I have been working on my next zine. It is all about mothering, as experienced by myself and my mother with her mother. Just looking into this sort of thing means that difficult emotions come to the surface and I am more aware than usual of my inner child struggling with things.
Yesterday I had a group session of playing the cello. I was so anxious beforehand I could hardly settle to anything in the morning before. As I struggled with the anxiety, I recognised that this was something I could have usefully been helped with as a child. I had a vision that in a parallel life, I would have learnt the cello at school, gone along to school orchestra, been really nervous and scared, found it very hard but also fun, liked others in the orchestra group even though I’m very junior and we might otherwise not have our paths cross. I might have made friends there. I had few friends at school, never wanting to be part of bitchy girl cliques but also finding it hard to find other people with my interests. My mother could have been reassuring about the challenge, helped me manage my anxiety and be proud of me for going, encourage me along the way. In this my actual life I had to try and be my own motherly self and see it as a useful learning experience.
So how did it play out?
Well I am the total incompetent junior of the group, this was my third session and it was a steep uphill learning curve! I had to abandon any pride or ego, needed help with tuning and played a very simple version. I had to be sat opposite someone else who was playing the same version as me so I could copy her bowing action.
The other people in the group were blissfully unaware that I now view them as potential friends! The good thing is that I am very comfortable taking it on a very slow burn when it comes to friendship. I am in no rush and was happy to build slowly with the odd bit of chat on leaving.
I think as a child I was very careful and learned never to show any vulnerability in my tough, competent armour. At school I only did things I was good at for that reason. Now as an adult I am revealing far more of those vulnerabilities. Yesterday, nobody took advantage of that (and if they did, it would show more about them than me). So today I am exhausted but also very pleased that I took part.