At Arm’s Length

I’ve come to the difficult realisation recently that I tend to live life at arm’s length. Even the people I care for most tell me I can feel decidedly distant from them at times, disconnected and detached, and however uncomfortable it is for me to accept, sometimes I feel it in myself too and know they are right.

In holding on so tight, so carefully to the fragile core that feels essentially me, I inadvertently create protective barriers in my heart. These barriers may well prevent further hurt from entering, but to a certain extent they also act as a shield to deflect the full force of the love that is on offer from others, and stop me from fully returning it too.

I engage cautiously with life, but do not fully commit to immersing myself in it. I remain forever stranded on the shore, wading dejectedly in the shallows and the shadows, existing in the imagined safety of a kind of liminal space where I am neither out nor in, hedging my bets, sitting on the fence, and feeling dismally alone.

My aloneness hurts, but deep down it feels better than the risk of rejection. But I’ve had enough of paddling perpetually on the periphery, restricting myself to always appearing reserved and remote. I want to learn to trust in myself to trust others, to trust in life itself, and move forward to a new level of involvement where I can feel truly comfortable to give life and love my all, come what may…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Comfortable

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Crocodile Dundee and Me

I’m sitting here alone on my sofa on a Sunday evening watching TV, and Crocodile Dundee is on. I remember watching it at the cinema when it first came out way back when, and I just loved it! The humour is great, even if the styles and the themes are more than a little corny and outdated, but yet still it makes me cry. And inevitably it’s making me think about difficult stuff from my past.

It’s also making me think of other old movies I love, and why I still love them so much. Pulp Fiction and True Lies, Working Girl and Mona Lisa Smile. Going back even further, there’s Grease, and Dirty Dancing, and Strictly Ballroom. And never forgetting Saturday Night Fever. They all touched something in me in their own way; a hurt to be salved, a need to be fulfilled, a desire for something more in life.

Perhaps I’m more of a romantic than I think, yearning to be loved and taken care of. And perhaps I’m more of an extrovert in my imaginitive spiritual soul than I am in my fearful introvert heart, dreaming deep down of daring to be brave, be wild, be so much more than I am or ever can be in real life. These movies were my fantasy, my alternative future, my escape from unhappiness.

Thankfully I no longer feel that same agonising need for change, but somehow watching these old movies today still touches that little kernel of magical memories that grew into a precious germ of hope all those years ago, and for that I shall always be eternally grateful… ❤

Complicated, but never Empty

Sometimes life just feels like one long string of complications, one after the other like individual links joined in a chain, each complete ‘O’s of disbelief in themselves but together making a whole new incoherent mess of my own making. But at least it never feels empty: Hollow at times, but never empty.

I’ve survived complications with my birth, with my physcial health, with my mental health, with relationships, with work, with education. And I’m still here after fifty-four years, still sorting out complication after complication in life, full to the brim with confusion and emotion and living as best I can…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Empty

Daily Prompt: Complication

Song and Dance

Life is enough of a difficult performance for me to get through without making a big song and dance about it: I’m altogether more subtle in my approach.

It’s not always that I don’t want to participate, either, it’s just that I want to join in my own way. I don’t necessarily want to be the principal player but I’ll be an enthusiastic member of the chorus. I don’t ever want to be the prima ballerina, but will happily take my place in the corps de ballet.

If I was to shine my own light, I’d always choose to be a single small candle glowing courageously in the wings rather than a dazzling diva chandelier demanding centre stage.

Daily Prompt: Song