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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Love starts here.

Well I've sat down to write, all set up here, outside, with my green smoothie and Tim's laptop. But the battery is about to die and there's no power access out here, so... I suppose it's not the time?



Is there any way that I can write something short, concise and straight to the point?

Probably not, considering I don't know the point. Every now and then I get the itch to write. In my notebook, or this laptop. Sometimes the stuff is pretty ace, the perfect way to start my day, totally inspiring. Other times, like now, I meander a little aimlessly, still needing to scratch the itch, but not totally aware why.



Sip of green smoothie.



I think my self esteem took more of a battering last year than I even realised at the time. Outwardly, I was the bustling young woman, starting up a new job, planning a wedding, running from wedding venues to hair trials to house inspections. But the chaos was drowning me. My skin was horrible, I was underweight, constantly seeking something to make me feel healthier, more glowing, more alive. My thoughts were a constant stream of 'you're running out of time' for everything. No time to get a dress. No time to book a venue. No time to heal from surgery. No time to clear up that god damn skin. Running from A to B, back to A. And what's going on with C?


So I was mid sentence and the laptop (albeit predictably) died. But anyway. The point - am I still trying to be concise? - is this: I wasn't acting from a place of self love. I was still doing yoga, meditating intermittently, eating well. But the spaces around those actions were contradictions. They were hate-filled. I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, worthwhile enough. The cracks were showing. I wasn't sleeping properly, my day time energy fuelled by anxiety alone.


I really really want to heal this. I am no longer in my early twenties, convinced that Total Transformation is there to meet me at the next blog, live event, self-help book. I know that total transformation is a myth, a mirage. Life will be up and down. But the consistency I'm searching for is me - loving me. For who I am. Spots, scars, wrinkles, cellulite, frizzy hair and splotchy skin. All of it. The internal, the external. The quirks. The bursts of energy. The nights 'wasted' on the couch. The deep, inspired conversations. The confident days. The insecure days. All of it.


I want to give myself a hug and tell myself that I'm doing so well. That my morals and interests are expanding. My eyes are opening. I'm learning to be more kind and patient every day. I'm forgiving myself for binge eating rubbish, for binge watching Youtube, for drinking a little wine for a few nights each week. I need to let go of these 'good' and 'bad' labels that I've placed on everything. Some things even have both labels - the turmoil of a constant researcher.


Love starts here.
Stop your head, drop into your heart.


Love. Starts. Here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 stuff

For the past few years I've taken the end of the year/start of a new year as a time of reflection. Earth shattering, right?


I was always interested and more inclined towards a life filled with growth and personal development. I picked this tendency up a notch in 2012, in the early days of grief following Bryan's death. It started out very black and white and at times, contradictory. I'd spend my days juicing and meditating. I'd spend my weekends drinking too much vodka or sav blanc, polishing it all off with a dirty cheeseburger on the journey home.
2013 is when I really let go of what wasn't serving me. I travelled Thailand with Tim, for just a fortnight, and I still look at that time as one of the most refreshing and pivotal times in my life. I stepped away from the party girl lifestyle (with immeasurable help from Tara Bliss and Gabby Bernstein.) My weekends started being more about fresh air, self help seminars, farmers markets. I collected crystals and amped up the visions boards. I stepped away from people who weren't serving me. I changed jobs. I felt, well... legit.
And in a way, that's kind of where I'd been since this, until 2015-2016. I think it was a gradual process, where my anxieties and insecurities started slipping back into my habits, my thought patterns.
We travelled UK and Europe for 7 weeks in 2015. It truly was the most beautiful holiday, but I don't think I really allowed myself to relax. I planned the holiday pretty solidly, and for the 'free' days, I was grabbing Tim's iPhone, searching for the best café/sight seeing destination nearby.
This might be pretty standard, but for me, it wasn't ideal. I purposely never bring my phone on overseas holidays. I like to test myself in loosening my grip of life, and plans, and just going with the flow. But I hardly did.
Like I said, the holiday was incredible, and while I came back refreshed for a few days, it really didn't take long for the discontent and worry to creep back in.
And then I had a wedding to plan.
I didn't realise it at the time, but the 12-14 months of planning the wedding did not do me any good. Hitting the pillow at night, I was bombarded with the To Do Lists, the Burden of Expectations, all the when/what/how/what if's a mind could muster. I found myself wired, the darkened room with the glow of the iPhone replacing night time cuddles, sex, peace. I got stricter with my diet. I took so many ridiculously expensive supplements. I did the yoga thing (admittedly, on and off) and the gym thing (at least until I realised that gyms steal my soul). Even meditation became a 'to do list' thing, not so calming when approached so mechanically. All these things became an act of doing, not being. And I kept at it.


