Sunday, 7 September 2014

In my mind.

(Why yes. I did get made up as a zombie and do a photoshoot.)

Who am I now? That's something I've been mulling over. I want to be many things. Many of them are reliant on being a fully able, fully healthy person, with unlimited funds. Those are the wants I bring out when I want to beat myself up. The unattainable. The ridiculous. The ones that I only want because I can't have them.

Self-flagellation and I are firm friends. Even when we haven't seen each other for months or years, when we get together it's just like old times. As if nary a day had passed. We take up where we left off and joke about all the ways I've failed or cocked up in life.

In my more sanguine moments I realise that I am being a dick, which goes right against my "don't be a dick" policy on how to live life. Somehow being a dick to myself is okay, because it's me.

Don't be a dick, Michelle.
Say it 10 times and repeat at need. 

Times like that I need to play this song (on loop and loud),

and list off all the ways I am pretty damn fabulous. Because I am. I just need to see it and embrace it.

Since being sick I've thrown off a lot of the usual constraints society places on us. Life's too short and energy too scarce, to waste it on filling a role designed by others. Coming from a pretty conservative family it's taken a lot of years, and soul-searching, to shake off the behavioural shackles I was wrapped in at birth. It's been a little step here and a little step there, to find the pieces of me. To feel okay in my own skin, not the skin everyone else says I should wear. To realise my opinions are mine, and they are okay. That I don't have to spout the ones I was taught as I grew up. That I can speak my mind. That I don't have to apologise for being me.

At 41, am I still rebelling, or is it simply that I don't give a crap anymore? A little bit of both probably. I definitely don't have all my shit together, as evidenced by many of my latest posts. But I'm telling myself that is okay, and slowly I am believing it.

I realise as I type this my circle of friends and family, although small in number, represent those who take me as I am. Those who read the blog are the same. They are people who like me for me, in all my mixed up, slightly left of centre, contradictory glory, not despite it. They don't tolerate my difference, they are here because they like it. And that is a gift. One for which I am very grateful.

So thank you Amanda Palmer for making this song (and Map of Tasmania, because that never fails to crack me up. Whoever thought that little Australian phrase would make it's way into any song? NSFW for those who haven't seen the clip before.)

I need to start believing, that when I wipe away the crap I cover myself with and polish up the picture of me,

I am exactly the person I want to be.


I've included all the lyrics below rather than just selecting a few, because all of them sing to me and I think they'll sing to many others.

In My Mind
Amanda Palmer 

In my mind
In a future five years from now
I'm one hundred and twenty pounds
And I never get hung over
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never minding what state I'm in
And I will be someone I admire
And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I am not exactly the person that I thought I'd be

And in my mind
In the faraway here and now
I've become in control somehow
And I never lose my wallet
Because I will be the picture of discipline
Never fucking up anything
And I'll be a good defensive driver
And it's funny how I imagined
That I would be that person now
But it does not seem to have happened
Maybe I've just forgotten how to see
That I'll never be the person that I thought I'd be

And in my mind
When I'm old I am beautiful
Planting tulips and vegetables
Which I will mindfully watch over
Not like me now
I'm so busy with everything
That I don't look at anything
But I'm sure I'll look when I am older
And it's funny how I imagined
That I could be that person now
But that's not what I want
But that's what I wanted
And I'd be giving up somehow
How strange to see
That I don't wanna be the person that I want to be

And in my mind
I imagine so many things
Things that aren't really happening
And when they put me in the ground
I'll start pounding the lid
Saying I haven't finished yet
I still have a tattoo to get
That says I'm living in the moment
And it's funny how I imagined
That I could win this, win this fight
But maybe it isn't all that funny
That I've been fighting all my life
But maybe I have to think it's funny
If I wanna live before I die
And maybe it's funniest of all
To think I'll die before I actually see
That I am exactly the person that I want to be

Fuck yes
I am exactly the person that I want to be

Remember to head on over here to donate to my Clicking My Heels For Dysautonomia, raising money for the Greg Page Fund for Orthostatic Intolerance and Dysautonomia research, at The Baker IDI. Thanks to the generosity of many we've already raised over $2,000, keep donating and hopefully we can reach $10,000.


  1. Totally Rachel. :)

    Ta, Michelle, Amanda fucking Palmer is great.


    1. I love her. So many fabulous songs, loved her in The Dresden Dolls too, and her response to the reporter recently was priceless. :)


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