Wednesday, October 19, 2005

hey butterfly

I don't know if this has changed my life.

Ok. Yes it has.

It has made me write, for a start

I wrote what I would have wanted to read, I did what I wanted someone to do for me. Setting up the group. Hearing that it was going to be all right in the end. Hearing that other people felt the same way too. That's what I wanted, and if it wasn't there, then why not make it happen?

I don't want to be alone, shocked, frozen, despairing. I don't want to think of other people being like that. I can remember, I know, what it is like to feel like that.

I remember how reading about other people coped helped me, calmed me, when the world caved in in 2002. Hearing their stories meant not being on my own.

I can remember what it is like after something terrible happens. You don't trust your feelings and you think you are going mad, and I don't want to think of it being like that for other people. I didn't want it to be like that for me. So that was why I started writing what had happened. Because I believed it would help.

And it has changed my life. But, this is the important thing. It wasn't the bomb that changed my life, it was my reaction to the bomb, and other people's reaction to the bomb.

After the bomb went off I allowed my life to change. I changed it myself.

It doesn't have to be a bomb that changes your life. It doesn't have to be nearly being killed that makes you stop, and evaluate. It doesn't have to be anything as extreme as 7th July that makes you change things and do things you always thought you might quite like to do, one day, when you had time, or energy.

Assuming you have only one life, and no eternity to spend with your regrets, or being punished or rewarded for the decisions you make here and now - and that is what I believe - why not do it? Why not take a chance, write the story, tell that person what you think, speak out? Why not change?

We all love a happy ending, we all love a redemption, a resurrection, metamorphosis, a new beginning. But what I have found is that is very hard to mark the place where the new beginning starts. After the bombshell, the metamorphosis is allowed to happen. People expect it. They phone you up from the radio or the newspaper, or the magazine and ask you how your life has changed. They don't ask if it has changed. They ask, how has it changed.

But in my experience, there aren't many occasions when a bomb goes off in your life and afterwards you can draw a line and say. Before that day. After that day. My life changed.

Sometimes you can, and it is a lucky break. You can build your whole new life around before and after the break happened. But mostly, you go on changing a bit at a time, every day, so you don't even notice. Doing what you want to do, making the small or big change that defines your life when there's no fan fare, no siren, no bombshell is much harder, I think.

I think I had already changed before the 7th July. But the bomb blew my life apart enough for me to see what was possible, and took away the reasons why I shouldn't, mustn't, oughtn't to.

Now I think, why not?

It is an interesting feeling.

The bomb marked a place where I could look back and say, my life changed. But it was already starting to change. The bomb changed things enough fo me to be able to see the changes and to act upon them. It made me simultaneously more vulnerable, and more confident. It made me stop waiting for something to happen to me. It made me be the change I wanted to create.

And I am trying to be glad about that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure everyting is Ok? I don't want to cause self-doubt or put you down, but I think of all the entries I've read, this is the one that scares me the most, for you.

It's excellent that you can face, accept and even embrace the change in your life and what you have written is all good news, but...

There is no sense of happiness or enjoyment in your words, nothing about looking forward to the "new you" or being content or even comfortable with what has changed. You say you're glad the change has happened, but you don't say you're happy with the actual change.

Change is always scarry, whether it's a new school, a new job or, especially, a new life, but I sense you're feelings are more than this.

For a worried friend, please expand on your feelings and, if you feel you can, share them with us.


October 20, 2005 10:17 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Ah, Gary, thank you.
I was trying ot be positive when I wrote that but I wasn't feelign very positive, I was feeling scared, and exhausted.

I am all over the place with what I am supposed to do with my life. If I had been at my last job where I was nto particularly happy, thenh the chance to write would have been a no-brainer, but my new job is great and I can't decide what to do, and it's all quite stressful. My boyfriend has been working insane hours this week - he went to work yesterday morning and worked all day, all through the night and all today and he is still not home. So I miss him and I haven't been able to talk to him about stuff. I am not comfortable with all the changes and I have a new boss as well, so that is more change, and my energy levels are low, so it feels like climbing a hill.

I'm going to have a bath and try not to think, because I think thinking is driving me slightly crazy.

What I need is to relax more and not worry about things that I can't make decisions about yet.

Thank you again for dropping in. I'll be ok. I'll have an early night; I can't function on crap diet and no sleep and no daylight.

October 20, 2005 8:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hope you are okay.

Have just read a selection of osts from the last week and as always they make me feel equally moved and reassured strangely. Makes me see the other side to being a Londoner away from the rush hour pushing & shoving and general abruptness.

It seems so amazing that you can take something positive from this - I hope you continue to feel optimistic but please don't feel you have to be upbeat if you don't feel like this. One of the things I love most about your writing is the honesty. (please forgive me for babbling a bit I can't seem to talk straight tonight)

Anyway thinking of you

S x

October 20, 2005 9:07 pm  
Blogger Graeme said...

I have no clue what it would be like to be in your situation, but you seem to be handling it well. Good luck

October 21, 2005 9:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Rachel

I hope you're feeling a bit better today and that you've managed to get a good night's sleep. Have you ever tried reflexology? If not, then I'd recommend it as it's a good way for body and mind to relax and clear for a while. A word of warning though, it can make some people a bit emotional (it's to do with the solar plexus reflexes) but this is quite normal and is just a way of the body releasing tension and emotions in order to 'rebalance itself'.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind me suggesting this and apologies now if it sounds patronising in any way. (I'm known amongst friends as being a bit of a 'mother hen' at times - sorry!) Take care now.


October 21, 2005 10:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being confused about your life and changes and what you do or don't want to change happens to all of us. The big difference for you is the events that made you aware of all these things going on was very sudden and very traumatic. I think you are entitled to a feeling of uncertainty about who you are and what you want to do.

One quote (a pray I think) that I try to follow goes along the lines of:

Give me the courage to change what I can,
The grace to accept what I can't,
and the wisdom to distinguish between the two.

It doesn't always work, but maybe worth a try...

Don't give up your job "just because", weigh up the pros and cons and, if you still want to leave do it because you have decided to, not because you've drifted into it (the same can be said for keeping your job).

You have a new boss, who may feel nervous about being a new boss.

Your boyfriend's working hours are very long, will they always be like this or is it what's happening at his work at the moment?

Will you see more or less of him if you take up writing full-time?

Can you do writing as a part-time job while you see if it is for you and check how your job settles down?

Like I said on an earlier post, if you give up a job you really like, will that remove the push to make you go outside and face the world everyday? From what you've written before, it's having to go out that has been the cause of most of the stress and been the most theraputic for you.

You really have so much happening right now, and none of it is trivial - it's not quite the same as deciding which pair of shoes to wear :0)

Take some time to think, take a deep breathe and, once you've made a decision, don't look back. Remember, there's loads of us you can turn to if you need to and your friends and family are all very supportive.

All the best


October 21, 2005 11:37 am  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

Dear Rachel,

You are so right when you say it wasn't the bomb, but your reaction and everyone else's. I still cannot imagine what it was like for you on that day...and the days after that.

Trauma is an experience that can last for a long time. Many people say that their trauma was life changing in not only bad ways, but good enlightening ones. Just like you said in your post.

I think you are so brave!

October 21, 2005 2:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

i echo the comments of the others..and hope that you are doing ok.


October 22, 2005 8:38 pm  

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