Are You Interesting?

“Jack of all trades, master of none”

Or in my case, ‘Jane of all trades, mistress of none”

Because I am not.

Interesting, that is. I think it comes from having a despicably short attention span, brought on, no doubt, by an addiction to social media.

I am good at many things, but have not mastered one thing in particular. Although at this moment in time, writing seems to be the only consistent thing in my life. I do love to write. I also love to read.

I just don’t love to learn new and interesting things in a dogged manner, thus rendering me acquainted with a great many topics, just not knowledgeable about any of them.

“Oh, have you heard about so-and-so?”

“Yes.  I read about him.”

“Oh really? Tell me more!”

“Um, I’ve only heard about him, to be honest.”

Because I didn’t bother to read anything more about the topic even though it interested me and would have probably made a great conversation. Same thing with a great many other topics and ideas. I don’t follow through and see it to the end. Because I am lazy and like to hipetty hop from one topic to another in an erratic manner.

For example, halfway through writing this post, even though I was on a roll, I opened a new tab to check YouTube. I really didn’t need to, but I just did, and I forgot what else I wanted to say. I keep doing this, and all my work is lacking in concentration and focus as a result. This is also the same for my conversations and human interactions. I am terrible at it, and think I am terribly un-interesting.

Anyway – the feeling of being boring makes me feel terribly insecure. Which is a vicious cycle because when you feel insecure you are not your usual happy, chirpy self and you become an awkward wallflower, fading away into the background and feeling upset that nobody wants to talk to you.

Alternatively, you try too hard – and that flops too.

Feeling insecure stops a person from achieving their full potential.

I know who I am, but sometimes I can be maliciously insecure. That is, insecurity has a malevolent hold on me. It catches in my throat and turns my attention away from life and liveliness and makes me cloudy and moody and complainy.

So I have learnt that I need to ignore my insecurity and focus really hard on finding that place inside me where I am happy and carefree. When I have found that place, my true self flows out and it quite often surprises me.

You see, you have to be less self conscious – and also less self aware. Don’t fret, my dear. Smile even though you hate your teeth, throw your head back and laugh genuinely – show that mouth to the world. Don’t edit your laughter, it sounds forced. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy the sun and the rain and look for the silver linings in everything.

If something displeases you, ignore it, and find the pleasing factor inside it. Everything has a pleasing factor.

Alternatively, play the glad game. That is a good game to play. Let us hail Pollyanna, and make life a happier place. There.

Good day.

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Fat.

You know how everybody says things like,

‘Oh I learned to love my curves and wobbly bits’

and

‘I changed my lifestyle and suddenly I don’t mind the fat. I feel comfortable in my skin.’

and

‘I am happy with how I look, fat rolls and all.’

How can they say that? And how do they look so good? Does their confidence automatically add ten million nice real life pixels on to their bodies?

I am above my necessary weight. And I feel so so fat. And ugly. And so uncomfortable in my own skin. I can’t breathe properly because I am a few pounds overweight and always trying to suck my tummy in. And NOTHING looks good on me because I have a massive ass and huge thighs but tiny calves and ankles and arms and my stomach is not flat anymore, so my clothes all look weird. Fat does not sit well on me at all, and I have a small face too so it just looks – WRONG!

I TRY to tell myself it is okay, I am still beautiful.. but I do not feel it at all. I feel fat and ugly and horrendous and out of place.

Also my husband says, ‘What happened to you, Lenora!?’ and he THINKS things because I can read his face like a book and it makes it worse and I just feel so horrible and unattractive and nasty.

Yesterday I was in the changing rooms and it felt like the music of my life sizzled into a buzz like an angry wasp and then it crankled a bit like a big machine dying down and crumpled into nothing. I noticed my muffin top and my pouchy tummy and then my arms are wiggly and my face is horrible and my legs are not legs they are wobbly misshapen things and I am just a massive ball of wobbly horrible things and I can’t love this. Who can love this? It is awful.

And I stood there for a good fifteen minutes just staring at myself in shock and disgust, and when I came out the lady said, ‘Did you like anything?’

And in my head I said, ‘Yes I loved it all but i hated my body so I am not getting anything at all because my skin does not deserve it and I am a flabby, ugly, dragon and I hate myself.’

I said, aloud, ‘Yes, thanks! I’ll take this one!’

And walked out and now the cute top I bought it hidden away in my drawer because I can’t bring myself to wear it and see how expanded my stomach has become in the span of TWO MONTHS.

