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Brave or impetuous?


Courage

Courage (Photo credit: drp)

I’ve been hearing the words “You’re a very brave woman.” a lot lately and I have to confess to feeling anything but.  It also left me questioning what I believe to be the meaning of the word as I was thinking well maybe I have it wrong if so many people seem to think that my recent actions warrant being classed as ‘brave’ so I got out my trusty dictionary – after collecting the box it was in from storage and unpacking it again.

brave (according to my source – The Macquarie Concise Dictionary Third Edition) – adj. 1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.  2. making a fine appearance. – n. 3. a North American Indian warrior. – v.t. 4. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortune.

So then of course I decided to look up courageous and found:

courage n. 1. the quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear; bravery. – courageous adj.

I figured the word was not being used as a noun and I am definitely not a North American Indian warrior but just to be sure I looked up the words verb (transitive and standard), noun and adjective, then went on to look up what I feel, which is impulsive and impetuous.

Then I had bad flashbacks of working for a company run by Scientologists in the 1990’s and the ‘L Ron Hubbard study technique’ that they had me learn before I ran screaming from the organisation.  Suffice to say I didn’t learn anything in their training course other than how to use a dictionary as the basis of the ‘study technique’ is to ensure that you understand what you’re reading and they then questioned my understanding of every single word on a page including ‘a’ and ‘the’ and ‘and’ you get the picture I’m sure.  That shit sticks with you for life – I’m scarred for life I tell you!  Don’t get me wrong I am a believer of the old live and let live, and each to their own adages,  just so long as it is each to their own and live and let live and doesn’t turn into each to their own so long as it’s the same as my belief.

Words

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

But I digress, my point, I don’t feel brave which means to possess or exhibit courage or courageous endurance.  There was no endurance, I turned tail within ten days!  There was also no courage as there was no lack of fear or presence of firmness, ergo very little bravery shown.  Fear was aplenty believe me, I can’t stand being afraid so my reaction to it in most cases is to face what is making me afraid as soon as possible and get it over and done with, get rid of the fear and move on.  Truly can’t stand fear, it’s uncomfortable, debilitating, stifling, stunting……. Can you tell I’ve had my dictionary out?

Impulsivity and impetuousness on the other hand I think were in abundance, but that’s just my take on it all.

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Goodbye (for now) Christchurch


cloudy South Canterbury coast, South Island, N...

cloudy South Canterbury coast, South Island, New Zealand (between Christchurch and Invercargill looking south) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My last night in Christchurch and you know I am going to miss it.  Today I thought about it some more and decided that I may still end up living here one day, just not now and not under these circumstances.  Despite all of the recent devastation by earthquakes and subsequent destruction it is still a beautiful city and New Zealand as a whole and in particular the South Island (yes I’m a little biased) is a stunning country.  It has something that Australia just can’t offer – a compact, manageable size!  Australia is also a stunning country dont’ get me wrong,  it’s just sometimes a little overwhelming in its enormity.

I’ve met some amazing people in the last few days that I’m sad to not have the opportunity to have in my life on a more permanent or ongoing basis.  The woman, Annie, who owns the holiday rental flat that I’m staying in for example, she lives upstairs in the main house and is from what I’ve learnt so far a pretty inspirational woman.  Annie is probably in her 60’s if not close to 70, a hypnotherapist who as she puts it practiced hypnotherapy in Christchurch when nobody accepted or understood what she was doing so she practiced from her home almost underground as it was such an alternative therapy, especially for Christchurch, when she started.  She has lived around the world and as I said already sounds like an inspirational woman after just a couple of conversations, the kind of woman I’d like to get to know more and learn more from.

The man I spoke with in the city today as we were both peering through the fences into the ‘Red Zone’.  He was lovely and so positive about the potential for his city, we talked on the street for about half an hour and had I not been leaving tomorrow we probably would have exchanged at least names if not contact details.  He asked if I was local, the accent gives them a clue although there are so many accented locals here that it’s not a given, I answered that I wasn’t.  Then he asked how long I was here for and I answered that I’m leaving tomorrow, there was that acknowledgement that it was pointless getting to know each other much beyond the current conversation taking place in the middle of a blocked off street standing at times cheek to cheek to be able to read what he was showing me on his iPhone screen.