Like I said in my last post, by the time the wedding rolled around I had cut out dairy, gluten, sugar and most animals products out of my diet. I had contradictedly added a whole lot of toxins back into my life - the contraceptive pill (after being diagnosed with endometriosis in April), makeup and skin care, and, have I mentioned the stress??


The day after the wedding, I ate a Ferrero Rocher that the accommodation had placed on my pillow the night before. I felt like a rebel. I also had a cup of tea with cows milk, and a big hunk of real bread with avocado for my breaky.
This has escalated. Following the wedding, the stress remained, as we moved houses just weeks after. Since the move, just over a month ago, I feel like I've lost myself a little. The junk I've been eating is horrifying. I've been drinking alcohol and had a little cringe worthy drunken night out at a friend's birthday a couple of weeks ago. I feel lost and constantly nauseated and SO tired. Now that we're settled into our house, I'm faced with the perfect opportunity to begin again. To find 'balance'.


I felt so tense having to have to much control of my life over the last year or so. The journey into self development started lovingly. I was curious, I was open. Then it became rigid, more from a place of fear than anything else. I started living in my head again, my heart no longer knowing what to trust. I'd research veganism, environmentalism and minimalism incessantly, thinking THATS who I have to be to take it 'next level', to truly be spirited, wise, loving. And it started weighing me down. It started feeling so incredibly heavy and exhausting.
Having a drunken night out didn't serve me. I can admit that. But it's also hard to ignore the fact that Tim has said that he felt like he's got me 'back' since the wedding is over. He's appreciated me loosening the reigns, at least for a little while, until now that I've started stressing over the home and anything else I can get my anxiety-craving mitts on. Why am I so addicted to stress?


So am I the hippy girl? Or do I just like the idea of it all? Or am I the 'laid back' girl, who isn't that at all, but at least enjoys the world seeing her in that way? Either way, I can't continue with this destructive pattern that I've found myself in again. I've felt so nauseated and insecure and the fatigue is keeping me rooted in place.


So I haven't really made any resolutions, except maybe to stop eating salt and vinegar chips on the regular. I feel like I'm having a bit of an identity crisis, maybe it can be normal for a newly wed, to feel a little lost? Particularly after dedicating the last year to wedding and house plans.. now what? How do I want to approach this year?
I know I want to approach it with health and vitality, but I don't want to be stressed about health and vitality. I do recognise that I don't do 'balance' too well though - not someone that can simply stop at a chocolate or two. Gimme the whole fucking box.


Tim's away at the moment, for a few days. I'll be spending 3 nights without him, for the first time in a very long time. He's camping with his friend. My initial response was needy/crazy wife. I really had to snap myself out of it. When did I start losing my independence? I'm trying to pinpoint it, I'm not so sure. Maybe sometime in 2015? I do think, in hindsight, that's when I started becoming too neurotic. I think that deep down, I am more independent than I give myself credit for. I don't need to hide behind my husband. I have my own friends, my own creative pursuits, my own passions. Tim is so wonderful and vibrant and fun, but we are also very different. I've noticed lately that I've kind of stopped some of my free-thinking ways, and have given in to many of the 'husband/wife' stereotypes. But I can go for a walk by myself after dinner. I can wake up early, and go to the market, and go to yoga, and pursue my interests independently. And I can also take the bins out or move furniture or work things out independently. I need to nip this in the bud before it stops being cute, and starts becoming an issue. I can own my femininity, my strength, my sexuality - independently.
I think I'm always going to be quirky, a little up and down throughout the month, a bit of a seeker. I think I'll always be someone that grows. I give myself permission to change my mind, to try something new, to let go of any family dynamics that have become ingrained within me. I give myself permission to start fresh, as a newly married woman but simultaneously a newly independent woman.
This is why I'm writing. I knew that I needed to get something out, to put something out to the Universe for this year. I've done plenty of reflecting, constantly, throughout 2016. But that was all on the external stuff - achievements, really. The surgery, the wedding, the house. But what about me? What has been truly going on behind the scenes during this time?
I still feel like I'm a bit of a hippy, in my own way. I care a lot less about crystals, but I still appreciate all the personal development books that line the bookshelf. I appreciate all the cookbooks, too. I think falling off the wagon and eating terribly has been a true lesson for me as I've come to realise that I feel awful. My productivity declines. I'm in a fog. I've hardly pooed properly for weeks. (Soz).
So here we go, my word for 2017:
Independence.


