Friday, March 9, 2012

Propped Up On A Shelf

I have learnt so much in the past month. Leaving my home - the environment I have grown up in. Surrounded by comforts and support. Smells, textures, paths, faces, places that I recognise. That is so easy to take for granted. Familiarity is often a best friend. When you need a place to fall, you know exactly where to go, who to see, what to do, how to express yourself.

Strip that all away and you are left naked, quite vulnerable and exposed.
So how do I go to that place and hear that sound and digest that smell when I need that best friend, familiarity? Pardon me, I would like some directions here? Oh, you're unavailable? Okay...

And in kicks strength.

Just when you start to feel that squirmy and uncomfortable wave, she is there. Before it crashes, overwhelming you with uncertainty, loneliness (and no doubt a panic attack), she is there. Warm and calm, she wraps her arms around me, sits me down and says, "Don't be silly. You don't need the things you've always known. You need a challenge. You need to find your own path now. A new one, that you carve out with all your own beliefs and traditions and quirky patterns. You are never alone. Just trust in yourself and you will never be alone."

I sit thoughtfully and inhale these words, knowing that she is right. She is my strength, and she never seizes to fail me, even when I expect her to. Perhaps I just need to embrace that now, instead of wondering when she will falter. Strength never falters once you have absorbed that faith into your bones.

There are plenty of things that change once leaving your home permanently. A holiday doesn't compare. You cannot know the tasks you take on, the new places you must rely on to become the new familiar. The air that engrosses the spaces around you.

Your home is where your heart is. Mine will always be sitting propped up on a shelf in my childhood house in my home town. But for now, I am happy to take a piece off that shelf and place it in my new home, giving it all the heart I can possibly loan from it's original shelf.

Forgive me, for I am becoming independent in a way that I thought I already was. I suppose you always think you've grown up, until you grow a little more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

We Gave This Thing A Go

One week in the new space. Our new place.

I have taken the leap and moved to the city of gold. To explore my mind, my expectations, my chosen path. I know my goals and I see the plan I have coming together. I truly believed I would be in a pile on the floor, broken. Heart-wrenchingly crying out for my old life, for familiarity, for the home I have known all my life.

I can only imagine that the reason I have yet to break down is because my heart knows that this is where I am supposed to be. I feel at home in a place I only believed would eat away at my soul until I had the opportunity to come back. But to my surprise I am enjoying the transition. I think that perhaps my mind needed the challenge more than my conscience had realised.

Even though it is straining on a relationship to live together in a town where neither of us know many other people, it can also bring you so much closer. We have each other, even if never another soul. We can finally make plans that don't have to wait impatiently until the next plane ride over. We can finally see each others facial reactions when sharing stories, and hold each others hand when the need for comfort is evident.

We truly needed this personal time to spend together in person, to see whether we really are the great match that we once believed when we met all those years ago. We can give this love a real go now. And taking these steps is the truest way to show your emotions, your commitment to each other.

So as the journey continues on, we will learn. And yes we will fight and annoy each other and need our space to remain ourselves in a pod made for two. But we will also get stronger and our love will be enriched in a way that others can only look at and think, "Wow they have something great going on. A spark that seems to never run out of fuel. What a super team they make."

So if nothing else we will know, we gave this thing a good go.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This Life Has Arrived

It has been a year of uneven ground. Many smiles and many tears. Tears that tore the paper. The life plan drawn out with a marker. Smudged by tears, forcing a new plan to be composed. Like a new piano piece, just waiting to be born, in the place of the song I mistakenly thought was the soundtrack to my life, only to discover in was the introduction. Not the theme song.

A lot of life lessons have emerged, some difficult to swallow, while other lessons are ones that I have actually been waiting to realize. And perhaps I was secretly hoping that realization would escape the locked box, fly around the room like a disorientated bird, until it finds a gap and flies out the window, hitting others in the face, in the heart. Like a punch in the stomach, a wake up call. Set an alarm. This life has arrived.

The new chapter comprises of many sub chapters, too many too describe. Boxes, books, throw away that bag, you wont use that hat again I swear, did you buy enough, do enough, say enough, move enough, boxes, Christmas presents, present yourself well, sign the papers, take the car in, arrange your finances, boxes, breathe, look behind the door, look for encouragement, boxes, don't forget to


Although at times it seems like a terrifying experience, a high risk move, the truth is that if it wasn't worth it it wouldn't be done. It also wouldn't seem so attractive and exciting for the other 75% of the time. The terror is only linked to fear. Fear of failure, unhappiness. But if that is the case, I WANT that lesson if I am meant to have it. If this is not meant for my life and once again I am following the wrong soundtrack, then let me live through it to learn so that I can meet it face to face and know. It really is the only way to know - to try. And a part of me - the love part - is utterly fearless. I don't think there is anything I wouldn't try for love. Especially one I really believe is everlasting.

