“I was talking to myself about you the other day, we were wondering what became of you.” ~ Friend Owl, Bambi
So I went AWOL from the internet again. I’d say I’m sorry and that I’ve missed you all but to be honest I haven’t really given this place much thought in the last few weeks. At first I got an ear infection and all I could think about was the excruciating pain and how much concentration it required to simply walk around the house without falling over; and then after that got better I just didn’t feel like I had anything to say anymore – in writing or in life.
I’m suffering from an incredible lack of self-confidence that I’ve never really experienced before.
It occurred to me over the weekend that I’ve come to really believe a bunch of things about myself – that I’m a bad person, that I’m a bad friend, that I’m a bad writer, that I don’t deserve to have anyone love me, that I’m not allowed to want a relationship, that I’m not smart enough to be able to do any of the things that I think I might want to, blah, blah, blah – that I never have before.
I mean, I’ve thought all of those things before, but usually it’s just been what my depression was telling me about myself.
This is different, these are things that my actual self has actually accepted to be true about myself.
And my actual self has accepted these things because people I thought I cared about have told me these things about myself so many times that without even realising I was doing it I’ve started to believe them.
And I’m not really sure what to do about it.
So while I’ve been feeling miserable and browbeaten I’ve spent a lot of time in the park feeding bread to the ducks, the baby ducklings and the pigeons; and showing the young children who play in the park how to feed the ducks without scaring them; how to be still and quiet so they’ll take the bread from your hands and let you stroke them. (The children aren’t just there by themselves, they visit the park with their mothers, I chat to the mothers so they know I’m not dangerous but they mostly don’t join in because they hate the birds.)
So now I have a flock of maybe twenty ducks, eleven ducklings and about forty pigeons, as well as a dozen pre-school aged children who are all big fans. And so they tend to want to hang out with me whenever they see me. Even when I haven’t brought any bread with me.
The ducklings and the pigeons have become so tame they’ll hop up onto my feet, my handbag and even my knee. The children climb up on my knees and rifle through my handbag. They’ve also, the birds and the children, taken to following me around the park in a big flock. Which makes me feel sort of like a Disney princess. Although I haven’t quite worked out how to get the birds to fold my laundry or dust my house for me yet.
And on a tangentially bird related note, I went to a wedding last weekend where I got to hold an eagle!
And also an eagle owl.