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This year has taught me a lot. A lot about who I am and can be, what I have and do not have, and what I am capable of both achieving and enduring. It has brought big changes both emotionally, physically and geographically. I have made and lost friends, favour and decisions. I am no closer to figuring out the secrets of the universe, but have found a few of my own truths. I have found happiness in the small things, pure and simple. I have found sorrow in the things I have lost, which does not fade.

I am not making any resolutions as such, but along that parallel, perhaps some firm decisions. They are decisions to better myself emotionally and physically. They are the things I want for myself, to make life better every day. They are more adjustments than changes-to mindset and body.
The year ahead is just another year. It holds no more promise, or threat of doom, than any other. Good things will happen. Bad things will happen. We will lose and gain. We will think what we think, and do what we do. There is no more or less possibility held in its clutches than any other year.

Every day holds potential, it’s what we make of it that counts. If we get caught up in the trivial or mundane, and let it just slip by, we lose the whole point of living. We are not here to live for anyone else, to just work and pay bills, or simply be. We are here to live for ourselves, to relish, to experience, to see and feel. We are here to be unique and individual, to create, to inspire, to motivate and to love.
This year will be about furthering my education on self. It will be about prioritising who and what should receive my daily fucks given. It will be about what’s really important to me. It will be about including the people I really love or care for, and doing things I want to do.
There will be plane tickets, ink days, coffee dates, concert tickets, shoe shops, leather, truth, midnight video calls, chocolate cake, Irish whiskey, dog treats, uncontrollable laughter, long hot showers, art days and much more.
This year will be about being unapologetically me. About trusting where the journey leads and accepting good things if they happen. About knowing what feels right and not giving up. About realising worth. About accepting people for who they are, including myself, and not giving a fuck what others think of that.
I hope the light is on at the end of your tunnels kids. If it’s not, be that light, and fucking shine for yourselves 😉

Cheers
V

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The value of what we have

MatThingsWhat we own, doesn’t define who we are. Who we are defines what we own. We make up our lives and surroundings from who we are, and our means to do so. What we have does not make us any more or less of a person. The choices we make and actions we take, mean more than nuts and bolts or strips of fabric. How we treat others, is what is remembered, and savours or sours. Possession defines how the world views us superficially, and is either a vain or true reflection of how we want to be seen.

But when it all boils down, what is really important? What would you honestly miss if you lost it today? Would it really be the things that you own? The furniture, antiques, shag rugs, framed posters, appliances, outdated stereo systems, flash car, boxes of shit whose contents you can’t even remember, piles of backdated issue magazines from ‘quilters are us’, matchbox car collection, cd’s, gaming consoles that never see the light of day?

Those are the things, and things I could let go of (bar my coffee machine-and NO I don’t own quilters are us magazines) in an instant. They are just things. I would trade it all in a heartbeat, for what I no longer have.
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What I miss, is not a what, but a who. The only material things that are important to me, are the things that hold memories and sentiment, and the ‘things’ that live and breathe.

And that thought in turn…leads to the time of year. The most wonderful time of the year, that is upon us. When we are socially bound to give and receive. When our gift giving lists ebb and flow with guilt and obligation, to give to those who we receive from, including Aunt Mildred twice removed, who sent the hideous, fuschia, fluffy, embroidered bath towels with matching scarf. When children expect iPads and the latest expensive gadgets, and rescue animals are handed out like candy, only to be later discarded like wrappers. When Christmas Day is spent buzzing from one place you have to be to eat, to another place you have to be to eat more, until you finally collapse in a food/exhaustion based coma.
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Christmas is supposed to be a festive time spent with loved ones, yet for me, it is anything but. It has the opposite effect of being a heart-wrenching time, that simply reminds me of what I do not have. While people chitter about gifts and Christmas lunches, holidays and family, I smile and nod. I listen politely and hope they don’t ask me if I have plans, or who I will be spending the day with. I remain cheery and festive and wish them a wonderful holiday.

Because, I would prefer not to tell the strangers who ask, that Christmas is simply a stark, blunt reminder to me, of losing everyone and just about everything that has ever been important to me. That, even with several invitations to join others for Christmas, or alternately have company, I feel like I would rather lock my doors, and tell the world to just fuck off and leave me the hell alone, to miss what I don’t have in peace. That I want it to feel like just another day, that isn’t worse than all the others. That spending the day with anyone, simply means I have to fake smiles and cheer, and pretend that my heart isn’t crumbling. Because it will not be with the ones I love. Again.
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For those of you who are spending the day with the person you love, the people you love, with love…treasure it. Never take it for granted. Make it special, and mean something. Remember how it feels to be there, in those moments. Take your pictures and then put away your phone and be present. Smile, talk, hug, love, laugh. Share the most important gift you have to give with the people that are important to you…your time.