I am just a miserable pile of unwanted fat.

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How the heck do they do it? How do they look so gorgeous! Image Credit.

 

 

Quest

Today, I had a day all to myself.

I woke up early, as I usually do, around 5:45am. I helped D leave for work at 6:20 and then I ran around gathering all my things like a maniac, throwing it all in my car and zooming off to the train station. As I started the ignition I realised my windscreen was frosted over. In April! Good heavens, what is the world coming to?

But I had a train to catch in 7 minutes and I hadn’t even collected my tickets so I zoomed off anyway, sitting low in my seat so I could see through the gap at the bottom of the windscreen between the hard frost on my car. Heater on full blast, windscreen wipers scraping away furiously as the heater melted the solid ice slowly but surely.

Parked in a carpark right next to the station, that charged me £4 for the whole day. Not bad for Britain, frankly, and for the area.

Grabbed my tickets and flew down the stairs leading onto platform 4, where a pile of people stood close to the edge, eyes bagged and clutching cups of steaming coffee with tired claws, as though they were grasping at their lifeline for the day.

For many, it probably was. A lifeline, that is.

Anyway. I was early for my train yay and as I stared at the large rocks surrounding the train tracks, right on the edge of the platform, my breath coming out in puffy little clouds (it’s APRIL!), I thought apprehensively of what awaited me at the other end.

I mean aside from getting off at the Grand Central in Birmingham and marching through the throng of town to Moor street and getting the train to Warwick and walking it to Warwick Hospital where a dermatologist awaited me.

She checked my hair. My scalp was perfectly healthy. The hair count at the back of my head was normal, but on the top and on the sides my hair count was significantly decreased. Widening part.

‘You have female pattern baldness.’

What. No blood tests? No genetic tests? No checkups? No second opinion? Is that it?

So it seems my research was correct, and I do have androgenetic alopecia? Inherited, most probably, from my father, who was bald at the age of 25? Well. I shan’t take that with a pinch of salt. I will have to get a second opinion, of course, but generally, I (almost) know what is wrong and what my options are.

Anyway. As I said, I had a me day. I went shopping in Birmingham and bought myself a really nice scarf with bold patterns. It would make me look quite classy, I thought. It smells like peaches and brand-new-ness.

I had a smoothie, and sat down for a little bit of spiritual contemplation. And you know what? I am content.

I (sort of) know what is wrong with me. I know it’s not the end of the world. I am a very lucky, very blessed young person. I have so much going for me, why should I waste my life feeling sorry for myself because my hair follicles are choosing to misbehave? Let them. I am me.

I am a Lenora Sparrow, aged 22 years old.

My MIL said to me today, ‘Oh I remember, Len, you had such thick, curly hair.’ because I lamented that I probably always had thin hair, but she (she’s watched me grow up you know) affirmed it. My hair was luxuriously voluminous and I am happy because naturally, I have great hair. It’s just this disease that is hindering it from flourishing.

Anyway.

I am content. There is a cure. There is help. Everything is not bleak. If you have stuck with me this far, I wish you well. So well. And I send you some love.

I Want to be Thin

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And it’s on my mind everyday.

Sometimes I get upset about it, and that makes me go for an ASDA smart price chocolate bar in D’s snack drawer. Sometimes it doesn’t stop at just one smart price chocolate bar. Sometimes it’s two or three plus a mini Kit Kat and a mug of coffee…. with sugar!

But I want to be thin.

I want to be slender and graceful and flowy like those 1920s women in their straight dresses.

I want to have thin arms, and thighs that look smooth and tight and shapely beneath my clothes.

I don’t want my extra bits.

So I try to cycle them away.

I gym them away.

They do like to persevere. An odd pokey bit here, a spillage over my jeans, thighs that are a little too large for my fancy, squidgy bits under my arms..

Maybe it’s not healthy to obsess about it like I do. In fact it definitely probably isn’t. But the way I see it is like this: Never settle for anything less than perfection.

My body is not perfection. And I have no excuses, other than laziness and one too many chocolate bars. Also lack of will power.

So, I won’t. Settle. For anything less than perfection in my eyes.

 

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Jealousy

“I don’t want you to look at her. I don’t like her.”

That’s me, lately, feeling jealous and insecure.

I am twenty one years old, about 5 foot five.

