Chilled, not stirred

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So after a few drinks with friends, an old and a new, followed by a soul soothing conversation, I find myself wanting for something to do. Saturday night, and I sit here alone in my office (I say alone, as my two girls are totally flaked out around me) and thoughtful.
I contemplate getting another bourbon, but decide that something a little more relaxing would be the ticket. Comfort food is usually a bad idea, but not tonight. Tonight is is a great idea. Comforting in fact.

So, 20 minutes later I’m back with a slightly-short-of-midnight-snack-sized hot apple pie (yes, it’s reduced sugar etc, as apparently I can’t even shop guilt free any more-sigh) but it does have a healthy glob of freshly whipped cream melting all over it. To cool it of course…for this hot weather… and an ice cold glass of Amarula cream on the rocks, to fix that earlier break in my voice. A great idea indeed.
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I find the appropriate mellow music to accompany my sweet fix, continue to hope that today’s workout covers my indulgence, at the same time not really caring if that’s true, and try to relax.
I don’t relax well. My brain turns over constantly, and no exception to the rule is tonight. With all of the olds and news…thoughts and hopes and reckonings, it doesn’t rest. But it’s a good thing. Where it used to twist to thoughts of sometimes harsh and grey, tonight it is very much black and white.

Tonight there is a plan. It will take a lot of back and forthing, calculation, and time, but a plan none-the-less. It is a plan that takes me out of my comfort zone, and one step further to where I want to be, where we want to be, so in the right direction. Not just a wish-a plan…I haven’t held much faith in those lately, but I haven’t really committed to many of them either. This one is different. It’s a plan backed by a fuck-tonne of determination and passion, and that makes it one thing that many others aren’t. Possible. It makes it possible.
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So I scarfed my dessert treat, and then lingered over the Amarula with ponderings and a smile. One day soon, I’ll tell you all about the plan, but for now I’ll just say that the very thought of it makes me happy.

I hope you can all find your plan Kids, trust me there is one.
Cheers
V

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Wings of change

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It was Friday the 13th, 10 years ago, not in October but May, and the first time I had really truly followed my heart. I had no place to go, nobody I knew, no fucking idea what the universe had in store for me, but I had hope and love. I knew I had that.

I packed a bag and got on a plane, it was seat 13. I was pretty sure what lay ahead wouldn’t matter, because I figured in that seat on that plane on that day, chances are we would crash down violently and die anyway…but we didn’t. Maybe that was the point that a plan could have been a good idea, but I didn’t have one of those either.

Most of my life I had taken lead from others, played things safe, stayed within my comfort zone, until then. To be honest, when I got off the plane I was petrified. Reality sunk in very quickly in the taxi to my new workplace, because that was the only destination I had. When I walked in the door and set down my bag, I asked what I was to do, and was told “how about you go and find somewhere to live”. Check that Boss…a good idea, great. And just like that I pushed my bag under the counter and walked back out.

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I guess I felt like crying, from being overwhelmed, being out of place, just being, but I didn’t. All I remember is feeling blank. I was questioning why in all hell I was even there. Love, that’s right. I wasn’t even sure if anyone else had it, but unfortunately I was 100% sure I did. And that was where I was supposed to be for that very reason and that reason only. As a bonus, I got to leave N.Q, and even though I had no idea how being any closer could be any better, it felt like a step in the right direction.

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Thanks to a very understanding agent, I had a house the next day, and my most valuable thing in the whole world arrived the following day with a few of my possessions, my dog.
We settled in as well as I could, and that was that. The short-term plan came to a screaming halt. I was here…now what.
Unfortunately the answer to that one never came as an epiphany, and the next few years were kind of a messy blur.

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Over ten years on, and I can safely say that things have changed…and they haven’t. Maybe a more accurate statement would be that I have changed. I am no longer that scared girl getting off a plane, lunging into unknown territory, and fearful of the next step. I know what I want and where I want to be, but this time, that is not really any fixed location. It’s more fluidly based on circumstance, and that same person I love. I want a plan (of sorts) but as long as I know that things are still going in the right direction, I’m okay with that for now too.

I have learned to accept that people come and go, but there a very few that you will want to keep in your life. And even rarer are those, that will stay in your heart and mind through anything and everything.

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I have many regrets, some things I have done, mostly things I haven’t. This was neither one of them. Moving at the beckoning of my heart that day made me feel fear, isolation and insignificance, but it also made me feel stronger, and gave me freedom I had never allowed myself before. It gave me independence and an appreciation and understanding of solitude. And…it gave me a few precious scattered moments, just a few, of the very reason I did it, before things came crashing down. Those I wouldn’t give up for the world.

