Sunday, December 18, 2011
It's funny because I didn't really realise that it is happening, it's not like the year you graduate school or the year you turn 21, it was more subtle, unmarked with celebration or ritual, but just as dramatic when you look back.
In some ways this time of year will always be the same. This time last year I was spending time with family, putting up the tree, going to see Christmas lights, buying present for my friends and a boy, working hard in retail and relaxing before the start up of uni again. In these ways my life is pretty much exactly the same, but all the details are different.
I am no longer speaking to, let alone buying presents for, the people that I was last year.
The friends I had then who I would have very easily put money on being in my life forever no longer want anything to do with me, after many tears and failed attempts to bridge a gap I have let them go, realising that some things you just can't fix. I still don't know what really happened or why I was exiled from their friendship but I wish them all the best a pray that life is kind to them. As hard as the loss was I have looked around and not only found out that I had so many friends around me already who I had neglected but also I made room for new friends, new experiences, letting people in that I wouldn't have in the little bubble I had created for myself. I have re-evoked friendships that I had let slip by the way side and I have made some of the best friends in the past year. A year ago I would have told you I would not be able to go on without the friends I had but after mourning the loss and picking myself back up I have realised that not only can I go on but I think I am happier, more myself and more free of judgment then I have felt in a long time.
The boy that I was buying presents for is no longer in my life, which is something I never thought I would have had the guts to do, replaced... no upgraded by a boy who makes me feel like the only girl in the room. He puts up with my tantrums, dries my tears when crying over friends, tells me I'm beautiful first thing in the morning and goes to battle to defend me and try to fix things for me. I have stopped making plans for me and started making plans for us, the idea of forever with just one person doesn't scare me anymore and in so many more ways than he knows he has loved me back to emotional health from the wreck I was after my last relationship. He is nothing like I thought I would ever go for and yet he is everything that I needed. If you had of told me this time last year that I would meet a boy who would teach me to trust again, remind me that I am beautiful and call me on my shit whilst still having the most amazing blue eyes I have ever seen I would have laughed at you, but somehow it has happened and I don't take a minute of it for granted.
I still work in retail but I now work in a job that I love with people that I adore and a discount on shoes that has created somewhat of a monster. I realise how many people hate their job and so I count myself lucky that I don't dread my long hours of getting paid to hang out with some of my best friends and try on pretty things. Likewise I am still waiting for uni to start but a different major in something I never thought I would be smart enough to get into, psychology, whilst still keeping my passion as a second major in english and creative writing. I am so excited at the prospect of spending my life helping people make their lives better and coming along side people who may have been on a similar journey to me.
Finally in November of this year I did something I have wanted to do for so many years; I visited an orphanage in a third world country, I met some of the most inspirational people. The workers who give their lives to look after these children and the children who have nothing and yet dream of doing great things with their lives. It humbled me and gave back bone to the shit I used to talk about helping people, when I myself had done nothing. It started a love affair to go to more places, see more things and keep injustice firmly in my sight so I can never become complacent about poverty or peoples needs in general.
I guess the reason I share this is to say that no matter where you find yourself this Christmas, no matter how you feel or how hopeless your situation may seem, sometimes all you have to do is hold on, wait out the storm and see whats waiting on the other side. The light you struggle to see at the end of the tunnel may be more than daylight, it may be the answer to your questions, the first steps of your dreams and the warmth of the love you have been waiting for. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes you have to hit the bottom and lose everything you held onto before you can be free to appreciate how great life can be.
All in all I am the happiest I can remember being, where I was lost and without direction last year, 12 months has brought me so much clarity and new opportunities. I have amazing friends who make me laugh until I can't breath, an amazing boyfriend who buys me teapots, an amazing job and an exciting new course I'm about to start.
I am so excited to see what 2012 has to bring, I don't know if it can top 2011 but maybe a trip to Europe can help... (talkin' to you Spyra)
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Live the life you were born to live, the life your 10 year old self dreamed of for their future.
Stop complicating it. Get over yourself, you can't take your title with you.
Let go of the things holding you back, say goodbye to those that abuse you and embrace those that life has abused.
Share meals with the ones you love and order more than a salad.
Leave the house, heck leave the country, the magic exists just outside your comfort zone.
