The same new story

We all have somebody in our lives that we can’t let go of. A friend. A lover. An ex boyfriend/girlfriend that holds your heart in the palm of his/her hand. We all have someone.

When should you walk away? Honestly, I don’t know if there is a moment, an exact time where you say, ‘Enough is enough’, but that’s where I’m at. It took me about 3 years to arrive at this conclusion. It wasn’t a decision I made consciously. It just happened. I woke up one day and thought, I deserve better than this situation I am putting myself in. I deserve to be happy even when i’m sad.

I say that, ‘I’ have put myself in this situation, because I have. I have allowed myself to be unhappy for a sustained period of time. Nobody can make you feel something if you don’t let them.

I loved him once, maybe I still do, but I know it’s not enough now. I want more.

It’s the same story over and over again. We come back to each other when we have nobody else. That’s not love. Not the love I want anyway.

I’ll always be there for him when he needs me to be a friend. But we are never going to be the us we once were.

It’s time for us both to start the same new story.

Please get involved.

Hey everyone, I’m a photography student and a I am at present in the progress of making a project called, “The Residents”. It aims to explore the idea of community in modern Cardiff, apposed to the idea of it 20-30 years ago. I’m looking for people of all ages to be photographed and record a short voice note of what it means to them, as well as writing what it means to them. If you’d like your opinion to be heard, please get in touch. Thanks.

Take the jump 

Sometimes, all the time we pretend we don’t want something, we hide and hope that the want goes away. We stand still and beg for the desire to pass as calmly and swiftly as the flowing breeze that surrounds us. We remain strong willed and with stone hearts because if we didn’t, we’d crumble. We’d succumb to the pressure of happiness. The indefinite possibility of hurt. Why? Simply, because we know what pain feels like. The aching in your soul for a moment of anything but pain. The knots and tangles in your heart that pull you away from reality. Are we really afraid of pain, or happiness? Are we scared that everything will go wrong or nothing? I’m willing to allow pain into my soul for the chance of succumbing to happiness.   

Honesty

Honesty isn’t as simple as the truth and the lie. It runs much deeper than we think. Everyone wants honesty, they want the truth but we lie to ourselves about what that truth will ultimately do; for ourselves and for others. We pretend that we are lying in order to protect somebody from hurt and pain. That the truth would be too much for that person, or ourselves to ever bare. We convince ourselves that a lie is much better than the truth but in turn want the truth from others.I regard myself as an honest person. But what does that really mean? What do I mean when I say, honest? Well, I mean that I’m trustworthy and reliable and that I don’t tell lies. It also implies that I tell the truth when I’m asked to, but honestly, that’s a lie in itself. I lie every single day, not about anything that would change your day, but plenty that change mine. I lie to protect myself, nobody else. I lie not because I want to, but because it’s easier. White lies. Black lies. Yellow lies. Does it really make a difference what kind of lie you tell? 

I admire honesty. The type of honesty that isn’t harsh or nasty, or the type of honesty that comes with passive aggressive undertones. Honesty that’s filled with truth and hope, desire to truly heal the person we are giving it to. I admire honesty, simply because I am it and because I lack it. We all have an opinion of ourselves, which is positive and negative but we never conceive the idea that something can be both of those things. I’m honest and I’m dishonest. A negative and a positive. But, what’s now a negative, can just as easily be a positive. I’ve realised that my dishonesty to myself is a negative, but just be realising it and trying to make a change, creates a positive. 

So honesty isn’t as simple as the truth and the lie. It runs much deeper than that.

Rock and the wave

As I sit on this rocked river bank, I begin to wonder how I got here. I look down at the water, each tiny wave cascading into the next in a continuous cycle toward its unlimited and untold destiny. As cliche goes, I pick up a small, oval rock and launch it towards the slow moving current, knowing that somewhere in the world someone acted in my mirror. The rock bundles into the water with a splash sending a circular ripple in every direction and right there it hit me. All this time, I’ve been the rock in so many fashions. I’ve been the sturdy and steady weight that’s only goal was to keep myself and the people around me from drifting away. I didn’t want to be the rock anymore. I wanted to become the water. The fast and slow moving currents. The ripples and splashes. I wanted to be free and wild and full with direction; or lack of. I wanted to know where I’ve been but be happily uncertain of where I was going. I want us all to be the water, flowing into each others lives. Rolling towards a future we can share together, a future that isn’t set in stone.  Maybe drifting wasn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe drifting could be something we love, something we deserve. 

As I sit on this rocked river bank, I begin to wonder how I was ever the rock, when being the wave is all I knew.