Some other words that are appealing to me right now: Wellness. Ease. Joy. Humour. Nurture. Comfort. Slow. Tenderness. Confidence. Curiosity. Authenticity. Presence.


I'm letting go of looking for something to stress about. I'm allowing ease and softness into my life, into our home. How beautiful would it be for Tim if he came home on Thursday to a home that was clean, warm, peaceful? To a wife that greeted him with a giant smile, a kiss, and asked him if he had The Best Time Ever?


Here's to a year of strength, to the core. Of freedom from the self inflicted shackles.
Less social media, more love.
Less indoors, more outdoors.
Less whinging, more laughing.
Less worrying, more living.


x

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I got married.

2016. Whatta year.






On the 5th of November, I got married. I really wanted to blog about it so I can properly account for the day - the emotions, the suspense, the excitement. I'm going to give it a good ol' crack now - 6 weeks later - because it really was an utterly special day for me. But I also want to say this here: It's not that much of a big deal. Please understand the distinction - for me, marriage itself and the lifelong commitment it entails is a big deal, and the decision to marry shouldn't be taken lightly. But the whole 'wedding' thing? Overrated.
I don't feel like a new woman. I don't feel extra special or superior to other unmarried couples. I quite like referring to Tim as 'my husband', because its a cute new name to call him and I do feel some small level of validation of our relationship for that. But I'm not thrilled about being married. I haven't practiced my new signature. I haven't been flashing my new surname around at all either. I feel, well, basically the same. Still completely happy, still completely in love, but also... the same.


I worry that women (young and older) place married life as the pinnacle of Life Goals. As much as we don't want to admit it, many of us are still idolising that ring, that dress, that magical day in our lives where we get to be treated like a princess. And like I said, it was an incredible day. Dare I say (gasp), one of the best days of my life. But it wasn't, and nor should it be treated as, the upmost achievement. We had a fun love party to celebrate our relationship. Why do so many of us get so crazy about it all?


Speaking of crazy.
Rewind to Friday the 4th of November, the night before the wedding, I was on the phone to Tim in a puddle of tears and panic. My skin was horrible. I wasn't going to be the radiant, glowing bride after all.
To many people who have never experienced acne, this could maybe seem like a total Diva moment. But I've had acne all through my adult life so far - from my late teens, until now at 28 years old. Until now, on my wedding day.
By the time the wedding rolled around, I had cut out gluten, dairy, sugar and a large amount of animal products from my diet. I was meditating and yoga-ing on the daily. I had spent hundreds, if not thousands, on facials and retinols and whatever other products I set my eyes on. I had spent so many years stressing about it all, but the last year was the worst. The year of being engaged - the wedding looming, the likelihood of being a pimply bride became much more of a reality.
And boy, was I a pimply bride. Probably the worst skin I'd had all year in fact. On my cheeks, my jawline - big, raised, painful cysts. I had lost the battle.
It kind of still breaks my heart thinking about it, because I definitely gave it a good go. But when my hormones, and course - stress, were running the show, I wasn't in for a chance.
I remember waking up on the morning of my wedding day, at 4:30am. I googled 'acne on my wedding day' and cried while reading stories of the brides who felt the same.
I cried while I did my morning yoga.
I felt low and flat and ugly. I was horrified that the day had arrived so quickly, and that I had to spend it in front of everyone, the centre of attention, when I felt like absolute crap.


It was a late ceremony, starting at 5pm, so waking up at 4:30am wasn't ideal. But, everyone was right - the day does bloody fly. After my morning meditation and yoga, I squeezed into bed with Mum and Dad, something I haven't done for about 18 years probably! I felt a little withdrawn and quiet, but they were there for me, and got me out of my head for a little bit. Before I knew it, Mel, Justyne and Julian had arrived. I dished out their gifts (satin dressing gowns, personalised candles, jewellery/cufflinks and a few other things) and then it was all about the hair and makeup. Luckily I had made up some healthy treats for us to snack on through the day. I was downing the peppermint and chamomile teas, feeling calmer and social, and happy to finally allow myself to let go and release the pain of the last night and morning.