Read often, never stop learning, ideas are precious and you are nowhere near as smart as you think you are.
Love people, you may get hurt half of the time but you will get hurt every time if you never let yourself love anyone and when someone does hurt you: Forgive, you don't know their story so who are you to judge.
Stand up for what you believe in. Speak when you want to be silent, dance when you want to sit it out. Take time for people when you're busy with stuff.
Live from your deepest passion, even when people say you can't do it. No, especially when people say you can't do it.
Stop asking if people are making you happy and start asking how you can make people happy and if you aren't happy with something, change it.
Life was meant to be lived, not just survived because none of us are getting out alive.
Monday, October 24, 2011
You can see it in her eyes,
the tension, the mystery, the truth.
With an army of letters called to attention on the page before her,
it suddenly seems all too possible,
that if the right words could find their way into the right minds,
then just maybe mere ink could change the world.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I wrote this sentence in my diary 2 years ago. This sentence sums up the past 3.5 years of my life. For almost 3 years I put up with a boy who would call me names, leave me on highways, throw forks at me, threaten to kill himself when he needed me and ignore me when I needed him.
After finally getting out I promised myself I would never let it happen again. I promised myself I would be strong and walk away at the first signs of a man treating me badly. I promised myself that I would live as an example to girls younger than me and girls I long to see set free. I promised myself I would never again fear being alone.
I wish I was stronger. I wish I knew how to require more.
27 million people on planet earth are in slavery TODAY; Being used for cheap manual labour, factory work and sex. Girls as young as 3 are being sold into the sex trade by mothers who can't afford to feed their families.
25 thousand people die from hunger EVERY DAY; think how long you would have to go without food to actually die from it, now think about the last time you threw food in the bin because you were "full" or it was "gross."
2 in 3 people don't have access to clean drinking water; That's the free stuff that comes from our taps, all treated and ready to drink, you know the stuff we stand mindlessly bathing in for an hour in the morning because it's waking us up?
11 million children do not live to see their fifth birthday because of completely PREVENTABLE diseases; The kind of diseases you and I have all suffered from and survived with little more than a course of antibiotics.
While I sit at home stressing about how a boy is or isn't treating me or worried about weather he will or wont call, or willing to drop everything to spend Friday night with him, I am completely ignoring the deepest call of my heart, the call to help people.
I know I need to be strong, if not for me then for all the people I can't effect while I am continuously wondering if I'm enough.
My prayer tonight is that I don't fear the unknown, but step into it.. even if that means I have to be alone.
Note: I write this not in some narcissistic attempt to rise above, I write this in hope that someone else who is looking for the strength to be strong may see this and feel like maybe they do have what it takes to stand up and say enough is enough.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
People are not characters, They are not one or even two dimensional. They are real and fractured and amazing and terrible and honest and untruthful and beautiful and ugly and capable of hurting, healing, helping and haunting. People are, ultimately, undefinable.
It scares me how quickly things can change, it scares me how people can be the very essence of your every day life and then, in a matter of months, weeks, days, hours or minutes, can be completely gone, leaving nothing but jilted memories and happy snap shots in their wake.
The truth is that there are no black hats or white hats, no good guys or bad guys, just 6 billion people trying to get by with as little pain as possible. Along the way we bump, or crash into each other and all of us leave casualties. The truth is that none of us are completely guilty or completely innocent and the even bigger truth is that you, and I, will be okay.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A big question of mine revolved around the issue of trust. You see the world is this big scary place with no guarantees to it, at any moment you could get hit by lightning or struck down with Cancer or wonder to far away and get lost in the bush. Each day we go out into this big scary world with nothing to hold onto but trust. Trust that people will do the right thing by you. Trust that they will do what they say they will or not do what they say they wont. All we have is trust.
What happens when that trust is broken?
When somebody promises you something and doesn't deliver or promises they will never do something and then does it?
What if someone tells you they love you and want to marry you and then they walk away without even a goodbye or a reason.
What happens to trust then?
Suddenly the world seems a whole lot more scary than it did in that car on Monday.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
A week ago I met a man on the train, he smelt of alcohol and marijuana and I really didn't want him to sit next to me, he did. He asked me how far it was until his stop, I told him and looked the other way (We like to do that don't we) As each stop passed he would ask again and again when his stop was, finally he told me that his mother had died a few days earlier, I felt like such a terrible person.
