• Sharon McKay

    September 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm Reply


    My name is Sharon. I have finally got my bigger than before ass in gear to start to bring my writing out of the boxes and start blogging (so to speak). I wanted to write for so long. Thanks to my friend Lynne who selflessly shared a lot of her time with me this week to get website up and running. Lynne is a very good writer herself and has the most amazing funny stories. We are never short of writing material prompted from these times of laughter and chats that might be quite interesting if you were a fly on the wall. Some stories to share later I’m sure.

    Daphne Kapsale-100 days of Solitude

    I was prompted to write after noticing some posts from the very talented author Daphne Kapsale. I noticed she had published 100 days of Solitude. There are many writers posts pop up on Facebook and I do not open many so I figured that this was no coincidence. I wanted to learn more of what she had written. I decided to send her a message and order her book which I did. I guess I was at a stage in life where I was asking myself some questions and wishing for a long time to ‘out myself’ and publicly lay it bare on paper . But where do I start I had been asking myself so long.
    There are so many things that interest me to write about. So many scripts, so many plays, so many novels, so many blogs, so many films. We all have it in us but where does this first post get kick started? Do I stick to comical scenarios, serious and dark or what?
    After contacting Daphne I made a start. I decided I needed to start with ME. I had posted something on the Facebook page suggesting that all of us women on the thread should meet somewhere in the world in the future for coffee at a central place of course. Daphne promptly posted this suggestion in complete agreement. I am glad she understood my way. This scares people at times because I can be very spontaneous but not in a bad way. I just have a belief system that there are many things that we can do that do not need to a huge thought process to make it happen. I have an idea and sometimes it just actions immediately. I then introduced myself on the page mentioning a word that I learned in Brasil that has stayed in my thoughts every day:

    The most beautiful word in the world. The untranslatable word that everyone sings about.
    A deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound longing for an absent someone or something. An untranslatable, undeniably potent word. It is a common feature in the literature and music of Brasil and beyond. A melancholy nostalgia for something that has perhaps not even happened.
    If you can’t wrap your mind around the word Saudade, you can certainly understand it through this music. (E.g. jazz singer Luciana Souza)
    Manuel de Lelo-“a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy”
    Daphne then posted that maybe it was me who needed to consider what this word meant for me. I guess she was right. I hadn’t considered it in this way. (So, I’m thinking about it today and I’m writing spontaneously now. No plan, no layout. Just doing)

    Our Deep Conditioning

    I realised when she said this I needed to be vulnerable, the very thing I feared for so long. In being me I am quite spontaneous which can at times confuse people. This is the part where I fell down in the past. I would listen to the other voices telling me not to follow my dreams and passions. People mean well but I realise now that they just want to be safe and do not want change. Change is difficult and if you do not have enough self-belief then people around you try hard to prevent you doing this. As a mother and wife (now ex-wife) there is a certain way you are supposed to be isn’t there? The way everyone wants you to be. To dare to be different form this at times has its consequences. I found throughout life my biggest obstacles were women against women with these things. However, this is changing so much now. I am encouraged so much by many people around me now. New friends, and old friends and family who maybe have a better understanding now and those who don’t just slowly slip away anyway. Life has to be lived in whatever way is true to ourselves.
    Throughout the generations the role of wife and mother was to be at home, have dinner ready at a certain time, and always be available, never to be ill and in general they had to put themselves last in the pecking order. I used to think that it was men who did this but realise now that many of us women are our own worst enemies. It was such an awakening recently when I voiced that it was my life to live now that my family were grown up a few women said to me I was selfish and that my priority was to stay close to my family if they needed anything. Hmmmm. Haven’t I been doing this always? Doesn’t it mean I am still there for them even if not standing beside them? I recall someone recently say to me I needed to learn to care about other people more rather than think of myself all of the time. I thanked her for these words and grateful that I could see now aware of behaviours that blocked me in the past. She did me a great favour and she might never know. These words would help lead me towards my dreams rather than push me away. The key is actually being more selfish for you. I always remember a person say to me “when the earthquakes come and people are desperately trying to steer you from what you feel you would like to do, don’t listen to them, this is a clear indication that you are on the correct path and their intention is not good”. I recently experienced many moments like this, especially when it concerns the discussion of writing.
    Trying to please people and say no to some things is something many of us mothers are guilty of. We can sometimes allow others to influence in this way instead of the encouraging and empowering each other which in turn empowers them also. Be an example that you are worth this life, you are worth to be cared for, nurtured and loved for who you are. Anything less will not do. To take more care of your own needs and you will be a happier more fulfilled person. There will be waves of hostility at times the more you break free from the old ways but you can be assured that it will change. People may come and go from your life at this time but the people meant to stay will and others will leave quietly. You do not have to do anything. The clutter clears, new things, places and people happen and hey ho …you see the trees again.

    Earlier life
    I felt suffocated in my earlier life following convention and conditioning from all around me but this is another story for another blog. We all need guidance, support and certain examples and people around us. However, I found that my environment challenged my own developing beliefs systems since childhood. Guidance for me is allowing a person to be who they are, listening to their thoughts and needs and encouraging their path. We must make our mistakes to learn and have our falls. I realised at a young age how we easily we buy into what others teach and tell us. If you hear it often enough you just might believe it. How do you find your own way amongst this conflict? It was to be quite a number of years before I got some answers to this.
    As parents (and of course I am a parent and Grandmother) we are not always correct. We might think we are because our parents or people around us taught us a particular way of behaving but it may not always be right for that particular individual. However, we can only do what we know at certain times in life and with the tools we were given. But we can change our ways and it has a knock on effect. It is never too late despite what people think, again sometimes the very people who try to teach us otherwise. (I recall a very arrogant Sociology lecturer at Glasgow University dispute this with me during a lecture only five years ago). “People are socialised, they cannot change”
    I also recall listening to a Psychiatrist give a talk on this very same topic “when people get to age of forty it is impossible to change their ways. It is too set. The brain cannot reverse this”. This was only three years ago. Of course I didn’t agree with and she was angry with me in front of everyone. Her reaction and control was interesting indeed.

