Showing Up.

Turns out learning to live is a lot like physical therapy after a body trauma. At first it’s really hard and – to be completely honest – not exactly fun. Then you get a bit stronger and a bit more use to stuff and now I’m in this odd place where I think, “What is this feeling?” And I realise I’m LOOKING FORWARD to something. I can’t recall the last time I looked forward to something.

It’s a two steps forward, one step back dance for a long time. Really, in the beginning I was just logging time on this planet. There didn’t seem much point to anything. In the beginning the only thing I enjoyed was work. Nice little parcelled out editing jobs because it was something I could achieve. I could look back at the end of the day and think – I did 600 photos today. I could scroll through them and feel like I changed something in the world. Small, insignificant, but something. Work, in the beginning, saved me. On days I worked my mood chart was better. It gave me a sense of purpose. Still, every time a job rolls in I think, “I love this.”

Then it was tiny outings. Maybe I made it into the shops to buy milk. Maybe I managed to walk into the school to grab the kids instead of waiting in the car.

I drove 400ks round trip.

I had tea with a friend.

To begin with those things I MADE myself do. This person is expecting you. So I took my sense of duty and I exploited it.

One time last year? I decided to live because my friend asked me to model for her. Literally decided I didn’t want to let my friend down so I had better live. I exploited the shit out of myself to make myself turn up to life.

It is awkward for me to talk about that. About feeling so bad that I weighed up the pros and cons of being alive. But I try to be honest here. I try to come to you with my vulnerability because I know too well that we hide the ugly parts of ourselves. Every time I bare my skin to you and show you my scars I’m being brave – because it’s easier to hide. I know…. Oh, I know….

But THIS week.

This week I showed the fuck up. This week I wrote myself a list of 10 things and decided I was going to be alive. If my brain could teach me how to hide then surely I could rewire it to be happy. To be present. And now I sit here thinking, what is this feeling? And I realise it’s looking forward to things. And that is being alive.

I’m alive.

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Miscommunication.

So awhile ago my mum and I were on the phone and I asked if she would mind having the kids overnight that weekend. At the time I had visions of escaping to a nice hotel with my partner for the night, ordering room service and perhaps we would sit on a balcony with drinks and talk about the world before we went to bed and got sexy. What actually happened was we were both so busy and tired he ended up working on an engine while I sat in a fold out chair and we talked about things before I went to bed early because I’m a piker like that. Anyway, mum says, “No worries, Dad had a bit of a cold but he went with Grandad on a run so he mustn’t feel too bad.”

Now at the time this didn’t seem to phase me, I just kind of accepted that my dad was going for a run with Grandad even though my dad – while always seeming to take pretty good care of himself – has never ran on the regular (or irregular) to my knowledge. Still, after I got off the phone and I had a bit of time to process this information I was a bit confused because while my dad running is strange, Grandad running was really next level.

Firstly, Grandad has had a hip replacement and uses a cane. He has used a cane for so many years now I can’t remember him not using a cane. I pretty sure Grandad wouldn’t walk to the shops that are only a street away. In some ways, Grandad is like my spirit animal in that respect because I try not to walk anywhere unless I’m hatching a Pokemon egg and even then, I do it grudgingly. One time before they sold the farm Grandad couldn’t find the car keys so he drove the tractor into town to get the paper. That story delights me and I tell it to everyone. I am so impressed by his problem solving attitude to the paper situation and his complete lack of give-a-fucks as to what people thought when they saw this man riding on top of a tractor down the main drag of town to fetch The Courier Mail.

Anyway, on the weekend I am sitting at my aunties after mum had the kids for me and I say to her tentatively, “Mum, you said that Dad and Grandad were going for a run and….Grandad runs?” My mother bursts out laughing and my brother has tears in his eyes and slaps his knee in hilarity. “Oh, god no!” Mum chokes out between fresh peals of laughter, “It’s a sausage run! They go to Bunnings and get a sausage from the sausage sizzle!”

Sausage run. I told you he was my spirit animal.

ps. I don’t really have a photo to go with this. I had grand plans of perhaps partaking in a sausage run myself but unfortunately my kids were away this weekend so I felt more strongly about wearing sweatpants and refusing to put on a bra. Also I have a complete avoidance issue with stock photos. I just can’t bring myself to use them even though I sell stock images – or maybe that’s why, I don’t know, it’s neurotic. Anyway, the best I could do is a random photo I found of my daughter trying to convince this chicken to get down from the tree. We had such trouble with this bird, to be honest. We clipped her wings and she still managed to flap and struggle her way to the highest a branch. I admired her tenacity. I’m far too lazy for that myself but I think it was a good quality to have. Peace out, folks. Happy Sunday.

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