For years I have thought about blogging, because all the cool kids were doing it. But I found my drive to do so wasn't as strong as I thought. Maybe thats always been my personal downfall.... Always holding the ideas but never the drive to follow them through. Or maybe drive is the wrong word. Maybe its discipline, or stamina, or knowledge, or confidence. Or the know how.
But it hasn't just been about what is trending. In fact, I've never been overly 'trendy'. I've always pushed to do things because it felt right as opposed to it being popular. I have spend a large part of my life teaching in a different way to others, and continuously justifying my actions and beliefs to those around me. Or maybe it was to myself. There's no maybe about it... it was to myself.
Here I am, 6 months into lockdown, 18 months into identity searching, and finally I may have the key to my own success (whatever that means). For years, almost decades, I have doubted my abilities, punished myself for my lack of usefulness and productivity and through doing so I have ignored the one thing that is now so glaringly obvious to me. But to get there, I must start way back the early 2000s...
I was very lucky at high school to have a large group of friends... it varied over the years as all friendship groups do, falling in and out of the main group myself now and again. But now, 20 years after the core of my formative teenage years commenced, I am lucky enough to tell you that there are still a large number of us still in contact. When I say large, I mean between 15 and 20 of us! Isn't that the craziest thing? Many people I have met through adulthood are lucky if they even speak to one or two people from school, but 15? But to us, it is the norm. It is our norm.
Below: Some of the girls circa 2006 (legally drinking!)
I think we were in 2nd or 3rd yr (13-15yrs) when we began coming up with nicknames for ourselves. Mine was The Welder...or Steffi the Welder to be precise. In one particular class (English I think) this nickname took on a whole persona. We made a little book out of folded sheets of paper and called it 'Steffi's Book of Welding Tips'. The book would get passed around and the girls would ask me how to solve 'welding' problems aka crush problems. We thought we were so funny, and smart (correction, we ARE funny AND smart!) hiding our silly love dramas in a code of welding. Let me be clear... I know nothing about welding! I cannot tell you one thing about welding. Except that it was the job of the wonderful dancing main character in the movie 'Flashdance'.
Cut forward a decade or so, and over the years I have become the friend people come to. The trusted one, the confidante, the fixer or heartache and anxiety. The Welder. Many of my adult friends and work acquaintances have used the word 'empathy' or term 'empath' around me a lot, so much so that I researched it.
"Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional states. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional (or affective) empathy, and somatic empathy."
I should also tell you that I have only really had two relationships in my life. A 6 month one at the age of 26 (ish) and the one I am in now. And yet for all my inexperience with significant others and 'love', friends would still turn to me for advice.
Well now I am older, approaching 33, and searching for the things that make me happy (again). I have prided myself on being a good friend my whole life, and for the latter part I have prided myself on being a great teacher too. These are things I am wildly passionate about. I love sharing information, and emotions, and thoughts. I love being as honest as I can be (sometimes too honest!); It forces me into uncomfortable situations and discussions. It makes me face my own inner demons, and my fear of confrontation, interrogation, argument, debate and failure of efficient communication.
So continue in my path of efficient communication, I am opening my welding services up to you, whoever you are reading this. I want to face the challenge of writing a blog based on trying to fix things. And if nothing else, hopefully it will make you laugh.
So drop me a line for my new blog, "Everybody's Auntie Whisky" with any topic you think you might get something out of my writing. It can be anonymous, or even better give yourself an alias or a nickname. Maybe it will help me identify how you want me to address your 'problem'.
No matter how big, how small, how serious, how silly or how made up it is, give it a craic!
Why? Because I dare ye... and I never give up on a dare ;)
*Whisky is doing the splits inside the construction of a local road that was abandoned*
DISCLAIMER: I am not a qualified therapist, agony aunt, psychologist or philosopher. This Agony Aunt inspired blog is purely for entertainment purposes. No advice received from Auntie Whisky is factual, lawful or intended to be followed through. Unless I dare ye! (Kidding, obviously!) (Or am I?) (No seriously, this is creatively licensed only)(Ok shut up now Whisky) (Mic drop)