family, support, Uncategorized

Beyond an ivory tower life

Is it comfortable up there, in your ivory tower? The one where you damn the world from and protect your kin.

Is it safe, when you shout to protect your loved ones?

Is it warm from where you selfishly tell me what a messed up family I have, and that your family will not be involved?

Is it blinding? Can you not see that we’re stuck in this not so perfect life, trying to make good from gripping hurt. Can you not, for one moment, see outside your tower towards the pain of others?

I’ve never had an ivory tower. My family may have it’s sharp edges, but we have always looked outwards to people who needed us. This may have been to the detriment of keeping our core unit safe, but that’s how it was.

And now, as my own unit crumbles again, all I hear are the voices from your tower, shunning us away and shouting down damnations coveted as advise.

How dare you pretend to love us.

How dare you say you will be there.

How dare you speak words that contradict your action and never see the pain you are inflicting by doing this.

I’m jealous of your tower. The one where you see the world at a distance, never letting the bad bits touch you.

I’m jealous that within it you have never felt the pain I’ve felt or made the sacrifices we have made. You’ve never had to lift a finger too high without an all consuming help from within your walls, you’ve never had to feel alone. I’m happy for you – but please don’t let this make your cruel to when the world outside cries out in pain, wanting help.

Not everyone is as blessed as you. Please, do good with it.

Mojo&Me xx

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creativity, travel, Uncategorized, writing

Travel: the inspiration and tormentor of creativity 

It’s all bubbling away inside me. Ideas. Emotions. Unexpressed in a way that conveys really what I’m feeling.

And in these moments I start to think; I have to write. I have to express. I’m not an artist but this must be what it’s like to need to create – where things come from you unexpectedly, raw, needing finesse but pouring with such depths of truth about where they’re from that they can’t hide any longer.

They are seeping into my mind, wanting release in words. Every ounce of my being is trying to capture and repress them at the same time.

I can’t express right now.

I can’t feel right now.

Right now, I have to be here. Where I am. 

Where am I?

I’m currently on an epic trip across Canada, driving through mountainous terrain that have left me speechless, humbled and amazed at the world. It’s a far cry from the urban surroundings I’m used to, where buildings are the tallest things you see.

I want to soak it up and be in the now. A ‘now’ that I will only have in memories and pictures in two weeks time when it’s over and I’m back in my concrete terrain.

A ‘now’ that mindfulness has taught me to be in and that I love. A ‘now’ that usually calms my mind, roots my body and brings peace to my soul and I soak in the place I’m in.

The changing moments of ‘now’

My ‘now’ is morphing into something else. It’s hunting me down. Chasing me. Moving my mind to words that must come out; to surging emotions that run through me till I can’t be in the place my body exists and escapes to a place in my mind.

I must express. I must write. I must be in another ‘now’. Right now.

So here I am, in some of the words that I couldn’t keep in any longer. The words I saw and heard in my mind have formed a narrative that has taken over my present moment.

And now, I look up and experience something else. The mountains. You’re still there. You’re my next moment.

Thank you for waiting for me to see you. I wish life always did that.

Mojo&Me xx 

life, support, Uncategorized

When the fabric of life needs holding together

I feel like I’m unraveling.

The stitches that help keep me together are loosening, making my edges frayed and my soul fragile and exposed.

I know I spot this unraveling much sooner than I used to. I spot when something is pulling me apart, threatening the seams that keep me together.

There are situations I avoid to protect myself – these are often the same situations that have ripped me.

As I try to pull myself back together, I feel things all over again. Anger. Sadness. Guilt. Failure.

I shout, cry, self harm… and then the calm comes.

It wraps its arms around me and allows me to cry.

I usually ball up, hold my face in my hands, bitten nails in my mouth, scratching at where ever my hand lands.

Today I opened my arms to comfort though. It sounds metaphorical but it was literal. As I was held, I let myself be comforted. I lent into someone holding me. Someone that will help to stitch me back up.

I put my arms around him and realise I have never done this in my deepest moments of unease.

I recall children crying. When held in comfort, they tend to hold on. When did I stop doing this? When, in the moments that I need someone the most, did I instinctively curl up against the world, and not let anyone in?

In pulling myself back together, with help, I’ve realised the fabric of my life must change.

I know I’ll falter, I’ll hurt and at time I’ll fail. But at those worst moments I will open my arms to help and love. And they will be the new stitches that hold me together.

I’m not alone. And I have to remember that.

Mojo&Me xx

conversation, emotion, relationships, selfishness, support, Uncategorized

I wasn’t made for small talk, but it’s safe

I wasn’t made for small talk.

I’ve been told the normal route of conversations is that people talk about the weather, politics and even TV.

Of course I know this. I’ve done this. I can actually get passionate talking about some of this. I love debate and diverging views points that grow my world. And I laugh. A lot. And like it. What’s not to like? The rush of energy, serotonin and the occasional snorted or spat out drink. They are genuinely laughing matters!

