friendship
difference, friendship, hate, Uncategorized

Unlikely friendships

There’s an old lady about to board my train. I make way for her and who I think may be her carer or befriender of sorts.

How wrong I was. How utterly presumptuous and ignorant.

The ladies are so different.

The old lady has a lovely posh accent, one that rattles ever so slightly as she speaks. Her friend  is at least 30 years younger than her, has a middle eastern accent, wears a head scarf and it seems is being shown around London by the little old lady. Who, by the way has just drawn a map on a piece of paper of the route they took and the one they’re on.

Tomorrow they will visit to a local museum which the little old lady will do a tour of. She’s giving directions on how to get about this local area. She is the font of all knowledge to living around here – pouring information on to her friend, who is bottling this knowledge for when she needs it.

The conversation is tender and real; fun and informative; and encapsulates them both in moments that my misinformed mind never thought would happen.

Today, this gives me hope.

There are many things I see and read that reminds me that we are fighting divides. When you don’t look the same, speak the same and don’t live in similar bubbles there are whole sections of society that will disregard you because of this difference. There maybe explicit hate or violence, indirect discrimination or an uneasy growing rhetoric that you don’t belong.

The Barcelona attacks, the Virginia riots, the London ambushes and world-wide wars are reminders that this type of divisive hatred exists. No matter how far they are from us physically, somehow they feel close. They feel like attacks on human-kind – my human-kind. The kind that have been typecast into roles that only a minority belong.

Listening to this unlikely friendship, chatter on matters of local relevance, appointments and family – punctuated by touch and giggles – made me remember that hatred isn’t everywhere.

I believe people are inherently good. This has reminded me to keep be open minded to the unlikely opportunities that can come from this.

In difference, there lies similarity and humanity. I love that.

Mojo&Me xx

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Uncategorized

Running away or standing firm

I listened to Donald Trump last night and announced I was done with the sad world we live in. 

“I want to move to the moon”, I declared. 

My husband looked at me like:

a. She’s bat-shit crazy (maybe true)

b. I think she means it 

There are obviously problems with my solution, but in that moment I wanted to be in a bubble where none of the bad shit and people exist. 

How am I meant to build reliance with so much sadness around me?

How am I mean to use my empathy for good, if it continues to break me?

And how, just please tell me, how the hell can the worlds most powerful leader be such a bloody minded, ignorant, casually sexist, racist and any other ist that isn’t reflective of what he deems American?

In writing this I figure the moon might not be the solution. But laughing at Mr Trump and standing firm on all the things that I believe in (which are generally everything he doesn’t) might remind me that  I can choose my reaction to the world and that should make me feel a tad better. 

And if not, I’ll just pack my astronaut suitcase and be off. I won’t need sunscreen, will I?! 😉

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, mental health, support, Uncategorized

Coping with people being nice

I have to tell you something.

As much as I like people being nice and supportive, I can’t really take it.

You see, I brace myself for the day. Put a smile on and pretend all is fine. When people say, all will be ok, or thinking of you, or I love you – I don’t know what to do with this.

You’ve disturbed my thought pattern of bracing myself for a day where no one tells me any of this and I plough on doing what I do. And at the end of the day, I feel my breath get short as my throat clenches and I struggle to breath and then I am overwhelmed by all I’ve been trying to control for the day.

But you… You’ve pierced me with loving thoughts and nice messages. You’ve reminded me I’m not alone. And actually I’m not prepared for that.

In a really weird way, I’m trying to say thank you. I have a feeling this is a learning for me. One that reminds me to let my support structure love me, think of me and wrap me up with kind thoughts that  can power me through.

It’s a reminder that I don’t have to face my struggles alone – even though I know they only exist in my head.

It’s a reminder that I will be ok. Maybe not right this minute, but I will.

And it’s this I’ll  hold on to, no matter what the day has in store.

Mojo&Me xx

confidence, emotion, failure, mental health, Uncategorized

How we’re built

You see, we’re different.

You were brought up in an environment where you believed anything was possible. That you would be successful. That you would be a leader and be something great.

