Monday, 13 September 2010

How do you want to be perceived?

I've started blogging again after a long long absence.  However, I have realised that I just cannot write straight to screen, not for the life of me!  So I have to longhand it first which is OK it just takes a bit longer but it does get me writing again so all good.

I've decided to operate two blogs this one 'Diary of an unfinished woman' and my other blog 'Splendidly IMperfect Artist' for all my arty farty attempts at mixed media creative stuff.

So back to the title of this blog - As you may or may not know I have an ongoing uphill downhill sideways and double twister battle with fat - my fat, my weight and my now obsolete pig's trotters ankles which have generously morphed into the ankles of a rhinoceros.  I also suffer with an all round feeling of 'oh bollocks to it' and eat copious amounts of Ben and Jerry's to soothe myself.  Vicious circle? Of course.  Stupid?  Most definitely.   Self sabotaging?  Spot on.  So why the fluck - notice the l people notice the l - do I do it?

In the past and not so distant past I have had countless run-ins with doctors, nurses and others about my weight.  The best of it is the last doctor (it the last month) who roasted me was more than porky himself.  As was the nurse who tut tutted and gasped and generally appeared aghast at my recent weight gain and ensuing high blood pressure.  'What happened?' she asked me as if I had committed a double homicide followed by destruction of a wealthy and important small country.  'Life darling life'  I screamed 'Life and lots of time stuffing cake, chocolate, dried cornflakes and any other thing that I feast on because I feel so shit, ashamed, useless, crap and a fat blob and am driven to the cupboard by insensitive comments made by the likes of well meaning and less than well meaning friends, white coaters, and general fuck wits (no L so very blasphemous) on the street who feel they have the right to 'say it as it is' because FAT PEOPLE HAVE NO FEELINGS!'  How wrong you are. 

Actually I didn't say any of the above and I didn't scream either.  I just smiled sweetly sighed and said 'If we all did what we knew to be right and what we are supposed to do - you would be a size 12 and so would I'  Said nurse, who was actually quite sweet really, looked rather sheepish and replied 'I suppose so'.  I digress, which I am wont to do when writing.....

How do you want to be perceived?  I was brought to this thought rather abruptly by my inner goddess, fabulous fairy or just my brain whichever you buy into, just last week.  It had slightly more than a profound effect on me.  I discussed this with my dear and wise friend the divine Ms C whilst we were having a coffee at our weekly 'Psychotherapy Meeting - the alternative sessions' (which I might add we're hoping to gather enough vignettes to take it on tour, the gist of it being we start off discussing very deep profound issues we both face and end up wetting ourselves on the absurdity of it all - actually Ms C did that literally this week whilst eating some plums freshly picked but we wont go into that now).

Anyhow, it came to light from another dear friend the raucous Ms R, that someone had been describing me to her and said 'that big woman who sells clothes'.  That for anyone who is reading this (and if you are thank you thank you thank you I am but an insecure needy little soul who is pathetically grateful to anyone who throws me a crumb) really hit home.  Big time.  It far surpassed any roasting I have had from the doc's or anyone else.  The picture that it constructed immediately in my whirring brain was one of a fat old trout of a woman flogging her wares in the street whilst shouting stuff like 'who will buy my de-signer dresses?' a bit like that scene from Oliver - very Dickensian style.

My justification came crashing in on the back of that thought.  I only sell clothes to generate some hard cash so I can purse my lifelong dream of being a motivational speaker/facilitator come mother Teresa type for the lost and hurting ones, as well as being an amazing artist/writer and a wild success sporting a size 10/12 body to die for and an all round gorgeous specimen of an older women who looks at least 20 years younger than I actually am.  You can empathise with me surely dear reader on how that comment really hit the spot.  The absolute simplicity of it was laser sharp.  OUCH!....That BIG woman who sells clothes.

What about my creative talents?  My writing skills, my poems, my little books, my wonderful women workshops and gorgeous Greek retreats?  How could she not mention my warm and witty personality, my life coaching skills, my healing hands my joie de vivre ~ oh I could go on and on but no what did she hone in on?  That big woman who sells clothes.  What a bloody epitaph after 35 years of creative entrepreneurship.  The blood sweat and tears of having restaurants, hair salons, antique shops, books, coaching, gift shops, jazz bars - not even a sniff of a mention of any of it.  Big and Clothes are what she knows of me.  That comment has pulled me up sharp like nothing else has.

It has made me realise that if I croaked it tomorrow that the people of Nkt would remember me as she.  If a statue were to be erected it would be of a blousy big woman with a suitcase of clothes spilling out over the market square.  It certainly wouldn't be one I would imagine where I am lean and laughing welcoming all creative types to come and play.  This comment has made me think seriously about what I am doing, why I am doing it and what do I want to be remembered for.  It has made me look deeper at how I really do want to be perceived.  What do I want to be know for.  How have I left my mark.    Oh I know I teach this stuff and I mean it sincerely when I share it with my workshop participants.  I just don't always (well in fact rarely if I'm truthful) take a spoonful of my own medicine.  Who does?

So today after I drop Emily off to one of my dearest friends LB who truly is wise wonderful and joyful fun (and she's nearly 90)  I will be popping to a favourite cafe in Bury St Edmunds to do some workings out.  Look at my persona.  Get my shit together as another friend is fond of saying.  I intend to work more on doing what I really love.  I will think seriously about my choices and my reasons for making the wrong ones and I will firm up some dates for the groups I keep threatening to start - point taken Ms C - and I will ponder that question....
'How do you want to be perceived?'   Well how do you want to be perceived?  Comments welcome!

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