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I'm feeling a touch introspective this week, as you may have guessed from the numerous posts about my thoughts and feelings in general. A bit too much dwelling on the past rather than focusing on the present, despite all efforts to the contrary.

If you're finding it at all a bit boring, bear with me. I'll try to be more amusing next week, when hopefully my current somewhat somber mood will have passed.

I went to a dinner party last week which was attended by lots of interesting people all far more important, worthy and intelligent than I - what I know about politics would fit on the back of a postage stamp - but somehow we managed to find common ground and a few kind souls even laughed at my jokes, which I truly appreciated. I do love a good dinner party.

Anyway, I digress. The point of mentioning the party was that I met a rather wise woman there who I hope will become a future friend. One thing she said to me, which has had me thinking all week (all this bloody cogitating, perhaps I need a new hobby), was that always trying to be brave isn't necessarily a good thing.

I'm a bit of an expert at putting a brave face on things; fifteen years of working in public relations has equipped me with a fantastic poker face. Although I think of myself as a person who wears her heart on her sleeve this may well only be an internal perception, perhaps shared by a selection of very good friends. It is certainly true that I am a master of plastering on a bright smile before I venture out into the world, however I'm feeling inside.

While part of me thinks this is the only way to be - why inflict my negative emotions on innocent bystanders? - it does mean I tend to bottle things up when times are bad. Which, as my new hopefully-friend indicated, isn't the most emotionally healthy way to be.

So sod bravery. I feel like cr*p right now and therefore I will be having a one-woman pity party tonight, accompanied only by wine, chocolate, iTunes and a big box of tissues.

After all, is a spot of emotional self-indulgence now and then so very wrong? Full-time bravery can really wear a woman down.


Nicole said…
Your Post made me smile! I LOVE it now and then to sink into self pity and give a S*** of beeing brave! I think it is better to let it out rather than moaning constantly and see only the negative in everything. The people around me know me as the most timens optimistic Nicole. It really comes from deep inside me. THAT'S why I'm also not afraid to live my doubting side and say "YES" to one-women pity partys! (Honestly, I even have my very special collection of self-pity music, movies and sweets!)
So, go for it!
Anonymous said…
I used to be very confused about life. I was always there for friends as a shoulder to cry on and I was genuinely concerned for them. Unfortunately for me, when I needed a friendly shoulder, I was abandoned by so-called 'sisters'. I began to think I was unlovable and pathetic. The problem was that I had set myself up as 'the friend' and 'the befriended' resented my volte face! By not being strong, I had turned their world upside down. I had learned through experience to solve my problems by myself. I still find it the best way but I also find that I discriminate more when it comes to 'friends'. I am not there all the time - except for myself of course. Pity party! No way. Manicure, pedicure, new we're talking! And why? Because I'm worth it!
Anonymous said…
I absolutely agree - what does "being brave" mean anyway, aside from trying not to acknowledge what you're feeling (and why would you want to do that, anyway)?

The only way to get through - and past - these situations life keeps throwing at us it to feel them, understand them, and accept them for what they are & what they mean. That's the way we become self-aware and how grow as individuals, and a little pain on that journey is inevitable.
Anonymous said…
not certain this will make sense or appear to be incoherant ramblings, but please bear with me. 3 years ago my best friend died aged 42 and the pain is still so raw. Historically, I too have been introvert and circumspect about celebrating Christmas (different story) but whilst feeling sorry for myself, have resolved that when I return to the UK for the festive period, all of my friends and in particular, their children will be treated. Whilst the adults are easily please i.e. plied with alcohol, I intend to treat the children to an evening of entertainment such as jugglers and magicians. His two boys will no doubt be enthralled as will other kids, both big and small. I guess what I am trying to say, sat here alone with my vodka is YES, quiet times are important, but even more so if something positive can come out of it :-) thank you for the blogs for I often catch myself smiling whilst reading them
Kate S. said…
Thanks for your comments Nicole, Anon and Anon. (Can you guys start using fake names if you don't want to disclose your identities? All these anons get confusing for me...) :-)

To the last Anon - it makes sense. And I hear you. Losing somebody, especially when they're so young, is tragic and, it goes without saying, incredibly painful. But I love what you're doing for his children - that is a truly wonderful thing and I sincerely hope you get as much satisfaction from your act of kindness as they will enjoy the entertainment (of both I have no doubt).

Yes, I'm not a big fan of Christmas for a number of reasons and I expect this coming season to be the least merry yet (although I am very fortunate in having a number of kind and caring friends who will be taking me under their wing). Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised. I hope you will be too.

Savor your vodka. I will sit here with my enormous glass of red wine and family pack of chocolate and ponder on your words. Thanks for sharing that, I appreciate it. Email me off blog if you want to say any more.
Anonymous said…
Dear Nicole, Anon 1, Anon 2 and Kate. I agree we should all have fake names! I too find Christmas difficult. Yestersay was the anniversary of my dear grandmothers death and not one family member acknowledged it despite her being the most influential person I have ever met. She was the only person on this earth who ever loved me unconditionally and who ever will. This time last year I was expecting a child, I lost my child just after Christmas. I havent been able to grieve for my loss as no one wnats to acknowledge this either, if you don't talk about it, well then it didnt happen right? Instead of celebrating 'baby's 1st Christmas' I am sending these cards to other new mother's and father's instead. Perhaps when Anon 2 comes home to me we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves and feel sorry for one another instead. Hidden message x
Kate S. said…
Last Anon, I am very sorry to hear your story and can only imagine your pain. The loss of someone who was a big enough person to be able to show unconditional love, the loss of a much-wanted child and problems in romantic attachments are three bitter pills to swallow, and all at once may feel truly overwhelming. Especially if the people remaining in your life are unable to acknowledge how you feel about it and help you through (again, this must heighten the feelings of loss and make you feel very much alone).

Email me off blog at if I can help - sharing with a stranger can sometimes be a relief (hence the popularity of therapists), and you needn't worry about confidentiality issues, I will keep it to myself. I promise you I will be able to empathise at the very least - I too have suffered much loss this year - and perhaps I will be able to help you feel a little better. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you wish to.
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