A grave day

5Twas the night before, the night before Christmas, and all through the house…was nothing.

I’ve walked into the kitchen four times tonight, before I remembered I was actually going through to the laundry for something. I eventually got it. It was for the dogs. Another excuse to go back to my dogs.
I’ve stopped to fall on my bed and cuddle them, more times than I care to count.
I don’t have it in me to choose a movie to watch. I didn’t trust myself to open a bottle.
I got nothing.
2623335172aba7a59144970d48043327I don’t care for Christmas, we’ve established that previously, but it’s really just the time of year. A time when everyone else is out there in the world, advertising the fact that they are with the ones they love. And I got nothing.
The man I love, and only one I want most in the whole world to be with, is far away, content to be with another. The arms that make me feel loved, and safe, and at peace, are no longer around me.
My family is gone. My friends are with their loved ones, and I don’t begrudge them that, but I don’t have it.
971bba00dc3aa31cd4899c35581e47b4  I received a phone call today. A person I have never spoken with in my life, called to ‘remind me’ that tomorrow is the anniversary of my Fathers death. Because, I obviously would forget such small and insignificant things like this.
“We miss him”, she said, “I can’t even delete his number from my phone. So we put flowers on his grave today”.
“Oh”…she says as an after thought…”I’m sure you miss him too. It’s tomorrow you know”.
I can’t even fathom the level of vacuity it took to make that call. After a few seconds of being utterly speechless, I asked her around the welling tears, if she would like a badge for her good deed. The call ended shortly thereafter.
1When my Father was killed in an accident three years ago, it was my front door the police knocked on to notify. I had to hear all the details from officers, with their eyes turned to the floor, to have to give someone such news on that day. I was the one who had to make the phone call to my big brother, to tell him what had happened. On Christmas fucking Eve.
We were the ones who had to drive hours to his house the following week and find his paperwork, clean up and make arrangements for his dog. We were the ones who had to clean the personal possessions out of his wrecked, mangled car at the impound yard, around the dry blood splashed all over the centre console. We had to stay at his empty house, field his friends and family, and sort through all the photo albums. We had to arrange the funeral service, and then travel to attend it. All while you stayed in your comfy fucking home…unable to delete his number from your phone. So lady, just FUCK OFF. And take your flowers with you.

I don’t need to put flowers on a meaningless, stone grave-site to remember my Father. He is with me wherever I go, in what he did for me, what he taught me, how he did his best to raise me, and loved me. He is in my cherished childhood memories, with my Mother, of how much they loved each other, and our family.
And I certainly don’t need a phone call from anyone to remind me what day it is, that we suddenly lost him.
Every year, the shine of tinsel and ring of bells does that for me. The day draws nearer, and I see people get excited for the man in red coming to their house, while the two most important ones in my life, won’t be.
4So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t sing along with the Carols and put on a paper hat. I know we’re supposed to be thankful for the things we do have…and I am, but some days, the things I am missing, make that focus go a little blurry.
2Hold your loved ones close Kids, tell them you love them as often as you can, life is so much harder without them.
V.
6

Ho ho huh?

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So…it’s that jingly, kris kringly, tinselly, carolly, fucking annoying, cheerful time of year again. A time I no longer look forward to on any count at all. I used to be one of ‘those’ people. You know, the kind that never gets over the wonder of tinsel. I didn’t think anything could ever ruin that for me. I won’t bother explaining the reasons, for those who don’t know the story, but let’s just say it has lost it’s shine. All of it. In fact I almost wish it didn’t even happen at all now.

This year was hard for me. I know we all have them-hard days, hard years, hard times. I’m not complaining. It’s not a ‘poor me’ blog. I made it through. I’m still here. In fact probably more of me than before, because hard times are a test of strength, endurance and help you grow within yourself.
6631b825b216cdc90c0df0261367b7adWhen things go wrong, it makes you ask ‘why?’ It inspires change, innovation and reckoning. It provokes acceptance and forgiveness of yourself and others. It urges you to choose paths, find solutions and try and make things ‘better’. It makes you figure out exactly what, and who, is important to you. Yourself included.
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”-The subtle art of not giving a fuck, Mark Manson.
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You see, I think for the majority of life, we just walk along the path in front of us without question. We take what comes our way and deal with it. We stick to this path, because we feel it is ours, or perhaps we have chosen it, or committed to something on it. We wander, hand on the guide-rail, sometimes even looking over the edge, mildly inquisitive, to see what’s out there. For a very long time, we don’t consider climbing that rail, because what we are already dealing with seems enough.
life-changesWe become scared to diverge, or even worse, content to walk straight on. But…what if? What if change, breaking free, was the path we were supposed to take? Or it’s better, or easier…or happier? It sounds like I’m going with the ‘grass is greener’ theory here, but that’s not it at all. What I’m saying is, what if…we have changed as we walked that original path, and we become destined for something different as we grow?
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We are all hurting, struggling, missing someone, losing something, trying to make right decisions, trying to live, or just survive. Every one of us. We are all hiding things, bottling emotions, holding back, using coping mechanisms, keeping brave faces. We are all wondering if we are right, settling for less and hoping for more.  Every one of us. Every. Damn. One.
“Almost universally, the kind of performance we give on social media is positive. It’s more ‘Let me tell you how well things are going. Look how great I am.’ It’s rarely the truth: ‘I’m scared. I’m struggling. I don’t know.’” -Ego is the enemy, Ryan Holiday.
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“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
Tiny beautiful things-Cheryl Strayed 

