About Me

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I still feel like a teenager on the inside, unfortunately my children do remind me how old I am!! I have lived for 20+ years as an Irish expat in The Netherlands. My favourite city here has to be Amsterdam.

Writing, reading, authentic living. It's all here at The Writing Process

Welcome to my blog. Let me start by telling you that I love writing. I love the sense of vitality it gives me. I love that it helps me to make sense of the world and to the people in it. I love that it helps me become wiser, more intuitive, empathic, and most of all autonomous.

All aspects - reading, writing and observing - are what make the process complete. The essence is storytelling, and learning about
life and yourself.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Root of One Squared

Once in a while I am honoured to read and discuss the work of an up and coming writer. This one, Joanne Hall, has allowed me to be her writing mentor, and for that I am grateful. She has a wonderfully original voice, and says it straight from the heart. She has given me permission to share this personal piece with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and let´s hope we hear more from her in future.

The Root of One Squared

So I should be a teacher. Or an advisor. That's hilarious. Not in the sense; '"Me? A teacher? That's hilarious!" But the more cynical; "That's hilarious". Undertone included. Although a bloody or a fucking in there would be more to the truth. I mean, I'm discontented, there's a general malaise about many things. Some in my control and some not so much.

Career wise I'm realising what I may have studied for all those years may not be what I want at all for the rest of my life. Well, it's in my control to examine this. Nobody is holding a gun to my head. Not yet at least but that's another story altogether. No one is forcing me to make a split decision so I have plenty of time to explore this one.

I decided to do something I usually try to avoid since having an office job. I turned my computer on to surf the net. That's after working hours! Initially I meant to check if this time I may have been listed for a new apartment. Bugger. No chance. 97th? That's the closest I got to the three places I applied for? Another, not entirely unexpected, setback. Well, actually a not entirely unexpected lack of progress. One of the many. Again.

But I digress. The long and the short of it is that I decided to visit a website of a friend of mine. I always promise to check the blogs and mean it, intend to but there's never any time it seems. I'm so crowded with, well, God only knows. Except me of course but seeing he's got all-knowing down too, and I have trouble with understanding at the best of times, I think that statement still stands. Anyway, the promise I make is never a duty bound one. I want to read these blogs, I know somewhere, or maybe I just hope it, that I may stumble across the path I ought to take. Or ought to have taken maybe.

My friend the writer. I've always liked the idea myself but it's always been wishful thinking as the truth is I wouldn't know what the hell to say. Well, write anyway. Who'd be interested in my ramblings? That's all I have. I'm no storyteller. Which is a bloody shame actually as you wouldn’t believe the crazy extremes my life had been lifted to at times. And that for such a 'normal' person. But I got to thinking during some of our long talks. Everything can be a start she said. There's no measuring point zero I thought. So why not. At least, why shut myself of to ideas and this is just one of them maybe.

I decided to soak up what I could in the time I have. Observing. Gathering. Then nothing. Overload of reality or more to the point real life not so much knocking on your door but battering the thing to shards instead. No time to fantasize if your having enough trouble focussing on the tasks at hand. But back on track in a better place I surfed my way to the website and after reading a while I stumbled onto this test. A stronger me. A better me. Something like that. Discover what my role in life is. Don't be a sceptic all the time. All right, sounds interesting. Useful maybe. Don't get ahead of yourself. Let's give it a go though. I mean, isn't that exactly what I want to know? Can't do any harm after all. I'm feeling a bloody failure at what I’m doing at the moment. So what's the worst that can happen? If I do nothing at all I sentence myself to doing the job I dread for the rest of my life, or I could take action. Start at least and what better way to start than find out my true role in life, if only for a laugh as they say.

So I fill in an unexpected array of questions. And taaadaaahhh! Bingo. Couldn't have been anything else really. In this case not terms describing an epiphany of some sort unfortunately. More of a under the breath muttering almost sighing of : "Course", accompanied by a bored looking away in distain almost. "Couldn't have been anything else really."

My lead role is a teacher. My support role an advisor.

At 17 I was set for the Marnix Academy. A prestigious school that trains teachers for junior schools. I decided, for good reasons, one being the idea of being in front of a class room terrified me, that it was definitely not for me. Even contemplated studying English to teach middle school but the same reason terrified me just as much with an older age group of teens. Also I felt I was living up to the expected. The main advantage I always had growing up in a Dutch school was that I scored excellently n English class. No brownie points, it is my mother tongue. How easy I could become an English teacher? No, I should choose regardless of expectations. Back on point, there's advisor. I could become an advisor. Do you feel this one coming? At 17 I decided to drastically alter my study plans. I went to law school. Always work in law. Never going to run out of arguments in this world I would always joke but in fact I've always been a idealist at heart. Became a legal executive, I believe this is the most correct and descriptive translated term to my Dutch legal exec. slash// rep. slash// advisors job in the legal department of the largest Dutch Construction workers Union.

So there you have it. I am for the most part an advisor. That’s my day job. Don't feel back to square 1 so much as being back to the root of 1 squared. You see, it sounds a difficult formula at first but it's a deceptively simple answer conveying the right sentiment. And that's that I have to accept that I am, unfortunately, evaluating all, for the moment at least, right and royally screwed.

But then maybe that's the point. Everything having been knocked down you can start to build it all again from the bottom up but you're better of in the long run tackling the root. The root of your personal square 1. Me, I may at least revisit the idea of my former aspirations of becoming a teacher to see if the old objections still stand now I am no longer the seventeen year old that radically altered course. You never know, I might even turn out to be a 30 year old that radically changes course back again!