    Can life change?

    Yes,Life can change. But you have to want it badly enough or have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Slowly but surely a whole new chapter of new people, places and experiences enter your life. It is far from lonely but you do have to go through certain periods where you do have to feel that way and then truly appreciate your own company. You can learn to love and adore your own company. When you do this, you open up your world rather than keep it closed. I love nothing more than to be alone at times, travelling alone, eating alone, singing alone, and basically everything alone to enjoy the pleasure of myself. But I also enjoy the company of many people. Get to know yourself and what your true needs and wants are. You are then ready for the big world and anything it throws at you.
    These were my thoughts as I started a long travel in various parts of the world. I thought I would most probably write about my travel experiences in terms of destinations, things to see tourist attractions etc. However, it was not. It was my observation of myself and reflection in people all around the world and how we are so alike no matter which culture, language, social class or occupation, rich or poor. I saw the reflections of my own life, family struggles through difficulties, fun and laughter and our coping mechanisms. But most of all I saw much of how we can disconnect from ourselves and others at times in a genuine way. My heart was saying “look after me please”.
    So I followed my heart in the form of going to Brasil. Although I had taken part in may expeditions in other countries for other purposes it was to be in Brazil that I would discover what the heart really meant.
    So, here we have it a little piece of me and where I am at this moment in life. Contemplating many things. Realising that we are actually in charge of our own destiny.
    I hope you enjoy my story of what Saudade truly means for me and that you too can indulge in some way of following your dreams, passion, needs and wants in life. Be true to yourself, it takes a while but you can do it. Inject as much fun as possible because we need this for when the storms and earthquakes interrupt our bubbles. I am not writing this in any particular order of events but rather just the thoughts or experiences with people have been most poignant to me. Good or bad, they have made a difference to me in one way or another.
    Be happy and always, always asks questions. Question everything in life. Do not be afraid of people’s reaction if you disagree. It is your life to live, no one else’s (as my good friend John Rennie always tells me).

    I was with a friend Anna Paula in a restaurant in North East of Brazil last year. (My third time in Brazil so I shall begin with my last visit). We were on our way to Natal and the most beautiful island of Pipa. Anna and her husband were kind enough to organise the whole trip for her and I. She was driving which left me free to indulge in a very large Rum and coke. I speak a little Portuguese and she spoke a good enough of a level of English that would serve her well should she visit UK. Well…I felt very drunk on just this one glass. Gosh it was so strong. When I stood up I felt myself staggering and sat back down. I thought ” what the hell, I feel as if I’ve drank 6 rums loll ” and my friend Anna Paula was laughing. She said “Sharon, you remind me of Winnie Inhouse”
    I thought…who the hell is Winnie Inhouse?
    It took us a while with our language confusion to realise who she meant.
    It was Amy Winehouse lol lol lol
    So I decided to change Facebook name to W Inhouse, send this to her and continue the fun memories we had. She was a new friend I met in the North of Brazil, Vilhena, Rondonia, Amazonia. She is learning English at the school of my good friend Simone Faria Smaniotta. I lived with Simone and her husband Alex, children Guilia and Pietro and their Grandparents Claudette and Sergio who gave me any fantastic experiences on their farm and at home. I miss Sunday dinner at Claudette’s even now. I adore them with all my heart. I am the kids ‘aunty’ Sharon (Tia Sharon in Portuguese). This was my third experience with Simone in her home and in in her beautiful little school full of the most amazing friends I could ever now have in my life. A part of the world that no ‘foreigners” visit very often. The most nurturing, heartfelt time of my life whilst going through many stresses. The word “Saudade “is a word I heard every day. The nicest word in the world. “Too miss or long for someone or something you cannot have.”

    Saudade is exactly how I feel about people in Brazil and the close, lifelong friendships I have made there especially during a period of recovery for me after illness and a ten year divorce process. It is filled with very poignant memories for me d when I was suffering many losses in many ways (that’s how I felt at that time) but I’m grateful now. Much of life had to be undone and restarted again in a way that was good for me. I needed a period of reprogramming.it brought so many others Experiences of Saturday barbecues, singing,beer, caiperinha, country dancing at Haras, team roping rodeo cowboys will never be forgotten. Especially one particular cowboy. A real cowboy with hat and all, and of course Google translator. I was forty nine years of age.
    Need I say more…just keep your hat on por favor (chuckle chuckle)

  • Lynne Murray

    September 24, 2016 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Great post!

  • Simone Faria Smaniotto

    September 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm Reply

    The most beautiful presentes you can give us are your words and your friendship.
    I know how writing is important for US. Keep doing it, please!
    And I believe your life is a good example for many women from all parts of the world.
    Love you, my friend!

  • Daphne Kapsali

    September 24, 2016 at 6:49 pm Reply

    Sharon, you are fantastic! So many good and true things in this post; so much that mirrors my own thoughts, and so much more to think about. Thank you for sharing this. Look forward to the next instalment: you have a loyal fan right here! x

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