7 Quick Takes #37 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

If I could go back and do something over it would be…

…and I’ve gone totally blank, because what *would* I like to do-over? 

Would I prefer to have been a well-behaved toddler so that my Mum could’ve contemplated taking me to dance classes without a battle of wills, so that I would have learned to dance and have had some rhythm? No, because a toddler can hardly make that kind of decision – I would have been far too focussed on the ‘now’ and would not have listened to any outside input, even from an older ‘me’.

Would I have tried harder at making friends at school? But then I don’t think that was really an option I had to change – when your home life is one of victimisation and walking on eggshells, you hardly have the chance to develop the social skills to make friends at school – it’s all about survival. Friends are extraneous. But it would have avoided a lot of bullying…

Would I have tried to tell more people what was going on? To reach out? To be reached and understood? No, because again that’s a decision which would have been utterly beyond me – I didn’t really understand that there were people who *didn’t* have a home life like mine – it all began too early, was too engrained.

Would it been better if I hadn’t risen to the bait so many times at home? If I’d just been passive, kept my head down and accepted that this was how things were? Allowed myself a quieter life? That would be disingenuous to my character – I am a fighter, a kicker, a screamer, a never-will-take-this-lying-down-er. It’s only now that I’ve learned that sometimes, in some cases, there’s just no point rising to the bait.

Would it have been better if I’d not listened to that still small voice telling me not to, and been a more outrageous teenager? Would I feel better now if I could parade a list of sexual partners I regret? Would I feel I had embraced life in all its mucky fullness if I could recount my experiences of various illicit drugs? Would I feel I’d had more fun if there were weekends I couldn’t remember and hangovers I could?

Could I have managed as a teenager without turning to food for comfort? Would I have coped without that glorious sensory input as I felt more and more isolated due to events beyond my control? Would I have hated myself any less if I hadn’t been so round? Would I have been any less teased? I still couldn’t have made myself more attractive or given myself an influx of social graces…in any case, I would never have learned how to make people laugh because I never would’ve had to defend myself!

Do I regret my marriage? Goodness knows at some point Husby and I are owed a massive backlog of ‘for better, for richer and in health’, because I’m fairly sure that in our vows we signed up for both sides of the coin and have mostly received the negatives.

Do I regret trying for babies? If we’d’ve known the seriousness of Husby’s condition coupled with my pre-existing familial history of ‘difficulty carrying boys’ would I have bothered? Would I have just saved myself the heartache and pain?

Would I have been the same person I am today if I hadn’t gone through those experiences? It seems doubtful, and yet I am quite certain that Who I Am Today is a good person, with a rich and varied history and a variety of experiences to draw upon. I have been beaten, broken, hammered to hell and refined into something Strong. Something Useful. And somewhere, somehow, there is a Point to it all. 

So no, I wouldn’t change any of these things.

I would stick with learning another language.

We began learning French at age 11 and added German at age 13. I scored higher marks in those GCSEs than I did in English. I didn’t enjoy them, but I was good at them. Since then I’ve done a year in night school on Spanish and a year in college on Japanese. I can say a few phrases from a number of languages and know none fluently, and that REALLY bugs me.

I love the exotic feel of listening to someone bilingual. I love to hear the fluent switch between the two languages when on the phone to another speaker. I love the way their brains are just SO FULL of understanding – and expression – in two (or more) tongues.

And I don’t have that.

I feel somewhat bereft, as though I’ve missed a massive opportunity.

If I could do anything over, it’s that – to learn another language to fluency. Because to each and every speaker of Not English, I sound like this:


— 2 —

Summer is daunting.

I have no job.

I have no prospect of having children any time soon.

I am turning 30 soon.

Life is…not how I expected.

— 3 —

Two weeks ago I entered the Yeah Write weekly challenge and, while I didn’t win, I loved the opportunity to stretch myself a little. A 500ish word post on a topic of my choice, but containing a ‘so what?’ point.

I watched and waited the first week, to gauge the calibre of writings submitted to see whether I felt up to the task, and I did, so I joined. And through it I’ve received some good feedback from other members of the challenge.

It sounded kinda offputting at first, to have so many other blogs to review and vote on, but over the course of the best part of a week, it really is quite manageable.

