I am a square peg in a square hole…


I’ve written before about not feeling that I’ve fitted in. I’ve lived on a housing estate when I’m a country girl. I’ve played the ‘cello but wasn’t really passionate enough about it to want to spend 4/5 hrs a day practising. I’ve tried swimming ‘because it was good for me’ and I always have a sense of being on the outside looking in. I’m an observer, I love looking at people and listening too but it has taken 35 years for me to really find out what it is I want to do…

I want to write.

I started my blog back in January and the aim was to write a little something that makes people think. A dull notion perhaps; why not make them laugh? Maybe I’m not funny enough, maybe I’m not interesting enough but I have always managed to ask those sorts of questions that people say ‘erm, I hadn’t thought about that..’ I wrote when I was very young and I’ve just finished telling Hubbie about the diary entry I wrote about the Great Exhibition; I can still remember it being read very eloquently by my teacher who praised it to the hilt. I wrote poetry as a teenager (didn’t we all!) and I showed my book to a teacher who was rather excited about it. I wrote another piece about a boy who’d just left home for London and was on his own and that again was read out but I never really knew I could write as a possible career. I was a ‘cellist and nicely pigeonholed I don’t think I could have bucked the expectations.

I wrote essays, I was good at them and as long as I stuck to the formula I was good at them. I read passages from other people’s books and churned out barked responses to dull questions that had been asked many times before. I felt bored. No one asked my opinion. No one wanted to know what I thought about what I had just read. This wasn’t writing it was passing an exam.

I came back to writing as therapy. I wrote all my thoughts and feelings in a book and as my thoughts and feelings were pretty muddled so was my writing. The pencil nearly scraped the paper away, the bad spelling, awful grammar and numerous underlining’s screamed confusion. You could feel the heat of the words coming from the page. Deep rage can be felt in graphite.

The writing helped and as the pages were turned then sentences appeared, full stops separated thoughts and grammar made it understandable. Hubbie read it and my writing gave him an insight into my mind and the corner was turned. Writing saved me but the book was burned when I felt ready no one should find the ramblings of an ill person years later in an attic.

When I taught I noticed that Year 3 was an ‘Itchy scratchy’ year in that the children when they fell out could no longer just be told to go and play. They didn’t want to and they had to learn how to get on with people they didn’t like. This was difficult and many words between the children were said. I had a sign above my door that said ‘Words are powerful; be careful how you use them’ Letters are weapons when they are formed into the wrong words and there is no one better to show this than children.

I now write weekly about anything and everything that interests me. I write about my home, my children and family and, sometimes, the things I create. I find the mundane fascinating. I like the flip side and I like to pose a different point of view. I no longer write formulaic essays that no one really cares about I write whatever the heck I like and I am loving the freedom I have. I have written about Alien poo being in our toilet, the fact that if Cathy had just have married Heathcliff then all would have been great to the notion that I wouldn’t curtsey to [the then] Kate Middleton and I’m fascinated with the idea that I have no idea what I will write after I have finished this. I am at the point where I love to sneak off and relax into my writing I have that long exhale that you only get when you are truly happy and relaxed in what you are doing. Some get it on a beautiful calm sandy beach looking out to sea but I get it when faced with a blank piece of paper or screen.

It’s taken 35 years to find the ‘thing’ that I want to do. I could view that as wasted years or I could view it as I am very lucky as I have found what I want to do; I’m sure some people spend even longer searching. The response to what I write has been amazing I’ve found out lots about myself. I can, sometimes, be funny, I can be interesting but I have learned, certainly from last week’s blog, that I can touch people and move them enough to write back expressing what they feel and their point of view. I am privileged to hear secrets and shared sorrows…

So. I’ll slowly phase out ‘I’m an ex ‘cellist and ex teacher’ when people ask what I do and I’m not quite brave enough to tell them that I design and create my own sewn products. I may even mention the fact I write a blog that lots of people like to read. I’ll pluck up the courage to tell people what I do now not what I used to despite the degree earned to be a teacher and the dozens of musical qualifications and a place at Music College that made me a ‘cellist. I have no qualifications in sewing or writing but I seem to be a bit okay at both. If you meet me in the near future and I don’t know you read my blog, ask me what I do and if I’m feeling particularly brave that day I may just say, ‘…me? Oh I sew and write for a living. Yes, I’ve just started writing…’

I am a square peg in a square hole and that’s a very comfortable place to be.

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About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
This entry was posted in About our home, The random thoughts of me, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I am a square peg in a square hole…

  1. Liz Withey says:

    I find myself identifying with so much you have written here. You certainly got me thinking!

  2. Pam Harrow says:

    I love reading what you write, you write as if you are sat with me having a brew and just chatting away, that to me is the best kind of writing, it is refreshingly honest and open and best of all it is apparent that you are enjoying it!
    Lovesagoodyarn, x

  3. Charlotte says:

    This post nearly had me in tears!
    I feel the same on so many of your points….I don’t fit, I don’t tell people what i do (I’m a cleaner and part time teaching assistant, yet my biggest achievement is that i own my own online store) and I love writing.
    I have as yet not really found the courage to write on the internet as I fear no one would want to read nor relate but do you know what, i may just give it a go!

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