Thursday, 7 April 2016

"A Friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself." 

Jim Morrison.

In 2005 my house mates Hils and Alison bought me singing lessons as a birthday present with a friend of Alison's from church, as a result they unknowingly introduced to someone who I have know doubt I will be friends with for the rest of my life. 

The first time I saw Rachel she was rushing towards me across the foyer of Royal College of Music with a backpack far too big for such skinny girl, she was wearing a massive scraf,  which apparently is "completely normal" for singers and she spoke very quickly in a high pitched voice, but with an air of nervousness. Her massive light blue backpack could have fitted a six year old child, but instead it was filled with library books filled with pages of music thumbed by generations of highly stressed singers trying to prove to her singing teacher they are not a complete failure and will be the one in a thousand that actually make it big. 

As I watched her rush over to the reception desk, I noted a fairtrade badge and a free palestine scarf tied to the outside of a bag that she had had to sow to reinforce it against the physical and psychological weight of the books. Her hair was long and mousey light brown and wrapped into a style all of her own on the top of her head, years later on my 30th birthday to our mutual friend Alison's horror I would grab a handful of her hair and chop it off to shoulder length and then pay for her to get it styled much to her mothers annoyance due to her sisters up and coming spring wedding. Her mother, as she calls her, felt her modern hairstyle ruined the wedding pictures. We still laugh about it.

She rushed over to the reception desk and had a discussion with the man from the college maintenance team about a pre booked rehearsal room, little did I know at the time the power the maintenance staff held over the music students, but I have since learned they are more powerful than God in their ability to cause an unimaginable amount of stress on an unsuspecting partically pre pubescent music students by stating that there are no available rehearsal rooms.

Eventually she lead me off to our allocated room, stating "This way!" in her teacher like voice. As I walked into the room my heart sank, it was less a room more a run down concert hall with judgemental empty seats and a piano in the middle. She started rabbiting on about warming up, I remember thinking that I was there to sing not to exercise, but I was so nervous I just smiled and went along we it. Then she asked me to do something that has become a running joke for the rest of our friendship. 

"Emma, now you have to moo!" her eyes smiling,
"Moo" I asked. "Like a cow?" 
"Yes, a cow. It warms up your vocal cords"

Feeling incredibly nervous, a little embarrassed and overwhelmed by the size of the room, we mooed like a pair of heifers waiting to be milked in the middle of the Royal College of Music. It was the first time I "sang" in front of anyone, it was the beginning of a lifetime friendship and the start of some hilarious memories.

So what I am grateful for today?

Amazing memories.
Special friends.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." ~ 
Guillaume Apollinaire.

I have a poor relationship with Facebook... We have an on/off relationship because I find it generally makes me feel bad about myself, so why would you have that in your life? When your block list is longer than your friend list there is either a problem with you or everyone you consider your "friend" so I have decided to blog instead, not so I can brag about where I have been on holiday or how many miles I have run, but just so I can document my life and my inner struggle to become a better version of myself. 

No one need ever read it, it is simply for me.

A few years ago, my oldest friend gave me a book by Oprah Winfrey called "what I know for sure" inside he left a note marked Christmas 2014, it said

"To my dearest and oldest friend, I read a few pages of this book everyday for 6 months, it really inspired me. I hope it enriches your life too. Now we both have a copy!" 

Honestly, it is the most up lifting book I have ever read, even though it took me two whole years to read! (Now I have gone back to the beginning) mostly she talks about her quest to find some kind of inner peace and fulfilment, something that I can relate to strongly.

There is also a section on gratitude, generally I am a half empty person, I tend to see only the negative things in life, I attend counselling in a search to understand myself and develop better coping strategies. I speak to myself in my head negatively everyday..... My quest is to find a way to love myself and the little things in life, therefore I plan to write my gratitude journal on my blog. 

So what am i grateful for today?

  • A cuddle from my boyfriend (Dave) this morning. Why? I wished for him and someone granted it.
  • The sunshine, its rare here, it didn't last all day but it made everything seem better.
  • Cooking. I made gammon, it took 5 hours plus 35 minutes roasting. Why did it make me happy? Because its makes Dave happy.
  • Not switching on the TV. Why? Sometimes I think I am losing brain cells.
  • The smell of my freshly washed hair. Why? Some people don't enjoy that luxury.
  • Time to myself. Why? My thoughts sometimes overwhelm me, I need time to stop thinking.
  • Watching the sunset from my bed. Why? I was lucky enough to have to time to appreciate it. 

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