The One Challenge

I thought I’d do this because I can. I’m very grateful that I can do things because I can. For many years I didn’t think I could do anything.

And the few things I thought I could do, I couldn’t do them because I was told not to do them. If I did them anyway, I’d be told – U R Doing it Wrong!

Doings things which I enjoy doing is something I’ve only recently learned how to do without feeling bad about it.

Over the last 24 hours two bloggers with very different blogs mentioned in their respective posts…

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip: What do you consider …

Patience of Willow: A mish-mash of thoughts

…that they’d received emails from people following their blog telling them how they should do things and how they shouldn’t do things on their blogs.

I have a message for those emailers – Don’t do that in your emails to bloggers!

See how it feels. That’s how you made those bloggers feel.

I’ve done shit like that, offering someone unsolicited honest constructive criticism, thinking I was being helpful… I wasn’t being helpful.

I was repeating a pattern I’d been taught. Doing to others what had been done to me. But I didn’t like it when others did that to me, so why did I think that others would like it when I did it to them.

Some of the simplest lessons are the most difficult to learn, and put into practice.

Speaking of the complexity of simplicity… last night I came across a brilliant challenge, it looked like fun, and I thought I’d do it because I can.

The Writing Challenge “One” was created by Victoria Ray of RayNotBradbury, and is open to anyone who would like to do it.

Rules: answer 11 questions below.

1. One person who inspired you.

There’s a lot written about the negative side of engaging in social media. I’ve been lucky in my interactions, my experiences have mostly been positive.

I have had a few rather tame negative experiences.

One of those was with a person who at first seemed like a kindred spirit, but as our online relationship progressed the friendship dream turned into a bit of a familiar nightmare.

That familiar nightmare opened up the floodgates for me on years of buried gunk. The person was a negative muse who inspired me to finally break my silence.

2. One moment that changed the course of your life.

When I broke my silence and started to share my life stories on my blog.

Here are a few of those stories, plus stats (comment stats include my replies) because knowing so many people were reading my stories had a challenging and changing impact upon me:

How To Play The Narcissist’s Game – 415,744 views, 56 Likes, 459 comments

Are You a Magnet for Narcissists? – 220,943 views, 86 Likes, 573 comments

Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence – 133,856 views, 35 Likes, 324 comments

3. One thing that you would change about yourself, your life, the world.

I’ve found that when I go through an internal personal change, it changes how I see myself, how I perceive my life, and how I experience the world.

Sometimes, after an internal change, I discover that something I wanted to change about myself, my life, the world, didn’t need to change at all. What needed to be changed was my attitude towards it which fixed me at a certain narrowed viewing angle and skewed my perception, but the attitude only changes when it is ready to do so.

I am very hesitant about doing certain things – I’d like to boldly go and do what I am very hesitant to go and do.

4. One hero/heroine from past/or present.

The person who did this – World Record Egg

I only found out about it last night when I read this article – The Atlantic: The Race to Monetize the World-Record Instagram Egg

I always admire people who have zany ideas which open the doors of perception to a million different ways of seeing the same thing.

5. One cultural recommendation (film, book, song, painting).

Film: Dreams of a Life (2011)

Dreams of a Life

Book: The Outsider by Colin Wilson

“The Outsider wants to cease to be an Outsider. He wants to be ‘balanced’. He would like to achieve a vividness of sense-perception (Lawrence, Van Gogh, Hemingway). He would also like to understand the human soul and its working and, be ‘possessed’ by a Will to power, to more life (Barbusse and Mitya Karamazov). He would like to escape triviality forever. Above all, he would like to know how to express himself because that is the means by which he can get to know himself and his unknown possibilities.”

– Colin Wilson, The Outsider

Song: The Last Resort – Eagles

“Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
‘Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
In the name of destiny and in the name of God

And you can see them there on Sunday morning
Stand up and sing about what it’s like up there
They called it paradise, I don’t know why
You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye”

– Glenn Frey/Don Henley, Eagles – The Last Resort

Painting: The Treachery of Images by Magritte

Rene Magritte

6. One challenge the world is facing.

No longer being able to avoid the consequences.

7. One great thing that we have achieved. 

Chaos.

