Back to Black: A dedication to Amy Winehouse

Back to Black: A dedication to Amy Winehouse

Today, I was going along with my normal day-to-day business – doing errands, getting ready for one of my new students -and then came the phone call from Geri announcing:  “Amy Winehouse has died”.  I stared back at my iPhone feeling dumfounded.  Amy Winehouse is dead?  This could not be true, so I went online, straight to the daily mail website and found the bold caption confirming the news that the singer had passed.

In our lifetimes, we see many icons, stars that have that aura of magic that makes them standout – they possess the X-factor! (I do dispute the “over-use” of the former expression in modern day media, where like the word diva, it become meaningless) What made Amy Winehouse special was how she could reach into her soul, find her inner “voice” and project her emotions out through her velvet, contralto voice.  I found it quite saddening that I will not be hearing any more new songs from her, and I had been one of those people anticipating the new work since the release of her last album in 2006. I do remember that nice summer day, back in 2006 when I first discovered her music. I was in a HMV store in Birmingham city center, looking for a new album to play whilst I drive back to London.  I remember saying to my younger sister, how I had a feeling that this was a good one. This proved to be correct; I loved her album and remember plugging her album to my friends.

I have been meaning to write an article entitled “back to black” for some time now, discussing the issue of how there are “raw”, deep, “dark”, honest emotions that we find difficult to release at times. This can be from trying to write or talk about the past – discussing a broken relationship to finding our true voice- not being afraid of being “true” to ourselves. Making that announcement one day, “I do not like accounting; don’t want to be an accountant anymore.”  It can be amazing some of the conclusions that can be drawn. A life coach friend of mine once told me a story about a consultation that they had with a client, who promptly dumped their live-in boyfriend after the first session.  (I did find the swift speed of this action “hilarious”) They decided to be true to themselves, end the relationship where they were not being appreciated; how they deserved better.

It is human nature to be scared of the unknown and sometimes hide from facts. But isn’t great to explore the truth, and when it comes out the sense of relief.   It is therapeutic like the song “Back to black” by the late, great Amy Winehouse.

Enemy becomes him…..

Enemy becomes him…..

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who I had not spoken to in a while – so it was a kind of catch up: how is life treating you style of conversation.  She started off this conversation sounding a little down, and I probed her further to find out what had occurred to make her feel this way.  At work, a complaint had been made against her that was invalid.  She took pride in her work, and was always the consummate professional. After further investigation, she found out that the arbitrator of this “invalid” complaint was a former colleague, friend.

This had been a shock, considering that she believed that they were on good terms, although they had not spoken for some time. What was the justification, if any, for this act? (Due to my legal background, I must sound like a lawyer at times).

So what had changed; why does a supposedly friend change to an enemy? Or could it be that this person was not really a friend to begin with, but an acquaintance. Some people believe that they can count on one hand their true friends, and I subscribe to this view. There will be times when you become acquainted with people through work and other activities, and become friendly.  People come and go, and impact on your life in different ways. This is part of the journey.

Friends can fall out, take the former celebrity BFF (best friends forever) partnership, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, they were best friends growing up, then an incident occurred which resulted in the end of their friendship. It’s understandable that people do change, evolve. Common interests that they once shared may no longer be there, but how about when these people just turn on you, and become your enemies.  Was it really a ploy: to keep your friends close, and enemies closer?

Going back to my friend’s story, I have a theory, that this change in attitude could be related to unresolved issues.  My friend has always been quite a gregarious, confident and strong character. Their now “frenemie” is the polar opposite, lacking in social skills.  Maybe in this instance it stems from the one of the seven deadly sins: “envy”

 

The Wrong Bra Size?

The Wrong Bra Size?

I had a meet up with one of my friends the other night.  It was a typical “girly” night out, catching up with each other, having fun.  The conversation later turned to bra sizes. (No, this article will not be about “breasts” and how they come in different shapes and sizes) My friend commented that she believed that I was wearing the wrong bra size; how I look smaller than my stated size. This was not in reference to the cup size, so my refrigerator was not missing any chicken fillets.

As I later parted from my friend, I started to ponder the concept about how we sometimes see ourselves differently to how others view us. This can be either positive or negative. Take the person viewing their reflection in the mirror, thinking that they are fat, overweight and ugly; when they are in fact, within a healthy weight range and attractive! Then to the other extreme, where a contestant on the show Apprentice boasts about how they are a great “communicator”; whilst at the same time alienating their associates!

This raises the question, why do we see ourselves differently to others? Is it a case that we lose touch with our real self? I am sure that there are psychology theories on this topic, but will go back to basics. I was watching a mini video blog via the Re-invention Diva website the other day, and came across the term “navel gazing”.  The premise of this is that we need to self-reflect, listen to our inner selves to rediscover what we want to do; analyse our strengths and weaknesses.  In business terms, this is almost like compiling a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)  on ourselves. This is a useful tool to use from time-to-time, since it is so easy to get distracted, lose focus.

So what bra size am I? The frustrated artist, I answer.