Trigger happy moments….

Evening all,

It is rare that I write a letter so publicly but I need to say something to a few people so,

  • To the boss that told me that I cannot make it, this is for you.
  • To the lover that took the six pounds of flesh she wanted and it still wasn’t enough, this is for you,
  • To the father who stopped fighting to breathe, this is for you,
  • To the lovers that pop up only when they need me, this is for you,

Today, on this evening, you win. I am not resilient enough to fight for my right to success. I am not confident enough to tell you to leave me alone, dear lover. I am not strong enough to battle my longing to see you daddy. I am not caring enough about myself to say no. These growing pains are just too much today. You will say it’s a phase we go through. But today, I am stopping trying to keep all our your negative comments at bay any longer, to keep all of your off my mind. I see the dark circles, the gained weight and the tears that fall as I sit in the shower. I feel the water so that I don’t feel the weight of my tears in my stained cheeks. So for today, you all have won your battles with me.

Enviably, they are the select few who get to solely expressing the mild manner of emotions. They don’t see the spectrum of emotions and the ever-lasting effects caused by spontaneously erupting factors and experiences. These are the experiences that throw you off balance. It’s an undesired ‘Throwback Thursday’ on a Friday. It’s ironic that your remember won’t casually allow you to feel the depths of her presence until the in amongst the thick of it. Only to finally look up from your storm to an “oh crap!” When the pain, excruciatingly sharp and overfamiliar, visits like she never left. The softness of my chest has pricked my eyes and I fold. Oh how I simply wish that a wound could only be matched in size and severity by the cut that made it. And my oh my, doesn’t that walk home feel long today.

In a month, on the 15th of September, I would have been saying I do. I would have walked down the aisle. Instead, I am sitting on my balcony, of my shared house with three related strangers, and cry. I cry for the pain I have caused myself and others. I cry for the wrongdoing that can shaped me. I cry for the pain to lift. I pray for the tears to stop falling. But this isn’t a depressive monologue (despite it feeling like it), no I just needed to get that out the system. I am clearly out of my shower, I picked myself up off the floor and said “enough Ivy”. Enough of the self pity party for one. Go dine with reality. She herself radiates improbity whilst dressed to kill in the latest normcore. Blend in with the crowds until you feel your pulse again. Play the song on repeat until you breathe the same beat.

I am going away for the 15th for 9 days. I am leaving my life behind and working it all out. I am going at it alone. I want to feel the quietness of the night and see what comes out of my system. I want to leave the lights off and watch the stars be born. Listen to the thousands of silent whispers of failed expectations, hopefully desires, and woeful mercies. My voice will only then feel like it’s one in a million. My self-neglected flourished voice can be silenced by the damned, condemned and the unfortunate.

I am counting the weeks, the days down. Give me strength team Ivy. I am here asking for your words, your supportive nature. I am asking for a hand up.

I’ll be back soon.

Ivy xx

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The magisterial of my nothingness

Hello stranger seems to be the only fitting introduction.

Under the cover of a darkened sky with not a star in sight, do I finally feel able to revisit you, or even feel able to revisit myself. Where have I been? Well, have you ever seen those moments on the films where the invisible cloak/mask/shield is removed and everyone sees you? This has felt like my life. I have felt like I am standing naked (metaphorically speaking) in the middle of Trafalgar Square, as I have always done, but the shield is down. My vulnerability have been exposure and the secret is out. The world is too small, I am the local celebrity and I cannot find my panic room quick enough.

By no means am I interesting enough to gain a celebrity status nor do I expect significant to ever come for my life. However the significance of this, my writings and the recent clash with reality has led to this space, my space, feeling like a cheville. A mere sentence balancing a paragraph, a gap filler. The worth of the words doubled in expectation and weighted with consequences left an ullage of intention. It just didn’t mean as much to me anymore. It felt hallow and I felt the darkness coming in for another shift.

The thing about darkness is that it is inevitable but you still have to invite it in. It’s consistency like a warm bed to me after the longest days, that’s a fact. But I still turn on a light until I have ready to feel her presence. I only sit in you, let you engulf me when I say. Tonight, I let the candles burn next to me. I have gotten replacement candles twice and I still don’t feel ready for you. I don’t feel ready to say goodnight and hello at the same time. My mind isn’t settling, my head isn’t empty, my heart isn’t quite beating. I am watching the flames dance in the breeze and praying to my own fate keeper that the darkness is not strong enough to take my light away. I whisper to the skies, “please, I’m not ready.”

