What did she say?

Life Lessons from a Dysfunctional Human

 

The sun shone today. It was bright and warm and suddenly everything felt better.

I once heard somebody say that you should count your blessings. Isn’t that the most unhelpful thing you’ve ever heard in your whole life. I have since cut that person from my inner circle.

I know, I’m dramatic.

But you see, all struggle is relative.

If it is important to you, if it torments you, if it makes you uncomfortable then it is indeed significant.

Or so I tell myself.

I’ve made it no secret that life has not been a warm summer’s day, pipless olives, clear skin, romantic strolls or lotto winning days as of late. But the storm feels like it has passed or is passing and now I’m in the rebuild phase of post destruction and devastation. Fingers crossed, and three ‘Hail Mary’s’

But I  do have a few learnings that you may find useful, or at the very least pleasant to read.

Life Lessons from a dysfunctional human, is what I’m calling it.

In the order it comes to mind and not in order of importance, here it goes:

  1. Play music, as much and as often as you can. Play the heartbreak, cry into the pillow, sing into the hairbrush. Play the angry, storytelling, gangster rap. Play the peppy pop tunes and the slutty, ‘pussy’ music. Play it all, you will be rejuvenated through the magic of melody. Give your life a soundtrack and make it the best.
  2. Dance. Seriously, dance. Whenever you can. Dance in the car, dance in the shower, dance when good news comes. Dancing is a physical celebration of life and you should do it more. We all should.
  3. Keep your space clean. I am rolling my eyes as I write this because cleaning is the bane of my existence but it remains arbitrary number 3 on the list. My days always felt better when my space was tidy and when it wasn’t, my whole world felt and looked like it was falling apart. Messiness exacerbates sadness. Believe me, you don’t want to feel worse.
  4. Get out of bed before 8am, says the hobby sleeper. No jokes, if I don’t get out of bed early my whole day slows down. The motivation to seize the day will dissipate and the energy levels go with it. Set your alarm and leap out of bed with purpose. This is still a work in progress.
  5. Set goals. Being a classic A type personality this is my favourite. Life is not worth living if I am not working towards something great. I have both an obsessive and an addictive personality so I don’t recommend making this your “be all and end all”  as I have, but having a vision for your life gives you a reason to keep on keeping on, as they say. Career goals, personal goals, recreational goals, financial goals. Give yourself light at the end of the tunnel.
  6. Indulge. Living by strict rules is torment when your heart is broken. Get the treats, buy the flowers, wear the dress, watch the movie, take yourself to dinner, book that ticket, go to that concert, kiss the boy. Indulge yourself in the things that truly bring you joy.
  7. Reinvention. Change your look. Get a haircut or colour. Throw out the clothes that don’t fit. Don’t hang on to that bikini you know damn well you’ll never be caught dead in. Chuck it all out! Keep only what you love, what makes you feel amazing. Because in case you have forgotten, you, you are a work of art.
  8. Purpose. Do everything with purpose. Get up, wash and get dressed with purpose. Walk like you’re going somewhere. Lie in the sun, eat ice cream, speak and listen with purpose. Making a conscious decision to do anything gives you a sense of power. And so often I’ve felt powerless.
  9. Cry. If you want to, you should. It’s okay. Remind yourself that it will pass. Nothing lasts forever, except a tattoo so don’t do that today. But once you’ve dried your eyes, flick your hair, wipe the mascara and handle yourself. Nobody can walk this road but you.
  10. Rebuild. Rebuilding takes time. They will be set backs and your dignity may take a hit or in my case, three. All you can do is dust yourself off and rebuild. Build your kingdom and keep building it no matter how many times it’s burnt down.

There are a million more things that this year has taught me. Honestly you don’t know the half of it. But as I am determined to never experience this again, learning the lessons are paramount.

The biggest of them being that perseverance is what moves you from day to day.

Put one foot in front of the other and pray that you don’t fall and if you do, laugh then pick up the pace and march. One day, and one day soon, you’ll run.

I promise.

 

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I Am Too

I have always been commended for bravery.

For being outgoing enough to pursue my dreams, for being articulate enough to shape my ideas, for being driven, impulsive and mostly for being courageous.

It’s a mask and I am an imposter. A sheep disguised as a wolf.

I walk in fear daily. It is a constant internal battle and a struggle that I occasionally lose.

I am afraid.

I’m afraid that left to my own devices my personality would ensure that I only speak to the same 5 people for the rest of my earthly life.

I’m afraid of speaking in social situations because I live in constant fear of being misunderstood.

I’m afraid of finding love again but deep down knowing that I may not be able to give myself completely.  That the complexity of my character makes loving me an impossible task. That I will resist it for fear that I will not survive another fall.

I am absolutely afraid that every decision I make is the wrong one. That people will judge me, that I’ll be ostracised. I am afraid that I’m thought to be impressive but I, just by being me, am disappointing.

