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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Do we all have somewhere like this?

A place that makes us feel like this?

I went for a drive last week. I chucked the dogs in my old white wagon, wound the windows down (sprayed for spiders), and went for an explore.

I drove past old friends houses, and where everyone used to congregate around the mulberry tree. On shiny paved roads through what used to be bush, with names like Gumtree, Cockatiel, Bottlebrush.  Past the house my Dad built, where they sell fresh eggs for $4 a dozen. Where the haunted house with the tennis courts was, units now.

Surfing beaches, swimming beaches, fishing beaches. The local names, Cosies, Dumpers, Fenceline. I wondered if people still use them.

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I stopped at the old local instead of the new chain supermarket for grapes and chocolate.

My first best friend’s mum looked me straight in the eye and asked if she could help me with anything.

I just smiled, because I don’t recognise me either.

This year hasn’t been a waste of time. It’s felt like it at times but I’m. Beating. Cancer.

Everyday I wake up and get out of bed, and make coffee, and joke with Bailey, and go to the beach and drive too fast and drag myself to treatment I’m beating cancer, and that’s what I have to focus on right now.

I’ve got that burning enthusiasm again, that I lost somewhere between marriage and separation and cancer and mediocrity. It’s mental, my body doesn’t follow through, but maybe it will.

I’ve got plans, and backups, and itchy feet, and sun streaming through the windows, after what felt like the longest winter ever.

x

ps – I haven’t been around much. The last lot of treatment kicked my ass BADLY. But. IT’S WORKING. So now I’m gonna go catch up on what everyone else has been doing xx

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When someone asks me how I am, I’ll quite often respond with this. I don’t know where or who I picked it up from (conversely, I’ve noticed a few friends have picked it up from me) or even what I mean by it.

Maybe it’s a ‘I’ve said everything there is to say, nothing has changed, so let’s move on’

That’s generally the type of person I am. I get on with it. I ‘pull my socks up’, my ‘finger out’. I ‘build a bridge’, ‘move on’, keep my ‘chin up’. (‘You have a determined chin, Flossy’, one of the most special people I’ve ever known used to say.)

Also, I’m not great at small talk. I find it boring and suburban and annoying, and it probably shows.  I don’t want to discuss soft furnishings past a ‘yes that looks good’ or ‘omg no’ opinion when asked for.

(But I know other people LOVE small talk, and with people I love, I’m happy to indulge them. They usually notice when I start twitching and cut me a break.)

Maybe (lately) it’s code for OMG. CAN’T EVEN.

I’m not ok.

People are noticing.

I’m not ok to the point where even fucking Craig calls to check on me.

‘Hey. Just checking in. You ok?’

‘Yep yep. How’re you?’

‘Yeah good. What’s happening with -insert phone company name-? And did you get your license back? How’s treatment? What’s happening for school holidays?’

-mumbling so he can’t hear me fighting tears- ‘Yeah. I’m getting through it. Thanks for calling. Sorry, I better go. Bye.’

Somehow, through all of this, we’re friendly again. I think it makes things worse, somehow.

I’m not ok to the point that MY MOTHER is moving back. Anyone who knows me personally knows what a head fuck that would be. The conversation when she told me was so circular that she probably doesn’t want to come back now, I don’t know. All I could say was ‘Um. Why?’, and ‘You know it’s Perth, right?’. Apparently it seems ‘like you and Bailey might need me around a little more’, and I think it’s a testament to my self-restraint that I didn’t point out that I actually needed her 15 years ago, instead murmuring something about my grandmother being thrilled, while my mouth slowly filled with blood.

I’m relating to people less and less or maybe I just don’t have it in me to try right now. I’m sick of people asking me ‘what’s wrong’ or saying that I just need to learn how to accept help, ‘let go and let God’ (whatever the fuck that is), restore my karmic balance, meditate, whatever. I just want to scream ‘I HAVE CANCER AND IT’S ACTUALLY OK TO STRUGGLE WITH THAT!’. I’m sorry that I’m not pouring drinks, making everyone giggle, that I’m not able to be cruisey with my time and energy. I’m sorry that I actually don’t feel like I can spend a day at a horse show right now, or give some lessons. Or whatever.

I am doing better though. If nothing else, I’m sticking up more for me and Bailey and really really starting to accept that it is just us, that I can’t rely on anyone else. I won’t rely on anyone else, won’t compromise myself ever again. I’ve always put other people first, and I just can’t anymore.

If there was ever a time to put myself first, this is it.

I’ll never give anyone the power to (almost) break me again. Not that it doesn’t feel like that could still happen, I know I’m not all the way through yet. I don’t know how to get all the way through. I feel like you probably have to want it, more than I do.

I have no idea what I’ve written or why I’ve written, but the pressure in my chest just eased off a bit, and that’s enough for me. So no editing, reading back, anything. For once.