I started to get a little stressed around 3ish - the photographers had arrived and hair was running a little over schedule, so it was a bit scary running behind, particularly when we had all day to be ready! But we got there. I had my quick snappy moment with Justyne ("Justyne! Stop drinking champagne and feed me!") but otherwise was fine. Propanolol, you are my hero.
In saying that, the drive there (in the last minute booked black Chrysler sedan) was a little slice of hell - that awful time before an event where you just want to get in there, because the suspense is the most painful part of all!


Pulling into Trofeo Estate, the building was as stunning as ever, contrasted against the snowy grey sky. I was disappointed to see the chairs weren't set up in the back - and had to quickly come to terms with having a indoor ceremony, our Plan B.
The weather was not bad - fresh and windy, but no rain. I am so glad that Tim chose to have the ceremony inside though - with nothing breaking the icy wind over the vineyards, it would have been a shivery and distracting ceremony.
And, inside was perfection. Our nearest and dearests huddled inside, the aisle carved out between the rows of black wooden chairs dotted with bouquets of rustic foliage. The high roof and exposed brick felt solid and nostalgic, a little taste of Nabilla on my wedding day. It was warm and cosy, with huge windows showing off the surrounding sky, land and vineyards.


The ceremony was exactly what we wanted. Relaxed, personal, interactive. Jacinta, Susan and Claire nailed their readings perfectly. Our celebrant, Felicity, constructed the entire ceremony just right - light hearted and meaningful with just the right amount of solemness required to serve as a reminder of the significance and importance of the day.
My parents - strong Catholics and not huge supporters of church-free weddings, adored her. Friends and family that probably just wanted to skip ahead to the food and drinks, adored her.
Then we kissed, signed some paper, and were married. You know the drill.


Photos were fun, and our photographers were so great at capturing candid, relaxed images. It didn't feel like a chore and we still fit all the desired shots in within our free time. We also snuck out a little bit later and grabbed some sunset shots too.


The reception was a hoot. Everyone was in a fantastic mood and were so keen to get up and have a good old dance. Even Jacinta, at 37 weeks pregnant, was up there doing the (longest ever) conga line with me. The band, despite our last minute doubts, we fantastic. A perfect mix of songs for the young and old. The speeches were perfect, of course Dad nailed his. Justyne opened up about me starting the process of egg donation, right before she fell pregnant with Maggie. That was a surprise - almost everyone there that night didn't know that about me, so that was so special for her to share that with everyone. The Best Men, Luke and Andy, did a fun combined speech, and Maureen (with Doug's antics on the side) was beautiful too.


We had so many compliments on the food, drink and service. Everyone seemed so happy with the venue, the band, the night in general. We had our best ever Family Jig (in my opinion) and the bouquet and garter toss was a lot of fun - particularly when Julian caught the garter. Take that, marriage inequality thugs. Love conquers.


And then it was all over. We hugged goodbye to everyone - most of us, by now, a little sweaty and worse for wear. We ran through the human archway built of our love ones, and we were on our way. Married, exhausted, and cheek-achingly happy. What a day.


I wanted to type all of this out, as something to reflect on in the years to follow. I love Tim so much, and I have for almost 9 years now. He is genuinely my rock and a solid, kind soul.
I didn't talk much about Bryan on the wedding day. Four years on, I still think of him every day. I could feel him everywhere on the day - in the smiles of everyone there, the captured sunset, the love that lifted the room. I learned to feel beauty - not in a tangible, superficial way. I felt beauty in the kindness of the souls in that room, the genuine authentic moments of true love expressed not only between husband and wife, but between friends, brothers and sisters. Bryan is everywhere now. He's in Maggie's twinkling bright eyes, Taylor's sense of humour and Noah's determination.


I celebrated our wedding day as a day of gaining, not a reflection of loss. I'm so grateful to able to share a truly heartfelt day with everyone.
I think that's the best thing about this wedding stuff - we dedicate the time to truly express our love and gratitude to all the main players in our lives. It's a celebration of life, of love, of the present moment.
We don't need to spend thousands of dollars to do this.
We can choose to do it any time - so lets.


I got married, and it was fantastic. Simultaneously, it's not a big deal.
That's just my thoughts. x



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Word Vomit.

