Thoughts on life, Thoughts on work

Don’t let me die now, ok?

I’m driving through a green traffic light and thinking…

I’m only forty and I could get hit by a red light runner right now and die…

…and my life would end while I’m feeling like I haven’t really lived yet

what a shame

It occurred to me that for the past 9 years the happiest I’ve ever been in my career is when I’m leaving jobs I hate…
It doesn’t bare any significance for me that I have actually been very good at all these jobs.

I’ve earnt great money, held the impressive job titles, worked for companies others desired to be a part of and yet…

…I’ve been miserable.

Empty, disconnected and dragging my tired, yearning soul through meaningless days

It’s hard to express in words the heaviness that fills your limbs, the lack of clarity or interest in tasks you once used to like…

it’s as though your very essence is blocked, nothing feels right and it seems you are playing a role without believing the script…

And here I am again

2 days from a final goodbye that will bring familiar feelings of regret and relief, sadness and satisfaction, chaos and closure.

I both love it and fear it

I know this game so well yet I feel compelled to change course…it’s as though some quiet voice of reason is telling me to be brave.

“…you are destined for more, you’ve only scratched the surface my dear…you are different to them and better than all this and you just don’t belong here…”

One minute I’m playing a game of poker and holding the biggest pile of chips…the next I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle with a million pieces and no picture to guide my hand.

My eyes are wide open but I don’t know what to focus on

I’ve brainstormed, quiz-completed, friend-talked, book-read, passion-hunted and mind-mapped every single possibility to the point of exhaustion..

I sense the void of unemployment nudging itself over the horizon and into my peripheral

I feel the thrill of new beginnings and new possibilities…but I carry the burden of decisions I am not yet able to make and questions I can’t answer

“So what now?”

(Shrug) I don’t know

“What do you want to do?”

(Sigh) I honestly don’t know

“Yeah but, what do you want to BE when you grow up?”

I actually have no fucking idea

So please don’t let me die yet

Ok?

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humanism, life

#LoveNotFear

Guns. Bombs. Terror. Murder

The world we live in is now more complicated than ever.

Fear and darkness circling us, begging our attention…tempting us to succumb to the fear and become dark ourselves.

We are fearful because we are fighting and fighting because we are fearful.

The conflicts are complicated and the solution elusive…I don’t have the answers, but I do believe in peace.

So forgive me if I choose to keep it simple.
If I choose to fight the darkness by turning on a light.

To choose not to live in fear.
To choose to believe in love.
Choose to live by love.

To simply choose LOVE

#prayforourworld #lightnotdarkness #LOVENOTFEAR

humanism, life

A million tears

I am sitting in a crowded airport lounge

Crying

.     .     .

I haven’t been moved to pause my busy life long enough to write anything down in a long time…. No poems. No funny anecdotes.

Nothing.

But today I am feeling moved.
Today I am feeling
Today I am crying

The shocking surrealism of finding terror in your own back yard.
The closeness of the fear.
The tears of our usually smiling news readers…

The realisation that no one is immune to pain.

As the long held in tears took over my weary eyes I found myself – most uncharacteristically – not caring who saw. In fact….I wanted someone to see.

I wanted everyone in the airport to see.

Not for pity
Not for sympathy

Simply for humanity

This man sitting oposite me, typing an email…I have never met and probably won’t see ever again.

This group of Asian business men…I don’t understand their conversation or know where they live.

The waitress cleaning up after our mass unrelenting consumption of wine and meals…I don’t know her story either.

But if I saw them crying

…even if I didn’t  know the reason….

I would care

And if someone unknown to all of us walked in with a gun

and stole their stories…

I would care.

If we all suddenly found ourselves clinging to each other as we hung on to our hope, our stories… our lives

we would care

Maybe we should start now…

life, Poetry

Fear just down the road

What is this overwhelming sadness…
This longing, this darkness, this void

An absence of something that was never there, but missed all the same.
A feeling of not belonging and not knowing why

Who is she….this voice that’s silent
Finger pressed to mocking lips
Making a secret of the noise within?

Here is where doubt lies
Here is where confidence dies
Here is where joy departs
Here is where the nothing starts

Tears just behind
Grief just below
Pain just out of sight
Fear just down the road….

This familiar foe, unwelcome and uninvited
Hiding in the shadows

Watching…

Waiting…

…Like a dark cloud

a haze

a fog

a burden

It creeps and it follows…
It covers and then settles…

Leaving no air
Leaving no light

Desperately balancing on a pinhead of hope as the world falls away beneath clumsy feet

Still to fight
Still to cling

Still to fall

This exquisite drawing by http://sketchylinesoflife.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/falling-up.html
This exquisite drawing by http://sketchylinesoflife.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/falling-up.html
family, life

Love….of a different kind

An amazing thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to write it down ever since but wasn’t sure if I should…

Let me start by saying I don’t believe in ghosts. At least…I don’t think I do.

I think I believe in spirits…well…let’s just say I’m getting more used to the idea as I get older

But I DO believe in love

* * *
A text msg to my sister was not answered as fast as usual.
Knowing she was working through some differences with other family members I wondered if I’d said or done something wrong…

Doubt rising, worry filling in the blanks, I feared the worst

The whole day passed and the reply finally came back.
Colder than normal and in a strangers “voice” it confirmed my suspicions.

All night and the next morning I grappled with the most natural of human instincts…fight or run (in other words, hide and avoid dealing with the conflict my brain was inventing)

I knew I needed to call. I knew I’d done nothing wrong.

But I also didn’t know what was going on…all I knew that there was a massive disconnect in my family that I hadn’t been able to fix…and I feared it was about to get worse.