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Today, I appreciate taking that leap… for who I became, for who I have, for what I learned, for realizing that amongst all of the confusion, there is still endless possibility ahead. And Love, there’s still that.

Some say the day is lucky, others say otherwise. I say the universe is a hard bitch, so maybe we need to make our own luck. Get on the plane, take the step, don’t falter, don’t look back. Look forward, because that’s the direction you’re going.

Happy Friday 13th Kids, whatever it means to you.

Cheers
V

Choose Love

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Below is a post I keep seeing. On my social media and elsewhere.

I love it because it’s so sad and true, brutally honest and heartfelt. It’s the story of a million people in a few short paragraphs, and maybe a part of the answer to so much drawn out heartache. I read it every time I see the picture, and think of decisions I am making, have made, and back to some of those I should have made sooner.
We miss so much of our life by only seeing it from the inside.

Life is simple and people are complicated, but you can choose to be open and simplify things, or closed and sometimes complicate them further. In the end everyone gets hurt, but how and how much are the factors within a small amount of control. We choose to say some things, yet keep others to ourselves, at risk of hurting someone, or possibly just hurting ourselves.

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There’s a risk to everything, but I guess I’m at the point in my life where I’d rather ask those dreaded questions, than never know the answers, whatever they may be. They may not be the ones you want to hear, but they could be exactly what you were hoping for. At the end of the day, life goes on, and we can live it being grateful for the things we do have, and the people that allow us to share in their lives and love (for which I currently am, beyond words, as I seem to have been blessed with someone who, not only do I love deeply and would ‘choose’ undoubtedly every day, but also loves me despite all of my faults), or we can struggle to hold on to the ‘should haves’, ‘could haves’ and ‘what ifs’. In both cases, most of us are stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. But one means moving forward, and the other standing still.

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Read on Kids…flick the lights off when you’re done.

Cheers
V

“Choose Her Every Day (Or Leave Her)” by Brian Reeves

 I spent 5 years hurting a good woman by staying with her but never fully choosing her.
I did want to be with this one. I really wanted to choose her. She was an exquisite woman, brilliant and funny and sensual. She could make my whole body laugh with her quick, dark wit and short-circuit my brain with her beauty. Waking up every morning with her snuggled in my arms was my happy place. I loved her.

Unfortunately, as happens with many young couples, our ignorance of how to do love well quickly created stressful challenges in our relationship. Before long, once my early morning blissful reverie gave way to the strained, immature ways of our everyday life together, I would often wonder if there was another woman out there who was easier to love, and who could love me better.
As the months passed and that thought reverberated more and more through my head, I chose her less and less. Every day, for five years, I chose her a little less.
I stayed with her. I just stopped choosing her. We both suffered.

Choosing her would have meant focusing every day on the gifts she was bringing into my life that I could be grateful for: her laughter, beauty, playfulness, companionship, and so … much … more.
Sadly, I often found it nearly impossible to embrace – or even see – what was so wonderful about her.

I was too focused on the anger, insecurities, demands, and other aspects of her strong personality that grated on me. The more I focused on her worst, the more I saw of it, and the more I mirrored it back to her by offering my own worst behaviour. Naturally, this only magnified the strain on our relationship … which still made me choose her even less.

Thus did our nasty death spiral play itself out over five years.
She fought hard to make me choose her. That’s a fool’s task. You can’t make someone choose you, even when they might love you. It doesn’t happen.
To be fair, she didn’t fully choose me, either. The rage-fuelled invective she often hurled at me was evidence enough of that.

I realise now, that she was, in part, often angry because she didn’t feel safe with me. She felt me not choosing her every day, in my words and my actions, and she was afraid I would abandon her.
Actually, I did abandon her.
By not fully choosing her every day for five years, by focusing on what bothered me rather than what I adored about her, I deserted her.
Like a precious fragrant flower I brought proudly into my home but then failed to water, I left her alone in countless ways to wither in the dry hot heat of our intimate relationship. And she let it happen.

I’ll never not choose another woman I love again.
It’s torture for everyone.

If you’re in a relationship, I invite you to ask yourself this question:
“Why am I choosing my partner today?”
If you can’t find a satisfying answer, dig deeper and find one. It could be as simple as noticing that in your deepest heart’s truth, “I just do.”
If you can’t find it today, ask yourself again tomorrow. We all have disconnected days.
But if too many days go by and you just can’t connect with why you’re choosing your partner, and your relationship is rife with stress, let them go. Create the opening for another human being to show up and see them with fresh eyes and a yearning heart that will enthusiastically choose them every day.

Your loved one deserves to be enthusiastically chosen. Every day.
You do, too. Choose wisely.