These days I am more than happy to admit I am a round peg in a square hole. For a long time outwardly I tried my hardest to be a square peg in a square hole, but my efforts failed spectacularly and caused me some considerable distress along the way. I have had several little epiphanies over time and now try to plough my own furrow. However, old habits die hard so I am thankful to the CBT I received in the latter part of last year as this has helped me to identify some of my old behaviours that hold me back. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, so now I am able to make gradual changes so I can continue to move forward. It has also given me the confidence to try new things this year despite the possible risk of failure which is why I am now blogging and trying my hand at morris dancing! I am still a work in progress but moving steadily in the right direction. I have always always had a sneaking admiration those who are just themselves no matter how eccentric others might think that is!
I have been lucky enough to come across one such character in The English Way of Death by Julian Litten which I have just finished [I found the book to be fascinating but not to everyone's taste I can appreciate!]
Martin Van Butchell [1735-1812] was a well known dentist who, upon the death of his first wife Mary on 14th January 1775, had her embalmed. This process was meticulously recorded by him in a diary over a month long period. Her body was then kept in his front room in a glass topped coffin and members of the public could view her at preset times. It seems his second wife may have objected to this arrangement because the corpse was subsequently moved to the Royal College of Surgeons where it remained until it was destroyed in an air raid in 1941. If this were not fairly unusual in itself Van Butchell cut a distinctive figure riding around the streets of London on his white pony which from time to time he painted purple or purple with black spots as the mood took him!
Along similar lines I will sign off this epistle with a couple of quotes:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
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