Thoughts on life

Hidden doors

I'm driving my son to work, well technically he's driving, but being on his L (learner) plates I still need to accompany him to supervise.

We're driving down a road we've travelled on many, many, many times as it's a main road that runs from our house to the city, work and uni (did I mention…many times??)

As we pulled up at the red light, my head was turned to the left, daydreaming a bit and people watching as I often do…(oh, don't worry…my son is "this close" to getting his licence and a very competent driver) when I noticed a new, tiny alley way splitting the familiar shops in two.

The cutest little narrow walkway that linked the main road to the side street behind.

It was actually jarring

WHAT? Where in the hell did that come from??!

Honestly I've lived in this city for 40 years, I've driven down (or been driven down) this road hundreds of times. Heck, I've even walked down this road and right past this section.

So when did this Harry Potter portal suddenly appear?


The alley wasn't new. Nope, it's always been there…

But I've never seen it
Because I've never actually looked

I just see the same things I always see…each and every time I travel this road

The things I expect to see

Which got me thinking…

What else aren't I seeing?
What hidden alleys, paths and doors am I missing, as I travel down the road of my life only seeing what I expect to see…what I plan to see.

If I started paying more attention and looked a little more closely to the world framing my road…could I actually find things, people, thoughts and feelings that I didn't know existed?

That I wasn't expecting

Travel the same roads if you must
Daydream all you want…

But don't forget to pay attention from time to time

You never know what you'll find

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


family, life, Poetry

The struggle unseen…

I see the struggle everywhere.

Bodies aged and bent, crippled over cane
shuffled steps, shrinking shoulders.

Getting out of cars, an effort in itself. Crossing the street at painful pace.

When a metre is a mile
Understanding is a smile

The rhythm of life around them quietly mocking…

Years of life dragging down weary faces

A lifetime of frowns forged in wrinkled skin
A lifetime of working worn onto hands of grey

When the memory of youth is nothing more than that

When life has been struggle
But life is no more…

And only struggle remains

The elderly wear their age so obviously, that it is hard not to feel compassion. Show tolerance.
Have understanding.

But the weariness carried by some is often invisible.
The struggle of many, more often than not, goes unseen.


I want to tell you a story

It’s something which happened to me recently that changed my perspective forever.

I’m in sales. I sell women’s fashion at wholesale and my customers are made up of roughly 70 independent fashion boutiques owned, mostly, by women.

One of my customers is a strange woman. I shouldn’t call her strange. That’s not kind.

The thing is though, there is an aloofness and sense of disorientation that I just can’t quite explain.

She forgets things, needs explanations and reminders of simple things.

It is unnerving at best and downright inconvenient at worst.

She rarely smiles, yet doesn’t seem sad, or angry.


She often comes across as cold and, although I’ve never felt that she doesn’t like me or that’s it’s personal in anyway, I can’t help but feel frustrated by this slow pace, lack of mental clarity and absent….oh, I don’t know. Soul?

I’m sorry to even say that, but as I take great pride in my relationships and consider myself the consummate clichéd “people person”, I have to admit I’ve been questioning to no end just HOW, after two whole years of attempting to build a relationship, this could be all I can get!

I have asked myself, “what am I doing wrong??”

I’ve also questioned, on many occasions, “what on earth is wrong with this lady??”

(Judgement is such a natural state…isn’t it?)

Then one day recently a colleague told me something, the most horrendous of things, and it quite literally stopped me in my tracks.

That customer.
A mother.
A beautiful son the same age as mine.
A simple life on the farm.
A school break a few years ago…
A tractor.
A cord hanging loose from a jumper.
An unimaginable chain of events.
An outcome too awful

In that moment I was unexpectedly, emotionally and abruptly forced to think differently about this woman who in that very moment became anything but a difficult customer.

She simply became a mother who’d lost a child…

I almost cried, imagining her on that day. Picturing her face, feeling her heart stop beating.

In an instant I saw it all…her tears, her fear, her panic, her desperate cries…her slip from reality

I felt her disbelief and anger, felt her life and soul fall away and become separate from her very existence.

I heard her sobbing, her screams, her wails of agony, heard her pleading, her begging, her prayers, her denial, her acceptance and then…….finally……….her numb.


How could I ever go back to my first impressions of her?

Two minutes of knowing her story, changed two whole years of thinking (ridiculously perhaps) that I could even begin to know the inside, simply because I thought I knew the outside.

….feeling her pain, knowing her truth and finally seeing her in a way I had NEVER done before

I now see this amazing woman exactly as she is.

I see her struggle.

Not the struggle she’s already been through, or the struggle she’s overcome.

But the struggle she’s become…..

And now I understand

crap I say, life

Watch the noise…listen to the silence

I think it’s human nature to assume that super quiet people aren’t to be trusted…that we are better to “watch” them and stay on guard as we never really know what they’re thinking…

I myself have often felt somewhat suspicious of people who don’t ever talk, laugh at jokes or interact openly and often. Sounds stupid, but I’m willing to admit it.

Being a talker myself, I sometimes find myself thinking they must be hiding something….quietly judging those around them with unspoken words while the rest of us self-incriminate with our careless words.

Yes, I know that sounds crazy….

Loud people are so obviously obnoxious it is almost a relief knowing exactly where you stand with them!

Quiet people are surely unsure of themselves? They couldn’t possibly be happy or be thinking nice things….otherwise they’d share it, right??

