Freedom Independence Confidence

Freedom Independence Confidence ~ Don’t fence me in

I greatly respect my freedom. In my opinion to be free can create an independence that helps a persons self-awareness and confidence. My freedom is wrapped up with wide open spaces and the smell of horse manure. Let me explain…

My Lockdown Exposed ~ The worst time of my life

Updated for Personal Growth in Lockdown – Mainly I had a dreadful time. My mental health suffered and so did my life. But I did think deeply – post coming soon. Until then read about many negative aspects of my lockdown and why it is important to try and stay rational during times of stress…

Lockdown NOW ~ For various reasons at this point in time – 23rd March 2020 – my man and I found ourselves sharing his brothers one bedroom flat in a major city center of Scotland. Trapped, unable to get back into Wales where we have a small but very rural home.

Normally, our work puts us in remote, high oxygenated countryside places. Cancelled because of the lockdown. Suddenly I had lost my home, job, life and it felt like the END. Freedom gone and along with it my independence, confidence, self esteem and sense of identity.

The three of us in a such a small space – meant we had no space. Instead of breathing in fresh air I was unwittingly sniffing the cannabis fulled smog of the tenements. Not only that I had been unprepared and travelled with only a couple of changes of clothing. Forget not being able to go to the hairdressers, I didn’t have anything to put in the one drawer my brother in law had emptied out for me.

Telling myself –

come on May, pull yourself together, things could be worse.

Getting Worse

Yeah right – that was true. They swiftly got worse. My brother in law was admitted into hospital after he suffered some heart problems. No visitors allowed. After about ten days, a battery of tests and a newly installed stent he came home a much healthier colour. And with friends to help out my man and I have now escaped to our first job since February and the wonderful smell of horse shit rather than marijuana.

It doesn’t surprise me that suicide rates have risen during the lockdown. Don’t get me wrong I personally was not thinking along those lines but I truly feel I was slowly turning crazy. At one point I lost all rationality and did attempt break out. But that is another story perhaps. My self esteem plummeted daily. I put on weight, not loads but enough to feel unfit. I drank too much to blot out my existence and slept long hours causing the old injury on my knee to flair up slightly. Although I did walk most days but wanted my wellies and green fields. Instead I got the stench of overdue rubbish and dog poo.

I behaved badly, again!

So why did I take it all so badly? I have spent some time as a younger person in cities and small flats. Indeed I was brought up in a suburban town with streets and streets of similar houses. But from the moment I saw the country side I knew that was where I was meant to be. At any opportunity I would jump on a bus ride until I found a large park or preferable woods where I could pretend to be Tarzan.

I recently wrote about when I ran away as a child – there were probably other reasons behind why I did it but I remember wanting to keep walking until the streets widened up to fields and open spaces. But we never got that far.

I think my need not to be fenced in goes back many generations.  I was adopted and when I became a grown women I learned of my roots. It then became clear why I wanted to literally run for the hills.

Don’t fence me in

My birth mum is descended from the real Romany gypsies. Her grandparents had lived in the new forest with ponies and travelling caravans. My birth mum’s own father had Mexican blood and my birth father – who I never met – was a sailor! I love the ocean – not boats though. And so it is not really a surprise that I adore all wide open spaces.

As soon as I changed my life to live and work in rural areas I felt free.  A sense of largeness, wideness – space – lead me to feel independent and truly confident for the first time in my life. My only regret was I had waited so long. What I am trying to say is that for me there is a definite correlation between having the freedom to choose where I live/work and a feeling of independence, in control and answerable only to me and those I love – confidence follows as a result of being able to be me…

Lockdown Diaries

One constructive venture that I was happy to be involved with was right at the start of my lockdown. I joined together with some online friends to record seven days of the lockdown. We each wrote our diaries for the first week of April. Then they were edited and published by the end of April. Find out more about that here.

Learning from the Lockdown

Now I am removed from what I viewed as a kind of jail I am looking at the larger picture. I know I’m taking away some lessons learned. I think it is vital to be prepared for anything in the future. Having plans and a fulfilled life is no guarantee that it will not all be taken from you in a moment.

