is the attention to detail, and getting that ‘look’, for whatever era, just right.

Unfortunately I’m not tiny enough to get into most true vintage items, but I don’t worry too much about that. There are some beautiful reproduction pieces out there that just look fabulous and I love to wear them. But I often feel like I just don’t quite come up to scratch, or that I try too hard and overstep the mark.

Nor does my hair lend itself to the staying power of vintage styling very well. And on the days when your vintage isn’t quite on it, or you can’t be too bothered, a good vintage hairstyle will always carry you through.

The hair, I’m discovering, is the secret (or not so secret) weapon.

But despite all my self doubts, I try to turn them around, and treat them as a challenge, because it’s exciting living in this vintage world. It keeps you on your toes. Gives you drive and excitement when you get things just the way you want them. It’s aspirational and inspiring. Creative and bold. And I love every anx ridden, self doubting moment of it, because however you choose to style yourself or your home, you will always have a look that’s individual.

I’m still very much trying to find my place when it comes to eras. Currently favouring the simple, elegance of the 30’s.

I do know though, that ‘vintage’ feels like home. And although I might not be completely on point or photogenic, I feel comfortable in that home. And when you get to my age, it’s all about the comfort!

‘Vintage’ word count: 10 🙄 (I love it, but I do get sick of saying it)

Taking stock …

So another year has come and gone, and what a year it’s been! Vintage adventures, a new career direction and college course. Targeted by a narcissist – (that was fun). And an almost finished kitchen 😅

Here’s a few snaps from my 2017. There have been a few dances with my depression and thanks to the lovely ‘N’ mentioned above, my overthinking skyrocketed as I questioned my value to those around me. But that’s all firmly behind me now and it did build the foundations of a fabulous new friendship which continues to develop and evolve with adventures planned for 2018.

Style wise, I’ve certainly seen some changes and I look to the new year to really find my place within the vintage scene. Accept my age, my size and shape and move into a hopefully more elegant,chic and stylish look with influences from the 30’s to the 50’s. Looking forward to what 2018 has to offer by trying to procrastinate less and enjoy life a little more.

Here’s to new adventures…..

The people pleaser

Friday…

So I had a big cry this morning. Wasn’t sure if it would stop. But it did eventually, and left me with a lovely headache. I wish I had it in me to confront the situations/people that trigger my anxiety. But I find it really hard to vent my anger. I don’t like confrontation, and on the rare occasion that I might vent it, I immediately back down and try to calm the waters, because I fear for the consequences. 

I feel like Chandler from ‘Friends’ who thought that every argument he ever had with a girlfriend, meant it was the end of the relationship, not realising that it’s ok to fall out. 

Real relationships/friendships are built to withstand fallouts and arguments. It’s the false ones that are not, and if that happens, it’s best to walk away. Lesson learnt. But in my pathetic need to keep everyone else happy, I end up crushing myself in paranoia and overthinking, worrying about being rejected instead of dealing with the situation head on and seeing it for what it really is. 

I’m no actress. What you see is what you get. There’s no hidden agenda, no competition. Just a woman with some self confidence issues trying to get through life and make some good honest, lasting friendships along the way. This is what I need to work on. I need to know that it’s ok to speak up when you feel hurt, angry or betrayed. Even if I may have blown things out of proportion in my own head, my feelings are real and they need to be acknowledged and released. Even if it does mean the end of something..if that’s the case, it was never built on solid foundations to begin with and has no place in my future. 

I can’t please all of the people all of the time. Nor can I expect everyone to like me. But I’m not being true to myself if I lay myself down with a sign on my back saying ‘walk all over me’. 

Happy Days & Social Hangovers

Soooo, it’s the morning after the day before…

 I had such a wonderful day yesterday. I went to Retrofestival with my beautiful vintage buddy, and bumped into family, friends and members of the inspirational vintage IG community. 

We decided to twin it up in our Rock n Romance hawaiian dresses and our Rocket Original shoes. Our hair was rolled, set and adorned with flowers, with red lippy masterfully applied (and reapplied throughout the day). 

It was so much fun. We watched the dancing and listened to the bands, drinking tea in the marquee (and later a couple of g&t’s 😉) The place was buzzing. So many people had made an effort. They’d ‘got their vintage on’ and the atmosphere (as always at these events) was happy and friendly and full of fun.