Jake and Rocko

Whilst I was walking through Cardiff’s busstling town centre today, I came across Jake. Jake is 28 and is living rough on the streets. I couldn’t help but stop and ask him how he was and if he needed anything. He had an aura about him that pulled me in. I quietly walked over to Jake, bent down and asked him if he wanted something to eat. He looked at me and asked if I was sure I could spare any. I smiled at Jake and told him that I had plenty and he could have as much as he wanted. I sat down next to Jake and we began to talk about how horrible the weather was and that we’d hoped the sun would come out at some point. Jake went on to explain that he’d been sat in the exact spot he was in since sunrise and that I was the first person to look him in his eyes and see the person he was rather than the situation he was in for a long time. 

It felt like I could have sat there with Jake all day, but I had to see if I could find anyone else to give sandwiches to before the rain came back. So, I asked Jake if he knew where any other homeless people could be. He told me that a lot of people sleep rough near the train station because it has shelters from the rain. He also told me that a lot of people have dogs with them so they have someone to talk to. 

Before I got up to walk away, Jake told me that he used to have a dog called Rocko that passed away a couple of months before. Jake owned Rocko for 12 years and they went everywhere together. He told me he never cared about himself and that he only wished he could provide his best friend Rocko with more food and care than he did himself. He told me that he couldn’t bare to be apart from Rocko because he was the only true friend he had ever had. As Jake was speaking, I was amazed at how bare he was laying his soul to me, just a stranger less than half an hour and a short chat ago. He went on to say, that when he woke up each morning and Rocko was still with him, he felt like the luckiest man in the world. He felt like as long as Rocko was with him, one day, they’d be living the life that he deserved, with a large garden for him to play in and treats on tap. 

Listening to Jake explain that the only thing in the world that matters to him, was this honey brown, gorgeous dog; it made my heart explode. It gave me shivers and goosebumps all at the same time. Before I left, I told Jake that he deserved happiness and love and that I hoped that he’d never give up on searching for those things. Jake looked at me at told me that I was a blessing and he’d never forget my generosity. To me it wasn’t generous, it was the right thing to do, It was the only thing to do.

I enjoy helping people, people less fortunate, people more fortunate, strangers, loved ones, friends, colleagues. I love helping anyone, regardless of their situation. If that makes me generous, loving and caring, then great, I appreciate those kind words. But, in my eyes, it makes me human. I think, no I know, that we all lose a sense of how to be human sometimes. 

I thought I’d share this story with you because it had a profound impact on me today. I hope it changes your day and that it maybe makes you see things a little differently tomorrow. 

Stand up to bigotry 

I saw this this morning and was saddened and angered. I can’t believe we’re still in this state of judgement. That we still allow people to tell us who we can and cannot love. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3160413/Lesbian-couple-s-fury-ordered-stop-kissing-security-guard-food-festival-told-behaviour-inappropriate.html 

To be asked to stop kissing because other people are offended is disgusting. This would not have happened if they were of opposite sex. People need to stand up to bigotry like this. 
Be who you are, not who people want you to be.
Love. So many forms and even more feelings attached to a single word. You can love someone and not be in love with them. You can love someone unromantically. People say when you have a child, you realise that your definition of love has changed because you could never love something or someone as much as you love a child. I choose to be in love with life and everything that comes with it. I enjoy waking up each day, not knowing what the next hour will bring. People say they fall in love with a person, not a sex and I get that. I understand why someone wouldn’t define their sexuality because they’ve fallen in love with a soul not a body. I’m straight but I understand. Love is an amazing feeling in any capacity. Romantically, platonically, a love for a child, friend, neighbour or stranger. I choose to love my family, friends and people I don’t know yet because they’re figuring out what love means themselves. By showing someone you love them you allow them to feel something they haven’t felt before. Try it.

Forgiveness 

Forgiveness is something we all would like when we have made a mistake or a lapse in judgement. We beg for forgiveness. We get down on our knees and plead with the wronged to forgive our sins and to wipe away our past decisions. And yet, we find it so difficult to forgive; ourselves and others. This same gift we ask from others, we’re unable to give ourselves. Forgiveness comes with so many ifs and buts, we need people to prove they’re sorry, prove they know in their hearts that they were wrong, before we grant them forgiveness. We put conditions on our forgiveness. 
Truthfully, I find forgiveness of others a lot easier than forgiveness of myself. It hasn’t always been like that. I used to think that to forgive someone, you had to go back to being the way it was before. That, once you say, “I forgive you”, you allow that person back into your life. I would forgive people because I wanted them in my life, regardless if I actually felt like I’d forgiven them. But, forgiveness is rarely to do with the other person. Forgiveness is about you. Forgiveness allows you to move on, not the other person. It gives you the power to say, I forgive you but I don’t want you back in my life. And, that’s okay to do and say. It allows your heart and soul to heal, giving you the strength to move on from that situation. It empowers you to realise that the next person you meet, isn’t the same as the person you’ve left behind. They may or may not make the same mistakes, but they’re different. Forgiveness allows your heart to truly mend. To put back the pieces that were once shattered. 

