Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I have something to say, after all of these years...

You know when you just get into your groove and then life throws something else up in your path and disturbs it?  Yeah, well, that happened.

It's okay though, as much as I loved my new off the cuff writing style, the numbers would suggest that not many other people did so I'm reverting to weekly updates and long rambling sentences (lucky you!).

It seems so long since the carefree days of my holidays, I currently feel like I've shot 100 weddings this year, I haven't but I have shot a lot and I've loved every moment. the editing pile though, uy!

You know I said that I'd stopped swearing and instead replaced it with the word "Uy" well, I now say that approximately 784 times a day and even more if I'm tuned into Sky News.  I'm grateful for my continued success in business.  Both companies are currently thriving, Inspire is only in its second year so it provides more challenges than photography which just continues to be a constant that I am supremely grateful for.

I decided that I didn't want to be alone for the rest of my life but at the same time I'm super picky, I installed dating apps and yet, I think I only did it to feel more normal, because window shopping is good in the quiet moments of the night.  I decided that I would truly be myself and so, choosing Pansexual from the list, I was emboldened, even though I've never declared myself to be anything really.

Oh and for those who wonder, what's Pansexual, the Wikipedia definition is - 

"Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others"

The truth is though, just between us, if you ask my friends, I've always been someone who thinks that attraction is based on the person rather than the gender and I've always been someone who's refused to give myself a title, there's  a "love without labels" movement for instance and I've always been a bit of a wild bohemian, though, let's be honest, I'm 45, I'm still a bohemian but my wild days are over.

So there you go, I just sort of came out (in public, on my blog, at least) I guess but that's what you do in your forties isn't it, you figure out exactly who you are, you redefine yourself because after so many years of being defined as mum, your kids are independent and you have to rediscover the whole of you.

I should point out at this point that generally I'm hoping that one day I'll meet someone in real life because it's easier to meet someone on a pub than it is online, I mean, after all, I am a bloody good photographer, I actually look nothing like my dating profile in real life.  At least if you meet someone at the pub then visually at least, what you see is what you get!  Will I ever meet someone?  Who knows, I favour Scottish men and men who have beards and are thin, it's no wonder my top 3 list is Ewan Mcgregor, Richard Madden and David Tennant.  For sure I have a favourite type, I can compromise on the beard and on the Scottishness but hair is super important.  I'm, also not willing to compromise on one other fact...

If you've never seen Moulin Rouge or you hated it, we're never going to have anything in common because to me, Moulin Rouge is more than a movie, I have a clip of it saved on my phone to watch whenever I'm feeling sad or distressed or confused, it always makes me feel better and I guess it has something to do with it being about the bohemian ideals of beauty, truth, freedom and love.  As long as they can put up with the fact that I watch it at least twice a month and that "Come What May" is an anthem for life, well we'll be just fine.  I remember watching it for the first time with my then-husband in 2002 and falling in love with it because we had both found what we were, although I always say, if you think I was a bohemian, he was the real wild one, that's why we fell in love in 1999 because we were the same, at least for a while.

So there you go, my life as it is, it has so much more freedom, something I've fought so hard for and something which has cost me more than you can ever understand.  To have this freedom, I've had to lose things I've loved with all of my heart but I'm happy now, whether that's on my own and accompanied by a beagle or out, at the local with my best friends and friends I've yet to meet.

Being free is future-facing, being free is me, now, and forever



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