Saturday, 21 February 2009

Living Your Dreams.

In tribute to my friends
Dear Nicky & Rebecca
Belated Happy Valentines day
& Congratulations on your wonderful news.

Who knows what our futures may hold? My dear friends Nicky & Rebecca's heart warming story of two kindred spirits reaching out to each other, from one country to another, is a dream like romance between two true friends. I am so thrilled for them. I hope their blossoming relationship proves to be everlasting & magical. This was such joyous news.
Poignantly in sharp contrast to my friends exciting future, the British reality television star Jade Goody who I mentioned in an earlier post who is tragically suffering from terminal cancer, is getting married this weekend. Her fiance has received special permission to break his police curfew to attend the honey moon evening. She has sold the story of the wedding to the media to raise funds for her family, for the time when she is gone. She had previously appeared to have lived for her dream of celebrity in the media. Now she has bravely used the media to promote awareness of cervical cancer among young women & also to help her dying wish to come true. I hope her wedding day is the happiest day of her life. My thoughts & prayers are with her & her family. Our dreams if we get the chance to live them are not always quite as we imagine they may be but they can still be very spiritually rewarding.
On Monday I took over the running of a permanent Art Exhibition at the tourist attraction I have been working at as a volunteer for many years. On Tuesday my first duty found myself running around to arrange the transfer of £4000 worth of paintings from the Exhibition, to the artist who had his own solo exhibition coming up this weekend at the other end of the country in Liverpool. It was great fun to be involved in helping a fellow artist & quite an experience for me to be responsible for the delivery of such excellent & expensive paintings. I have never used the British Postal system to deliver such an expensive parcel before & was very relieved to find it all arrived safely. I had always dreamed of running an art gallery & although this was a voluntary unpaid position it was a good start to my week.
My day working at the hospital was truly like living a dream. I enjoyed myself so much on Wednesday. After being away from the workplace for far too long this was a huge landmark on my journey. I had always felt my vocation was towards a career in the caring professions & not in warship design. If you believe in a parallel universe this was it. I had crossed a divide into a magical dream scape. A land where Bob had never been or ever dared dreamed of. This was the sweetest little taste of what one day may be part of my regular working life. Wednesday was a day packed full of new experiences, a day so incredibly beautiful for its ordinariness.
I had a really nice time working with the team in children's out patients. It was just the gentle start I needed. I worked through all the post & letter distribution , did some photo copying & even sharpened some colouring pencils. Perhaps they may seem like simple things, for a simple mind but I loved the whole experience. I was accepted & treated as the person I had always been. This did so much for my soul, my well being. The nurses the whole team could not have been, more friendly.
As the person I had previously been perceived to be I never fitted in or felt comfortable. To experience my first day working in the hospital in the children’s outpatients evoked many feelings & memories. I have very little experience with children, in fact my only real experience was from my childhood. I could never have a family of my own. I would have loved to have children but that was just not to be. In all honesty I would probably have been an over protective Mum & possibly smothered my children with love. I used to beat myself up a lot for denying my parents the opportunity to be Grandparents. I also decided in my teens during puberty I could never ever face the very real prospect of losing my loved ones, my wife & children if I ever needed to transition. My heart goes out to my friends who are faced with this awful situation. It felt a sad existence to realise I could never have a loving relationship, a family because I was some how different, at an age which should have been so fulfilling. As a child I had to visit the old children’s hospital quite regularly. It carried many traumatic memories of the medical problems I had with my deformity down below & kidney infections. To this day I get nervous just driving by the site where it once stood. In my other existence as Bob I had learned as an adult it was safer to distance myself from all contact with children. This avoided all emotional pain but also the very real possibility with the world the way it sadly is now, as I was perceived as a single male, that I may be unfairly considered a potential pedophile, a threat. That was then.
Here in this parallel world I was the real me. The patients care & experience while in the hospital is of paramount importance. I thought of how frightened the young children may be coming to the outpatients today. How concerned their devoted families must be. I watched the families, the children, the anxious Mums, often accompanied by their grandparents, with slightly tearful eyes. I had so much respect & admiration for the dedicated nursing staff & doctors. I was only helping out with admin but one day who knows what dream I may be living.
Always being referred to as Debbie with the correct gender nouns was music to my ears. One of the leading nurses was also called Debbie which occasionally caused some amusing confusion. I eventually run out of work to do & was invited to look after the nursery. Help the children play if the parents needed any help. Being asked to put out drawings which they/we could colour in was so surreal, for me an artist who had been struggling with painters block. Everything was so wonderfully different in this alternative universe. I really enjoyed the experience.
The reality of my work & life experiences, as well as the devotion I feel towards caring for my elderly parents is a challenge. I was feeling pulled in all directions & was very concerned I might be a burden to the hospital volunteer team. I wanted to provide useful help. The reality of being so lucky to still have my beloved elderly parent is something I cherish. In the time we have left together, every moment I can care for them, as they have always done for me, is so precious. It is a big adjustment for my beloved Mum & Dad & for me. The day was great. The issues of my responsibilities as a carer & the challenge of coming up with a work schedule that suits my parents, my employer all be it voluntary & me was/is rather tricky. I felt really awkward & guilty at trying tentatively to try to go back to work. We are so close & at times perhaps too reliant & needy of each other, to a point that to others may seem unhealthy. I just love them with all my heart & am devoted to them, as they are to me. My thoughts are with two kind friends who have recently sadly lost their beloved Mums this week.
Wednesday was a very special day for me. The recent news that Jo is feeling brighter & the lovely news about my friends Nicky & Rebecca have got my weekend off to a great start. My Dads football team are winning 3-0 & for the first time in quite a while, in with a chance of winning, so he is going to be happy too. Miracles can happen. Your dreams can come true. Take care my friends & may your weekend bring everything you wish for.


Anji said...

Yes it has been a good day for good news and now you've added more good news!

When you have a child in hospital the friendly smiling staff are really important - I speak from experience. I'm so pleased that it went well for you. As you say, very different from designing warships. I often wondered what Bob did.

Lucy Melford said...

This is an extremely important step. When I gave up working four years ago I lost human contact (it was a large office and I was very well known), a structure to my day, self-worth, a reason to get up, and the boundless leisure opened the door to all kinds of destructive introspection. So I say, a real job gives you a lot, and is something to value above most other day-to-day things. Glad it went so well!

Josephine said...

Great steps honey :-)

I'm thinking that you could definitely bring your passion for art to bear in looking after the kids...if you have children there to take care of, even temporarily, why not give them the occasional ad hoc art/drawing class!?'s all we ever wanted isn't it?

And what fab news about Nicky and Rebecca!


Lori D said...

I'm so glad to hear you've managed to claw your way out of that dark hole that tried to swallow you weeks ago.

You grasp at things which bring you joy and you carry them like you'd carry a precious pearl. You set the example for me for when I feel like I'm drowning and I have to find my life raft.

Thank you for sharing your story of courage. It's bravery even if you don't think of it as so!

NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

Thank you thank you for your kind words to us!!
It's super to see you enthusing about your work experiences, and great to feel your identity as a working woman return! I hope this continues for you.
much love nicky x

Loris Lane said...

Hi Debbie,
I know that this may have been quite tough and have been a little concerned for you as you stepped back into the world of work. I needn't have worried; I'm really glad to read your blog and how well it has worked out for you. Great news indeed; you're going to be a big hit I know.
Take care
Loris xxx

alan said...

That you are finding happiness in this world along with so many others gives me cause for joy as well!