emotion, life, marraige, mental health, travel, Uncategorized

Anniversary

Today is our two year wedding anniversary, marking a momentous turning point in our life. Not because of the wedding per say, but for what we promised each other for that year and beyond.

Today also marks a year since we came back from a year long honeymoon, exploring the world and our marriage through a lens of freedom and hopefulness.

You posted a beautiful heartfelt message to me. Things I know you feel because you tell me often. Things that touch my heart and make me grateful for all I have found in you – my partner, my best friend, my soul mate, my other half. 

But my emotion is a private one.

I hide it often behind laughter, hardness, look always and stolen glances; behind a toughened heart, only you have softened and see through to. My expression is overt when I see you and want you close – hand in hand, face to face, an unexpected hug, a playful jump on you. A reassurance that you’re mine. That somehow the universe brought us together and we are one of the lucky ones. At other times it is independent and stubborn – not something I need overtly, sometimes it is shunned as I block out the world and protect myself from forces that are breaking me.

Our wedding was a magical moment in time, but the life we are striving to create, even when things are hard, is what I love you for. The belief that we have in knowing all will be ok, if we face things together. The belief that the road we travel is bumpy, especially as we struggle to find our feet after travel, but we will be ok.

You are my optimism during hard times, when I can’t face another day. Everyday I am amazed that you can love me even with my damaged edges and troubled mind.

My biggest fear is that one day you will realise who I am, how different I am to girl you met all those years ago, how I can no longer match or challenge your ambition or mind.

My spirit to run away and hide is there still, tamed, but when I am scared of life I have to fight the urge to run. You are my reason to fight. You are my reason to stay. You are my reason on many days, to live.

When I see you sad at the thought of loosing me to the devil I have within, I want to get better, for you. So I don’t ever loose you and you don’t ever loose me.

I hope you don’t read this. On day I should be writing you a love note, I have needed to be cathartic about how our anniversary of travel and marriage has built this foray of emotions. Ones of love and hopefulness against the fear and sadness that I am trying to conquer.

This years anniversary will be tinged by being the time I went to the doctors; the time I was advised I needed medication, the time I was referred for further help for an illness not seen, but felt.

I don’t want these things to define this time; I don’t want them to define me.

So if you are reading this, please remember this: today is another beautiful day of our marriage. I love you with a spirit I can’t always express. Look into my eyes and I know you’ll see it. Small hearts dancing in my iris as I look at the man who I will be with for the rest of my life. No matter where it takes us.

I love you for all you are, all you will be and all you give me. You are my reason for being and my inspiration to keep going. On the days I don’t want to wake up, you’re the reason that made me glad I did.

Forever yours,

Mojo&Me xx

 

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mindfulness, travel, Uncategorized

Mindful in Cambodia

I looked up to the blue sky as the sun was setting and was reminded of the a beautiful moment from my travels.

Cambodia, 2016

We had spent the last two days trekking through the forests, sleeping in hammocks and being scorched by the searing sun on the long walk back to our base in an eco village run by locals.

The experience was tough but brilliant. Our treat was a sunset cruise with dinner the following day. No, no. Not a shipliner. Not even a boat.

As the raft approached us, I could see a local Cambodian women steering it using a stick attached to the motor. I then saw the table.  A little thing we could sit crossed legged under. The simplicity wowed me. It’s everything a sunset cruise should be about. The outdoors. There was no peaking through windows – there was a 360 uninterrupted view.

As we started to sail off – is that the right term? Do you really sail on motorised a raft?! – we were approaching the sunset in the distance. But the view was blocked by cloud. A thunder cloud to be precise.

The views were incredible. We saw lightening through the clouds, rays of light from the sunset peering through while thunder bolts filled our ears. But there was no rain. We we’re going towards where the storm was but not in it.

Then, with our backs to the cloud, we saw behind us the moon was out in a still bright blue sky. The stars eventually joined us. All at the same time as the thunderous sunset in the distance, which alone held my gaze and wonder.

