Friday, 3 January 2014

One Thing Always Seems To Lead To Another

It's all about the weather here this weekend. We were hammered with wind and rain yesterday evening. The high tide surged over the harbour walls. As we live on a hill we were spared the water. But the thunder woke me up at about three this morning. Yesterday was actually lovely. Town was filled with holiday makers mooching about the shops. Porthmeor was alive with surfers, dog walkers and little people running around with their buckets and spades. Olly and I sat on the Island looking down on it all, while he ate his pasty. We couldn't resist a scramble over the rocks, and found an odd whirlpool in the shallows that seemed to eat pebbles and handfuls of sand. Olly loved this as you can imagine.

I stood and looked in envy at those people in the water. Do you think I should go and take some surf lessons? Apparently St Ives Surf Club does classes for 'older' ladies during the warmer months. I'm seriously considering doing it, but need a gentle shove. I'm not a particularly confident person - mind, body or soul. But standing there looking and listening to the unadulterated joy coming from the people in the surf, made me stop and think.

There are so many things that I have never tried or achieved because of my lack of confidence. It's such a debilitating feeling. It has stopped me in my tracks so many times. When I was training to be a counsellor, one of our course requirements was to give a group presentation. In my final year, I chose to talk about saying the 'Great Yes' as opposed to the 'Great No.' Essentially one will free you to pursue and live a bigger life, and the other will inhibit you. And I meant it as I read it out to my fellow class mates and tutors. I was on the cusp of finishing my Diploma. I was ready to shout the great big yes to the world!! Nothing was going to stop me.

I did practice for nearly four years in GP surgeries. It was challenging. I was a novice thrown into the deep end. My learning curve was very steep. But I think that I was pretty good. I can say that at least. However, it all went pear shaped when the Government introduced changes to counselling provision in the UK. It meant a change in the way I practised, the hours I was expected to work, the client base I was asked to take on and the statistics that I was expected to compile. It knocked me sideways, and I found myself unable to cope. The tenuous grasp I had on my confidence disappeared.

Eventually I left my job and I left counselling practice behind. My confidence took a huge hit, as I asked myself over and over and over again why I couldn't stand the heat. Once again I had bailed. Typical me. Sabotaging myself as per. That was over five years ago, and I've lived an unassuming life ever since. And yes I have had run ins with depression. But so does Stephen Fry, and he stills stands there loudly proclaiming the Great Yes!

Talk about Physician Heal Thyself....................

So there I stood on Porthmeor listening to the happy noises of people having fun. Watching my boy, my Olly Pops running around free as a bird. Oozing confidence and attitude. Everything about him can be summed up as a Great Yes. I so want to go into the sea with him this year. I want to help him to learn to body board. I want to my happy voice to join the others this summer. But not just that. I want to truly believe that I have the confidence to actually go for this plan that I hinted at in my last post. I want to start living a bigger life again. I don't want to feel scared to raise my head above the parapet.


God this blogging is a bloody weird thing. You start with a weather report, and end up exposing your soul! I guess I could hit delete. Tap tap tap tap tap tap.........

Maybe the Great Yes languishing deep inside me is telling me to hit publish. Bugger it. I think I shall.

Leanne xx


  1. I know how you feel. Just having a blog at all was a huge leap for me. I've always been quiet and introverted, but not like I am now. I think it was having babies that did it to me; I became isolated because I had a lot of health problems (which led to bedrest before and after the births), and then just the ordeal of raising them, I felt kind of tied down. We moved across the country when our son was a year old, and that was really hard from the socializing standpoint. I think I just learned to be alone. I'm trying to unlearn and get more outgoing again. I used to be a high school teacher and sometimes it's hard to remember where I found the confidence to stand in front of those kids and keep order every day. I think that if you want to learn how to surf, you should. It would be a lot of fun and you would feel great for mastering it. Maybe a friend would take the course with you?

