As long as I live I will have control over my being

Quote By Artemisia Gentileschi.

It’s been really tough to get the right words down recently. It’s been a weird month. There’s so much uncertainty and confusion in the air especially surrounding the current issues around the world and finding the time and headspace to write has been quite challenging. However, I’ve just had the first seamlessly unbroken sleep I’ve had in nearly a month. There’s been a lot to process.

I’ve never actually written publicly before these journals. I must say it gives me a great ‘buzz’ and is an integral part of my decision-making at present. I’m 42 now and hearing about dear friends of mine who are in ill health or experiencing the loss of their loved ones is becoming a reoccurring theme. We are all gaining years and with that comes the inevitable fact many of us are suffering grief from losing loved ones or the apparent concern of health issues.  I’ve been finding it tough to put aside ‘personal’ commitments and continue to write. I’m glad today to say there has been a clearing in the woods of my mind. I’m glad to be writing again. Amen.

I was raised in inner-city London and returned back to the ‘hood’ a few years back. I haven’t really been around my manor for a decade since the passing of my mum thirteen years ago. Prior to that for a quarter of a decade I was traveling here, there, and everywhere, but my mum’s little flat in urban north London was always where I made my pit stops before flying off again. A lot happened in those years. Due to me being utterly and completely smashed out my nut under the influence of booze and drugs… it all seems like a blur. Funny That? I’ve been back in the ‘hood’ a few years now. It’s where I’m from. It where my roots are.

I’ve renewed friendships with people I’ve known for over twenty-five years, some even longer! I’ve always loved characters. I’ve always treasured the unique, the individual, and the authentic. There are so many characters knocking about the manor still and I’ve spent some time with them after so many years, although I’m still aware of the teachings from my guardian angel that sentiment will kill you, I’m still a softy and see the good in everyone. It’s been enlightening, to say the least. Life is tough in the city and there’s an unspoken ‘code’ in the hood. Loyalty and trust are important. My advice to those not accustomed to the hood would be to leave arrogance and ego at the door of the cage, so to speak. Heart and soul win every time. To be streetwise, like intuition, is a science that can’t be taught. You either got it or you ain’t. We are all products of our environment right? I’m proud to be from the hood. I have a deep love for my people here.

I hated school. I’ve never really studied in an academic way. Any form of authority has always grated on my free-spirited soul. Being told what to do and when to do it has never been my thing. Ever. Although I love to learn, it’s usually from life experience that I gain my knowledge. I’ve learned so much from being back in the manor. I appreciate my blessings now more than ever before. I’ve been reminded of how tough life can be. I’ve also been reminded that I am a survivor.

Recently I’ve been researching, I suppose studying, in my own way (sporadically and when I feel like it)…. the subject of Art History. Delving deeper and deeper into the life and loves of the ‘greats’ has been a tonic for my heart and a salve for my soul. Artists seem to have a deeper understanding of emotions due to their varied and typically unusual life experiences. This gives them the ability to convey emotion with conviction and truth. There are few people that can identify or merely even comprehend a life of extreme highs and extreme lows to the point of unimaginable absurdity. Riding the rollercoaster of my own life’s ups and downs enables me to relate to this well. Really well in fact.

I fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat. I love LOVE and to be in love is blissful and I’ve fallen in love again.

I’ve fallen in love with the first female artist in history. Artemesia Gentileschi has been a real inspiration to me as a woman and an artist. I’ve loved studying her life and her phenomenally controversial work. She lived in a time when women were prohibited from studying, let alone even creating art. She was a painter. The novel The Razor’s Edge by  W. Somerset Maugham comes into my mind. Another book I have carried around for a while but have never read. When speaking or standing in your truth you are on the razor’s edge. She against all the odds lived her life with truth and conviction against all of the injustices surrounding her.

Injustice is a sad fact of life unfortunately here on mother earth, though there are many souls that live authentically in defiance to counteract this matter. Swimming against the tide causes friction. It takes tremendous courage to stand in your truth. Having contact with like-minded people is a blessing. Artemisia stood alone most of the time. She confided in a female ‘friend’ who betrayed her. Betrayal as painful as it is, sure toughens you up. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I feel blessed to know who my friends are. I thank my enemies for wisdom gained by their transgressions also.

I’ve always done whatever I wanted to do at all times and have reaped the consequences of my actions because of my conviction to do so. I think about how fortunate I am to live in these times in comparison to the struggles women had to endure centuries before. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and have confidently stood ‘toe to toe’ with the boys in every aspect from speaking my truth, standing my ground, and even drinking and drug use!… I think I’ve done it all? Also, my uninhibited promiscuity has sometimes been perceived as controversial even with today’s relative social equality. My point is,  if boys do it, I can do it too. I see the world from my own perspective. I am merely a soul having an experience here on planet earth as a human being. It ain’t rocket science. I’ve been in ‘trouble’ quite often but I do what I want. That will never change. I’m just taking time to be more mindful in doing so. It seems I’m mellowing with age.

‘You make your bed, you lay in it’ has always been a comical phrase that lifts my spirits through tough times of my own trials and tribulations. If I had a dollar for every time I said WHOOPS… I’d be extraordinarily wealthy. I, by my own admittance, learn the hard way in life, but as I whistle the melody made famous by ole’ blues eyes himself, Frank Sinatra… at least I can say… I did it my way. Shit happens.