Change happens slowly

I look back and realise how change happens slowly. Without you realising it. I remember getting lost in the sky, thinking, we are so small. I remember thinking that this moment, so early in my travels, was something I would never forget, a sunset like no other.

But today, I realise it wasn’t just a memory I captured. It was the moment. It was one of the first times I really appreciated where I was, what was around me, the gratefulness that filled me was overwhelming as I got lost in the night sky and thought – I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

As I walk home, I look up at a bright blue sky, and see a sliver of a white moon against it. Nature has a funny way of grounding me to the present. And that, I don’t want to let go of. Just like that memory and just like that moment.

Mojo&Me xx

travel, work

Dealing with commuter rage

I just had my first commuter rage since coming home from travels. A weird feeling and something not missed, but I think there’s a lesson here…

A crowd of people were waiting for a stand still trains doors to open. As they did I got swooped on into the open doors – people in front of me being pushed into my path by others squeezing in from the sides, people behind me stepping on the back of my feet, the angry man on the other side of me unable to get on with his bike because of all this. He was also the man I had to cut up to jump on the train as I was being pushed. I thought I’d get out of the way, not run for a seat, but stand near the toilets. Not the most pleasurable, but not as crowded. But the bike man got on – it seemed I was standing where his bike goes. Is there no where safe to be?!

I walked to the other side of the carriage and miraculously found a single seat. Ta da. Someone was looking out for me.

I realise that everyone just wants to get home, it is gone ten PM after all. Usually my bed time!

But the pushing, stomping and angry man rialed me.

No one really wants to be the angry man, stomping man, the pushing man or even the slightly pissed off woman. And I won’t. So there :p (deliberate sticky out tongue face).

And then. I got off the train. Watched people. Heard the hustle of everyday life. Got on to a tram. Looked out of the window as my changing home town went by me. And then. It was there. The moon.

In all that, I realised – while I thought it was harder to see beauty in the everyday hustle, I found it… Amoungst the very same hustle. People, noises, faces, places. The sky. The moon.

It’s all there for the taking. I just had to open my eyes.

Thanks for the lesson, world. I heard you loud and clear.

Mojo&Me xx

balence, career break, travel, work

Working 9-5: Dolly’s song and what this means to me

I feel like Dolly was on to something when she sang Working 9-5

Workin’ 9 to 5
What a way to make livin’
Barely gettin’ by
It’s all takin’ and no givin’…
It’s enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

Hands up if you sang this in your head!

Anyhow, after a long career break having got married and traveled the world, it’s been a while since I worked. When I first came home I remember thinking how strange it was that I could only see my friends after work or the weekend. And because they have more than one friend, this often took ninja organisation skills to book in advance.

It was like being slapped in the face with a diary. You know, like those Filofax or planners you’d see Samatha with in Sex in the City – the one that showed how important she was because, well, she was busy. And people needed to know this.

In the digital world, the Filofax has been replaced with whatsapp groups or those online things where everyone needs to vote to see when is the best time for the most people to meet. Granted, I don’t have such big friendship groups that I need the latter and quite frankly would loose my will to live if I was an organiser in any group. I quite like spontaneity but realise that between work, family and hobbies, this isn’t always possible.

Fair to say, I am the one who wants to see people, but I also have small networks so usually meeting them isn’t too difficult. Well, that’s what I used to think before I went travelling.

Now I’m back I realise that this thing called work dictates when I’m free. It’s the overbearing five day long appointment that becomes the thing to organise everything around. Between about 6:30am – 7pm, I belong to work. Either getting ready for it, doing it, or getting home after it. That leaves me mornings (I wouldn’t inflict morning me on anyone), evenings (feed me and I’m yours) and of course the precious weekend.

As much as I love what I do, I am suddenly begrudging how much of my life it takes up. How much of my friends’ lives it takes up. How much head space I used to dedicate to it – even out of hours.