Half the world is burning up, the other half is frozen. Half the world is starving, the other half is dieting. Half the world has more money than they need, the other half don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Half the world is building walls, the other half is tearing walls down. Half the world is pointing the finger at the other half. Half the world is crazy, and so is the other half.

8. One regret

I wish I’d known then what I know now. It just takes me so damn long to learn life lessons. But they are complex puzzles.

9. One nugget of advice for humanity.

10. One alternative career path you might have chosen.

Hobo.

11. One thing that you could do better, but you don’t.

Blogging.

That’s it from me…

Over to you!

27 thoughts on “The One Challenge

Add yours

  1. Hey,

    I’m working on my debut poetry book and preparing a mailing list. Would you like me to add your e-mail address please? If so, can you share it with me?

    I don’t plan to do it like hard core promotion, I will be e-mailing you privately not through any software.

    I will just inform you when it’s available and when there is some huge fluctuation in price (sale etc.), as on WordPress reader, posts get lost in stampede.

    I won’t be mailing you more than 4 to 5 times a year, and that’s max. Promise!

    And if you want it to share it privately you can do that through contact form on my blog.

    Thank you 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Stoner, I know you’re working on your debut poetry book, I’ve seen your posts about it – that trick you do with your posts makes your posts noticeable in the reader.

      Thank you for inviting me to be on your mailing list. My answer to your question is no.

      Congratulations, and best wishes for your book’s success! 🙂

      Like

  2. One thing you could do better but don’t? I think your blogging is pretty damn good and getting … not just better but more confident, assertive (you always were assertive but you seem to have grown into it more), and happy. And your style very much reflects the growth you have experienced. 🙂 Your pieces are really showing a depth of insight that’s continuing to stretch. 😀

    Like

    1. Thank you, Lynette 🙂

      I blog the way I blog. I go with the flow of me. When I created this blog I did it with the proviso that I could do whatever I wanted as I wanted, that I would do it for myself and not for anyone else, and that has allowed me to become more relaxed about being myself as I am. Every now and then I experiment with something, and see what happens, see what it reveals.

      There are many improvements I could make, like sorting out my Categories, Tags, and Hashtags, and making the blog more user friendly. It’s very messy and it could definitely use a Spring clean. I could be more organised, tidier, and that sort of thing. I could do it better, I just don’t because it doesn’t matter how I do it and that’s what’s fun about it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also wanted to be a hobo, or gypsy, or nomad… whatever. It was my life’s goal for much of my teenage years. I blogged about it once on my old blog. For all intents and purposes, I was one… almost. ^_^

    Like

    1. I’ve been penniless a couple of times in life without a fixed abode. I once stood outside of this property staring at the garden which had all these orange trees that were laden with fruit, and there were lots of oranges on the ground slowly rotting. I hadn’t eaten in a week, which wasn’t all that long really but it was long enough to make everything and everyone look like food, and to make me realise just how much food there is which you’re not allowed to eat for reasons.

      But it wasn’t until I watched a TV documentary series they did in the UK – The (7) UP series – which followed the lives of children as they grew up and became adults that it dawned on me that I could have easily become a hobo – the kind which isn’t in anyway glamorous or able to be glamorised by TV and film. One character was so much like me, and he became a hobo of sorts.

      I did grow up boho 🙂

      Like

      1. I was only homeless once, and it wasn’t for very long. The only thing that keep me from being the drifter of my teenage dreams is this overwhelming fear of dying on the streets. So I made sure that I had a roof over my head — except for that one time. It wasn’t always a *good* roof nor a solid one, but a roof nonetheless.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and commented:
    I loved this …

    Chaos.

    Half the world is burning up, the other half is frozen. Half the world is starving, the other half is dieting. Half the world has more money than they need, the other half don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Half the world is building walls, the other half is tearing walls down. Half the world is pointing the finger at the other half. Half the world is crazy, and so is the other half.

    Like

  5. What an excellent inside post to your intewrnal mind Ursula, l loved the half/half thing – so absolutely apt 🙂

    We can even apply that forumla to ourselves, for me l shall refer to quarters, l have a quarter demon saying this, another quarter demon saying that, the final quarter is arguing with the quarter angel who arguing also about what the first half is tossing into the air wilst the whole of me thinks – what?

