14 August 2012

Bat Shit Crazy

I think “My Way” may be the song that will forever describe my life.  I don’t do anything the way you are supposed to do it.  Things sometimes would be much easier if I did.
When I decide I want to do something, my tendency is to go with the snap decision.  There has been so many this year.  From stopping smoking without any aids or assistance, to deciding to start a degree and practically applying on the spot. 

My pet project this year appears to be working on myself.  This wasn’t intentional.  It’s just worked out that way.  I’ve done the quitting smoking, I’m broadening my horizons by starting the degree, now it’s time for the hardest one of all however, confidence.

Confidence is a strange creature.  When you don’t have any at all, you don’t really realise it.  Either that or you are in denial.  But when you gain confidence in certain areas of your life, the areas that don’t have it are suddenly blatantly obvious.
I have found my voice over the past couple of years.  I was, for some unknown reason, unable to give my opinion before and was always the quiet one in the conversation.  Whilst I am still shy when you meet me, I’m not afraid to have an opinion now and say what I think, controversial or no.  I have being on Twitter to thank for that and also this blog, as being the vehicle that helped me find my voice.

I have a theory.  I think confidence is catching.  Because the part of me that is now confident in what I think is now looking over at the other part, the part that has no self confidence at all, and it’s laughing at me.
Some of the things I do and have done over the years as a result of my lack of confidence I am now slowly finding absolutely hilarious.  Also a bit sad.  There are a top two of stupid things that my “You’re not good enough” feeling has caused me to do.
Idiot thing number one – multiple times offender
Consciously moving away from a date if we are out in a public place and his friends approach us.  Thought process: I don’t want him to be embarrassed.
Idiot thing number two – every bloody day
Seeing a group of people, men, women, teenagers, whatever and moving to the other side of the road.
Thought process: please don’t laugh at me
The confident part of me has highlighted these traits to me.  I honestly didn’t realise I was doing them before and I now I do realise, I will admit, I am bat shit crazy.  Reading what I have just written confirms it.
Why in the world have I spent 33 years of my life thinking I’m not good enough?  Sure, I’ll never be as beautiful as Keira Knightley and I’ll never be skinny, but I’m not the hunchback of Notre Dame either. 
Looks out that looking inward at yourself isn’t a bad thing.  You may discover that you are (in my case) bloody mad, but you may also discover that you are not as bad as you think you are.  So the achievement list this year reads:
1.     Stopped smoking.
2.    Started a degree.
3.    Realised I’m not an ogre.
4.    Realised I’m off my rocker ;)

13 August 2012

A Good Ending

I watched the majority of the closing ceremony of the Olympics last night and whilst I was disappointed in it, I was also glad about that.

This sounds a funny thing to say I know.  Why on earth would I be glad that the closing ceremony wasn't anywhere near as good as was expected?

The answer to that question is that for me, the bad ending restored the balance of things.  I'm British.  We never expect everything to go well and, in my case at least, I don't trust something when every component goes exactly the way that it should.

I went into this Olympics I suspect much like many others in the British Isles.  Sceptical, wary and praying to hell that we wouldn't show ourselves up.

What happened in fact was that the opening ceremony was more than I could have ever expected it to be.  The games were carried out well and with decorum from the majority.  All of our athletes did us proud and we won more medals than we had ever expected.

Pride has been restored to the country and we experienced that wonderful "joining together" that us Brits are famous for doing, but so rarely do.

If the closing ceremony had in fact been just as good, I have a feeling that in time, we would have all have forgotten just how wonderful these two weeks have been.  Do you know why?  Because we wouldn't have trusted our memories.  Being the cynical creatures that most of us are, I believe that in a few months the memories would have been clouded.

Now though, we have our badly ending ceremony that will let us keep our memories the way we remember them now.  We can keep those glorious two weeks of celebration, hope and joining together.  They will stay in our memories now, because everything wasn't perfect.  Nothing that is really really good ever is.


It will probably sound strange to those of foreign climes, it may even sound strange to people from Great Britain, this thinking may just be may own.  But hey, it's my blog with my own thoughts.

6 August 2012

GREAT Britain

I’ve watched more sport this weekend in one go than I think I ever have in my life.  Athletics, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, you name it and I’ve probably watched it.

I’ve never really been a sports fan apart from Formula One.  Suddenly this weekend I found myself cheering people on in sports I had never seen before, talking tactics on the 100m sprint and half way through the Murray/Federer match looking up tennis rules so I could understand what was going on!  By the end of the weekend “God Save the Queen” was practically running through my veins and I was more proud to be British than I ever have been.

You can say what you want about Great Britain.  Yes, we are usually a nation of moaners.  We expect the worst to happen and presume that it will.  We are self deprecating and constantly pick ourselves to pieces.  We are allowed to do this.  It’s our right, we live here.  But God help someone on the outside who tries to take us down.

It is exactly one year since the riots occurred and the spirit the supporters have shown in Olympic games really shows how far we have come since then.  I think that the riots happening shocked all of us and made us wonder just how fractured as a nation we had truly become.  The clean up organised afterwards was the first sign for me that people were standing together and refusing to let us fall apart. 

One thing Great Britain is truly good at, although it has been some time since it has happened, is joining together as one.  There can be no better example of this than when Jessica Ennis was in the final stage of the Heptathlon running in the 800m.  I have never in my life seen, heard or felt anything like what happened that night.  The roar of the stadium which grew and grew, the overwhelming feeling of pride and support for one of our own, it was truly unbelievable and something I don’t think I will ever forget.

You will always have the idiots of course, like Tom Daley’s Twitter troll and the Daily Mail (no explanation needed is there?).  Overwhelming though this weekend our sports men and women and the supporters both in the stadium and watching at home have stood together as a nation and reminded us that Great Britain truly is great.   We need to remember this feeling and carry it on.  Be proud to be British.