Word vomit, thought vomit - that's all I'm here to do right now.
I feel like I have so many thoughts that are building up inside of me. Worries, stress, anxiety. Gratitude, appreciation, love. Fear, depression, apprehension.


I haven't been writing like I used to. Which is a shame, because I still consider writing to be an outlet, occasionally a glimpse into my Creative Self. But I've been avoiding. Even the act of putting pen to paper seems exhausting to me. I've gotten lazy.


So without my outlet, I have Tim. I have my friends and family every now and then. But most of all? I have avoidance. Suppression. I've gotten pretty great at bottling things up, and then exploding every now and then.


I never really considered myself to be someone that gets in bad moods. I kind of thought I was 'above' moodiness; I regarded myself as someone too reflective, or can I say - (gulp) - evolved, to ever act so irrationally and impulsively.
But I kind of have been.


I think the wedding has been weighing on me more than I care to admit. Or should I call it The Wedding? THE Wedding? THE WEDDING!!!? The time of day depends on the amount of emphasis those two words have on my system. Usually the capital letters pay me a visit just as my head hits the pillow at night.


I get married in a week! This time next week I will be a bride, and a wife for the rest of time. I will be legally bound to someone else, emotionally, financially. I love Tim so much, and I consider the last 8.5 years of our relationship to be something that's already set in stone... So why the fear? Why am I not excited to publicly declare our love to our closest friends and family?


Maybe it's because I've always been rather easily influenced. I've never smoked, or taken drugs, and I think I've been able to stick to my morals for the vast majority of my time so far. But I also think I've grown up incredibly influenced by media - like almost all of us today. I saw the beautiful Disney princesses with their perfect, delicate faces and porcelain skin. The evil witch is usually old, pimply or warty. The magazines, Pinterest images, the flawless, boho instagram beauties.. The Perfect Bride is what we've grown to strive for - calm, radiant and beautiful. Deliriously in love and ready for The Best Day of Her Life.


Call me a Debbie Downer, but I'm not walking into next week expecting the 'best day of my life'. I'm hoping that it'll be up there, but I don't want it to be the be all or end all. Is this the pinnacle? Is it all mortgage debt, work and shitty little children from here on out?


In saying that, I'm a little heartbroken that I won't be fulfilling the calm, radiant and beautiful bride philosophy. Where's the part in the movies with the frizzy, flustered and pimply bride? The bride that's probably a little underweight, a bit of a hormonal train wreck, that kind of hates her dress and not so sure about any of this? The bride that has been dreading the 'walk down the aisle' since, well, forever? People smiling, taking photos, all making a judgement on my appearance, even if they don't consciously realise it...


So maybe this word vomit is a good thing. Maybe I'm purging out all these fears and anxieties, just so I can release them. I think it's truly time for me to quit the fucking drama, and start loving myself. Because I don't think I can be a loving, patient and fun wife if I allow myself to get caught up in the murkiness and superficiality of it all. At a time that allows so much gratitude, here I am letting fear run the show. Do I really care if I have a bad breakout on the wedding day? To be honest, yes. But will other people care nearly as much? No. Will Tim still love me? I know he will. Remember, he's the guy that see's me without makeup on and with pimple cream all over my face every night. And he still looks me in the eyes and calls me beautiful, no matter what.


The best thing I can do is love myself. I think that depicts true calm, radiance and beauty. That's where I find the ingredients I need to nail this Bride Thing.


And the best part? It's one day. It's one day that symbolises a new beginning of everything. I may not have been counting down day by day. I may not have excited butterflies in my stomach (yet), but I also know that I am itching to get to our next page. Our fresh start in our new home, when we grab the keys 3 weeks after the wedding day. I acknowledge how lucky I truly am, to have found someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. I acknowledge how lucky I truly am, for being in the position to be able to work and save money, that has allowed us to go on a 2 month holiday last year, and then save for a house deposit AND a wedding, all in such a short amount of time.


I am eternally grateful for my blessings. I'm choosing to let go of these negative thought patterns, a moment at a time, minute by minute.
I'm so glad I came here for a word vomit.


It'd been a while.
Thanks. x

Monday, February 8, 2016

I've been talking to myself.

Over the last couple of days, I've started talking to myself. Exclusively. On camera.

