Ending on a high.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintaince be forgot
And auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.”

Here we are at the end of the year: about to say goodbye to 2009, end a decade and welcome two thousand and ten or are you a twenty ten person? I’m undecided. It will be a miracle if I’m not still writing 2009 in the middle of February. This year has flown by. I still can’t quite believe it’s about to end. All in all I can say is that 2009 wasn’t that bad. I’m certainly grateful for a number of things.

2009 was the year I: Came out of depression; Stopped having panic attacks on a regular basis; Went back to college; Admitted that I want to pursue Midwifery as a career; Moved towards forgiveness and a better relationship with my mother. I’m feeling so much more hopeful this New Year’s Eve than I was a year ago. Feeling thankful that I still have some good friends out there; thankful that my health has been so much better this year. Grateful that KM and I have been together for the holidays and even thankful that Benji has joined our household to put a smile on my face.

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of person. I have a handful of things I’d like to achieve next year but any time I’ve tried to make a resolution in the past its been history by about the 3rd of January, so this year I’m only going to say one thing and that is that in the first week of January I’m going to evaluate and rewrite my master plan. New Year seems like a good time for that task.

We’re away at my mothers for the New Year’s celebrations. It will be the first time that KM travels with me and stays overnight at my mother’s house and judging by his Facebook comments he’s not looking forward to it one bit: “Practicing his sullen face ready for when he has to spend New Year with the mother-in-law. I should have built up a good sense of churlish bad-temperedness by then.”

I’m a little sad myself. I’d gotten used to watching the Rose Bowl parade and the Winter Classic ice hockey game on New Year’s Day. Gadget Guy’s TiVo is not accessible from my mum’s, but I’m telling myself the New Year is a good time to make an effort to take another step towards a good relationship between us. Wherever you are and however you happen to be celebrating this New Year’s Eve, I hope 2010 brings you great things!

Happy New Year!!

Ali xX

In memory.

I have a Facebook page;  not really sure why, but it is a nice way to keep in touch with some friends old and new and even past acquaintances  see what they are up to and possibly reconnect. Recently I, like a lot of the rest of the Facebook population have become a little too obsessed with my farm. Farmville. Yeah, I have no idea why I keep going with this thing but I just can’t seem to stop. Yesterday in amongst the photo’s of a friend’s dog, news that another mate got their seats to see Beauty and the Beast upgraded free of charge, and the very sad news that an adoption fell through and the chosen adoptive parents were coming home to wait for a new match, I noticed a friend had joined a group. The name in the title  jumped out at me at once because, believe it or not, this guy had been in a dream of mine a few days before Christmas and like you do when someone shows up in your consciousness that you haven’t thought about since leaving the school doors far behind you, I found myself wondering what this dude was up to, hoping it was something exciting just like he had always told me it would be.

DA – An amazing life.  He passed away on December 22nd somewhere on Pulau Pangkor Island in Malaysia. Stunned. Like I said, I hadn’t thought about him in years but here I am finding out he’s no longer with us.

We weren’t close. I can’t really say I was close to any of the guys  I wasn’t close to anyone, much save for two very good friends for many reasons some of which were my fault. I was very much on the sidelines at school – the wall flower is an understatement. Bullied, unhappy, I guess somewhat odd and well painfully insecure in a way only a teenager can be. DA and I did not move in the same circles, but he was a very perceptive bloke who really noticed people, always full of conversation and opinions on almost any topic. Several times throughout my time there it seemed to me he had the ability to know when somebody really needed a boost. I’m not talking about thrown away compliments; I’m talking about an honest to God effort to reach out to a person when they need it.

Lower Sixth Form year we were all dressed up to the nines for the customary St Andrews Night Ball. Being the year’s “ugly chick”, I was already on edge and expecting something to embarrass me to death. Sat in the candle light of a formal dinner rather awkwardly trying to make conversation with those around me, when the guy opposite me who shall remain nameless and who had also been heavily drinking some hidden form of boarding school contraband started to sway and before I knew what was happening he violently threw up all over the table in front of me, covering my half eaten starter. Mortified I was still stupidly holding onto the teaspoon, unable to believe what I just felt landing on my cheek and steeling my determination that I will NOT cry, a battle I was losing I might add. DA rounded the table coming to my side he hugged me giving me a light kiss on the back of my hand in a subtle, yet flamboyant, gesture that only he could pull off and quietly asked if I was ok? I was. Surprised that someone had bothered about me… but ok.

