Truth Hurts

I’ve taken the long way around getting to writing this post. A new job, long-awaited, started back in spring last year. My instincts told me not to take it, that it was too good to be true, but I mistook them for fear and shouted them down. I have calibrated my self-listening skills since and so the learning continues.

Ah, but times have been dark.

Ah, but times have been light.

I’m not sure whether to call the last twelve months since I left the job a breakdown or a breakthrough and since there’s no need to choose, I’ll call it both. Hell, I might even go as far as to say you can’t have one without the other.

It has been a newsflash to me that somewhere in this body of wonders I don’t have an amazing superpower which turns things I want to be true into truths. Goddamn.

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So why did I take the job? I took it because we really needed the money. I took it because I trusted the voices of those with greater social and professional standing than my own when they called it A Great Thing. I took it because a fancy job title fed my ego but I didn’t stop to check whether the place and the people and the price would nurture my soul or the world. I took it because I was tired of the hustle and isolation of freelancing and scared that if I didn’t take it I’d regret it forever. And it played out terribly. A front-row seat inside what turned out to be a disaster hitherto disguised as a good, much-validated idea.

Instinct, instinct, instinct.

Now, back freelancing, the hustle and the isolation feel sweet and clean and full of peace and honesty. 

Today is the first day I can say I’m glad it all happened. I guess my fingertips have been waiting to type that, waiting and willing and working for it to at last feel true.

As well as all the breaking, I’ve grown. I’ve taken on some personal boundaries that were long overdue and realised my instincts aren’t something to be cursed for not shouting loudly enough, but that they’re a gift; a gift I’ve overlooked way too readily till now.

In jettisoning the job I waited a decade for I’ve gone on a truth trip too. Dark nights of the soul will do that. There’s been frequent beckoning from the Beelzebub of Bullshit in my brain to be dealt with as part of that; the ego wants it all to be someone else’s fault, of course, to lash out and create a social media trash fire, as is the way of the times; to be a victim, create a dramafest, control the narrative, publically post-mortem the disaster, etc. In the end, quiet truth tastes better in my mouth and doesn’t poison my gratitude for what remains, so I choose that. In so doing the need for social media has dropped away like a stone kicked absent-mindedly from a cliff edge. Strange thing, that, because social media was such a positive in my life until I went off course, P45 in hand, delighted about the prospect of regular pay.  Yet, a small splash and now the inclination is gone, into the blue. Maybe I’ll come across it one day on a beach and pick it up again.

For now, brand new creativity and productivity have replaced phone-screen time. I have a balanced freelance workload, am learning heaps of bigger production skills with podcasting and the house is getting TLC most days; an hour of painting here, a bit of sanding there, accompanied by podcasts that affirm the good shit and call out the batshit. Having the time to speak more with people face to face and down the line is nice too – truly. Now when I check the time it’s two hours behind where I think it’ll be. My phone no longer gets into the bedroom, not even in the mornings, and so I’m getting more time with books and meditation and my favourite souls. I’m no longer melding yesterday with tomorrow and constantly feeling around for a missing today.

Long may all of this version of life – broken down, broken through – continue. I am at home in the muddle of uncertainty sometimes working out into something beautiful once more. Phew.

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52and40/35 The Four Temperaments

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Have you heard of The Four Temperaments?  I hadn’t, till a tree in Dreghorn Woods put me onto them.  Apparently they’re the oldest understanding of personality categorising, split into four types, that we humans wrote down and kinda understood.  Throughout history we seem to have dealt less with nuance than we’re open to now.  I took the test at Psychologia and found out I’m primarly Phlegmatic.  At last, an explanation for why I’m never far from a pack of pocket sized tissues and pretty much always poking around in other folk’s stories. 52and40-1

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What’s #52and40 all about, you say?  Click here to find out.  

52and40/3 California Dreaming

In Scotland, another place is never far away if you need a change from where you are. When we first moved from Deeside and started exploring Edinburgh and surrounds my kids nicknamed East Lothian ‘California’.


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East Lothian was how they imagined life on the western US coastline to be – sunshine, beaches, big skies, ice creams and ocean.

I like being close to farmland and watching the seasons dictate different things to people.

So  on away days when we need to mix sand and soil with the city, we go to Scottish California.

If you want more info on #52and40 you’ll find it here.  

52and39/39 Rise, Fall and Wonder

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We watched the chimneys at the decommissioned Cockenzie Power Station being demolished on Saturday.  They touched, then fell together.

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Years ago, a friend had two huge pieces of art in transit. Each was on chunky canvas, about two metres square.  I loved them before I even knew what I was looking at.  One featured a crane; yellow, powerful, enormous.  It looked limited, a tight muscle ready to be directed in careful dance.  The other was the red rivet and line detail of treated steel: a new building emerging amidst city shadows.

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52and39/29 You’ve Been Framed

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I’ve been thinking a lot about framing, about context and how things can simultaneously be different things to different people, depending on how experiences are framed.

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Sometimes Edinburgh feels like The Truman Show.  Boat times on Eigg were like that too.  Ritual and repetition are framed scenes in touristy places, I guess.

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A good view nearly always has an amazing, sometimes understated frame.  Layers, texture, colour and cross sections sing to me when I’m trying to understand places.

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I think it’s the same process for choosing cake – senses lead, recognition follows.

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To read more about #52and39, click here.