Maybe this last 2 months has been the space I have needed to step back and reassess what is going on in my life, who I am, how I am, what I want
So back to being a nicer person. As I have had time on my hands and time to ponder the bigger questions in life I have noticed that I am not quite the likeable , kind, happy soul I used to be. I commented on my last post that I was now making a bigger effort to say hi to people and try and make someone's day better but this really only came sharply into focus when my friend was over from Chicago. It reminded me of how I was when I lived there and I wondered in fact if my friend would think I was a bitter shrivelled old shrew compared to the person she knew. BRIT BASHING ALERT - we are not always the most welcoming people, especially in London where it is more about being purposeful and hurried than rude but compared to friendly talkative mid-westerners it can appear unfriendly. I clearly remember when I came back to London after 10 years in Chicago, someone sneezed on the 07:23 to Victoria and I said "Bless you" and just about everyone in the carriage looked startled and stared at me. Now I am not saying America is all sparkles, sunshine and rainbows (especially now) but people are friendlier and more talkative, they are interested in you and very polite. I am not an Ameriphile but I did really enjoy my time there and felt happier and more ME than ever before. We Brits have a reputation for being reserved and polite but is it just me that thinks we have gone too far the other way? I watched and remembered times in Chicago with my friend as she negotiated her way around London and Cornwall, where she would pass a pleasent little aside about the weather or how beautiful it was here and how excited she was to be here in England only to be met with stony silence, a job required smile or just transaction minimalism "here's your change" - no one asked where she was from, was she enjoying it here, how long was she staying etc. Same in Cornwall except for one guide at St Michaels Mount who appeared really interested and happy to talk. In hindsight, maybe I enjoyed living in America because I could guarantee everyday I would be spoken to, engaged with, questioned on my reasons for being in America etc. I loved it 99.9% of the time as occasionally when you are in a big hurry you would rather skip the history of how you made it stateside to get on the train departing in 3 minutes.
But I am not Brit-bashing exactly, I am ME-bashing. The fact that I stopped trying, stopped engaging, stopped being friendly when I came back. I had a series of bad luck my first 6 months back including my mum dying 4 months after I came back and moving in with a woman whom after about 4 weeks it appeared she was either selling drugs or sex from the apartment shared with myself and my 7 year old. Quick exit, no returned deposit! Rather than bounce back from all these events I shoved them down inside along with my friendliness and give a damn and so entered a newer harder more bitter and resentful Ginger. Fast forward and all life's arrows had hardened me further, increased the bitterness and resentment and added a very unhealthy wine habit into the mix. All of a sudden I realised I hated my life, my attitude, my house, my job, this country, the way I had raised my daughter these last 9 years, how much life I had wasted, my financial disaster, how much I was drinking, everything. I hated everything.
So here I am six months into my alcohol free journey and I have had this complete
I also need to mend fences with my daughter who is not blameless, she has been a real bitch to be honest recently but I am the mom and the grown up and I need to stop acting like a teenager myself when I deal with her as that is not a healthy dynamic. In the the words of the AA verse Just for Today (and the name of Annette's blog) ' I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it' because that is my go to reaction, hurt feelings and pouty face, always hoping that will be enough to change the other persons attitude 'Look at me, you have hurt my feelings. Feel bad and comfort me' We have been at war for weeks now and just when I think we are back on level ground, she blasts me with another litany of things I have done wrong and how horrible I am etc
So I have decided that I am going to try and be the change I want to see here and deal with her in a different way. Not sure how this will work out and not sure how accepted it will be but i cant just give up on this or it will just get worse. I mention Annette over at Just For Today because I find her very inspiring as a mother and someone I would like to model more in how I deal with my daughter. Also she is just a very kind and generous soul with how she supports and helps people.
I will apologise to anyone who has been offended by what I have written here today about Brits, American Mid-westerners, Londoners and the Cornish and disagrees with my views but untimately it is more myself I am judging so please don't get too mad.
Goal for today is to reach a detente cordial with my daughter so we can try to at least sit down together and talk. The rest of it can wait for another day.