Love love xx

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This is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile. Of course I mean absolutely no offense and I know there are plenty of genuine family men out there who wouldn’t dream of straying. I’m sure there are also single men with morals and standards (call me)…I just haven’t met heaps of either lately.

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Being single can be hard. It was hard last year, being the new mum in a small school community, from the next (also small) town. Single mums are the furthest thing from a rarity here, and despite what that says about the socio-economic structure, I’m enjoying it. When I lived ‘up the hill’ it was a rarity. I was a rarity. I was naïve enough to think it wouldn’t matter, because it wouldn’t matter to me.

I shouldn’t feel like I have to defend myself but I do. So here’s the disclaimer. I know that fairly often, when I have guy problems, some of the problem is me. I am far from a man-hater. I’ve been in a really bad head-space and at times I’ve unwittingly made people suffer along with me. Here, here, and here. Bad decisions, not being clear on how ill-equipped I really truly was for a relationship because I enjoy the fun parts, letting a nice guy try to talk me around. Not fair. Not nice. Not who I am inside.

However, in these instances I really didn’t do a thing. If a man is attached, to me, he’s unavailable. That’s it. It’s not worth the drama, and causing someone else pain. Sure, he’ll probably do it anyway. Not with me he won’t.

Yeah, I had some problems with other people’s husbands.

And I’m feeling ashamed writing this.

I just, don’t understand, I guess. One incident, which I could write pages on, was (still is, amazingly) one of my closest friends’ husbands… I mean we were all friends, to the point of him talking about how his kids from his first marriage are so close in age to me, that it felt like I was ‘another one of the kids’.

After, I was just like ‘Why? How could you? She’s in the next room. She’s gorgeous and she trusts you.’

And when she asked me to tell her the truth, I did mostly and it just sucked so bad.

That was after it dragged out for about a week, honestly one of the worst weeks of my life, with the he said, she said, wanting to vomit at every school run.

It’s really hard to be social with other mums, without getting to know their husbands. And more than once when I’ve chatted about this (without using specifics about what happened with who), one of my gorgeous friends has been like ‘Yeah, you have to be so careful. It’s not fair. You’d be totally fine with my hubby though’ with such assurance, and my heart has broken for her when it’s turned out that he’s not worthy of her level of trust.

Do men think that because I’m single it doesn’t count or something?

I know socially I can be funny and bright and helpful. But I don’t flirt with my friends partners, I wouldn’t even sit next to them. Does smiling and saying hi to someone constitute an invitation to be groped next time I pass him alone on my way to the bathroom? Does him pouring me a wine give him the right to ask me about ‘a bit of quiet fun’ next time we’re alone in the school carpark?

And you know what, if a man is committed it shouldn’t matter what I do or don’t do.

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t contribute to my decision to cocoon up in my hometown for this year.

I’m complicated. For anyone who’s been reading here for a little while, it’s no secret how much I enjoy physical affection…but these experiences made me feel cheap and dirty and ashamed. I don’t enjoy being touched uninvited, by someone who shouldn’t even be thinking of me that way. And -I’m justifying again- I never dated locally. As far as anyone knew there, I was single and celibate and happy that way. I was discreet…I guess what I’m trying to say, for lack of eloquent wording, is that I don’t come across ‘easy’, I’m not ‘known for being open with myself’, quite the contrary.

Is infidelity not as big a deal to others as it is to me?

Can anyone shed any light at all on this for me?

x

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And 3

One and Two.

My phone buzzing was my best friend, understandably worried about me. She comes over, brings food, tries to talk to me, and feeling like a total bitch, I can’t bring myself to be serious, or upbeat, or really anything, other than numb. Eventually I say ‘Let’s just go to the beach, without the dogs’. I’m in my pjs and already tipsy and it’s starting to rain and it’s dark and I don’t care. I’ve always loved the beach at night, and we’ve been making a bit of a habit of taking the dogs down for a really good run once the sun sets.

We sit and talk and take turns picking songs on our iPhones. I drink, not excessively but more than enough, but it barely feels adequate. I try so hard not to think, wanting to hyperventilate when I do. Suddenly I want to run, dance…I don’t know. Just feel alive I guess. I roll my pj pants up and just splash through the surf, and to my surprise it feels wonderful. The perfect temperature, nice and clear. The waves are gentle, even and rolling, but big enough so I can feel the surge and I let myself go with the energy, soon giving up on staying even half dry. My best friend in the whole world joins me and before long we’re laughing like teenagers, floating and staring at the stars. I suddenly felt everything so intensely, let go of that anaesthetic numbness and was ok.

I felt sad, and scared, and alive, and joyful, and devastated. I felt lost, and grateful, and loved, and lonely, and angry, and awed.

I’ll fucking live my life, and this shit won’t stop me. I think it’s just about noticing the moments. Finding beauty in them. How soft Bailey’s hair is under my chin, the feeling of a soft bed and fresh sheets. My friends who love me and are never standoffish about giving me huge hugs when I need them. The taste of salt and sun on my lips after a morning at the beach. The smell of horses, sweet and earthy at the same time. The quirkiness of my fucked-up family, and just being appreciative for the lessons anyway.

