Archive for the ‘Metaphorical Musings’ Category

Gosh, it’s been so long since my last post!  Oh the delights of a busy life mixed with pathetically debilitating colds!  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, on 7th October, it was National Poetry Day!  Completely missing the fact that the theme for this year was ‘Home’ I set about putting my own thoughts down in a poem (non rhyming, much against my better judgement – all poem’s should rhyme….!).  Given that my blog is probably the least read blog on the entire internet I thought it would be a good place to put it – for posterity!

So here is my late attempt at a poem to mark National Poetry Day 2010 (and it’s got nothing to do with Home!):

‘Like seeds planted in fertile ground (springing from a touch, a glance, a passion for something) dreams cannot fail to grow.  We hold them close to our heart, water with hope and feed with love, keep them warm and cosy in the palm of our life.  They seem so safe, so real though they are but dreams.

But oh how quickly the weather changes and storms appear to rip them fearlessly from our clasped hands.  And as hope dies, so they become dry and brittle.  And as love walks out the door into the arms of someone else so they wither away into a small ball of nothing.

Where do all the wasted dreams go, when they are starved and dying of thirst?  Nowhere, for they have long learned the virtue of patience.  As long as there is life they remain, ready to bloom again when hope returns; when love returns.

For dreams are strong and in our soul they sit, waiting for the time when we will hold them close to our heart once more.

  I won’t give up my day job….. 

Reluctant to Regret

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Metaphorical Musings
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When I first started this blog a few days ago I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about.  The concept for my blog was the notion of under achievement – the cat who fought to get to the cream only to find that it was off, or that another cat had got there first and left just enough for a quick, unsatisfying lick!  It was not about being negative, a loser, or a failure but just never quite getting to where you wanted to be.  Nearly….but not quite. 

Before my blog grows and my posts start to go in wildly different directions I wanted to take a moment to reflect on why I named my blog The Curse of Nearly Was!

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t spent hours in the past berating myself for my lack of success.  How many times I imagined where I might have gone on this journey of life if only I’d hacked away at the metaphorical overgrowth to get to the metaphorical yellow (or some other kind of brick) road that would have taken me in a totally different direction, instead of pulling a few branches off, getting a splinter and deciding that it was much safer to keep going on the nice, straight road where you could see into the distance and which seemed to promise comfort and stability.  You know, I hate that word – ‘stability’!  It’s a bit like ‘nice’ – nondescript and safe!  And yet for a long time I chose that direction, albeit keeping one foot on the verge as in truth I didn’t always trust that perfect looking road…..

I’ve never thought “I’d like to try that” and then not done anything at all to attempt to achieve it so I can’t comment on what its like to know you never tried.  I only know what it’s like to have never tried hard enough.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s bloody frustrating!  Sometimes I wish I could go back and knock some sense into my younger self and tell her to get some balls (not literally….!).  There are constant reminders of my lack of success – my now empty house; seeing my drama school peers on TV or in the West End; my file of stories that have no ending!  That is why being a Nearly Was is a curse – you can’t get away from it.   You can’t think “Well I never tried so it doesn’t really matter”!  You tried because it mattered and the fact you didn’t achieve success therefore matters as well! 

But isn’t it a bit like that saying “Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”?  Better to have tried and not succeeded then to have never tried at all.  Because when you try there is still hope, even if it is slim or practically non-existent, and whilst there is still hope then the world is your potential oyster…..or stage!  And if I stop thinking of the things that nearly were and think of the things that are now then I realise how lucky I am.  My lovely friends, my wonderful family, my theatre work (albeit unpaid – that’s the main difference between being an amateur as opposed to a professional actress!), the great times I’ve had and continue to have and yes, my house!  All mine (well, and the banks!) and always as peaceful or as noisy as I want it to be!  How can I regret anything I’ve done when it has kept me on a good, if different, path and led me to this satisfying place? 

As I sit here in my cosy house, typing on my laptop, with my ice cold drink sat on the table in front of me, I look on the news and see the catastrophic events happening in Pakistan and I realise that I am in no position to complain about my life or about the things that have happened to me.  I may be a Nearly Was but I am still lucky enough to have been born into a family that cared, that don’t judge me for what I haven’t achieved, and into a country where I don’t have to worry about clean water and dry shelter.  For that I am truly grateful.

 https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/pakistan-floods/index.php

If failure sits opposite success on the seesaw of life, it stands to reason that those who attain neither end up on the pivot, admiring the people above and pitying the people below.  I am one of those people – lucky enough to get a place at the table of life but unlucky enough to end up with the seat in front of the table leg….  Yes, I am a proud member of the ‘Nearly Was Club’.

I have a long list of things I have nearly achieved and it’s one I continue to add to on a regular basis.  Some of my favourites include:

  • I Nearly Was a professional actress
  • I Nearly Was relatively slim
  • I Nearly Was married (okay, I admit that might be a slight exaggeration!)
  • I Nearly Was popular
  • I Nearly Was a writer

Being a Nearly Was, rather than a Has Been or a Never Was, is actually quite liberating and far more rewarding.   The only requirement for maintaining membership of the ‘Nearly Was Club’ is that you must actually try.  “But what if I succeed?” I hear you cry?  Well, if by any chance you achieve what you set out to do then you must move up to the Am Now Club.  But don’t worry; once you have started driving down the road of Nearly Was there are very few turning spaces so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever reach the, frankly dangerous, heights of Am Now!  The only fear you should have is of the Never Was….!

But joking aside, when do things ever go to plan?  Who, apart from perhaps a very small number of lucky people, lives a life free from frustration and “sorry, you’re just not quite what we’re looking for”?  So this is my blog – my story of life past and present as seen from the middle of the seesaw – not quite up and not quite down.