Rather than write my life down as one long moan and rant, as I’ve mostly done here, can I rewrite it in a glowing light? CBT is all about changing the way you think and this is a big one to rethink.
I was born in Yorkshire.
Although this only being for a year I have lived there since and definitely describe myself as from Yorkshire, a Northerner and proud. It’s given me a sense of identity that means even now when I travel north I feel happier the further the train goes. I love living in London, but it’s not who I am.
My mother taught me to read by the age of three.
I read a lot and I read fast. I love reading. I love books. I love the feel of them, the smell and tactile connection. I do now have an e-reader for practical purposes. They’ve been my friends, my escape, my inspiration. They’ve made me think. I look on my shelves now and see friends.
I have friends. I have choices.
I realised as a teenager that I find it difficult to talk to new people and make friends. So eventually I learned how to be a bit more open. I spent a year doing a lot of short term contracts and that taught me how to put more of an effort in as I hadn’t the time to spend six months finding my way. Now I have a collection of friends: different circles, different interests. Sometimes I have the choice as to which bunch of friends I got out with for the evening. The first time that happened it felt so marvellous and luxurious. I look at the people I love and take pleasure in them.
Living abroad has taught me so much.
I speak French fluently, have a smattering of German and Dutch and a thorough grounding in grammar that still serves me well. A year or two of Latin and Greek have rounded off my linguistic skills.
Far more important than that though is learning to appreciate other cultures. Understanding the extent to which different people live different lives and see things differently and that’s not only OK but it’s what makes the world so interesting. It’s not just about different foods, drink, music and culture but a different perspective on history and ways of thinking. This is a totally unBritish way of thinking and I value it.
Apparently I’m a hippie
I was told this the other day and denied it vigorously until my friend explained that I believe in “peace, love and understanding”. Fair enough. I believe in being nice to people, consideration, tolerance and acceptance. I might disagree with some beliefs but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends (some of my friends are even Tories!) I do think that life is so much more rewarding if we look to the best in people rather than the worst. I look to understanding why people behave as they do rather than putting them down for not behaving or thinking as I do.
This may be dull but it’s quite useful. I’m relatively tidy, not nuttily so. I file my paperwork; I organise my computer files. I can find things (usually). I can plan, make lists, run my life.
To be continued as I haven’t finished being positive…