"I got a new suit for the funeral" he said with his head bowed, "I look rather handsome in it" he added with the hint of a smile.
He got off at his stop and told me to have a good day.
That man has a story.
Across the road from my work a girl sits everyday with a sign asking for people to spare a coin, her head is always facing down as her eyes scan the ground, she is one of the sadest looking people I have ever seen. I always try to give her something, even if people tell me she will only spend it on drugs.
That girl has a story.
Tonight marked the end of the world vision 40 hour famine, a man spoke about some of the atrocities happening all around the world, from famine to human trafficking and the small things we can do to help.
Every one of those people has a story.
But is anyone listening?
It makes me sad that I live in a world surrounded by peers who can talk for hours about TV shows, music and clothes but the moment you bring up poverty, slavery, homelessness, depression, or the thoughts you have about helping, everyone shifts on their chairs and smiles at you with a wisp of pity that you should be so naive as to think you could ever help. My generation walks around, far too aloof and cool to say what matters.
I don't know if I am alone, if I am the only 22 year old that lays awake at night stressing that I'm going to live and die and the world will be no different from my time here. It has occured to me that I live in a society that tells you to
"look out for number one"
"put yourself first"
"make as much money as you can"
"cut down tall poppies"
"protect yourself at all costs"
"Survival of the fittest"
It breaks my heart to watch people compete with each other instead of truely wanting the best for the people around them, is the only way to get ahead to just stop caring about others? I have never gotten my head around this.
Call me naive, but I would be happy on minimum wage (which would still be so much more than most people in the world) if I knew I could wake up everyday and help people.
I'm sorry but I just don't care about having a fancy house or a new car or a 6 figure salary. I try to care, because I know that's what we're supposed to do but the truth is I JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!
There are all these beautifully broken people in the world with these amazing stories that nobody gets to hear because we have labeled them "drunks" or "homeless" or "dirty" or "third world" it makes me wonder if people really don't care or if we are all just too scared to talk about whats really on our hearts because we feel as though our ideals will fall on deaf ears.
The truth is that I am the problem. I am the problem because I spent $190 on a cardigan that doesn't even keep me warm, when that same money, in the right hands, could give a family in Africa the means to make an income to support them for life, or give a single mother in a homeswest house her rent for the week, or buy the soup and bread for a soup kitchen to feed a few hundred people.
There is 6 billion people on the planet and I can only manage to conjure up enough thought for one...
I don't care what anyone says, that's not how it was meant to be.
Monday, August 1, 2011
I went to a christian school from year one to year twelve, I wasn't allowed to watch the Simpsons let alone Southpark, I was told off for saying shut up and didn't even know a four letter word beginning with F existed.
I was brought up in a very christian home.
During my late teens I rebelled a bit and became hugely embarrassed by how little I knew about the big wide world. I wanted nothing more than to fit in with all these cool people I'd meet at shows who weren't from "very christian homes." I pierced every orifice in my face, I wore skinny jeans and had clip in blue extensions. (I wasn't allowed the real thing at my school... what are you crazy?) I listened to super hardcore bands like The used and simple plan and sometimes I'd even..like..get drunk. I know right!
It's funny how things change..
Today I still have a few tattoos and I'll probably get more, I dress however I want and listen to whatever I want, even if it isn't cool (Kesha, we're talking about you here). I have come to terms with the fact that I'm not in any way hardcore, I'm innocent, I don't use swear words because they still feel wrong on my tongue, I don't think pornography or graphic violence is ok for anyone to be watching, I have never taken illegal substances and am still shocked every time someone mentions them in casual conversation as though everyone does it, and if you tell me you lost your virginity at 14 my response will be sympathy because frankly I find that heart breaking.
I used to hate my upbringing and loath that my parents brought me up in a bubble, but now I treasure it. I'm glad I was still playing with barbies with my little sister when I was 12, I'm glad I didn't watch an MA movie until I was 15, I'm glad I was sweet 16 and never been kissed, I'm glad I didn't taste alcohol until I was 17, I'm glad I grew up not knowing what sex or violence looked like and I'm glad that my parents cared enough about me that they took the road less traveled to keep me from growing up to fast.
