A Leap Of Faith

So, last post, I wrote about embracing fear. And about not allowing trepidation to hold you back. The moral of the story was that sometimes in life we have to make uncomfortable decisions, and that we shouldn’t allow fear to delay or even prevent us from making those decisions. The part of that story that went untold – the subtext if you will – was of me psyching myself up for making one of the scariest bravest moves I’ve ever made.

Taking the plunge.

A huge step.

In this economy, with unemployed graduates two a penny…

I handed in my notice at work.

Without having secured a new position.

Nuts, right? I know what you’re thinking, that I’m completely crazy. At first glance, it makes no sense. I can see that. But for me, having done a job I’m only halfway happy with for the past few years, I need more. I want to be fulfilled. I want to be passionate about what I do. I realise that not everybody gets to ‘live the dream’ so to speak. Not everyone will become a millionaire and live a life filled with luxury goods, frequent travel and multiple homes in various locations across the globe.

I get it.

I really do.

The thing is though, I have to at least try.

Embracing Fear

 

Fear is a funny thing.

Not funny in the comical sense, but rather, funny meaning peculiar. A different ‘beast’ to different people, for those of us who are held back by fear, it’s grip can be crippling, stopping us from doing what we are supposed to do, and sometimes even from what we want to do. There are those who are able to channel that (nervous?) energy and find it exhilarating. For the rest of us, however, that is not the case.

Fear’s legacy can be both long-lasting and far-reaching – it’s one of those things you aren’t always consciously aware of, but are on some level, constantly aware of… For me at least, in some aspects of my life I’ve definitely found that to be the case.

As a true Gemini, at this point, I should probably put in a little disclaimer and mention that I am not always held back by fear. On occasion, I’ll surprise myself and find that I am able to be one of those people that uses fearful energy to fuel my progression and propel me into new unexplored territories (more on that another day).

There is a common vein of thought that says that Geminis love change. I can firmly assert that I do, but I also love familiarity. Perhaps this is where the stereotypical Geminean (<— is that even a word?!) dichotomy comes in. Whilst change equals newness and novelty, there is a certain sense of stability and comfort that comes with familiarity. All in all, whilst knowing what you can expect to encounter in a given situation (for example, at work), can make life smoother, there comes a time when you have to shake things up!

Sometimes change is necessary.

Sometimes, you have to “feel the fear, and do it anyway.”

Lifelong love affair

I’m not entirely sure whether it would be more accurately described as a lifelong love affair or a recurring seasonal fling, but, I have a confession: I love Autumn/Winter.

I’m not sure that I always have, nor am I sure when it began. What I do know, is that the love is strong. Although a fully-fledged, card-carrying member of #TeamSummer (I love the sun, its heat and all of the associated summer-joys), and despite my innate hatred for frost-bitten fingers and toes… I do have a deep-rooted love for all things AW.

Chunky knits.

Leather.

Wool.

Tweed.

And… *drum roll please*

The trump card, boots.

When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing I enjoy more than wrapping up in scarves, multiple layers of beautifully soft, ornate fabrics and displaying deep, rich hues against the autumn/winter backdrop. Whilst London city may be bland and devoid of colour, my wardrobe certainly isn’t. As an extension of my ever-evolving personality and changeable moods, my ‘look’ varies from day to day. From slim-line cashmere sweater, leather pencil skirt and heels one day, to a chunky knit, white shirt, jeans and flat riding boots combo the next, every day brings a fresh chance to showcase my inner diva. Immense. I love it!

The Less You Reveal, The More They Wonder…

I was invited to a masquerade party at short notice, last week. My very first one. Whilst I pulled together my outfit relatively absentmindedly [side note: thanks to www.maskparty.co.uk for dispatching my order so quickly!], I could tell that others had put a lot of thought and effort into theirs. Wearing a mask that covered a large portion of my face made me feel… different. Incognito. And being in the vicinity of others who were also relatively anonymous, like an actress playing a role, I felt like an “AKA” version of myself. In Gemini terms, the other twin took centre stage!

 

The masquerade party had an attractively mysterious aura. As an amateur psychologist, it made me think about typical social norms when meeting people, and how easily they are manipulated when one of the senses is partly obscured. As we couldn’t fully see each other’s faces (with the majority of masks, the only visible part of the face was the eyes), we were forced to use what we could see more intently and we had to rely on other senses to help guide our decisions.

 

No inhibitions.

Strangers stood closer to each other.

Interactions were more tactile.

People looked into each other’s eyes for longer while they conversed.

 

For me at least, facial expressions play a major role in shaping interaction. Without fully being able to see how the person we’re talking to is reacting (facial expressions are typically more honest than dialogue), we are left to hazard a guess at how we are being perceived. It brought up a few questions for me, and made me wonder about how much we can control what version of ‘us’ others observe.

 

When people look at you, what do you want them to see?

Shades of Grey

I had a fall.

…Yep, I did.

That’s normally a phrase you’d hear whilst catching up with your granny or an elderly neighbour, isn’t it? I know. It’s definitely not something you’d expect from a spritely, young, twenty-something. I know. I was just as shocked. Here’s the story: I had just left the office, and was speedily homeward-bound, bouncing down the escalators at one of London’s most popular tube stations. I heard my train pulling in, so added a little more speed, got ready to take the corner… and then… splat.

I slipped and fell.

Bum on the ground, legs akimbo.

I know.

I was mortified.

Whilst I was at home the other week, I got caught up watching Sex and the City re-runs. The scene that stuck in my mind was a moment right at the end of the episode where Carrie has a panic attack whilst trying on a wedding dress, and then decides she can’t marry Aiden. After he moves out and reality kicks in, she has a moment of clarity and she describes being in that oh-so-familiar state where “things are no longer black and white,” but instead, multiple shades of grey. That scene and those words resonated with me. It’s been more than three years since I graduated from university, and although I have a just about decent-paying job and some fantastic colleagues that I really adore, I still don’t feel as though I’ve found my niche.

After the moment when, in an ungainly fashion, I ‘hit the deck’ at a heavily populated London tube station during the rush-hour peak period that day, that shades of grey feeling swept over me again. As I was helped to my feet by a very kind stranger, she whispered, ‘you hate it now, but you’ll look back and laugh.’ She probably didn’t know it, but right now, for me that statement relates to so much more than just The Fall.

With the benefit of hindsight, I’m no longer embarrassed about The Fall. It was a moment of truth. Christie Brinkley famously fell while she was on the runway earlier this year, and Naomi Campbell’s runway fall years ago is even more legendary. They recovered and so will I. I’m in good company.