Starting with me

Self kindness – learning to date yourself before anyone else.

Present

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Decade of desire

Evening all,

In the aftermath of a momentous day, I found myself thinking about desire. The urge to have something, a carve. A desire can be one of the most powerful driving forces for the human race. For me, to desire something means I have a draw to something so powerful that it does not require any thought or energy. My deepest desires act as unconscious magnets pulling me back to my path and makes me utterly courageous. My longing calls to me and pulls me back for the fruitless off-piste adventures that divert me temporarily. I always come crawling back to my roots, my road, my own beaten path.

My passion and desires in life and for my career is invested with too much of my soul to be judged or handled by time-servers or anyone who has never felt passionate about something. I have given 11 years to my developing career without ever truly considering this. 1/3 of my life currently spent unconsciously but freely given to my working life. What a thought that is for me. In the pages to come, the love story that will eventually unfold, my career has always been my underlining passion. Which has lead me down the path of exploratory questions…grab a coffee.

  • Am I passionate about finding love?
  • Or am I just preoccupied with the idea of love?
  • Can anyone fill the job description of my partner?
  • Do I even want them to?
  • If I think about it all the time, is it that I am just not comfortable without it?
  • Why is it even important?
  • Why do I weigh it so heavily?
  • What is it’s purpose?
  • Am I in love with the idea of love more than someone?
  • Can I even love another?
  • Can I even love myself?
  • Do I know what love is?
  • Or just what love is not?

Now I know what you are thinking? 1) Yes I am a deep thinker. 2) Yes I am an overanalyser 3) that’s a lot of questions for this time of night. But it’s when the lights go out and the stars are the only ones watching is when my mind is most at work. I think about myself and my suffering. My heartbreak and my “oh shit, did I do that?” moments. In link with the above questions, I find myself questioning my infatuation with love – how does this all link up? Tonight whilst considering that for the last 11 years, I have built an empire of experiences and skills and become something that I have really worked for without a consistent companion being there. I can only wonder why I feel the need to feel so empty without another by my side. I am not missing any body parts, no one has or will protect my from suffering or the uncertainty I will eventually face. I can try to run from it, eat it away, cry it out of me, push it away, but I have to face it, comfort myself in it, sleep with it, become its friend and work with it to reach my desires. But do I desire to be in love or do I simple need to feel anyone next to me?

I have spent 11 years not requiring validation for my career. Aspects of it yes, I doubt my ability yes. But I don’t doubt my passion for it. That is something that I have never truly doubted, and if that’s the case, do I need to spent some much time thinking about my passion to find love because it is not lusted for so unconscious? Do I need to reconsider why I long to call anyone mine, when I don’t doubt calling my passion mine? If you cannot find the words to describe something, there is connection there. If you see something or someone and a feeling immediately presents itself, that is magic. It should always feel naturally, it should be a “hello again” and not a “nice to meet you”. When did I last really look in the mirror and say “hello again”? Not looking in the mirror styling my hair in the bathroom light, or catching a glimpse in the rear view mirror, and not applying my lipstick. When did I stop and see myself? Would I have seen the passion drain? The pressure build? Would I have seen me fade away? 11 years and I have never once faulted in my career enough to give up, but anytime with a women and I disappear like I am trying to hold onto sand. I don’t want to be quicksand anymore, I don’t want to live without substance. I want my own homegrown substance. I think it is time to start sowing some seeds and giving myself some tlc. It’s time to realise that above all else, I’ve always had had something together. I’ve looked for a constant in my life when that position was already filled. I have no desire to be ordinary, no wish to fall in line, no passion to fade into the crowds, I am not a crowd filler. I do not get measured on the spectrum of scrapping by. I like it up where the crowds thin out and the select few are found, It’s quiet, it’s open, it’s where I feel less like sand.

So what do I desire? What if I have the starting base for what I desire? If I change the viewpoint, do I see the things more clearly? Do I see me, just me and nothing but me? I think I do. I think I see a beautiful thing about to occur. I see the skeleton of past experiences, a strong backbone forming and skin looking less weathered by the storms that have passed. But firstly, deep down, I have always seen the fire burning in my core. It has been a light in the darkest days, it has been so visible in my interactions, my identity, my choices. What do I even need a you for? It should not be a need, I should need to be my need, and no one will not be my need anymore. I will be my own better half, my best accessory, my favourite thing. I will love the crap out of myself. I will be the substance that doesn’t slip through my fingers, but grips me. I will dress in desire and see my passion like my breathe on a cold winter day. I won’t let myself go.

It’s now snowing outside and I think I’ll go see what I can see. Breathe in…

Now breathing out,

Ivy xx

Catch me safety net

Dear safety net,

Tonight my rabbit hole was just too inviting. I wanted a hideout and bathe myself with those words. The ones that are written all over my skin where even strangers could see what I was made of.  I want my skin to soak until the words dissolved into water, diluting into nothing but a mere discoloration. I caught my own reflection and instantly looked away. I couldn’t see me, just words, just ugly words. Worthless, hurt, shame. Shame above all else. Shame was what I landed on when the clothes had been whipped out from beneath me. It looked so foreign to my eyes, so far removed from its past appearances. I feel that I just need a moment to catch up as this speed is just too quick. Too many feelings, too many thoughts, just too much movement at once.