Once upon a time I would have said I'd never raise my kids as strictly as my parents raised me but now I only hope that I have the guts to do exactly that.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Okay I get it, you want me to be happy, what mother doesn't want that for their daughter but what if my idea of happy isn't to be married with 2.5 kids and a house in the suburbs by the time I'm 25. I'm not saying there is anything in the world wrong with this, I think it's amazing and lovely and I do hope to settle down and get married... One day. But not today, today I am 21 years old, I want to volunteer as much as I can, write as much as I can, study as much as I can, travel as much as I can. I want to lose myself in being young and loving God and putting every ounce of energy I have into a cause that makes everything suddenly matter. I've never wanted a 9-5. I've never wanted to settle down early. I've never wanted that and it seems like she was fine with that until I hit 21, when suddenly I was ment to be in some sort of committed relationship with a promise ring.
You see my mum was married by the time she was 21, my dad was 18. They had a house, they went to work, they came home and they made dinner, my dad was a pastor, my mum a carer, they had 2 children and they sent them to a private school. I love my parents, but I don't want their life. I want my own life, I want to go on adventures, I want to help people, I wan't to keep injustice firmly in my sight so I never get complacent about it. I know I cant save the whole world but I would just feel like it was such a waist if I didn't spend every day trying and so far that hasn't meant being with a significant other. I think my mum finds this hard to understand, I think she assumes I must be unhappy... It's hard enough being the only one at family gatherings riding solo without my well intentioned mother wanting to give me some pep talk about how "the right guy is out there" I KNOW THIS! I wasn't worried until everyone started treating me like my singleness was a disease that needed to be cured.
So mother, yes I am single, yes I have tattoos, yes I am 21 and STILL want to change the world. I know you thought I would grow out of it all and I know you'd like me to have a more simple goal in life but I don't and if that means that I have to spend Christmas on the kids table for a few extra years then I'm ok with that, I wish you would be too.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Within your hands are special gifts and talents.
Within your mind is the source of your dreams.
Within you is the strength to carry your dreams to completion.
Within your heart is the desire to meet the world on your own terms.
You are strong, you are wise, you have a dream.
You have a spirit, you have confidence; you have faith.
You are your own person and you always will be.
Within you is something so precious and rare.
Within you is the promise of the future.
- Im pretty sure I didn't write this. I'm not that good of a writer. It was in my diary without a source so I may have, but I have a feeling its an excerpt from a book. Either way I love it.
- Martin Luther King
little girl it's ok to cry
who told you it was wrong?
little girl why don't you sing
what happened to your song?
little girl no need to starve
we have a plentiful of food
little girl no need to swear
why is your mouth so crude?
little girl don't run away
there is a home here for you.
little girl I see your hurting
there's no need to pretend.
little girl I see your hurting
I know a God who mends.
I try to stumble in your direction
How can this broken body
be in the image of your perfection
your sinless hands and feet
were slowly nailed to a tree
your body was beaten and broken
for the likes of someone like me
again and again I run
from the arms that are my home
and still you come searching
you never make me do it alone
so I will live my today
seeking out your face
and live my life in light
of this amazing grace
we can talk to the lord.
I'll climb onto you lap,
tell me the tales he told.
What does the cup mean daddy,
Why am I drinking his blood?
Why do we get crackers daddy,
Does his body taste good?
I think I like this Jesus daddy,
he reminds me of you.
So you say he loves me daddy,
even more than you do?
What does it mean to pray daddy,
must I be on my knees?
I want to meet this Jesus daddy,
can you help me please?
So you say he is my daddy now,
can I still have you too?
Now I have two daddy's,
my father God and you.
You said: why not you?
I said: I am broken.
You said: this is true.
I said: choose another.
You said: why?
I said: she is better.
you said: That's a lie.
And then you said something I didn't expect
you said: my child I love you and you deserve only the best
and so I said, not knowing where to start,
Lord I need you, come into my heart.
and you replied with tears in your eyes,
Child I have been waiting for you since the day I died
How many times have you heard the cliche "God loves you" weather it be from your friendly local pastor or the crazy guy on the street, we have all heard it time and again, were almost desensitized to it. It loses all meaning. But let me break this down for you.. God loved you so much that he sent his only son to die for you. DIE. Now I am pretty convinced that God is a smart guy, all seeing all knowing and all that jazz, so when he decides to do something as drastic as putting up his own son for death he must have some pretty solid logic behind it.
