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 It’s impossible not to feel that I have superseded my expectancies of the list and I know my life and most important, my outlook on it, is completely different.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



What makes you itch? 

Happy Sunday all,

Sundays in bed are the best. Coffee, Rupert and an empty day ahead. This morning I decided to do a bit of reading. On my recent trip to Oslo, I learnt that in Norway, students completing any degree must take a course or module in philosophy. Now this idea is brilliant in my eyes. By getting people to think laterally about life, you are subconsequently creating a more compassionate society. You enable them to see different points of view and develop their theory of mind. Norway is said to be one of the most peaceful palaces in Europe in regard to crime and I believe this will be a massive part of that statistic.

So, knowing this, I have decidated some time to learning about philosophy. Alan Watts is one of those great philosopher that really makes me contempt life and the chooses I make. He was the British philosopher, writer and speaker and my favourite message of his is from his career advisor to graduating students:

What makes you itch. What sort of situation would you like. Lets suppose, I do this often in vocational guidence of students, they come to me and say “we are getting out of college and I have the faintest idea of what to do”. So I always ask the question – What would you like to do if money were no object. How would you really enjoy spending your life.

Well it’s so amazing, as a result of our kind of educational system, crowds of students say — well, we like to be painters, we like to be poets, we like to be writers but as everyone knows you cannot earn any money that way. Another person says I’d like to live an outdoor life and ride horses. I said do you want to teach in a writing school? Lets go through with it, what do you want to do? When we finally got to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I would say to him you do that and forget the money. Because if you say getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living that is to go one doing things you don’t like doing — which is stupid.

Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way and after all if you do really like what your are doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually become a master of it. The only way to become a master of something is if you really like it. Then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry to much, somebody is interested in everything and you can be interested in you’ll find others who are but it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like and doing things you don’t like and to then teach your children to follow in the same track. See, what we are doing, is we are bringing up our children, educating them, to live the same soft of lives we are living in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to do the same things so it’s all retro and no vomit — it never gets there.

And so, therefore it’s so important to consider this question – What do I desire?”

When we actually think about our future, we should be excited about working and our career. We should naturally put my passion and our job in the same category. They should be interchangeable. Think about it…

  • What makes you you?
  • What inspires you?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What makes you cry?
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • What’s life to you?
  • What do you do when you are feeling on cloud nine?

Answer these questions with your heart and you will know yourself better than anyone else. You will know how you engage with this world and make the most out of life.

So what do you desire?

Ivy xx