Time, age and life

Are we aware of the passing of time? I saw a band I loved twenty years ago called Ocean Colour Scene being interviewed recently and found myself saying but Simon (Fowler) doesn’t look like that, forgetting how long it had been since I watched him perform last and often listened to their music on vinyl, CD to MP3 and sometimes YouTube. It got me thinking about my age, particularly with assumptions I have encountered and cultural traditions. It is no secret that I will be 38 later this year, but feel stuck in a wilderness where I am too old to be young and too young to be old. Am I middle age and having a crisis or part of an existential crisis?

We see pictures in the media and on websites that tell us anyone over 30 is “past it”. We almost obsess with youth and looking younger than our physical age. I meet people surprised I have not got a partner and/or kids as the age most people have or expected to. Even when I explain it is one of those things that just never happened for me they find it strange; my love life history is as barren as many deserts. I felt for years it was meant for others but not me as thought who would real want to be a partner to a freak like me? The negativity I put upon myself I realise was immense, and perhaps the age old adage of loving yourself first was quite true. I have begun to understand the companionship a partner can bring but do I can let myself be vulnerable with my heart and soul, giving it to another and hoping they are gentle?

I have always felt older than my physical age, I have close friends in their 70’s that I feel more affinity with and understanding that many of my peers, yet doubtful I will ever reach that actual age. I have always admired those that are older than me for their wisdom and knowledge; spending time with my great uncle was my favourite time in childhood, when not let loose among the shelves of a bookshop, collections of a museum or gallery, at an art sale buying a new painting to adorn the family home and listening to music (often live with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra).

I have been called an old soul to an indigo child by some as seem older and wiser than my peers. I have feelings I know things from my past without remembering reading about them or seen a pattern emerge for at least the second time in this lifetime. One of my childhood memory is of my parents’ frequent dinner parties in the 1980s; I was to take the coats of their guests and put them on my parents’ bed (before going to my own bed). However, I always ensured they knew where the light switch was; many found me amusing to strange, for as I showed them I would say how important it was to know where the light was in the world as there so much darkness already. Something I echo now decades later, as often tell others to be the light and not turn someone else’s off or leave them alone in the dark.

Am I young or older, or does it really matter? We can be old at 25 but young at 75. As someone that has followed mindfulness for almost a decade I know the importance of the present moment, trying to let the negativity I put on myself become neutral if not positive. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, so perhaps I need to remember the advise I give others and just let what is meant to be, be, and let go of expectations of others, we are whatever is normal for us. I do not believe in fairy tales but I know I am a phoenix that can come back from the ashes as I am a survivor of life. Grasping opportunities that come my way and learning lessons from my past, as I take my next step on the stepping stone that is the journey of my life.

© Fi S. J. Brown

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Letter to self

Dear Fiona (aged 22 and 3/4s),
I am writing to you from fourteen years in your future and have managed to scrape through to 36.75, sometimes you’ll wonder how but have learnt to focus on the present not past to pains that still scar but are covered in patches sewn by the love of friendship and think of the future but only see a cold and dark tunnel.

You are coming to the end of your time living in Aberdeen, having studied for a degree and a masters, but not sure what direction you want to go next. Well here’s a spoiler, you have another masters and PhD to go but they’re not listening to your inner voice, which you only learn with hindsight and life experience.

A freak that is the love child of Frankenstein and the Hunchback of Notre Dame is how you feel, right? Wrong, by my time you have grown to accept and appreciate who you are. No you haven’t resorted to drastic measures to change every iota of yourself as per those nightmaresque dreams you always have.

The reason for this letter is to say, you’re doing just fine. Yes, the way your life goes is not like others but that’s why life’s journey is unique and special, we can empathise and understand that of others but only we know our path. And yes it does hurt, do cry but do also try to focus on the positives that are part of that journey.

As to where you’re going to be at the age that I am now? Lets just say frustration on some things never change, no matter what we do these seem set to plague us but some will change. No matter how they seem today, like the newspapers that are tomorrows fish and chip wrappers, let them fade with the sun setting.

One final thing thing, you’re a strong woman that keeps going longer than any Duracell bunny ever could. So dry those tears that fall, not hard with your hand, but with a tissue and let yourself feel them like drops on a drum for they’re the rhythm of your heart and soul. And don’t give up, believe it again, carry on forwards.