Cheers Kids,
V

 

 

 

Pandoras Box

Every now and again, I get down on myself. Sometimes there is a trigger that prompts a low feeling of worthlessness or self hate, and sometimes it’s just a feeling that slowly comes over me. This time it was the former, which is a good thing. It means that it was an outside influence, not from inside. Anyway, a friend said to me last week, that “people/men view women like us differently”. I asked what she meant. Where I was being categorised? And she replied…”older and overweight”. Pow.

Now, I have a reasonable view of myself. I usually view my personality as my strength over my aesthetic appeal…but that stung. It labelled me in this category of ‘faulty’ & ‘unwanted’. And while it may or may not be true, it is how at least one other person on the planet sees me. It is likely nothing more than a reflection, of a stab at her own self doubt and insecurity, but it was enough to make me feel the edge of the knife too.

So, last night, under the influence of a very unreasonable amount of alcohol, I selected a broad range of differently sexually, socially, relationship and age oriented subjects, and asked the question…Do you think I am an attractive woman? I made it very clear that they didn’t have to answer if it was uncomfortable, but if they did it had to be completely honest. And then I waited with breath held to see what would be said. I didn’t actually have to wait very long. And well…fuck. I honestly probably wasn’t prepared for what I got back.
Let’s just say that none of them concurred with the former female opinion even remotely. In one case, I think it may have even been a question, that had just never been asked, and therefore never answered…until now. I feel a little like I opened Pandoras box about 10 times over. Selfishly it felt good to hear people giving their honest opinion of me, and that others can see so many good things in, of and…on me. Most actually took the time to explain and talk about, not only looks, but what they saw underneath the surface. Personality, traits, feelings, thoughts, desires, and more. It was very…enlightening.

Some were slightly diplomatic in their reply, as expected under the circumstance. Some were totally blunt and raw about what they see, and some were in between. Some put a lot of thought into their response, and for some it was more a knee-jerk thing. One was completely pissed that it was said to me at all, and one said it couldn’t be further from the truth (in not so many words-haha). We revisited missed opportunities and hidden feelings, sneaky missed glances and subtle regrets. It felt egotistically gratifying, surprising, and satisfying, to put my greater doubts to rest for the time being, and go back to being moderately irritated with the way I view myself.

Thank-you to everyone involved for being honest, to the point of bordering on,/breaking the rules of ‘inappropriate’. Thank-you for putting aside your inhibitions, and social restrictions, and telling me the truth. Thank-you for seeing me the way you do. Thank-you for the love. Thank-you for making me feel better. Just Thank-you.

Cheers Kids, all you need is love.
V

 

You spin me right round Baby

The last few weeks have been a fun ride of ups, downs, and fall downs. All the usual mental turmoil prevails, yet health has been in the spotlight moreso recently.

The first issue is a curly one, more specifically Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This is a joyful condition, especially to someone who suffers from motion sickness, that makes the room spin in circles, when you lie down or twist the wrong way.
In case you have not yet got the full effect of what this feels like, from the short description…think back to the very first time you were SO sick from alcohol, that you said you were Never ever ever drinking again, EVER. You know, where the smell of that one type of drink, now makes you reactively dry-reach just by the smell? That uncontrollable dizzy, spinning, feeling that makes you want to involuntarily throw-up. That about sums it up. Now imagine it’s there ALL the fucking time. Description over.

The even better part, is that although they can tell you it is caused by a twist or knock to the head/neck…there is no cure/solution for it. The only way to help it, is by actually inducing episodes, and hope it eventually fades away. My bone shrink said I had the most extreme reaction to the test she had ever seen. Did I mention it’s been fun few weeks?

Then there was Friday. I dragged out of bed, where likely I should have just stayed there. It was warm and comfy, and there were dogs to snuggle. But no, not this little black duck. I got up and went to work, arriving late due to the weather, and to a myriad of small problems awaiting already. So, at lunchtime I escaped to go and get food.
We’re driving back, ready to turn into the side street, green light…car speeding recklessly toward us. Car doesn’t brake for red light. Car doesn’t even show signs of imminently stopping. I mention this faintly, and thankfully my driver hesitated long enough to make the decision to stop.
Other car screams past, along the centre of the tram tracks, just brushing our nose as we felt the water spray go by.

Just two seconds, and by calculation, Friday would have been over. End game, thanks for coming.
I came home and hugged my girls for an extra long time that evening. I stayed in. I figured all my luck was used up for the day.