Whether it was that night, the time he took me aside after some awful school play rehearsal to tell me I really was quite a talented actress, the memories of being up till late included in the process of writing the Christmas sketch show that was also traditional for the school leavers to perform, or the controversial piece he wrote for this show depicting one of the housemistresses as a sadistic axe murderer, the way he begged our drama teacher to allow him to perform the main part in drag. Or the way he coached me when he finally had to accept the teacher’s decision that I would replace him in the role. “make it meaner… more bitchy… go on, be a bitch. THAT’S fantastic!”

I’d always hoped that I would see his name show up some day on some fantastic edgy provocative screen play that I know he was capable of writing…

From what I can make out he was in Cornwall for a time before embarking on a big trip around the world earlier in the year. He passed away in a far off land. Now many people are mourning the loss of this free spirit, a description that usually has me turning up my nose… but with him, it fits. He broke all the right rules to be uniquely him.

An amazing man- one of the good guys.

Rest in peace David

Alison xX

Christmas.

I’m hoping you all had a good Christmas. It turned out lovely over here, starting with waking up on Christmas Eve to find that KM had cleaned the entire kitchen – every single dish. Yes, it looked like Snow White had been in to visit with all her animal friends. We made dinner together and even though it turned into one of those times where I spend so much time working on dinner by the time it’s actually ready to eat I’m just not hungry anymore, cooking was a lot of fun.

My Christmas Eve tradition is to watch Santa Claus The Movie, something I’ve done every year since I was small and watching a worn out old copy taped off the TV and I was still a believer.

I felt the need to go to church on Christmas day. It was oddly peaceful and comforting. The house of God is not a place I’ve visited in years but I’m actually glad I did. I like to say this was a new direction for me that I’ll be going every Sunday from now on. I doubt that’s the case. Being realistic, I’m lazy and getting out of bed on a Sunday morning is hard for me. That’s the sad truth of it. I also don’t believe I necessarily need a church to explore a relationship with god.

Santa was good to us. I found myself curling up with my new book on Christmas evening, feeling a little full of wonderful, if overindulgent food, thinking Christmas at home – just the two of us – turned out rather well.

Ali xX

Wish upon a star.

Snooooow!! It’s white,  it’s cold, it’s falling from the sky… ooooo so its pretty. It has me singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (out of tune) and giggling.

I was already starting to feel better this Christmas Eve Eve. Been out shopping. We have everything we need for Christmas plus  a few little treats  and I’m not saying I’m over my issues from the other day, but its getting easier and I’m looking forward to a nice day on the 25th.

Then this happened. Weeeeeee!! I’ve been wanting snow for months – oh since about the first time Gadget Guy started grumbling about how awful it is because he has far too much of the stuff. It makes for wonderful pictures. Totally ❤ his neighborhood lol. I’ve been pleading with him to send me some snow, not that he has any control over these things but ya know …

We can’t remember the last time we had snow here. We’re right on the coast. It never usually gets cold enough and if we do get a few flakes it never actually stays on the ground. I’m from Scotland, though. They get snow up there and I have missed it. I flung my front door open to rush out and enjoy. Love the crunch crunch crunch of fresh unspoiled snow. To be outside when it’s still falling is just magical.

Perhaps some kind of sign? A Christmas miracle?  I can hear my friend yelling GLOBAL WARMING!  but I couldn’t not feel Christmassy out there in the snow tonight  I got my wish ….. We have SNOW.

Ali xX

Drowning.

I’ve been in a funk the last two days. I could tell you its PMS hormones or blame college or visiting my mum for New Year, but the real story is the holidays make me broody or more accurately more broody than usual. It’s a time for families and so magical when there are children around. Each year around this time I have a moment like this pre-2006 a sigh and a moment of sadness that I don’t have a child to pull close to me. It used to be followed by a hopeful wish that my time would come at some point and that the waiting would be worth it. The whole thing would last a few minutes and I’d go back to some festive preparation, shopping, cooking, or contemplating the standard of decor at the local pub. It wasn’t really a big deal and I never felt the need to tell anyone.