Love Fi (aged 36.75) xx

Kindness

Kindness is something we usually instinctively know – when others give it to us it is met with a smile and when they do not we notice its absence. We often try our best to be kind as we can to our fellow human beings, but when someone is unkind to us the outrage we feel echoes throughout our body like an echo in a canyon. Continued unkindness is like a pinball bouncing around the canyon following the route of the echo.

Making someone else’s life unpleasant as we want to hurt them as feel they have something we should have or doing something we wish we could leaves a deepened tone in our shadow and bitter taste in our words. Making up lies to justify the actions makes our eyes turn darker and darker as no longer see the light and the soul’s tears become covered in increasing thick layers, till it can no longer be seen or even felt.

Real kindness does not require us to be selfless, doing so because we want to and/or we kind is truly beautiful. It costs nothing. In some ways it is a dance between our needs and wants with those of another. This world can a very cruel and dark place, so why do we not shine a torch of light that is kindness? Enough hurting and hunting for gain, for in the end would we like it if someone was doing it to us?

© Fi S. J. Brown

Mother Nature’s Day

Mother Nature – Happy Mother’s Day!

I am sorry that many others see themselves as king or queen of this world you have given us. It makes me sad that think they can modify and destroy it by turning it into a world of fifty shades of grey, autotuned to our voice not yours. For a day without birdsong is like a night with no stars, a land with no trees is a soulless heart filled with envy and jealousy, and a world without nature is a cage with invisible bars.

Thank you for the multisensory experience you give me by living in and being part of this world; from the colours you paint for my eyes to see, the songs of life great and small for my ears to hear, the smells that tickle my nose that drift back and forth in the wind, the tastes of things sweet and sour that make my tastebuds dance, and to the shapes and textures that touch from my fingers to my deepest soul.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Mother Nature

Friendship

For me one of the most powerful and beautiful things a human can do is offer the hand of friendship to another. Finding another person that accepts us for who we are and is there when we need them as we are in return. We are on this journey alone but having companions near and far in the form of friends makes the journey more fun, fulfilled and worthwhile.

As kids in the playground we found difference something to bully or tease another over but as adults we realise it is similarities that bring us together as friends with the differences where we learn more about the world we live in. We are part of a beautiful tapestry of many colours and it is the different friendships that make up the stitches and help tell our story.

True friendship is as great as any romance, as beautiful as an artwork in a gallery and unique as snowflakes, which together shine like the stars in the sky, give warmth to melt even the coldest of hearts and stronger than a rope of spider silk binding them together. Like all things of beauty, it can never be bought or sold, so let our actions and habits do the talking.

Whether a reason or a season, a ‘them’ shaped piece can be found in our hearts and soul to treasure, marking their presence in our lives and what makes us smile when we think of them. Everyone deserves to feel the love, hope and magic of friendship, so do not feel there is nobody out there caring as there is. So take a minute today and whisper our thanks.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Hopes and Dreams

This week I hope for:

1. Peace in my mind
2. Health in my body
3. Love in my heart
4. Fire in my soul
5. Honesty in my words
6. Freedom of a bird
7. Music of an orchestra
8. Colours of an art gallery
9. Inspiration from nature
10. Wisdom of father time

© Fi S. J. Brown

The gift

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give to another is to be kind to them: not judging or putting them in boxes, expecting them to be like someone else, accepting their differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience if someone who has let us down, however, when it keeps happening then is the time to question, not to be offended or angry when someone does something their way that is not our own. When another is down, do not exploit that for fame, money or laughter at the other, but be there in spirit (if cannot be there in person) to reassure them they are not alone but loved and respected, even if live 100-1000s of miles away, the power of hope will reassure them as know it is meant with good heart and soul.

© Fi S. J. Brown

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Don’t stop believing

Believe in yourself as the unique, beautiful and talented human being you are,
Believe in your love as has created a you-shaped hole in the hearts of others,
Believe in your dreams so make the first step to fulfilling them today not tomorrow,
Believe in your strength that no matter how hard today seems it will get easier,
Believe in your instincts if does not feel right on any level better to walk away,
Believe in your heart that you try and give your best to those that deserve it,
Believe in your light that radiates giving hope and love to others that you meet,
Believe in you are here for a reason but finding it is part of the mystery of life,
Believe in you and do not give up as tomorrow maybe the day it truly begins.

© Fi S. J. Brown