12 January 2018

Find the Courage to Write Your Own Story

Write Your Own Story - BumbleandBeMakes @Etsy
I've always loved telling stories. When I was younger, my sister and had piano lessons and I would write a story as she played. My piano teacher (the kindest woman you could ever meet) told me that she still has the story after all this time... simply put, in my childhood there was ALWAYS time for a story and a harry potter reference. Some things never change... 

When I was around six years old - I can't have been older than that, because we still lived in Newcastle - I wrote a story titled  'The Three Pigs and the Fairground' (perhaps you've seen it a bargain bin near you?) My teacher must have thought she had a booker-prize winner in her hands, because she later showed it to my parents and they apparently had the same view. Instead of going home to write essays watch Barney the Dinosaur, we were spontaneously heading to the local Fair!

*Fun fact, 23-year-old Sophie would rather read 50 Shades of Grey than go to a Fairground. Sorry Shakespeare... At the time though, it felt like Disneyland.*

Now, it's still possible that my story was, in fact, a masterpiece; I had genuinely bewitched the adults with my literary genius, otherwise known as the Imperious Impigious charm. All that being said, I think the real reason was far more innocent: they were under the spell of childhood. In the muggle world, childhood is one of the closet things were have to real magic. A child's imagination can reverse the clock for the most serious of adults - except perhaps Agatha Trunchbull, but that's a whole other story....

A child's view of the world allows us to "grow" down, free from the expectations and  limitations of adulthood. Children do not hear "I should"; they think "I could". I can. I will. Children write their own story.   When you grow out of childhood, you lose more than a size 2 shoe. You lose the feet that would take you anywhere; climb the mountains that adult's don't dare to consider. When you're seven-years-old, your story doesn't have an ending. You are the only author and anything is possible. You can climb mountains, move mountains, or build your own mountains, or perhaps do all three - now there's a booker-prize plot, if ever there was one!

Before 'life happened', the world was more than my oyster: it was the oink of a pig in a fairground; it was my first horse-riding lesson after quitting ballet (I was no Darcey Bussell); it was that first page of Harry Potter, or Roald Dahl, or the Worst Witch... or too many other books to mention! I don't even need to name them now, because they're written into my life story and I no one can change them. Just as I decided, many years ago, that fairgrounds are far more suited to Horror Movies than Playhouse Disney. As long as my mind chooses the plot, my mind writes the story.
Plotting Life - BumbleandBeMakes @Etsy
I'll be honest with you, dear reader, I'm not actually Jane Eyre everything you've just read was "spontaneous Sophie rambling" and wasn't at all how I imagined this post. In a nutshell, I planned to reveal some exciting news that you may have already seen on my instagram/twitter/everywhere else but the blog about my life.... I guess I was just, writing my own story? 

You see, for so much of my adult life I haven't. Since my diabetes diagnosis at 7, in fact, my narrative was claimed. For every sentence I wrote, life presented its own chapter, novel, prequel, or sequel. Once mental illness joined the story, we suddenly had a three-part blockbuster...  just not one the Oscars ordered. I've been open about the impact of anorexia/ anxiety on my life in recent years, not least of all suspending my university studies, receiving hospital treatment and feeling isolated from my peers. In many ways, it felt like anorexia wrote me out of life and I forgot how to even hold the pen. Then 2017 came along...

"Children do not hear 'I should'; they think 'I could'. I can. I will. Children write their own story."

 To use one of my favourite quotes  - from Tim Minchin's Matilda - "nobody but me is going to change my story." It is a statement that epitomises my 17 Silver Linings of 2017, as I began CBT and dared to try on the size two shoes again and see a world without "shoulds". From the vantage point of possibility, I fell into the world in Primary Teaching and fell in love. Others scripts may have chosen different careers, as I talked about in this Vlog, but "Miss Harrison" is the title for 2018 and I've rarely felt this certain of anything. As I type this, I have officially heard back from my three PGCE choices - Bath Spa, Oxford Brookes and Cambridge - and have three interviews in the next two weeks! What's more, I have just returned to University for the final term of my degree and am living independently for the first time in two years

It's safe to say that a lot has changed in a very short space of time and, in truth, my hand is still unsteady Sometimes, there are more blots on a page than legible words and right now I'm taking each day as it comes. Yet every morning, I pick up that pen and keep writing. Right now, it's 10pm and I just paused to make my evening snack. With helps from a bowl of Cheerios and Little Bitty Pretty One in the background, I am crossing out another line in the anorexia script and attempting to levitate my spoon. I often listen to this song when I'm feeling anxious, as it brings instant childhood nostalgia and the mindset of "actually I can levitate cheerios" *someday*.

If I want my "Miss Harrison" chapter to continue, recovery is a plot I have to follow - as painful as it may feel at times. Yet even by writing "Miss Harrison" - not "Miss Honey" - I realise how much has changed in the last six months alone. Back in June, when I wrote Someone's Miss Honey, I could never have imagined where I'd be now. In writing "Miss Harrison", I am valuing myself enough to be the protagonist and turn the page on my own. So maybe, just maybe, I can. 
Miss Honey Quote - BumbleandBeMakes @Etsy
What's Your Favourite Childhood Story? 
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2 comments

  1. "You lose the feet that would take you anywhere; climb the mountains that adults don't dare to consider."

    I needed to hear that. My newest chapter has only just begun and already I feel like the pages keep wanting to flutter all over the place and either finish now or not at all! But I'm writing my own story at my own pace!

    These 'mountains' I want to climb are so much trickier without the adventurous feet I used to own.

    So. Much. Love. For. This. (also, congratulations on the interviews my lil chickpea!)
    -Beth

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  2. I agree with you movies really inspired us to write our novels and books. Well, when I need some new suggestion and ideas than I watch online movies and most of time get an idea from the movie. I write some short stories but still not published anywhere.

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