Yelly Writes

Come away with me!

@yellywelly

As we inhale soothing well-being through the radiant glow of an unsuspected lighthouse in the dark stormy nights of our life, we can come to feel the exhilarating rhythm of our heartbeat, finding compassion with ourselves and at one time reaching out to all the others. ~ Erik Pevernagie

I’m back from Austria! I can finally say that I’ve walked the streets where my father walked.

In another life, I would’ve been writing about the trip for weeks on end, because it was a trip that I needed to go on for a multitude of reasons. My father’s family lived in Vienna. It was especially poignant that I was able to go and be in Vienna after my father passed last year. But I’ve been fairly introspective lately and I haven’t been writing on the blog as much. Not because I haven’t had much to say (far from it, my thoughts and my feelings are can give Lewis Hamilton’s car a run for his money!) but I’ve been allowing myself to work things out in my head (and heart) privately. My journal has been enjoying my attentions.

I am grateful for the soothing balm for the soul that is the loving embrace of family. It has been a particularly lonely and difficult few weeks. But I am slowly finding myself again after losing sight of who I was. And althought, it has been a difficult and scary journey, recognising the face looking back at me in the mirror is worth all the heartache. The reassurance of family is a necessary and comforting guiding light.

Yelly Writes

It’s a bank holiday!

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I’m not quite sure who else has “bank holidays” in the world. I certainly didn’t know about bank holidays until I moved to the UK. As far as I was concerned, when I read the phrase in books I was reading, it was just that, a bank holiday, a day when the bank is closed. In the UK, it’s not quite as straightforward. Yes, it’s a day when banks are closed and yes, it’s a public holiday as well.

Sir John Lubbock drafted a piece of legislation which became known as the Bank Holiday Bill as it passed through the UK Parliament. The bill proposed for banks to be closed on certain days. Banks would be closed to the public and consumers and no financial transactions were allowed on these days. Initially it was just banks and financial institutions that would close. That’s as far as I remember. I can’t remember when they included public holidays (of which there are usually 8 in total, in the UK). I think there’s more information on this in the Life In the UK Test reviewer books (it’s a test that you need to pass if you want to qualify to live in the UK permanently or become a British citizen). But I took my Life In the UK test (and passed) in 2010 and I don’t remember most of the things I faithfully reviewed then!

I don’t necessarily have any plans for the bank holiday but I find that I want to go out out! But at the same time, I feel all peopled out this week and just the idea of getting up, getting ready and pasting a smile on my face and being sociable is exhausting me! It makes me want to hide under the duvet!

It is actually the last bank holiday until Christmas and I kind of feel like I have to do something…although strictly speaking, I don’t think Christmas day is a bank holiday…?

Sometimes I think all this working-from-home flexibility is bad for my socialising skills. I probably need to flex my socialising muscles more but sometimes it feels like so much hard work. I’d much rather stay in bed and read a book (or five) or binge-watch a TV series. Or catch up with friends and family, either in the Philippines or somewhere else in the world. Although it’s not to say I’m not up to seeing friends…just certain friends…! Yeah I’ll stop talking about that as it does make me sound like a horrible grinch of a person.

Then there is that minefield of sharing the same language game as the people you have to talk to. I tend to have two conversations going on: the one where I say socially accepted things out loud and contribute to the conversation, and the one in my head where I say things like “Oh my gawd! Really? You actually said that out loud?” or my favourite “Yeah, you know EVERYTHING!” It also helps if I look away as I do tend to roll my eyes or raise an eyebrow. I also tend to bite my tongue a lot to keep myself from letting the internal conversations come out in a torrent of verbal diarrhoea because then I will pretty much become the social pariah that I am also afraid of becoming. I tend to have a very caustic tongue if I let myself actually say the things I want to say. I’ve learned to my detriment that my editorial button needs to be activated all the time. The world isn’t necessarily ready for the pure version of Yelly sarcasm or forthrightness.

So, what are your plans for the bank holiday weekend, then?

Yelly Writes

I do

They are about to say ‘I do’,
three little letters, two little words.
Its the simplest part of the day;
but there is nothing simple about the things that will remain unsaid.
‘I do’ means I do know I could be hurt,
but I am ready to be healed with you.
It means I do want to try,
even when the fear of failure holds me back.
And I do not know the future,
but I am ready to be surprised along the way.
‘I do’ means I do want your love & I do give you mine.
And nothing we do will ever be the same,
because we will be doing it all together.

This was a reading from the wedding scene in the Season 3 finale of The Good Witch, which I am currently working through on Netflix, and of course, you guessed it, I was bawling my eyes out. Partly because they were beautiful words, and mostly because, well, it was a wedding. Everyone cries at weddings. I cry at everything, so of course, I would cry at this.

