Month: May 2015

it’s 1.35am…

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It’s 1.35am here and I’m lying in bed trying to jot down my thoughts…if I empty them from my head maybe I can fall asleep. Well that’s the theory.  Each night I go to bed between 11.30 and midnight, so that if my body takes to falling asleep it can. Plus, it’s kind of a routine. Let’s not be fooling anyone though, for we all know sleep doesn’t always like to be my friend. It hasn’t for many years now, and I know it’ll always be  lifelong struggle for me…but c’est la vie…

As I lie here in the dark, I feel a little lost tonight. More so than most nights and I’m trying to make sense of it all. Maybe it’s one of those times when it won’t ever make sense. Maybe I’m just being silly and over reacting to every little thing.

You see I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to my work and whatnot, I live to aim high… And I don’t tend to see anything wrong with that, but of late I’ve turned that perfection ideology onto myself, and that, I fear, is not  a good thing.

I’d love for an eraser to rub away the imperfections. To blend away the scars for good. To change my body. To allow myself to see  beauty(both inner and outer), and love, and worth each time I look in the mirror. Yet, at the moment all I see are flaws and reasons to change.

Another thing to know about me is I hate when I feel kind of ‘woe is me’. I’ve had it bad, I know that, but it’s selfish to think that I should delve into my own worries when there are countless people out there with more important problems, hurt and chaos in their lives. Now that’s not to say, I don’t care about myself, but I rarely put me first.  So my current disposition of “I’m okay” to those in my life is a stark contrast to Read the rest of this entry »

Time and Other Thoughts

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We will never see all the wonders that the world holds, we will never be able to have the chance to say all the hello’s and hold the conversations with people in our life and beyond. We will never be able to listen to every song sung, to every musical piece played.  We will never be able to read all the books, prose, poetry, plays written.  We will never be able to see all the artwork that has been created, styled and painted. Not through lack of trying, or lack of want, but because every day adds more, new, fresh wonders and beauty to this spinning globe.  More people come into your life, more people you want to converse with. There is just not enough time to experience and live it all.

And for a moment, as this thought raced through my mind, I felt incredibly melancholy and disheartened, that here we are…living, breathing, and tempted to engage in it all, yet our time is short and fragile.  Momentarily, it felt like someone, something was teasing me with potentials and possibilities but simultaneously, slowly tipping the grains of sand from the timer.

As a child, in my eagerness for good things to happen, I would clock watch.  Check the time frequently, count down the minutes until my sisters came home from school and friends came to play.  One day my mum, jokingly told me, that clock-watching would only make the time go slower.  Obviously, as an adult, I can see that she meant to fill the waiting time by doing something, but as a young child of 5/6 I was in awe that I could potentially have the power to slow time, just by looking at the hands of the watch, the numbers on the clock.

As an adult, over the past few years in particular, I have come to appreciate time and it’s worth. I dislike sitting doing nothing.  I don’t like the feeling that I have wasted my day.  Very rarely do I take any down time for myself.  I’m always on the go, even when I should be falling asleep.  In the evenings, when I finally take a seat, I sit pen in hand, writing.  I can lie awake in bed in the small hours of the morning and have so many thoughts run through my head.   Maybe it’s because for a while I didn’t appreciate the minutes and the hours in the way that I should have.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have anything to show for myself.  I furthered my education, I worked in my, at the time, dream job, I traveled, I lived abroad, I helped others and I got married.  I get to sit here, typing this on a rainy Thursday afternoon, in my own bought house, to have a sense of pride that I have accomplished a lot.  Most of which I never thought I would ever do.

There are times when I feel overwhelmed for the time I have to make up for. Life is an endless wave of possibilities, a mountain of potential happenings, and every day, I try to make the most of every breath of air that enters my lungs.  I am constantly listening to the sounds of the world, the man made noise of song, the essence of nature.  I am constantly reading the words people jot down in ink, post on computer screens.  I constantly see the beauty of my surroundings; the squirrels and birds that cheekily sit in my garden awaiting me to bring out food, the children laughing as they play with their parents in the gardens, the colours of the sky and the greenery of the world, the roses that bloom, some perfectly formed, some perfectly imperfect.  I am constantly in touch with friends in person, overseas, on social networks – if I can make people feel less alone in their day to day life, if I can make people smile, if I can make people know that I have their back no matter what – then I am doing something right.  I cherish the moments I spend with my family: that I can genuinely count on my parents for anything, can talk to them freely, that we drop in on each other weekly just for a coffee and to say hello. That I have the most remarkable sisters and brother in law, that I get to share my life with, that we know exactly what to say or do to put a smile on each others faces.  That even though as a family we have had a lot to deal with, we are still standing tall, and still growing, will forever be the spark in my day.  That my husband knows what I am thinking without me even having to open my mouth to utter the words, that he always believes in me and my ideas, plans, wants and needs for my life, for our life.

Time may have passed me by quicker than I thought it could, sometimes staring me directly in the face and sometimes just slipping out of the door, but I know, that every day I open my eyes, it’s to a day filled with beauty and life. And that is all I can ask for.