Don't get me wrong - I am not the lovesick woman wanting to be cared for by a man, cooking in my spare time, bun in the oven, both ovens, baking, cooking, feeding, bottles, perhaps another drink to get me through the screaming, how was your day honey, I made honey smoothies, cut my hair today, swept the hallway, halved Jamie's apple but he only ate a third.

That housewife - is not me.

I want kids. I want a beautiful house to turn into a home. Not a victim of love, but a strong believer of it. I don't want to be lying on my death bed cancelling appointments, can we reschedule that in my second life, tell Saint Peter I have a VIP card, worked hard all my life, made money, threw it at the poor, pretended I understood other people while sitting on my Louis Vuitton couch sipping martini's, cherries not olives.

Not a workaholic. Not a housewife.

Just me.
Moving in.
With my soulmate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Journey

After my life changing experience this week, my emotions have been rather unstable. Plenty of tears, laughter, happiness, pain, highs, lows and paranoia!

I have spent a lot of time dreaming, wishing, planning and hoping for this day to come. A day where I can not only gain confidence in an area that seemed to lack it, but rid my soul of the insecurities that have held me prisoner for so long.

What may seem like a small difference to some, is truly a mountain of change for me. Although it is still in the early stages of development, the feeling of a dream come true is real for me. And I am beginning to realise that if you want something badly enough, you really can make it happen.

With the saddening loss of a family member, a great dream was born with the legacy that she left behind for us. And she will never know how that would change my life for the better. I am going through an amazing transformation at this point, and hopefully healing some emotional wounds along with the physical ones.

Although I am aware that there will be people who don't understand, support, encourage or stand by me during this, I have chosen to ignore the jealousy and negativity in favour or turning to face all the optimism that I have surrounding me. I have no unkind words for those who have not understood. I have learnt that not everyone can be pleased. I simply choose who to allow close to me.

What a beautiful experience. I am blessed to have many supporters on my journey and the opportunity to undergo this metamorphosis.

You know who you are. Thank you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Letter To My Parents

Dear mom and dad,

There are some things I've always wanted to say, but never been sure how to say them. I am now at a point in my life where I need to express this so that whatever happens to me in the future, you know what is inside my heart.

Daddy. I know you struggle with affection. It is difficult to give what you never received. You've always shown your love in other ways. If I had to describe your method of affection in one word it would be 'opportunity'. No matter what financial situation our family finds ourselves in, you never fail to make a plan in order to let me experience every opportunity that comes my way. Through these opportunities, I have learnt so much about myself and gained priceless knowledge. I want to thank you for these indirect lessons you have provided me with.

My trip to Thailand gave me such a greater understanding of my spiritual side. It also opened up my eyes to a culture so selfless, that it made me want to change my approach to people who differ from me. Since then, I feel more accepting, more open to diversity and appreciative of a simple life.

You helped me on my journey to America, and even though it did not work out the way we all intended, that trip taught me tolerance. Although my emotional strength was tested, I also learnt to stand up for my beliefs and morals no matter what. And that is something I have never let go of.

When Christopher and I decided upon our spontaneous trip to London, you never once doubted that you would make it happen for me, because the opportunity was well timed, and I know you had faith in me to make the most of our experiences, which we did. Without question, you made that possible and I am so grateful for your part in that, because I learnt the best lesson of all there - I learnt that I had met an exceptionally special person who stood by me through all the stressful times in London and would tolerate my dramatic episodes! And if you didn't give me that opportunity, I may never have met this person. I know you only want the best for me dad, and you played your part in helping me find that.

Mom. You have been my best friend through all of the emotional journeys that I have been on over the years. I have never met anyone who is as generous, giving and supportive as you are. No matter what has happened, you stand there waiting with open arms, ready to drop anything and everything to comfort me, reassure me, and hold my hand through the painful times.

You constantly consider me and still want to do everything you humanly can to help me, even if it is inconvenient for you, because you truly live your life for us children. And I hope you know that I appreciate every single thing you have done for me and continue to do. I am aware that not many people have the overwhelming support from their mother as you give, and I don't know if I would be who I am today without you. You have contributed greatly in forming the woman I've become.

You are so emotionally close to me that you even carry part of my burdens on your shoulders, and I am sorry for that. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that when I confide in you, you pick up some of that pressure to lighten my load. Although I am grateful, I don't ever wish to add more stress to your life, as you have helped me more than enough.

I can't imagine my life without your mental and emotional guidance. It is all the little things you do, and you know what they are. You really inspire me to be a better person, and I am in awe of your ability to be so selfless with anyone that crosses your path.

As I enter this new phase of my life, and new experiences await me, I want to let you both know that I am so thankful that you are both here to help me along the way. I may not let you know enough, but I love you both very much.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Smell The Sun

In the trails of the houses and cars that shrink as the plane takes off into a pure white, cloudy sky; I see the sun start to peer out from the clouds that we are diving through. It gives me a warm feeling inside. A new day, a new chance, a new approach to a life I am embracing.