Yesterday, I did it just on a whim. I had woken up that morning anxious and furious. I'd started getting ready for work, and then I snapped.
I threw my washing basket across the room, screamed out 'FUCK THIS', and stormed downstairs.

This isn't a usual thing for me.
I've struggled with anxiety for years now. Through the peaks and troughs of life, it has fluctuated. Unfortunately, lately it has returned.
So I've been consuming. Constantly. I'll read my spiritual text. I'll watch far more Youtube videos than I care to admit. I'll occasionally do my yoga and meditation, but often both of these will be guided.
I've been running my life with external resources. I've been respecting the experiences/thoughts/beliefs of others far more than my own.

Which of course can get bloody confusing. As everyone is different, with different backgrounds and genetics and opinions that have been moulded by their unique life experiences. So not only was I consuming far too much information, it was conflicting information, which has left me more anxious and overwhelmed than ever.

So yesterday I snapped. The thing that was different about yesterday was the anger. I'm not usually the type to throw things. I felt like I could punch something. I had so much built up fury, and I felt like I was seeing red.
Needless to say, I didn't end up working yesterday, or even today. I hate that this can still impact my ability to go to work, particularly after over a year of it being fine.

So last night, I turned on my camera and filmed myself talking.
I spoke about my relationship with myself. I spoke about my relationship with food and spirituality. I spoke about my upcoming wedding day, and my dreams.
And it was bloody nice.

So I did it again today. I'm calling it the 30 days of Self Talk project, or something, it doesn't even matter - because I'm only doing it for myself. It's not something I'll be posting, for a variety of reasons, the main one being - I don't want any feedback. I'm not looking for opinions, or even words of encouragement. I want nothing external from this. I only want my own perspective.

I was watching back the video this morning, and I really enjoyed what I had to say. When I was just talking, not caring or thinking about how things came across, but just talking from my heart... It was real. It was authentic. I felt strangely connected to myself on a new level. Here I was, re-watching this video of some freakin awesome wise chick - and it was me.
No longer was I wasting time scrolling through YouTube, watching various 'inspirational' videos and comparing my real life to someone else's edited one.

I'm not sure if this is a strange concept, but I guess I don't care if it is anyway? It's not a technique or an idea that I've found through reading someone's blog, it's just an idea that I've had, and so far I'm enjoying it.
So if you're constantly looking externally in the attempts of personal development, then stop.
If it's become a means of distraction to stop you from actually doing the work, then stop.
Deep down, beneath all this information that we are consistently bombarded with, lies you, and only you have the answers for your self.

Maybe consider having a chat with yourself?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The cool change





*


It's summer time in Melbourne, and we don't have air conditioning at home. The days (and nights) are long, hot and relentless. I've started sleeping under a wet towel with the fan blasting. It's probably not the best for me, but it gets me through.



It just started to rain. Those two magical words - 'cool change' - that you never quite believe until it lands on your doorstep. I went outside and stood in the rain, blinking up at the sky. Thank you. Thank you.
While my dog Bella looked over with curiosity from her dry spot under the table, I smiled. Life. The struggle. The battle. The hope. The relief.
The rollercoaster.
The giving and receiving.
The inhale and exhale.


I tend to forget about the peaks and troughs of life until I find myself, once again, in that place of relief and gratitude. It's often only then that I allow myself to reflect and understand. The relearning of life and it's lessons.


*

Hormonally, I'm a little bit of a wreck. Oestrogen dominance, my (wonderful, patient and kind) holistic GP has said. As a result, I'm battling a whole host of challenges in my monthly cycle, primarily the suspected onset of endometriosis.
I've spent the last couple of (sweltering) days mainly on the couch, trying to put up with these often-crippling menstrual pains. I'm no purist. Ibuprofen is not getting the job done, and time is seemingly wasted.


But I'm writing this to reinforce the message of mother nature.
The hard times come and go. It can seem insufferable and unbearable.
Then the cool change arrives.


And we begin again.

Friday, October 30, 2015

I've learnt from the past. So I quit my job.

Wish that girl was me:
(image from pinterest)


Have you ever felt totally stuck at work? I mean, despite the fact that it makes you anxious as all hell, it brings out your inner Negative Nancy, your life feels foggy and unsatisfying... have you still remained there? Day in, day out, you return to that building because (for some insane reason) you think you're stuck?

