The just because’s and the I don’t know’s

Hey all,

There is something about travelling that allows me time to process my feelings, my state of mind, my position in life and how I got to this point. That’s a huge thought for me, how did I get to this point, being in Riga, independently escaping my world for this huge one? What meant that I took this path over along?

My whole life, even from a child, I age always questioned the “just because’s”. You’ll know the questions I mean. You know, when you are younger it was, why can’t chocolate be for breakfast? I’m still unsure as to the answer as pan de chocolates and coco pops are immensely popular. FYI mom, a morning treat is still a breakfast. I’ve also been one to question the “I don’t know’s”. The ones those kids ask that Mr Google love but parents dislike. “Why do some eggs have a brown shell and some have a white shell?” Or my personal favourite “What happens when an unstoppable object collides with an immovable object?” (Cue imagine me with you – amazing film, need to rewatch that)! These questions always got answered with I don’t know darling from my mother. There are now the questions we as adults debate in pubs over a glass of wine and someone ALWAYS has to google it. Annoying.

However, nowadays, I question the bigger pictures. Why should I forgive you just because you forgave me? Why do you think that’s okay just because it’s me? Why should I be sad to be single just because society says I should be? The answer to these questions in normally “I don’t know” or “I didn’t think about it” or “just because I am sorry” or my personal favourite “I don’t know if we work anymore”. I don’t do things just because society demands that of me or all my friends are doing it. I do what I want because it gives me a good feeling or be a sue it was the right direction made by me in that moment. I behave a certain way because that was my best course of action when I considered the options. It wasn’t some rash decision just because someone said I should feel that way. I think the “just because’s” and the “I don’t know’s” are the excuses, the tickets out, the I didn’t think, maybe even the “shut ups”. The adult and parent versions of a lack of patience. I chose to think more, explore deeper and find the answers. I know myself, I am starting to do me better. Why should I do things another way just because that how it’s always been done? What am I a sheep? Why should I deny my own self-identity just because I am trying to fit in with the crowd? I am the only one missing out and I have a secret for you! The crowd isn’t that great anyways! Why should I feel bad just because you screwed up? I shouldn’t. There is nothing wrong with me. Some people may not agree with my choices and my views but that’s the beauty of society. We can disagree. My views and my choices are my responsibility. Bigger than that, my identity is my responsibility. I owe it to myself to own it. Why would anyone do them difference just because it’s easier to be a sheep? I don’t need to justify my life choices, only to myself.

So in this realisation I purpose someone to all those I know and to those I don’t know. To the girl who looked at my outfit and said you cannot wear that? To my best friend who say you’ll find someone? To my mother who I love and is truly my best friend. This is me. If you like it, the door is open and come on in. If you don’t, the door is open and I’ll let you see yourself out. If you’re sure, move out the way, you’re blocking the flow. I don’t care who you are and how we crossed paths, whether your my family, my friend, a love interest, a stranger, the person at the next table judging my coffee order, I’ll let you in on a secret, you’re not the one drinking it. No justification required here. The door is open my friend. Your choice, your responsibility which way you are going. You cannot change anyone in this world, only yourself and how you react to them. This is one hundred percent true without a doubt. This world that I have created around me is for me. My life has room for company, but not for judgements and egos. Self-preservers and doubters – I come with a health warning. I don’t cater. Approach my table with caution, I will not bend or break to mend you. If you pull up a chair at my table, don’t then ask me to join a different one. You do you and I’ll do me and we friends, lovers, strangers either work or don’t. I have flaws and I love them. They silence the haters, outweigh the doubters and stay around well after the party has ended. I like being unconventional, a dreamer, self-discoverer, it’s something I’m good at. So why do we as society think it’s not okay to be exactly who we want to be? Every person is different and for me if because I never think that I deserve them. I am starting to feel the shift in the winds. And I got some words of wisdom to share: if you cannot sit in it, don’t settle for it. Sit at your own table, start your own self revolution, be exactly who you want to be. Do it with kindness and honesty and you’ll never go wrong. Your ideal world, table, setting, whatever you want to say it is, will ‘you start with you being happy being you. So give society the middle finger because being you is so much better.

Just because it’s for me,

Ivy xx

Provoke

Patience

Faceless

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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.

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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

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

Being more than a moment

Morning all,

This morning whilst on a coach to the big smoke, I find myself thinking about certain people and those moments. By moments, I am talking about THOSE moments. There are always those moments in your mind that you see clearer than the rest. Where you just see that person and exactly who and what you want them to be – your future, your partner, your best friend, your life coach. It’s that moment where just in that second, they are flawless and everything you want them to be. And it’s always that moment you see when you think about them. It’s a beautiful tragedy because it is simply heaven to think about but then it’s only just a memory. It’s only one moment. It’s not tangible. It does not come back to life. It’s a replay that reach only as far as my ears but I cannot feel the warmth and it cannot hold me close.

I have a series of these in my head. Some recently have occupied my brain, some not. Nonetheless, I am a collector of the momentous snapshots before the clusterfucks. I always chose to remember those moments because I always find you there. When all of our dream make us blind, I still see you there with clarity. I find us before the stars decided where we belong. I can still reach you now that your gone in the morning.