The weekend has been eye-opening on many levels for us. For the first time in a long time, we didn't have an argument during my entire stay. We didn't get petty about things that bugged us - we explained them to each other and moved forward. And best of all, I felt a different type of affection from him. More "I love you's" initiated by him. More cuddling and a stronger connection when we looked into each other's eyes. There was something present in those moments that I recognised, but hadn't seen for a long while. A bit like seeing someone in a store that you went to kindergarten with. You recognise them, it's just been so long since you saw them last. You may remember a name or recall a certain memory or evoke an emotion that you didn't realise was linked to them. That is how it felt. It was consoling, at a time when we need it most. Like swimming to the shore from our capsized boat, it was a little piece of debris that helped us float in. The struggle appears over for the most part.

I don't think everything is this 'easy' to repair or return to. Although we are still building up a totally new kind of relationship with a much stronger foundation, we can't help but fall back into each other's eyes and accept the fact that true love is uncontrollable. It just fits between us like a puzzle piece. And we are slowly figuring out the remaining pieces that will complete our unbreakable structure.

I have had a lot of closure this week, which I hope will help me to focus on some academic matters now for the most part. And hopefully when all the hard work is over, I can enjoy my new upcoming experiences with my greatest supporter.

I hear the plane scrape down to a landing and shuffle through the hoards of passengers until I reach fresh air and sunlight. I walk down the stairs, out the aircraft and smell the sun. Yes, I think I'll do something great today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Silent Gratitude Isn't Much Use To Anyone

It is just as important to praise the good as it is to complain about the bad. Even more so necessary. Although most of us know that, we don't always make an effort to do so. The last couple of days has been very positive for me and so I want to reflect on that, in a gratuitous approach.

After an effort to come to terms with my painful break up, I was slowly beginning to realise it had truly happened and yes, I wasn't going to see him again. At least not as my lover. Perhaps friends in the future but with a lot of unresolved resentment, I couldn't be sure. So I slowly came to terms with the fact that I would be better off alone. I begin to gather a small amount of inner strength and accept myself in this new light. Single. An unfamiliar feeling I hadn't had in years. A new, awkward and strangely disorientating place for me to be in.

Then - I receive an email.

All the things I was sure of were suddenly turned on their heads, all the love I was sure he was over, was still fresh and raw in his broken heart. And with a plan to talk and discuss the break up, the issues, the possibilities and the feelings left scrambling in a pool of loneliness, loss and hurt; we met up.

It can be a horrifying eye-opener to face the problems that you weren't sure existed. Maybe they are present in hindsight, maybe even illuminated as red flags, but at the time... all these problems just conveniently fell by the wayside. Convenient for both of us. It is now so easy to spot those signals and imagine what we could have done differently. But there is no use in wishing what could have been. And maybe better not to. A fresh start means a renewed sense of appreciation for each other. I didn't like that feeling of my life without him, and now I am willing to fight so much harder to keep it. And keep it healthy. So is he, I feel.

My next trip to his town is planned and time seems to be flying this time around. Maybe because I am more secure about his true feelings about us this time. Perhaps because I realised I did not in fact die when I was on my own (not to take away from how difficult it was), or maybe because this time, our communication is a lot stronger which means I am not desperately unhappy on a daily basis like I was the last time.

That is only one of the many things I am grateful for in the past few days! Then there is the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream of mine that will complete my sense of womanhood and heal a huge insecurity within my soul that I have carried for years. Not only me, but my partner has carried his share of the weighty burden that I call my worst fiend. A chance to change this forever has created an overwhelming sense of excitement within me and I am embracing it every step of the way. Along with my true supporters who aren't going to judge me, like I'm sure many others will. I have accepted that not everyone will share my joy, and I will not be discouraged or offended by the small minds who cannot relate.

I got to spend some good time with my small nephew. Hearing his advancement and seeing him learn, helping him grow and being able to share little golden moments with him, melt my heart on a level that no other boy could. Watching him being moulded by all of us around him, is such an incredible feeling and something that I wouldn't want to miss for the world. I feel nervous about moving to my partner's town in a few months, for many reasons but mostly because I am so afraid to miss him growing up. Going to school, tying his shoelaces, picking a flower out of a garden for me, saying 'I love you Auntie' and so many other moments. This is something I am struggling to deal with internally. But I know he would love some cousins one day, and this is the only way to make that happen!

Although I am battling to balance my internship and my studies, I did do well in an assignment this week and it boosted my levels of hope. Especially with exams approaching at a freight trains pace. The more I take on and the more I push myself, the stronger I feel. I feel like I am slowly starting to make a contribution to society. Although small, I am starting somewhere and that is a good feeling. A bit of purpose and light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

Along with many others pieces of euphoria in the form of my favourite perfumes and an incredible concert with an electric atmosphere that blew me away to another kind of bliss, I have been spoiled and I am so thankful for the people in my life who have contributed to my smiles and content heart.

I am hoping this streak of positive experiences continues strong and as they do, I will recognise them, as gratitude brings more gifts of happiness.

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone - G.B. Stern

Gratitude is the memory of the heart - Jean Baptiste Massieu