Concave

Hi, hello.

I wrote this short thing while I was noodling about with writing prompts (thoroughly recommend Writers HQ if anyone’s looking for good ones!). The prompt was “convex or concave” and as you can see, I opted for the latter. It got me thinking about my less than stellar relationship with my meat suit over the years, and the few paragraphs below are what came out after I set a ten-minute timer and started scribbling.

I just want to say up top that this post is not an attack on smaller bodies. It’s a result of years of assuming it was necessary for me to shoehorn mine into a shape that it didn’t want to be via a host of ridiculous and unsustainable means (hello, Special K diet!). M’kay, thanks. Here goes:

When I think of the word “concave”, it puts me in mind of begging. I imagine the hollow created by two cupped hands in a silent plea for more. “Concave” indicates both a lack and a need. No one begs unless there’s some underlying sense of desperation they need to address.

So then why did I spend all of my teens and most of my twenties hungering after a concave curve in my middle? I’d fantasized about wearing little tops that would “show off” a begging bowl of a midriff to everyone around me. I thought that once I’d somehow scooped the flesh from between my ribs and pelvis, I’d never need anything again: I’d be filled with unshakable confidence and inundated with admirers, all because my stomach no longer perched atop my jeans when I sat down.

At thirty-three, I now know that, for my body at least, I would need to be especially under-nourished to get to a point where I’m presenting like an apple with a chunk bitten out of it. I’ve learned that during all those years, my desire for hollowness was linked with begging: Begging for respite from my chattering worries (translation: generalised anxiety), begging for acceptance, and begging for validation.

I’m so fucking grateful that I’ve since accepted that I don’t need to eat only cereal for two meals a day, go cold turkey on snacking, or chew each mouthful of food thirty times over like a cow chewing cud in order to get those things. And that I sure as shit don’t need to beg for them.

Knowlege Gobbler: How a Personality Quiz Brought Me Back to Blogging

How do? Welcome to Spilled Think – the blog that this thirty-something, easily distracted human of the ovary-wielding variety intends to violently splatter her thoughts at. Not unlike a toddler flinging spaghetti at a wall. Or the worse metaphor about a curry and a toilet bowl I was about to use. But I’m not going to.

Sorry. I already sort-of have now, haven’t I? I hope you weren’t eating.

Until recently, I could be found at rebeccawritesandran.blogspot.com,* which initially started as a “look at me, I’m a runner now!” bragging platform, documenting of my training for my first (and last, probably) ever marathon. I had a blog. I had a niche. I was good to go. And then my hypermobile, barely-attached feet went on strike. After a couple of years of blogging under a somewhat misleading website name, I slowly felt increasingly disconnected from it, which is a shame because I love stringing words together and casting them into the many-eyed void that is the internet.

Cue four months of watching TV and uncomfortably fidgeting because “Unnnngh! I want to write something, but not on that blog. Anyway, I don’t have time. I’m so busy and important. Ooh, there’s a new Louis Theroux show out…Where have all my crisps gone?”

What pulled me out of my four-month writer’s paralysis was a quiz I stumbled across on one of the many MANY podcasts I listen to on my daily two-hour commute, called The Good Life Project. Long story short, the presenter, Jonathan Fields has spent a crazy amount of time researching what drives people in life, and he found that as a species, despite the fact that we’re all super-special individual snowflakes, our “reasons for being” can generally be narrowed down into ten categories they called Sparketypes:

sparketypes

I ‘borrowed’ this image from the Sparketype Mastery Guide I bought from The Good Life Project…nice people of  The Good Life Project, please don’t sue me, for I am poor!

Because I’m a sucker for anything that whiffs even vaguely of psychology, I was naturally drawn in. I’m one of those people who constantly agonizes about what I need to be doing with my life to be living it “properly”. Sadly, I don’t think worrying and eating cheesy snacks count as a reason d’être – if it was, I could proudly claim to be a fully self-actualised human.

At the end of the podcast episode, which was called What Should I Do With My Life? First, Do This, Fields directs the listener to a quiz that helps you work out what your main Sparketype is and which one comes as a close second. I jumped on that mofo immediately.

I filled the quiz in, thinking “la la la, I’m so creative and wordsy, I’m bound to be a maker, because I’m sooo artsy-fartsy!”

…I got Maven – driven to learn (with maker a close second, so while I might not be fully artsy-fartsy, at least I’m a bit artsy-slightly-windy). Which was a bit of a surprise. Until I realised it shouldn’t have shocked me at all. Mavens enjoy learning for its own sake, and whether they have any use for that knowledge whatsoever doesn’t matter that much.

Here’s why that answer was spot on:

  • I grew up asking so many questions, that I was once told by my mum to “Stop asking so many bloody questions, I’m trying to pee!” I had a genuine anxiety that I’d get to adulthood without knowing enough. I’m still convinced I don’t know enough.
  • I’ve always said that if I won the lottery, I’d become one of those token oldies you see hovering around university course after university course like a ghost whose unfinished business was that it never learned enough about human behaviour or obscure Welsh literary history while it was alive.
  • I devour books, audiobooks, documentaries and podcasts like my brain is a leaky bucket that needs continual topping up.
  • I am a font of useless knowledge. I couldn’t tell you how to change a bike tyre or how to do long division, but if you need to know the name and background of any member of a pop-punk band from the early noughties, or why holding a pencil between your teeth is proven to put you in a better mood, I’m your guy!

The main purpose of the quiz is to help you determine how to best spend your time, whether that’s at work or otherwise. I’m fortunate that in my job, even though it’s stressful and a bit bloody far away, I’m constantly learning new shit and having to write about said new shit on the daily (I work in internal comms for a company with many, many different departments), so if I’m a knowledge gobbler with a penchant for making stuff out of said knowledge, then that’s not a bad place for me to be.

So that left my free time to think about. My lovely, digestible podcasts, books etc. etc. fill me up, but I still feel like something’s missing. I want to be able to make something out of that information, whether it’s actually useful or not. Hmm…what could I possibly do that’ll allow me to create something from what I learn? Some kind of platform for expression perhaps, where I don’t have to commit to documenting just one area of experience/learning? Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. What a conundrum.

Div.

So, yeah, here’s my new blog! Every article I’ve read about blogging (because, duh, of course I had to read up on it before diving back in) encourages you to pick a niche and become an expert in it, but I tried that and my foot threatened to leave the leg it was attached to as a result. For the good of my sanity and body parts, I’m opting for the no-niche option. I shall be a niche-less wonder. Every day’s a new learning experience and I shan’t be caged, godammit!

Anyway, you’ve been patient in indulging me. Here is a link to the quiz, which has been spookily accurate for the people I’ve gently encouraged (harassed) to take it. And here is a link to The Good Life Project’s website, which is full of useful resources for making this our little flashes in this pan of existence a bit more fun. Enjoy!

If I’ve successfully figured out how to enable comments (fingers crossed!), let me know your results and whether they rang true for you too.

Until next time =)

 

*If you’ve come with me all the way from my Blogspot page – Hi, I love you. *Small, bashful wave.*