See this week’s entry here: On being an inadvertent life coach

— 4 —

I had an email through saying that our twinned toilet (certificate, presumably) has been dispatched to us. Looking forward to getting the certificate and hanging it up, to show off the picture of our ‘toilet twin’ in Uganda, to provoke interest and possible other ‘twins’ springing up around the groups of people we know. It’s just such a smart idea!

Not my real bathroom, cos that would be *crazy*

— 5 —

This has been a week in which I found envy directed at me, and was puzzled and rendered poetic. A week in which I found ignorance paraded and people hurt by it, and helped to make the change. A week in which Blogger suspended me for ‘unusual activity’ and has since messed up most of my commenting ability (particularly on WordPress blogs for some reason). A week in which I got to guest post over at the Wakefield Doctrine. A week in which life in the Blogosphere has gone far better, more smoothly and more pleasurably than in reality.
— 6 —

This is shortly to be a week in which I have a job interview, which may or may not have MASSIVE impact.

1 hour to go.

— 7 —
Lastly, this is a week which will finish tomorrow with Ten Things of Thankful. Please come and join us and spread whatever joy you’ve been experiencing – let us celebrate together, as a community, the Good Things which happen.

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

31 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #37 x FTSF

  1. This is it exactly – we sometimes find that (no matter how much we gripe at the time) we are better prepared for bigger battles when we've been tested and proven in smaller ones. I definitely don't think I'd be handling my current situation as well if I hadn't been through what I have been, and that's another reason I wouldn't change it.

    I took a year of Spanish in night school. I can remember very very little, which is sad. I really think to learn a language properly one needs the opportunity to be immersed in it, which might work out with Polish, as there is a large immigrant population in my hometown. To the point where my suburb is nicknamed 'Little Poland'. And it's a beautiful language to listen to.

    Tbh, I'm such a night owl that I manage to keep up ok – I wouldn't dare to imagine how many blogs I averagely visit in a day, but it could be close to 50. It's great fun and I love seeing into other people's worlds (course, it helps that I'm also READING)

    It's great to end/begin with the Ten Things of Thankful – definitely one to help with reassessing and getting things in their right perspectives 🙂


  2. It sounds like you had a tough childhood (and still have a handful of challenges in the day to day), but I'm glad you have the foresight to understand that most of those things wouldn't have been able to change and the experiences forged you into who you are today.

    It makes me think about some of the current complications you and your husband have been experiencing, and how you would have handled them had you not had the same experiences in life.

    As for being bilingual, I think it would be awesome to know a handful of languages. I only took Spanish, and each of the two years had different teachers. The second had to spend more time correcting/reteaching what the first teacher kind of failed to accomplish.

    Needless to say I can't speak or understand Spanish.

    It's cool you (and some other friends) are participating in Yeah Write. Kudos to being able to keep up with all those blogs! I will be heading to read the post soon 🙂

    It's been a mixed week, but it's always good to end with the 10 Things of Thankful!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink


  3. Lizzie, I have things to say but find I am wordless. It's stupid saturday for me. lol
    So all I'm gonna say is you are an inspiration.
    (hey wait a minute!. good thing I know you to be a clark 'cuz it just occurred to me that I can come here and at times like this simply comment “good shit” and you would know that that was of the highest compliment LOL)


  4. Absolutely! I am trying very hard to choose the sunset and not the thorns. I'm hoping Husby will make the same choices, and at the moment, he's choosing in spite of his feelings, which shows strength of character.

    You speak as one who's walked this path, Rich, so you dare because you Know, by the sound of it 🙂


  5. Yes…I was careful there, wasn't I 😉

    Thank you – I really liked yours too though. I think many people gave a lot of careful consideration to this weeks FTSF and came up golden 🙂


  6. Lizzi – There's so much to say, but then again, do I dare? You've recognized much in your past, yet, instead of allowing it to provide excuses, you've turned it around into strength building foundation. Your achievements are to be commended greatly. I was lucky in that I experienced both the bad of being fat and teased, and the good of changing that to a slimming and active life in high school. Still, the scars remain, regardless how we use them to build upon. I, too, know your feeling of luck, having felt at times as though I was God's whipping boy. Still, everything comes in cycles. Obviously, you've been provided a strong mate with which to weather the storms. Hopefully, things will turn around for you. Look to the future instead of the past is my only recommendation. The sun rises each day. Sooner or later, the golden rays will reach you! Hang in there!


