Tuesday, January 24, 2012

whether or not

...i like it, right now is a time of change.

i didn't choose it, but that is often what happens in life - events are out of your control. if choices had been offered, i might have pulled my stripey socks up, packed my bags and reconfigured my life in a way that i ultimately know (now) is a much better one for me.

perhaps there is something though, in returning to past spaces, taking a trip down memory lane, only to realise that it isn't the same lane you remember at all. it is no longer bathed in the rose-coloured hues you once thought it was (and perhaps it was back then, but no longer). turning around and taking that step back there does help in the end, because ultimately it helps you realise how far you have come. how you have grown since those days, and once you actually face your demons - those little voices in your head that tell you everyone will remember you as someone that you no longer are not (and yes, people do remember you as that person, but you can correct them) - by staring them down, they shrink down to a more miniature version that is completely manageable.

imagination is an amazing thing. it allows you to dream futures, utopias and new worlds. on the flipside though, if you let it get the better of you, those over inflated demons who you've completely resurrected from the ghostly past seem far more real and tangible. until, that is, you take a stick, poke them and realise they're made up of nothing more than your fears.

and the funny thing about fears (well, its probably not funny), but that's all that they are. fears. they're not this moment. they're just something that sits in front of you taunting you that they could realise themselves in the next moment. whether they do or not - in my case, a big fear of mine came into being (perhaps because i voiced it out aloud, rather than seeing it as only a fear and of no real consequence) - there is a life that continues afterwards. perhaps not the one that my beautiful imagination had conjured up and hoped for, but there are other people to interact with, other friends to see, other conversations to have, other paths to be explored and adventures to have, and other soundtracks.

because once you turn again to face forward, you can then realise how far you have come since those days of your rose-tinted past, how you've grown (into the person you are right this very minute) and how you have the ability to (yes, imagine) but also take sure steps to make sure the future is one that you want it to be.

Monday, January 23, 2012

step towards the future

it is a very poignant question that was posed to me recently: "why can't you leave the past in the past"? at the time my response (which damn well needed to be far more considered) was "because it is part of my present". by which i meant: i have returned to a city that holds many memories for me - many that i thought i had forgotten in the recent years that i hadn't been living in this city. however, upon returning, the sights, sounds and smells, the same architecture, seasons and stirrings of the city brought these memories rushing back to me on a daily basis. those paths that i had trodden so many times, so many layered stories there, that despite me beginning to build a new (albeit temporary) life in this city, reminded me of those many times in the past. some incredibly formative moments of my life, that have - whether for better or for worse - forged parts of who i am today. while i thought i had done many things over the past couple of years, and that i am a much stronger person, those memories too, were really quite strong.

returning to the question though, of why i haven't been able to leave all of my past in my past, to be completely honest, i haven't brought myself fully face to face with it - till the last few months and really till now. while i've been working through many things over the last seven years, there are just some things that, whether i was aware of it or not (many things i wasn't) i just haven't sat myself down, given myself the space and taken a good hard look at those experiences. the last of them that popped out into my present needed sorting through in terms of what i have learned from these previous moments of my life, and placed them carefully and graciously in a location where i can appreciate those good times and learn from the difficult ones. i had begun to do this (in fact quite a lot over the past 18 months), but whatever efforts i was making, weren't hardcore enough.

instead, i let these shadows infiltrate my present in a way that damaged something very special to me. as a result, i have some significant regrets - and that is something that i have tried to live my life without. i have tried to live as honestly and truthfully to myself (and to others) as i possibly can, and to not regret having done or not done something. so regret is something that is not a particularly familiar feeling. it is a bit of a newcomer to my life, and not a very welcome one.

my regret, in one way, takes the form of having not really come to know myself well enough so that i can catch myself if i think i might be starting to head down the wrong path for me in physical, mental and metaphorical senses. and while i think that there are several paths that can be traversed - often consecutively - i find that i have the tendency to prioritise work paths over personal paths. for some reason, out of a sense of retaining my reputation in a work capacity, i rarely step away entirely away from a situation, or demand that it is configured in a way that better suits me or my well being. i feel duty-bound to make whatever i'm doing happen, despite the impossibility of a situation or the fact it might not play out well for my sense of self or indeed my overall health. as a result, the stress that i take onboard to make something happen is sometimes well beyond what i'm capable of delivering. this means that i haven't been able to treat myself well or take care of myself properly, and this is in turn transferred to others. so much so, that sometimes they choose to walk away. that is a big blow.

