The beauty of failure

Hey all,

There is a thing I have been thinking about a lot recently and the clue is in the title so this should not be a surprise but it’s the idea of failure. Failure can resemble certain people, significant events, targets, anything. Whatever it resembles to you, failure should not be feared. It is as inevitable as the next breathe you take (and now become hyper aware of). I feel that as a whole, the majority of people I know, fear failure for the fact that they perceive the outlook others will have on them and because of the deskilling factor it plays. But when you look deeper, I don’t remember constant success growing development and resilience. It is within the failure that we learnt the lessons that form our values and our identity. The ethical guidelines that we internally adhere to become the cornerstones of your identity, both professional and personally. And it is within these failures, do you realise what we desire the most. The things that we are willing to let life kick the crap out of us for day after day. Success is great, but failure is damn right beautiful.

This made me think about the failure as an event. If it is as inevitable as I think it is, then it is actually the event more than the emotion. Why? Because everyone will experience failure in their life, that will happen. If you haven’t yet, brace yourself. Someone may fail to meet you, you will fail a job interview, your jeans will rip. These are all examples of failure. But those are all not individualised and you cannot change the presence of these failures when they come. But what is different is the emotion that it provoke. The emotion that you choose to react with is what we do have control over. The thinking between the failure is also your responsibility. So what I am saying is that if you know you cannot change the event (failure), then it’s the thoughts and behaviours that we associate with that are our responsible and so our the consequence that follow those behaviours. If you fail and then you self destruct then you are responsible for the aftermath. The red button will only activate when you push it. I think what I ask myself all the time is what is I never pushed the red button again? What would happen to me? I think it’s time to re-evaluate my own rule book.

Despite this spontaneous re-evaluation, I still choose not to be afraid of failure. I like the growth that parallels failure’s presence in my life. I do one thing that scares me everyday and sometimes hope that I fail. I learn the rules better than way. I learn where I can push the boundaries and where I stand with people. Apologises are not hard to come be with me around and I would much rather ask for forgiveness than permission. To failure is to ultimately succeed. You cut your hair often to make it grow, and the more your fail is the more you learn. I don’t learn through my successes. That’s a reinforcement of what I already know what things I am good at. Why do we as humans think that we must be perfect? That we will get it right without practice? Is everyday we walk this earth another practice day? And when you fail, who’s standards are you failing by? If the answer is not your own, stop whatever you are doing and look in the mirror. You should always and only set your own bar. You do not owe anyone anything.

Screw the others I say. Fail gloriously and as often as you can. The beauty of failure will forever outweigh the dizzying unsteadying heights of success. Your platform will be more stable with deeper roots and a familiar face. Someone said to me once, “don’t judge someone by the successes under their belt, but their reactions to the failures they experience”. I finally get it, I finally see the honesty in that. Failure hurts in the moment you experience it. I don’t love those moments. But what I do love if the thought I have directly after it. The “I am never wanting to experience that again” and the “what can I learn from that?” That’s where the success happens. That’s where my identity is taking shape from. Bruises are only so deep but values run to the core. Failure makes me build myself from the inside out.

Today, I failed, I failed little and often. But I learnt things by doing it. I learnt that I do really value my space. My me time is my favourite time. I realise I give myself to a lot of people, and I don’t want to change that. Maybe I just realise that that requires me to take more time hiding away. A lesson can only be learnt when thought about and reflected upon. So here I am, thinking about it.

Time for sleep,

Ivy xx

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Silence is golden

Good midnight all,

It’s half past one in the morning and the world is sleeping. It may not be evident by my quality of writing but I am indeed awake. So awake that I cooked (warmed) some poptarts up and have been sitting in bed thinking about my life. Why does my brain feel it appropriate to switch up the gears now? Was it the coffee? Was it the over played repeats of past interactions? Is it the worried of what is yet to come? Maybe it’s the poptarts? It’s chocolate by the way.

They say silence is golden, but why does it feel so deafening tonight? Why do my thoughts play me for the fool today? This is not okay, I keep telling myself to stop thinking but I can’t. As I type to possibly incoherent post, a part of me realises that I don’t think I want to stop thinking. I have taken comfort in my own thoughts for years. I have retreated to be place, my rabbit hole for years and years. My relationships have previously taken me away but they always end and I retreat to hibernate. I hibernate until I am ready for the world to see me again. Until I feel strong and brave enough to be seen again. Tonight I reached out to the world, already knowing it wasn’t vibing with me, only to be matched with my expectation, to get a wall of silence. I felt the coldness of the moon and all of the lights went off. I have left myself outside alone but I’m holding the keys. I see the warmth of my bed, the duvet and my pillows and my fart lights sparkling at me. Oh it’s such an inviting scene. But I am still standing in the doorway waiting for something. What am I waiting for?

1:48 on the clock now and my thoughts are so fast and furious. I hear the gentle busy of a distance world outside of my walls. The rare light passing my window. I wonder what is keeping you up sir or madam? Are you driving to see a loved one? Are you going home from work to an empty home with a unsympathetic cat who wants feeding? Are you wide awake like me driving to figure it all out? Do you stop and see my light and wonder the same about me? Well let me be the mythoclast and tell you that I am just a wandering soul looking for a cup of coffee and an ear to bend. I am looking for myself in amongst the visible. If you saw you, you wouldn’t miss me but I’m not easy to spot. It’s like the hardest game of Where’s Waldo you will ever play. That’s simply my anecdata of my own situation but I ironically feel it is spot on. But anyways, I’m up. I’m awake, I’m verbally wandering the street, driving stolen cars and causing havoc on my own virtual city. I am doing all this without leaving the bed, and wow it’s a miracle – you really can be in two places at once. It’s like my thoughts have been my feet and I have walked for miles and suddenly realised how far I am from home. I didn’t think to stop, turn around, do a lap. In this moment, Forrester Gump popped into my head. You know when he has been running and running and then he just stops. That’s me, right now. I have stopped. I have stopped running and I have turned around to face the followers, the world, the miles travelled. I am looking but just don’t see it yet. I need to stop looking so hard, so deeply, so frantically. I need to merely observe, to stand and observe what I have achieved and not what I have still to travel. Changing direction hurts but it’s then changes you. I want to be the change I seek. I want to see the beauty in myself every damn day, not just the really great days.

So, I am buying a bike in the morning (or this week), and I am going to change the transportation. I never liked running anyways. I want to ride a pretty bike with a basket and a bell and a leather seat. I want to see the distance back in a new light, at a new speed, at a different pace. I’m crapping my pants but I am heading home. The bed is calling and I want to dream. I want to be my dreams one day. I want to say “holy crap, this is my life” and really mean it. Really feel it. This transformation isn’t going to be beautifully done. It’s going to be bunny hopped and gasping. It’s going to be the “will she, won’t she?” story! Let’s find a daisy and pluck out each petals one at a time and place our bets and who will win, just like when we were children. Will she? Will she not. Will she? While she not?

Guess what, I will,

Ivy xx

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

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

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