When it comes down to it, the answer we need to know…is what we want. What, in life, can give us peace. What makes you feel so absorbed that you forget the world is waiting outside the front door? What makes you forget to check your phone? What makes you want to live in the moment that it should never end? Whether that’s a person, a place, a hobby, a job, a thing or a mix of many. What we are passionate about, willing to fight for, lose sleep over, hold hope for, work toward…
c81b049952f4d7922f8c489379161d7aAnd, as a new year is peeking over the horizon at us like a devious cat, what better time to put thought into how we can get it? How we can change survival and contentment into living. Once this whole tinsel strewn, tumultuous affair is over, and the wrapping paper settles…
6b8eb3ebe7967e80bfd9e4ada4d6a116So, at the risk of sounding at all festive…what do you truly want, not just for Christmas, but for life, for yourself? I have a list. It’s very short, but it’s important. Every thing on the list would change life as I know it, and if you are reading this now, you are either part of the journey ahead, or spectators to it. Either way, I promise you, it will be filled with hope and passion and love (and perhaps just a drop of sarcasm).
resoluteHold your someones and your dreams extra tight Kids, and don’t let go.
Cheers
V

Spilt milk…ish.

f04db7188337bee761e5bde238af2517You know the old phrase ‘There’s no use crying over spilt milk’…well how about wine? Can you cry over spilt wine? I shall answer that on all of your behalf. I think it is perfectly acceptable on special occasions. And today was special. You see… this blog is more like something nobody needs in Summer, a heated vent, because honestly…I’ve just had enough.
38dc8b77fc74bc1ed987f971a57b5d27I can’t do this today. So I’ve decided that, to prevent risk of further spillage, the wine…it’s being consumed from a tall stable glass. A green tinted glass. With a neck. Ok…the bottle. Straight from the bottle. Classy as fuck.
6d51d58d223a7d5b32e212a0217b93c0I’ve tried lately, I really have, to stay positive and refocus on the ‘haves’, rather than the ‘do not haves’. What I actually ‘have’ is no fucking idea if I’m winning or losing the battle. The Universe has decided that a myriad of things around me should end, break, or just fuck up in general. As I fix one, the next fails, and it feels like a never-ending struggle to stay on top of it all. Pay one bill and the next arrives, replace one item and the next breaks…and then there’s me-a royal upbeat mess. Some days I feel positive, oblivious even…and some days I just feel like I’m pretending, trying to fool even myself. Take a step forward, and get knocked back on my arse. F.I.N.E. I always get up, as everyone tells me, it just takes varying amounts of time.
03cbd4f9ac2f22ff743069749ef5b7fc.jpgI spent the whole day waiting. Not wanting to start something ‘else’ in case it was interrupted. Not wanting to chance missing out. Waiting for someone who never arrived, and something that never happened…and it just did my head in. I’ve spent so long waiting for things that matter, that I can’t do it any more. No matter how important or insignificant it is, I can’t bear the thought of wasting time just waiting. Life is too long to be unhappy, too short to spend on things that don’t inspire, and too simple to be complicated. So at the end of the day I just felt so overwhelmingly, utterly hurt and disappointed in everything, everyone, and every word ever spoken to me.
signatureIt was drama queen central, right there in my kitchen. All of the beautiful, shiny, high end knives pointed right at me, and I felt every one of them hit their target. All at once.
8b7537fdd3afd5d6dd6f28f570344666I called and cancelled, gave my boxing gloves their first intense workout in over 6 months, then walked out the door and into the storm, and just let myself walk until I was saturated. It was all I could do. Literally…it felt like all I could do.
stormThe lightning snaked across the sky, thunder boomed, and the rain hid my frustration so well. And when I had calmed down, I made my way back to…a house. The one where I keep my dogs. My stuff. Just a house. And the thunder and wind, well, even though it saw me, and it knew…it just went on as if nothing had happened at all.

Someone told me this week, that they were just ‘Existing. Just trying to make it to Christmas without killing themselves or someone else’, and that right there…well, that described my day perfectly. Christmas is so near, yet it seems so far away. So many days away. And things…things just keep breaking.
05eb0bc07a61243624d14f810e0abd06Honestly, I was hoping Christmas would pass by this year completely unseen. But unfortunately, there are already baubles and bright lights everywhere. I know that the closer it looms, the worse this sickening feeling will get. The one of glitter, replaced by all the ‘do not haves’-a selfish pain. I have lost so many loved everythings at this time of year, so many things are missing, it has come to be a painful reminder of that, over a celebration of anything at all. When people are rejoicing with families and loved ones on the day, I will be quietly and painfully remembering my ‘do not haves’, as I suspect, will those I will share it with.
christmas-grumpy-cat-121But until that day, and the ones that come after it, and the next, when the sun is supposed to magically change its path and shine brighter…I will exist, and fix, and try. Try and look forward, fix things, not myself…because I am not broken. I am hurting, suffering, healing, understanding, accepting, different, loving, and many other things perhaps…but not broken. Human.

Remember on the bad days Kids, that we are all just human. On all the good, bad and meltdown days. In the moments of love, and hurt and anger. With all our glorious victories, flaws, successes, faults, and mistakes..and all of our love and hope and passion…we are human. We deserve. I deserve. You deserve.
20140724_144156-1v3.jpgCheers and hugs (for me really)
V