Thoughts on “If You Feel Too Much” by Jamie Tworkowski

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Take yourself to a coffee shop. Buy your favourite coffee and indulge yourself in a piece of something good to eat. Pick a chair in the corner, facing the world that is passing you by, remove your jacket, settle yourself into a comfortable position. Prepare yourself to be lost in someone else’s world.  A world of, at times, wonder, sadness and grief, but ultimately, a world of love, family, friendship, community and hope.

The author Jamie Tworkowski has bared his heart and soul into the words that appear before your eyes as you read.  Even if you are unaware of To Write Love On Her Arms, and the story of how the movement came about. Or even if you do not know the importance that he has in this life altering global community, do not let that stop you from picking up this book.

His words are delicately written, as if it’s a late night chat between friends where they recall the past, and the friends made, journeys taken and loves lost. The words flow effortlessly and are thoughtfully placed. However, do not mistake delicate for fragile.   This book is full of passion, fight and promise.  It takes a skilled writer, to be able to tell a story that can move you to tears on one page, and fill your heart with hope on the next.

Maybe it’s the way Tworkowski doesn’t pretend to be something he is not.  There is no hint of pretentiousness in this entire book.  Just honest and humble recalling of the past and some of the people that he holds dear to his heart, and a look to a hopeful future.

When he talks of loves lost, there is a charm that flows through.  He speaks candidly of the girls he has met and shared a spark with, and it’s very moving to read someone being so honest about times of heartache and relationships.  He tells the stories of his friendships so openly that for a moment, you feel like you know the people in the tale. He recalls the people who have left this world too soon.  Yet does not fill those pages with grief but instead mixes the sadness and loss with the gratefulness of  friendship.

The chronological aspect of the book allows you to feel the appropriate feelings and in a way, grow as the book progresses.  It’s written in such a way that the emotions that he feels throughout are transferable to the person being told the story.  It gives thinking space, and allows you to understand and appreciate the feelings that he had and has, in his life, and ultimately, tells you the story of him. Yet, it also gives the reader the opportunity to delve into the archives of their own past and their own relationships. The essence I got from this book is about companionship in all forms, honesty, love and allowing yourself to be you, without repercussion, to not be alone. And I get the feeling that that is all that Tworkowski wants for himself and the ones he loves.

I was asked by someone when I had mentioned that I pre-ordered If You Feel Too Much, whether it was a self-help type book. My response is this : It’s a book of sadness and shade, of love and light, of loss and gain, and most importantly, truth and hope. It tells the story of a man who for years has encouraged people all around the world to open up, be honest and seek comfort and help in others.  It tells the story of a man, who many look to for words and actions.  It tells the story of a man who is just like the rest of us.  A good person. A person worthy of love and success. A human. A human who feels too much. And feeling too much is perfectly okay.

Finding the balance

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I know what it is like to be so overcome with emotion that you don’t know what to say or do.  It’s just that your heart beats uncontrollably and your mind goes into overdrive.  Sometimes it comes with a gut wrenching ache in the pit of your stomach or that you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.  It can leave you feeling that you cannot escape your own self. It can leave you questioning everything, everyone and struggling to find the answers you so desperately seek. Sometimes when these feelings have such a tight grip on you, the only solace you find is in the forms of covering up the pain. It can be as simple as not accepting the issues/troubles, throwing yourself into a project as a form of distraction or picking up the bottle, grasping the blistered packet or inflicting pain on yourself. If your emotions/pain takes too much of a hold to handle, sometimes it’s easier to throw all caution to the wind and lose any rational thoughts you may have.  Sometimes you’ll do anything to feel numb.

I know what it is like to blank out the pain and the emotion until you feel nothing. Nothing at all.  The numbness that you have submitted yourself to, seeps into your every cell.  The ache in your stomach disappears into an dark pit.  The tremors in your heart dull down until they stop.  With each passing moment you become more still, increasingly empty.  Numb.  A release from it all.  And for a while, it feels good. What they don’t tell you though, is when you numb yourself from everything painful in your life, you also block out all the good and potential happiness and resolution.  The longer you feel numb the harder it becomes to switch back to feeling.  Your heart, albeit, no longer breaking, begins to want to beat freely like it did before.  The emptiness and darkness becomes suffocating and you wonder if it will ever be possible to feel alive again.

There are times that both feeling and not feeling are, for lack of a better word, ‘resourceful’ and can be the difference between making it through a day or not. Yet, that is no way to live.  In my past, I would sometimes party and drink just to forget and inflict pain on myself to balance it out.  Sometimes just to feel or sometimes to stop the pain. It took me a long time to find the inner strength and the balance to stop using these ‘crutches’ to get through daily happenings. In hindsight, the numbness scares me more than being immersed in pain and emotions. Feeling nothing can be so dark and isolating.  I know now, that emotions for me, allow me to feel alive. Some days I feel so over whelmed by them, wishing that I had an off switch to give me temporary relief. Some days I think how easy it could be to slip into old habits to give me peace.

With time, I have come to realize that feeling too much can be dealt with, can be channeled, can be eased.  For me, numbness and emptiness left me cold and trapped, and prolonged my suffering. To feel is to be alive.