I was at a crossroad of whether to cancel plans for the weekend, or enjoy the fact that I was still here to make them, so I did both. Cancelled the more strenuous peopling, art and rainy day in, walk in the rain, sunshine and markets, catch-up with a friend, movie watching with my girls, packing, unpacking, errands, trying new foods, and chores. Trying to create some sort of life balance, that my emotional and physical body currently lacks. Guess we’ll see how it all pans out by tomar night, to say if it’s been successful or not, and maybe by the end of the week for a little further insight into the rest.

Hope you’re all taking time to take care of yourself Kids.
Cheers
V

pUddLes

23721947_10213636886330180_1378277082_nAnyone who knows me, knows that I’m not a huge fan of children. They ask questions, and make noise. They interrupt *ahem, whatever-shutup*, they wake you up, and they smell funny. Occasionally there’s one or two that are tolerable, but in general “it’s a no from me”. And much like cats, if they know you don’t like them, they gravitate to you, but that’s another story.

There is one thing about children though, that I like, love…adore. Their…purity (for lack of a better word). They are untainted by Society in general. They give NO fucks! They LOVE or HATE everything. They don’t get embarrassed or ashamed of the way they are, or what they do. They find joy in so many things, that we have forgotten all about.

So, to illustrate, there have been two such instances this week, that have inspired this ramble…

The first was last night at a gig. There was a little girl, 5 years old, there with her Father. She wore a band shirt in the smallest size, fitted like a dress, so proudly. She asked Dad what he was doing with his hands. As he explained, she held her arm out, palm upturned, and slowly but surely retracted one finger, then two, until she had formed a perfect tiny devils horn. Sure she had it right, it flung up and swayed with the music. At the beginning of every song, she signed with the crowd. I refrained from asking if I could take a photo, because let’s face it…that’s just a bit creepy. But the world really missed out on seeing this. She lasted the entire show, and then walked out telling Dad how fun it was. I know 30 year olds that probably couldn’t do that!

Today, the heavens opened with a vengeance. The lightning show was dazzling and the thunder actually frightening. Walking down a laneway, the woman next to me screamed so loud, that it actually made me jump.
But, bunny-hopping along the next street, giving not a single fuck in the world that it could be the storm to end us all…was a little girl. She wore teeny little leopard print gumboots, and her eyes scanned the walk ahead of her for the biggest and best puddles to play in. She would ready like a pouncing cat, and jump with a splash. Satisfied with her effort, onto the next reservoir she moved. Her eyes held nothing but concentration and fulfilment.

As I wandered home, I wondered when exactly it is, that we lose our wonder with puddles, and nature, getting caught in the rain, the beauty of a storm, and all the other simple things in the world? It seems that life and love are simple, but people make it complicated.
I stopped to pet the resident street cat, and from there I figured…when in Rome.

Let’s just say there were plenty of puddles along the rest of the way home 😉
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Cheers Kids-enjoy the little things-again.
V

Deep down and hurty

In the past two weeks, I have been told that I am broken in 3 different contexts, none particularly nasty, yet quite resounding. This pertains to the physical.  My poor shell has been a little worse for wear lately, which unfortunately has affected the inner workings also. Some stuff happened, which left me somewhat bent out of shape like a crunchy pretzel, and I currently have Vertigo. I have had it once before, and it really messes with me. It encapsulates about 3 of my fears into one awful affliction. Perhaps self inflicted, perhaps not, yet it still leaves me in a state of constant fear and disorientation.

Today, only after discovering acute pain points in my back yesterday, I thought I’d finally try and get something done about it. I booked a massage. What could be the worst outcome…I said to myself. If it didn’t work, at least I would have had a nice massage right? Oh. My. Fucking. Holy. Mother. Of. GOD!

To begin with, being mostly naked has a distinct way of making you feel quite vulnerable, especially in front of a complete stranger, who is about to become intimately acquainted with your skin. This fragile looking young woman slips into the dimly lit room and puts on some soft music. Towels are draped carefully to cover all exposed skin initially. Shuffling…then silence, broken only by the lilting of pan flutes. Pan flutes! They create an air of tranquility right? It was a LIE!

Now, I don’t know exactly how she got there, but the next thing I feel…she is kneeling on my back with her elbows firmly embedded in the soles of my feet. She proceeds to (what I can only assume, as I was too scared to look) tear clumps of muscle from my calves and reattach it. She spins around and works her way up my back on her hands and knees, quietly adding “Let me know if too hard?” At this point, if I had any breath left in my body, I’m not sure what I could have said.

