This feels really hard, telling you honestly all the things I really want! Telling you in my last letter all the things that I knew I didn’t want, having already created them for myself felt a damn sight easier than this! I want you to know that regardless of the feelings of shame and embarrassment at sharing this with you (and others!!) I’m not going to hold back, so here goes…
One of my biggest wants I already have – to be in a loving, sexual, intimate relationship with a woman who is willing to process her own shit! Now don’t get me wrong it’s fucking hard work as we both know, but it feels so worth all the onion peeling, fear, pain, triggering, flouncing and arguments and the past two years show us just how far we have come and how much we have unravelled with each other and our therapists’ help.
I’d like to take this a step or two further though!! I’ve never been or wanted to be married and yet with you I really long to one day be your wife. We’ve talked jokingly about who would propose to who and you said you would want to propose to me because you’ve had that experience and I haven’t and, as much as I protest, I know that I would really like that. BUT, and it’s a big one, I only want to be married if we carry on keeping our relationship as healthy as we can, jointly working on our stuff, learning, growing and evolving together. I don’t want to be a dead weight.
My most painful want centres around a career. More than anything I want something that gives me the feeling of pride, pleasure, joy, worth, achievement, self respect. I have never had that and the closest I have ever come was being at University. Never seeing myself as particularly bright more reasonably average, my degree and, to a lesser extent, my Masters, were a real thrill as I was so invested in learning and felt that I could write, and well. My First meant so much to me and yet I’ve never been able to repeat the feeling it gave me – of being immersed in something, invested in it and having people take notice of me.
Years ago I read something that said often the thing we were ‘born to do’ is one of the first things we wanted to do as a child. Leaving aside my desire to be the first woman in space, the first thing I wanted to do was to be a writer.
You have encouraged me to get onto Patreon and begin writing the book that has been in me for some years now…and yet…I still find it hard. Possibly because of the lack of deadline but deeper than that because fundamentally at my core are two beliefs that run contrary to me succeeding at things. 1. That I have very poor self esteem and don’t believe I am capable. I think this comes massively from my relationship with my mother – she has very little confidence and I think played out an “I’m not OK, you’re not OK dynamic” with me, as well as creating a symbiosis between us where I came to believe that I couldn’t function without her. This still plays out today as evidenced by the impact a simple text message from her can have.
Early, on the morning I was going away for a couple of days with the children, she messaged me to check I had got someone to feed my cats. A simple and kind message one might assume and yet it feels so symbolic of the entire dynamic between us. I can’t be trusted to deal with things without her and she needs to have involvement in my life – to be needed – even though I am 44. This symbiosis I’m sure is the basis of my big/small stuff, where I constantly feel I can’t do things and it is further compounded by my inner child’s ingrained belief that if I am big I won’t be loved. I think I’ve had to play small for both my parents to ensure I got the love I needed as a child. ‘Be the good girl but don’t be too good that you detract from us and don’t need us’.
This is all still around for me right now and I spend my days swinging from trying to keep going and working on my projects small step by small step to feeling utterly inadequate and useless when the fear of not being loved, if I continue getting big, kicks in. I also recognise that I don’t want a career to have to give me something that’s missing in me – a sense that I’m OK just for being me. I can see that’s what happened for my mum and she continued to not feel good enough, which when she retired became hugely noticeable again. So while I want a career I love I want it to be from a space of OKness to begin with.
So on the career front my biggest dream is to write a series of adventure stories about the kind of utopia that I would like to live in. I’d like it to be thought-provoking but not in a twatty way and ultimately I would love it to sell. Big dream? For it to be on the Big Screen. There I’ve said it. But first steps are to write it!
Alongside my own personal career stuff, I’ve been overwhelmed and fascinated by how much I love working on LemonAid, our joint project, together. It feels like it reflects our relationship and the fact that I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in an adult healthy relationship before and I’m still learning to trust and believe that all these wonderful things between us really are real and possible! Working together in the way that we do continues to be life affirming, fun, challenging, and deliciously enjoyable. Long may it continue!!
I would love for LemonAid to grow and for us to continue doing more with it as we continue evolving. I’d like more people to subscribe to the blog and, importantly, find value in it. I have a vision that I’d like it to be like a secret club where an army of middle aged, fierce, strong, capable, beautiful, sexy, wild women, all wearing our LemonAid T shirts and drinking coffee (or vodka) out of our LemonAid mugs!
