Tuesday, 28 December 2010

quiet reflection...

being happy 
doesn't mean 
that everything
is perfect.

it means 
that you've decided 
to look beyond 
the imperfections


i didn't wish to appear churlish and cynical before the event
and so i am only telling you now, after the festivities, that i am no lover of christmas.
i have wonderful childhood memories of happy family christmas'
yet somehow, sadly, my adult experiences have left me rather disillusioned.

in recent years i have come to the realisation that i am different
from the rest of my family. the best way to describe this is the cliché
'round peg, square hole'.

my father worked as an office clerk for the 
electricity board all his life.
my mum was a typist for the same company. 
i was a serious student and successfully took 
and passed 9 O levels.
still , at 16, my parents had a job lined up for 
me as a clerk in the 
same establishment as themselves!
(i had plans to go to art school and study fine art; 
thwarted  by my parents i had to settle on 
ba hons graphic design - the vocational option)

formative memory:
we were a happy picture book family.
each evening at 5.30pm on the dot dinner was served.
i remember clearly the night my father stood 
behind his chair, taking his jacket off and loosening 
his tie whilst saying,
"only another 15 years to go"
(he hated his work and was talking about the 
years left before retirement!)
i clearly remember thinking, and swearing was strictly forbidden,

"fuck me i will never be like that"

my parents made a choice which i respect; they opted for security.
today they are happily and comfortably retired and have been for 25 years! 
so for them the choice was a good one.


why can they not accept me for who i really am?

i am a creative soul and am unable to subjegate my true nature.
i will not, cannot, sell my soul to the devil for a buck. better to struggle 
financially than to deny my truth.

at 45 i have been married for 11 years and divorced. 
i have brought my son up with limited help from others. 
i have moved abroad and lived for 9 years with a younger frenchman 
who broke up with me 5 days after my 40th birthday saying i was too old. 
i have in the process lost 2 homes and moved my belongings from a 
5 bedroom house single handedly, (it took me 5 months and no one offered any help) 
and since 1989 i have been self employed as an artist antique dealer. 
i survived my ex husband's bankruptcy when the court came after my 
assets for his debts, the recession of 1991/3 and today 
i am sailing close to the wind due to the 
world financial crisis. i am a worker and a survivor. 
i have a small house that is mine that i alone paid cash for. 
i have few debts. cash is tight.

i try to be open and non judgemental  and respect my fellow man.
what right has anyone got to judge another?

shortly before christmas my parents trotted out the old
"it's time you got a proper job linda" routine. 
yet this time, first time ever, i didn't take it lying down. this went 
down like a tarts knickers!

and so after no contact for 10 days, rare as i usually call them every other day,
on christmas morning i decided to ring home. my father let slip that 
they had rung family but not  naughty little i.

now the story continues...
(sorry to whinge on)

my partner rick left for the UK to work indefinately, 
to save our sinking ship, the wednesday just prior to Noel. 
he is a trucker and spent christmas alone driving on the icy roads.
this would have been only our 2nd christmas together.

xmas was yet another sad affair with only my son and myself.

(gotta say son is a godsend. he didn't moan at all when no presents were under the twig)

on boxing day my parents went to lunch with my childless, (out of choice), 
only brother and his wife, who never ring me.
odd this seeing as we have never argued.
when i rang a few months back looking for advice regarding my son, 
his only nephew, his first response was 
" i hope you aren't after money"!
( i once borrowed £600 from him which i paid back in full. 
he told me that at my age it was ridiculous to have to borrow and 
that i should get a proper job. 
(i had never before asked for his help and i never will again)
i hoped that when they were together enjoying festivities they would 
spare a thought for storm and i alone in france and give us a chirpy call.

they didn't...

so plenty of time to quietly reflect this season.

it ain't easy being the black sheep

ps i am lucky to have fantastically supportive friends x


**EYE-SNACKS** said...

it's quiet a reflection,you did!
I had to read it twice.
And i recognize a lot..yes it ain't easy being the black sheep!
I hope you don't get tired of fighting against..
Fortunately you have a fine son!
I hope you'll survive the crisis..it's from day to day living,i think.

Thank you for sharing your reflections so now i wish for you indeed a better 2011,Linda !

xx ingrid

Heidi said...

Linda your a white sheep and I'm so proud and amazed by you and I like your little stinker qualities!

gallerydarrow said...

It's a difficult time of year.

Cheers to you for making choices that were right for you. Nobody's life is easy.

xoxo, Ro

Cari-Jane Hakes said...

I'm just catching up on your blog after a week of limited wifi access and all I can say is .... well, our families can be very surprising and disappointing at times! I only hope that one day your family will come to a better understanding of your achievements. Onwards and upwards for 2011!!

Kickcan and Conkers said...

You are obviously a survivor and a fighter and I am sorry to read of your family's attitude. I recognise that mentality too.
I sincerely wish you all the best in 2011, be your creative self and sod everyone else!

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