I have. Two and a half years ago, I was frozen in fear. I was battling ongoing anxiety with weekly acute, painful, rock-bottom panic attacks. I cannot tell you the number of times I sat in my car before work, with that feeling in my gut, the fear paralysing me. The tears running down my cheeks, the late 'I'm sorry I can't come in, I'm sick' calls, the daydreams about crashing my car so I wouldn't have to work (!) ... I experienced it all.
And then, one day, I did it. I quit. I had two jobs at the time, and I resigned from one of them in a heartbeat. I was done. My family and my partner were done with seeing me suffer, too.
Once I picked up my new job (quicker than I expected), I resigned from my second job.

And I felt free.

*

Working as a Practice Nurse at a GP clinic has been fabulous. Truly. I can honestly, hand-on-heart promise you that I've never loved a job like I have this one. I've met some authentic, beautiful souls, and formed amazing friendships and bonds. This sense of community was (and in some ways, still is) new to me. I've always felt like an outsider, and for the first time at a workplace, I felt at home.

The patients have been wonderful. It's given me true faith in aging (we have 102 year olds still kicking it, 90-somethings sky diving, etc!) as well as a increased respect in humanity as a whole. I've learnt that most people are bloody great. Honestly. Most people are kind, patient, understanding souls. Most people are happy to have a laugh. They'll hold your hand when they feel scared. They'll give in to the chatter while you're giving them an injection, even though they know that you're just trying to distract them from the moment (and it usually works anyway).

It can be scary to switch on the news at night, and to see a seemingly increasing number of horror stories. Murders, violence, drug epidemics. It can be overwhelming and disheartening.
Working with the community has given me faith. Most of us have our heads screwed on. Most of us have our hearts in the right place. And we're forgiving, too. We need to be.

*

Looking back, I probably started to drag my feet about 6 months ago. I was losing a bit of my passion and spark. I didn't realise it at the time.
It's been a bit of a turbulent year at work, with a high staff turnover, leaving only myself and one other staff member remaining. 12 resignations (and 12 friends) have walked out that door. I'll be honest, it hasn't felt the same.

It's not only that. I've only just woken up to the importance of stimulation. Variety. Growth.

I've started feeling like I could do my work with my eyes closed. Which, initially, is quite a nice feeling. But we need to keep evolving. We need to grow, to keep our light shining bright.
I woke up to that gradually over the last few months, but I only truly connected to my feelings about that in the last couple of weeks. I realised I wanted to feel excited about nursing again. I needed to get out that defib and reboot my career.

*

About 3 weeks ago, I heard about a job that had popped up at a local skin cancer centre. I'd always been interested in that industry, specifically that particular business.
I told myself 'no.' I told myself that my boss would kill me. I told myself all these excuses about money, and life, and change, and convinced myself that now just wasn't the time.

I was in the work bathroom on the day of hearing about this new job. For some reason, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I closed my eyes begged the Universe for a sign. An obvious sign.

The next morning my first patient started talking about that very same skin clinic. A sign? Probably. Did I listen? Nope.
I've lost count of the continuous signs that I received over that week. Patients raving about the skin clinic, GP's at work mentioning it, people on the street behind me talking about it, old work friends texting me about it.
I ignored it all. I'd let my mind make the decision because it felt practical.

I thought I'd missed my chance, anyway.
Until last week, when I noticed the company mention the available position on their Facebook page. And just like that, I finally woke up. My mind was made.

I sent in my resume, had my interview (and sat back in my car at 11:11am after it) and got the job all within a week.
Yesterday, I resigned from my job.

It might be terrible timing. I have a million things on my plate. It potentially 'won't work out'. My boss probably doesn't like me very much any more.

But you know what? I did this for me. This is one of the most important acts of self-love that I've ever done. I learnt from my past. I recognised the signs. I noticed that I was, again, frozen in fear. Under different circumstances, but with the same basic story. I was letting fear guide my life again.

*

Two and a half years ago, I made a promise to myself to not get stuck any more. To loosen the reigns, to let go of the rules, and relax a little.
I start my new job in two weeks. I'm already out of my comfort zone, leaving work, having to have difficult discussions with people along the way. But I'm so excited to learn something new. I'm so excited to grow and expand and follow what feels good - even when I don't know where it'll lead.

Let's give ourselves permission to keep on living.
Let's remove these invisible cages that keep us locked in.
Let's remember how it feels to thrive, to get uncomfy, to push the boundaries.

I feel so ready to shake things up around here.