Forgiveness doesn’t happen over night and you shouldn’t expect it to. You have a right to be angry and upset but don’t allow that anger to consume you. Don’t let it ruin the person that you are. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. People think, if I forgive this person, I’m saying that what they did was right. No. That’s not what you’re saying. You don’t forgive someone for doing something right. You forgive them for doing something wrong. And just by asking for forgiveness, they are aware of their wrong doing. You forgive someone for yourself. You forgive them because you’re worth that forgiveness, you’re worth more than allowing the resentment and sadness attached to not forgiving them. Forgiveness is about you. It gives you closure not the other person. Forgive someone today. How ever big or small. Forgive them for cutting in front of you in traffic. Forgive them for not being there when you needed them. Forgiveness is about allowing your heart and soul to be lighter. Try it. Forgive someone. 

A reason

It becomes obvious to me now that everyone comes in to your life for a reason. They come to teach you lessons of love and friendship and trust. Lessons of happiness and sadness and enrichment. They force you to make decisions, when you stand at crossroads to lead you forward. Each person, each choice and each reason as important as the next. People ever so silently creep into your every day life, with subtle steps that make you have to dig deep to even remember when it is you became friends, rather than acquaintances. And others, crash through every barrier you thought you had up and announce themselves apart of your circle, no permission needed. It also becomes clear to me that people drift apart and sail into the distance, just as easy as they got to you. They make a choice, for a reason, that leads them down a different path to the one you’re on. And that’s okay. While they were in your life, they taught you something and they left you with something that you didn’t have before you knew them. How ever small it may seem, they changed you. Every person you have ever met has given you something and made you feel something. That’s worth all the changes. All the sadness when friends drift apart. As much as they have given you, you also have given them.
I haven’t met you yet, but one day I might and I hope I can give you something you’ve never had before. Something you haven’t had in a long time. Something new. Something great.

Respect or lack of.

When you start to think about all the things you’ve done in your life, the things you’ve accomplished, it’s natural to begin to think about the things you haven’t done. The things that you wanted to do, but didn’t, for one reason or another. You begin to go deeper into what negative reasons stopped you from doing that thing. That held you back from getting what it is you wanted and in most cases, still want. I’ve made myself a victim of this in the past. I allowed my fears and judgement from others, persuade me that I didn’t really want something. When really, it’s the only thing I ever wanted. I allowed pressure and respect for others, people close to me, convince me that I didn’t really want it, when deep down I know I did and still do. I mentioned respect for others because sometimes our respect for the people we love, parents, siblings, can become twisted in what we think they would want for us. But, by using this excuse of, “my mum wants me to do something different, and I respect her enough to go for it.” We’re really disrespecting ourselves. We’re making ourselves less valuable because we are saying I respect them enough to go for their dreams but I don’t respect myself to go for mine. When I left school, I wanted to become a photographer but I was told it wasn’t a real profession. That it wouldn’t lead to a good job, with good money to allow me to have a good life. I’ve never been the type of person to put a price on happiness. A price on what a good life means. But, I allowed my dreams to be persuaded into something they were never going to be, because I respected the person telling me this. So, I went to college to study child care. One of the most in demand jobs in the entire world and I would be ‘guaranteed’ a job. ‘Guaranteed’. Like, it didn’t matter how good of a person I was, how much I’d personally gained from life. As long as I had a qualification next to my name, I was ‘guaranteed’ a job. No questions asked. But I have questions, millions of questions, just not the ones they’re interested in. 

I finished college at 18, with no feeling about what I’d just accomplished because in my mind, I hadn’t accomplished a single thing. In fact, I’d gone backwards. I’d pretended to be someone and like something, that would never be a reality, or true reflection of the person I was. I worked for two years, in and out of customer service jobs, always wanting more.

When I was 20, I decided to go back to college. I decided to do the thing I always wanted to do. The passion that was always within me. The thing I was to scared to say I wanted in fear of upsetting someone I loved. But it was time for me to love myself a little bit. Time for me to be self (ish), even just for a moment. So, that’s what I did. I went back to college and studied art, design and photography. And, when I passed the course with the highest marks I possibly could have gotten, it was like, right then, I had purpose. I had a reason to be the person I had always been. 

I was unhappy for a portion of my life because I allowed my respect for others, over shadow my respect for myself. I’m a different person now. I don’t respect people any less but I respect myself a hell of a lot more. Because i deserve to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I deserve to be happy and to strive for greatness. Not your perception of greatness. But mine. The thing I’ve realised is that, what you deem as important, as a proper profession or what you need to make you happy, is different to me. That doesn’t mean, that you’re wrong or that I’m wrong. It just means we’re different. And our differences is why I’m so in love with humanity. Our differences make us who we are and instead of pushing those differences into categories of what’s right and wrong. What’s deemed to be proper or correct. We need to embrace each other, learn about each other and respect each other enough to say, I went for what I wanted and you should to. Be brave enough to stand up and say what you truly believe with love in your soul. We can all make this world a better one by loving every soul that walks it. Go for what makes you happy and encourage others to do the same.