I don’t remember ever thinking anything like that.

I remember thinking I just want to try my hardest. That success isn’t fair, and how I wished it were so people I went to school with would have as much chance of success as anyone else from any other background. The kid that came to school with bags under his eyes and would fall asleep in assemblies. The kid that struggled with  everything because of his dyslexia but didn’t get the support he needed. The kids who played out on the estates. The kids who’s parents owned the local corner shop.

In the world I wanted to believe in, the kids who were in gangs had the same chance of success as the ones who joined science club (not that was a science club, but you get the gist).

Sociology taught me that’s not the way things work.

Opportunities aren’t even but somehow I still believed in meritocracy. The thought that if I try my hardest I will be good enough. And with that I simply just tried to be good enough. There was a sense that I was fine. Good reports. Good grades. All. Fine. All working out.

Looking back, I can see that where you had encouragement, I had disregard. Where you had teachers of aptitude and future proofing as parents I had a loving but distracted family. Fighting everyday to make sure we had food and shelter while they struggled with their own demons – there was no room to ask or need for anything.

Maybe it’s this that made me who I am.

Success I knew would be up to me to make. And so when I fail, I fail in my eyes before I fail to anyone else. My standards for myself are based on being the best I can be. And I’m disappointed when I feel this still isn’t good enough.

When I don’t have answers to things I ponder about in my life; if I cry when you question the contradictions of what I say; if I fluster at the thought of the long term – please stick with me. I’m trying my hardest to get there – I’m just not sure how.

My work ethic is there but I haven’t been built to look towards a grand future. I’m built to just try at whatever I’m doing and build on it a little bit more.

So, no. I don’t know what I’m meant to be. I don’t always have a sense of what my long term life looks like.

Today I felt that looking for who I ought to be in the future made me sad to be who I am now. I felt I had failed again – not on grades, but in knowing who I am meant to be.

I had failed to be a grown up that knows where I’m heading. I had failed to know the answer. I had failed to make decisions that laddered up to something bigger than just giving us stability.

I don’t want to dislike who I am right now. And I know you don’t want me to do that.

It’s just, when I’m struggling to succeed, my self worth is fragile.

As one of my biggest cheerleaders I know you’ve got me. And I know you’re pushing so I can be the best I can

Right now though, I need to find the self belief in who I am before I dream of who I could be. Just stick with me while I get there.

Mojo&Me xx

confidence, emotion, fear

My duvet, my mind and me

Nowadays my biggest contender to feeling ok is my confidence in me. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been the most confident person. Outwardly facing I’m sure people wouldn’t believe that but they’re not the ones in tears all the time at the various horrible thoughts running through my mind, about not being good enough, of hating everything, hating me. Sometime just the thought of getting up and facing a day can seem too daunting.

“Come back”, my duvet cries as I try to escape.

“Put me over your head. Lay your head where your tears fell as you slept last night. Stay here. You know here. Only I can protect you from the outside. Only I understand you – those horrible corners of you that you hide from the world, I see them. I’m your safety. Don’t fight it.”

How the hell do you ever argue with a duvet? I give in often:

“You’re right. No one will love me if they know who I am. People will know I’m a failure and not good enough if I leave you. Everything outside of you is too hard. You’re my comfort. The thing that knows me and protects me from the world.”

Other times I fight. 

“Don’t you dare. This is an abusive relationship. You cannot keep me here against my will. And today I have will. I may be scared to leave you but I know I must. You are one of my favourite things. But you are also my enemy.

“I know you only exist in my head. Today you are my duvet. Tomorrow you will be the sky where I look to and try and find peace.

“You are everywhere and nowhere. I gave you existence and I can take it away. 

“Today, I may not be fixed. But today I have won a battle with you – my mind. My traumatised, sensitive, intelligent mind. Be the best you can be and I will love you. Even when you loose and are self-loathing, I promise to bring you back fighting, positive and with more self belief than yesterday.