Five more minutes comes – and goes – and I still feel the restlessness of the day. The flame calms and I realise that I have been holding my breath. The coffee pot is empty, the lights from those lives around me are disappearing and the darkness feels closer. It’s feels upon me and yet I still don’t feel ready. What am I fearing? What am I worried about? Your comfort has always brought my back to life. Why do I fight you? Especially when you are my best friend, my reinstaller of bravura and my blind faith. Why don’t I feel unseen with you anymore? Why do I feel the cast of 1,000 unkind eyes in blackness? Why do I feel like any of those eyes even care?

Another window gone, someone was ready to accept your presence, your purpose. I’m running out of options and your running out of time. 2am is here and your impatience to hold me is encouraging yet frightful. I can only see to my knees and you feel warm, you feel secure. Embrace me with kindness, dear darkness, that’s all I can ask for. For when I wake up, it will be light and you would have kissed me and left to work on another million people who need you all the same. You kiss my forehead and I don’t stir but I know you will be back, as I will. We will meet again and we will share the same sky, hold the same expectation and welcome each other’s existence. So I’ll see you tomorrow dear darkness. I think I may just be ready now….

3…..2…..1

Ivy xx

The beauty of failure

Hey all,

There is a thing I have been thinking about a lot recently and the clue is in the title so this should not be a surprise but it’s the idea of failure. Failure can resemble certain people, significant events, targets, anything. Whatever it resembles to you, failure should not be feared. It is as inevitable as the next breathe you take (and now become hyper aware of). I feel that as a whole, the majority of people I know, fear failure for the fact that they perceive the outlook others will have on them and because of the deskilling factor it plays. But when you look deeper, I don’t remember constant success growing development and resilience. It is within the failure that we learnt the lessons that form our values and our identity. The ethical guidelines that we internally adhere to become the cornerstones of your identity, both professional and personally. And it is within these failures, do you realise what we desire the most. The things that we are willing to let life kick the crap out of us for day after day. Success is great, but failure is damn right beautiful.

This made me think about the failure as an event. If it is as inevitable as I think it is, then it is actually the event more than the emotion. Why? Because everyone will experience failure in their life, that will happen. If you haven’t yet, brace yourself. Someone may fail to meet you, you will fail a job interview, your jeans will rip. These are all examples of failure. But those are all not individualised and you cannot change the presence of these failures when they come. But what is different is the emotion that it provoke. The emotion that you choose to react with is what we do have control over. The thinking between the failure is also your responsibility. So what I am saying is that if you know you cannot change the event (failure), then it’s the thoughts and behaviours that we associate with that are our responsible and so our the consequence that follow those behaviours. If you fail and then you self destruct then you are responsible for the aftermath. The red button will only activate when you push it. I think what I ask myself all the time is what is I never pushed the red button again? What would happen to me? I think it’s time to re-evaluate my own rule book.

Despite this spontaneous re-evaluation, I still choose not to be afraid of failure. I like the growth that parallels failure’s presence in my life. I do one thing that scares me everyday and sometimes hope that I fail. I learn the rules better than way. I learn where I can push the boundaries and where I stand with people. Apologises are not hard to come be with me around and I would much rather ask for forgiveness than permission. To failure is to ultimately succeed. You cut your hair often to make it grow, and the more your fail is the more you learn. I don’t learn through my successes. That’s a reinforcement of what I already know what things I am good at. Why do we as humans think that we must be perfect? That we will get it right without practice? Is everyday we walk this earth another practice day? And when you fail, who’s standards are you failing by? If the answer is not your own, stop whatever you are doing and look in the mirror. You should always and only set your own bar. You do not owe anyone anything.

