Jump Into The Abyss

“You’re my best friend” ~ Queen

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Best Friend (n): someone with whom one shares the strongest possible friendship, an especially close and trusted friend

 

I think, in the words of Terry Pratchett, Dave didn’t so much die young as leave early to avoid the rush. Because we all know this year has been absolutely awful for death and Dave never was one for hanging around at parties.

I forget sometimes, I genuinely forget that he’s dead, and that whole remembering process crashes over me. Swifter now than before, not always as jaggedly painful, sometimes downright awful. And it’s the lack of contact that is weighing hard on me now.

I didn’t reply to his last text, you see. I wasn’t ignoring him, it just wasn’t something I had any response to. It sits there now on my phone, forever unanswered. I still don’t have anything to say in response to it but the fact I never can is something I will be a long time getting my head around.

Pretty much everyone who ever loses someone, and even more those who lose someone unexpectedly, talks about there not being enough time, to tell people they matter, etc etc. I do it too. But as was pointed out these are wise words that we think we adhere to but actually seldom do. And it’s true. I try to tell or show the people I love that I love them, to make time for those who matter, to take risks and leaps with my one wild and precious life. but I don’t always manage it. There is a heap of stuff unsaid, not done, because I am lazy or unmotivated or actually too damn scared.

The scared rankles. I can embrace my laziness, my indolence, I can’t be doing with scared. But sometimes the pain of risk, of retribution and dire consequence, feels so much stronger that those important things remain unsaid or undone. The timing doesn’t feel right or so we tell ourselves. But the whole thing is about timing, isn’t it? And that, my friends, is finite. The time right now is all we’ve got.

I can’t ever text Dave again. But I can do the other things. Maybe, like Nick Cave says, I’ll jump into the abyss and find it only comes up to my knees. 

Take care, mate. I miss you.

 

Stef

 

 

*Best Friend’s Note: Dave died on 28th August 2014 following a massive brain haemorrhage. These are posts I’ve written previously

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/best-friend/

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/i-never-could-get-the-hang-of-thursdays-a-letter-to-my-best-friend/

 

Champagne. Or: living life more enthusiastically

“I get no kick from champagne, mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all” ~ Anything Goes

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Champagne (n): the sparkling, dry, white table wine from the region of Champagne in France; anything considered the best or luxurious

 

 

I do get a kick from champagne. I love champagne. I find it exotic, I find enjoyable, and I most assuredly find it thrilling.

My New Year’s resolution for this year was to drink more champagne. An indulgent, decadent, and solely about me resolution. But it wasn’t just about champagne, per se. It was about that being an expression of living, of enjoying, of embracing life, just for me.

I don’t like resolutions generally as they seem to be about abstinence or self-improvement. Both of those things are big, especially at the start of a new year. How can you be expected to get the date right if you are pondering if you are allowed to eat another rice cake or what time your Zumba class starts?

That’s not to say abstinence or self-improvement are bad concepts, I just subscribe to the idea that we can start those at any time and I don’t believe that January is necessarily the best time to do so.

Equally, I could resolve to drink more champagne at any time of the year. But having had quite a few negative experiences in recent years, I wanted to mark the start of this year by saying I was exclusively and indulgently going to do something for me. I wasn’t going to be quaffing it every night, I am not made of money and my liver wouldn’t thank me. But I definitely intended to drink more than  my previous maybe once or twice a year intake.

Inevitably I lost my way with champagne as life happened. I wasn’t indulging myself. I wasn’t living. And it took a sad occurrence to remind me that actually these things matter. An online friend tweeted that her cat had died and shared this photo:

 

“If something’s worth doing it’s worth doing enthusiastically.”

What a sentiment right there. I adore this notion. Yes, let’s absolutely live life more enthusiastically.

I then shared this notion with my erstwhile ally @ManyTypesofTea who, upon seeing the photo, said “let’s stick our faces in the glass of life”

Another excellent sentiment.

Life is hard work. Even the basics can be exhausting; getting up, moving, washing, eating, and that’s before we even enter notions of work or looking for work, relationships, other people.

So I think it matters to take time to indulge ourselves. How can we embrace life with enthusiasm if we only focus on the hard work? What price that hard work if we don’t stop to make time to indulge and experience what life has to offer?

I’m not saying you should all go and drink champagne, but please think of something you can do that’s just for you. It may be as simple as 30 seconds at your window, just taking that time to watch the world go by. It might be a treat of a material nature, it might be a walk in the park or travel to somewhere you have never been. Anything. But do it with enthusiasm and for yourself. No-one else is a part of this. This is your exclusive, indulgent, decadent time; treat yourself with enthusiasm and stick your face in the glass of life.

Interested in your thoughts, as always. I’m now off to open a bottle, pour a glass, and stick my face in it.

 

Princess

 

If We Only Live Once

“If we only live once, I want to live with you” ~ OneRepublic

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Live (vb): to show the characteristics of life, be alive

 

In the parlance of great romantic declarations “I want to live with you” probably lacks a little something in comparison to “marry me”. As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman “But never in all the time… that I had this dream did the knight say to me, “Come on, baby, I’ll put you up in a great condo.”