But there’s this other thing. A thing I think I’ve always know was there, but only now do I realise it’s uniqueness. I build intrusively emotional connection.

I don’t mean to, honestly I don’t. But I often find myself in a labyrinth of untouched emotion around areas of such personal depth that I’m often left wondering, how did I just do that?

Within ten minutes of meeting a new person, I’m likely to know some pretty personal ins and outs. And likewise with people I love, I give them my all because I care. I ask questions and want to know they’re ok. I’ve tried to play it down or side step it but I often end up at the same place eventually – being emotionally intrusive.

I guess that sounds like the people don’t want to be there, but they do. I just happen to have built the path to that destination. Trust me, they willingly get on that road and walk it.

I’ve know the horrors and happiness of this double edged trait. That awkward moment when I realise I’ve gone too deep and can’t get out. The moment when I realise this person needs more than me to get of what they’re facing. That “how the fuck did that conversation just happen?!” moment.

And then there’s the joys and breakthroughs. The moments of happy tears, held back emotions released to roam and people just knowing that it will be ok.

I love and hate this deep part of me. I have forever wished I was the happy go lucky, keep it light type of person.

The truth is, my real connection comes in small clouds, crowds and bubbles. There’s an intimacy and hilarity that usually binds it. A connection that feels raw, delicate and vulnerable while being sturdy, hopeful and helpful.

Tonight I met my cousin – a friend as well as blood – she bluntly told me that’s why she loves me, needs me in her life and misses me.

I apparently punch her in the stomach with questions that cut right to the heart of the shit that matters.

Apparently that’s good, even though it sounds painful to me quite frankly.

I’ve heard and felt this a lot in my life – or at least the essence of it.

The long phone calls and chats, the reflective moments, the support, tears, laughter, hugs, smiles, stares and hidden wounds. I’ve felt emotions on so many scales and through so many people that I’ve often used them as distractions from what I was feeling. I’ve inadvertently created scary co-dependencies that I’ve had to ween myself away from.

I can’t tell you how hard that part is. Telling someone you can’t be there when otherwise you always have. Saying “no, I can’t” just so I can selfishly protect myself, my sanity, my energy or emotion.

And at these times I have hated myself more. Why have I done this to myself? Why have I created a place where others are safe at the sacrifice of me? Why am I me?

And then, I speak to my cousin, my friends and inner circle on the days I’m feeling strong and hear what they say.

We love you for all you are and all you share. We don’t want another version.

Apparently I’m just fine as I am. Even when I’m punch-in-the-stomach moving.

Who knew?

Mojo&Me xx

fear, life, Uncategorized, work

It’s your path to travel, with or without excuses

Starting a new job, is like the first day at school. There’s some nerves. A struggle to sleep the night before. Apprehension.

Will I fit in? Will I make friends? Will I be successful?

And then, joy.

Please let this be the reason for me to buy new stationary… Ok, maybe that’s me.

Last night I felt all this and more. This would be the first job in a while that hasn’t been a short term contract. It’s the first job in a while where I haven’t been brought in for a specific purpose, with a specific end. It’s all encompassing. It’s at the centre of the business. It’s in my happy place of my expertise with driven, clever people who make things happen. Could I hold my own being there?!

Bring on a new day

Today I woke up and shunned my nerves. I’ll be who I am and just see how things go.

As soon as I met my boss I realised the learning curve was about to start, all over again. I got told things about projects, politics and people; history, holidays and (mild) hysteria; I laughed with my team, chatted to new faces and figured out how to set up my laptop and phone. Essential things.

But there’s something I can’t articulate…

Tonight, as I ride the train home, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity where you just sit and think, thank fuck I did this? That’s me right now, on this train. Every risk I took in taking this role suddenly makes sense. I had to do it.

Everything feels right despite the list of reasons it shouldn’t:

  • I took a pay cut. In the charity sector I’m not going to make that up money anytime soon. And given the nature of the role, I’ll be working harder, for less
  • I walked away from a pending promotion – from a job I hated, but still, a promotion!
  • I mentally put on hold life goals, like buying a home
  • Did I mention the pay-cut?! Seriously, what was I thinking?

But none of this worries me, today.

What’s the narrative?

I had to choose a new path that could make me happy. And I did. It scared me, there were compromises, but I took the risk, even when I wasn’t sure, and did it.

It was so clear my company wasn’t right for me. But I started to kid myself it could be. If I could just…

  • Find someone to speak to, I’ll be ok
  • Take pleasure from not being challenged, this could be a sweet deal I have
  • Put up with bad leadership, demotivating managers and ridged bureaucracy, I could get that promotion
  • Accept that management wanted to keep me in a box and not stretch me, but pay me more money to do it, all would be just fine and dandy

Really? What a load of bull.