South Island

I also had a job interview lined up for next week when I was back in Sydney to take place via Skype or teleconference.  An ideal job to

start out with which was travelling to High Schools around the South Island to conduct a survey of 13 to 18-year-old students that has taken place every 5 years.  The job only went till the end of June but would be an ideal way to travel around, see more of the surrounding area, get paid and get a foot in the door of the local job market.  I really liked the sound of that job.

All of that considered I still feel a sense of relief when I think of staying in Australia and Sydney for the time being, I have continued to think about moving here throughout the week and question my decision not to.  I question whether I’m taking the easy way out and giving in to a fear of change or whether I am making my decision without fear based on what is best for me now.  The answer is that I don’t honestly know but I do know this – When I think of moving here I feel sick with anxiety, I lose my appetite – I’ve barely eaten since getting here – I don’t breathe properly and I become erratic and desperate in my thinking, fear of change or not none of this can be good for a person.  When I think of returning to Sydney to find a new job and see where I end up, even remaining open to moving elsewhere in Australia, I feel a sense of calm and excitement and possibility and my mind races with possibilities and wonders at where I may end up and I want to eat (in a healthy at least once a day way)!

The lack of nausea and desire to cook has it!

Sydney Panorama

Sydney Panorama (Photo credit: FrancoisRoche)

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Longing and Acceptance


I love technology!  Love it I tell you!  It still amazes me how far it’s come and how far it can go.  I love learning about new tech inventions and gadgets and I love those gorgeous nerdy tech head kids that work in electronics shops.  If you can find one who is passionate about their gadgets and good on customer service and happy to show you what they’re passionate about without patronising you you can learn so much from them.  Sometimes I go to those shops and pretend to be buying something just to get an updated lesson in what’s what and what’s new and how it’s better, faster or more powerful than what I’ve already got.

Today I love technology because it has allowed me to sit in my holiday rental flat in Christchurch and search and apply for jobs in Sydney.  I know it sounds so everyday now and so ‘yeah whatever’ but think about it!  I don’t live here, now don’t intend to, I don’t have a phone line here, yet I can with the technology available now, rock up to a foreign country with my laptop and for $50 I have a little thingamy that I plug into the side of my laptop and Voila!  Internet access without the need of an internet café or a phone line or having to commit to any contracts or terms.  It’s awesome.

I found a job today that I didn’t think existed – Tour Manager!  That’s what I do.  I didn’t think there were any out there  but I’m in luck hopefully and it’s a Tour Manager touring things for school kids, and it has nothing to do with my previous field of employment.  Of course I applied for it and a few others.

No I didn’t spend the whole day in the flat, as tempting as it was to wallow in self-pity and tears, no one wants to see someone in tears on the street they don’t cope with it.  I decided to go out and drive off the map, turn off the GPS and pick a road and a direction and just drive for a few hours and explore.  I found a beautiful Chocolatier, Cafe, Restaurant in a place called Governor’s Bay and stopped for a bit.  I was going to order a coffee and then looked at the hot chocolate menu and thought  ‘I don’t drink hot chocolate all that often, why not?  I’m in a chocolate shop so when in Rome.’  I ordered myself a ginger hot chocolate and saw a home-made gnocchi with chicken, mushrooms and leeks on the menu and thought that would be great too.  The hot chocolate arrived with whipped cream on top – yum!  Then the gnocchi arrived and it was in a cream sauce which I hadn’t read on the menu but thought Yum!

Deutsch: Becher Kakao mit Sahnehäubchen und Ka...

Deutsch: Becher Kakao mit Sahnehäubchen und Kakaopulver English: cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and cocoa powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now you would think that by the age of 38 I would remember that I am lactose intolerant (quite severely so) and especially with cream and milk, well you’d be wrong!  I now remember why I don’t drink hot or iced chocolates – they’re made on milk, lots of it and my tummy doesn’t like milk at all in fact it has a rejection turn around of about 20 minutes and it’s not fussy about how it rejects it so long as it’s outta there.

Driving through beautiful ocean and mountain scenery on a windy country road, desperate for a public toilet is not the best way to enjoy the scenery but it certainly takes your mind of any other concerns that you might have had I can assure you.  It worked for a time but after relief was found it was back to driving a windy, scenic ocean to mountain road through tears.  Honestly it’s a wonder I didn’t go off the road, I did get overtaken a lot.

With variations around every bend it’s hard to concentrate on the road.

