Whilst thinking what my next blog post could be a Facebook status that I wrote almost 6 years ago popped into my head. It was from when I was travelling by myself in New Zealand.

This is what I wrote:

Stepping away from every day life has made me realise how much we live our lives trying to impress people or search for acceptance from: friends, teachers, clients, bosses etc. it becomes part of the norm and in doing so we often step back from who we really are and want to be. We become sheep and follow the herd because often it feels safer to pretend and walk in someone else’s footprints instead of creating our own, which can often leave us feeling vulnerable and open to other people’s judgements. Well here’s me being open: I don’t understand folk that will only talk to you if there’s something in it for them or if you’re a ‘somebody’, I love spending time alone as much as I love being with others, I really don’t like chocolate regardless if it’s white, dark or milk, I sometimes enjoy a McDonald’s, I love being naked, I sometimes enjoy listening to cheesy music and can still remember the dance I made up to Haddaway, I am offended when people see me as black first and Emma 2nd, I don’t hate anybody, I have music Alzheimer’s and I don’t really care that I don’t know every ‘must know’ artist, I’m obsessed with Desperate Housewives and sometimes cry at it, I have started to enjoy having a cigarette now and then, I have fancied guys that other people would say were unquestionable, I like talking about sex, I love staying up for 2 days straight, I enjoy watching some reality shows, I come over all shy when I have to make a phone call, I wish my thighs were a few inches smaller and that my teeth were straight, I miss my mum, dad, cousin and close friends I have lost and pray for them every night, I’m rubbish with money, I don’t follow a religion but believe in the law of attraction and make wishes to the universe, I never re-post the Facebook messages that ask you to re-post, I want to be a writer, I love dreaming, I always sing in the shower, I buzz off people who don’t seem to give a fuck, all this and more is what makes me……me! I’m happy with that and am going to continue living my life the way I want to and follow my own dreams!!

I was clearly having my first vulnerable blogging episode back then – I can’t believe I forgot about it and haven’t shared it on my blog until now! It is dripping in openness and vulnerability.

Looking back I can’t actually remember writing the status but I can remember how I felt immediately before and straight after I posted it. Sick! Physically sick! I looked like I was doing an interpretive dance, tearing myself away from the screen in embarrassment and regret and turning right back again! On and on I moved like this – in a basement IT café – to add to the effect!

I can’t tell you the amount of times I was about to delete the post as I was waiting for the comments to come in. Dreading to read what people would say. Hoping they would approve!

As much as I was operating from a place of vulnerability – airing my truth – I was still being controlled by other people’s opinions. And although I’m further ahead on my personal development journey, on a lot of levels I still I am.

In some way or other the majority of things that were my truth back then, still ring true today – unfortunately I’ve forgotten the Haddaway dance!

I didn’t delve into detail about what made me back then. So, today I’m going to tell you a few more things about me which I don’t really go around telling people for fear of looking weird or being too open (the last point). But – I am weird! Plus, I know that I won’t be the only one who does/thinks these things. And if I am – then that’s ace as I’ll be an extra unique weirdling! (It’s in the Urban dictionary therefore it’s a real word 😊).

The rodent phobia – I am petrified of mice and rats. I know that’s not unusual, many people are. What could be construed as a tad strange is that because of this my eyes play tricks on me. That leaf that gently swirls past in the soft breeze – rat, the rolled up sock on the floor – mouse, seeing a black piece of fluff – mouse droppings. I once jumped out of my skin because I thought the shadow of my hand, reaching for a drink was a mouse! When we first moved into the flat we live in here in London, I saw a mouse in the living room! I screamed and ran back to bed – ready to leave the apartment the next day and the cheeky fucker stuck it’s head under my bedroom door. This meant for the next month – even after the inspector came and gave us the all clear and I got a rodent repellent plug and put peppermint down everywhere – I had to put a blanket behind my door, to keep safe, from the little thing! I’m really thinking of going to a hypnotist for this as even writing about it has made me feel really queasy!

