Vacations still need baggage

Hey all,

So I am in the beautiful country of Latvia. It’s so cold and it’s been snowing BUT it is so incredible. I will add a few photos to the post out of the hundreds I have taken! I’ve walked 8 miles today and I have popped back to the hotel to rest before venturing out later to take some night shots tonight. It’s about 4pm in Riga and I feel like it been a long day already. I started early and it was nice to get out and about. The world felt empty and quiet.

Walking 8 miles in a day isn’t for everyone. I know that. I think that’s why I love travelling alone. I am able to amble, mingle amongst the busy and let my own feet guide me. I let the music play and I wonder until I say enough. Travelling alone allows me to be the small, the unimportant, and the unnoticed. I am the shadow and the faceless. It’s gives me space to be unobserved, untested, and unaccompanied. I don’t forgot my feelings or my responsibilities, they just forgot me.

I sat in a coffee shop today (no shock there), and got my map out, spread myself across the table – maps, bullet journal, camera, hat, handwritten notes of things to do, phone, all over the table. It was my space. The waitress must have just thought “oh my god” when she brought the coffee over. On a table for four, there was no room for a coffee. I made room of course but it felt nice to have so much room to myself. Two coffees later and a day planned for about an hour, I finally looked up from my table and saw the empty seats in my booth opposite. I forgot they were empty. I didn’t mind it’s emptiness, I just noticed it. I guess by noticing it, I thought for a second what would it be like to have someone here? Would I enjoy this experience more? I know I would feel easier about going to the toilet, that’s for sure. But I don’t think I want anyone with me. The comfort with the empty booths, me sitting with three empty spaces around me lets me know I am okay with being alone. With the state of the table, there isn’t room for anyone else. Isn’t that ironic? Maybe that where I am at on a larger scale, maybe I am not ready for anyone to join my table. Not just yet.

img_3444-1

For now, I think that in some cases, having the what if’s are better than the have done’s. Imagination may be better than the reality of things, wishes may be better than memories. My dreams keep me feeling alive, where the memories keep me awake at night. Maybe some dreams and wishes are meant not meant to be heard. When the noise stops, would those dreams still be there? The only thing we can take from this world is the emotions we feel and the memories we have. Maybe that’s all I am meant to need in my life. I’m here, alone, in Riga, and feel powerful. I feel alive, wanderlust fuelled, and so able. I let it all go and get to smile without an audience. Nothing feels forced. I feel no pressure from anyone, I am truly single here. I am unattached to any friend, situation, family member, work colleague, even stranger. I have no one depending on me. I am totally detached to my world. Why cannot my daily life feel this liberating? Maybe that’s what this time is all about. It’s to start detaching a little and taking more time for me. It’s giving myself space to be a single entity. It’s being simply Ivy. Simply me before it’s a “we” or an “us” again. I don’t doubt that I won’t be always be alone, crap I think I am the most unlonely woman in the world. I have so much around me, I cannot feel lonely ever. And damn it, I made my world that way and proud of it. I never have been alone, I never walk in fear, I never feel the coldness. I know I have the bits that make me cry, the bits that make the nights long, the bits where darkness can be scary, but I have never stopped dead in my tracks. I always keep going, I always keep moving, one foot in front of the other for a while, but there is always movement and direction. I have the love of a hundred hearts, some unseen to this world now, but felt by few. Travelling still requires baggage, but I just carry mine better now. I hear the noise, see the chaos but feel the love. It’s never too far away. Whatever my destination is meant to be, make it a little further, I’m not ready to see it yet. I like this journey too much.

Trekking on,

Ivy xx

Noise

Grasp

Captivating

Patience

Advertisements

Va-cating my life

The best thing about vacations is the unreachable feeling 30,000 feet gives me

The dangerous game

Morning all,

Isn’t it funny that the environment around your life has change in a matter of days? That everything you thought you saw around you plays a game of spot the difference upon your return. Or that even your autopilot mode forced a change of cards. Either way, when you next look up, it’s the end of the line and the conductor is shouting “all change please”.

One thing I have learnt over the years and it recently hit me when I said it to a friend was that I know the true meaning behind “be careful what you wish for”. I have learnt the value of these words separately and as the string. I don’t know about you guys out there, but when I wish, I ask the stars for what I want most in that moment. I have never wished to win the lottery, for world peace, or for things like shoes. I’m not that way inclined. This may not be a shock anymore, but I have always wished for love. Even writing this now sounds pathetic but I think I have to let this all go. I have had some incredible people try and love me over the years. I have had different version of love stories that all could have been beautiful variances of something that could have resembled the happy ending. And at those times, I think I attracted what I was ready for, the first love, the ideal woman, the lover’s leap, and the best friend turned lover. I had all of the main themes covered by love stories. I’ll describe them one by one to help you understand their characters and that chapter:

