Dreams – BIG or small are Dreams

I had a dream, almost a year ago now, that I would blog. Not every day, perhaps not even every week, but regularly.
I started this blog in the January of this year (2013) and this is my 4th post. I do also have another blog: nixitup.wordpress.com but, again, there are only a few posts on there. Does this mean that I have failed with this dream?

At Primary school I was asked what I wanted to be. I said an astronaut and a nurse and maybe both. I knew I couldn’t be a nurse because I don’t like needles at all and could never give someone an injection. And I kind of knew I would never be an astronaut. But I loved the idea of it, and the fact that I could simply dream it and never worry about being it.
At Secondary school, things got more serious. So, when they asked what I wanted to be, I had to give a serious response. Luckily, by this point I had a pretty decent idea. I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t really know why, but I knew that I wanted it. My Grandmother had been a teacher at a small village school – the young’uns, aged 5 and 6. I didn’t want that. So, I pursued a career as an English and Drama teacher, just like my favourite teacher at school.

I’ll skip past the bit where I tell you what happened next and get to the point where I tell you that I achieved that dream. I am a teacher: English first, Drama somewhat incorporated.

And it is at this point where I ask another question. Does a dream, once made a reality, ever live up?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I love what I do: planning everything from how to use a comma to what does Priestley want the audience to contemplate at the end of the play?; being in the classroom and soaking up the joy at watching minds expand and lives change forever; marking folders and books and papers which could either send me into a violent rage as I realise they just didn’t get it or hysterics when they take one of my sarcastic comments too seriously. I love that every day is different. I love that each day I converse with over 100 people, all of whom are so individual.

Yet, in comparison, my dream still feels so small. In comparison to who? Well, a dear friend whose dreams have taken him very far away from me. His parents took him away first; moved him 100s of miles away to start a new life. I figured we’d always end up at the same university or something. Except I wanted to study English and then do my teacher training. And he wanted to do Art/Illustration and various other things like that. I wanted academia and he wanted the world.
I got academia. And he got the world.
His job involves creating props for film productions – large and small. He’s worked with some of the largest name in the film business. His name has literally been on the big screen.

I forgot what my point was halfway through this. I’ve deleted several paragraphs.

My dream, in comparison, was small. But it was big enough for me. Perhaps, my dear friend, had bigger dreams because he’s a bigger person. He certainly always had a bigger personality. And, although our dreams took us in different directions, and I speak to him about twice a year and I haven’t seen him off-screen for almost a decade, I know that he is still my dear friend. His dream has taken him to where he needs to be. And mine has me where I need to be.

And now that I have achieved that biggest of my dreams, I have other dreams. Smaller dreams yet. To blog more often. To meet even more people. To experience more of the world. Just more of it – not all of it. Small. But big enough.

I think it’s time for bed. I’m waffling.
Sweet dreams.

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Didn’t I Break My Heart?

Music has always been such a significant part of my life. I deeply believe that everyone has a sort of soundtrack to their life. Not one which plays as they move, but which plays because they move.

My mum once told me that the first sound I ever heard (based on scientific studies of the time) was Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album. “Probably while I was hoovering,” she joked. It’s believeable though, for Meat was a constant figure in our household. My mum worked two jobs but was around more than I remember her not being, and when she was she played a lot of his music. I must have known all the words to Bat Out of Hell from a very young age. Still to this day, the story of Beauty and the Beast has never been better told than in the video for I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).

meat loaf BOOH

The first concert I went to was down to my mum and her friend, who’s favourite band is Thunder. I can safely say my brother (younger by 2 years) and I were the youngest there. But we knew all the words and the heckles we were supposed to heckle. And the best part of the night was having the lead singer point up to us and ask if we knew the chorus to Love Walked In. “Of course!” we bellowed, and sang our heads of alongside the band and a few hundred of their other fans.

Music was the reason I knew magic was real. My granmother would love to say I have had a spiritual revelation and that I see myself as God’s witness on this earth. But the closest I have ever been to this is when listening to music.

My dad – as much a musical influence on my as my mum – introduced me to my favourite band of all time: the Manic Street Preachers. My first tattoo was a ‘slag tag’ in homage to them and my favourite of their songs. I became obsessed (it’s the only way to describe it) when I was eleven and the song If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next came out. It wa snot my first single or my first album (ashamedly, that was The Simpsons compliation), but it was the first I had felt the need to buy. It was the first time I really understood how music can move you.

There are songs I smile at because I enjoy them. There are songs which make me smile. There are songs which make me angry and ready to change the world for the 3-7 minutes they’re playing. A few songs, not many, make me weep, or at least want to.