Let’s call out what these things are. Excuses, softeners maybe, a narrative I wanted to buy into to survive my day to day. But you know what? It didn’t work. I made that narrative and knew deep down I disbelieved it.

I knew because I felt terror in my tummy on the way to work, anxiety rising through my throat into my eyes every time I walked into a building where I felt trapped. Not physically maybe, but I started to believe I couldn’t get out, that I was better with the devil I knew than taking a risk playing with the devil I didn’t.

Choosing a path

My new job has made me realise that we often make excuses for staying on a path that we know, we’re not happy on. Maybe it’s too hard to challenge. Maybe we drown that whispered gut feeling with busyness. Or maybe we just kid ourselves into believing all will be fine, if we just do X, Y, Z. That will shut that little voice up at the back of my head. And my gut. And my friends.

But there is choice. There is always choice. Even when you think you’re trapped, you’re not. I urge you right now to reassess anything you feel trapped in. Assess the risk you might have to take to try a new way… and then… do it. Or at least, do something towards it.

Because you know what? No one else can do that for you. It’s your path for a reason. Make it count.

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, fear, happiness, home, mental health, travel, Uncategorized, work

The life I dreamt

Out of no where it hits me. Grief. Sadness. Disappointment. A loss of hope. All for a life we’ve just missed out on. A property that grew on me. A slow growth where I began to imagine things. A life. The next chapter. A home for now and the future. The tangible middle ground that would take us from being the ever adjusting travellers, finding our feet still (more than a year on), to a couple looking forward to and excited for all that is coming.

I know this feeling will pass and even as I type I remember all we have that I am grateful for. We aren’t homeless; we have family we can live with; I have a new job to start soon. Life actually isn’t too bad.

Sure, it’s not moving at a pace that we hoped for. Sure, since coming home I have felt like this is the road less travelled for me, where city life continues as my mind and body exist within it, but really, I’m still playing catch up.

Sure, my sense of self has changed endlessly and I have moments of never really knowing who I am now, what I keep from the past, what I let go of and what I build. Sure, it’s not been smooth. Or easy. Actually, it’s been pretty fucking hard and sometimes down right overwhelming. But hell, it could’ve been worse right?!

More recently…

I have been feeling the tug of the hamster wheel recently – the one I promised myself I would never get on again, the one I would look at from outside the cadge. But recently I have thought:

Wow. We work to pay off a mortgage that we don’t yet have. So we can provide for the children we dream of. Where does the fun fit in? Where does careless, reckless uninhabited happiness fit? Is it in the day to day or do we need to work harder to build it in?

So it’s been a funny road, this one of (non) property ownership. It’s left me feeling many things along the way and yet I can acknowledge, now it’s prematurely-over, that actually I wanted it. A lot. Even when I thought I didn’t.

Hard dreams

The thing about disappointment and sadness is that it can become so consuming that you can’t see what it’s taught you.

I’ve learnt so much about myself; I have pushed boundaries and confronted fears of the future; as a couple we have worked together, envisioning a future that is yet to happen but excited none the less.

Then sometimes, as I have fought my instinct to be short-termist, it had grabbed my throat and chocked me. Reminded me that deep down I’m frightened. And I didn’t always know what of.

Sometimes it’s because I don’t know how we get to all the things we want without becoming blind to the small things that make life great. How do we stop becoming impatient to rush ahead? What happens to appreciating the now? Can these two realms ever co-exist?

And sometimes, when I feel we’re almost there, I then think, what then? Will we be trapped? Is this it?

And now, as the future we were so close to getting slips from our grasp, I remind myself of all I’ve learnt and been through in this microcosm of life.

And it’s this.

It will all be ok, eventually. Dreams sought easily were never the big ones. The ones you fight yourself to achieve are this ones that grow you. Even if you don’t get them right away.

Mojo&Me xx

 

mental health, Uncategorized, work

A note to you, my colleague. A note I’ll never send.

 There are days that I feel like crying at my desk.

There are days that I feel that no matter how hard I work, I’m not god enough.

There are days that I feel used, unappreciated, ignored and sidelined.

 Work used to be fun. Now I feel I am trapped – trying hard to escape but getting nowhere.

 Then you send me an email.

You say thank you for the work I put in.

You say that it’s because of me things are running smoothly, that things are happening, getting done, showing results.

You tell me that I’m more than good enough.

You have brought me cake to my desk when I can’t stand the day and am crying behind my screen.

You have hugged me as I’ve had a melt down over things.

You remind me that nothing is worth getting upset over – especially not this.

 So although I will never send this note, I just want to say thank you.

Your words have pulled me back from the edge without you knowing and shone kindness in what often feels like a thankless place to work where I feel cadged to continue working and giving till I break.

 But I won’t break, not over this. As you say – it’s just not worth it.

 Mojo&Me xx