Where I’m from

This is me jumping on a bandwagon again, I’m afraid. For beautiful and moving examples of how it should be done please read the posts by Litlove or Charlotte. I’m sorry my version is so long, and I hope it doesn’t come across as being too negative, or too ‘listy’.

 * * *

I am from tubes and needles and helplessness. I am from one hospital, then another, then another. I am from my mother feeling like she could do nothing. I am from worry and waiting and watching, and hoping. I am from growing and eating and still being too thin, too small, too slow. I am from relief and thankfulness and trying to be normal.

I am from being weak, and knowing it. I am from being an easy target. I am from fear of other children, of noise and of crowds. I am from being scared and running back to the classroom. I am from sitting out of PE  and sitting inside when it was cold. I am from wondering what it would be like to be someone else.

I am from getting what I wanted. I am from greed and being hungry and impatient. I am from learning and the realisation that I can do this. I am from name-calling, standing on the edge and sitting on the bench. I am from not wanting to hold hands, or get too close or be trapped. I am from shouting and hiding and putting my fingers in my ears. I am from waiting and waiting and seeing the specialist in three minutes. I am from crying and trying to escape and testing and measuring and examining. I am from not knowing what to do when I got home.

I am from waiting for arguments, listening and fearing. I am from obeying the rules, speaking carefully, and humouring. I am from sitting at the table and asking to leave. I am from outside, fields, and playing with the neighbour’s dog. I am from bikes and cars and railways. I am from holidays in Cornwall, feeding the goats and looking for Magic Land through the hedge. I am from trips to the seaside, and hating the boats. I am from windswept walks and leaking tents. I am from unconscious sibling rivalry and from trying to be the peace-maker.

I am from church, and ceremony and thinking I could do a better sermon than you. I am from sitting still, needing the toilet and wiping my nose on my sleeve. I am from giggling and strong sweets and old-lady mints. I am from singing without a sound and (later) singing with all my small might, just to be annoying. I am from psalters and hymnals and chants and anthems, and robes and cassocks and medals and never being head chorister. I am from music and school band and junior band and concert orchestra. I am from practice and boredom and tearing the piano book and thumping the keyboard and only playing with the practice pedal down.

I am from finding a friend and still being friends seventeen years later. I am from exams, and passing them, and Wales and Welsh and hills and views of the mountains. Not to mention the sky and the sea. I am from watching the sheep in spring. I am from falling in love and keeping it a secret. I am from listening to other people’s stories. I am from believing and doubting and wanting to love God more than I feel able to. I am from friendship and fellowship and a choir where I found my confidence. I am from harmonies, and being moved and knowing that this is my favourite thing in the world. I am from always being the ugliest girl in the room. I am from learning I am valued but not believing it.

I am from a love of Judaism and a trip to Israel. I am from sitting in the desert with no one else in sight. I am from confusion.

I am from ‘help, what do I do now?’, and interviews and rejection after rejection after rejection. I am from a year of opening envelopes. I am from getting more than I deserved. I am from working in a beautiful place, from loving my job and not wanting to leave. I am from hardly believing I’m here. I’m from telling you how I felt, and the softest rejection, and not knowing where I stood. I’m from showing and fearing my emotions. I’m from kicking the wall of my house when you walked away. I’m from waiting for you to make up your mind. I am from coffee, and hot chocolate and talking and you being persuaded. I am from wanting more than this. I am from wanting not to be the one who made the first move.

I am  from four years of a long-distance relationship. I am from phone calls at 10.30 every night. I am from Wales again, and the sea and the blue sky and green hills. I am from not being allowed to be a feminist and being one anyway. I am from more interviews and more rejections. I am from taking the first job I was offered and wanting to leave a week later. I am from more interviews and more rejections. I am from learning how to do everything. I am from Sue’s home-made birthday cakes.

I am from ‘I got the job!’ and moving and finally living in the same place. I am from worrying about people judging us. I am from finding a new church and making new friends. I am from a new job that changed into something else. I am from a wonderful wedding and the love of a good man. I am from wondering what I would do without you. I am from fear of inadequacy. I am from loss and grief, and not knowing how to make it better. I am from hard work and laughter and love. I am from here, from now, and from then.

Where are you from?


23 thoughts on “Where I’m from”

  1. This is so honest and beautifully written, Ms. Mouse. You’re a lovely writer, with a voice that’s uniquely yours and a way of looking at the world that’s interesting and quirky and very appealing. I’m looking forward to hearing more about where you’re from. xo, BL

  2. Thank you, Reed. It means a lot to me that you liked it. Even though I don’t really know you, I admire your writing talents and enjoy reading your blog.

  3. Hi, I came across yr blog via BlogLily and this was such a great glimpse into who you are.
    It was also a bit of a surprise to see your photos of Singapore, as that’s where I’m from.

  4. Hi Lilian,

    I was idly following links on your MCLIP blog when I found this. It’s lovely 🙂 I look forward to meeting you in person.

    I am from being much nicer than I want you to think I am…and from being much less scary than I make myself seem.

  5. Hi Lilian! I found you through Adventures of a Funky Heart. I am the heart mom looking for someone who has had the same surgery as my son. I would like to chat with you if that is ok.

    [Hi Stefenie, just to let you know I edited your comment so your email address doesn’t show. Didn’t want you to get lots of spam! L.]

  6. Seeing as we have traveled so many of the same roads, and visited identical places, how is it we have never met? Something tells me clearly and succinctly that we definitely will meet either on this side of eternity or the other. Perhaps on that trip you will make across America!

    I am from doubt and belief, and from echoing the father of the deaf-mute child, “Lord, I believe! Help thou my unbelief!” and knowing that with faith I can do all things, even when common sense says I can’t. I am from grief and joy, regret and gratitude, from acceptance and rejection, knowledge and ignorance. Oh, the places I have been, and the things I have seen, and oh! the people I have been and all from the self-same heart.

    I am from being touched deeply by you, and desiring to reach out and touch you too, and feel your heart beating near my own.

    But more than anywhere else, I am from prayer, I am from Love, I am from God.

  7. All I expected to learn from this page was Wales, but I’m so glad I learned so much more. We are all in this human family of travail and suffering together, it seems. We need to love one another more. Thank you for sharing your life story in terms that I can relate to and understand. Blessings to you, Lilian…

  8. Dear Lilian,

    I am from many of those same places… Especially sitting out in PE… IV’s, needles, tests… I am from fear and scars and insecurity as well.

    This is simply lovely and heart wrenching. We have a lot in common. I have never met another woman who has been through many of the same things. Maybe we could chat sometime. My email is genaramsey@me.com. Thank you for sharing some of your story. Wonderful.

    Gena Ramsey

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