I’ve some wonderful memories of Christmas as a couple: the first time we had to buy and decorate our own tree. That year our oven was broken and the turkey didn’t finish cooking till 11pm, hours after everything else. Once we decided to have a duck instead of the traditional turkey. We named him Larry. I spent the whole day in my PJ’s. We’ve been apart for the holiday; to exchanging gifts in a bar quick snatched moment before we went our separate ways and the memory arriving back at College that first year to see this man in his leather biker jacket waiting for me outside my front door looking a tad frozen. I love Christmas with him and after the last couple of years I’m grateful we’re back together for 2009.

Since 2006 I can’t deny that the feelings of regret have grown. I suppose we always realize how much we wanted something just after it is taken away. But, this year it’s different and so hard. I was always sad for what could have been in the future. Now I’m missing something I want NOW. Let me frame this by saying it’s a completely irrational want. We are not in a position where we should bring a child into this world even if we could. It would be stupid and irresponsible and man everyone around us would be mad as hell… but still… I feel like a kid with the blinkered unrealistic Christmas List… you know the one that reads: A baby. Period. Ridiculous.

I know it will pass. Why is it when you think you’re getting over this thing moving on it shows up again packing an extra punch?  I am at a loss. It hurts. It overwhelms. Paralyzes. Drowning in sadness and longing.

I want to just retreat quietly and take some time to regroup and get my emotions in order, but at this time of year when everyone is high on festive spirit, I feel so much pressure to be happy and not just happy but EXTRA joyful because after all its CHRITMAS.  Sigh… the more you draw attention to the gap between how I feel and how you THINK I should feel, I just end up feeling worse. I don’t want to let anyone down…. but you can’t fix this for me. I need to be allowed to feel it. I need space to wrap my head around it.

I will survive …

Ali xX

Going for it …

It is done… The university application is GONE.  I honestly feel a ton of weight off my shoulders. I’ve had to refrain from writing about this for a couple of weeks because I would have been running the serious risk of saying some things I regret on the internets, so shoot me. We are all capable of a spew it all out rant filled less with rational thought and more with raw emotion. Combine a frustrating situation with the hormonal hell I have found myself in for the past week or so and I can tell you the results are not pretty and definitely not something I want out in public.  Off-loading of that emotional magnitude is reserved for those friends that love – me faults an all – and know me well enough not to take me too seriously. I can count these few on the fingers of one hand and I don’t envy them.

I’d already been made a little uncomfortable with the fact that I didn’t seem able to get some feedback on my personal statement from my tutor that I finally decided to submit the form without her approval. Since then, I’ve been waiting for an academic reference from college. In the end I waited almost 4 weeks. I know tutors are busy – they have a lot of students, most of whom are applying through this same process and all of whom need a similar reference. Usually the college takes around two weeks to get this item written. I tried hard to submit mine well before the college deadline so as not to get caught up in the crowd, but I accept teachers are busy and delays are normal and not a spiteful attempt by anyone to affect my application

Lack of communication: that’s the thing that’s really been getting under my skin. All I wanted to do to begin with was make sure that my form had been received and the tutor was aware that my reference had to be submitted. But after a couple of weeks of unanswered emails and not getting information from a polite question after class, knowing that interview dates are passing by and other applicants are already getting offers… I was worried sick. At this point I just wanted some acknowledgement of my concerns and a vague idea of when I could expect my reference to be completed. I became so frustrated that nobody seemed to know what was going on and no single person would take any responsibility for finding out. After being reduced to tears by the attitude of some lady on the phone who seemed to think I was being unreasonable for asking questions despite the fact I’d already paid them my application fee. Oh and I’m only studying with them in the first place with the end goal of going to university. With the deadline of the college closing for Christmas, I was no longer prepared to worry about this all over Christmas waiting to see if anything would happen in January… being passed from pillar to post.

Persistence pays off.  I got my form submitted – done at 11.30 am with the college office shutting its doors at 12 noon for the holidays. Ahhhh breathe a huuge sigh of relief.  So I can relax and let go of this thing because I won’t hear anything now till the New Year and there’s nothing more I can do.  I do feel bad for ruffling some feathers at college, but I just wanted to be able to put this out of my mind. That’s not to much to ask is it?

Did I mention my form is Gooooone!! I’m an official midwifery applicant. YAY. 🙂

Ali xX