Screw the others I say. Fail gloriously and as often as you can. The beauty of failure will forever outweigh the dizzying unsteadying heights of success. Your platform will be more stable with deeper roots and a familiar face. Someone said to me once, “don’t judge someone by the successes under their belt, but their reactions to the failures they experience”. I finally get it, I finally see the honesty in that. Failure hurts in the moment you experience it. I don’t love those moments. But what I do love if the thought I have directly after it. The “I am never wanting to experience that again” and the “what can I learn from that?” That’s where the success happens. That’s where my identity is taking shape from. Bruises are only so deep but values run to the core. Failure makes me build myself from the inside out.

Today, I failed, I failed little and often. But I learnt things by doing it. I learnt that I do really value my space. My me time is my favourite time. I realise I give myself to a lot of people, and I don’t want to change that. Maybe I just realise that that requires me to take more time hiding away. A lesson can only be learnt when thought about and reflected upon. So here I am, thinking about it.

Time for sleep,

Ivy xx

Hail to the victor

Evening all,

What a week this has been. The highs were Sam Smith – he was incredible, great company, great music, and I saw an overwhelming support for the LGBT community. It blew my mind to see a proud gay man receive love from a sea of faceless fans. Then I went to some work related events and then, the best part…. coming home.

I love coming home. I love getting into my bed, having both sides to myself, having the duvets to hog, having my lights and candles on, having time to let it all go and be me. It’s when the makeup is removed, the door is closed, and the world is shut out, is when I feel most authentically myself. It’s not that the world doesn’t get to see me, it does, it’s just it’s these times that I don’t have to share me, I get time all to myself. No demands, no emotional knife fights, no hawks circling ahead. It’s just my feelings, my own emptiness. I like emptiness, it is ever eager to tub-thump it’s way into me. Despite the universal connotation that emptiness is solely negative in experience, I feel the positive and the quiet it brings to my life. The empty is to be vacant or unoccupied, to be without a load or cargo. Is that not a majestic feeling? How can that be a bad thing? This feeling is Christmas for the women with a million and one thoughts a second. For the women that needs to know “what it all means”. For the women that gives all to everything I do. To be empty, to be null and void is what I strive for every day. It means I did well, it’s my “job well done” feeling. The you did good kid. It’s the moment I put my sword down and celebrate victory. I made it home, I made it back to me.

My jewellery says a lot about me. I have two necklaces that I wear every day. One necklace is a mountain range in a circle. I wear this because I lost and, more importantly, what I found. I found myself on that fateful mountain. The mountain cleared up my scars and made me realise how beautiful I am and my life is. I will never forgot what I found up there. My other necklace says one word:

Querencia (n):

Pronunciation: kɛˈrɛnsɪə

A place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; place where you are your most authentic self

I got this from an amazing company that I have followed and wanted a piece of their collection for years – Speechlust. They put the word ikigai on a necklace, they put several words – meaningful words onto necklaces. Anyways I spent a considerable amount of time (months) on this choice because I wanted to make sure I had the right word. Why I love this querencia so much is not just between of the definition. That is simply beautiful in itself but is the deeper meaning behind the word. It’s a Spanish metaphysical concept. The origin of this word comes from the verb “querer” which means “to desire”. But what is really interesting is that in Spanish this word means “to haunt somebody” however when in English, it means “to be safe”. This discordance is something that I resonate with on such a deep level. I use to be haunted by my experiences, my mistakes, my own self destructive behavior that have left some fathomless scars. I haunted myself for far too long and to be honest, I didn’t care to find a home. I didn’t care about what I put myself though. I floated through life without a care for a consequence and although I didn’t do any permanent damage to myself – I will never forgot the hurt I caused, the mistakes I made and the people I have lost along the way. Then I woke up on a mountain, broken, alone, scared and fearful that my life as I knew it was over. Slowly but surely, I started again. When I was learning to walk again without my brace, I learnt how to be human again. I began to feel the reality of life. I let go of my hurts and patiently healed my open wounds. In terms of querencia, I felt like I was learning to speak English, I learnt who I was, who I wasn’t, who I wanted to be, and how to be that person. I learnt to be safe to myself. I found my home. Crap, I actually wanted a home. So when I get home now and I feel empty, when I make it home, I celebrate because this is for me. This is for all of the things that I found when I stopped being my own ghost. When I stopped saying it’s not okay to be the authentic Ivy, don’t be that person. When I stopped all that, I found my home, my safe place, I found me. The strength this place gives me makes me wish I found it years ago, question why I ever let it go but glad to be back.