Intersectionality always kicks me every time. It reminds me that I will never have one single experience of feeling shame. Shame works in connection with experiences, thoughts, context, other feelings and therefore cannot possibly be compared or explained to another situation. It hurts most when it pairs itself with unexpectancy. A deadly combination every time. As relatable as it may feel, each of those experiences can only be seen as a byzantine interlink of incomprehensible jargon.

Thank god you were here, safety net. I fear at the depth I may have fallen without you. I see the trees again behind you, I see the hazards that you held from me. Your walls hold me whilst my tears fall, whilst my walls stacks up, whilst I lay still. There are just so many words to come out of me but I have temporarily misplaced my dictionary. Maybe words are not what I am calling out for, maybe that’s why I am drawing such a blank.

My temporary collapse will sit within the spaces of these words and the layers of truths in these bricks. I can see crystal clear that a battle is on the dawn, the reclaiming of territory must be won in my head. But give me time in your embrace, I want you to bear my weight for a moment or two. Another sunrise will eventually come and wake my tired eyes and I will get back up again. I will crawl out of the pit I have made. Let me wash you from my sheets when the suggestibility of your imprint does not knock me to the ground. Battling is the only way I feel myself and I will not let myself find a home in my own shadow. I see the blank page and just need to find a new pen. My brother once told me that “I am a writer and not a reader”. Although at the time he was talking about my career and how he saw me, I know that there is a deeper meaning to his words. I can see the road ahead and it is dark outside. Let me orchestrate my own symphony and I will find my rhyme again.

But for now, hold me close

Ivy xx

White noise

Hi All,

So it’s been a while since I have written an actual post. I guess I did not consider how time-consuming taking a photo a day would be or just how much pressure I put on myself to make something that I am happy with. Tonight, I sat and thought about what I have learnt from this project and I wanted to share some of my reflections with you.

My hotel room tonight is filled with thoughts and questions that do not really require answers. A space which is full of what I call the ‘white noise’ of my mind. The buzz of a million thoughts without a definitive theme or one protruding thought. When was the last time I felt silence or, more importantly, the lack of activity? When did I last look without seeing a theory? When did my mind become so busy? Was it all at once or over an extended time? This project has made me realise that I spend so much of my day thinking about the void of indefinite questions for the worry about what the silence may bring me. I cry alone in the comfort of my own arms when I let my bubble burst as if the auditorium had been opened up to an aggiornamento. Some days I am not the strongest warrior but resilience does not have to be measured for merit. I am not returning from a moribund state or stained with an astrobleme. I just live within my dimensions using mistakes as my portal to discovery.

Days like this, I sit in the eye of my storm watching the crap fly around me but never seeing it touch me. I use touch because I stopped feeling it, like a second skin. A skin that is unattached to me – the anxiety it can cause me, the weight my shoulder potential feel and the smile that could quickly disappear if the winds drew me in. I sit and stare into the darkened, nearly black, cyclone of my days and pray for more time to work it all out. I remain at a distance like an ostrich with sand. When did I become less mealy-mouthed, sobersided, and place-seeking? More crucially, can a self-critic ever really be mealy-mouthed? Am I ready to face this yet, to reengage when the sand is so inviting for my head? What do I fear if I succeed at life? Regardless of all this, I know that my building blocks can be rearranged better (and worse). Have I just gone too far too quickly? I think so and I don’t have the gas to reverse.

I know that I am soon going to be having a deep conversation with my silence. Timing is everything, my friend. I’ll have my people call your people.

Speak soon,

Ivy x

 

 

The night before

Hey all,

I hope everyone is having a good day. I was just updating my pages (project 365 and 30 things before thirty) and I felt inspired to write a little ‘something-something’ about it.

I updated the 30 before 30 page and I felt incredibly proud of myself. I found myself realising that I may not have done everything on the list as per written and there are a few items left to do, however, I remain incredibly proud of myself. I have managed to complete something without feeling guilty or undeserving of it. It’s impossible not to feel that I have superseded my expectancies of the list and I know my life and most important, my outlook on it, is completely different. I spent years wishing for everything to be perfect, only to be left feeling disappointed in myself. Reflecting upon that now, it was never going to work and I was never going to win. But I think I did that for a reason. I think I did that to prove to myself that I was not worth anything. Every time I failed, it was a confirmation that I did not deserve it and “it was not right”. Looking back, how did I hate myself so much?

Since started and now coming to the end of this decade, I have learned some serious life lessons and started to develop three of the most beautiful life skills that I think we all need.