  • The first love – first relationship with a woman and together for 4 years. We were that couple that met and everyone knew we would get engaged and when people asked “how did we know that we didn’t want anyone else” we said we just knew. In my head, we were the couple that didn’t “need to date around” and we would make it. God I was so wrong, and a month after we got engaged, we ended and tried to be friend years later but well we just don’t work as friends.
  • The ideal woman – one of the more recent woman in my life, a work colleague. When I thought about my ideal partner, this woman ticked all the boxes. Clever, reflective, similar job, independent, beautiful, honesty every box was ticked. We were getting to know each other and well, all I can say is that weeks of hurt and uncertainty later, we ended. I pushed too hard for her to give me more far to soon, much sooner then she was ready for and she broke my trust. Safe to say we ended before we began and now it’s feels like we never existed.
  • The lovers leap – this is my aka ultimate love story, the one I wanted all along. From a young age, my favourite love stories were those where the couple married soon after meeting, days, weeks or months later and then loved happily ever after. I had this. 3 months in and I was engaged and buying a house. The story was beautiful to me. However, a beautiful story has to have the right characters. When it came down to the wire, I knew it wasn’t right. I left everything and walked away.
  • The best friend turned lover – the one I didn’t see coming but has stayed around for years. The one where our kids would be picture perfect and inevitably the road to an us was future focused but rocky. The permanence of a future was something I didn’t doubt and her love was my backbone. I will never doubt what she felt for me, and no doubt still feels. But we ended and the road to us currently seems to have been more of a cul-de-sac. We go around and around the house but never get anywhere. Safe to say, she spoke and I have finally listened.

So why am I explaining this. Well I think I have lost these individuals along the way, these stories will forever remain chapters in my book that have ended. So I was thinking about it. At one point in my life, I wished for all of these loves. I wished for these stories to play out. Was I watering the plastic plants thinking they would grow? I have had the love I wished for and I lost it. Whatever you have, you only lose what you cling to. But what if what you cling to, wasn’t never yours? What if I wasn’t meant to have any of them, what if I was just a chapter in their books?

So the wishing game needs to come with a health warning. The dangers are occurred by just playing. If you put your desires into a box and say that is what you want, you limit yourself. You are the only limit to your life. You set the pace of your life and I know what it means now by you have time. I have time to find out what character the next person will play, or if any of the above will make a comeback, who they will play. I just don’t wish for them anymore. I will take my time on me. Someone once wrote “working on myself, by myself, for myself” and I don’t know who it said it. However, may be that is because it is the determined voice of every person who wants to find themselves and their place in their own story. I go back to the conductor who is saying “all change please”, well shouldn’t that be me in my life? It won’t get any better than this. This is the “one time” performance and the world’s eyes are all waiting for me to take center stage. They will take you on my own estimate of my worth and on the performance you give. I will be the one winking back when looking directly into the eyes of the biggest storm. Maybe, for now, I am just looking for my lines. Maybe I just want to find myself and be her. I know I want love. I don’t want to be single forever but if that’s the cards I am dealt, I will play my ace.

I would like to apologise to all those people named above for the role I played in our demise. I was one half of the problem. Thank you for trying to run with me when your legs were tired. I hope life is good for all of you, and if not, I hope it gets better. If any of you ever come back, the kettle is on. There will be no more scripts for you to have to memorise, no more obstacles. If not, then I respect your decisions. This isn’t an invite for you all, and I won’t be sending this as a letter and making contact. It’s just an invite to say that if you still feel our chapter isn’t done, the ink is still wet, then pick your moment, say hello. I don’t have the script to say this is a happy ending but everything starts with a hello. To the next character to want an appearance, tread with caution and actually, hold off for a while. I’m not an easy person. My own mother calls me hard work but I’ll bring a love you have never seen before, shall we get there. Give me time to warm up to an idea of unscripted life, I’m currently licking my wounds in my rabbit hole but I’ll be back. That all sounds like a contradiction but I guess what I am trying to say is that, I am open to whatever life has to throw at me. I am letting go on my own narratives and letting things just play out now. I’m lost for words and I have to rely on myself.

Letting it go,

Ivy xx

Suddenly

Meander

Captivating

Weaponisation words

Evening all,

So this evening I had a conversation that hurt. I may not always express myself clearly, more often then not but your words hurt. Words hurt. They string and left the lash marks upon my skin. Strings of words with vicious tails. When someone you know says statement that make you feel that to them, an aspect of your life is pointless, it hurts. We spend years works on ambitions because we feel it’s worthwhile, we gain sometimes from them. To have such disagreement vocally expressed at you, well, leaves me feeling hurt. So it got my thinking about views and words. The views we have, the differences it creates, the hurt they cause and the war they start. More important for me, above all else, the potential impact of my future decisions. In short, views can be changed and words don’t have to be said.