  7. You did an amazing job of highlighting your painful childhood without getting into details and also saying how it shaped you and led you to where you are. Amazing questions and a brilliant answer to this week's FTSF post, you. Seriously wonderful. I said the same thing. But not nearly as well.


  8. Yes, and even though many people have said much the same thing, the most wonderful thing is that it's made us really THINK about it. So well done to you and the other FTSF hosts for that 🙂


  9. I wonder if it's a bit of both, to be honest! Much of me wants to prove myself still.

    Is that what backsies is about? Now I know. Over here it's the vernacular for sharing the tail end of someone else's cigarette…

    I know what you mean about the cherry picking though – there are things I wish I didn't have to have gone through but then again, I wouldn't be who I am today without them.


  10. Not a great deal really, as although it shaped me, none of it's really been pertinent before today, and it's not a thing I tend to dwell on. It has certainly shaped me for the better though.

    A pity your Dad stopped speaking Spanish – that would've been cool.

    Glad you liked the vid 🙂


  11. These are deep questions, no? I think it's really interesting to reflect on them, even if you ultimately conclude like you and I did, that you wouldn't do anything differently. I've really enjoyed all the thought everyone has put into their posts- it's a nice window into unique minds!


  12. My heart hurts for you and all you've gone through. But what a remarkable woman you've become, either in spite of it or because of it.

    I wouldn't do-over anything big (no backsies, after all), but I would cherry-pick a few events that I could have done without….


  13. I don't know if you've shared it before, but I didn't know you had such a hard road growing up. You present as such a strong, positive person – and I guess you're right – your life experiences have made you that way. And as for another language – I would have loved to be bilingual too. My dad spoke Spanish before he spoke English, but he stopped before I was born and I never learned.

    Glad the job interview went well – fingers crossed for you! (and btw – that you tube video you sent me was hilarious!)


  14. That's half the fun here at Considerings. Particuarly at weekends, when you can call me Joshu…no, that's another scenario!

    Scott away, my friend – it's good to be diverse in oneself.


  15. lol god, my scottian aspect must be up today, I stopped at one of the Comment Replies up above and intruded on the conversation*. Sorry

    *we pretend that we think scotts are rude (and they are) but we also get a kick out of it**
    ** most of the time


  16. sorry, didn't mean to butt in… but that cultural reference is so very long ago, that it was startling to see and when I am startled I often laugh.

    (plus, to blame our Hostini here, she (Lizzi) does nuture an atmosphere of conversation here at Considerings here


  17. Thanks Kenya.

    I think at this stage, I wouldn't change partly because I wouldn't be as strong, as experienced and as centred as I am, but also because I wouldn't be able to appreciate so much the Good Things I have now 🙂


  18. Thanks. I think it went well (on this side of things – more on that tomorrow for Ten Things). And YES! I do still have time 🙂 I have my sights set on Polish once I'm earning again 🙂


  19. Ciao bella! Looking forward to yours tomorrow, as ever 🙂

    I think that although so many of us have said we wouldn't change anything (possibly slightly trampling the point of FTSF) it's provided a valuable chance to reflect, re-evaluate, and see whether more could be done, or whether we truly are content(ish) with our lot. Thanks for hosting, as ever, it was a great experience to join in 🙂


  20. Thanks Sarah. I truly believe that I am (but also am so much more than) the sum of my experiences. 🙂

    And life is tough, but we soldier on, and we learn, and guide others in our turn.


  21. Wow this was very deep! It's hard to fathom a child having to live that way. It's amazing that you wouldn't want to change a thing and that you find so many things to be thankful for. You are a strong and blessed woman!


  22. I learned Italian in high school and was fairly good at it, but unfortunately almost 20 years later most of it is gone and so rusty that I couldn't really carry on a conversation now in Italian. So, I am with you that I wish I would have learned it better and held retained it many years later. Thanks for linking up with us Lizzi and seems like many would agree with you on not changing much of anything, too!! And you know I will be linking with you tomorrow morning with my thankful things as always!! 🙂


  23. Wow, there is just so much here to comment on…. this is so brave and authentic, I had no idea about your tough childhood and your current struggles. You certainly are 'strong and useful'! I, too, in thinking about this post considered how the things I would like to change probably couldn't change because it's just not in my nature, it's just not me… so as much as we wish for things to be different, I love how you accept it all as it has shaped you to become the YOU you are today…. I loved reading this. Good luck on your job interview!!!


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