Loud people, on the other hand, are fun to be around! Their jokes and laughter, wit and sarcasm can convince you that their heads are full of sunshine and lollipops…

Quiet people are miserable….no?

Loud people ooze confidence! Quiet ones are hiding, aren’t they?

As I get older, wiser and increasingly comfortable in my own skin….I realise that it is probably the other way around.

Some people are quiet for the simple reason that they’ve got nothing left to prove…

They are content and at peace with their inner world, the thoughts in their head, the all too common “demons” either heroically slayed or safely stashed away in that place known as “acceptance”. They’ve found a way of living in the world where they can just…be.


Because they’ve found this all important inner peace they no longer feel compelled to fight the outer world either. Interactions aren’t competitions. Conversations are no longer opportunities to make themselves HEARD (and liked, and accepted, and victorious!)

I do wonder if the ones who talk loudly – all the time – feel a need to announce themselves when entering a room – EVERY time – speak 4 times louder and more animated than absolutely necessary – ALL THE TIME – and basically keep you entertained with their mouths…..are actually the ones to “watch”.

They’ve got noisy heads, and they’ll gladly share it all with you if you let them

Pay attention instead to the quiet ones, they’re silent for a reason.

Their mouths are still because there heads are quiet.

Listen long enough and you just might hear what they are sharing with you…





The train stops.
The train starts.
It slows….it speeds up…

It’s course is set, it moves without care
Of where it’s going nor where it’s been.

So long as that line is straight and clear, the train will not be upset

The windows are clean but the view never changes

The stations are familiar and fleeting
People come and they go as the carriages fill…
Filled with their lives, their life, their love and their laughter

But the driver sits alone

The cabin in which he sits is solely for him
And his sole purpose is to keep the train on that track

At one of the stations a little girl waits…

She always waits this way


It stops sometimes….and when it slows….she stands up tall to be seen.

The driver sees her…little girl…all alone like he
…but he doesn’t see her tears

The cabin door is closed
And the train must move on

So she cries in silence

And the train is silent

And again they are both alone

life, Poetry

Over exposed

Sometimes the world outside gets so loud it forces you inwards to face your own fears. We all have them…our fears, insecurities and doubts that can be triggered by other people or circumstances. The temptation can be fierce to break down right there and then. But we stay strong, hold it in and sometimes create a nightmare of turmoil and anxiety within.

Fearful we will be exposed for who we really are.

Who we all are. Human

Over exposed, heavy heart…
emotionally worn and hung out
Tears on the spill, cried by a need
Will be dried by the need and wrung out

Dull, empty void, the head is a Space…
Where happy thoughts turn dreary
Voices unheard, mind numb disarray
Alone. surrounded. weary

Questions intrude….no answers are found
sadness and madness implodes
Confusion invades a battling mind
Silence wins and explodes

Running, escaping…invisible fear
tormentor well at the heel,
Conspicuous conflict, battled in silence
Of who and what is not real

Pound in the head, assassin attacks
Fighting and fleeing the source
Invisible hunter, it’s bred from within
And fear will direct it’s own course

This is me, keeping it real
Mandy x

crap I say, life, Poetry

I’m an asshole too, just a slightly more enlightened one

“To feel safe in our own skin
To feel sure of our own convictions
To feel strong amidst the chaos

To see things as they really are
To be a part yet be apart…”

Tonight it became crystal clear to me, in my post work-dinner semi-tipsy state…feeling lost and far from home surrounded by would be friends and accidental potential accomplices, that people are, to be perfectly honest, when all is said and done…
(how do I put this without offending?)


Not intentionally, not even accidentally but simply because we are wired that way.

Now, before everyone gets all up in my grill telling me what an asshole I am for saying that….(ironic much?) please remember…I said people….and last time I checked (although it has been a while since I last looked, so who knows…it may have changed) I too, am a “people” so I include myself in this truthful – if somewhat derogatory -generalization….

We bitch, we moan, we find fault with every thing and everyone. We take sides,we power trip our way in and out of things, and when all is said and done we try to act like we aren’t in fact just desperate human beings waiting for a moment of recognition and understanding.

Yes, even sweet lil ol’ me!

Tonight though, initially entranced and tempted by the endless stories of “she did”, “he said”, the power struggles and personality clashes I soon witnessed a strange thing happening….I didn’t buy in to it! I didn’t take sides, I didn’t feel hate for those around me who were so ugly in their efforts for peer domination. I didn’t feel a need to save anyone. I didn’t blindly take on board others negativity or defend my position even when provoked. I let the various bad energies around that table moan and sigh, clash and battle, escalate and crash…and I just witnessed it.

I was comfortable in my own separateness and my own complete humanness that allowed me to simultaneously be a part of the scenery and yet apart from the scene.

Oh, the joy of being able to choose silence! Oh the bliss of peaceful surrender and the blossoming of inner quiet……’s like wrapping your head in bubble wrap and just vaguely being aware of all the negativity surrounding you. You can still see it’s happening, you can hear the muffled ugliness, but you are unable to contribute or even completely take it all in…

What a relief!!

To realise that it doesn’t HAVE to be a drama. It doesn’t have to cause chaos or disharmony in your world. It really can just “be”…..

I feel totally liberated!
And do you know what? I might just make this a habit!

Oh, but don’t worry, I’m still very much capable of being an asshole.

I’m just choosing not to be.

Life’s so much nicer this way…

Mandy xx