Grief is a powerful and very personal thing, most of us experience it in our lifetimes and can sympathise with others going through it but the one thing we can’t do is fix it or make it better for someone going through it, it’s a personal journey and you know I think that is sometimes what makes it so much harder, when you know that you’re all on your own with it, no one can make it better for you or stop the hurt but all you want is for someone to make it stop or tell you what to do to make it better.

Imagine just when you found something like nothing you’d ever had before and suddenly what everyone was going on about made sense and for the first time you knew what they were all talking about – it’s gone, ripped out from under you, you can’t have it.  Suck it up and get over it cause that’s what you can’t have, now go back to pretending it doesn’t exist.  It’s a battle between longing and acceptance, and you know sometimes ignorance truly is bliss but once you’ve been enlightened it’s too late you can never go back to not knowing.  I wish I could go back to not knowing.

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He’s just not that into me. :-(


Christchurch City (New Zealand) from the Port ...

Christchurch City (New Zealand) from the Port Hills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read a few chapters of the book ‘Hes’ Just Not That Into You’ in a book store the other day, you know when you read a few pages skip a few dozen read a few more to see what a book is like.  I have to say book stores here just aren’t as into you hanging around wasting your day reading books in them instead of actually buying them, the sales assistant came to me and asked if I was alright after standing at the shelf reading for about 20 minutes.  They don’t provide seating of any kind let alone comfy bay window boxes, it did occur to me that this could be the reason that they are still open when so many in Australia are closing and taking their coffee shops and comfy armchairs with them.

Anyway back to the point, I didn’t buy the book but I may when I get home.  It did get me thinking though about what I’m doing here and that maybe I should just take a hint and figure out ‘He’s just not that into me’.  Well ‘He’ phoned tonight and after days of refraining from sending him emails to ask what on earth he is thinking or feeling and what his intentions are I decided on the phone that I had to know so went about asking by putting forward what I’ve been feeling from him.  Coming to the realisation that I’ve been getting nothing but complete silence when I broach anything beyond the weather or any similarly benign topic and the harsh reality that I’ve been kidding myself.  I suggested to him that he’s just not that into me – silence!  Ahhh I had it!

Well I promised to try not to turn into a bleeding heart on here so I’ll stop there.  I’m sure that anyone whose dated more than once will know what I’m talking about.

My next harsh reality – being honest enough with myself to admit that moving here is more about him than I was letting on.  I did actually admit this to him too.  It’s why I’ve been turning myself inside out asking ‘What am I doing?’ every morning while I’m here and getting upset and wanting reassurance specifically from him that what I’m doing will all work out.  Seriously who was I kidding?

I have decided not to move to Christchurch.  Now that I’ve decided that I actually feel a sense of relief of sorts as I don’t have to solve all these problems that I was creating for myself  in the form of finding a new home, immigrating with a cat, finding out about a new city………

It has it’s downsides though in that now I am in this situation where I don’t actually want to be anywhere – I’m over it.  Now don’t go jumping to doom and gloom conclusions!!!!!  I’ve felt this way most of my life – I’m not interested in it truly not a lot does it for me and I can’t see a lot of point to the whole fiasco called life but I go along with it in the vain hope that it will eventually surprise me.  Often I can get carried away enough with what others are doing to ride on their joy, excitement and enthralment but truly my motto and favourite sayings are ‘Stop the world I want to get off’ or ‘I’m over this planet’.  I thought I might grow out of it but evidently that hasn’t happened yet.  Someone asked me the other night if I had any interests or hobbies that she could recommend groups to join here in Christchurch, I looked at her like a deer caught in headlights thinking shit you’ve caught me out, I’m a fraud, I’m not human I’m not interested in any of it.  I replied ‘No I don’t’ she looked uncomfortable, a little concerned and scared and changed the subject quickly.

So here I am ripped out by the roots with no new pot ready to transplant into.  That’s ok though I think I can fit back into my old one with the few things that I’ve thrown out both physically and metaphorically.  I think my friends will forgive and understand me for my indecisions and not take it personally when I talk about not being interested in the world.  I hope that they are all aware that it’s not them that I’m not interested in, quite the opposite actually it is them that gives me something to be interested in.  Other people seem to have this life thing so down pat and I find that somewhat interesting and intriguing.

Now to wait out the next two days of this trip in Christchurch and then get back to Sydney, go see The Specialswith my bestie on the weekend and find a new job, get on with life.  Simple really!

