Flight.

Time. Timetimetimetimetime. Where does it all go? Nowhere, you’re the one going places.

I’ve been off on many tangents lately. Flittering about through fiction, illustration, leopard geckos and past traumas. And I keep coming back to the issue that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to fully indulge myself in the explorations I wish to pursue. Quite often, I stop myself from starting because I know a thread left half-pulled is infinitely less satisfying than one left in the weave.

I suspect I need a radical change. A change more radical than I am probably willing, at this point in….’time’, to make. And so I also suspect that things may be about to get more uncomfortable for me, until I reach the point where I become willing to make it. But I’m holding out hope, still, in this relatively comfortable place, that there is an alternative of inching forward toward the precipice, throwing things over the drop, so that when I get there, and peer over the edge, I will see the landing, and feel reassured that I won’t break my legs. That the change will no longer be so radical that I feel I will need to spontaneously grow wings.

But it would be pretty cool to have wings, I can’t deny that. And the thing is, maybe I have them – maybe I’ve spent these years of life growing them. I don’t know. All I know is I’ve never really flown before. Maybe the only way to find out if you can fly is to fall a great distance, and see if the wind catches in your feathers.

I’ve tried flying a few times before – I didn’t kill myself, but the landings were hairy, and I didn’t arrive at the intended destination. It hasn’t felt fair to take that leap with a five-year-old on my back. Not because I fear he would suffer materially, if things went bad – he’s lucky to have a lot of people looking out for him. But if I land badly, my mind will likely become an inhospitable place for a while, and I probably wouldn’t be able to shield him from that. I would be less pleasant, all my demons made manifest. And it wouldn’t be his fault, and it wouldn’t be his choice.

Oh, but it’s so clear that I’m holding myself back. And I’m not sure there’s a rationalisation that can withstand scrutiny. I’m scared, that’s all.

Paid dues

I think I’ve made a decision.

It’s a decision I’ve made a bunch of times before, and then gone back on. But I think – finally – life has lovingly, firmly, backed me into a corner. There really is just no weaseling out of it now. If I don’t make this decision now, I’m categorically doing myself a disservice. Trapping myself in a life I don’t want. Denying myself a chance at what I do want.

And honestly, at this point, if I don’t make this decision, I don’t know what other decision I could possibly make in its place. So. Here we are.

The thing that has been holding me back most utterly is self-doubt. A lack of trust in my own ability to execute. A fear that all I’m good at these days is floating through the nebula. A fear that I’ve lost my agency. That my try is too atrophied to function. That, if someone won’t tell me what to do, I simply won’t do a thing.

Part of me is still succumbed to the track that broke me a few years ago, that I’ve been trying to undo the damage of ever since: That I’m doomed and defective. Doomed because of my defect. Undeserving of the life I desire but, what’s more, fundamentally incapable of it. It’s a track I had been playing in my head for all of my young life, until a personal cataclysm split the Universe in two and The Truth spilled out of the cavity. But before I could erase the last corrosive traces from my being, a man I loved and trusted whispered it back into me in my most vulnerable moments. My mistake to listen. My lesson to learn. I’ve been paying for it ever since.

How long will I keep paying for it?

When will I, instead, start paying myself?

Vindication

In an ideal world, I’d homeschool my son. Correction: In an ideal world, I’d solicit the help of experts in many fields, establish a school according to my own evidence-based values, and send my son there.

Once Upon A Time, I thought homeschooling was what I would do. I was entranced and enamoured with all the learning I could facilitate for my son; the places we could go, the ideas we could share, the freedom we could enjoy, the people we could meet, the space we could create, the projects we could complete, the interests we could satisfy. The person he could become. The person I could become.

After we broke up, my son’s dad made it clear that that wasn’t something he would ever permit. And, don’t get me wrong, if he had agreed to it, it would have been really fucking difficult for me to find a way to sustain us financially while homeschooling, but at least I could have tried. I felt like my dream had been stolen.

I lost so much of the future I had envisaged for us when I broke up with my son’s father. Not only did I lose half of my life with my son, but I lost the life I had promised him when I was pregnant; the future I’d been designing before he was ever conceived; before I’d even met his father. I had dedicated so much time, love and energy to exploring how to raise a child who not only expands into their true potential, but feels entirely at home in themself, eager and empowered to contribute to this world in beautiful, meaningful ways. And now it was off the table.

Okay, well at least let me have the extra year. School is not compulsory in the UK until age five. Children can start school at age four, but they don’t have to. Let me try it ’til he’s five. Let me homeschool before we need to declare it homeschool. Let me show you what it could be. Give us the gift of that year.

Hard no.

Crestfallen but determined to make the most of the situation, I scoured the marketing materials of the local schools and found a beacon of hope. A fairly new school, not bound to the standard curriculum. Based on a nature park, and matching my loose philosophy, it offered children two days of outdoor learning, plus the option of a Flexi Day. I had found a school I would feel comfortable sending him to. And I’d at least get a day each week where we could live out the future I’d so carefully and painstakingly dreamed of.

