I recall recently bemoaning the fact that I felt as if I didn't have enough fun.
I've mourned for my Free Child, the child within me as adult, whom I believe - I know - I over-feed to keep happy.
My Free Child likes to go to concerts, theatre and the cinema. She likes to stay up late, watching old movies or stuff on TV that only she likes, while her other, older half lies snoring in bed... She likes to sleep in late till Midday, being softly awoken with orange juice, toast and a boiled egg, or preferably two.
Last weekend, for our intensive training course, we were asked to bring in photos of ourselves from when we were younger... As I type this, I'm still not sure what this exercise will evoke.
As I searched, photo after photo of me and my life to date came out from under the bed.
Pre-Grizz, post-Grizz, weddings, birthdays, holidays...
In the oldest photo I can find amid my stash, at seventeen, I stand happy, reaching down to the family dog in my parent's back garden.
The sun is out, the dog, a scruffy Yorkshire Terrier, Shandy, is as sweet and loveable as he ever was, and I'm in a blindingly white cheesecloth hippy tunic, wearing a long cotton cross-over Indian Paisley print skirt in china blue and white.
I can still sense the softness of that cotton on my skin now. I know on my feet that I'm wearing flat, white toe-post sandals with gold script, that I lived in during my teen years...
When I wasn't going barefoot!
The thing is, in all of the pictures I have chosen, from seventeen on, I am happy enough. ...The smile is real, shows all my teeth, and crinkles show at the corners of my eyes.
There's me at Henley with Sarah in our early twenties after Uni, both with wide-brimmed hats, very Eighties', holding on for fear of losing them to the wind, while whishing past the sculls, seated with her father on his referee's boat; There's me clutching Grizz in a sailor suit on my knee at home in my late twenties, just after his Church christening; I still have that suit.
There we are, Grizz and I, perched by the harbour upon a metal bollard just after going to see the vast boats; I'm seated rather precariously, holding on to him because he wants to run away from me, full of excitement and boundless energy - He was so full of beans when he was little, I could hardly keep up with him most of the time...
Shortly after that photo was taken, I lost my mother.
I still don't really know where she went, but bits of her live on in me.
She puts words in my mouth some days. They come out, and I hear her voice, what she would say, the expressions she used, and I remember these are not my words...
And I wonder if it is then, at that time, that my soi-disant Free Child got stuck, then was pushed down still further and forgotten in the torment of watching my dad slowly ebb away, after years of cancer made him thin and brittle-boned...
I'm sorry this hasn't been a very uplifting post.
For me, it's probably been quite revealing though.
Can I invite you to look through your photos, mes bloggy loves, to think things through, and to consider bringing more fun into your lives, if you so desire?
And Paulo Coelho tells me this:
Avoiding problems you need to face is avoiding the life you need to live...
Evitar los problemas que debes enfrentar es evitar la vida que tienes que vivir.