But these words resonated because half a lifetime ago, I promised someone that I would love them, always and forever, in the best way that I could. It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t without its frailties and vulnerabilities. But I gave what I could give, and sometimes, even more than what I could, despite the personal deficit. I tried my best, but I guess, as that oldie-but-goodie James Ingram song goes, I guess my best wasn’t good enough.

But I also know that whilst my always and forever means an unconditional always and forever, forsaking all other and does not have an expiration date, saturation point or limit, it does not apply that the person I made the promise to will be able to love as willingly or as completely as I do. Unfortunately for me, that one person, no matter what, will always have my I do. I also know that my I do (no matter how complete and unconditional) is no longer wanted. I accept that. It is a painfully hard pill to swallow, but there you go.

So now, I am learning to say I do to myself – because I do know I could be hurt, but I do want to try; I know that I am afraid, but I know I shouldn’t allow fear to hold me back; I do know that the future holds surprises.

Yelly Writes

Speaking butterflies

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You can’t talk butterfly language to caterpillar people. – Unknown

I saw that quote today on Instagram and it resonated. I thought it was the perfect caption to the photo I took whilst walking down Bricklane on Saturday.

I’ve seen the work of this artist before, on another wall on Bricklane. This was newly installed when I saw it though because the paper that the butterflies were cut out from still littered on the pavement, still crisp and still pristine. You’ve got to love how ever-changing the street art in Bricklane is. It’s always evolving, always moving forward, never standing still. There’s definitely something to learn there, don’t you think?

I’d booked tickets to the Klimt experience for an earlier date in July. But since I couldn’t go for the reason I’d originally booked the tickets for, the organisers of the exhibition allowed me to use the amount of money I paid for the tickets to use it on another date. So I went. On my own.

It felt strangely new doing things on my own. Like I didn’t know how to be. But it was nice too. Because I was doing something on my own. It was strangely empowering.

Of course, what I didn’t mention was that before I even got to the exhibition, I tripped on the uneven pavement and grazed my right elbow, further injuring my already poorly right shoulder (it was an old rotator cuff injury that has reared its ugly head, but that’s another story!). But I took care of myself. I cleaned up my wound, found a large enough bandaid to cover the double graze (how I managed to graze my elbow in two different places, I will never know!) and went on the exhibition…even though to be completely honest, I just wanted to go home and curl up in bed and feel sorry for my clumsy, klutzy self.

I guess, sometimes, when you’re on your own, you just have to choose to be brave and move forward.

Yelly Writes

I forgive me

2016 was a difficult year…for a whole host of reasons.

One of my favourite blogs to read is Sara Tasker’s Me & Orla.  She is living the dreamlife life that I am working towards.  A creative life .  She wrote a post in late October 2016 about the 10 things she forgave herself for.  I was going through a massively difficult period then and I really wished I’d read this post when it was posted!

So I started writing this blog entry in 2017 (I was writing this in February apparently)…possibly in the newness of the year, and I was reflecting on how difficult 2016 was for me (I’d turned 40, my Abba had turned 80, we thought we were going to lose him, I had gone home to visit, and goodness knows how much of an issue my going home always was…that’s possibly another blog entry!). And I hadn’t finished writing it then. There were a lot of reasons why I didn’t finish writing this blog entry then. Reasons, when I think about it now, were probably unbeknownst to me. Things were different then. I think if I’d posted this entry then, I’d be feeling like an awful fraud if I read I’d written then now.

Forgiveness is such a huge thing. I don’t think my definition of forgiveness has changed essentially. It is still underlined by my faith and the love and understanding I’ve received from people who truly love me. I also have a wider understanding that forgiveness, its definitions and characteristics, isn’t necessarily a universal experience as I thought it was. Forgiveness is different for everyone, because everyone is different. Forgiveness has different permutations. I still look at Sara’s list and nod to myself.

I carry a lot of guilt. Maybe it’s because of how I was raised. Maybe it’s because of my inflated sense of responsibility. It might even be because of my religion. I find it hard to fully forgive myself for things I’ve done in the past. Some people might argue with you and say that I have no moral compass and that I am not encumbered by this so-called guilt.

I’ve come to understand that my behaviour or propensity to reoffend is a result of being “unforgiven”. Because I’ve not been allowed to move forward, I’ve allowed myself to carry to carry the unrelenting heaviness of the guilt and have allowed myself to believe that I am destined to repeat cycles of bad behaviour because I don’t deserve forgiveness or that my transgressions will always be held over my head. And they have…been held over my head. Constantly. Repeatedly. When that is done to you, it does something to your core self. Now I’m not saying to be forgiven is for all your transgressions to be forgotten. No. I understand that you have to face the consequences of your actions. But forgiveness allows you a roadmap to redemption.

