I said I would listen this year, and I am sharing what I’ve recently mindfully heard, with you. All quite surreal so far.

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We’re now at the end of March in 2019. It's the beginning of Spring, Easter is around the corner and quite honestly, I can’t believe where the time has gone. As I mentioned on the last blog, I have been busy, and time is accounted for, but wow, it’s nearly Easter already. Arguably, Easter’s later than usual, yet still it’s so near, in January it felt so very far away.

Sitting, writing this blog, fingers to keys, the radio in the back ground, once upon a time, I couldn’t write and listen to music at the same time. I used to find the music distracting from the imaginary mind chatter - that’s a writer’s life for you. When the mind is constantly in the process of thought, external noises, from traffic to the twittering of birds, to the random washing machine spin, fridge clicking into activation cooling mode, or the trip trapping of paws to laminate floor, they can all be distractions. It often feels like it’s taken me years to practise and become selective of sounds. What should I be listening to? What can I block out? Personally, up until practising in the Profession of Writer, and of course completing the very helpful self-awareness worksheets offered by Psychologies Magazine and available to all subscribers, I’d never directly acknowledged the noises. 

I recently read my own work back to myself. Poetry - four years later! With this new-found awareness and appreciation for the noises, listening to sounds that exist within an assumed silence, I smiled at some of my writing. I was often hearing the sounds, and writing them down, yet rarely fully conscious of them. The sounds indirectly penetrated my mind, stimulated my senses, and became words upon the page. The whole process of simply writing, illuminates my imagination. When people often talk of writers-block and procrastination, I rarely relate. Every second of silence evokes thoughts that become things to me - that’s creative writing. 

After an abundance of listening, consciously listening this last few months, I had achieved a few goals, and normally I would let the goals  and achievements sail by without praise. I considered myself to be annoying and irritating if I continually felt elated at my achievements. Where had this self-beating evolved from, was it childhood? Was it adulthood? Was it learning? Was it a dodgy relationship? Was it conditioning? Did it matter?

Hmmm. Did it matter? This is me listening to myself as I mindfully write this self-awareness blog and pause for thought. Was it the inner critic? Was this a form of self-sabotage? Why did I think I shouldn’t or couldn’t be praising myself? 

In listening to these thoughts, I decided to take a look at my career progress. What types of jobs did I think I was capable of? After looking at my application for roles in 2018, I identified that I was always the processor, the support worker, the caring role, the do-gooder, the people-pleasing and often embroiled within a continual presence of guilt in never doing enough roles. Hufft and Pufft. Why had I chosen to follow the stereotype of femininity?

Put simply. It was all I knew. 

As a teen, I wanted to be the writer. I was told men do that, women just type what the men write. When I was a young adult I wanted to work in T.V. I remember on many occasions and applications, being told, this is a mans’ world, if you don’t have the look as a woman you have nothing to sell. I settled for the supportive, operational, processing roles, and although I loved the people I worked alongside, there was always something missing for me. 

As a parent, I fully embraced the role of mother, and wouldn’t change the last decade. It has been the most unconditionally liberating and empowering period of my life. However, during this liberating and empowering decade, I chose to return to education and study, to be a teacher? Through the process of learning and deep down in my gut I knew I wanted to know more about the writers behind the literature. Naively and innocently, I will go as far to call myself ignorant, and at the back of my mind I believed that professors were men, and women had the processing and clean up roles. My thoughts were a measure of my own historical memories, buried external voices and experience. 

I am also a believer that it's never too late to learn and make the change. 

At the university, women were professors, I gasped. Wow! How wonderful. Alternate opportunities did exist for women. Women were also writers. I gasped again, pinching myself, was I dreaming my whole life that I couldn’t or shouldn’t, or can’t? Some women were going after their dreams, they had ambition, they saw beyond their nurturing and processing capacity and were truly making a difference. The women that I read within literature, from Darrieussecq, to De Beauvoir, to Rowling and Meyers, they were doing it. They didn’t listen to hearsay, they did what they wanted anyway.

With all of this new information and a certain challenge: how to switch the buried experiential voices off, and reprogramme a few new voices, empowering voices and women with ‘can do’ attitudes. I see strength in women that can, and I praise women that try, they may mistakes, but they try, and they can laugh at their own learning curves. I’m listening. . .

I love words, and writing, and I love film and radio too, and I’ve decided to do a little bit of volunteering to see whether I can learn a little bit more about the entertainment industry and who knows, I may even apply for a job in TV and Media. I did say I was open to new adventures and sometimes it isn’t about having the right look, it is about being in the right place at the right time, that will allow me to find my true self, and flourish.

Listening is amazing.

Wish me luck.

I’m visiting a Radio Station this afternoon, and I am so nervous, or is it excitement? The feeling of both anticipation and fear can often physically feel similar for me. I will let you know how I get on. Loving the listening, and I consider this day quite a life leap. 

Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.


Go to the profile of Jane Kirk
almost 3 years ago

Good luck, but you already have luck, as you make your own! I don't know about can't but you already are doing it. Well done and keep going, listening to the voices as you travel. Stumble, you might fall but you shall get up and keep going. That is the wonderous way of women.