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

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Page 1

Page turned and I am staring at a blank page. This page is going to be the hardest and I really hope you will never read it because this chapter isn’t for you, it’s solely for me! Where do I start? Guide my hand pen…

Okay, so here is a secret – there have been a select few times that I have grieved the loss of a relationship and actually really ever been single. There was always someone that for me to rely on. Not an overlap but just the possibility of a romance connection. Always someone to validate my existence. To tell me I am good enough. This is one of those times I am going to grieve. I am going to let myself go and rebuild my castle. I am going to add a drawbridge and a gatehouse. I am going to sit in here and play all the parts. I don’t want to world anyone is offering me, I want my own.

We all grieve differently and I need to find a way to deal with it all. People don’t like to sit with the feeling that it’s their fault something broke down. Most people cannot sit with those feelings and they do everything they can to “better” the situation to the point where they may tell you what they think you are feeling and not listen to anything you actually say. I do not sit in uncertainty well. I fully admit that. But I respect the fact that if I fuck up, I don’t have the choice and it is not for me to make better. When you hurt someone and you want to make it better, you ask them what they need and you listen. You listen to what they need and you respect that. I need to owe up to the fact that I have been hurt again and now make that work for me. You didn’t listen and you cannot sit in your own mess – I’m sorry but when she said that you would never hurt me again and that you didn’t think about it but you did it again, why should I end up with less of my own safe space. Why should my safe haven shrink? What do I really want in life? To compromise everything that I value? My privacy? My need for space? Sit in your own dirty laundry that you threw all over the floor. I don’t know if the stars will ever ship us together again but I’ll leave this one for them for awhile.

I am struggling to know how to be single, how to grieve the loss of my relationships. But I will make this work for me. If I have to sit and eat Ben and Jerry’s every day then I will go to the shop and buy it every day. I will soon hate the way I look but I will deal. If I have to swim for two hours every day, I will go swimming. Probably better than the Ben and Jerry’s idea really. If I need to throw myself in work, then at least my career will flourish. If I want to drink, then I will drink until I become numb. If I need to watch “how to be single” every night then at least I owe it. I will make it work for me because right now crying is helping but it’s not solving at thing. It won’t work forever. One step, one hour, one day at a time. I want to feel like I belong to me before anyone else and I want to love my life so much that I will struggle to want to share it. I am so keen to give it away to anyone that I don’t think I truly appreciate it.

I am kind, I am honest, I am beautiful, I am engaging, intense, hard working, reflective but I want to feel that more times than not. I want to see the benefits of my experiences. I want to work hard at myself for my own rewards. This site is for me, these words were never for anyone’s eyes. For anyone’s approval or disapproval. For anyone’s judgemental nature. Chapter one, page one, and let’s start with a courage step. I chose to let everything go. My father, my losses, my rejections. I will not hold onto this anymore. There will be no power struggle between us. I will see the written on the wall and I will scrub it off. I will write letters to myself and believe in my own abilities. I will challenge every thought I can and give myself the best hugs.

“Whatever course you decide upon there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The courage to be self-reliant is my biggest challenge in 2018. I will develop my reliance on myself to make the happy times happen. I will develop awareness of the beautiful life I have without searching for extensions. I will look inwards for the answers. I will let myself be my worlds greatest. I will let anyone observe for the sideline and wish their for in the game. I will let the critics have their say and I will have the courage accept the difference in opinion. Watch this space because it’s about to get interesting. I am about to grow.

I’ll be the writer from now on,

Ivy xx

Courage

A beautiful thing is never idealistic

Hello old friend,

I sometimes find a pausation when these isn’t a warning sign in sight. A spanner gets thrown into the works due to other’s inability to shoulder uncertainty or blame. Or even to see the view from the other side of the bridge. It’s like a whip of cold air on a waterfront when I feel lost in my vulnerary reflections. Your words, resembling those from a domineering enfant terrible of an otherwise picture perfect moment, cast doubts and leave me standing without an alibi. Do you demand such control within all the games you play? And does this still feel virtuous to you?

I watch the waves crash and burn consistently and wonder how that much the resilience feels. Does the ocean ever depend on the rocks to break into drift? Or does it just exist alongside? I find myself enviously watching the water and wondering if I could be ever be so bold, so thought provoking and so beautifully decathected? I have fallen apart so many times without a safety net and always decided that it was easier to depend on myself than let others in. I didn’t think that I didn’t need anyone, because I do, I like people’s existence in my life. Instead I just got habitual about it – and it got easier to turn off.

However I did not bank on a beautiful thing to resemble my reflection. I did not think that I would be looking into the faces of my housemates only to see them pass me the mirror instead of the iconic lines. We sat in the lounge and they gave me the only tool I needed – myself. They came into my life as collateral damage when I blew my own world up. And just like that, when I wasn’t looking for a beautiful thing but merely a solution, I found them. I have learnt that the idealistic isn’t the necessary. Sometimes the best things are found without a search light. I stumbled into my safe haven only needing a bed and gained a home. Gained a family outside of the restrictive titles. My habitual nature varnished as beautifully as a fading light and I knew I had stumbled upon something special. I suddenly didn’t feel the need to have any answers and bend until breaking point but merely the confidence to hold myself. I found strength in my small army and got back up again. It all felt like a momentary slip, the blur of the days, months gone, my head cleared. I didn’t feel alone or afraid to be brave.

I think back now to the waves and realised that the water isn’t a Lone Ranger but a collection of appointees comprised of a heartsome nature. My own formulation of strength tainted the view of what was actually there, deciding that my mindset was objectionable evidence.

So thank you both for being the difference. For being the beautiful thing I didn’t see until I was standing in the dark.

Good night,

Ivy xx

Messy

365:365

“And just like that, a year of highs and lows, heartaches and daydreams felt like it all existed in one single moment”

365:364

“Deciphering your art is as beautiful as looking at a painting by Picasso”

365:363

“I’ll listen to her frustration whilst I love to watch her roar”

365:362

“Life was easier when I didn’t have to push my own swing”