“I sat in my room feeling lost and lonely and a million miles from home. In fact I was only two hours away from home and my family had only been gone for half an hour after dropping me off, but I hadn’t been alone like this before. I wished I had a friend to meet up with to share this experience, I wished there was someone there that I knew already. I consoled myself by thinking that I wouldn’t be the only one feeling so lonely and I’d soon make friends. I had two hours until the Introductory Meeting, what was I going to do with myself until then?  

Then I noticed voices coming from next door which was the communal kitchen area. Suddenly I fancied a nice cup of tea, what a better way of making friends that joining them in the kitchen for a cuppa and a chat. I started to shake I was so nervous, how could I walk into a room of strangers and speak to them, it just wasn’t something that I was used to doing. 

So I sat there with my mug in my hand arguing with myself. “Did I want to spend this week all alone not speaking to anyone?” Eventually I plucked up the courage to go and make a drink and hopefully some new friends. The muffled voices from next door sounded cheerful and friendly, this was not going to be as bad as I imagined. I could do this.

 I clutched my mug, painted on a smile and breezed into the kitchen. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I knew it had been friendly and I said it from my heart. I was met with barely a couple of glances as the group of women carried on chatting, ignoring me. I stood there for a while then walked over to the kettle where another woman was already making a drink. She offered me one of her tea bags and we made tea together in silence while the others carried on their happy conversations. I went back to my room, feeling so rejected and even more alone and drank my tea blocking out the chatter from next door.

 Later, when I emerged from my room to go to the meeting I was met in the corridor by the other lonely tea lady. 

“Shall we walk across together?” She asked.”

This was more than twenty years ago, but as you can see the story is ingrained in my mind. It wasn’t the first time I experienced rejection and it certainly wasn’t the last but it was something that shaped me and taught me to fear rejection.

More recently I was at a large convention, again alone. I looked around and saw a table of ladies that I recognised. I didn’t know them well, but I’d seen and spoken to them before. I was sure they wouldn’t mind me sitting with them. They barely spoke to me, I was not included in their conversation despite my trying. At one point the woman sitting next to me actually turned her chair so she had her back to me. Ok, she was having quite an intense conversation with the woman next to her, but still I felt that rejection sharply.

My instinct now is to avoid rejection and just convince myself that I’m ok to be alone. In fact I probably ooze that ‘don’t talk to me, I’m not interested’ type of non-charisma. In my head I’m telling myself over and over it’s better this way and I don’t care that other people either ignore me, or feel sorry for me but don’t want to approach me. My confidence has taken a bashing and I’m filled with a false sense of security. This is much better than rejection, right?

No, it’s not right. It’s never too late to change, from now on I will not take any form of rejection personally, I will not allow it to stop me from talking to people, from trying to make a connection. I really wish I’d learnt this sooner, by now I might have been totally over this hang up. I guess you do get wiser as you get older. I certainly don’t want to be stuck in my old ways. I know I’ll never be popular, or ooze real charisma, that’s just not me. But I can take the bullet and not be scared of rejection. It won’t be my loss!

Everyone needs to feel loved and accepted, that ‘s why rejection feels so harsh, but if you fear the rejection then it will stop you from finding out how different things could be if you were accepted. I don’t have many friends, the ones I do have are the ones that have made the effort to be friends with me. I’ve never actually initiated friendship myself. I consider myself to be a kind and friendly person, but it’s that initial step that I find difficult.

There are two important lessons here I need to learn (And anyone else needs to learn if they too fear rejection.)

  • Don’t take rejection personally, it’s not necessarily your fault
  • Learn how to handle rejection effectively so it doesn’t create such a negative impact on your life.

Mummy Times Two

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Welcome to this weeks linky where you can link up your box posts each week and we can all have a nosey at what you’ve got 😉 Of course there are some boxes that are best not shared as Sarah was telling me on twitter about her parcel!
A much cuter box was received by another Sarah from Life in a Breakdown. You really can’t beat a box of gifts put together to make you smile and the Little Box of Happy from Alice in Shabbyland doesn’t fail to provide. Thanks for linking up Sarah.

This week has been a little manic so I’ve not researched enough boxes for you to try out this week, but I’m sure I’ll be back on form soon and I have some more reviews to share with you too.

I’ve decided to set up this linky so that subscription box lovers can link up and find out what everyone else is getting.

It might give you some ideas of the best ones to sign up too!

In the future I hope to feature some of the best posts that have linked up, so please do join in. I’ll also tweet your posts and share them on my Facebook page. I’ll also comment on all submissions.

Now for the Rules, don’t worry they are easy.