Be aware, be alert and be prepared. And whilst doing that enjoy your moments of grace.

Here is an image from January 2019. Messing around, posing and taking photos in walking boots, a hat, gloves and without a bra makes me smile. I look at the shot and feel happy and confident. I certainly won’t be taking anything for granted any time soon…

This post was written with four memes in mind – check out the other entries below…

Freedom Independence Confidence #153
#423 Freedom Independence Confidence
Wide Open Spaces

27 thoughts on “Freedom Independence Confidence ~ Don’t fence me in”

  1. I’ve known of your situation from pretty much the start and yet reading this I still feel like I can hardly grasp it, really. It sounds like you were stuck in prison. I honestly wouldn’t know how to survive in such a confined space with too many people for it, while being used to open field and nature for so long. I hope your freedom has now been restored and will stay this way now

    1. TY ML – it was strange watching myself become another person – not to mention I think the unwanted cannibas inhalation did not help my paranoia! xx

  2. this madness has been taxing for us all. Some have taken it in stride, others (myself included) have devised escape plans even if only for our minds.
    I can understand you dislike of the lock-down

  3. This has been, and in some cases continues to be, such a horrid time. I’m a city girl, but I can totally understand the feeling of slowly going mad. It’s hard to see the good parts of life when so much is out of wack. I guess is there is one thing that we’re all learning, it’s what you take away from it. Don’t take the good parts for granted, enjoy them, don’t put them off, thinking they’ll all still be around tomorrow. Thanks for your post and I can only imagine what it must have been like being locked into an apartment in Scotland when you really want to be in such a different place. xoxoxo

  4. I never really understood the attraction of horse manure. Muck spreading, however, is one of those smells that brings immense joy.

    I’m glad you have found your way back to the wide open spaces again.

    I’m about half way through the lockdown diaries and it’s so interesting to see how you all managed during that week. A great project to be involved in.

  5. You have had lockdown really tough May and the fact that you have kept your humour and productivity despite everything has been a testament to your strength of character. I am so pleased that you are free now to escape into the spaces that you love and need to be truly you ?

  6. I think the lockdown has taught many of us valuable lessons, and made us see the best and worst in others and in ourselves. Don’t fence me in – I use those words too, although when I say it, it’s not as literal as you mean it. Great post, May, and I am glad you are out in the open again! Freedom 🙂
    ~ Marie xox

    1. I remember you quoting “Don’t fence me in” recently in a music post – it felt very appropriate here, but i thought of u – and yes high five to freedom xx

  7. I think the lockdown has been a learning experience for everyone in some way, but not taking things for granted is definitely something to take into the future…. life life to the full ? thank you for sharing ?

    1. I agree Sweet but I think some have been luckier than others – kept their jobs for a start -I would have been happier to just to have been at home
      May x

      1. Yes, this is true. I cant imagine how you’ve coped with such cramped living conditions, but it’s a testament to your grit and determination that you did! I’m grateful MrH was able to work from home, and S1 although he was furloughed he is now starting back at work and so (touch wood) his job is safe. As a family we’ve been very lucky.

  8. In the U.S., the American West is filled with wide open spaces. In escaping west, I was greeted with huge skies and broad plains, giant mountains and – eventually – miles of shoreline that bordered open ocean. There is a freedom in open air. Whenever I am feeling constricted – physically, financially, emotionally – I seek out open, uncrowded spaces. So I completely relate to your words.

    1. oh my sounds wonderful – i really must look on my map -(i have at thing about maps)- I have travelled as u know with my “ride” post – but only been to USA once and need to understand where everything is 😉

      1. Montana, Wyoming = high desert plain then mountains, from east to west. Idaho is one big mountain, then Washington, which is high desert again, then mountain, then water.

        I live on an island off the Washington coast. 🙂 (I tried the city for a while, didn’t like it.) I moved from the Midwest in 2002 and crossed all those states, and have also made trips to/through them since.

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