This is not my first journal, or blog. Unsurprisingly, I write a lot given I am, after all, a writer. I haven’t kept an online collection of thoughts, poems, or essays for quite a long time, though. My first, back in the 1990s, only exists as an archived zip file, locally stored. It serves from time to time to remind me how much my writing, not to mention my thinking, critical and otherwise, has changed in the decades that followed it.
Some of my ‘old stuff’ I may yet retrieve and rework and make public again. I don’t know. I don’t have to know. The option is there but so too is the ability to forge ahead with new ideas and new ways of looking at the world and myself. Revisiting the past and moving into the future, along with feeling as comfortable as possible with who we are in the present, all of these have equal value and application at different times in different head spaces.
If you want me to write for you after reading anything on this site, please do get in touch. You can read more about me here. I should point out: although I will write about therapy matters in this journal, I am not yet qualified to practice. Please don’t ask me if I can be your counsellor; outside of any placements done as part of my studies, the answer will be no, I’m afraid I can’t offer that.
I’m calling this a journal rather than a blog because it is my intention, as I continue with my studies to become a therapist alongside my established writing career, to publish essays and reflections I hope might prove of interest and help to others. This will be an edited selection of writings, of course. My actual therapeutic practice journal is a safe space for me to write down all my unguarded thoughts and feelings. Heaven forbid I made them all public, same as the inside of anyone’s head. Many things I write in my personal journal offline, however, can form the seed of material I come to think is worthy of being presented for anyone to happen across and read. If so, I will publish it here.
It won’t all be serious or academic. Far from it. I will post fun things from time to time, personal stories and reflections that have no relevance to therapy or copywriting or painting, but are just my thoughts, memories, and feelings written down and fit, in my view, to share online without compromising myself or others.
I have and maintain my privacy, my secrets, just like anyone else. Time was, when I was younger, I would post anything online and not think for a moment about its future wisdom or viability. I’m sure there remain vestiges out there, in dusty forums, of things I’ve said or done I wish now I never did say or do. But that’s part of being human. We had those regrets and the possibilities of exposure long before the Internet. I am confident, though, that I am a good person, a reasonably honest person, open to a lot of self-disclosure and as truthful as I can be. I always have been, which is one of the reasons I ended up wanting to learn counselling skills, to help myself and to help others.
I will try to illustrate each of my posts with a photo, painting or drawing. If I can make it relevant to what is being discussed, then great. Otherwise, enjoy the pretty pictures anyway. The photo accompanying this introduction was taken in Yorkshire, England on one of my regular countryside walks.
It is my hope that some of what I post here will be educational and/or informative in ways that help and/or entertain you. Much of what I write here will be opinions. As such, I am more than happy for you to disagree with what I have to say, to take issue. I only ask that you try to engage in a constructively critical way, should you feel compelled at any stage to let me know your opinion is different to my own.
In the internet age – or, more than anything, the Facebook age – the ability to engage in healthy, respectful debate appears to be getting shown the door in favour of people hurling cruel words and monstrous accusations at each other. I have no time for that kind of insulting, horrible mud-slinging. I want to try to maintain a positive, healthy space here. Your comments are welcome if you can engage with me and others with all the above in mind.
When it comes to taking offence, however, I am quite certain I, like you, like anyone, am quite capable of offending. However, I am with the actor and writer Stephen Fry on the subject of offence, when he said,
“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”
Welcome to my journal. Thank you for visiting my site.