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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Smoking it

Good morning all,

The coach has just left the station and away I go. London is calling again, she missed me and wanted to catch up (and apparently a phone call won’t suffice).

What will the capital bring to me this time? What tickles my fancy? The cobbled street of Covent Gardens where raw talent is found in abundance and the sun always seems to shine? The culinary demises of Borough Market where I always wonder why my food never turns out this good? The eclectic delight of Camden Market where the price are always good and we hold out for all things beautiful and loud? Or do the squares draw my love for people watching out of the closet again? Where I can grab a cup a coffee and my notebook and watch life being lived around me? God I love London. Never bored, never too tired of seeing all she has to offer me. In exchange I promised to visit more regularly. So here I am fulfilled my promise. I found my cosiest jumper and jeans, my hat is at hand, notebook, too few a books (only brought three!), tickets to see Sam Smith, and a need to reboot.

Recently things have been messy this end. I started to see my “areas of improvement” take over and I’ve been, well, stopped in my tracks. I just sat and seen the effects of the chisel. I briefly let the chips occur, I let the world take its pieces, I stopped fighting. I didn’t feel like me at all. I have never just rolled over and played dead. I don’t do being dead well. Doesn’t mean I do living well either but that’s a development point from these last few weeks. It’s finally time to hit refresh with intention this time. Be the change Ivy, be the change you are living so copiously to see.

In light of this, think I am going to back to my roots today. It’s time to feel my second skin again, rebuild the protective shield. What better way to take time out then lose myself in a sea of people and didn’t even need to pack my invisibility cloak. Coffee and Leicester Square seem to be pulling at me trouser leg. I want to watch how others are doing it, gather some tips, amend some rules in my own head. Remove some old thoughts that I will not be needing anymore.

Lesson truly learnt,

Ivy xx

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

Va-cating my life

The best thing about vacations is the unreachable feeling 30,000 feet gives me

Weaponisation words

Evening all,

So this evening I had a conversation that hurt. I may not always express myself clearly, more often then not but your words hurt. Words hurt. They string and left the lash marks upon my skin. Strings of words with vicious tails. When someone you know says statement that make you feel that to them, an aspect of your life is pointless, it hurts. We spend years works on ambitions because we feel it’s worthwhile, we gain sometimes from them. To have such disagreement vocally expressed at you, well, leaves me feeling hurt. So it got my thinking about views and words. The views we have, the differences it creates, the hurt they cause and the war they start. More important for me, above all else, the potential impact of my future decisions. In short, views can be changed and words don’t have to be said.

I happily describe myself as a people person. I like to get to know people, to explore, to understand them. I value the art of conversation and opinions. I value the quality that those differences bring to life. But what I don’t like is the way these words are sometimes portrayed. The words we choose to se, either flippantly or considered have consequences. I choose to see past labels with people. I dig deeper, I see the father, the daughter, the friend, the person behind the scarlet letter. I see the product of circumstance, the rough upbringing, the impossible situation, the outweighed success and the perceived picture of failure that we as individual pace upon ourselves. I guess I prefer to not see the whole person but instead the sum of their parts. I think a person is best valued this way. And when people indirectly undermine that and belittle it, it hurts. We all have views but it’s important to remember that those views are not shared and can cause detrimental effects on a person’s sense of identity. It sounds heavy, loaded, and anger, I was those things, I have those feelings, as we all do, but I hurt. I feel defensive about my life choices. I chose a complex path as much as it chose me and I love my journey.

This got me thinking about disagreements. I am the first to love a good debate. Rigidity is only based on naivety. If you choose not to flip the coin over and have a look, that’s your choice. If viewpoint could be not changed then why do government parties campaign? Why did Brexit parties tour the country and talk to people about the issues involved? A viewpoint may or may not be changed if the individual holding it decides to open their mind to it to the possible of a different narrative. I don’t talk about my job but I will say this, my job is not for the faint hearted or the narrow minded. And I understand that there are people out who decide to not agree with me. That is absolutely fine. But what is not fine is the ones that who know more and just think it okay to say statement that undermine the value of my work, my passion. It is not okay to make someone feel that their work is not making a difference just because it’s not something you would do. So to those who think it’s okay to voice those views, I have something to say, next time you don’t agree with someone’s profession, don’t you dare undermine their value in the work they do when they do nothing but support you in everything you have every done. Don’t you think the world and his wife has enough to see to me already? You are not Mr. Public and you know how important this is to me. Do not use your word as your selected weapons just because you don’t agree. Consider your choice of words and what that will leave me feeling like. When you wouldn’t say it in front of my friends in a dinner party, what makes you think it’s okay to say it to me behind closed door? I do what they do! I hold the same opinion and I value what I do just as much.

I am not the common, the sheep, or the easily lead. I have my views and I reserve my judgements until I know facts. I chose to wait for the big reveal to see what I want to do. I love that side of me. A book is always better than it’s cover and I end it’s most recent page. I wonder deeper and think bigger than most people I know. I see the world as a beautiful place and these is always time for a comeback, for a second chance. This is where you will find me, living in HD colour and seeing every hue. I chose to refrain from hurting others with my words because people can be momentary fragile, but people come back. I am not down and out, my friend, but merely finding my feet, I wonder what your world looks like in black and white with you “unchangeable views”. I won’t change my viewpoint but I’ll just change the setting.

So for tonight, I will give myself a hug, work my crap out, and give myself a break. Your views are not mine. Your words don’t have ink and will fade into the pool along with my own feelings. Diluted value within and left alone. Kindness goes somewhere, it can save a life, mend a heart, lift a dark cloud. It’s never the solution but it always helps the journey. It makes friends out of stranger and a home out of a house. It’s such a beautiful thing. My fellow bloggers, do me a favour as I never ask for them, send one message to someone and tell they you appreciate them. Say hello to a stranger or buy the next man in line a coffee. Tell me that I’m not crazy. Be the change you want to see in the world. Do anything for some one else. I promise you, it matters.

To those listening, you are more than the title given to you,

Ivy xx

Wonder

Provoke

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