The school was an easy sell, primarily because it was closer to Daddy than me. But when I held out the flexi day agreement for him to sign. No. He needed more time to think it over. He didn’t think it would be good for our son. Who is this man and how did I ever let him put his reproductive apparatus in me? Weeks passed, my son in school, no flexi day, no reason to oppose, just no, and a range of evasive fallacies. My character called into question. My ability and knowledge diminished. My motives deemed suspicious.

I centred myself. Reminded myself there was still time. Reminded him that this was the most important time. I pushed for some justification for his refusal, so at least I could begin to resolve it. No justification; instead fine, I’ll sign, if it’s that important to you.

So…what was all this for? It has never not been that important to me. You just stole more of our time for no reason. Just take it, Yve, your indignance will get you nowhere.

All of this is to say, after submitting evidence of what we’ve been doing on our hard-won flexi days, the vindication of my son’s teacher’s positive comments is visceral. Because, like it or not, I’ve internalised my ex’s tendency to question, criticise and undercut my intentions and my self-belief. I don’t know how long that’ll take to undo. But, until then, at least I have evidence that I’m doing a good job.

Easy enough

Jesus fucking Christ I started this blog over four and a half years ago.

Imagine if it had been successful???

Could have changed my fucking life!

The thing is it did. It has completely served its purpose every step of the way – it has done everything I’ve ever asked of it. I just never asked it to be any of the things that one may ascribe to outward success.

So, what happens if I do? If I do ask it to perform some acts of material progression beyond the accumulation of words? Will it deliver? Will I deliver?

What a scary question.

I have been hanging over a precipice – an upturned Fool pretending to be a Hanged Man, if you’ll forgive the Tarot reference – for too fucking long. I have known what I should do, and have still not done it, for too fucking long.

And I’m not saying that BLOGGING is the thing I should do. But standing in my own power, and my own truth, and my own desire, and trusting myself to deliver most certainly is.

I don’t know how long I will live. Maybe I have a good fifty years left. Maybe I’ll perish far sooner. Maybe, maybe, we’re all gonna be ageless robots soon, limited only by the longevity of the Universe. But I know I have lived more than long enough to have learned my lesson by now. And every day I choose not to live it, at this point, is just a fucking waste of a very precious resource.

So okay. Maybe I broke my nervous system with a peak experience I wasn’t equipped to handle. Maybe there is now an anomaly sitting in my intuitive faculties that I simply have to live with. It doesn’t change the fact that if I do the things that feel right to me, by and large, good things happen. If I move toward the things that feel aligned to me, my life gets more beautiful. Who the fuck cares about the rest of the noise? Stop the fucking hand-wringing over whether it’s okay. Pay attention to the evidence. Live a-fucking-ccordingly.

Easy enough to say.

Making it something

Lately, just as an exercise to prove I’m not self-obsessed, I’ve been trying to think of posts I could write that don’t start with ‘I’. I’m not very good at it.

Maybe all I’m good at is airing my dirty brain laundry.

I’ve also been thinking about ways I can introduce additional streams of income into my life, and one of them would be to try to make this blog something. To try to figure out what it is that makes some people like it, and do that more, and show it off, and find more people, and then…I don’t know, make some t-shirts? Solicit donations? Sell a fucking writing course? That last one is a funny joke for myself.

But it’s probably a good job this blog doesn’t have a large readership. Because I’m clearly using it as a form of therapy, and I quite like the feeling of speaking into the abyss. I know people see it, I enjoy getting the odd like, and I really appreciate it when people reach out directly to tell me that they’ve read it, and that it was an enriching, or entertaining experience for them. And I also quite like that that doesn’t happen all that much. I quite like that I don’t really get comments on my blog, and I wonder if I somehow repel them, because at one point, quite a long time ago, I started getting a few, and my entire being got all spiky and wanted them to stop intruding on my life. And I felt guilty about that for a while, because I felt obligated to want comments, because this is a blog, and that’s what blogs have. And then I reminded myself that this can be whatever the fuck I want it to be.

If I made it something, though – if a lot of people were to read it – it probably couldn’t be whatever the fuck I want it to be anymore. I wouldn’t just get the odd nice message, I’d get opinions and judgement and demands. And I’d get spiky, because I wouldn’t be able to ignore them.

All of this is assumption. I don’t really know what would happen. But I think about it. And that’s a problem I have. I think myself out of things before I’ve even given them a chance to exist. Before I even know if they’re viable. Because I’m scared they will be, and that will mean things have to change. And I’m scared I can’t handle it.

But maybe I need to start finding out. At long fucking last, maybe I need to try anyway. Maybe I need to risk success.