I happily describe myself as a people person. I like to get to know people, to explore, to understand them. I value the art of conversation and opinions. I value the quality that those differences bring to life. But what I don’t like is the way these words are sometimes portrayed. The words we choose to se, either flippantly or considered have consequences. I choose to see past labels with people. I dig deeper, I see the father, the daughter, the friend, the person behind the scarlet letter. I see the product of circumstance, the rough upbringing, the impossible situation, the outweighed success and the perceived picture of failure that we as individual pace upon ourselves. I guess I prefer to not see the whole person but instead the sum of their parts. I think a person is best valued this way. And when people indirectly undermine that and belittle it, it hurts. We all have views but it’s important to remember that those views are not shared and can cause detrimental effects on a person’s sense of identity. It sounds heavy, loaded, and anger, I was those things, I have those feelings, as we all do, but I hurt. I feel defensive about my life choices. I chose a complex path as much as it chose me and I love my journey.

This got me thinking about disagreements. I am the first to love a good debate. Rigidity is only based on naivety. If you choose not to flip the coin over and have a look, that’s your choice. If viewpoint could be not changed then why do government parties campaign? Why did Brexit parties tour the country and talk to people about the issues involved? A viewpoint may or may not be changed if the individual holding it decides to open their mind to it to the possible of a different narrative. I don’t talk about my job but I will say this, my job is not for the faint hearted or the narrow minded. And I understand that there are people out who decide to not agree with me. That is absolutely fine. But what is not fine is the ones that who know more and just think it okay to say statement that undermine the value of my work, my passion. It is not okay to make someone feel that their work is not making a difference just because it’s not something you would do. So to those who think it’s okay to voice those views, I have something to say, next time you don’t agree with someone’s profession, don’t you dare undermine their value in the work they do when they do nothing but support you in everything you have every done. Don’t you think the world and his wife has enough to see to me already? You are not Mr. Public and you know how important this is to me. Do not use your word as your selected weapons just because you don’t agree. Consider your choice of words and what that will leave me feeling like. When you wouldn’t say it in front of my friends in a dinner party, what makes you think it’s okay to say it to me behind closed door? I do what they do! I hold the same opinion and I value what I do just as much.

I am not the common, the sheep, or the easily lead. I have my views and I reserve my judgements until I know facts. I chose to wait for the big reveal to see what I want to do. I love that side of me. A book is always better than it’s cover and I end it’s most recent page. I wonder deeper and think bigger than most people I know. I see the world as a beautiful place and these is always time for a comeback, for a second chance. This is where you will find me, living in HD colour and seeing every hue. I chose to refrain from hurting others with my words because people can be momentary fragile, but people come back. I am not down and out, my friend, but merely finding my feet, I wonder what your world looks like in black and white with you “unchangeable views”. I won’t change my viewpoint but I’ll just change the setting.

So for tonight, I will give myself a hug, work my crap out, and give myself a break. Your views are not mine. Your words don’t have ink and will fade into the pool along with my own feelings. Diluted value within and left alone. Kindness goes somewhere, it can save a life, mend a heart, lift a dark cloud. It’s never the solution but it always helps the journey. It makes friends out of stranger and a home out of a house. It’s such a beautiful thing. My fellow bloggers, do me a favour as I never ask for them, send one message to someone and tell they you appreciate them. Say hello to a stranger or buy the next man in line a coffee. Tell me that I’m not crazy. Be the change you want to see in the world. Do anything for some one else. I promise you, it matters.

To those listening, you are more than the title given to you,

Ivy xx

Wonder

Provoke

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal

Morning all,

I woke up late this morning, then snoozed, then finally got up. I feel sluggish and weighted today. Then I had a very typical Ivy thought – “there is always tomorrow”. The second I said this, I changed my tune. My next thought was “get your crap done.” My life isn’t a redo later on, this isn’t the dress rehearsal. This is it. This is all I get. This is it, cover to cover and I don’t want it to full of “there is tomorrow” and “another times”. There is too much of that already. I wear those decisions like my clothes, public and available to be judged.

