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

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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

A snapshot

Evening all,

There is something about the moment you push the button on a camera, something evidential. You cannot take that moment away, you cannot take it back. It is there to be remembered and to be seen despite the world moving on. Printed and you can see it in your mind, you can look at it anytime you close your eyes. Details of those moments stay around even when the whole memory fades away – the little details about the scarf you were wearing, the colour of the send button may all drift away with the white wash. But it is the feeling you felt the moment you pressed send or the fabric of the scarf felt once more regurgitates those snapshot moments like a Polaroid camera. Slowly exposing themselves to the light of day with time.

What I am certain of, above all else is that I like my memories for I never get older and we never change. When the world I see changes its landscapes on an hourly basis and its impossible to capture it all, I trust my memories to remind me of the important and the significant. The moments that when years can be swashed into seconds, the snapshots call attention to what once was, pre-extinction. When the crowds fade and the hardest things have been spoken, my memories serve me my just desserts and ask me how I feel about it all.

People are confusing, indifferent, have hidden agendas. I ask the questions that that matter and I do not sit with uncertainty well. I like to know what people mean, I don’t like vague. Vague does not suit development but more puts a fork in my road and asks me ‘where is your mind at?’. The camera always me to shoot what I see and interpret later. I expose what is there and I trust that. Motivations are as fluid as sexuality these days but I see your looks, your eyes, that scene and I know the weight that carries when words are as light as and brushed away as easily as dust. I cover my wardrobe wall next to my bed with people and moments that emphasise particular significance. The significant of certainty as within those moments I was absolutely certain that I felt that way, I smiled that smile, I knew what I knew. And though your existence may be broken on my floor, at that moment, I had a good feeling. I had a passion for my life, for existence and I thank anyone involved in those moments for those moments. When the people of this day feel so instant in their connections, I like to give those moments my attention, my memories.

Days like these are ones for the camera. The feelings are so intense, so consuming of my thoughts. The future seems entirely possible and I am winning at life. The beauty of self-validation in a culture of self-doubt is refreshing. A fresh coffee in hand, my lights softly lightly my room, and a candle flickering in the corner of my eye is my celebration of today’s win. It felts likes a million happy moments rolled into this space and its just so very me. So very Ivy.

So 3…2…1 click

Moment saved

Good night

Ivy xx

 

 

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

Cliveden

Another road trip means another opportunity to see the beauty that is England. Its history is incredible and I have been blessed to live here for 15 years now. Every time I go somewhere new, I fall in love with this beautiful country.

Yesterday we went to Cliveden – beautiful hotel and stately manor home in the outskirts of London. Cliveden is an Italianate mansion and estate on the Berkshire/Buckinghamshire border. It crowns an outlying ridge of the Chiltern Hills by the hilltop village of Taplow. It’s about  2 miles from the riverside town of Maidenhead. Clive den is set on the banks about 130  feet above the River Thames with all the grounds slope down to the river. The site has been home to an earl, three countesses, two dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor.

There we could follow in the footsteps of dukes, earls, and royalty as we explored a series of gardens, each with their own special charming story. From the formality of the Parterre with its vibrant floral displays to the quirky statuary and topiary in the Long Garden, the gardens will delight you in every season. The long garden was incredibly sculptured and organised. It held a sense of wealth and stature.

The formal gardens give way to secluded glades, tree-lined avenues and picturesque riverside with miles of scenic woodland walk to discover.

The house is now a luxury hotel but you can take a peek inside apparently, we didn’t but it was incredible to admire the residents at lunch and drinks in the lounges.

Enjoyed this day, it was breathtakingly beautiful

Good night

Ivy

Xx

The art of letting go

Hey all,

I’ve reloaded something this week and I wanted to share with you. I don’t think I have posted about it before so mugs of coffee at the ready.