  1. Patience – I have learnt the importance of being patient. Being patient with myself, with others, with strangers. Things take time. Hearts heals, people do forget, life continues to occur whether you are ready or not. Everything just takes some time to readjust and I have to just refocus. I have learned to breathe, to wait for the good moments, to ride out the storm and to enjoy the quiet moments. I learned that life is all about dancing in the rain, thunder, hurricanes and whatever the world and others throw at you.
  2. Self-love – I have learned that love starts and ends with you. In order to love anyone, you have to love yourself. You have to look inside and find things that you do like about yourself and hold onto those. Expand on those without fear that you will fail or fall. Because even if you do, you can then love your ability to start again, your ability to never give up and your ability to let go of something that is not working. I can openly say that I love my smile, my ability to talk to anyone, my commitment to work, etc. I can say this without worrying about sounding arrogant or cocky because it is not about that. It’s about knowing my strength and my likes and my dislikes and continuously improving myself for me. Nothing is always negative but if you focus on that, then yes life does feel that way. You have to reteach yourself to look for the positive.
  3. Forgiveness – Finally, I have learned to forgive myself. I am starting to look back over my life and forgiving myself for the mistakes I made, for the things I said and for the hurt I caused myself. Additionally, I am forgiving others for their mistakes, for the mutual pain caused. I am learning to sit comfortably in my dirty laundry and change the narrative of my life and the experiences that have continued to cause me pain for years. I am changing my perspective and forgiving myself for doing the best I could. I am no longer going to punish myself for my mistakes. I will apologize, take responsibility and learn from those mistakes. If others want to forget me then I understand, you have to do what you need to do. However, from my experience, holding on to pain and anger only makes things worse. You have to forgive and reflect on why that experience makes you anger still? what purpose does the anger have? and why is it so important to hold onto it? I found myself asking this to myself over and over again and I realized it is just not important. It is not important to hold a grudge.

The most important lesson I have learned is that it is not important to waste my only life holding onto negative experiences. My father died and I was holding onto a dead man, why? I will remember him always without putting myself through pain over and over again. I forgive him for leaving and I forgive myself for hating him at times. In exchange, I found inner strength and a desire to be a good wife to Liv. Someone who listens and supports her. Someone who will be there through it all, whatever it is, rather than do it alone like you did dad. I have your face father, but I do not have your identity. I have my own and I will only ever be me. Sorry if that is a disappointment to you but I forgive myself for your mistakes and that you left long before your died. I forgive myself for shouldering that blame for years because I thought it was mine to hold onto and I am sorry for holding onto you. I am now sitting comfortably in my memories of you and smiling now, glad to have had some time with you. I am easily removing the shackles I put on myself and I am able to walk away from the city limits of my Painsville. Thank you for bringing me into this world and leaving me stronger. I am sorry I cannot stay with you anymore but I am still breathing. I am choosing to breathe and live a life that you did not want to anymore. I chose to not waste more time trying to hold onto your ashes.

So shackle free and sitting comfortable, welcome to 30, Ivy

xxx

One year on… 

Hey all, 

Today marks a milestone for me. I took the header photo today and really looked at myself. How different was I now to a year ago. Exactly one year ago, to the day, I was sitting on top of a mountain in the aftermath of my accident and uncertain about my future. I sat alone and fearing the worst.  Below is a picture from that day. You can read more about it here (about me page) if you want to.

But today, sitting here now, writing about this a year on, is quite surreal for me. It was before my blog, before liv, before everything. It’s hard not to reflect on the significance and the undoubtable butterly effect that is still changing me now. I felt alone up there and I have never felt alone since that day.  Yes there has been some dark moments but never did once feel truly alone. That’s the biggest chance I have seen in myself – my change in my mindset. 

I have learnt to embrace the world for what it is and what it throws at me. You have to take the good with the bad. I realize that I needed to use every ounce of strength I had to learn what strength was. I have learnt that only one person has the ability to make your life better – you. Take the power away from everyone to control your ups and your downs and give it back to yourself. Trust yourself and you will never be alone. Only then can you surround yourself with happiness and love because you will see it and feel it. It’s true what people say….. love starts with you. 

So here I am, a year on, happier with my life because of me. Yes I have liv and an amazing group of friends for they are incredible for their ongoing love and support. And I also have my blog and all of you with your kind words and your encouragements. And I have a family that I love. But behind all that, I have me. And I can appreciate it because I have learnt to love myself first. 

So if you want to change the world, change your circumstances, or even just be happy – My advice is to start with yourself. Love the crap out of yourself first and you will never go far wrong. And let go. Let go of everything that doesn’t really matter. 

Cheers all, 

Ivy xx

Mid week guest post 

Hey all, 

So I just wanted to let you all know that I got the privilege of guest posting on Lauren’s blog (This Stuff Is Golden). She was incredibly lovely and gave me options of what I wanted to blog about. I took my time and selected the topic of “what advice would I give to my younger self?” 

I have to say, that as a guest blog virgin, she made this easy and fun. She was incredibly understanding and empathic with my post. To be honest, I didn’t intend to give so much of myself away but Lauren made this easy. So here it is….Advice to younger self

I hope I get the honor of writing a Sunday story about this lovely lady. And go check out her blog. She is incredibly talented and wonderful. 

Have a good night all and happy reading, 

Ivy 

Xxx