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Now, this may be my physics background influencing me but I find myself constantly searching for connections between life’s seemingly random events, the people and places I encounter along my journey and the ideas and concepts we all grapple with. I believe in a Grand Unified Theory of Everything (GUTE) basically. I am utterly convinced that it exists. I just have to find it…no biggie then.

That said, I also despair (quite frequently) at the sheer volume of data, opinion, clutter that we are subjected to every single day. It’s a never ending white noise blanket tightly winding around our lives. How to manage the flow through your poor, tired synapses I wonder? It’s like being constantly offered an unlimited gourmet buffet. You would make yourself sick if you ate all the rich, sweet, creamy choices wouldn’t you? I think faced with an eternity of All You Can Eat I would end up opting for the plain rice and salad. Eventually. I would try the trifle and the lobster first, obviously.

But we digress. Back to the GUTE. One reason why I hold on to this concept is that I think it makes a brilliant framework within which to understand what life throws at you. And dear reader, life has thrown a lot at me recently. Yesterday I waited for a call from my neurology consultant. Over the past few weeks me and my errant brain have been tested and scanned a few times . We have been considered and debated by the South West’s NHS finest neurological Elders. I am , I think, an unusual medical case. Worth dissecting (figuratively speaking) over a digestive or two. After what seemed to me to be an endless wait I got the verdict. I am not about to pop it (YAY!), my brain tumours remain still and silent (YAY YAY) and as yet I don’t need full on surgery (YAY YAY YAY). Phew. The relief.

I have to have further tests and to be honest they are not going to be a barrel of laughs but, I remain. I am still here. The funeral plans I was beginning to flesh out in my head can be shelved. And, me being me, I am now sat here wondering how this fits into the GUTE. What has this experience brought to my life?

Well, those worries running round in my head have ironically lifted me out of my inner world. Faced with uncertainty I looked for reality.

I have joined a multiple meningioma support group and actually contributed to it. I have connected with others who have Parkinsons both on Twitter and in Real Life (this is massive for me). I have reached out to a local charity and applied to do their marketing and instagram account work. I am being considered by another charity as becoming an art tutor for them. I have discovered kindred spirits via podcasts and I have reconnected with long lost family and friends. I have started writing prose, sharing my experiences, again.

The wait has been hard but it has been productive.

This morning as I lay in bed contemplating all of this, waiting for my meds to kick in, I saw two things on my feed…the first was a kind tweet from the Australian writer I wrote about yesterday…the second a FB post from a very good friend. She talked of receiving a letter from a prisoner she had written to 15 month ago under the auspices of Amnesty International. The letter spoke of how powerful, how comforting her letter had been. How much it meant to that person, to know that somebody was out there, rooting for them.

Unrelated? GUTE states not. You see, as part of my coping mechanism I have been asking myself how do I make my mark in this busy world? How can I not fade away? I want to add value and make use of my time here. And, yes, I want to be noticed. Noticed and published.

And the answer came back ….the power of true, authentic expression cannot be underestimated. I am the only me. I can only tell my story. But one is enough. One can make the difference. So long as I remain true to myself I will find my place, my tribe and my voice. Self discovery may seem a strange route to take if my overall goal is to make a difference to others but, as espoused in James Clear’s best selling Atomic Habits, showing up and taking tiny steps makes a huge difference in the end.

And I guess that’s where I am. Here. Showing Up. Being me. Hello.

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