  • link up your subscription box post or video, it can be any kind of box
  • take a look and comment on a couple of other posts in the linky, it’s only fair and you may find something exciting to subscribe to.
  • include my badge so that others may find the linky and join in.
There you have it, simple!

I’ll put the linky up every Tuesday and you can add to it until he following Monday. Do tell your friends, this is a new linky and we’d love everyone to join in.

I really can’t wait to see what you’ve had in your boxes!

Here’s my badge, the copy code is underneath.

blogbadge photo badge_zpsf0b88074.jpg

The single story is when only one story is known about a person or place and because of that one story everyone is judged by it. It’s a stereotype, a critical misunderstanding, an incomplete picture.

We can all be guilty of believing the single story. It’s something that’s often portrayed in the media and when we hear the same thing over and over then we believe it to be real. 
Take those on benefits for instance. The media makes them out to be lazy, never looking for work, just taking the money and smoking or drinking it away, or spending it on scratch cards in the hope they can get more money for doing nothing. This is how they are seen in TV documentaries and dramas or in newspapers or magazines. People believe this, people stereotype all benefit claimants as lazy scroungers. The truth is, benefit claimers come in all forms. Yes, there may be some lazy ones that have never done a days work, there are also pensioners who have worked all their lives and have to rely on a state pension to survive after retirement. There are also the families where Dad may work 40 hours per week and still not earn enough to pay the rent and put food on the table so he gets benefits to top up his wages. There are also disabled people who are too sick to work, or find it difficult to find a job that they are physically able to do. There are also single mums who’s partners have run off and left them to look after their child alone, they can only work part time because they can’t afford childcare and need a top up of benefits just to survive. Basically, there are many stories, not just a single one, but why are people so ready to believe just one? Should we not stop judging all by one story and just imagine what other stories there may be?
Stories are important, we all have our own stories to tell, we all have different lives, one story does not fit all. We need to share our stories and add diversity to the mix. Let people know that we are not all the same, we are not stereotypes. 
As a parent of autistic children I’ve seen first hand how people judge. They may know that my child is autistic and then comment on why she doesn’t flap her arms, isn’t that what autistic children do? No, that’s just one story, my daughter doesn’t flap but she’s still autistic. My son was once reprimanded in the street because he touched someone’s car that had parked on the pavement. I was told to keep him away. That man thought my son was trying to damage his car because it had been scratched before by some wayward teenager. That was one story, my son’s story was different, he is autistic, he has to touch cars if they are on the pavement, it’s something he does, he can’t help it. He gets very stressed if he doesn’t, he has never damaged a car in his life.
Always look deeper, it’s too easy to judge people when you only know a small part of their story. Don’t assume, don’t stereotype, just think about why a person is like that, why they do the things they do. There is always another story that may not be as obvious. Read between the lines. Don’t assume that because some media has made you believe one story that that is the only story. It very rarely is, there is always more to find out. 
The single story can be about a single person or an entire city, or even a nation. The stories come to us in newspapers, tv programs and novels. To get a full picture you need to read many stories, not just one. 
My post today was inspired by a TED talk by Chimamanda Adichies who talks about the dangers of the single story. It’s an incredibly enlightening talk by a charming lady. If you have time do take a look.

I am fast becoming an addict of TED talks, you can find talks on all kinds of subjects that are enlightening, empowering, motivating, inspiring and educational. It’s a fantastic resource.
Do let me know if you have already used TED talks or if you decide to do so.

This post contains links but I have not been paid for this post or asked to write about TED talks.

The People of Great Britain have spoken and we have chosen to leave the European Union.

This was not my vote. I wanted to remain, I felt safe and secure and have always believed that we were better united. The world has changed a lot in past years and we see suffering of all kinds everywhere we look, I could not see the point in risking plunging my own country into suffering of any kind, we were not doing that good, but I couldn’t see why we would want to make it worse, even if it was in the short term. I believed that with the right leaders in place we could have continued to improve our place in the EU becoming stronger and more in charge of our own destiny, but with all the advantages of being in the union still available.

Was I wrong? I do believe that most of those who voted exit were fed up with the way our country was being run and that they were not happy with the input of other countries on our laws and regulations. They wanted a complete shake up, a leap into the unknown and a new beginning. And that is now what we have.

Could it work? We all knew that it was going to be a bumpy ride, but whether we come out on top is now up to us, no-one else. No-one seems to be able to predict our future but with the right leaders in place we could move on to better things. Yes, even I believe that although I didn’t want to take this plunge.

