Sometimes I re-read words I’ve written in the past. I feel quite proud of said words. These words below I wrote in October of last year and to me there is a gentle longing for something. I like that. I think there is truth and beauty in feeling what we are longing for. In essence it is poetry. Life, feelings in words.
‘What a joy to read a book that enables us to escape. To step into a world that opens us. I most definitely don’t want a break from my life partner but I do want a break. I want a break from worrying about where I am and where I should be. I want a break from all that is vapid. And I want to be the hero in my own story. I don’t want pity, excuses or a pat on the back in this life, I want an honest life. If I am the hero of my story it will be because I am a flawed warrior.
Irish novelists remind me of what is worth fighting for. They write honestly. Their strength is a part of who they are. Women come from strong, strong stock – our mothers and grandmothers were courageous and they had to fight.’
Perhaps this past year was actually about me considering what to fight for and learning how to fight, to fight confidently and fairly.
One thing I have learnt is that to fight fairly is not to compete. Not with others but mostly not with myself. My modus operandi is to run (flight) rather than fight. I don’t think on the spot and I am always better with time to process an idea. (Unless of course it is with myself, I will push myself beyond what is comfortable – moving aboard without a plan, the 28 day camino…)
In order to stand still and fight I have had to be ok with anger. Anger is something I’ll also run from given the chance. No, I do not like the discomfort that comes with anger. Smooth it over and let’s all be kind please! Not that there is anything wrong with that. Heck, kind will always trump reactions born of anger, but, there is a degree of facing anger that’s required to change both personal situations and BIG world problems.
During September I was a bit flat. Same like last year when this blog was born (funny that – cyclic seasons anyone?). And I realised I simply have to begin at the beginning again (sort my nest, create rituals). Find where I am and move forward to where I need to be. The difference being I am stronger, angrier, calmer and more sure of myself this year.
So I guess you know the climate is changing right. A truth I can’t un-know.
The temperature is rising, the oceans are warming, ice sheets are sinking, glaciers are retreating, snow cover is reducing, sea levels are rising, arctic sea ice is reducing in extent and thickness, there is an increase in extreme events and ocean acidification. (Facts available here.)
So we fought. We marched. I got in ‘trouble’ for taking the kids out of school without permission but I’m done with feeling shame or naughty for caring about different things. I’d rather be angry. I am not doing vapid anymore.
I politely responded to the school email with ‘All her friends in Australia attended so she’s was pretty keen (a SM strength – mobilising global voices). I try to encourage her to know she has a voice (something it took me a while to learn be comfortable with) and also to (really) stand for something that matters. Again, I apologise for not following the correct process.’ Feck it! I will use my anger to fight the good fight.
My back also hurts. My energy often wanes. My cravings are either for sugary or salty things. My hormones are often in conflict with a teenager who lives in this house’s hormones. My motivation is sporadic. Not each day, but, some days. It could become a perpetual cycle though if I get angry with myself – but I know it is not a fight I need to have with myself. Rather a fight to find a path through this time.
A new way of fighting. And I realised this is what I need to take forward this year. So I begin to clean out a different closet this year and begin to fight each fight fairly. Firstly, the ones I have with myself. The ones where I am driven by influences that don’t come from good, meaningful anger.
I accept that I am in a transitional phase in my life. My body, my mind and my sense of mortality are no longer the same as they were 10 or even 5 years ago. And that is ok. Really it is. And any uncertainty or the anger I feel because of said uncertainty is best not directed at myself but in how I nurture myself. Yoga, long baths m, remaining curious and escaping into books are important for me, on any given day what I need may look different.
I can no longer be in a battle with people who see the world differently. I can only SEE the world differently and know that my contribution is allowed to be heard. I can’t at this point in time continue to care about responses and practices that I have no control over. From the amount of plastic someone uses, who they vote for, to the lack of sympathy and empathy people have for those of us who ‘feel’ the world or don’t do life as most people do or are just different.
These last years I’ve fought ‘loudly’. This year I need to fight ‘quietly’. This is by no means a cop out – this is living where I am. Getting louder was important for me. It taught me to speak up. I needed to speak up with the protection of distance (ergo SM and online). I am now equipped to fight more courageously rather than flight in my everyday interactions and choices. Also, I am following some gutsy, fair fighters, I learn from them.
I wondered where this blog would go for the next year and I think it will be with me. With me through this year of transition and the creation of my cottage life. Little stories, like the one I want to tell you about how I’d love to be a B &B host one day in my future and my thrift finds. So, apologies. There is no fanfare, no big goodbye or reflections of the past year. Just now, here, where I am.
Sometimes I wonder how I landed here, what guided me to this place. This place, this time where life is throwing me headfirst into the flux of transition. I am always the most sure of life when I (we) are ‘on the move’ or in the midst of planning one. Life has been a huge adventure of different experiences for me.
This adventure has me fighting for stillness and to face down the call to run (for now ;)). Joke. My feet are planted. My home, a tree – growing roots for my children.
There are people in my life who won’t actually let me run, there is a circle of women holding me still. Still and without expectations, the kind of a perfect way to climb over my wall. A wall I think at times is as strong as the colosseum (I am a solo, gypsy spirited sort of sailor). It is a little scary but if I look at it with eyes of wonder I know I am where I need to be. That is kind of exciting yeah?! An adventure in itself.
“I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”
I started the year with quote from Elizabeth Gilbert on my desk … it still holds a lot of meaning for me. I am a warrior for truth, a flawed warrior.