Friday, 30 January 2015

A message from the universe

I do not believe in fate, perhaps my cynicism or my discomfort in the idea that our free will and autonomy is only an illusion means that the concept of things happening because it is 'written in the stars' or it was 'meant to happen' just seems too far-fetched and rather passive to me. I don't like that idea at all. But I also don't believe in consequences - certain things don't happen just because they happened, just because those two paths crossed at that minute on that day in that location. Things like that don't just happen. We don't make decisions just because. So I am not sure where this leaves me if I don't believe in consequences and I don't believe in fate. I am somewhere in the middle, but I do believe that if/when certain things happen, there are messages out there for us. Nothing happens without meaning...

I have another car story. I will keep this one brief though... It was Tuesday evening, I had finished Uni, dropped a friend off at her home, stayed outside in the car and chatted for a good while, then tried to start the engine again to find that the car would not start up. I have not had a good history with cars, so immediately I panic - partners are helping, dads are helping, we cannot figure out what is wrong with my car. Perhaps it's the starter engine, we said... I panicked enough and called the AA out eventually. By this point it is 9pm, I need to get home and catch up on all the jobs I didn't do over the weekend whilst I was away, and I am tired and still feeling like I'm waiting for a day off. But, back to the moment - tired and worried and stuck 25 miles from home I just want a cup of tea (or wine) and my bed. But instead it is so cold outside my hands no longer function and I am so worried yet another car of mine has broken that I just begin to laugh... I laugh because knowing me, it would be typical for this one thing not to be covered on my insurance anyway. Anyway, an hour after making the call, the AA van pulls up and the mechanic asks what's wrong - I tell him my engine won't start and I explain the noise it made. I also assure him that yes, I did remember to put fuel in my car, yes it was unleaded and not diesel, and yes, I have oil in my car. I do know the basics, I assure him. So I get in my car, turn the key, and voila, the engine starts just as it always does. After much apologising and humiliation on my part, and laughing from the mechanic's part, we realised I had just run the battery flat.

If this was not a message from the universe, I don't know what is... A message to keep the batteries charged perhaps? A message to slow down? A message to spend my energy - and spend it in the most wonderful and powerful ways but do not forget to stop and replenish the stocks. Stop and take notice before diving back in.

I have spent the rest of the week constantly reminding myself of this. And it is a good job my car is not broken (not just for my own sanity) but because tomorrow I am driving up to the North East coast and spending the weekend with my course. I have spent the evening packing and baking and trying to mentally put all my general work stress to one side so that I can focus on 'being' and embracing the weekend without dragging all the unwanted 'stuff' up there with me too.

A good beginning would be to hit the land of sleep...

Buenos Noches

Sunday, 25 January 2015

354 miles


After a few days away staying with a very good friend in York (AKA wine-drinking, soup & olive eating, and very late night talks...) I have also been working on a three day shoot near Sheffield and I am finally home after a total of 354 miles driven this weekend. I am not supposed to share what we have been working on, but I can say for sure that I spent the days in the company of some very wonderful people. This weekend is a perfect example of what I have always said is the best and the worst of modelling; the worst being that my weekend has basically fallen into a void of existential nothingness, i.e. it has disappeared. However, the very best being the team of people I have been working with. Connecting with some really wonderful people will always be at the core of all of my jobs and roles. This is why I truly believe I am not built for a life where I see the same people day in day out and do the same tasks for the same reason at the same times, with the same responses...

I may very well end up driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway (I did this a few days ago...) or missing trains, or indeed taking the wrong ones... Missing flights even, staring a foreigner eye-to-eye totally lost in translation and relying on the universal language we speak instead. Things may get lost and I may well lose myself once in a while too. I am running away with my ideas here, but my point was that what all these things have in common is a sense of adventure. A 'something' that forces one to exercise a new way of thinking. By doing that and by staring face-to-face the challenge, I am not only reminded of the bigger world but also that I am alive. So when people find out the extent to which I fill my diary and they wonder why I keep on going, it is very easy to answer.

It is good to finish the weekend with energy, despite a need for sleep! The weekend definitely did not consist of mornings drinking coffee, catching up on life and yoga, but as far as 'working weekends' go, it was a pretty good one.

There is time to lie in tomorrow. I probably won't - but knowing I can is more than likely enough!

Buenos Noches..

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Going against the expected

The highlight of my day - definitely realising it was pointless attempting to drive to York today and therefore going against the expected. I have begun to think now that what most expect of me is to conform, to some degree, to what is expected. It is me, 'Tanya', of course I will have completed this/be on time/not forget. Of course my eye will be meticulously on the ball. So if I dare rather gloriously say 'fuck it', on the occasion I do, there is a chance it may come as quite a surprise. Well, it was not quite so righteously. It did take the best part of an hour to get from one side of town in the car back to my house so I suspect getting to York would have taken much longer. Also my car spectacularly skidded a good few times and I am fortunate enough to have very understanding bosses so I took the morning at home to attempt to look at the essay criteria for my next assignment.

I haven't quite worked out if I feel a little guilty for going against the expected and taking the morning off. Nonetheless I am still shattered now we've reached the evening. I read something this evening which said 'we overestimate what we can do in a single day yet underestimate what we can do with our lives'. I think this really speaks the truth to me. If only we were not so afraid of what could be - of our potential. I think sometimes it is not the failing that frightens us, but the power that comes with the mere possibility that we might succeed.

I must now send a couple of quick emails and hopefully get some rest before tomorrow.. A couple of pictures taken this morning must be shared before I sign off...

