I haven’t blogged for about a month… which is very unlike me.
Part of the reason is because I’ve been trying to sort through the noise in my head. And I’m constantly trying to figure out what I want this blog to say… and what projects I want to focus on… and what I want to do with my time and talents (because there’s more to life than mooching around and travelling – I actually DO want to contribute something significant to this world while I’m still in it!)
Anyhoo… with all the thinking and ruminating (and the many arguments I’ve been having with myself of late)… I thought I’d give you all a disturbing peek into The Noise which is my brain. Without further ado, an illustrated guide to (some) of my personalities.
Obviously – a large part of who I am is mom to Morgan (8) and Joah (6). I adore these two little people… and could easily spend many hours waxing lyrical about their quirks, cleverness and the funny things they’ve said or done. Mama Bear is cuddly… and kind (but very protective of her offspring).
Mama Bear is a huge part of me – but I keep her in check… because I don’t want this to turn into one of those Mommy-Blogs (the web has enough of them already)… and I don’t want to alienate other parents or try to infer that MY parenting choices are the RIGHT choices (and everyone else is therefore wrong).
So… Mama Bear is allowed to have her say on this blog… but I try not to let her dominate the conversation.
Again – obviously – the most important people in my life are my husband and kids. So the part of me that is “Mom” and the part of me that is “Wife” are both major ingredients in the Cake-of-Me.
I am fortunate enough to be in a very happy marriage (going on 10 years now) with the love of my life, Nick. There’s a LOT I could write about marriage and love… but that’s not what this blog is about (and I tend to be rather private when it comes to discussing my relationship with Nick).
An important element of the Wife part of my personality… is “Proud Wife”. Since I’m both involved in Nick’s work as a filmmaker – and very proud of his accomplishments and talent, I’ll occasionally mention awards he’s won… or films he’s working on.
Nick isn’t entirely comfortable with me proud-wife’ing on the internet… but, as I’ve told him before, I have Wife-Rights… and Proud Wife is allowed to occasionally boast about her hairy Greek and tell everyone how wonderful he is (and what an amazing father he is too!).
Okay. So – those are the obvious ones. Heather-the-Mom and Heather-the-Wife… but there’s SO much more….
THE CREATIVE CREATURE
This is Hat. Hat is the artist… the designer, musician, songwriter, poet, photographer, illustrator, singer, scriptwriter, composer, storyteller, ideas-person and creator.
The Creative Creature part of me isn’t so much a personality… but rather, it’s an Operating System. I view the world through the eyes of the Creative Creature. Hat is the conduit through which I process and interact with the world.
I have always been the Creative Creature. This is the oldest and most known part of me… the part I’m most comfortable with. Everything I do… whether it’s opening a bank account… or running a bath… or posting an Instagram pic… is done whilst looking at the world through the eyes of Hat.
I love Hat. But she can be rather frustrating. And somewhat embarrassing. For one, she’s appallingly messy and disorganised. She’s always losing things… and forgetting things… and she has WAY too many ideas for her own good. She sucks at money management too.
I often get cross with Hat. Because she’s scatter-brained and A.D.D. and she keeps flitting from project to project… idea-to-idea… because she is so easily bored and distracted. I’m constantly lecturing Hat and telling her to get her shit together… but most of the time, she’s not listening. She’s too busy marvelling at the whales outside the window… or composing poetry… or illustrating irreverent little books.
She seems deaf to reason.
THE FAIRY DO-GOODER
To be honest. I’m not really sure what to do with the Fairy Do-Gooder these days. A few years ago, she ran the show… but now she has been sent into the attic and told to rest and wait… while I figure out an assignment I could send her on.
The Fairy Do-Gooder is the part of me that wants to FIX the world. She’s one who wants to help… who wants to DO… who wants to BE the change.
About 3 or 4 years ago, the Fairy Do-Gooder was very very busy. She was hosting self-esteem workshops for girls… she launched an NGO called WOODO (Women who DO!)… she co-launched another project called Tapestry of Dreams…. and another one called VENT!
People called her a Social Entrepreneur. She was even embraced by an international, London-based aid organisation as one of their “Inspired Individuals”. She travelled the country (and internationally) to different conferences and events… all with the aim of figuring out how to help others and fix the world.
But… sadly… the Fairy Do-Gooder eventually suffered extreme burn-out… followed by a tidal wave of guilt. And went into hiding.
It’s a story that I think the Fairy Do-Gooder might like to share some day… but parts of the story are still painful and raw.
The Fairy Do-Gooder shouts from the attic every day… and asks me: “When are you letting me out? When are you going to give me an assignment?”… and I keep shouting back: “Hang on, I’m working on it! Be patient for just a little bit longer…!”
THE DOOM BROODER
This is Fairy Do-Gooder’s rival.
The Doom-Brooder has a black thundercloud that follows her everywhere she goes. Where Fairy Do-Gooder will look at a sad situation and want to fix it… or want to help… the Doom-Brooder just says: “Why bother? It’s not like you can fix anything anyway! Nothing can be fixed. The world is full of evil and misery and there’s nothing you can do to alleviate the pain!”
Fairy Do-Gooder and the Doom-Brooder are always bickering. Always.
They’re both in the attic and I hear them bickering every day.