This leads me nicely on to money and abundance. This is a bit of a sticking point for me. I want more money yet I somehow believe money is dirty and shameful! Two beliefs working against each other. As I research for my book, money is often one of the most challenging aspects to consider from a utopian perspective. I fundamentally believe that capitalism stinks and that it needs to go and yet I am creating my book within a capitalist system where I need to make money to survive! Tricky. It feels wrong and brazen to say I want lots of money but I do. I’m tired of having so little that I’m constantly in a state of anxiety about how I’ll manage. I remember when a close friend bought me ‘Get Rich Lucky Bitch’ and just the title sent me into a major frenzy!! There is still much work to be done here…
One of the reasons I want more wonga is because improving my health can be a costly business. I currently experience fibromyalgia and to manage it I need to eat well, and generally look after myself in many alternative (non prescriptive drugs) ways. I try to eat as much organic food as I can afford, but would like to see a functional medicine professional, have some regular massage or physical treatment and to be able to afford regular supplements. I’d also really like to be able to go on holiday somewhere hot more often as I need the sun on my bones and do more physical exercise somewhere warm.
On the relationship front I want to continue getting clearer about me, having a stronger sense of my own boundaries and knowing when it’s the right time to let people and things go and not settling for relationships that leave me feeling drained or out of alignment. This has been a steep learning curve over the past two years and I confess to finding it a period of grieving for friendships that weren’t giving me what I wanted and relationships with family where I consistently removed my boundaries and allowed myself to get triggered repeatedly.
The in-between stage is the hardest though I guess and some of the new relationships being formed feel on a different and healthier basis. I also want to get better at standing up for myself. My default is to mop up other people’s feelings, especially when they are negative, which I can usually sense. I allow myself to be manouevred into the ‘small’ position to protect other people feeling their own ‘small’ feelings. That doesn’t mean I want to go round pointing out and attacking their stuff unkindly, but I want to be able to challenge them fairly when I feel they are making assumptions or judgements about me and my life to make them feel better about theirs.
Long term I would LOVE to be able to have my parents in my life without falling back into old patterns. I don’t feel strong enough for this yet but that’s the goal! I also think I’m starting to feel that it’s OK for me to choose to want people in my life who are willing to be vulnerable and who want to grow. My parents and several friendships have left me feeling that this is some flaw in me to want more authentic connections, and I don’t buy that anymore. If they don’t that’s their choice (possibly based on their own fears) but I do, and the rewards are many!
I definitely want to continue having fun and living a fuller life. Some of the things that we’ve done together have made me feel deserving of life, of time to myself, of spending money on myself, of doing fun things not always with my children. This feels sooo important for my mental health, for the health of our relationship and consequently for my children! Our Lemon List details many of the things we still want to do together, and it’s often growing daily!! Some of the highlights so far?? Elizabeth Gilbert In London, Taylor Swift at Wembley, Kate Rusby’s Xmas Concert together and Bath Spa are definitely highlights but so are my first time kayaking in the sea, our first child-free holiday and my regular bouquets. One I’m really looking forward to is us doing a Tantra course together!
Fun obviously features with my children too. As I work through some of the harder aspects of my stuff and notice the impacts it has had on my relationship with them, I remain fully committed to getting as healthy as I can for me and them. There are lots of things I’d love to do with them, especially as part of our blended family. I’d love us to travel together at some point, to do more fun cool stuff. But right now the focus is firmly on helping give them emotional ground so that wherever we go and whatever we do, that is a given.
Giving Back is on my goal list but I still feel there is much selfish work to be done on me first. I won’t feel guilty for that. It feels necessary and important so that when I give, it comes with the right intentions, rather than to save others as a form of personal projection. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I want to be doing in the meantime mind, and we’ll be trying to incorporate these into the whole ethos of LemonAid. Part of this giving back I want to centre around my desire for community, of bringing people together. While I currently help you (a bit!) with the Newark Circle I really want to reinstate the women’s meal meet ups that I organised and met you at several years ago. But you know all this because we’ve been discussing it for weeks and it’s now starting up!
All for now my lovely. So glad I manifested you from my, albeit underwraps, unconscious want list into glorious technicolour!! X