Fate, wellbeing, my mother and Katy Perry’s Roar. Part 2.

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero …

Singing along to this song on the radio I wondered if I could say that I had gone quite as far as to be my own hero.

To answer my own question I needed to assess a) what qualities do I now have, b) what qualities would “my own hero” have. Then I could match one against the other and answer the question.

It’s hard to assess your own qualities. But I remembered a recent conversation with my colleagues, in which I had been regaling them with some of the adventures my mother is having in her retirement.

Some people found it hard to imagine having a mother who converted a built-in wardrobe into an en-suite shower room/toilet, doing almost everything it was safe and legal to do herself and only calling in professionals when it was absolutely necessary.

Other people found it hard to imagine having a mother who went to a nudist beach, approached two young men and asked to borrow their kayak while they weren’t using it. I imagine they’d also find it hard to imagine that I have her permission to blog about it 😉

I found myself explaining that my mother does her own thing, not bothering much about what anyone else thinks, as long as she’s not harming anyone. This does lead to some people telling her she can’t do things, “you can’t go off walking on your own?!” they say, “Walk with us!” But she politely declines and heads off to explore according to her own agenda. She’s very independent and when she decides to do a thing she goes off and does it. And she doesn’t believe in being told she can’t do a thing. If she wants to do it, she does it.

My colleagues laughed and said she sounded just like me.

I suppose they’re right. If I wasn’t like that I never would have got a horse, as an adult beginner with no equine support network outside of the (army of) people who are paid to support me and my horse. In the workplace I do what needs doing. I’m no longer “biting my tongue … afraid to rock the boat” like I was when I took this job. If something needs saying I don’t mind being the only one saying it, and saying it until people listen. I think I have earned my stripes and I have to admit that sometimes I have been known to sting like a bee although I try not to. But occasionally I think it’s called for and when it is, I can do it. In addition to matching the lyrics, I think this is more proof of me independently doing what I think is best, just like my mother.

So I think we’ve established that my character appears to be similar to my mother’s.

The traditional female dread of turning into one’s mother is well documented, but when I then measure up my character and hers to the original question, I am left with the suggestion that I am indeed my own hero, and therefore, so is my mother.

I reckon turning into your mother is OK if it turns out she’s actually your hero. And world, as I have now established that I have indeed gone from zero to my own hero… it appears I get to sing the chorus, so…

you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion …

…you’re gonna hear me roar.


Lyrics from Katy Perry’s Roar.

Mr S. always says it’s the lyrics that make a song. In this case I think he may have a point.

Fate, wellbeing, my mother and Katy Perry’s Roar. Part 1.

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely …

In the last few years there have been lots of things I’ve done and thought, “I should have done this years ago”, the latest of these being my visit to the chiropractor. But looking back over my life it’s something I simply couldn’t have done before. Prerequisites for the chiro trip were: an  understanding that I had physical issues; a feeling of self worth sufficient to permit the spending of time and money on myself; confidence to believe I could be made better and also to enter an unknown environment; finances to pay for the treatment. At no earlier point in my life could I have fulfilled all of the criteria, so much as I might wish I’d started getting my back sorted earlier, it just wasn’t my fate.


I don’t believe in fate in the sense that life is all mapped out and we’re walking preordained paths. I don’t believe in Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos spinning, measuring and cutting mortal lives, but I do believe that sometimes personality, past and circumstance mean the directions a person can go in are quite limited. When you first start on a path it’s easy to turn back, but when you’re a way along it sometimes the only way is to continue, regardless of anything else. A famous example of this would be the addict who has to hit rock bottom before he can accept he has to change.

If I hadn’t been far enough along my particular path there’s no way I could be having my back adjusted. So what else have I done on this path? Where did this path start?

Was it when I got a horse? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I started to have riding lessons? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I got married? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I learned to relax? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I finished counselling? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I went to my GP and asked for counselling, telling her I needed a talking therapy to prevent future depressions? No, go back earlier.

Was it when I came off antidepressants? No, go back earlier.

It was when I walked into an NHS walk-in clinic and said, “I am suicidal. Something is wrong. I need help.”

That was the start of the path of getting myself fixed. The path of asking for help to get fixed. Of not trying to do everything myself. Without that first giant step the next and the next and the next would never have been possible. I would still have such issues with my mental balance and twisted thoughts that my physical balance and twisted back would never have got a look in.

So there’s no point me wishing I’d done things sooner in my life. Actions like this can’t happen until you’re in the right place to make them happen. We can try to live in the moment, but we wouldn’t be at that particular moment if our past hadn’t built it, brick by brick, step by step, piece by piece. There’s no use wishing we’d got places sooner, but there’s merit in taking some satisfaction in how far we’ve come.


Lyrics at top of page – extract from Katy Perry’s Roar.

For the most amazing illustrated, amusing and accurate description of depression, see: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/depression-part-two.html I recommend everyone read this. Particularly the bit with the dead fish.