So celebrate your victories, find what makes your feel most strong, your home and be you.

Ivy xx

Smoking it

Good morning all,

The coach has just left the station and away I go. London is calling again, she missed me and wanted to catch up (and apparently a phone call won’t suffice).

What will the capital bring to me this time? What tickles my fancy? The cobbled street of Covent Gardens where raw talent is found in abundance and the sun always seems to shine? The culinary demises of Borough Market where I always wonder why my food never turns out this good? The eclectic delight of Camden Market where the price are always good and we hold out for all things beautiful and loud? Or do the squares draw my love for people watching out of the closet again? Where I can grab a cup a coffee and my notebook and watch life being lived around me? God I love London. Never bored, never too tired of seeing all she has to offer me. In exchange I promised to visit more regularly. So here I am fulfilled my promise. I found my cosiest jumper and jeans, my hat is at hand, notebook, too few a books (only brought three!), tickets to see Sam Smith, and a need to reboot.

Recently things have been messy this end. I started to see my “areas of improvement” take over and I’ve been, well, stopped in my tracks. I just sat and seen the effects of the chisel. I briefly let the chips occur, I let the world take its pieces, I stopped fighting. I didn’t feel like me at all. I have never just rolled over and played dead. I don’t do being dead well. Doesn’t mean I do living well either but that’s a development point from these last few weeks. It’s finally time to hit refresh with intention this time. Be the change Ivy, be the change you are living so copiously to see.

In light of this, think I am going to back to my roots today. It’s time to feel my second skin again, rebuild the protective shield. What better way to take time out then lose myself in a sea of people and didn’t even need to pack my invisibility cloak. Coffee and Leicester Square seem to be pulling at me trouser leg. I want to watch how others are doing it, gather some tips, amend some rules in my own head. Remove some old thoughts that I will not be needing anymore.

Lesson truly learnt,

Ivy xx

Silence is golden

Good midnight all,

It’s half past one in the morning and the world is sleeping. It may not be evident by my quality of writing but I am indeed awake. So awake that I cooked (warmed) some poptarts up and have been sitting in bed thinking about my life. Why does my brain feel it appropriate to switch up the gears now? Was it the coffee? Was it the over played repeats of past interactions? Is it the worried of what is yet to come? Maybe it’s the poptarts? It’s chocolate by the way.

They say silence is golden, but why does it feel so deafening tonight? Why do my thoughts play me for the fool today? This is not okay, I keep telling myself to stop thinking but I can’t. As I type to possibly incoherent post, a part of me realises that I don’t think I want to stop thinking. I have taken comfort in my own thoughts for years. I have retreated to be place, my rabbit hole for years and years. My relationships have previously taken me away but they always end and I retreat to hibernate. I hibernate until I am ready for the world to see me again. Until I feel strong and brave enough to be seen again. Tonight I reached out to the world, already knowing it wasn’t vibing with me, only to be matched with my expectation, to get a wall of silence. I felt the coldness of the moon and all of the lights went off. I have left myself outside alone but I’m holding the keys. I see the warmth of my bed, the duvet and my pillows and my fart lights sparkling at me. Oh it’s such an inviting scene. But I am still standing in the doorway waiting for something. What am I waiting for?

1:48 on the clock now and my thoughts are so fast and furious. I hear the gentle busy of a distance world outside of my walls. The rare light passing my window. I wonder what is keeping you up sir or madam? Are you driving to see a loved one? Are you going home from work to an empty home with a unsympathetic cat who wants feeding? Are you wide awake like me driving to figure it all out? Do you stop and see my light and wonder the same about me? Well let me be the mythoclast and tell you that I am just a wandering soul looking for a cup of coffee and an ear to bend. I am looking for myself in amongst the visible. If you saw you, you wouldn’t miss me but I’m not easy to spot. It’s like the hardest game of Where’s Waldo you will ever play. That’s simply my anecdata of my own situation but I ironically feel it is spot on. But anyways, I’m up. I’m awake, I’m verbally wandering the street, driving stolen cars and causing havoc on my own virtual city. I am doing all this without leaving the bed, and wow it’s a miracle – you really can be in two places at once. It’s like my thoughts have been my feet and I have walked for miles and suddenly realised how far I am from home. I didn’t think to stop, turn around, do a lap. In this moment, Forrester Gump popped into my head. You know when he has been running and running and then he just stops. That’s me, right now. I have stopped. I have stopped running and I have turned around to face the followers, the world, the miles travelled. I am looking but just don’t see it yet. I need to stop looking so hard, so deeply, so frantically. I need to merely observe, to stand and observe what I have achieved and not what I have still to travel. Changing direction hurts but it’s then changes you. I want to be the change I seek. I want to see the beauty in myself every damn day, not just the really great days.