But that’s really not what that line is about at all. To live is to breathe, to experience, to see and wonder at the world; to cry at the marvels and the cruelty; to stop dead at the sight of something so beautiful that all you can do is gaze. And the very best thing is that there are all these other people in the world that you can choose to share it with.

And choose is a key word. There are all sorts of people we interact with in our lives that we would prefer not to but can’t avoid. They are to be endured. But to choose the ones that we want, the ones we want to turn to say “wasn’t that amazing” or even to not speak at all, just know that there is someone else, maybe next to you, maybe miles away, but experiencing exactly the same thing and feeling it exactly as you are. That’s to live with someone, that’s to have someone in your life.

You don’t need someone in your physical space to live with them, you can be in the same room and still be poles apart, no matter how close you are. I don’t need someone in my space or my life to validate me but I love meeting and knowing people who I can share with my life with. And I’ve never had a more timely reminder of that than this year.

There’s a whole world out there to explore. So, to all the people I know, love, interact with, share with; I want to live with you.

Happy New Year.

 

Princess

It’s A Dogs Life

“And the dogs they run in the good good morning sun” ~ Damien Rice

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Dogs (n): a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties

 

I’ve always been a cat person. The softness of the fur disguising the sharpness of the claws, fond of basking in sunny spots, & enjoying undisclosed nocturnal encounters.

However, I was walking across the park recently and dog lolloped along in front of me; just off the leash, tongue hanging out, heading straight to check out the new smells on the deserted basketball courts. That’s how to live, I thought. Eagerness for new opportunities, let us all go forward in life with our noses a’quiver & our tails held aloft (although the tongue-hanging is optional), and embrace what exciting smells the future may bring.

Then I heard the dog’s owner call him back. It wasn’t a nice call. It was unpleasant words, shouted agressively and without patience. It made me want to slink onto my belly, never mind the dog.

And that’s also life, I thought. Our responsibilities, our chores, the every day detritus of life calling us back each time we want to make a break for our own metaphorical deserted basketball court of exciting smells. We may have chosen the responsibilities or they may have been thrust upon us but sometimes they hang like a millstone around our necks when we want to break free and step out to something new.

The trick then is how to carry these responsibilities lightly, how not to have our spirits broken & be left slinking on our bellies but be able to take them with us. Instead of straining at the leash, look at what our leashes are & change them. The only person in our lives holding us on a leash is ourselves. What could we achieve if we stopped thinking of ourselves as constrained and instead saw what we have as possibilities not responsibilities?

In general, a dog can no more fit through a cat-flap than a cat can fit down a mouse hole. Dude, truly, leave that door alone. You are too big for it. If you are trying to squeeze yourself into something in life and you just can’t, don’t let life diminish you so you fit. You are too big for this opportunity; stop, take a look round, see what other doors there are out there. And as for locked cat-flaps? Some houses you are just not meant to enter. Don’t dwell on those that are closed to you, go and enjoy the myriad of others that are open instead.

I then saw a crow menacing a squirrel. I haven’t worked out what message on life to take from this one yet.

Interested in your thoughts or paw prints on a comment box-shaped postcard, as always.

 

Princess

Life Choices

“Life is what you make it of it” ~ The Stereophonics

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Life (n): the state or quality that identifies living beings

 

I wrote about life back when I started blogging but things have been swirling in my head recently and this seemed like the time to capture them.

Everyone has choices in life; what subjects to study, what university to go to, if at all, where to live, who to date., do I really want that job, can I afford it, and und so weiter. These are all fairly usual life choices, sometimes made at points when you haven’t really got a scooby what you want from or in life but the decision is there to be made nonetheless.

Of course, for some, those are the choices of the luxurious. For some, their scope of scope of choice is so limited as to barely to seem like a choice at all; open your eyes or not, move before being beaten or move and be beaten anyway, walk 8 miles to get water or die of dehydration. These are the extremes of the scale but realities of life too, just as much as the agony of indecision over too much choice is a reality for others.

And many of us do have so much to choose from. Who hasn’t panic ordered a familiar item in a restaurant when faced with a large menu and a hovering waitress, just because there was so much choice? There are often people asking others on Twitter for their input into a decision as life can sometimes feel so bewildering, from the choice of what to cook for dinner, where to go on holiday, who to vote for. The choices, and the speculation over making them, goes far and wide.

And of course it’s as easy to ponder the choices of others and envy them, as it is to be bewildered as to why they ever thought that doing what they did was the right idea. We can never really know what goes in someone else’s life, the realities of the situation in their own mind. What seems a perfect life from the outside may be a mere façade, presented to the outside world to hide a lifetime of regret and heartache. What we think life expects of us, what we base our choices on, can have as much bearing on the way our lives go as the actual choices themselves.

But if your life has gone somewhere that you now realise you didn’t want, if you want things to change, or even if you are perfectly happy but want to do more or do things differently, then those choices are out there. Other people have huge influence over our lives but the only person who’s life it is, the only person who is going to live it, is you. Your life choice.

For, as a friend said to me recently, “Some things, if we are unhappy about them, we can only do so much about – head, face, feet size, height etc. Almost everything else – your job.”

So what are your life choices? What do you want to make your life? Interested in your thoughts, as always, on a comment box-shaped postcard.

 

Princess