  2. It looks so beautiful looking at beach with Olly and the addition of a pasty makes it perfect! Glad you went and published the post rather than deleted it! Just doing one thing that gives you confidence can lead to you attempting others. I hope you do try surfing. It's so easy to dream and not do it, which I frequently do!
    Sarah x

  3. Such a lovely, personal post with beautiful photos. It sounds like your confidence is growing all the time, you certainly need it to be so honest in your blog. I think you should give the surfing a go - you've got nothing to lose! x

  4. Oh Leanne what a wonderful post! Your photos are amazing and you are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. What better place is there to learn to surf! I think you should go for it. Follow your dreams x

  5. I think surfing would be a wonderful thing to do. I always tell myself, "No-one is born knowing how to do this stuff. Everyone learns. Right from the beginning. Everyone." If you start now, before long you won't be a beginner any more. I don't know if you've ever read Devon's blog - the tale of a mermaid - she's a surfer in California and although her life is a million miles from mine I do love reading and I connect with quite a lot of what she says. And there'll be plenty of surfing encouragement. I'm sad that your confidence isn't always high, I think it should be, you have such a lot going for you. And you're going to look lovely with blonde tousled surfer chick hair :) CJ xx

  6. Confidence is a hard one isn't it. I hope that you do take the surfing course and that it does do good things for your self confidence. You did an amazing job I am sure with your counselling, it is hard work take on, and when you then have paperwork etc piled on top that makes it even harder. I wish you lots of joy in your surfing or whatever you decide to do to say the great yes, and not the great no! xx

  7. Leanne I am glad you didn't delete this post.You have lots of confidence in you, I can see it in your writing. I can see you laugh in the waves with Olly, too. Go for it!
    Personally, my lack of self confidence has always been my biggest enemy. It stops me from enjoying what I have with more joy and less worry. I have listed a few things I want to do and be on my own blog to remind me later in the year. More than anything probably I would like to have more fun and be more fun. I not a complete bore but I get easily embarrassed and find laughing out loud or dancing or (take your pick, lots of things) difficult.
    I quite fancy surfing and might give it a try this summer, when we visit Cornwall. I'll do it if you do it. Promise. x

  8. As often with your blog ... I read your posts and then think about what you have written for a day or two. Please take that as a true compliment. I actually find your writing thought provoking. Your photos are amazing. But, what I love best is your total honesty. That takes so much courage. Isn't it funny what other people can see and feel yet within ourselves those little demons chip away.
    I think everyone who is worth knowing has confidence problems. That's what stops them being brash, over the top, know it alls. Complete pains in the arse if I am honest. How long could you spend listening to someone who is fearless,accomplished,confident,knowledgeable etc etc. Maybe the best people of all are those who are all that but you would never know.
    So, I have thought about your post and I feel you should have a massive tattoo done which says YES!
    Whether you learn to surf or not ( I hope you do) love yourself entirely because you are a very special lady who actually makes me think and reflect. Thank you for that.
    P.s .... I am such a scaredy cat about so many things. It's lovely when you get to 60 because know one expects you to do stunts of any kind anymore! X

  9. yay good for you! Gawd girl do you know we are the same person! you are my honorary sister for this day forward! my sister by the sea and i for one got every single word you say here! go surfing and blog it and i will cheer and cry at every post! i think you are fabulous xxxx

  10. I'm glad you hit publish. I do think that time alone with little ones means that your confidence takes a knock. Mine has. I don't recognise the old me who led meetings and kicked ass at work. My trouble is I am always convinced someone else can do it better and am a horrible perfectionist. I think we should metaphorically hold hands and both take the leap to do the things we want to do this year. xx

  11. One of my previous hats was as a counsellor too ... and one of the things I learnt from the people I counselled is that life isn't ever going to fall in with our plans, but that often our reversals turn out to be advances. You have opportunities now you wouldn't have had if you had continued along the path you were following. Sometimes the big yes is a saying yes to saying no, or no more, and without beating ourselves up about it. And sometimes the big yes is little more than a whisper but a quietly affirming yes all the same. I think you've not really forgotten that, and I think you'll be okay ... in fact I can't wait to watch you take flight this year and see where your wings take you x

  12. Hello Leanne. I have got a bit behind with my blog reading and just catching up with yours. I love your photos. I think an awful lot of us could identify with what you have written. It isn't easy being a Mum, and I can remember feeling exactly the same over the years, and now at sixty (what?) sometimes the same, and sometimes other things. Now people probably think I am just an older lady. Ha! Take care x