Find your inner superhero

If you look around, complacency is the great disease of your autumn years, and I work hard to prevent that.

Nick Cave

This is my new baby. 55 years old and I’m about to make a very tentative move out into the city roads on the green vespa I’ve wanted since I was 17. I feel completely irresponsible, scared stiff, a little ridiculous . But also vibrant, alive and so excited. Oh and brave and I love feeling brave above anything else and never, ever want to fall into complacency. There is way too much to do in this world to keep it safe for my children, Grand children/Great Grandchildren

If not now; then when.

I admire courage, living an authentic life and a refusal to “play by the rules” – but only if the rules aren’t working. . I always have and it was probably one of the reasons that I was expelled from my girls’ private school (long time ago now but that rebellious spirit was there early). I love people who fearlessly speak their truth in the world. But hate a**holes – who don’t care how their truth affects other people. With so much anger, polarisation and hate in the world now – compassion and kindness are so crucial now more than ever before. We really are all in this together and don’t we need each other. Barriers and division should have no place in our modern world.

I’ve been trolled – on a pretty minor scale after writing my book Yet Here I am – but I do have a glimpse of how it feels and I know beyond any doubt that we must never let trolls stop us speaking our truth and displaying our inner superheroes. I think it’s extraordinarily difficult if you are an MP, or trying to make a seismic change in the world, outside of that I think it goes back to self esteem. Never allow online ,or real life ,trolls to stop you in your life’s work. Work hard on that, on your inner dialogue and what other people say will matter so much less. This is SO important for living a decent, full life – and for democracy more generally. Never let the bullies win- and always remember that bullies are unhappy, sad people! Say what you think is right as this is, I believe, the only way to live a rewarding, authentic life.

I love Nick Cave – so much. A super intelligent, uber-creative , truthful poet – digging deep into the darkest parts of life, love and loss and oh so cool. He lost a child, like me ,and his beautiful, shattering visceral portrait of grief, the album Skeleton Tree, has been a companion of mine for many years now. His words so often move me – and I love this quote that really captures how we all need to do our bit and not fall back into complacency. There is so much to fight for in this wonderful world and whilst we still have our senses and health we need to be out there doing our bit.

I hurt and grieve all of the time. It has become my constant companion and I’m now ok with that. Acceptance here is key – I will never be whole again but so be it. Whilst I’m here I want to be a fully engaged citizen – living life as fully as I can but also ensuring that I speak up for what I believe and where possible fighting for others less fortunate.

I have a girl crush at the moment on the UK MP Jess Phillips . Raw, angry, passionate – gosh how we need people like her. Surely with all that is going on now this is the time to be angry. Compassionate, articulate people who really care about other people in all states in life. This week in The Sunday Times she urges people to find their inner super hero and speak truth to power. She says that “fear is unfortunately the greatest enemy of freedom of expression and dialogue”

Don’t we all need to speak up for what we think is right and refuse to be silenced. The #MeTooMovement is a brilliant example of when people all around the world joined together to call time on this appalling behaviour. It’s had impact but I do think it has a long way to go before women of all ages can really unleash their power and not be cowered by a loud male voice. As I get older I feel more of a feminist than ever before.

So don’t we all need to start speaking up to hold firm on how we want to live and what is and is not ok. Speak up for justice, fairness, goodness and integrity. Speak up for our NHS system which, God knows, needs us more now than ever before. Speak up for love of our neighbour – living in one of the most wonderful multi-cultural cities in the World – I get so much from living next to people of all ages, religions, creeds, heritage – it is the MAIN reason why I love living in London. Speak up for compassion, for the more vulnerable members of our society – older people, people living with life limiting conditions, people who struggle with mental health issues. Speak up for all of us who are members of the human race.

So as I take off on my scooter this week I hope I connect and make more friends in my community and drive off into the sunset with a smile and a huge sense of spirit and adventure. I also hope to make some new friends along the way – if you see me please speak to me and tell me your unique story.

On and I’ll also be up in Newcastle with a bunch of medics – unleashing my inner super hero. September is Childhood cancer month. Imagine the horror – your perfect child struck by an illness that is so usually consigned to old age. But it happens and you know what when it does there is so much injustice. Children don’t make money for the pharmaceutical industry as there aren’t enough of them – so they come right at the back of the queue when it comes to new treatments. It’s an outrage and I will be finding the nicest way to say this – as I’ve learnt people don’t listen when your aren’t nice.

Have a wonderful week

Debbie x

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