Fear. Worry. Doubt. Pain. Repressed “stuff” (we all have it…)

I felt numb

Then, for some strange reason, driving to work, I saw my Nans face in my mind. The brevity of time spent with her before she passed, did nothing to minimise the love I still felt for her.

Love. Family. Connection. Life

I found myself clinging to this feeling.
I felt my heart grow with a fullness of warmth and light.
I realised then, that all my efforts to stay distant and avoid possible conflict wasn’t actually the answer, but I just couldn’t get past all the negativity that had settled into my bones…

So I sent all that love outwards into the universe and said

“I need your help Nan. Our family needs your help. You’ve done it once before…(I know it was you and Grandad who did it last time!) please help fix our family….”

I arrived at work, went about my day, called my sister, had a really good talk, reconnected, cried a bit, laughed a lot and then went to my dance lesson….filled with a newfound optimism that my family would, in fact, be okay!

* * *

Driving home two hours later I did what I always did while driving…singing along to very loud music I had my very own little in-car party.

Somewhere in between “Livin La Vida Loca” and a Coldplay song I can’t quite remember….

…I saw her

I stopped singing.
Stopped breathing.
I wondered briefly whether I’d been thinking about her without realising it?
(It was like she was there)

Then it hit me.

A smile that came from somewhere surreal, filled my face without effort.

Goosebumps ran up and down my arms, though I was feeling anything but cold…

“Oh…thanks, Nan…” I whispered

crap I say, entertainment, family, humour, life

37 years

…for someone who grew up with teeth that never quite got along with the reluctant smile, feeling inconveniently born into the wrong era, and an absolute love of dancing that persisted beyond (and perhaps in total retaliation to) my circumstances…it’s not surprising really…

…that I absolutely love this song.

The first time I heard it, I fell in love. It simply spoke to me.

“Spinning, laughing, dancing to
her favourite song….
A little girl with nothing wrong
Is all alone…

…crooked little smile on her face
Tells a tale of grace
That’s all her own…

…and she’s all alone…”

Norah Jones – “Seven Years”

* * *

I don’t remember the verandah incident

But my Mum does.

She’s told me the story many times and, although I don’t remember it – except as an anecdote of someone else’s memory – for me, it will always remain a moment in time that is purely and simply…

ME

…she searched high and low for her 4 year old daughter….

Given that this quiet, amiable child was almost never out of sight, that the house sat atop a hill on one of the busiest main roads in Perth (….at the time…you’d skateboard blindfolded down there now) and that she was (oh, Mum, please forgive me…) prone to just a teensy bit of over-protectiveness…it was, to say the least, a frantic search!

When she finally found me, after peering into countless toy boxes, cupboards, lolly jars and other child favoured haunts….she was surprised at what she found.

The front window jimmied open (of course the front door was locked! Did you not just read the paragraph above?!) fly screen pushed out….

Her daughter, tiny, free…totally alone….

…..and perfectly happy!

twirling…
….on
the…

…..front……

verandah…

“What are you doing???” (Only a “scared out of her wits” mother can get away with this tone and still sound completely loving)

“….nothing….”

“Then why on a Gods earth are you outside??!!” (Cars screaming by, brakes screeching, all possible dangers known to man lurking just beyond the verandah…….)

I just wanted to dance”

* * *

The smile’s being straightened
I still like being alone occasionally
My mother doesn’t worry about me (as much) these days…

But I still just want to dance.

(And I’m 37)

So I do

crap I say, life

How dare you call me beautiful!

“…I’m so beautiful!”
“Look, Mummy….I can do it!”
“I did it, all by myself!”
“Oops! Try again….”

Ever notice how little kids talk? The way they so naturally and effortlessly praise themselves…positively affirming their own efforts, appearance and even their failures?

The sheer joy they possess, finding out their own capabilities…learning new things and finding out “who” they are. Pride and self-validation go hand in hand. As they stumble along the path of their tiny little lives, mistakes are simply brushed off, so confident are they in knowing that they can give it another go…and not feel a failure just because they have (technically) failed.

When they look in the mirror, they see perfection. When someone says “what a pretty dress!” Or “aren’t you a good swimmer?” they don’t miss a beat. They don’t have to think, or self analyse, or convince themselves it would be a good idea to agree. They just say “I know…”

I’m so jealous.

I can hardly remember a time when that kind of self love and self-acceptance was the voice I lived with. I am a confident person, I feel good about myself most of the time and I don’t think I’m that unattractive…and yet….there is still that voice….

You’re agreeing, aren’t you?

Yes. It’s an adult curse…we reach a certain age (6, 7, maybe 8, I don’t know) and we just become the most destructive, sadistic bastards you could ever imagine.

“I can do it!” becomes “I can’t/shouldn’t/don’t know how…”

“I did it!” gets felt momentarily, but quickly unravelled by thoughts of “it wasn’t that hard anyway” or “I could have done it better”

“I’m beautiful” turns into “I wish I looked like Miranda Kerr…”

This is crazy!! We actually hate ourselves…

So much so that whenever we are given a genuine compliment, we do our damnedest to convince them that they are wrong!

“Oh, this old thing?? It’s soooo old/only cost $5/makes me look fat”
“Trust me….you wouldn’t say that if you saw me before I’ve had my morning coffee…”
“It’s probably the lighting”

Why do we hate ourselves so much?
Why do we sabotage our own efforts, with critisim, self-doubt and “worse case” predictions?
Why can’t we lovingly talk to ourselves without fear it will make us appear conceited.

Why shouldn’t we feel beautiful…
Why shouldn’t we expect to do well?
And why shouldn’t we feel jump out of our skins happy-proud when we do…

The worst thing is we fill our lives with so many questions…and stop using exclamation marks.

it’s simply not good enough

So….guess what?

“I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
And so are you 😊

… please feel free to agree…

I want so desperately to say

“I know”

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