Starting with me

Self kindness – learning to date yourself before anyone else.

Present

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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

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

Page turning

I have never felt so watched in solitude – the tree’s eyes follow my movement tentatively whilst I snap away. The camera is busier than my mind – what a change. Welcomed change. In this second, I don’t feel your distance. I feel every emotion to my core. I see the deeper links in life, the connections made without a word spoken. I make no compromises on these traits, for these are my roots that ground me. I am inspired by the trees and maybe their eyes are seeing our connections too. Maybe you are seeing me as one of your own and I welcome your branches and your thorns. You look so beautifully unharmed but ready for battle. I am envious for I feel my armour is weak but my roots are strong. I know who I am and what I can give.

A love like mine is intense but rich, so rich. It will collide with your life and there will be sparks. There will be moments of magic and adventures that even Peter Pan would want to write home about. There will be heated debates and all nighter. I demand depth and passion, resilience and romance. I make no apologises for my presence or intentions. I will not dampen my passion to ease your soul. I will not break against your winds. I make no excuses for my deep thoughts or brazen approach. I want people to see me and go ‘oh yeah I know Ivy – she is the roar”. I am laying on the ground but staring at a sky of possibilities. I see the most beautiful nights with millions upon millions of stars.

Soon I will get up and start travelling again but I just needed a moment to find some perspective. I needed to feel small amongst the stars. I wanted to watch them dance amongst themselves and burn bright. I will find a carve a new route and I will start a new chapter. I didn’t see this twist coming but, I guess, this is where it gets interesting. If I knew every chapter in this book, I would rewrite it anyways. You were the hook, the line and the sinker and I will now turn the page.

Where’s my pen,

Ivy x

Courage

Breathing again

Hi all,

So one eventful weekend and 300 miles later, I am put the vacant sign on my door and left my little world with all of my hurt and pain behind me – at least for this week. I am come to the beautiful Wye Valley with my mother and I am armed with my camera, walking boots, my iPad, books and all my favourite jumpers. We are currently staying in a castle on the hill (cue Ed Sheeran) and realising that life can simply change in a instant.

My life is evolving and I am just starting to really breathe again. I left my perfect picture life a few months ago because it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t working for me anymore. It had a good recipe but not the right ingredients. Within a short time, my life had done a complete 180 and I find myself single, relocated into the first house share I saw, and frankly petrified. What if I had make the biggest mistake? What if I just got scared? What if my new housemates are weird? So many doubts running through my mind. And it was only when the entertainment was done, the crowds had gone and the lights were off, did i find myself alone and I crying every night. December flew by and the world didn’t let me be. The weight was heavy and I was sinking deeper. I swear Davy Jones felt my presence in the depths of December. A lifesaver saved me and the tears eventually stopped falling and I was no longer seeing the hours of 3 and 5am. But then you happened, you threw me a curveball and the chains around my ankles sunk me, the shock of the ice water reminded me faintly of the (not so distant) December. The water felt crashing on my chest and the pillows soon felt my tears once again. I saw you and I was so torn. I love you but I couldn’t feel you. You touched me and I felt like my body was fighting you like a disease. I felt so conflicted.

Now you’re gone but the tears remain, even this foreign pillow has had the pleasure. My phone has been drawn to your number so many times but the words fail to overpower my feelings. The thorns are pricking me as reminders and I chose not to want to bleed. I don’t see you calling but then why should you? We agreed on space and then why did my heart cry for you to stay the moment you left? Why do I pray that every car that passes my window be yours? Why do I wish you were my Joe Fox and I would be your Kathleen Kelly? But then I am not calling so is this just the heartbreak before the mending? I think I see you but wonder if I can see myself around you. There is so much insecurity with regard to you and the idea of an us that I cannot think clearly. Those famous words “I hoped it would be you” whispered in the final scenes by Kathleen when she realises her heart’s desire had clashed with her unknowable pride fill my thoughts. What if I whisper to the wind that I hope it will be you – will that message reach your ears and drive you enough to see you hatch an unseen plan to make sure it’s you? Do your words carry such weight or will I see those words pass by on feather in the wind as the first storm. Do your feelings for me provide you roots in the gusts or am I merely just a leaf to you awaiting a simple puff of air.

Regardless of your intentions, I am breathing and I know my tears will stop falling. I will not wait to be saved or reassured. Davy Jones will not see me again and I will not sink into his locket. My resilience runs deeply than my desires and my dear safety net will catch me every time. Today I aim to just breathe and maybe tomorrow it will be just as hard but in time I will stop being so conscious of my breathe. My days will not change dramatically but more slowly and I will recognise the difference all at once. Away for the eyes of the world, I will be the girl who dared to dream once again and have the courage to touch it. I hold myself in such regard but I know I am so afraid of tomorrow’s portrait. However, we will become familiar with each other and tomorrow will learn to deal with my expectations of it and I will become accustom to it’s existence in my life. We will work together and I will soon not only recognise but like the way you look. Tomorrow will be my favourite promise and today will be my favourite day of the week. But for now the only certainty I know and that I hold dear is the knowledge that despite the length of time between my breathes or the pain that I feel in those moments, every breathe will go and a new will come. I will continue to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen and that’s enough for now.

With every breathe I am fighting,

Ivy xx

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 the 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

White noise

Hi All,

So it’s been a while since I have written an actual post. I guess I did not consider how time-consuming taking a photo a day would be or just how much pressure I put on myself to make something that I am happy with. Tonight, I sat and thought about what I have learnt from this project and I wanted to share some of my reflections with you.

My hotel room tonight is filled with thoughts and questions that do not really require answers. A space which is full of what I call the ‘white noise’ of my mind. The buzz of a million thoughts without a definitive theme or one protruding thought. When was the last time I felt silence or, more importantly, the lack of activity? When did I last look without seeing a theory? When did my mind become so busy? Was it all at once or over an extended time? This project has made me realise that I spend so much of my day thinking about the void of indefinite questions for the worry about what the silence may bring me. I cry alone in the comfort of my own arms when I let my bubble burst as if the auditorium had been opened up to an aggiornamento. Some days I am not the strongest warrior but resilience does not have to be measured for merit. I am not returning from a moribund state or stained with an astrobleme. I just live within my dimensions using mistakes as my portal to discovery.

Days like this, I sit in the eye of my storm watching the crap fly around me but never seeing it touch me. I use touch because I stopped feeling it, like a second skin. A skin that is unattached to me – the anxiety it can cause me, the weight my shoulder potential feel and the smile that could quickly disappear if the winds drew me in. I sit and stare into the darkened, nearly black, cyclone of my days and pray for more time to work it all out. I remain at a distance like an ostrich with sand. When did I become less mealy-mouthed, sobersided, and place-seeking? More crucially, can a self-critic ever really be mealy-mouthed? Am I ready to face this yet, to reengage when the sand is so inviting for my head? What do I fear if I succeed at life? Regardless of all this, I know that my building blocks can be rearranged better (and worse). Have I just gone too far too quickly? I think so and I don’t have the gas to reverse.

I know that I am soon going to be having a deep conversation with my silence. Timing is everything, my friend. I’ll have my people call your people.

Speak soon,

Ivy x