I want my confidence to be legendary, even if at times premature. I don’t want to be painfully cautious, hanging around to see if it all works out or if I’ll get hurt. I want to believe in my own bravado so that it becomes natural to me. I want to be confident in my vulnerabilities, if that is even possible. Being your little world’s greatest cheerleader is exhausting and I don’t want the title some days but I’m grateful that I am on my team roster. Pass me the shovel and I’ll dig a little deeper. I’ll see what under the surface, I already know I can be a beautiful thing. So screw this run thorough, screw the “come-to-the-light” moment, this is it for me. I intend to turn today around, I intend to make a day that I’d write home about. There is no in the meantime, where life stops for you and you can sort your crap out. You are there living in it and sorting it all out. Do you want to spend a lifetime sorting or living? Hands up for living,

There are my Pom Poms,

Ivy xx

Typical

Branch

Fact

Pillow talk

Hello world,

Today, well everyday, but especially today, I questioned voices, and why a particular voice can be so powerful even when unattached to a face or body. There is something about voices, that makes everything feel real to me. Even my own thoughts said aloud reaffirm their sense of reality, they become life and permanent. I cannot control them anymore, take they back. They demands my attention, my time, my emotions then. I never forgot things people say, the words that they have chosen to use. People think that words just come out but they don’t. You developed a vocabulary and you chose to use certain words to explain certain feelings and portrays certain ideas. Those are active choices made regularly. If you feel pressure to speak, well you are the one holding the gun. You may feel the pressure of a gun but stop holding your breathe. Your words are the only weapon you need to build or break someone. The last thing to ever fade for me were your words, your voice and not the gun you think you were holding.

But really, what’s in a voice, besides a collaboration of different frequencies with pitch changes. It’s crazy that those cords make something sound so beautiful to me. Is it the chime? The way you say my name? The emotion I feel? A combination with added bonuses? I lay at night and hear the spoken memoirs whispered between the sheets, our sheets, and I hurt. I sometimes cry. How we have fallen? I drive myself crazy that the monsters under my bed sleep more soundly than me. They rest peaceful whilst I think of things that would full the contents of their nightmares. Why those words, why these moments, why those connotations? Do you think back to your words and think “if only” or do you join my monsters and enjoy the pillow talk? Do you take the opportunity to peculate my own self worth? Do you phub my existence with your own preoccupation of your needs like you do with your phone in the middle of a serious conversation? Did you actively chose that path or did your voice habitually let that out? My voice has weight too and it’s getting stronger. I am getting stronger. I use to be beggar without feeling choice. I use to let my voice fade out like background noise.

Now, these days, it demands to be heard by myself. I hear it louder and it feels stronger than yours, or his, or those that I don’t even register. It tutti to me right now. It’s the flashlight in my darkness and my growing roots in a plant pot. The tears are drying, the monsters are becoming acquainted with my ways, soon they will be friends and their voices will be my shrink. I’ll like their range and pitch more than yours and your words won’t have the sting anymore. I will be my own intervention and you’ll think it won’t be fair but you’ll have to learn that this life isn’t for you. It’s for me, my struggles and my successes. You will see that you are just a needle and I’m the haystack. When will I start seeing this? I am the haystack. I am the substance without anyone else there. But just a note for you – don’t forget that as I outgrow the outline you have chalked up. I’m not done just yet. What’s in a voice anyways, think I may be tone deaf.

Let’s turn the volume up,

Ivy xx

The problem with reflections…

So little (not so) secret about myself, I am a deep thinker, reflector, and analyzer. Some may just go as far as saying that I ‘overthink’ everything. I am okay with that. I like to think that it’s healthy to reflect and think about ourselves, the wider context, the world from our point of view.

The problems with reflections are that they always say something back. A mirror will always have your portrait, a thought will always have a reason, and a feeling will always have a reaction. In one way these I class to be objective as they all serve a purpose. Each of these items has a function to us. In another way, these are all subjective, because we will only read what we want to see (wow this outfit makes me look great). However, if you look deep enough, you may not like what is really staring back at you. Underneath the layers of crap, are the questions and thoughts that you just do not know how to answer anymore. Is this the right job? Right relationship? Is this who I really am?  Something looking at yourself will give you more questions than answers. Previously I didn’t stop to even look because what if that was everything I already knew.

Today I looked at myself and saw too deep. I saw an amalgamation of the consequences of my actions, behaviors and poor choices. I saw the impatience of my progress, the build up of a hundred stored tears, a plan with no structure. I am doing what I always do. Unhelpful.

I watched my plants today in the sun. I noticed the light hitting their leaves. Thinking more deeply (as always), I realise that they are incredible. Plants are incredible because despite where someone placed them, they do what they have to to survive. They bend, they twist, they grow all whilst constrained to a plant pot. I put them there, I placed them in that situation, that environment, without their input, and they did what they had to. They thrive. How amazing is that? In the story of my life, I am the gardener and the plant. I put myself here, in this environment, in this situation and now I have to bend, twist and grow to develop. I have to realise what I want in life and learn that I need time and space. Stop chasing the darkness when I thrive off light. I want to blossom and bloom. I want to grow until I am too big for my pot. I want to be bursting with roots so strongly grounded that nothing ruins me again. I have the soil, the water, the sunlight, embrace it Ivy. Let it in, let it warm your leaves, deepen your roots. What are you so afraid of? You put yourself here now grow yourself out of it!

Branching out,

Ivy xx

Typical

Branch