I’m afraid to admit these feelings because what do I have, to be this anxious about?

See that’s the point. I can’t tell you.
But it’s an overwhelming feeling and a living organism. Some days the parasite is so strong It wounds me, and other days she’s nothing but a quiet whisper in a storm.

It is a struggle to keep treading water and every day I have to tilt my chin to the sky and pray for the best. Some days I win, and I can convincingly hide the inner turmoil, and other days I simply don’t have the energy.

I was once told that time is a healer of all things, but my patience is wearing thin. It’s not as though I’m sitting expectantly, hand out waiting for the cure to fall in my lap.

I’m living, taking steps forward, fighting for my dreams, working myself to the core, exploring new ideas, expressing creatively, and hoping for better, so why do I still feel defeated?

Why is every day harder than the days that came before it?

All I can do is hold on.

I am no longer inclined to apologise for my voice, my mind, my thoughts or may way. Nor should you. You owe no justification for the way you live your life.

I now realise that I must be ruthless in the protection of my well being.

Not everybody deserves to be in your inner sphere, not everyone will understand why you are the way you are, or why you walk the way you do.

Build your universe to be a beautiful reflection of yourself, be deliberate in who and how you engage, be decisive in all of life’s choices, and arise, even when you are plagued by fear.

I know you’re afraid, I am too.

Mirror Soul

There are not many souls who walk the earth that connect as we do.

Not many that see tears and don’t shudder.

Not many that feel agony and pour herself deeper.

Not many who would march fearlessly in darkest night.

But here you are.

We are two souls mixed in the same pitcher.

Destined to be misunderstood, to see the many faces of grey. To sit on the peak of eccentricity and occasionally dabble in lunacy. To be bass, beat and tempo and in the next breath be still, solitare and isolation.

For we are everything and nothing.

Nobody understands this better than us. And this is why.

We are mirror souls.

Blessed to share a connection millions will never have.

Many times you’ve told me that god gives the greatest struggle to those who can bare its weight, but why us? Why so much? Why these eyes and these minds and this pain?

After seeing you, I know why.

Because suffering trains us to appreciate joy when she finally comes. To truly bask in light because we have walked through torment. Just as we see the beauty of never ending night, we rejoice and worship the heat of day.

The universe has told us that we will not win every battle, and when time comes, we may not win the war but we would have fought ferociously. She gave us words so that we may tell the story and the heart so that we may understand it.

But mostly, she gave us each other. You are the bravest General I could ask for. The warrior an army makes and a goddess with whom I can share forever.

So I vow, in this life and the ones we haven’t yet lived, I will love you wholly. In plague and in promise.

I will sit with you in despair, and hold you in fear. I will chase away, suffering and praise you in triumph, for without doubt your love has been my shelter.

For you my mirror soul, for you I would chase the horizon knowing that should I cry out only you would hear it.

Dear Lady

Dearest Lady,

It has taken me months to pen these thoughts. Many hours of desperation and many moments of despair. I have torn myself to pieces and stitched them back again.

But finally, finally I know what to say.

Dear Lady, the man you lie next to, the spontaneous, carefree, impulsive man you share your life with is not the one I shared mine. He is a new man and this man is yours.

You have awoken in him all the things that I could not. You have given him purpose and wrapped him in a blanket of adoration. You feed him strength and he has grown from your nurture.

Dear Lady, I wanted so much to despise you. To blame you for our permanent end. To hate the way your skin contrasts his and to ache at your name upon his lips, but I could not. For you are a great woman, a better woman than I. His joy is yours to cherish.

Dear Lady, keep being you. Inside you he has found sanctuary and the blissful bond you share fills me with a painful kind of envy. In your arms he found the home he could not find in mine.

Dear Lady, only a goddess could love a man who shares a bond with another, as we do. Only a goddess could know her power is not rivalled by the past and trust truly in his devotion and integrity.

Dear Lady, know that I wish you happiness and I pray that your love lives long beyond the days of tomorrow. That my sadness comes only from the time we had, the wars we fought and the scars that will never heal. It comes from years of firsts, from a true knowing that our story is over.

Dear Lady, you have nothing to fear. That man will cherish you, hold you up when you’re defeated and stand by you in victory. He will protect you from all who would speak ill of your name and agree with all those that celebrate your existence.

Dear Lady, I would love to meet you. To embrace you. To hear your voice with my ears and see your face with my eyes. For we are sisters, sisters by having loved the same man.

Dear Lady, he is yours, completely.

 

Remember Me

I want to keep it in. To ignore the impact.
I want to forget you.

I want to wipe every memory of your laughter, the feel of your touch and your breath against my ear. I want to erase every moment you looked upon me with awe and desire.

I need to forget.