Being so grateful for the simple things that it feels like my chest might explode, is how I’ll get through this. Whichever way it goes.

x

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It’s verge collection time.

When everyone throws out their unwanted junk, old furniture, fridges, boxy tvs.

This house is full of old junk, my grandfather is a hoarder. It’s an illness, they say. I wish I could open all the windows, crank some Pearl Jam, and ditch things over the balcony. Start again with white cane and furniture made of driftwood.

It’s more about me than the house, wanting things fresh and new, of course. My messenger bleeps and I see it’s my tenant from up the hill, asking what type of garden edging I’d like.

Whatever, I text. Whatever you’d like, what you think is best.

She thinks I’m the best landlady ever.

My friend, who I’ve let ride my good horse this year, calls for a chat, asking me about moving agistment centres, if he might need the chiro, she went out on Saturday and a bit of fencing was down and I just want to scream.

‘Why won’t you people leave me alone and here’s my credit card number and it’s not that I don’t care it’s because I just can’t and if I could I would have stayed at home!’

Fuck. And the thing is, I could be feeling fine tomorrow. I’m deliberately not making any big decisions, not doing anything I can’t undo because I’m not to be trusted at the moment.

It’s the only damage control I can exercise when my brain and body are on the edge of a freak-out. I throw $30 of steak to the dogs because I think it ‘smells funny’, vomit in the sink cooking eggs, notice my hands are shaking and my mouth tastes like metal. So I know not to trust myself, this isn’t real, this is just an imbalance and you’re doing everything you can to sort it out, I tell myself.

I’m so lucky. So lucky I have the luxury of being able to give myself some time. The relief floods me sometimes, the feeling of not having to make hard decisions, which horse goes first, do we sell our house now or later or subdivide the land or stick it out or or or. I’m blessed and I know that but my thankfulness doesn’t change the anxiety I feel when people bring up stuff I’d rather not think about, when my beautiful old horse has his first paddock injury in the 8 years I’ve had him, and I have to find the energy reserve I don’t have to deal with things that would have been minor once.

So my best best friend comes and takes Bailey for an icecream, and I sit here and write all this shit out, and work on my novel, and I don’t know what I’d do without my friends. I call my other riding instructor come friend, who I could barely talk to about my own horse and ask if she’d help me run Drum to the vets because I just don’t want to do it by myself, and the answer is of course. I’ll always help where I can. And it took me two whole days of feeling sick over something so minor for it to even occur to me that I could ask for help.

For an apparently smart person, I can be so incredibly slow.

And this morning I woke up to this 🙂

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Life is good, really everything is fine, I just need my mind and body to catch up 🙂

x

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is just the most beautiful child.

 And now he is FIVE

He is funny and smart and brave and kind.

He loves books, animals, anything with wheels, cooking, being tickled and pony rides.

He doesn’t like loud noises, crowds, being bossed around and the naughty corner. Or spiders.

I love him more than life, more than I knew I could.

‘I love you Mummy’

‘I love you, my darling’

‘I feel how I love you in my chest. And when you make my bed warm. And cook chicken the best’

If I could only ever do one thing right in life, I’d want it to be looking after my Bailey.

x

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 Just because I don’t really feel like writing about my life right now. I can’t remember where I got this from – the template has been sitting in my drafts for about 6 months. If anyone else wants to do this, I’d love to read your answers 🙂

If I were a month, I’d be May …. just edging into the change of season.

If I were a day of the week, I’d be Wednesday.

If I were a time of day, I’d be 3am … way too early, up all alone.

If I were a planet, I’d be Pluto 😛

If I were an animal, I’d be a wolf.

If I were a direction, I’d be East.

If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a white cane chair. No, a bookshelf.

If I were a liquid, I’d be acid.

If I were a gemstone, I’d be Onyx.

If I were a tree, I’d be a ghost gum.

If I were a tool, I’d be a spanner? Lol I dunno…

If I were a flower, I’d be a freesia.

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be summer rain….

If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a piano.

If I were a color, I’d be pink and sparkly.

If I were an emotion, I’d be …um…all of them, all at once.

If I were a fruit, I’d be mixed berries.

If I were a sound, I’d be waves crashing at night.

If I were an element, I’d be Lithium.

If I were a car, I’d be a Mustang.

If I were a food, I’d be strawberries dipped in chocolate.

If I were a place, I’d be a library.

If I were a material, I’d be soft faded denim.

If I were a taste, I’d be musk sticks.

If I were a scent, I’d be just cut grass, and vanilla. And rain on hot pavement.

If I were a body part, I’d be deep, dark eyes.

If I were a facial expression, I’d be a quick smile

If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be old boots 🙂

Much love xx

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