Yelly Writes

Solo photo walk surprises

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I don’t remember taking this photo. But I remember the day I went out on a walk because I needed to stop staying indoors and crying my eyes out. I thought I’d take my camera with me and try to get into photography again. It wasn’t the best of ideas because taking photographs brought back a lot of memories of a life I once thought I was going to live forever. But it gave me something to do that day. It allowed me to focus on something else. It allowed me to look at what was right in front of me, to be in the moment, to focus on what was happening at that very moment.

Funnily enough, I can remember the wind blowing that day, and how refreshing it was, compared to the heat beating down on that lovely sunny day. It was a good day, hot, but the wind blowing was a welcome relief! It was nowhere near as punishingly hot as the heat we went through a few days ago! Now that was a different kind of hot!

I like this photo though! I can never properly set up my camera so that I have sunbursts but sometimes I remember and I do it sort of right. It’s either that, or I get lucky! Ha! I love how the sun gets filtered through the tree branches and the leaves.

I need to review the notes I wrote about camera settings a long time ago. I need to start taking this photography malarkey seriously again. I have all this gear sitting in the bottom tray of my stationery trolley not doing anything. It’s not like it’s fancy gear, mind you. But I do have an amazing camera and a few nifty camera gadgets. Waste not, want not, eh?

Yelly Writes

Starbucks, schmarbucks!

So ages ago, I had a Starbucks account. I need to create one again.

But is it straightforward? Of course not? Apparently, I’ve tried to create an account several times already.

And have I?

Nope. First time today!

That being said, I had a lovely mocha from a local cafe this morning whilst I was running errands. It was made from Perky Blenders beans! Perky Blenders are an East London coffee roasting company. Now it makes sense that there are so many local cafes and stores that carry their grounds and beans!

It’s quite the slow Saturday. I’m allowing myself time to recover from all the goings on during the week. I’m taking today and tomorrow as recharge days. Next week will be busy again.

Yelly Writes

Just writing

I probably have things to say, thoughts to share and interesting opinions to express. But right now, I’m completely devoid of the will to be smart, sassy, and loquacious. Have you ever had a day like that?

I know it’s the day and age of saying what’s on your mind and expressing yourself. But I’ve had a lot of repeat bouts of foot-in-mouth disease and allowing my verbal diarrhea to run riot (possibly not the best choice of words!) has never ended well for me. In fact, I think, the situation I find myself in currently is a result of that – me expressing myself as honestly as possible. Funnily enough, I was asked to be honest, and when I was, it blew up in my face! Go figure, eh? You give people what they want and they still hate it and you. You can’t actually win!

I’ve started watching Emily in Paris on Netflix. Yes, VERY late to that party! But I guess at the time, I would’ve probably not found it as entertaining as I do now.

I do disagree with Emily though, I think London is the most exciting city in the world. London with its quirks and its idiosyncracies. And now that I live in the city suburbs (yes, such an American term, eh), I’m looking forward to understanding this contrary city a little better (if that’s even possible!).

So just putting this out there…a picture I took of Carnaby Street yesterday!

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Yelly Writes

Recovering

…from jet lag.

I’ve been back from my Manila trip for a week now but I’m still feeling exhausted.

But apart from the jet lag, I’ve been battling with a lot of stuff. I think that’s why I’m feeling really drained. Also, during the trip to Manila, I found out that I lost at least 20 kilograms!

For those of you seasoned travellers, how to do you get over jet lag? My strategy is to through as much caffeine at it as I can during the time that I’m supposed to be awake. I’m not sure it’s working.

Help?

Yelly Writes

The End of Something

I’m not actually writing anything profound. It’s just the title of the Season 2 cliffhanger episode of The Umbrella Academy, which I’m actually watching as I type this blog entry! And yes, I’m actually writing something! Yeah! Me!

In this day and age of on-demand TV subscriptions, what are you guys watching? Are you watching anything good? Why are you watching what you’re watching? I thought it was about time to watch the shows I wanted to watch with someone specific. I was holding off. But seeing as it’s no longer a viable option (the waiting to find out whether I could still have those binge-watch sessions) and I am curious as to what is going to happen to the characters I was once emotionally invested in, I thought it was a good distraction, to catch up on what Vanya, Luther, Diego, Allison, Five, Ben and everyone else was up to.

I’ve got Stranger Things on my list too.