a wake-up call such as this one i am experiencing right now is a big deal indeed. and these are very big lessons to take on board, some of which are:
* knowing yourself well enough so that you know when you're heading down the wrong path
* making sure that you're always able to re-negotiate situations to make them work in more constructive ways
* always taking the time to assess the situation, basically, like a regular checking of the temperature gauge
* working as thoroughly as you can through your shit before entering new situations so as not to hurt or affect others, especially those closest to you

what now for me? well one of the things that i can do is listen quite intently to that question that was posed (i'm sure it was said many times previously, i just didn't hear it being said before, and it needed the dramatic delivery before i would really look up and pay attention). that question was demanded for a reason, and for my future wellbeing, it is imperative that i now address it.

so now, i am preparing to leave my past behind and step into my future.

i'm sure this will take more focus, energy and commitment than i can conceive that it will, but i can't continue to allow my past shit to damage myself or anyone else that steps into my life. i no longer want past fears to erode anything that i might have in the future, and i need to face these fears head on. basically, i've had enough of my own shit.

i won't run from it, i won't hide it (or i wouldn't be blogging about it) and i have to have the courage to face it. Why?

because ultimately i need to be the best person that i can be and truly deserve to become. while life might be incredibly tough right now, i want my future to be spectacular. i want to be open to opportunities for adventure, new directions, friendship, intimacy and perhaps again even real love.

i know that i have the capacity to give and offer these things listed here, in very deep and meaningful ways, and i don't want any of the fears of the past to trip me up again in the future - so that i can deliver on the things that i am capable of offering, and so that these same things can also be delivered to me in ways that i can really accept and appreciate them.

what i do know, is that if i don't know myself well enough, i won't support myself in ways that allow me to be the best possible person that i can be for myself and for whoever is part of my life in the future. part of this process is really facing my past, and even though i've done these things before, really giving it my all to say to some of those people, events and experiences from back then and long ago - thankyou, i love you and goodbye.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

dreams, goals and otherwise

when you go through a massive and sudden change in life, all your dreams are thrown up into the air. like a pack of cards on a windy day, the gusts pick them up and scatter them in all directions. as you rush around trying to catch them, some are blown out of your reach, and some you can't seem to locate at all.

for me, many of my dreams were pretty well close by, but they were still goals that had yet to be actualised. all i thought i needed was one last chance to get one last opportunity up my sleeve. this delay, this side-step, wasn't worth it.

ever since i was a little kid i've always wanted to live in europe. in 2007/2008 i managed to spend a year living there and when i realised then that i had to return to australia for reasons that were, at the time out of my control, it is no secret that several were tears shed.

when i left europe, i was lucky enough to be thrown a life-line, a way back to the place where my heart has always felt like it belonged. yet life happened and i was delayed for too long; incredibly stressful work, an injury that completely baffled professionals (i'm only told this now), and then the need to raise the mulah in order to launch me back onto the path of my desire.

seems the universe had other plans for me, and i'm not entirely sure why right now i have to be on this path, rather than that of my dreams, hopes and desires. yet i still believe in those fundamentals, that ultimately i'm supposed to be out there in the world.

funny thing was, i tried to set up a home in an apartment rather than just a base (perhaps this is what the universe and i didn't agree on at the time, and now i see that the universe knows me better than i know myself). now that i'm living out of a backpack again a little more frequently, it seems more natural. more in harmony with how i should be in the world. it's familiar. and now that i can walk (and even dance) again, i can haul that heavy backpack (containing anything i might just need at any moment) onto my back, and i set off. mobility, transit and the sense of adventure that comes with it are the things that bring warmth into my soul.

yet while i'm here (at least part of the time), i might as well make the most of it, utilising the resources that i have at hand - a whole research library at the tip of my fingers might just hold the clues to the map. to be honest, while i'm here this also means rather than just being spooked, i have to finish clearing my ghostly skeletons out of the closet. so perhaps i am actually meant to be back here to finish the job off, once and for all.

in the longer term tho, i can't and won't let myself give up on those dreams and goals. they might not eventuate in the way i had hoped for. some of those cards seem out of my grasp... all i can do is wonder how the future will evolve.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

how do you shine in your darkest hour?

this is a very good question indeed. and perhaps it is necessary for everyone to hit the bottom at least once in their life. while at this point in my life, i have stumbled pretty hard (come a cropper infact), i am trying to see it as a gift - giving me the time and space in order to build my life up from scratch. like lego blocks - carefully selecting them and then connected each together and this time around actually checking that each of the blocks are the ones that i really need in my life, and that the connections are super-solid, so that i have the durability and resilience to take whatever comes.

the way that i've arrived here isn't easy, but it probably wasn't meant to be. otherwise, i wouldn't have really stopped in my tracks and listened to what i was being called on. something needed to make me stand still, and whilst i was working through the various suitcases of metaphorical baggage, piece by piece, what i probably needed to do was to take some time out, shut and the door, and do a massive spring clean. and so it seems that universe has delivered me just what i need: the space to do this. even if the universe has taken away my most valued aspect of my life, it has ultimately given me what i probably really need, whether i like it or not.

