Arses and Flock Animals

Second session with R today, and I have to repeat what I already knew – this decision to write my little heart out and get that novel done (then off on the next one, and the next one, and the next…) and in the process learn a few bits and pieces about myself and life in general, was the best thing I’ve done. Well, second to B and Monkey, one of whom I met and one of whom I made. I’m really just still somewhere at the beginning of the journey, but amazingly, in sheer word count alone, it’s approaching 20,000. Not all of that will make the final cut, but there are some real gems in there, passages where I really feel I’ve created magic.

Oh, I know. I’m incredibly irritating. It’s not allowed to like yourself or be proud of your work. It’s certainly not allowed to say it in the way I just did. All I can say is… …bite me.

It’s especially uncharacteristic for a Swede to be in her own fanclub in this manner. We have something called Jantelagen, you see. I’ll try to find an official translation, but basically it means don’t think you’re anything special. In Sweden you get a prison sentence and hefty fines for singing your own praises, one of the many reasons why I’m in exile. What can I say, I can’t help it! What’s not to like – I’m a good person, I’m reasonably intelligent, I’m a good friend, I’m a talented writer, I’m a great mother (or so Monkey says), I’m a fantastic partner (or so B says) and I’m pretty damn funny when I want to be.

That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes look back on what I’ve written that day and felt depressed at how shit it turned out on that occasion. It doesn’t mean I don’t make lots of mistakes as a mother – this morning was one of those occasions when I completely failed and ended up apologising to Monkey for being so rotten, and I still feel shit about it. It doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect, and if I were to decide to be unhappy about something, looking at my naked arse (that now is so huge it affects the tide) in the mirror would be a good way to quickly feel down. And it definitely doesn’t mean I am the world’s best girlfriend, I’m probably more difficult than most to live with and our relationship is mostly great because it is B who is awesome.

But I’ve never focused on those things, beyond very fleeting moments. Most of the time I just see the positives. It might be the size of a truck, but I have a very shapely butt.

It’s funny though, how you see yourself. I know that how I see myself doesn’t tally up with how others see me. I always say I’m shy, painfully so. But every single time, it turns out I’m not. I think I have created this view of myself and said it over and over to the point where I’ve come to believe it. Like I used to think I’m so very flexible. I’m not, I’m more rigidly set in my ways than anyone else I know, and that’s something I only figured out in the last couple of weeks. Give it another two and I might discover I’m not at all shy, despite having pretended to be all my life.

I’m not a flock animal, that always has and probably always will be true, but that’s not the same as being shy. I genuinely don’t enjoy a huge get together as much as I do a more intimate situation, I just don’t. I think part of it is that I’m quite intense, and I enjoy deep and meaningful conversations and really getting to know someone. That’s something I find rare in bigger groups, the conversations are short, random snippets here and there. Having said that, any time I am dragged to some social event of the larger kind kicking and screaming, I usually I don’t just not hate it, but even enjoy it. It’ll never be my thing, I can’t see that happening, but maybe I can just about live with being social once in a while.


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