So many platforms allow you to download or sample music, mixing them into infinite lists. Marillion’s Kayleigh played on such a list today. It’s a song I haven’t heard in a while, one which always ends up in some compilation of others, and it just seemed to fit: as if some musical higher power beamed it down to me and said “Nix, this is what you’re feeling, and it’s okay to feel that way.” It transported me to my dad’s house, back home-home. A house I haven’t visited in almost a decade, when I made a leap and walked out. But instead of making me feel sad because of all the bad things I associate with that house, I recalled all the lovely time. Those lovely times are less than those which I consider ‘bad’, but they played to me in sequence of short snapshots as the song took a background position.

We pass through our life breaking hearts and having our hearts broken so many times. My dad, as I believe is so with most women, was the first man to break my heart. It was okay though, because when he broke it again a few years later I stole his copy of Grace Slick’s Dreams. I say, stole, but I genuinely forgot it was in my CD player. That album is the true album of my sorrows – the only album I found which could drag me from even the disgusting, bleak depressions that I found myself falling into.

dreams

But, if I were to say there is a song which sums up life, it would be Marillion’s Kayleigh.

Do you remember the cherry blossom in the market square?

Do you remember, I thought it was confetti in our hair?

By the way, didn’t I break your heart?

Please excuse me, I never meant to break your heart.

Today, I’d say that anyway.

 

 

 

 

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The New Year is Here

Starting this blog was just one of my New Year Resolutions.

I’ve not done great by it. But then I spend the school holidays catching up with people (we’re talking family when it’s Christmas) and preparing for the next term (at the earache of my housemate). Overall, not overly exciting and certainly not inspiring.

However, a joint resolution was made with a friend at work. We both know we could do with losing weight, and we’d love to be a dress size smaller; we also know that we have limited willpower and bad habits (she loves chocolate and I love cheese – mmm cheese). So, instead of resolving to shed the pounds, we decided we would do more, in the sense that we would then shed pounds by being more active and stimulated.

So, I started with the concept of dating. This is the first year we have both started single, and we plan on acting on this. I do not necessary want, and certainly don’t need, a boyfriend. However, I recognise that I don’t even try to give myself the chance half the time. I spend my flirting powers to get out of droll meetings, rather than into lucky pants nowadays.

Speed dating was my first port of call. They do it in every city… except the one I live in. No joy there. Singles nights! Not really. The closest you get is a Valentines Traffic Light Party. Like something we used to do in uni where all the Greens and Ambers would pile on top of each other in an alcohol-induced stupour where the only result was a trip to the clinic; the Reds having a proper date or a cosy night in, sometimes resulting in an engagement or even a romantic evening. I’m not in uni anymore.

That said, my next step was to consider clubs or teams we could join. She’s good at singing; I am not. We’re both crafty, but it feels too much like work. That put amateur dramatics out as well. Neither of us are overly sporty. We thought a walking club would be fun, but it requires a lot of time and a car (is it just me who finds this ridiculous?) to get you to the wonderful places in which to go walking.

Result: I found a book club which meets once a month on a SUNDAY at a cost of £15 (for which you do get a 2-course meal and glass of wine). So, my option seems to be to read books thrust into my palms only to discuss it while feasting on food and booze the night before a week of work begins. Or not.

This might be why nobody sticks to their resolutions.

I’ll try to stick with the blogging. Hopefully I’ll update soon with some wonderful nixtolgia.

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A New Year Approaches

What makes a person is not simply biology. Nor is it simply a case of the nuture in which they have been given from each other person they have encountered.

What makes a person is their past, the present and their aspirations for the future.

I have always wanted to write. And write I have done: poems, prose, diary entries, letters, newspaper articles even. More often than not, what I write is lesson plans and comments at the bottom of other people’s writing. It is, of course, still writing but it wasn’t quite what I had in mind at a young age. Now,bout a quarter of a century later, I can identify that there are two ways in which to be a writer. Option One: wait until you have retired from whatever it is your adult self does (in my case, teaching the art of reading and writing), and spend your days trying to trace back those muses which came and wen, jotted down in notebooks now worn to wormfood. Option Two: just write. I have chosen Option Two for years, yet rarely has anyone seen what I write.

This is my New Year resolution for 2013: a year which should be lucky for me as 13 assisted in my winning many a tenner on the lottery. Just write.

My past has shaped me as much as the next person, and it visits me every day in the same manner as that of Marley to Scrooge. My future is a dark path of which I step onto each day. My present, well, it is what it is. And so, I propose to share all three of these. My past: the haunting memories and dreams left undreamt. My present. My future: the dreams of yet to come.

I am Nix and this is Nixtolgia.

Happy New Year.

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