The one with the eye-mask – I have slept with an eye-mask ever since I split up with my ex-boyfriend when I was 27 as I was scared to sleep alone. Save for times when I am too drunk, have forgotten to pack it when not at home and at the moment as I have individual false eyelashes on. I say eye-mask but it hasn’t been an eye-mask in years – I actually prefer wearing a long sock round my head. Don’t knock it until you try it – it’s soooo comfortable. The reason for this sleeping habit is because when I was about 24, I woke up in the middle of the night and I saw a ghost. It was someone who had died a year or so before and he was standing there, right before me, I pinched myself once and turned away, only to see him still there when I looked back. I accidently woke my boyfriend up with my panic pleading of “go away, please go away” and too scared to confront it when he asked if I was okay I said yes and told him to go back to sleep. I would try to shrug it off as a dream the next morning. The first thing my boyfriend asked when I woke up was if I had seen a ghost as the room was freezing and I was shaking and really hot!! If you haven’t discovered already I am a bit of a wuss and so the eye-mask does what my ex did, makes me feel protected. If I wake up suddenly in the night and open my eyes I will see the darkness of the mask. At the moment, sans sock I’m a mess each evening if I wake up – will there be a ghost, or a mouse? Quick, light on, run to the toilet and get straight back to bed!

To cringe or to cringe harder? Those are my options – I am a MASSIVE cringer! I take on cringes for other people like dogs take treats off strangers. “Hey, you’re handing out cringes – I’ll take three!” If a situation is awkward or uncomfortable then my body feels like it’s folding into itself. When I was younger I used to walk out of the room when an awkward part of a film came on, these days you can find me hidden behind a cushion at those moments. Watching ‘American Pie – The Reunion’ made me retreat behind the sofa! Then there’s the countless times that I’ve accidently given someone the wrong directions and cringed for hours after I realised. Don’t even get me started on cringes in the workplace. When you walk past someone in the office that you don’t really know to stop and talk to or even say a loud clear hi, so you gently mouth a greeting and an inaudible noise comes out of your mouth. I cringe when I do this and I cringe for others when they do it – I wonder if they feel the same. I could write a whole book about this – although I’m not sure my body could take it.

Statistics and Stigma – I am part of the mental health statistics as I often suffer with anxiety. A few times it’s been so bad that it’s caused panic attacks. At those times I’ve felt that even if I was transported to a fresh meadow, I still wouldn’t be able to get enough air. I know how to handle the small bouts of anxiety better now. I need space to be on my own, without having to explain myself to anyone, a drop or two of larch, a few deep breaths and a meditation usually do it. Then there are times when I feel a darkness wash over me, laying heavily on my chest, making me feel on edge, like my head is bathing in deep sorrow. Those times, I don’t talk about. Partly because of the stigma and partly because I’m unsure what it is. Is it depression? Another level of my anxiety? Or my body telling me something needs to change? As I’ve noticed the more I work on myself the more I am aware of the different feelings in my body, so it could quite easily be the latter. Ever the learner, I am going to ‘A Day On Psychology’ event on 28th January where I am going to be learning about CBT and other things. Something else to put into my coping toolbox!

The condom clutter –  My final share of the post. I have been doing a bit of decluttering this year and had to throw away a box (ever the optimist) of condoms as the use by date was Dec 2016!! Not last year, the year before!!! As I welcomed in another year as a singleton – I’ve decided to put a bit more focus on dating in 2018. No, I’m not going to be going to any more silent dating/touchy feely events ( The Dating Rollercoaster!) but I do have some book recommendations and you know I love a book. Also, I may book a session with a Relationship Coach who I’ve seen speak at an event in London, see what she can tell me.

This weirdling is signing out. Thanks for dropping by!

Who said Brits had a stiff upper lip?

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday 

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