Monday, 28 May 2012

The Mean Reds and Blue Suede Shoes. (Chapter Ideas)

Mean Reds
Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds? 
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? 
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 
Paul Varjak: Sure. 
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

     The Mean Reds seem to hit me sometimes and when they do, it's bad. I love the film 'Breakfast In Tiffany's' and the expression 'Mean Reds' has been so relevant to me in the past year. Sometimes I get afraid, and not knowing exactly why makes it even worse. 
      The weeks that surrounded Mum's death were filled with worry and re-evaluation of my life. What did I want in the long term? - a husband and family, a career, big house, pets, loving community around me. Then the question - why don't I have it now? The fear of never getting to 'where I want to be' drove me to assess life changing decisions I had made, questioning if there may have been a better path for me to take. On deciding I had done what was best, from what I knew at the time, I was comforted - but it is a question that I have revisited continuously over these past 8 months. There have been times when it seemed my life was getting 'back on track', things were working out well and I was happy. Yet a lingering doubt has kept contentment at bay for a while now, but I'm beginning to feel it's warmth. 
      The decision to take a year out from my studies was an idea at first which led to blessed circumstances making it a reality. My relationships with family have grown deeper, friends have become more dear to me and I am learning to take care of myself in what I need and not just what I want. The 'Mean Reds' to me is a term akin to doubt, uncertainty, weariness and loneliness. These feelings are often consumers of Faith and Hope, and even unconditional Love.
      When the 'Mean Reds' strike I have often turned to my Dad who will tell me that 'It's going to be OK'. These are magical words which I heard so often as a child from my Mum when I cried over boys or mean girls. Feeling childlike is something I am experiencing more and more, especially when things aren't working as I hadn't planned. Being humbled daily by reliving uncontrollable events, I learn that I can't do everything alone, and sometimes I do need to rely on others. All of these symptoms put together give me a growing understanding of what it means to be a Child of God. Being a Child of God means it's ok to be afraid, but knowing that God is always there when we feel alone, knowing that he is in control and has a plan when our own attempts fail, knowing that he is stronger than us and stronger than our problems, knowing that through him anything is possible.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Blue Suede Shoes
     Blue Suede Shoes are those things you just can't handle being stood on, even though anything else is ok; as Carl Perkins wrote and Elvis infamously sang "You can do anything, but lay off of my Blue Suede Shoes!" I have been forced over these few months to think often about my limits. That which I can tolerate and that which I can't handle. This idea has been creeping around my diary for a while, things that people do or say - or don't say - which make me really want to flip out. Things that before, wouldn't have bothered me. Understanding why my tolerances have changed is interesting for me as well as frustrating because even if I understand it I can't necessarily change it, because changing others is not in my power. After this self-indulgent thought I realise that the problem might not be others, it might just be me, but sometimes changing oneself is the hardest task of all.

     Anyway, my idea for the 'Blue Suede Shoes' chapter is to write up some examples of my altered tolerance, or others' experience with people which have pressed the wrong buttons unexpectedly. The chapter would essentially cover some do's and don't's for those helping grievers, and would try to advise grievers in awkward situations. The problem that I have with the chapter is that no one wants to be told what to do, and especially who am I to instruct people on things I have only experienced for the first time? Another problem I have with it is that it has the potential to be destructive when I only hope to encourage and advise.
     I am hoping that with wise conversation, fervent study and lots of prayer I can give this important topic justice and purpose within my book.

I thank all who take the time to read these ideas, and want to encourage you to give me feedback on what you've read - whether it's advice on how to go about writing on certain things, or stories to share similar experiences.
     God Bless, and I'll keep posting. :]

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