Me, Myself and my DNA!

‘Your AncestryDNA results are in!’

The email immediately caught my attention. I wasn’t expecting the results of my DNA test until January as I had been informed it would take 6-8 weeks to process. This delivery was quicker and more efficient than any package I’d received from Yodel!

My initial reaction. Excitement! Although I was acutely aware of the nervous feeling that was doing laps from the back of my mind. Somehow worried for what the results may bring up – not necessarily the ethnicity breakdown – but my reaction.

Continue reading “Me, Myself and my DNA!”

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A mountain, a blip and a lesson!

Walking up the mountain, I let out an exasperated sigh. I could lie to myself and put it down to feeling tired from the steep ascent. But I don’t. I admit, right now, not only am I alone, I feel angry at myself for being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing that my friends were here, as I don’t actually feel lonely. Instead, I’m wishing that I could be more vocal. To speak to people. To not appear stand offish. To stride with confidence without nagging thoughts berating me for not making more of an effort.

I stop walking, take a few deep breaths, laugh at the thought of someone telling you to breath when you’re stressed. ‘Erm, hello – if I wasn’t breathing I would be dead’. One of the most pointless pieces of advice that has probably never helped anyone to calm the fuck down. Digression over, I reach for my little bottle of magic, or Larch as it is more commonly known. A homeopathic remedy to help alleviate anxiety. I take a few drops, straight to the tongue, no messing, and I assess the situation.

I came on holiday on my own so that I could have a relaxing time – on my own terms. Go where I wanted, when I wanted and to only answer to myself. Up until this point, I’d been doing that and giving myself constant kudos for doing so. So, I’m not sure if it was the altitude or the nature of the tour group setting I’d put myself in, but right here, on top of the mountain, with the insane views surrounding me, I was annoyed at myself.

Putting myself in the hot seat, I asked:

  • Judge me: “Do you actually want to be with someone right now?”
  • Annoyed me: “No. I’m happy on my own. I don’t feel lonely I just feel I should be with someone”
  • Judge me: “Isn’t this the reason you chose to come on holiday alone, so you didn’t have to feel this way?”
  • Annoyed me: “Yes. That’s why I’m annoyed. I don’t want to feel this way. I have social anxiety and I don’t want to force myself into unnecessary conversation”
  • Judge me: “…..
  • Annoyed me: “Fuck what other people think about me and my actions. This is my holiday!
  • Judge me: “……
  • Annoyed me: “I have social anxiety and I’m okay with that. Wow. I feel great admitting this. Thanks Judge me”
  • Judge me: “…………De nada (you’re welcome – in Spanish)”

You may be picturing a confuddled looking me, chatting away to myself – a bit like Fight Club but atop a mountain – when in fact it was just an internal monologue that was pretty much over as soon as it started. I definitely should consider giving scriptwriting a go – that dialogue is gold…..(ahem)!

Feeling proud that I had just made peace with the fact that I have social anxiety, I continued my walk with a spring in my step. Mere moments later, I was in a conversation with some women from the tour group.

Hmmm – how about that? As soon as my head started focusing on what I wanted – ‘a good holiday’ and stopped worrying about ‘how other people perceived me’ or thinking about ‘how to start a conversation’, I felt at peace and the day began to flow.

Not only that but I stopped turning my head slightly, to appease the guy behind me on the bus. I was tired of having to feign interest in his joke….joke….joke and so stopped with the laugh-grunt (that noise you make with lips tightly pursed when something is not really funny but you want to be polite). I kept reminding myself, it was about focusing on what I wanted – ‘a good holiday’.

As the trip came to a close I was invited out to dinner by a couple of ladies from the bus who were also traveling solo. I checked in with myself and indeed I did want to join them. And so I did!

That was yesterday and by choice I spent all today on my own and it too has been wonderful. I am going to write a summary of my holiday when I return to London but I just wanted to share my mountain blip with you.

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday 

If you like this post or any other of my blog posts, please feel free to like, comment or share with friends.

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Taking my writing outside of this blog!

I have been asked to be a contributing author to a new online magazine, with a print version set to launch in 2018!

Because of this blog! Way to go ‘Year of Vulnerability’

Excitement. Happy dance………..ANXIETY!

Continue reading “Taking my writing outside of this blog!”

Entertaining the Grump!

Working. Socialising. Swiping. Late nights. Early mornings. Overthinking. Saying yes.

Juggle. Juggle. Juggle.

Mentally adding to my to-do list. Fretting over recent actions. Staring at an empty screen. Mindlessly scrolling.

Drop. Drop…………..DROP.