    Like

  6. Oh I love this Ursula…
    I think I feeling emotional today because I was all teary-eyed when I saw the description of the film, and the explanation of chaos.

    Someone made a constructive comment on my site recently. It made me feel all anxious and terrible. Then I re-read the post over an over questioning everything. But it was a post that was about a time in my life that was really hard for me, so that was not healthy for me. All night I have had memories haunting me of dark days in my life and emotional health.

    I thought about the point the blogger was making about artists needing to accept that their art will be interpreted differently by different audiences and some will give constructive critique…and I realized my blog is not art. I do try to make it pretty with nice pictures and formatting. But I am not creating art. I am trying to get very tender things out of me onto the modern “page” as a way to kind of process those parts of me that up until now I have not really known what to do with. The parts that had sunk down like dregs to the bottom of my heart and were just weighing me down.

    There are wonderful bonuses to having others read your work and encourage you to keep writing…but for those whose writing is not necessarily something they would consider “art” or “entertainment” … some constructive criticism can be rather more destructive than the giver may ever have intended.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much, Mel ❤

      I think what you've decided to do recently on your blog, to tell your raw, real, and painful story, is very brave and truly beautiful. It's inspiring. It is art – but it's not the obvious kind of art which can be sold in a gallery, can be recorded or filmed, etc, and marketed as art. It's the art of living life, and sharing your experience of living your life is creating art.

      I grew up in the art world with artists. I was surrounded by them. My father was a professional artist. His life was a mess and that mess inspired what he did. He painted his pain, he painted his longings, he painted his experience of living life. That's what you're doing in your posts.

      I'm going to share with you a little bit of my personal experience of sharing my own dregs in my posts.

      You will get readers who understand you, what you're sharing, why you're sharing it, because they too have had a similar journey. They may comment, or they may simply press 'Like" and not comment because they don't want to intrude, they know what you've been through, are going through, they admire what you're doing, they can't bring themselves to say anything… perhaps because they aren't where you are yet – able to say what you have found words to say.

      You will get readers who mean well but say some stupid shit which sounds condescending. They often haven't dealt with their own dregs, and are dealing with their dregs by not dealing with them, but instead they read about the dregs of others and then say something which they think sounds so good but which doesn't sound good. They think they're being supportive or whatever. You don't think that.

      You will get readers who get triggered and react without thinking. They may share their entire dregs story with you because they feel you understand or because you triggered them and their reaction was to share everything in one comment.

      You will get some readers who are there for the entertainment of watching someone else bare their soul.

      You will get some readers who are just there to troll you, to poke and prod you where you're vulnerable – these ones are more vulnerable than you are and are hiding behind a mask of invincibility. Their comments while unpleasant can be very useful therapeutically. I once had someone tell me I had mommy and daddy issues. I didn't approve the comment because that allows that person to comment willy-nilly, but I did address it in a post and tell him he was right and I had every right to have mommy and daddy issues.

      Comments which trigger you make for great writing prompts for posts where you release what you've repressed, suppressed and felt oppressed by.

      One of the most important things I've learned is that in comments people reveal their own story – it's not about you, it is about them. It's not about your post, it's about how they've read your post and what they've read into it.

      Don't worry if you get hung up on a comment – let that take you where it takes you, use it to fuel your creativity, write about it, share how it affected you, let people know who you are through being yourself as you are.

      They will judge you – you'll judge them too. That's human. Don't worry about it. Or worry about it and write that worry out.

      My favourite pieces of writing advice are these:

      "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." – Hemingway

      "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." – Rilke

      Keep going with your journey as you're doing it. It will terrify you at times. It will make your heart leap with joy at other times. Everything you do, say, are is the creative art of crushed caramel.

      You're amazing – and through doing what you're doing, you'll discover that too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a beautiful and fascinating mind you have.

        Thank you for your gorgeous comment…I always feel as if reading anything you have written is like a luxury treat – both the thoughts you provoke and your decadent use of language. It’s such a pleasure to read whatever you write.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kevin 🙂

      Now I’m curious about the track your mind, which I am certain isn’t silly or little at all, went down when you saw “Hobo”, and thus my twisted mind is going to make lots of guesses about that 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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