Funemployed let me get life admin done when everyone else was at work. Dentist and doctors appointments no longer needed negation with the boss. Banks are open at times outside of luchtime when ques reach the doors. Hair, waxing, eyebrows and all those lady like things that eat into weekends, evenings and lunch breaks were done when everyone else was in meetings, at their desks or dreaming about home time.

And that’s not including all the fun things. Museums, eateries, parks, tourist attractions – all had a low level humm to them during the week, conserving energy for the rush that will ensue at the weekend.

But alas, I realise now, I can’t have it all. I must work and want to for my mental sanity, the challenge and satisfaction it gives me. But I need to stay true to somethings:

  1. Work cannot take over my life. With sooooo much of your life spent at work, I don’t want to be someone who gives it even more. Even if I do work for good causes and this in itself motivates me to give every part of me and then some.
  2. In the long term, I must find a way to make a living that earns me money, makes me happy and has flexibility

I’ve changed since coming back from my travels. I know I have a dedication to the work I do, but I now have a dedication to my life. To growing it, to making it richer – not in money but in experience – and to giving it more variety and fun.

I’m putting this out to the world as my intention. I must stay strong to it, even as I complete my first week at work and am terrified everyday that I could fail.

But hey, isn’t there that old saying: If it scares you, do it. 

Only good can come of this. And I’m determined to give it a go. Dolly’s 9-5 didn’t seem that fun anyway. Not unless you were singing it.

Mojo&Me xx

balence, career break, travel, work

Same, same, but different

I start a new job next week. Yes! After a soul destroying four month search having come back from traveling for almost a year, I have a job. But there’s been a strange feeling rising in me. I feel the same, but different. Slightly, “same, same but different” – as they say in South East Asia.  

Anyhow, I wrote the below two days before we got back and it’s all I keep thinking about before I start my career again. Will I be the same doing the job I love?  Only time will tell.

_______________________________

3rd October 2016

I’m sitting in Port Elizabeth airport, in South Africa. We’ve spent the last week road tripping the Garden Route. It’s been a blast. I’m waiting for my penultimate flight before I head back to London following a year long honeymoon across 11 different countries. It’s almost over and I’m already thinking about life back home and what it can be. 

Next to me is a lady who’s in my sort of industry by the sounds of things. She’s on the phone talking  about ‘change requests’ to ‘incorporate the newest client requirements’. What they’re doing will improve the customer experience and will increase functionality. All the words are so familiar. But there’s something jarring me. 

It’s not because I haven’t worked in months, or that I’m not curious about the project. Believe me, I eavesdropped long enough to try and find out what the project was or who the client was! No, it’s something else that’s making me feel strange. 

It’s the urgency in her. A familiar urgency. An all consuming urgency. An urgency that makes my heart  beat faster, gets my adrenaline pumping and fires up my passion. 

The only thing is, I realised what it’s like to be outside of the all consuming work bubble which I loved. I realise, as I sit and hear the familiar tone of stress, the fast paced conversations and the urgency of it all, that this project is a big deal. But only really to the people involved. To anyone outside, the world has continued to move in the way it always has. 

I now understand an old boss’s advice. I’m not a heart surgeon and if things go wrong, no one will die. It will all be fine. I want to tell this woman  that. I want to tell her to stop and breath. But deep down I know this woman so well, that I even know the reaction I would get. 

“You don’t get it. You don’t care enough. Well excuse me for wanting to do my best.”

I’m sitting here wondering how I’m going to be when I go home and get back to the career I love. Will that urgent women be the voice in my head, a reminder of all I don’t want to be again? Or will I simply go back to being my version of her. 

I want balance when I’m home. I want to love what I do, without putting so much pressure on myself that I kneel over. I want a life and a career. I want to be kinder to myself and celebrate what I achieve and enjoy the ride. Not just focus on the bits I couldn’t do and what’s next. 

I think I know what my heart is saying, my biggest goal now is making it happen.

Wish me luck.

Mojo&Me xx