I and those closest to me would probably say I am fiercely independent – sometimes and certainly less often now, to my detriment. As a baby, I apparently toilet trained myself, taking off my cloth nappy as if to say “I don’t need this anymore”. My parents had to put a gate on our garden fence when I learnt to walk because I’d always try and leave. Off on another adventure! I’m quite good at that – leaving. Although the last few years I have planted my feet firmly and stayed. Prompted as I often am by a song – this time it was this one.
“You might make it further if you learnt to stay”
This independence has run alongside a struggle to accept help, I am getting better at this and indeed, for asking for it when I need it.
The recent and quite sudden end of a relationship and the newly ‘single’ life forced me back to my autonomy – I don’t feel it ever really left, but it is certainly more vibrant now. The other day I was walking home and I became very aware of my edges. The place where I end and the outer world begins. When in a long term relationship you grow towards each other, expanding, your edges soften and you begin to meet your partner’s edges. So you can live alongside each other in harmony. Of course, this naturally means some of your autonomy and your edges will slip away.
The returning home to myself has been a lot easier this time than in the past, I spent a long time before this relationship and after the one before, strengthening and tuning into my edges, my integrity, my autonomy, that I never really lost them completely this time.
The lesson here, I feel, is to not lose them, to find a different way of being next time.
My Father and I have been on a journey to understanding one another for a while now. When once we may have clashed like symbols being brought rapidly together creating a deafening crescendo of sound, now, we can slyly smile at each other’s irregularities of personality and occasionally poke fun at each other. We are vastly similar and different in many ways. My equal and my opposite. Our temperament jumps quickly in the same direction when confronted – defence! What a mechanism! I guess at that time, we never really understood one another and indeed ourselves at times.
“And to be loved deep into the soul, till it matters not the shape of a person’s body or the irregularities of their personality.” – Stephen Harrod Buhner.
There is one profound moment I remember vividly, the moment I knew that Pappi saw me and I mean really saw me. We were in the car listening to Bat for Lashes, he’d just ‘rescued’ me from university following a break up, so I could come home and only return to do exams and hand in my dissertation. Her song “Travelling Woman” came on and he said “This always reminds me of you.” Surprised, I asked why and he simply said that I had always had such a strong will, direction and focus and that he wanted me to know that I shouldn’t let that go for any man – to never give up my dreams to please or pursue another.
“Hang on travelling woman, don’t sacrifice your plan, cause it will come back to you, before you lose it on a man…never fall in love with potential…Got to listen to the vision…” – Bat For Lashes
Well Pappi, there have been many times that this has almost happened, I like to think that this conversation has stuck somewhere in my subconscious and it pulls me back to myself, to my autonomy and to my edges. Even if, when I mentioned this piece of writing and my memory to you – it took you a while to locate it in yours. I’ll remember for the both of us.
“And remembering is like coming home, every time” – Brian Boothby
I often find the most direct route to healing is to return to my Creators. Regroup. Pull myself together. Gather in.
“On the darkest days, when I feel inadequate, unloved and unworthy. I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown.”
Onwards with this song on repeat with all my autonomy and a vibrant awareness of my edges.
“And I hope my daughters grow to be just like my mother, with the strength and the intention of living each day….I want to teach my sons to be just like my father, and to hold their hearts higher than their heads…” – Lizzy LeBleu