Being with you awoke my tired soul. You were water in a heat wave and sun to my petals. You saw beauty in my chaos and as I was set to destruct you held out your hand and my world stopped spinning. You kissed away my sorrow and paved the way for new. You swept me into your arms and let me be, accepting every day that she may change, that she may run and some days she may only hide.

Your devotion seeped into my pores and inflamed the dying embers of my sanity. In you I saw hope.

But the world will never know our story. We kept it a secret. A promise that all we have between us will always be ours. No one will ever know how intertwined our souls truly are. No one will know how perfectly my hand fits in yours and no one will ever know that the sound of your breath as you sleep at my side is music to my heart.

All of that doesn’t matter now. You made your choice.

You let your past poison us. You let it corrupt our happiness and bleed into our light. You let the parasite jealousy infect your mind and the virus insecurity plague your heart.

I wanted to save us.

I wanted to fall into you and make you my paradise.I wanted to hold you to my chest and dream of vows of forever.

I asked you to remember.

Remember the hopes I kissed across your body. Remember the nights we worshipped and the morning’s embrace. Remember the darkness, the light and the whispers. Remember, it’s me.

I see now that I can not be the dressing for this wound. I can not soothe your agony or chase away your terrors. I can not massage your heart and blow away the fears. It lives inside you and I can not pry it from your body because I have  tried with all my might. I cannot.

I know we were too much. I know that my spirit is too wild and that you were afraid. I mourn you, I mourn every dream we didn’t fulfil and every plan we’d never spoke but I know why you did it.

So I ask, when the shadows come to take you, or when the clouds part and a new light walks in. Remember me, remember that you deserve the love we had and you will find her power again.

So we go back.

We go back to being strangers. The world never knowing that we were on the cusp of greatness.

 

It is not our time and we may never get another but your love saved me and for that I’m eternally grateful,  thank you.

Until You

In the aftermath of my heartbreak I began to doubt love.

Is it real? Can it last? It is temporary magic, a curse and an addiction?

I doubted love’s power and put weight in seduction, attraction and lust. Perhaps love was just another word for habit and convenience.

In my pessimism I stewed.

That is until I met you.

You, who finds joy in service, in giving, in the creation and maintenance of stability. You, who will answer every call, question and request and do so sweetly. You, who will patiently wait, stoke the fire and rock your children. You, who will feed not only his body but his soul. You, who would be his home and his salvation.

You, who would willingly carry his dark so that he can stand in the light.

And then I met him.

He who believes in loyalty, friendship and family above all else. He, who peels himself from warm covers and braves dawn before the sun. He, who binds himself to promises and breaks his back to deliver. He, who makes space at his table and laces kindness upon his tongue.

You, sir. You, who values her laugh more than riches. And you, who would go to war for her happiness.

Together, your love is worship. Its simplicity, its familiarity and its undeniable devotion.

And so it returned, my faith.

As I reveled in the glow of your connection. I saw love in unexpected corners.

Love, I heard in her voice as she growled over dirty dishes.

Love, I saw in the tender passing of busy parents.

Love, I felt in cheeky smiles, and flirtatious winks.

And love I knew, when they retire to bed among jumbled infant bodies and sigh with relief . This is their happiness. Their version of love.

I see now that love is in the commitment to appreciate the effort, to be patient with flaw, to encourage through weakness, to shield in attack and to give yourself truly every day.

Perhaps love too exists in sensational gestures, but today, I want a love that makes me coffee just the way I like it.

Kindness is Free

Look at me, what do you see?

Ebony hair and mahogany eyes. Plump lips and sharp features.

What else?

Can you tell that I’m nervous? Unsure of my place.
You see snobbery but I feel shy.

I avert my eyes because your gaze overwhelms me. I don’t know what you’re seeing. I know it isn’t me.

Privacy is my game, and a virtue I cherish. It’s not secrecy I desire, it’s solitude. The introverted girl inside me knows her voice is lost in the chaos. I crave connections that can not be fostered under spectator eyes.

I withdraw into my shell and reveal to those who too seek solace.

Don’t you understand?

You call reservation, arrogance.

You think I don’t know that you whisper my name and pile on the filth? You think I can’t feel the stares, the disapproving nods, the nudges and the winks? Your judgement was set to destroy me, and for what?

Harmless. You really think?

Well, here’s my voice.

I don’t live my life to please you. I don’t walk for your approval.
I don’t smile for your eyes, or laugh for your ears.
My purpose and journey is beyond your reach, just as yours is beyond mine.

I don’t know the roads you’ve walked or the mistakes you’ve made. I don’t know where you’ve been or how far you’ll go. I don’t begrudge you your happiness nor should you mine.

I can’t tell you how to see me, that ship has long sailed. But remember this, what you say speaks volumes.

What do you see and what does that say about you?

Kindness is free but wisdom is freeing.