Welcome to this month’s ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, meet…’ feature, where I invite a blogger to write a guest post.
This month I’d like to introduce you to Florence Thum. Blogger, lawyer, and a full-time mum, Florence is also part of the Lit World Interview Team, along with myself and a number of other bloggers you may know. Although she holds down a full-time job and is a very busy mum, Florence always finds the time for her writing, amongst which she has a real passion for poetry.
Some of you may already know Florence and, for me, she is one of the most kind-hearted people I have come to know here on Planet Blog. She recently started up an appeal for our very good friend and fellow blogger Ronovan (aka Ronovanwrites), after the hard-drive on his laptop failed. She managed to raise enough money to purchase a new laptop for Ronovan so he could continue with his writing and blogging. It was a wonderful idea and I thought such an incredible thing to do for somebody that has supported so many bloggers himself.
I won’t lie and say that I don’t have a bit of a soft spot for Florence. If she was living in the UK I would certainly have invited her out because I know I would find what she had to say very interesting. I’m sure you will agree with that statement after you have read her guest post. So, without further-ado, Ladies & Gentlemen meet Florence Thum.
It is with excitement and some trepidation that I embark on any ‘guest-posting’ activity.
What to write this time, I ask myself and a few benchmarks come to mind:
- To write an engaging post (for Hugh’s sake and mine ☺),
- To introduce myself to everyone here, and
- To write a post which reflects my blog and by correlation, my passion.
‘Meanings and Musings’ is my attempt to decipher the narratives of life through writing, and in the process to share some insights about living life with awareness and intent. All of us tell stories about our lives. We have heard people tell stories of our lives, some of which sounds truly amazing and some not so pleasant… and some unfamiliar. Why is that? Who was not paying attention? Who had distorted lens? Who was not ‘being real’? When our stories of us resonate with who we are and how we live, we are then in a true place. If we don’t live life as our soul desires, we are lost. Lost to the expectations of others, to the compulsion of societal norms. We are unique beings, are we not? Beautiful and perfect in our own right.
“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.” Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
Honestly, I have no answer. Just a whole lot of questions about being human which I hope to explore in my blog. Our answers are our own to realize. I was born curious. I have a hunger for knowledge and wisdom of a life lived. If one person is encouraged to ponder, to question a status quo, a ‘should’ or a ‘must’, to ask ‘why?’ or ‘says who?’ from my writing, I am happy.
A rebel I am not, though there is a certain romantic ring to it, huh? ☺ I just do not enjoy following blindly. And if I seek and somehow return to the same place, I am content. Wasn’t it TS Eliot who said,
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
It is the journey of discovery that makes life worth living. It causes us to see the pain and also the beauty, to experience the downs and also the ups, to be hurt and also loved… they are all necessary to the human experience.
I have no destination in mind, though I did once. Some of you may know that I am by profession a lawyer, an educator and a psychotherapist. Imagine the dreams I had! Well they did not happen as I envisaged them. Now I help and mentor young people in different ways – as a lawyer/educator and a psychotherapist, I write amidst a bustling household, I solo travel as often as I could. I have no specific destination, not even to ‘be happy’.
“Early in the journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW…so you stop asking.” Ram Dass, Be Here Now
I have learnt to be in the moment – and yes, there are still moments of ‘if-only’, ‘what-if’ and ‘I wish’. I appreciate my strengths and limitations. I own my light and shadow. I have arrived at not minding the opinions of others, to re-claiming what is mine, and venturing forth boldly and without apology. These are aspirational indeed and experiential. A lifetime of old habits needs another lifetime to adjust… so everything is in the process of becoming. I am human after all ☺.
Oh dear, half way through (I was given a word limit by Hugh 😛) and not a word about passions as yet. Well, can you guess? I read anything and everything. In fact, find me on Goodreads as well. What happens to the books I’ve read? They sit in pristine condition on my bookshelves (yes, that kind of a reader). And I write book reviews on LitWorldInterviews.
And writing? A quick review of my blog posts and private writings indicate that one, I write a lot about connection and intimacy, choice and self-determination; and two, I write poetry more than I ever thought I would and about love and loss. It is true through certain lens, life is about loss. From the day we were born – loss of innocence, loss of safety, loss of security, loss of love, loss of independence, loss of freedom… For me, life is also about love experienced. It would seem when I encounter the space of love and loss, I write poetry ☺.
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. T. S. Eliot
Connection and intimacy, and by association, a sense of belonging and safety, are imperatives to our wellbeing. Exploring these themes on my blog has been a source of joy, insight and fulfilment. The crux is, each of us have within us the resources to make choices that serve us if only we are mindful of them. Face forward, look within, take that first step!
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
If you have been to my blog, you might have noticed I post about music too. I probably have a song for every situation, every emotion, every stage of my life, and for the people in my life. Music speaks to me and expresses my soul better than I can. An indulgence, I bought a grand piano recently. It’s been a ‘want’ for some time… even though I’m no expert at it ☺.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold Auerbach
In every role I take on in life, I see an organising principle – the desire to connect, to share intimacies, to belong in a safe place. And it is through these themes that I blog and reflect upon the authenticity in being and living.
Well, that’s me in a nutshell.
May our paths converge in the unfolding future…
I’d like to thank Florence very much for accepting my invitation to write a guest post. I am sure you will agree that Florence gives a lot of food for thought in what she writes.
Don’t forget to check out her blog, Meanings and Musings, and also to join her over at Lit World Interviews where she publishes some very interesting book reviews.
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