Context:

This week my water bottle emptied a liter of water into my bag and drown the whole contents of my bag. Including my beloved bullet journal. Yes I said it, my bullet journal was soggy and all the ink had bled through the pages. I was at work and tried to dry it out but it was unfortunately beyond repair. I was disappointed and felt heavy with all the pages and hours spent that were now swimming in the bottom of my bag.

The surprise:

My fiancée ( who is incredible by the way) had brought me a new one before I even got a chance to tho about what to do. She has an incredible ability for understanding me after our 8 months so far together. Don’t tell her but she knew me after day one. But anyways she knows how important it is to me and how not doing this impacts on me. Her kindness and giving are never ending. It’s the fact that she doesn’t belittle my habits or throw away my effects like harmful comments. Any notebook would have done but she chose the same one and got it dispatched the next day. My knightness in shining armor strikes again.

The reset:

So this weekend, I begrudgingly started again. I opened up the first page and thought “where do I start?” I thought about the organization and my old bullet journal. What did I want to do differently? And I started and couldn’t start. I completely my yearly things and then moved on to February. I set it out with more of my “creative flare” that Liv says I have. I piled out all of my scrapbooking stuff and made something my notebook mine again. I love it already. I am struggling to stop for dinner.

The lesson:
Letting go isn’t about erasing the blow but more about lessening the impact. Yes, my bullet journal got ruined but then I got to start again. It doesn’t take away from time and effort put into my old one but it just made it better. For me, I just broke down the task into manageable chunks and dealt with it. I didn’t get emotionally overloaded. It helped to have Liv as a soundboard I admit, but I took the emotion out and dealt with the facts. Simply put.

The result:

I thought I would share the new journal layout. I have to say, I am so pleased with it. Your comments and thought are welcome. I’m not done yet but that’s the thing about bullet journaling – it’s never complete.


Enjoy,

Ivy xx

10, 821

I scrolled through social media today with all of these “fake news” site offering the answers to life. How to know it’s love. How to be successful. How to be happy. How to be the best you. I thought to myself, how do you measure success or happiness. How do you measure the quality of love you have. How does that compare to the couple that live below you in a block of apartments? The money in my bank account is not my measure of success. The smile across my face is not my measure of happiness. The best version of me is not available on some checklist. Your little articles do not attack my self-esteem. 

Instead, I celebrate every victory, regardless of size. I woke up on time, I went for that swim despite my tiredness, I made that traffic light, I found a new artist I love. Every victory started with a choice to do something that I didn’t have to. For example, first week back to work and I was shattered. I did not want to get out of bed at all. But instead, I went swimming every morning before work. Up at 6am, in the pool by 7:30 am and I pushed it. Every single stroke was a choice. A choice to keep going. A decision where I said, “I did not come this far to walk away without a sense of victory.” I am, as we all are, a history of victories. We are still here and we are fighting proof that we are stronger than the warfare we have been through. There are the non-scale victories that we feel without observational proof. Improved endurance, quality of sleep, increased resilience.  Those are my measures of success, happiness, and being the best me. You will see the thoughts weigh heavy in my eyes but you will see the warrior inside my soul because  I am the victor of my own catastrophe. The quickest way from A to B is straight through and the soldier inside urges me forward through the havoc. I ignore the fallen to the left and right, it does not matter what they are doing. We are all on a battlefield with our biggest fears facing us. I am not here to judge your spider if you don’t judge my shark. I am not a part of their battle. I am not a saver as they are not mine. This fight is mine and mine alone.

R.M. Drake wrote, “one day you’ll make peace with your demons, and the chaos in your heart will settle first. and maybe for the first time in your life, life will smile right back at you and welcome you home.” Well, I walked right now to my demons and they waved their white flags. Every day I go to bed with more victories under my belt. Today, I conquered another new place, solved another new problem and saw another through a new perspective. On my surface, I seem confident and armed with a shield. I am old scars from my previous battles. I am the beautifully blemished victor and I see the need for my armor. It makes me ready for battle, regardless of the requirement for it.

So here is to my history of victories. All 10,821 days that I have conquered.

Ivy

xx