Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Happy Cartographer 1989


I was born of average cheerfulness, and have trawled through some troughs and peaks since birth. Some lives are terrible, some lives are wonderful and most lives, like mine, pitch a bit in between. Somewhere in this process I have picked up the habit of being more than averagely happy. I practise at it, by appreciating stuff.
I don’t really recall when or how I started this practice, but if I could be more specific then I could share the process, and a world full of deeply happy people is worth aiming for.
Deep happiness means you come to terms with bad things- my definition of cure is ‘making better’ not ‘taking away.’ We need challenges and experiences to grow.
Enough digression.
So, now I want to track back and check how I got here. I don’t much care for dwelling in the past, but this is more like map making, more of an expedition. I have been keeping a diary on and off for some years, in bits of notebooks, which I am slowly transcribing. Already clear that mistakes have been a guiding force and that clouds with silver linings can still rain on you.

So, let’s meet me, as a teenage mother in the late 1980s.



June 1989
The bed-sit.
Who am I anyway?
I’m nineteen years old. That’s not a huge span of time unless you’re waiting for a bus, so time, I guess, is my buddy. We have potential, time and I, we can do things.
So, what do I know?
I know how to make life difficult for myself, how to be swallowed up by a big nasty negative blob type entity even though a) I’m aware of doing it b) I don’t even want to. Maybe it’s squiffy hormones; I have just had a baby. I keep crying and I feel like a stranger, I don’t know who I am. I remember having confidence and I was going to be a goddess.
I love my little daughter. She’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen.
I have a dream, something I want to travel towards. It’s a big family house. I know what each room contains. I know it’s painted in natural shades with lot of bright pictures and sculptures and bookshelves. It’s a space of substantial beauty. Anyway, I feel better for getting this lonely stuff down on paper.’



The simplicity of my young dream is rather nice, and the feeling of time being on my side. (The mirror tells me time is not necessarily on my side anymore; fickle time!) The bed-sit was interesting, and by that I mean there were often drunk people in the communal kitchen and several cats used the bathroom floor as a toilet. My sense of humour is well developed, I’m just having an ‘out of puberty into motherhood’ transitional hormonal moment, and am, here, perfectly able to look on the bright side because I have something to aim for.  

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