Sunday, 18 January 2015

a glorious contradiction

For the first time in a good couple of months I am typing a post from my computer rather from my phone or iPad. Not that this means anything in particular, it is just a sign of life currently being 'on-the-go' rather than 'settled'. That is just fine though - I quite like it that way and get somewhat restless if it were any other way. This being said, I will now contradict myself in the same paragraph because before I sleep this evening I do plan to let things be, let things pass and do a short meditation. Perhaps I like to 'be' more than I let on. I will let things be and I will rush full speed ahead so things don't get much of a chance to settle. Isn't it fascinating that we know what we feel and we know what we do; we have studied that in great depth. Yet the two quite often sit in such opposite ends of the same picture that what we are ends up being all but a glorious contradiction. A complicated contradiction.

Part of my reason for posting this evening is to really make this Sunday evening one for relaxing, as much as can be. I am very aware as I look at my diary that my next day off is Saturday 7th Feb. It is currently Sunday 18th Jan... this is almost three weeks of madness where usually the weekend would be for being at home, but the coming weekends will be spent either away modelling or away on 'residential' weekend for my course. I could count this as a weekend off, but actually they are 12 hour days of constant learning. I am looking forward to time spent with some of the most important people I have in my life. That will be a rare gift to really make the most of, but it will also be bitter-sweet as I know once we return, that the course is on the home-straight. We are heading towards graduation and qualification and this is both wonderful and terrifying in equal measures. So this weekend away will mean a great deal.

Am I ready for the next three weeks of life very much in the fast lane? I really hope I am. I need to be because the world will most certainly continue turning round even if I pretend it isn't. I suppose I am posting now also because I know that when my schedule gets very hectic I either post an overwhelmingly large amount of posts because I spend time travelling and that means time to write, or I am simply too engaged with life to find space to write. Both those are more preferable reasons than the alternative, to not write because it does not feel that there is anything new to say.

I am reminded of a book a read whilst in Barcelona over summer, and some words in it...

'One must not allow the clock or the calender to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery'
Robert Sharma (The Monk who Sold his Ferrari)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

'Only human'?

'Without imperfection neither you nor I would exist'
Stephen Hawking

I have indeed been to see the film 'The Theory of Everything' this evening and I can safely say with every certainty that it is the most moving and beautifully created film I have seen in a long time. I am rarely transfixed for over two hours by anything, let alone being sat in a small jam-packed full odeon film theatre late on a Saturday evening. But I was captured this evening - whilst watching a film about time, I lost all sense of time and I learnt a little more about an incredible man and his life.

This week I have learnt much more too. I have learnt that I am indeed not invincible and indestructible. I will bend, often in a different direction to the way in which the wind is blowing, and I may very well break if I bend too far. I have had to prioritise my health this week, and I have accepted the reminder that I am not a super-human, I am indeed only human, although I have found out that I do struggle with that phrase - 'only human'. It is something I probably say to my students and clients but when it comes to something like this, I feel it needs to be given a little more thought. 'only human?'.

It is like when my Nan calls and leaves a message on the answerphone. 'Oh hello, it's only me', she says. And I think, 'only me?' You are not only you. You are you, and you need never almost apologise for being 'only' anything. The 'only' is never needed, you need not think of yourself as a shadow of who you think you ought to be, and there are no rules and expectations here from me. There is so much power in who you are that hiding behind the 'only' simply means that you are not grasping hold of the power itself. And it is similar when I say 'only human'. It is not 'only', but it is simply human. We are human and within us is all the greatness and the grit and the flawed imperfections that comes with that. We stand imperfectly, but we stand strong nonetheless.

This week I have told myself that I am human. This week I am appreciating what that really means

Monday, 5 January 2015

If only...

'If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies how very different our ideals of beauty would be...'

Sunday, 4 January 2015

'Everyone else my age is an adult'

I was right - my last post was indeed the last of 2014, and here we have arrived. A shiny brand new year. My 365-page book, the first day of the rest of my life, the first page of my next chapter, my adventure into magical wonderland. Whatever it is, it is indeed the new year and I have hopes, as I do every morning that I wake up and get out of bed. But I do hope to goodness that I have not started this year as I mean to go on. It has been good, do not mistake what I mean by that. Take today for example, I have been to a morning yoga class, went on a walk, went on another walk, watched the sun set, witnessed an incredible full moon rise, and ate 'zoodles' AKA zucchini/courgette noodles (my latest vegetable/vegan 'phase' of culinary delights). Oh, and I must not forget - I climbed out of my bedroom window onto my make-shift balcony next to the roof of my house to watch the moonlight fill the sky. It was rather spectacular.

It has been a rather spectacular day really and I like to think that I am simply preserving my motivation for work until the universe really requires me to need it. I am now at least up and running with my new computer, I have made a potentially very exciting decision, and I have even dared to look at my assignments for the coming months. Whilst walking with a friend today, discussing our equally as mad and busy work schedules, she asked what it was that helped me be able to take time to rest - to take time off. And what I told her in response was that it took me working myself so much that I ended up laying in a hospital bed to recognise the toll it had taken on not just my body, but my mind and soul too. And at some point I realised that it was ridiculous, it was sad, and it was simply beyond my comprehension that I should feel it necessary to waste away the preciousness that comes with health, life and time. I valued those three things - it was time I started behaving like I did. It was time I decided to value myself not just as a vessel of productivity and a relentless machine, but as a human being. So I decided to approach life differently. My diary still looks like a mad woman runs it, but my mind feels more at peace when I know it is that way because I choose for it to be.

Nothingness still panics me - free spaces still send me into a world of 'what ifs' and doubt, but I will go into that world anyway and I will go in head first, feet grounded and head high. Facing what makes us truly afraid is supposed to be good for us, some say. It is supposed to make us feel alive.

So today was just good - balcony climbing and sunset chasing. It was good. Tomorrow, however, I might start looking at this essay... My famous last words. The funny thing is, is that I probably will.

'Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult,whereas I am merely in disguise'
Margaret Atwood