I am good at languages. I love to read and write. I also love sunshine, the countryside, and exercise. I am a bit of an old soul. I think I am intelligent. Also responsible. I love cooking and baking. I love driving. Cycling. Libraries. Cooking videos. Creativity. Colour. Painting. Drawing. I also do calligraphy. I read a lot of science. I used to want to become a doctor. I think I am a well rounded individual.

My shoulder length hair is severely curly, so visually it is chin length. Probably should have said that first. I used to have really thick, bushy hair. Ringlets flying all over the place. It framed my face nicely.

Now it is thinning, so I have to employ self conscious methods to hide the scalp underneath. As a woman, this is  mentally debilitating. Also makes me feel a bit ugly. Most of the time.

I have some fat. Here and there. I am strong; I can do five push ups at a go, then rest for a few seconds and do five more. I can only repeat this twice, however. I can do the step machine for twenty minutes on level 16 before it starts to really demand my strength and I will then have to lean on the bars as my gluten and thighs ascend ever on. That is some good endurance.

I can be funny in person. I do good anecdotes. I can be weird, which can be funny, if the right dosage is applied, accompanied by structured facial expressions and silly hand/body movements.

I have good thighs. They can cycle me up some steep hills. One friend calls them “thunder thighs”. I admit I was offended at first. But then I thought, ‘Huh. They do thunder up those hills.’

I have some flaws. Well, lots of flaws.

But I think I am an overall good (if slightly runny) egg.

My heart, however, has an extremely jealous sentinel standing guard to protect the one thing that I fear losing the most. She raises her metaphoric hackles and growls viciously if somebody so much as looks towards my husband.

Other girls don’t respect the fact that he is my husband, and will coyly glance at him from under layers of makeup, their bottoms flashing like baboons in jeans so tight I am shocked they can move. They will touch his arm, they will laugh at the things he says.

I am talking about some very specific girls, here. Some girls that I know about very well. Girls who know we are married. Girls who are empty headed sillies, but also very pretty. Prettier than me. Girls who know how to wear lipstick, and can carry off their outfits remarkably well. They are confident and breezy.

That is when I begin to think I am not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not clever enough. Not thin enough. Not funny enough. Not charming enough. Too clumsy. Too large. Too hunch back-y. Too manly (I know, what!? I am not manly. I am very much a girl. But when I see girls who are all pretty and make-uppy, and notice my own bare face drained of colour looking back at me in the mirror, my thin hair, my hunchy arms.. well, you think those things). Too boring.

Sometimes I notice if he looks. I know he isn’t the only one who looks. But why is he looking. Am I not enough?

And the sentinel rises inside me, torch aflame, marching forward, teeth bared.

And I say,

“Don’t look at that girl. I don’t like her.”

Maybe he wasn’t looking at that girl. Maybe he did think she was pretty. Hell, I thought she was pretty. If he did, I don’t want to think about that. It will burn my insides up with fury and hurt and anger if I dwell on such things.

I am very jealous. Does this make me evil? I sometimes feel like a horrible person when I feel that way.

Are you jealous?

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Two Packets of Crisps

“Len, why did you have two packets of crisps?” my sister marched into the room. I could hear the kettle boiling gently in the kitchen when she opened the door.

“What? How did you know?” that was me, shocked. How did she know?

“You didn’t even say sorry!” she turned and walked out, determined and cross.

“Why should I say sorry. I’m not sorry.” I was still bemused about how she knew I’d eaten two.

“You should, you’re fat.” she called from the kitchen, the clink of a teaspoon hitting the ceramic of a mug a rattling tune to accompany her voice.

“That’s not true!” I cried, indignant. Secretly, though, I could feel the extra pooch around my middle settle comfortably, and place its hands on its tummy. It wasn’t going to budge for a very long time, and only after much sweating, effort, and wheedling. The backs of my arms jiggled a little as I quickly typed the conclusion to my essay. Gulp. I am fat. I ate two.

In less than two minutes.

I got up to put the heater on.

“Well it is,” my sister, ever the obstinate, stubborn creature, took her tea up the stairs. Her long, cricket legs bending sharply beneath her.

She glanced back at me, an evil glint in her eye.

Do you ever feel guilty after involuntarily shoving down two packets of crisps? Don’t you think some junk is sometimes warranted, especially under duress?

Or are you like my slender, tall sister, who, no matter how many she eats, always maintains her sculpted, streamlined body?

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By 1mad-moo-cow1 on Deviant Art (obtained from Google Images)