Song Of The Week: Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
I will admit, this choice of song was partly inspired by watching ‘The Imitation Game‘ over the weekend and partly by the new Project Shandy call for submissions for Mental Health Awareness Week.
I am a great believer in Free Will and the idea that each of us is in charge of writing our own stories in life. I am also a great believer in the idea that we need to Get Out There and find those experiences that make us who we are.
I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Writing gives me a lovely sense of freedom and control when it works. It’s my way to control which parts of me are presented to the world. Every time I open up my screen or pick up a pen, I am in charge of the reality I create. But I sometimes need to remember that this applies to my real life as well. To every phone call, letter, email, conversation, friendship, relationship, interview – and to every poem, every blogpost, every story, every opinion piece. I am unwritten until I decide to speak. I mean me, the real ME, not just reputation or hearsay.
“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honour is what you know about yourself.”
It’s so important for all of us to speak up and explain our stories in our own words, not waiting to be defined by someone else. I for one have had enough of being defined by troglodytes like Katie Hopkins and her less-famous-but-just-as-annoying-copy-cats, not to mention all of the localised and less important echoes of her ilk that I have tiptoed around for years.
I feel stronger for deciding to speak up and offer a platform to some of my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms.
I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Now yes, I am not perfect, but I have a strong voice and things to say and that’s why I’m here in the first place. Watching ‘The Imitation Game’ has reminded me of just how much shit a person can get DONE when they refuse to let the world get in their way.
Listening to this song gives me the sensation of a blank page before me, reminds me that every day gives us new opportunities, new chances, new changes, fresh insights and ideas. It can be a breath of fresh air when you’ve been stuck in a rut. And it’s ok to sometimes get things wrong, so long as you go back and admit that, do your editing, tidy things up, submit your redrafts. With life. As well as with writing.
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
For me there is nothing more boring than someone who blames their entire lack of life on the world’s failure to hand success to them on a platter. In this life you have to decide how much you want something, and whether you are willing to accept whatever consequences emerge along that path to getting it.
Those consequences vary from person to person, from dream to dream. There might be the need to relocate, making choices between relationships, friendships and employment, giving up other aspects of your life to get what you really want in the long run. They might also be mundane – and this is the biggest one that I have been tripping over: if you want to be known for what you say in public, you have to take the shit responses with the positive ones and accept that you’re going to attract opinions from a lot of dross who only want to tear other people down to make themselves look more shiny in comparison. Hopkins, I’m looking at you… and you are by no means original or the first when it comes to the monopoly on this type of powerplay.
If you aren’t willing to take it – that’s fine, that’s your decision, that’s your CHOICE. But if you are willing, then you need to get out there and get started. Because nobody else is going to do it for you. Sometimes, if getting what you want involves a long walk, you’re gonna feel the rain on your skin. Try to see the benefit in that rather than whining about getting cold and wet, or complaining about the fact that you don’t want to get cold or wet and using that as an excuse for why you never got out the door.
I’ve lived a largely quiet life in terms of public opinion for the last five years or so, because I’ve been scared – actively frightened – of what people might say in response. Being diagnosed with anxiety has made that fear particularly hard to deal with, so it was easier to batten down the hatches and stay out of the storm.
But some things are more important. And I want to speak now.
It’s time to get up off the mat.
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*