Tangible. I’ve always loved that word. I have this lovely memory of my mum saying something to me after a swimming gala. Yes, when I was younger, well young enough to be a junior school student, I adored swimming. And funnily enough, I wasn’t too bad at it. My school was a 10 minute stroll from home. I remember this one evening, after a gala, swimming hat still on (why did we do that mum?!) almost leaping a little in my strides at the medals hanging around my neck. And as we got to the front door, mum said to me “your happiness is almost tangible Bridie. I’m so proud of you.”
I’m not sure what made me relive that memory today. The loveliest thing about it, is that I remember thinking Mum was proud of me because of how happy I felt, not just because of the sparkly gold medals on ribbons I was holding tight.
I wasn’t all that competitive and back then, I just had a little more faith in myself. I’d be all ready to set off down to school before the gala, and would get those ruddy butterflies in my tummy. I’d tell mum about them and she’d say “tell them to go away.” So we’d walk down to school and with every step I’d mutter under my breath, “go away go away.”
And when I was underwater in the midst of a race, I could hear my dad shouting on my behalf, “GO BRIDIE WEST GO.” I’m not sure how loud he shouted for me to hear him underwater, or whether I just instinctively heard my dad’s screams of encouragement when I needed them, but all in all … it was such bloomin’ fun.
When I got to secondary school, I didn’t even try out for the swimming team. I carried on with all other sports, just not the one that meant the most to me. In my little year 7 frame of mind, it scared me. I didn’t want to go to tryouts and be judged and maybe not be what they wanted. I wanted to carry on at my own, quaint swimming club, feeling happy. The tangible kind.
And since that sweet sentence Katie West uttered, I have learnt how tangible happiness truly is. Like when someone has received good news, you can almost feel little bubbles of joy burst by your face. The only thing more tangible than happiness is fear.
Sometimes I wonder how I got to be nervy and scared of all sorts of things. But honestly, I’ve decided to feel this way is a blessing. With deep, magical, keep you up at night, dreams, comes fear. And I’mma learn to handle this fear if it means keeping my dreams ever so close.
I can’t believe it’s been two months since I blogged. Well, actually I can. I’ve just been in one of life’s ruts. The kind where you don’t feel like you have enough time for everything and then when you finally have a moment, you just want to sleep. Yep, those ruts really are the damnedest things.
Anyway, I promise to try to be better at time keeping and keeping all of this fear gobbledygook at bay. I have a brand new phone now (because oh yes, I also managed to drop that down the toilet this week) and I’m fairly certain I’m back to my cake lovin’ self.
A word of advice, if you happen to get any butterflies in your tummy this evening, just tell them to go away … once upon a time, it worked for me.
P.s. I've been admiring old photos. 2003 (aged 9) seems to be the peak of my photo posing ... if you need a giggle, keep scrolling.
Now it might be a shot in the dark, but I'm guessing things became a little more complicated when I stopped dressing up.
A bit like when I stopped making mud pies.
I mean, can we all appreciate the determination in those eyes of mine!
I feel like this was a particularly yummy Christmas dinner.
And I really think goggles are a good look for me.
Lovin' that blunt cut.
The only post swimming photo I could find. It's a keeper though.
Earlier today I made a cake which I loved just a little bit.
I mean are you drooling yet?
My final feeling about all of the above, is that life would be far more fabulous now ... if I still had this burberry cap.