Her deceivingly strong, devil fingers applied oil and heat balm (in all likelihood in case I died) then pierced my upper back, and wrapped around under my shoulder blades, to lift them from under the skin, and twist them to the correct angle. As she bunched the muscles in my arms, fists were involuntarily clenched and released, and I think there’s a possibility my shoulder muscles are now contained safely under the flesh of my palms. She lifted my skull and tucked my spinal chord back under there, possibly reattaching it to whatever had become disconnected. And at the end, I’m pretty sure she twisted my neck to breaking point. Hot towel, little pat on the back, and “You can sit up now”. Umm…nope.

After a few minutes, I feebly redressed, and made my way out feeling numb and unable to face daylight. I’m fairly confident that there is a strong impression of my breasts, hips, and some internal organs left on that bench. When the feeling fully returns to my body, I’m hoping that it worked, or at least helped some.

Always read the fine print. Ow.
Cheers Kids.

 

Just play

Tonight, as the pungent aroma of sex lingered in the cool air (more specifically Dr Marten black shoe polish and the scent of fidgety hands from a leather steering wheel) someone reiterated the fact to me that I was not ‘girly’. Nodding, I gave my kick-arse boots a last flick with the soft flannel cloth, and smiled at the shine they had freshly acquired. They’re right, I’ve never been good at the super-femme thing. The surprise that I now have my nails ‘done’ reflects on faces (I only do it so they get stronger and I can change colours). Wearing a dress never fails to inspire comment, and heels even further. It’s not that I don’t like feminine things..I just don’t think it’s really important, and I would rather be real or interesting, than pretty.

Everyone is born with natural talents, and it just takes a while for them to discover what they are. I guess some never really do, but most would, simply because these things just come naturally to them. The below quote from one of my favourite flicks, illustrates it perfectly…
Skylar: I don’t understand how your mind works.
Will: Do you play the piano?
Skylar: I wanna talk about this.
Will: No, I’m tryin’ to explain it to you. Do you play the piano?
Skylar: Yeah, a bit.
Will: Okay, when you look at a piano you see Mozart, right?
Skylar: I see “Chopsticks.”
Will: Beethoven, okay. He looked at a piano, and it just made sense to him. He could just play.
Skylar: So what are you saying? You play the piano?
Will: No, not a lick. I mean, I look at a piano, I see a bunch of keys, three pedals, and a box of wood. But Beethoven, Mozart, they saw it, they could just play. I couldn’t paint you a picture, I probably can’t hit the ball out of Fenway, and I can’t play the piano.
Skylar: But you can do my o-chem paper in under an hour.
Will: Right. Well, I mean when it came to stuff like that… I could always just play.
PeopleDoBestNaturally_124721There are certain things that I could always…’just play’. English, writing, reading, composing words, is the first. I’m not perfect at it. Hell I’m not even great…but I love to do it, all of it. At school and university, it took absolutely no effort whatsoever to breeze top grades at it, and endear myself to its teachers. If a passion can be loosely defined as some thing you love, and love to do, then these would be in the realms of one of mine.

Art is another. I excel at this even less than words…but I love it also, for many reasons. I find it quite difficult to maintain my confidence in myself with my artwork, as it is so easy to be misled or distracted by the work of others in comparison. It has taken me a very long time to stop comparing and let others simply inspire, motivate and challenge me.
21291718_10213047451634681_1007559060_nBut art gives me something that I cannot function well without-time. In the space when I create, everything else blurs and dissolves away. My brain switches all the other tabs to ‘sleep’ and focuses on the details, the curves, the ink, the lines. Invaluable time.

The third thing I have always wanted to ‘just play’ is literal-the guitar. From the first time I picked one up, I was intrigued with what type of sound I would ever be able to extract from it. They feel comfortable and nestle against your body like they were made to love you back. To be held and wrapped around and become a part of you.
For the first 37 years of my life, nobody ever took the time to show me, teach me, allow me to learn (except briefly my 5th grade teacher Mr Gonzales). Finally I found someone I could learn from, who inspired me, who actually wanted to teach me, and had the patience to… so I grasped at the basics. At this point, I should probably add, that guitar sadly is not one of the things I can ‘just play’. But determination and desire is going to win here, and I am slowly learning little by little.
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The last few weeks have been ridiculously busy, early mornings, late nights and little free time. So today, with a day off…I went and got my girly claws cut back to ground zero (only on one hand-haha) and booked in some proper lessons. I can’t wait. I’m sure they can’t either…I already explained that I’m neurotic, nervous and basic, so they have been forewarned. But I will do this. If I can, or I can’t…I will give it the shot it deserves, because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. If nothing else is reason enough, that is.

What is your thing? What can you just ‘do’ with your eyes shut? What do you gravitate to naturally?…it could be your calling. It could give you the direction you need, or the peace that you crave.
Food for thought Kids.
V