for the past year i've felt i've had the weight of the world sitting heavily on my shoulders, and now that some of the intensity of this has been taken away, despite the challenging situation i find myself in, i do feel a little lighter. for me that weight of responsibility and unseemingly resolvable situation plays out as depression. this for myself happens when i'm feeling trapped or stuck in a particular situation, as if it is never going to change or resolve. but i sometimes forget that everything changes, every moment in life is just that, and change is constant. now that pressure has been taken off, and i can make decisions for myself, i don't feel wedded to the decisions that i've made (even though i felt like i was making them for the right reasons at the time), and i can begin to shake some of this depression off.

of course i feel intensely sad about the way in which the sudden change in my life has come about, but this is a different kind of sadness. the depression i felt came with taking a particular parth, and one i felt i had to travel down for too long - now this is no longer necessary.

while i might not get to live in the places i hoped i would in the future, or with the people i honestly thought i would share my life with forever, there are some parts of me that are starting to feel a little more free. with every intensely black hour is a glimmer of light that comes from what sometimes seems like a black hole. at least with lives, black holes are not infinite and never last forever. that is something very important to remember, especially if we are willing to shift things and make changes.

and so, what i have to remind myself of constantly, is that every moment is temporary, everything changes, and i have to appreciate the things that i have immediately around me because in the future moment, it will all shift again.

so keeping this in mind, it is now the time to start re-imagining my future, with the knowledge that everything comes and goes and the belief that a far better life will emerge from this time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

all i needed was a holiday

december is a weird time of year for me. there is history to it, and unfortunately last year i let it get the better of me. i can usually rein it in (at least to some degree), but there were other far more intense factors at play. it wasn't just that history though, those other factors came in droves, and came together in way that i've never quite experienced in my life before. i know i have a tendency to attract drama, but this time the drama seemed to mold itself into a whole new monstrous form (much like the stink spirit in Miyazaki's Spirited Away) - charging in from all angles & from all aspects of my life: then i cracked.
(how i cracked is definitely not something to be proud of, and again was reminiscent of the stink spirit's purging in the bath house in bottom world...)

now hindsight is that wonderful thing where you realise there were many other ways to approach something. yet, the past cannot be altered. i'm always a believer in a plan B... or through to a plan Z, if necessary. for some reason i had blinkers on, and i saw a single approach as the only solution. or perhaps i didn't see at all...

of course i'm trying to find reasons why i ended up where i did, and it comes down to (at least) two things:
* taking on too much responsibility so as not to have adequate time to think through options and find the best approach
* not taking proper care of myself

these are hard lessons to learn, very hard lessons indeed - especially if there have been negative consequences of not taking these actions previously.

in the pressure cooker of my mind, i felt that i had to be superhuman; to continue to plow through it all - rather than demand time-out for myself, in order to re-strategise.

turns out, all i probably needed was a holiday.

with that space brings some clarity. then its simpler to speak right from the heart, rather than a overwhelmed troubled mind.

my lessons are my lessons to learn alone, but if any of you want to glean something from this, then a few of these lessons i'm having to learn (or perhaps re-learn) are:
* the first solution is not always the right solution
* taking the time for yourself is of utmost importance, otherwise you're of no use to anyone else

so as we edge nearer the start of the year of the dragon, now that all the bunny fur has been singed, yet again, this dragon will breathe a ring of fire around her, setting boundaries for who accesses her space (both physical and headspace) and how they go about it.

Monday, January 16, 2012


i've taken photos of many lost objects over my years of traversing various cities in the world.

what i haven't taken the time to do is to reflect; reflect on the images of the moments that i capture, on my life as it is, on my trajectory. this is a fundamental mistake to make, at least in my case.

life got caught up in a whirlwind, too much work, too few dollars, two timezones, rushing from one thing to the next until an almightly thunderstorm like i've never experienced before. when the hurricane subsided i was forced to stop and look at what remained in the debris.

and what that is that remains, is me. and the things that i bring to the world.

of course i've lost some incredibly special things now. infact, the most precious thing that i've ever had in my life - and that's hard to admit that it was, and that now it is gone.

what throws me, is that usually i know how to somehow make something work - generally gaffer taping it together will do the trick. but, this time through vast amounts of miscommunication and misinterpretation and many things i said, all the while under too much pressure and in the heat of the moment, that i never meant at all, i've managed to turn something that was real into a complete mess. perhaps two cultures and two languages also played their part, though i'm not convinced about that.

i do know if you really truly are in love with a person, then you have to let them follow their dream and their heart, and that is all i have the capacity to do right now.

so, i've made mistakes and taken wrong turns, and i've found myself here.

taking photographs of lost things & starting to write again....

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2009 - 2011 - stuff happened

[some good, some really bad]