So, I am buying a bike in the morning (or this week), and I am going to change the transportation. I never liked running anyways. I want to ride a pretty bike with a basket and a bell and a leather seat. I want to see the distance back in a new light, at a new speed, at a different pace. I’m crapping my pants but I am heading home. The bed is calling and I want to dream. I want to be my dreams one day. I want to say “holy crap, this is my life” and really mean it. Really feel it. This transformation isn’t going to be beautifully done. It’s going to be bunny hopped and gasping. It’s going to be the “will she, won’t she?” story! Let’s find a daisy and pluck out each petals one at a time and place our bets and who will win, just like when we were children. Will she? Will she not. Will she? While she not?

Guess what, I will,

Ivy xx

The coffee pot

Afternoon all,

First thing is always first, this week has been hard. I don’t really know why but I have self-sabotaged myself more than usual. Maybe I have felt myself doing too well, feeling too good about myself, maybe reality is about to hit me in the face. I’m just not sure. But to be honest I haven’t wanted to delve too deeply into my thoughts, I haven’t wanted to see what really might be there. That I feel like I have such a long way to go. I don’t want the magic wand yet, I don’t even want an easy road. I just feel exhausted. Fighting urges the whole time and self-striving is hard work. It’s constant and tiring. So I gave up on myself this week a little, no, I think that’s not fair on myself, I just took my foot off the accelerator this week. I thought I was ready for autopilot and I realise I am no where near. I’m not ready for that.

So after tears and mascara stained cheeks, I stopped, I stopped my self pity this morning. I stopped my vicious self-destruction circle. I stopped being the cause, the red button, the just because’s that I hate. I turned off my alarm, I snoozed until I was ready to get up, I made breakfast, I put my “fuck you” playlist back in repeat, and yes my playlist is actually called fuck you, and I gave a damn about myself again. I told myself stop and I saw the other side of the coin.

I saw my coffee pot. Hahaha okay that sounds so strange, but I saw my coffee pot. I thought about my morning routine and how I had and make a pot of coffee every morning. It’s a big one and I fill it with my favourite coffees and it’s all mine. When I stopped pressing the red button, I realised that I have my coffee pot and it’s all mine. I always get the last bit, I always get to press it, I always get to another cup. It’s all mine. And this morning, I saw the pot and thought “win! I will have that second cup!” No guilt, no shame, no sharing. It was all mine and it was so incredible when I realised that. I really do take that for granted.

This led to a bullet journal update session. I updated all the events and things I have to do. Wow! I am busy! I mean like busy busy. Maybe even warranting a third busy. But I like being just, they are all my plans, things I WANT to do, not have to, need to, have been requested to, nothing. It’s nothing for anyone but me. I realised this life is not a race, I don’t have a clock I am racing against, my time isn’t borrowed, it’s not for someone else to dictate. My time is my own to fill. What a beautiful thought. I turn left when I want to, shuffle right when it suits me, and even head out to head home when I am ready. I am happy. I am not ruined. I am not a failure. I am living even when I am just wanting to get through the day. I am declining offers when I want to be at home, I am being unavailable, I am showing myself the door. Life is looking better, it’s looking better without self-stressing behaviours. It’s looking like my favourite shape on my favourite colour, with my favourite blanket.

I need flowers, I want flowers in my room, I deserve flowers so flowers will be purchased. And I’ll get the good bunch. The pretty ones. Maybe carnations, as it’s not peony season. I like having the coffee pot to myself, and I like that I buy my own flowers. I’m not helpless. I’m solely surviving. So watch me go pick my favourite bouquet out.

I see the stall, got to go, flowers to purchase,

Ivy xx