“Ultimately, it’s me and you that will win this. Let’s get cracking. Let’s get up.”

Mojo&Me xx

mindfulness, travel, Uncategorized

Mindful in Cambodia

I looked up to the blue sky as the sun was setting and was reminded of the a beautiful moment from my travels.

Cambodia, 2016

We had spent the last two days trekking through the forests, sleeping in hammocks and being scorched by the searing sun on the long walk back to our base in an eco village run by locals.

The experience was tough but brilliant. Our treat was a sunset cruise with dinner the following day. No, no. Not a shipliner. Not even a boat.

As the raft approached us, I could see a local Cambodian women steering it using a stick attached to the motor. I then saw the table.  A little thing we could sit crossed legged under. The simplicity wowed me. It’s everything a sunset cruise should be about. The outdoors. There was no peaking through windows – there was a 360 uninterrupted view.

As we started to sail off – is that the right term? Do you really sail on motorised a raft?! – we were approaching the sunset in the distance. But the view was blocked by cloud. A thunder cloud to be precise.

The views were incredible. We saw lightening through the clouds, rays of light from the sunset peering through while thunder bolts filled our ears. But there was no rain. We we’re going towards where the storm was but not in it.

Then, with our backs to the cloud, we saw behind us the moon was out in a still bright blue sky. The stars eventually joined us. All at the same time as the thunderous sunset in the distance, which alone held my gaze and wonder.

Change happens slowly

I look back and realise how change happens slowly. Without you realising it. I remember getting lost in the sky, thinking, we are so small. I remember thinking that this moment, so early in my travels, was something I would never forget, a sunset like no other.

But today, I realise it wasn’t just a memory I captured. It was the moment. It was one of the first times I really appreciated where I was, what was around me, the gratefulness that filled me was overwhelming as I got lost in the night sky and thought – I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

As I walk home, I look up at a bright blue sky, and see a sliver of a white moon against it. Nature has a funny way of grounding me to the present. And that, I don’t want to let go of. Just like that memory and just like that moment.

Mojo&Me xx

Balance, mindfulness, Uncategorized, work

Mindfulness: Awareness isn’t the same as practice

I’m officially working. And knee deep into it. After a stint of travel and a period of praying for work, it came to me. Now what do I do? I can’t fall into being the same way I was – working till I cry, deprioritising myself over anything with a deadline.

Today was a wake up call on how to stay sane and be different in the work place. You know, that task that is consuming my everyday at work rather than work itself.

I thought the awareness of wanting to be different would alone keep me true to my promise of finding balance.

The reality is though, that work is busy. Like crazy-six-weeks-before-a-launch busy. And I have no direct team.

So, in the realisation that sometimes I will need to do more, today I did more. With a consciousness that I was doing it. A mindfulness, some may call it.

My neck ached. My head hurt. But I felt them both.

I took a short lunch break. I worked late. But I realised.

I got on a train that was more busy. I read Time Out to inspire me.

In all of this I was conscious of my habits. Well, until the Time Out bit. That I did because I was standing on a busy train.  But the rest I was aware of.

As I got off the train I realised I hadn’t once looked up. I had missed the sunset from the train window – yes, I may not have been able to see it, but I could’ve if I looked at my journey as a moment rather than an interim post to my destination.

And that is my learning. Today I have missed a sunset. The sunset which gives my eyes a treat at the end of a day, when I sit and look at how the world continues, no matter what type of day I’ve had.

When life gets busy, it’s too easy to default and look down, to simply get to where you need to without appreciating the journey. To hark back to habits that keep you in the routine you’re trying to break doesn’t do you any favours. The thing abut behavior and mind change is that it takes an effort to be different, not just a hope that it will be.

While most the time you can make this effort, when thing get tough, a single-mindedness can take over, leaving you going back to who you were, not who you want to be.

I’ll start tomorrow with this in mind. I must find ways to take moments and to continue to make the effort to change, even when I’m up against it.

Awareness is one thing, but doing something with it is the next stage of my journey. My life one – not my day to day one.

Mojo&Me xx