I might be the only one in the world who collects those moments, or the only one that wants to. And no words, in any language, can express the depth of the significance that those moments hold to me. I have lost my way so many time and left behind parts of me along the way, but I have never lost those. When I am faced with a cold blank stare and we are out of time, I still get to see you in the chaos even just for a second. Whatever we leave behind, in the rumble of the now barely there memories and the spoken words that have nothing inside, I thank you for adding to my collection above all else. Even if we shall never cross paths again in that regard, you gave me the next instalment.

I don’t want to be someone’s moment nor do I want to be every moment. For now, I want to be my own moment. I want to be held onto like it matters if I am not there. I don’t want to be a filler in my own life anymore. And when I meet someone, whoever it is, I want to be the “best is yet to come” moment. I want to see those moments in your face and not the emptiness in your eyes that I have so recently become accustom to. I want the moments to include the warmth I carve. Let’s fill the show box with those and leave the clusterfucks to find themselves a new home.

But for now, I am fishing for my own moments. Behind my walls, there is so much to say and I’m not ready to pass the time without changing it all. I’m saying sorry to my own reflection and telling myself it is okay. I’m not blaming anyone else and I’m starting to see some progress. Now I’m going to grab the camera and fill the book with Polaroids. I am going to send myself out through and be scared as hell but I am going to show the world that I am made of. Look at where hiding has gotten me. I am going to let society see my substance, my depth without their pressures. I got my walls for protective and my smile for security.

Armed and ready,

Ivy xx

What’s left behind

Good afternoon virtual void,

Take that as it was intended to be, a compliment. A void is an empty space but it is also something that has no legal binding or enforcement. This space, these pages, are my dumping grounds that do not judge me for my lack of communication, my appearance, my mood. It has no demands, just limitless space solely for me. It’s beautiful and it feels like my best friend sometimes. Its funny that I found a best friend in such a void. Or this is just me finally learning to love myself? Either way, your value and simple existences is greatly appreciated.

I found this thought today when I was sitting in Starbucks in my town and planning my weekend to London. Tomorrow morning I jump on a coach to the big smoke for a weekend of self love. Just me, myself and I (and oh about 3 million strangers) in a city of dreams. The city where I stopped being my mother’s daughter, the sister, the child and I stared at the world as Ivy. I threw all the titles in a bin and said “This is me, world. Ready or not.” I felt my strength and passion for people and life grow as I shred the layers of naivety and self doubt. Looking back now, just wow! What a life I have made for myself. The things I have seen, the people I have met. I’m going “home” for a weekend like a child does when they take their school work home to put on the fridge.

This got me thinking about what is left behind after the world takes it’s pounds of flesh each day. After the light fades and darkness creeps in. Where pillows welcome home their masters and the unconditional love written all over the my walls speaks to me to say “it’s okay, I missed you.”

I see myself in all the different hats I wear on the walls – the best friend, the auntie, the sister, the daughter, the graduate, the mother to my dog. Then I see my favourite photo in a beautiful white vintage frame. I see my niece and I on the beach from Christmas just past. I see me there, the version that is still there after all the labels are removed, after the world has had enough of me for a day. I see the version that is always there but few actually get to see. I see the girl that made her own world out of the rumble of a thousand wars but a million victories. I see the girl wearing a bathing suit and smiling. Unfortunately, this society tries to make me feel ugly because it is ugly. Society is an ugly beast with a beautiful face and impossible expectations. However in this picture, I see a girl who is bigger than your “average” girl and I am smiling. I am smiling a big fuck you to society smile. That is the girl I am taking home for the fridge, the girl that will be getting on the coach tomorrow. I wear my battle wounds with my medals of honour and I don’t let the world get to close to me anymore. I cry so many less tears these days but I still pack the tissues. Society, people, supposed love stopped apologising for hurting my feelings and I stopped expecting them to change. I got the confidence to walk away from those people, those places, those ideations that left me in a rumble and I got stronger. I see all this when I see that picture. I just see me and I am doing okay.

So what’s left behind when all is said and done? Well, me. Me is the developed, refined form. Me that never tears myself down anymore. Me that goes to sleep every night saying to myself “well done and I love you.” I do love myself and I am proud of myself. I have come so far since you London. I cannot wait for you to see me, you are going to be so proud. I am more than society can handle. I will feel your touch and smile. I will be alone and I will become familiar with you again, even just for a weekend. I will fall in love with you whilst you get to know me. You will see the girl in that picture dancing on my own. There is room for improvement but I have a solid base now, I am not hollow anymore. I am substance. I am beautiful. I am proud to be me.

We all feel that we could have done something differently or handled a situation better. However, what butterfly effect would that have caused. Yes I would have been more grateful for my family, was less moody as a teenager and spent more time with my father before he passed away. But those moments taught me lessons about time being precious and be kind above all else which I may not have learnt those lessons otherwise. So instead of reliving that, I want to say well done to myself. I’ve coped well and I am still standing. Because in this society, we are all a bit too quick to criticise and find faults within ourselves. We should be taking the time and building ourselves up. We need to love the crap out of ourselves in order to survive. We need to gave ourselves a break because life is hard and it’s cold. Society is brutal and as unforgiving as the concrete you hit at the bottom. All you can do is pick yourself up, stand tall, and drown them out.

So ready or not, here I come,

Ivy xx

Conversant

Uncompromising

Grasp

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