Best of the Specials

Best of the Specials (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Anywhere else in the world but Sydney.


Sydney sunset from the Balmain wharf. Sydney A...

Sydney sunset from the Balmain wharf. Sydney Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wish I could underscore a post with music.  If it is possible and there is someone reading who knows how to, please offer up your knowledge!

Today has been underscored by the following music which I’d love to have as background music to my post – for now we’ll just have to go with links.  I am all about the music as many who know me will know, without it the world just isn’t the same.

The Eels – Last Stop This Town

The Eels – Hey Man Now You’re Really Living – whistled by a lovely gardener whom I had a chat with.

Badly Drawn Boy – Something to Talk About

Nick Cave – The Ship Song.

I was talking with a friend a few months back when I started seriously contemplating moving overseas, she had moved interstate in Australia in her twenties and I asked her how that went and what she found the hardest.  In particular I quizzed her about how she went about meeting people and starting a whole new friend network in a new hometown.  You see I’ve lived in Sydney for the past 22 years and it’s hard to meet people in Sydney.  Her words to me were – “Don’t worry you’ll meet people, people will take care of you and help you out.”  My incredulous and unbelieving response was – “Yes but how do you meet people?”.  To which she said to me “Anywhere else in the world but Sydney people will take care of you, look out for you, offer you help, friendship etc.  People are friendly outside of Sydney, you’ll be fine, you’ll meet people.”.  I was a little dumbfounded, cautiously wanting to believe and I did believe her I just ………… well having experienced how ‘closed’ Sydneysiders are for so long it’s hard to get your head around how the world should be or actually is.

Today I experienced the – “Anywhere else in the world but Sydney…..”.

I had three flats lined up to inspect today, the first one while I would be happy enough to live there if it was all I could get just didn’t quite sit right.  I had hours to kill between the first 9am inspection and the second 2pm inspection and didn’t want to head straight back to my accommodation, so I decided to check out the two afternoon inspections ahead of time from the outside and do the scope out the neighbourhood thing as that’s what really didn’t sit well with me on the first one.

Well, I fell in love with the 2pm inspection by about 10am!  As I wandered down the driveway to look at the flat I overheard the gardener at the property next door whistling a familiar song while he weeded and pruned.  The flat looked totally fine and inoffensive and on the way back up the driveway I remembered the name of the song that the gardener was still whistling, ‘Hey Man Now You’re Really Living’ by The Eels.  It’s not a tune you hear whistled everyday and I had a chat with the gardener about it, he was stoked that someone not only recognised the song but recognised it from his whistling it.

Then I went for a walk around the corner and I fell in love with the neighbourhood!  There is a packaging free, Buy from the Bins, grocery around the corner, similar to a food co-op but no membership and it’s run as a private business.  I needed coffee and would rather buy it freshly ground so was in heaven to find this shop and then even more so when the absolutely gorgeous Asian couple who run it were so helpful, friendly, talkative and inquisitive – in a good way.  Having bought ground coffee I really wanted a cup of coffee so went in search of a café and found one.  Not bad coffee but again friendly, chatty, interested in you! the customer! as opposed to the work colleague next to them, staff.

BUT I have been a renter in Sydney for a long time and have learnt the hard way not to get attached too quickly when looking for rental accommodation as it so often ends in tears, or in bad, stained carpet; mouldy bathroom ceilings; and next to no kitchens, that were somewhere around 5th choice on your list.

So I rock up at the property for the 2pm inspection where there is lets just say a very special bunch of people each wanting to discuss their ‘special needs’ with the real estate agent.   I was given the raised  eyebrows and asked “You’ll want an application won’t you?’  and also got asked to stay around to talk with her about my application.  Upon mentioning that I don’t have work she rang their other office for me who are looking for an Admin person and gave me a plug there (I’ve sent her my résumé to pass on). Once everyone else had left she put ‘1st Choice’ on the top of my application, told me that I am the type of tenant that they want in the building as the last tenant had to be asked to leave,  and said that she will ask her colleague to process it first thing on Monday for me (real estates aren’t open on weekends here it seems) implying that mine will be the only one processed if I’m interested in the property, which yes I assured her I am.

I may very well have a flat and potentially a job interview at the beginning of next week!  Far Out!