What has this referendum done to our country? It’s caused so much anger, arguing and upset. I have myself been involved in some strong debates, but I didn’t wish to cause anger and upset, I’ve just been firm about my opinion without putting the other person’s opinion down. Whenever I have been offended by someone I’ve not taken it as a personal attack because emotions run high at times like this. I hope that I have not offended anyone either with my views and beliefs.

I’m not the only one. I hear that all around the country we Britons are divided. Both in the run up to the referendum and even more so now. Communities, families, individuals have all fallen out. Words spoken have been vicious and unnecessary. We have proved that we can’t debate the future of our country without dividing it.

I live in one of the largest areas of the country that voted to exit, apart from my immediate family most of the rest of my family voted to leave. I still stand by my thoughts and opinions. It’s not that I didn’t believe that my country was strong enough to go it alone, I just believed that being a bigger player in the union would have been a wiser option.

But we have left, and the European Union are calling for it to be sooner rather than later, so we will have to work quickly to turn this around to our advantage. We have gone from being part of a big union of countries with deals in place to being a small country having to make our own deals. We’ve been big before, can we do it again? 52% of the countries voters believe we can. If it had been 72% I may have felt more confident, but it’s done now and we have to do what we can to make it work. My confidence in success is also knocked by the wishes expressed by Scotland and Northern Ireland. Surely now is not the time to start dividing our country?

The media as always is playing it’s part. We have almost non-stop news at the moment about our decision, with some saying it’s great and other’s saying not so great. I’ve been listening and absorbing and seeing how the media gives us clear information one minute and then plays on our emotions the next.

We see pictures and diagrams of the falling pound. Some say it will recover again, some say soon, some say it will take a while, many people watching have no idea at all of the implications. Some look at the graphs and think we are doomed. Others understand that it could be much worse and that from now it could go either way.

Then the media talk to the general public and people seem to be stunned and confused.
“I wasn’t really sure what it was all about so I voted remain.”
“I voted exit, but I didn’t think it would happen, I wished I’d voted remain now”

Then the little old man, complete with his war medals crying,
“I’ve got my country back!”

Obviously each comment has been chosen carefully by the media. For every confused person there is someone who voted with conviction, and for every old person who believes in freedom there will be one who remember the wars with our neighbours with horror and pray that we never go to war again.

image from EU4real

We have a bumpy road ahead and we won’t be riding it well while arguing and fighting with each other. This referendum has split us down the middle. Out of all the people who voted, almost three quarters of the population, the final decision was really close. We have to accept the vote of the majority even though almost the same amount of people did not want it.

I’ve seen people complaining that those that won the vote have made a huge mistake.
I’ve seen people complaining that those who lost the vote are sore losers.

Still the arguing continues.

We all have to realise, this was a massive decision for our country and now it’s done. People will be upset. If the vote had gone the other way then the other side would have been just as upset. Attacking each other will get us nowhere.

I hope that when the dust settles then so will the arguments because otherwise I fear for how they could escalate.

I don’t want to fight with my neighbours, family and friends because they have different views to me. I have not done a U Turn on my beliefs, I still think we would have been better off staying in.
But now that it’s done we will gain nothing by fighting each other and we have to instead fight for our country to make it strong again.

Here are the Lyrics of song by Dodgy, written 20 years ago!


Dry as you are, crippled leaves,
Snipped at your prime no longer breathes
Your fragrance is faint to my nose,
Wish I could paint what no longer grows
Where you stood is a mystery to me,
The dead carnation is all I see

I’m beginning to understand
I’m getting wiser every day

This country is not United and the Kingdom’s passed away
Shall we start all over again,
I don’t know, I don’t know
Bleaching light of the moon,
Clears just streets into my room
The dark cloak of paranoia
Feels warm just to annoy you
Stop longing for how it used be,
Stop looking for how it’s gonna be

I’m beginning to understand
I’m getting wiser every day

This country is not United and the Kingdom’s past away
Shall we start all over again,
I don’t know, I don’t know
The keys is timing, don’t do what they want
No matter what you’re revealing, don’t do what they want.
Don’t get low, don’t let go
Don’t get low, don’t let go
Don’t get low, don’t let go

Don’t get low, don’t let go, keep on fighting to unite our country once again. Do people know what they want, can they get what they want, who knows? Stop longing for how it used to be, stop looking for how it’s gonna be, begin to understand, get wise, start all over again.

N.B. For the pedants out there (and I know you exist because I’m one) I chose the heading for this title because of where it comes from and I thought it was appropriate….but I do also realise that  Auf Wiedersehen literally means see you later. This does not reflect any belief that we will be able to rejoin the EU as I do not believe that will ever be possible.