It’s funny how being pregnant can make you look at things differently. Just recently, as the baby has got bigger and started kicking, I’ve been having quiet moments of reflection on my past.
Some of these have been depressing and I’m not going to bore you with them, but one thing that has come out of all this introspection and reflection is just how fast you go through life.
This one is of my entire family. And when I say entire, I mean all the aunts and uncles and cousins!
I’m the little girl in the jumper and the kilt. I must have been about 5-ish and all I can remember is that the Kilt had a vest attached to it that the jumper (which had been a christmas present from my nan that year) hid. I’m not stood with my parents – they’re the couple with the baby (my sister) and the springer spaniel on the bottom right – and one of the only feelings that I can remember of that age is loneliness.
Odd what a picture brings up, isn’t it?
I’m connected to most of my cousins through Facebook – but I haven’t seen any of them in the flesh since I was a teenager.
This was me in the early 1980’s at my first primary school … I’m smack bang in the middle of the picture. I don’t remember much about being that age apart from the fact that I was reading Roald Dahl and Monica Hughes at the time.
Something else that strikes me about this picture is that I recognise many of the faces around me, but only a couple of names. I’m connected to some of these people through Facebook (that’s how I got the picture), however I haven’t met up with them since I left that particular school.
Now this one is still eighties, but I’d been to middle school before going to this school, so I was about ten or eleven. Again, I recognise some of these faces and remember some of the names. I’m connected to some of these people a little more strongly because I went on to High School with them. I haven’t really kept in touch, except through Facebook – I’ve not been to any of the reunions that happened.
Talking of High school… I think this was taken when I was 16 or so on one of those trips that schools make you take (or was it the 5th Year graduation party? I can’t remember…) Once more, I’m at the back of the action – I was one of those kids that hovered on the fringes of things and although this one is closer in time to where I am now, the main feeling this picture brings back is loneliness.
I’m not sure why.
Now this is an unusual picture of me – for a start I’m actually wearing a dress, and for another thing, I was at University and having more fun than actually should be legal.
I spent three years at Plymouth University and got into Aikido (a Japanese martial art) which opened my eyes to a few things! Not the least how a small movement like a nip can be very useful in tricky situations…
I’m still in touch with a lot of the people I met at Aikido (once more through Facebook) and we have plans afoot to go visit our old haunts in Devon next year – which I am sure will include TOH insisting on going to Aikido!
This very fuzzy picture (it’s a photo of a photo – I don’t have a scanner) is one of the only pictures I have of my Graduation Day. Yes, like hundreds of twenty-something’s each year, I ran across the stage, shook hands with the Dean and ran off the other side.
I was really proud of myself that day. I’d stuck with a course that wouldn’t actually get me anywhere (I wanted to do Product Design and ended up doing a manufacturing management course) but I hadn’t given up and I passed with honours.
I suppose I haven’t changed all that much since the picture taken in high school. I’ve become engaged (but not yet married) and had two children (not counting the one I’m currently carrying.)
This was NOS’s first day home from the Hospital. I was tired, but happy that he’d arrived safely.
I’ve moved from Suffolk to Devon to Bristol to Cardiff. But I myself haven’t changed.
This was the first picture ever taken of PT – I think she was about a month old… and yes, she was a big baby!
That’s what all these pictures have shown me. I’ve got older, I’ve grown up physically, but the essential me hasn’t changed. I’m still the loner who hovers on the edges of things.
I make more of an effort to join in with things now, but the majority of those who I grew up with or met along the way have gone different routes and aren’t interested in being a friend anymore.
It’s a little depressing.
Most of the people who I count as friends are on Facebook. I’ve only met one or two of them face to face and they were quick “How’d ye do” encounters. The people I went to Uni with? I’ve kept in touch with them, but the friendships have become acquaintanceships.
This was the past.
Where I am now is almost as lonely as the little girl in the first photograph… almost. I have my own family around me and there are Real Life Friends who are attached to Guiding who make me feel less lonely. And this is something I am grateful for.
I have a future and that future is waiting for me… it all comes down to how I get there.