Anywhere else in the world but Sydney!………… Don’t get me wrong I am still very fond of Sydney, it’s an awesome city and I have some amazing memories and stories.  I think now though it’s best I leave it to the young people for a while. 😉

All this today and tomorrow I get to go to a yoga class for an hour and a half!  *happy dance*  A very stiff happy dance at the moment as it’s been a month since I made it to class and man am I in need of a stretch, not to mention the chance to focus my mind on just what is happening on my yoga mat for that small hour and a half.

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Changes


One Fear illustration from Book of Fears

One Fear illustration from Book of Fears (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve had a day of ups and downs and confronting myself and comforting myself.  I’ve also had a day in which like it or not I’ve been delivered the advice I’ve needed to find.  The best of which was a quote I found in an awesome looking journal that were I not at present voluntarily unemployed I probably wouldn’t have hesitated to buy myself.  The journal – giving a plug here – is called ‘101 Dreams’ and was in Kiki K the stationery shop and no I didn’t buy it.  The quote –

“Everything that I’ve ever done that was ultimately worthwhile – initially scared me to death.”  Betty Bender.

I don’t currently know who Betty Bender is but rest assured I will Google her when I finish what is my first ever blog entry.

I am now feeling more of a sense of surrender at my circumstances and have made some choices to embrace my fear and continue to live with it a bit longer.  It does overcome me at times but that’s ok because as uncomfortable as it is it won’t kill me and you know if it does then well it shouldn’t bother me any more once it does so either way is a win really.

All this talk and not getting to the point!  Who am I and what the hell am I writing about already?

I’m a woman on a path to totally change my life, right down to the country I live in, all on my own.  My catalyst was a man who (yes it’s a cliché I know) broke my heart.  Dont’ worry I’ll try not to become a bleeding heart on here.  Anyway sometimes it takes a very big shake up to make you take a look at what you’re doing and where you’re at in your life and ask What AM I doing?  Where is my life going?  And when did I stop giving a shit about it and just sit in the back seat?  So I’ve decided it’s time for my Mid-Life Crisis.  I’ve quit my job of 8 years and I am at present house-hunting and job-hunting in a foreign country.

Well the foreign country is NZ and I’m an Aussie so it’s kinda cheating really but technically it’s a foreign country.

Today started out as a bad day, with the voice in the back of my head screaming at me “What the hell are you doing?  You don’t want to do this?  This won’t be easy don’t do it?  This is a mistake, it’s not too late to change your mind?  Your friends will understand, they won’t judge you if you do………….”  So I sat with that for a bit this morning, cried a bit, questioned a lot of my motives and options.  One thing I kept asking myself was “If not this and here, then what and where?  Do I want to just go back to everything as it is / was?  Do I want to just change my job and stay living where I am, doing what I do there when not working?”  The answers to those questions were in order “I don’t know.  No. and No.”  So now I feel like I’ve pulled myself out at the roots but don’t know where to replant myself.  I know that I’ve out grown my last ‘pot’ though and I don’t want to go back there at the moment.

So what do I do, log into Facebook of course!  Doesn’t everyone?  I found a post from a site that I subscribe to called Tiny Buddha about how we fight change as a basic human instinct and how it can undermine our efforts to do things that are healthy for us.  Reading this helped me to realise that it really is just old-fashioned fear of change and uncertainty that I’m battling.  Fear I can handle when I know where it’s coming from.  I learnt long ago that the fear of something is always worse than the object / topic of the fear itself.  It saddens me to know that some people never confront their fears to learn this as it is such an empowering lesson to learn how to face / confront your fears and to get past them.  True they are always terrifying until you get past them and then you wonder what you were ever afraid of.

10.000 tiny buddhas

10.000 tiny buddhas (Photo credit: mararie)

The same site of Tiny Buddha words of wisdom had a post about being kind to yourself.  Yes I know I needed reminding of all of this today my brain was not helping.  Making an effort to get out of the place I’m staying in and ‘be kind to myself’, I took myself off to see a movie – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  This became the source of the next quote today that rang true with where I am at:-

“It will all be okay in the end and if it isn’t okay, then it’s not the end.” – Paola Coelho

I then had the brain wave to do something totally self-indulgent and start a blog.  Who knows how long I’ll keep it up for but for now I’ve started.  I’m not sure if I want people to read it or not now truth be told.  For now it is what it is and we’ll see where it goes.