Thursday, November 30, 2017

Smashed It.

Today I smashed it.
In a good way.
I've had a big week where at times it's felt as though I'm deep in a hole and I haven't got the strength or materials to pull me out. I've been letting myself suffer, which is tiring and miserable and if I'm honest - a little pathetic. I haven't been able to drag myself out of it though, just quietly reaching inward instead of outward. I'm not sure if this is a good thing but it's all I can do for now.
So that's been going on and I've been quite emotional. Crying in the car to sad songs emotional. Sometimes the songs aren't even that sad and I'm crying anyway. My saving grace, in many ways, has been my job that I love, that I need and that I am very proud of.
I was asked a few weeks ago if I would like to talk about the program that I coordinate at our organisations Public Meeting. There would be important people there, not just managers but politicians and public figures. I agreed and wrote a 2 page speech that I thought was pretty good and showed it to 2 of my managers who also thought it was pretty good. I practised a few times, tweaked a few bits and felt ready, but also terrified. What if I fucked it up? What if my nerves got the better of me and I embarrassed myself in some way? (I figured I'd either sneeze and some wee would run down my leg or I'd be so shaky it would be excruciating for people to watch).
Meeting is at 11 today. I'm busy visiting a client this morning and am reminded that not only do I love my job but it is making a difference in some people's lives. Still, nervous. I am the last speaker so I sit quietly and try to focus on my breathing - that I can control. Sweaty palms, fast heart, blushing face - these things I can't control but I can be aware of without it bothering me too much.
I speak for about 8 minutes. I remember to look up. I make people laugh a couple of times. I feel calm, proud and important (3 things I'm not sure I've felt for a while!). They love it - afterwards I am introduced to important people, congratulated, praised - it is incredible. I am floating on air.
I've been trying to get better at sitting with my pain, rather than numbing it or avoiding it. Today I try to be comfortable with the joy, the pride that I feel and that I deserve. I allow a huge smile to spread across my face and within my bones and I sit with it. For today.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I don’t particularly enjoy getting dressed up, not fancy dress or even dressy dress…I’ve never had a particularly great experience of it. When I was about 12 we went to a punk roller disco and I had incredible vision for my blonde mullet…as a mohawk. We sprayed my hair pink and purple and used an incredible amount of hairspray and it really hurt like hairpulling hurt and the end result was…not what I’d dreamt of. Turns out mohawks really accentuate mullets and I looked like a boy girl from 1985 (It was 1991 so there was nothing cool about 6 years ago). People kind of smiled at me but nobody lived up to my expectation of ‘oh my god look at her you look amazing’ amongst themselves and to me. This was not an unfamiliar experience in my life.

This year, 2017, Halloween is on a Tuesday and my new house is connected by a park to a street that loves to Halloween. Liam, a wonderful Dad and go getter organises about 10 houses along the road with bags of lollies his wife Nicky has prepared. One house is tasked with Tricking and an elaborate scheme is hatched for toilet papering her house and being chased down the street by an angry lady.

The kids are pumped and we are drawn into the shenanigans. I am the final house added to the route which leads to a need for costumes. I purchased a good quality red and white striped shirt for $2 at an op shop recently, I happen to own blue pants and have some pipe cleaners lying around, which means I have the perfect mediocre Where’s Wally costume on hand.

The kids look terrific, a West Coast Eagles player and a scary but cute witch. They walk down the road to join the others and I prepare the garden – tealight candles leading up to the door. I turn all the lights off and it is awesome, spooky and private but also lovely. Then I realise I’m sweating like a bushpig (do they sweat? I really can’t think of a better sentence) and I hate how I feel in my expensive but hot shirt and polyester pants. So I quickly strip off, find my long black skirt and flowing black shirt, put on every string of beads I own (quite a lot it turns out) and grab the witches hat that was too big for Maggies head for myself. I am comfortably a mysterious witch with a large amount of colourful beads around my neck.

I hear the kids through the park and quickly open the gate. As I do a young person in a terrifying mask (like a screaming skeleton? Freaky) appears to the left of me. His body language conveys that he/she is friendly and would like some chocolate, but I find myself unnerved. Despite this, I say “Ok, if you’re here for sweets you can have some, but a group of kids are just about to arrive and if you could hide somewhere and scare them that would be excellent”.

The smiling skeleton looks even happier/scarier and crouches behind some bushes just inside the garden. A minute passes, then another, he/she just crouches and waits. The children begin to arrive in dribs and drabs, excited by the candles, intrigued by my witchiness and completely oblivious to the scary as fuck skeleton watching them. Suddenly he/she bursts up with a roar and the children shriek, gasp, fall backward and one child in particular let’s out a bloodcurling scream of terror. It is hilarious. I thank scary skeleton and offer him an extra chocolate for his/her services.

I take my costume off with some relief, everything is hot and sweaty late October in the Tropics – the kids in makeup are starting to look truly worrying. They have recovered from their scare and are calling it a ‘prank’ which I’m taking full credit for. We go back down the road and have a beer with the other parents, Liam stopping to clean up the fence they toilet papered as a Trick, another successful pranking.

It’s my favourite Halloween ever.