I have a heart condition, and have had 3 open heart surgeries to date and I can tell you one thing I have learnt from the large amount of time I have spent in hospital throughout my life (besides the fact that the food quality is somewhere up there with dog food) and that is this, it hurts my parents a million times more than it hurts me. I remember once I was getting a needle into my lung to drain some fluid and my dad was holding my hand, he went so white watching me in pain as I yelled about ducks and ships, or something to that affect, he was so upset that the medical staff asked him if he needed to leave the room to compose himself. I didn't cry that day. My dad did. And that was just a needle. I have watched my parents hurt over me so much more than I could ever physically hurt.
At Calvary God had to watch his son go through a million times more pain than I have ever had to endure. Any parent can only imagine the pain you would feel having your some come to you and say "Dad, please take this cup from me, but not my will be done but yours." Just like if I had said to my dad the night before my operation "Dad please don't let it happen" I can't even imagine what that would do to him. Then after watching his son go through all that torture, being despised and nailed onto a cross left to die in one of the cruelest forms of execution history has known, God had to look away. It would be like my dad having to leave that room white faced with tears in his eyes as I cried out "Why have you forsaken me." To watch your son not only go through physical torture but then to leave him completely alone in the moment when he needs you most is more pain than I can imagine.
That is how much God loves you.
that cannot find the way
Lord hold it in your mighty hands
and protect her each new day
Lord send her smiles to give her hope
of the life she will one day lead
Lord send her kisses with the rain
to water her destinys seed
Lord send her friends to guide her path
into the masters house
Lord whisper to her heart and soul
to leave some people out
Lord tell he of your love for her
so that she may see
that you have only good things planed
even though she can't yet see
And lord I pray one last thing
before I say amen
clothe her in strength and dignity
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I'm begining a new course (Double degree in Arts majoring in creative writing, minoring in English/communications majoring in Journalism) this year which I am super excited about. Especially super excited to go into it minus the boy drama of the past 2.5 years. I'll be writing so much so I will have so much to post.
I have a heart appointment on the 18th of this month, which is good because it will give me some more information about where that is all heading.
And finally, I deactivated my Facebook page yesterday, I know right.. It just felt right for now, head space etc. So much drama on that little guy. Beyond all that I'm trying to take some time to myself, just being still for a bit before the craziness of the year starts up in less than a month.
Anyway thats my update for now, I hope it wasn't to mind numbingly boring.
Today as I walked through the food court in carousel I saw two men, one visibly disabled, sitting at a table counting out coins. Silver coins.
I couldn’t keep my eyes off the table. It broke my heart and at this time I wasn’t even sure why. As I approached I herd the disabled man say “I will go up and see how much it is and then come back and see if we can afford it” in that moment I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I needed to give them money. I needed to walk over to the ATM, withdraw $50 and hand it to them.
I needed to.
But I didn’t.
“I don’t have any cash, the ATM is like at least 20 steps away, what if I’ve read the situation wrong, my dads waiting for me, I cant make him wait, this is ridiculous, they will probably think I’m a right freak…etc etc”
It is now 3.48am and I can not sleep. I can not sleep because of what I walked past. How can I say that I want to save the world, help the lost, feed the hungry if I cant give $50 to 2 people in carousel.
Those men are probably fine, sleeping right now. They probably brought their meals, whatever they could afford, with their fist fulls of silver coins, while the person behind the register looked at them with judgment and subtly strains of pity. But I mean they are used to it right, everyone looks through them with their out of date clothes and visible differences, I’m sure they wouldn’t have blinked an eye, just another day to them.
But you know what would have made them blink? If a 21 year old uni student gave them some money so even if it was only for a second, just this one time, they would be reminded that someone cares, that they matter, that they are no invisible and God remembered them and nudged the simple heart of a passer by to show kindness. I had and opportunity to be the hands and feet that I so often say I’ll be and I walked past it, I put my awkward embarrassment in front of them.
I will tell you what I know for sure. They will not miss out. God loved them and will see to it that they are shown that love one way or another. It is me who missed out, because I didn’t get to be part of that.
Monday, January 3, 2011
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
— Mother Teresa