Doom-Brooder would like to escape to a desert island and stay there indefinitely. She wallows in hopelessness and despair. Whenever she watches bad news or views a disturbing photo on the internet (usually of war and suffering)… she withdraws further and constantly grumbles about how hopeless everything is. If Doom-Brooder had her way, she’d pack us all off to a remote desert island tomorrow.
Thankfully… though… Fairy Do-Gooder (and some of the others) are stronger than the Doom-Brooder and can usually keep her in check.
THE WORD WUSS
This is one of the more tiresome parts of my personality. She is constantly worried about what other people will say… or what other people will think. A bunch of us have been plotting to kill her… but so far, it hasn’t worked. She just hides behind that blasted shield of hers and avoids us.
This is Ranty. I’ve kept her in a padded room for a long time…. (at the insistence of the Word Wuss and the Fairy Do-Gooder).
The Word-Wuss is worried about the damage that Ranty could inflict with her tongue… and constantly panics about what others may say – or think – if Ranty had a platform. Ranty has tried… on occasion… to stab Word Wuss (who just hides behind her troll shield and whimpers).
Fairy Do-Gooder doesn’t trust Ranty’s mouth either. Fairy Do-Gooder disapproves of conflict and doesn’t like hurting anyone’s feelings… so she often tries to calm Ranty down and tell her to think happy thoughts.
I have to gag Ranty every. single. day.
She screams at me from the padded room (next door to the attic). “Let me out! Fuck you!!!! I want my say! I want to be heard!!! You can’t silence me forever!!!”
Ranty has a LOT she would like to say. She’s a potty-mouthed anarchist / agnostic who loathes stupid rules and systems of control. If she had her way, she would rant (loudly!) about organised religion, governments, war, guns, chauvinists, bigots, educational systems, the Rat Race, corporate control & greed… (and much, much more).
I think she’d get us all into big trouble. So for now… (or at least until Ranty learns some manners)… I’ll keep her gagged and locked in the padded room (although I have given her some art materials and have allowed her to write her memoirs… which I might consider publishing one day).
THE LATE NIGHT RUMINATOR
For some reason, The Ruminator is a night owl. She is the cause of my insomnia. She doesn’t allow me to sleep. All she wants to do is ruminate… and “what if?” about EVERYTHING. She is my over-thinking. She is my confusion.
I try to keep the late night Ruminator and the Doom-Brooder as far away from each other as possible. When the two of them collaborate, they have the power to sink me into deep depression… and it takes a lot of coaxing from Mama Bear, the Thinker and the Fairy Do-Gooder to drag me out of the mire.
THE DEEP, INTENSE THINKER
I like The Thinker. I find her interesting. I can listen to her for hours. Unlike the maddening Ruminator who obsesses over meaningless nothingness, The Thinker makes sense. The Thinker likes to ponder on all kinds of interesting things… meaning, purpose, God, love, life – the Big Questions.
And the Thinker loves to question… learn… and read… and understand. One of the Thinker’s favourite quotes is this: “Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance” – and, indeed, the Thinker is always on the hunt for knowledge and meaning.
The Thinker also likes to listen and learn from other people… and learn from their journeys and experiences. She’s an anthropologist… a quiet observer… and is deeply respected by my other parts. Even Ranty shuts up when the Thinker wants to share something. That’s because the Thinker doesn’t talk much – she observes and learns and thinks – but when she DOES speak, she usually has something very interesting and profound to say.
The Thinker is allowed free reign of my head and can roam where she chooses. She can even visit the attic or can check in on Ranty in the padded room. The Thinker manages to calm everyone down. Even Ranty.
The Addict is an escape artist. Every time I think I have locked her up and have her under control, she escapes… and devours a jar of Nutella and an entire lemon meringue pie! She has caused me a LOT of stress and self-loathing over the years – and I am always trying to wrestle her back into her cage.
Her favourite ally is the Doom-Brooder whom, I suspect, is the one who keeps setting her free under the guise of: “What’s the use? Why bother watching what you eat anyway? We’re all gonna die anyway. May as well quaff some pie on the way out!”
Today… as I write this… The Addict has been safely contained for about two weeks. I can hear her grumbling in her cage. Occasionally she demands chocolate… but I pretend not to hear her. Hopefully, the Doom-Brooder is too busy bickering with Fairy Do-Gooder to consider releasing The Addict. At least for now.
I worry that if I send Fairy Do-Gooder on a new assignment, that Doom Brooder will get bored… and start looking for trouble with the Ruminator and the Addict. With the three of them on the rampage, I worry about my mental stability.
We killed the Knower. Her constant Know-it-All attitude was driving us all mad. She believed she was Right and everyone else was WRONG. She believed that she knew “The Truth”… about life, God, purpose, how-to-live, how-to-parent – everything! And she was always preaching at us… and telling us how wrong and sinful we were.
So, eventually… we killed her. Ranty did the deed… but the rest of us turned a blind eye.
She’s been dead for about 2 or 3 years now. Initially, there was a bit of a bitter stink as her corpse began to rot. These days, however, her remnants are dried up… like a mummy… and she doesn’t stink as much. Eventually, I think she’ll turn into dust and disappear entirely.
I threaten the Addict, the Doom Brooder, the Word Wuss and the Ruminator with the same fate.
But I don’t think they take me seriously.