Continue reading “Entertaining the Grump!”

Delving deeper into me!

Earlier this year I had an appointment at a fertility clinic as I wanted to register as an egg donor. Well, that idea didn’t quite come to fruition and I took to this blog to rant – Feeling all the feelings! (If you’re short of time, to cut a long story short, I was unable to donate my eggs as I couldn’t provide my family history from my father’s side).

Continue reading “Delving deeper into me!”

Time to choose: Inspiration or Intimidation?

Ever since I put my focus on becoming a writer the way that I read things has changed.

No longer can I just get lost in a book, creating affinity with characters, speed reading through paragraphs as the story picks up pace. I’ve noticed that I’ve become a judge. Judging the author, the words, the meaning behind the words before putting myself in the spotlight.

The Comparison Cashier is out in full force, fingers pointing, scanning what I believe to be truths:

  • Beep: You’ll never be able to write anything as good as this
  • Beep: You’re not serious about writing when you don’t write every day
  • Beep: You’re a procrastinator, you’ll never finish a novel
  • Beep, Beep, Beep!

And I’m left feeling intimidated.

I’ve just finished reading ‘The Girl on the Train’ – Paula Hawkins. It’s the first fiction book I’ve read in ages that had me gripped from the offset. So much so, I finished the book in less than 6 hours! I was in awe.

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There were many a time whilst rushing through the pages that I said to myself:

This is the book I wish I had written”

At these times the Comparison Cashier was in full force, a thorn, edging deeper into my side. Beeping through the ‘truths’ – repeatedly. I had to get away. So I put on my trainers and I went for a run.

When I run……Ha, I’m saying ‘when’ like I do it all the time. The last time I ran was 25th June. I know the date because I use a running app and there it was, the date – laughing at me, proving that I am indeed a procrastinator!

When I run I feel amazing afterwards. It clears my mind, gives me more energy and allows my creativity to flow. It annoys me that I know this – yet rarely do I don my trainers and take myself outside.

The run highlighted that I have a choice. I always have a choice.

  • I could choose to stay at home or I could choose to go for a run.
  • I could choose to write each day or I could choose to write adhoc.
  • I could choose to be inspired by other authors or I could choose to be intimidated.

I CHOOSE TO BE INSPIRED

The thorn and the cashier began to disappear alongside the doubt pains and unnecessary anguish.

I CHOOSE INSPIRATION

And inspiration is everywhere.

Jeff Cann is a blogger friend. I came across his blog ‘The Other Stuff’ as one of his posts was chosen by WordPress in the ‘Discover‘ section. I was immediately struck by his openness and the vulnerability in his posts, that he had a follower in me.

When he mentioned he had published a book ‘Fragments – a memoir’. I bought it immediately, as I’m all for supporting friends with their endeavours. I’ve just started reading it and five stories in – I’m blown away. I knew this guy could write but this guy can really write!

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The way that Jeff welcomes you into his world, sharing pieces of his life non-chronologically works so well. I highly recommend ‘Fragments’, Jeff’s authenticity and humour shines through as you see his struggle with mental health, drug and alcohol abuse and life in general. I believe this could be a book that could help many people face their own demons.

I have a warm glow inside as I celebrate what Jeff has accomplished.

That’s when it struck me.

There is no place for intimidation on my writing journey. Other authors are not my competition. Just because someone writes something amazing, it doesn’t leave the creativity pool dry, empty for others. If anything, they’re adding to the pool.

I think to Paula Hawkins. Imagine if she, having read a book she loved decided that she wasn’t good enough to be able to write a novel. I would have never read her book.

Other authors are not my competition. The competition is with myself!

So thank you to Jeff Cann for helping me to remember that.

I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo which is the National Novel Writing Month which takes place every November. Will what I write be a bestseller? I very much doubt so. Is that going to stop me from writing my first novel? Hell no!

I’ve made my choice.

I CHOOSE INSPIRATION

I would also like to take this time to celebrate the success of some other people I know who have published books.

I met Angela Preston at the Public Speaking Accademy and this woman continues to inspire me to this day. ‘Opening Doors’ is her story of the trials and tribulations of life and shows you what is possible to achieve if you work at it.

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Surjit Kaur is a high school friend, we had so many laughs at school. Her creativity shone out then as we used to write letters to each other in class and she would be doodling and drawing everywhere. ‘Burt’s Shirt’ is a children’s book and is such a fun read.

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Each person I see working on their dreams, gives me the strength to be able to follow mine.

Blog post written. I’m {gasp, shock, horror} going for a run!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday 

If you like this post or any other of my blog posts, please feel free to like, comment or share with friends.