We strolled around the market place, spending money on gorgeous vintage pieces, getting stopped for ‘photo opportunities’ on several occasions. 

We had a ball, and I felt good. My newly acquired hair extensions meant my rolls were in good form – no dropping and falling flat, and the dress felt divine, with the most flattering silhouette for everyone. In fact it’s so beautiful, we bumped into several other ladies with the same idea, and every one of them looked fabulous! 
So, why, after such a great day, am I feeling exhausted? I didn’t sleep well and was awake early this morning. My head is buzzing like it’s been overloaded with information that it can’t download. I feel tired, have a headache and feel socially hungover. And now I’m looking at all the photographs of myself and picking holes in them – I look awkward, I look huge, I have a double chin, I’m squinting, and I can’t pose. People must have been looking at us and thinking I was the ugly awkward one…. 
Why do we find it so hard to love ourselves? 

Why is it so easy to lift others whilst putting ourselves down? 

Why are we always comparing ourselves to others? 

Why is it so hard to accept a genuine compliment? 

Why is it easier to wallow in self destruction than embrace the wonderfulness of ourselves? 

Why do we focus so much on our outward appearances and neglect our inner souls? 

I don’t really know the answer to any of these questions. They are all part of the healing path I’m following. Seeking answers and learning to love myself the way I love the family and friends that surround, inspire and love me for who I am. It’s madness that we waste so much energy on self destruction and put so much importance on validation from others. 

Yesterday I felt great. 

Yesterday I had a wonderful time

Yesterday I loved my look

I always want my today to be like yesterday from now on. 

Therapy for the soul..

Last night was good therapy! I travelled into the big smoke with my fabulous friend to watch the incredible Re-Imagine London, perform their rendition of Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.  I love that album. I sang my heart out and enjoyed every bloody second of it.

The venue was perfect. – intimate, dark, beer sticky floor. A proper gig venue. I’d forgotten just how much I miss live music and how good it is for the soul! 

I dug out my 70’s dress, although to be honest it’s more ‘Saturday night Fever’ disco style, than blues but hey, at least I tried.  I even debated on adding a turban but it was just too hot! 

We drank gin, celebrating her winning the Miss Vintage Life – August competition  🎉 Laughed, and danced as much as room would allow – it was packed! 

This is one of the many reasons why I love the vintage life. I’ve met some wonderful people. 

We all have something in us that lights up our soul. Whatever  it is:  exercise, horse riding in the country, singing with a band or choir, photographing moments in time, or losing yourself in books. (a few examples of my friends). Find something that you love to do. Try different things. You’ll find it eventually, and when you do, you’ll feel at home and happy and your soul will light up. And even if it’s just for a short time, you’ll find a bit of respite from your demons 🌺

Treading water

Combining a bit of vintage and mental health with this one.😂 

Can you relate to this? Not necessarily on a literal level (although I am terrified of the sea because of that film – but that’s another story), but do you ever feel like you’ve moved on from something and then it comes back and bites you on the backside bringing you crashing back down again? 

Sometimes I think that should be the tag line for my life. That or ‘History repeating itself’. I don’t know if it’s part of being an empath or just a culmination of events and bad choices in my lifetime. But I’m on a journey to discover why these things happened in the first place and why I find it so hard to break free from the past and just move forward. Sometimes it feels like I’m treading water, waiting for the shark to bite, but what I’m really doing is attracting it. Cutting my finger so it will smell my blood and attack because that’s what I’ve come to expect. 

My ‘sharks’ are people. ‘Friends’ who at various stages in my life, dropped me in pretty malicious ways without any  warning. 

Not all of them of course! I have, and have had, some wonderful friends. And, I’ve dealt with those from the past and they no longer upset me, but I haven’t as yet, been able to stop that repetition. And currently find myself dealing with another similar situation. All that has made me cautious with friendships  and that over time has led to paranoia, anxiety and depression.

 I’ve had some great sessions recently with a lovely lady – The Reiki Therapist. She’s teaching me how to cut those ‘chords’ and self heal. To recognise the patterns and stop them repeating. It’s just a long road to recovery when you’ve spent 30 + years with your demons, but I have definitely cleared those from my past. Now it’s about dealing with what is in front of me and not allowing it to happen again. 

I think this quote sums it up perfectly for me…

 If you get a chance please give her a follow on http://www.reikitherapist.co.uk 🌺