About me? Everyone is normal until you say hello. That’s what the professor at a clinical psychology course told me more than ten years ago. It stayed with me because I identified as not being normal. Later in life, I have come to view this as a virtue. Me, you, and everyone else is unique – something to celebrate.
I recently looked at an ancestry website and became obsessed with building a family tree for a month. What was it about me I was looking for? Glamorous ancestors, intrigue, unexpected family ties? I found that I am from a long line of deeply unambitious people. I can trace my father’s side of the family back 400 years and find they all lived in a part of Preston. Not the north. Not Lancashire. Not even Preston. An area of Preston. I did the same on my mother’s side and went back even further – everyone from the Ribble Valley in Lancashire. I look like a grand global explorer, having moved to London.
Born on 22 May 1957, I realise that life is a blur. Learning about me has been a long process. It’s still running, although some mist has cleared. One moment you’re an anxious young boy attending his first day at primary school; the next moment, you’re getting letters asking how you would like to draw your pension. In between, a big mess. Good stuff, bad stuff, boring stuff, bursts of excitement. Euphoria, crushing depression, getting a job, getting a real job, branching out into entrepreneurial life, and taking further education in my thirties and fifties, meeting the love of my life in my fifties, having the darkest moments of my life in my early sixties, resolving my issues, feeling whole and positive and being excited about the next chapter of my life. A blur. A long life, a short life.
About me? Feeling positive, excited, and curious. Learning to love myself and accept myself for who I am.