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

Advertisements

Hail to the victor

Evening all,

What a week this has been. The highs were Sam Smith – he was incredible, great company, great music, and I saw an overwhelming support for the LGBT community. It blew my mind to see a proud gay man receive love from a sea of faceless fans. Then I went to some work related events and then, the best part…. coming home.

I love coming home. I love getting into my bed, having both sides to myself, having the duvets to hog, having my lights and candles on, having time to let it all go and be me. It’s when the makeup is removed, the door is closed, and the world is shut out, is when I feel most authentically myself. It’s not that the world doesn’t get to see me, it does, it’s just it’s these times that I don’t have to share me, I get time all to myself. No demands, no emotional knife fights, no hawks circling ahead. It’s just my feelings, my own emptiness. I like emptiness, it is ever eager to tub-thump it’s way into me. Despite the universal connotation that emptiness is solely negative in experience, I feel the positive and the quiet it brings to my life. The empty is to be vacant or unoccupied, to be without a load or cargo. Is that not a majestic feeling? How can that be a bad thing? This feeling is Christmas for the women with a million and one thoughts a second. For the women that needs to know “what it all means”. For the women that gives all to everything I do. To be empty, to be null and void is what I strive for every day. It means I did well, it’s my “job well done” feeling. The you did good kid. It’s the moment I put my sword down and celebrate victory. I made it home, I made it back to me.

My jewellery says a lot about me. I have two necklaces that I wear every day. One necklace is a mountain range in a circle. I wear this because I lost and, more importantly, what I found. I found myself on that fateful mountain. The mountain cleared up my scars and made me realise how beautiful I am and my life is. I will never forgot what I found up there. My other necklace says one word:

Querencia (n):

Pronunciation: kɛˈrɛnsɪə

A place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; place where you are your most authentic self

I got this from an amazing company that I have followed and wanted a piece of their collection for years – Speechlust. They put the word ikigai on a necklace, they put several words – meaningful words onto necklaces. Anyways I spent a considerable amount of time (months) on this choice because I wanted to make sure I had the right word. Why I love this querencia so much is not just between of the definition. That is simply beautiful in itself but is the deeper meaning behind the word. It’s a Spanish metaphysical concept. The origin of this word comes from the verb “querer” which means “to desire”. But what is really interesting is that in Spanish this word means “to haunt somebody” however when in English, it means “to be safe”. This discordance is something that I resonate with on such a deep level. I use to be haunted by my experiences, my mistakes, my own self destructive behavior that have left some fathomless scars. I haunted myself for far too long and to be honest, I didn’t care to find a home. I didn’t care about what I put myself though. I floated through life without a care for a consequence and although I didn’t do any permanent damage to myself – I will never forgot the hurt I caused, the mistakes I made and the people I have lost along the way. Then I woke up on a mountain, broken, alone, scared and fearful that my life as I knew it was over. Slowly but surely, I started again. When I was learning to walk again without my brace, I learnt how to be human again. I began to feel the reality of life. I let go of my hurts and patiently healed my open wounds. In terms of querencia, I felt like I was learning to speak English, I learnt who I was, who I wasn’t, who I wanted to be, and how to be that person. I learnt to be safe to myself. I found my home. Crap, I actually wanted a home. So when I get home now and I feel empty, when I make it home, I celebrate because this is for me. This is for all of the things that I found when I stopped being my own ghost. When I stopped saying it’s not okay to be the authentic Ivy, don’t be that person. When I stopped all that, I found my home, my safe place, I found me. The strength this place gives me makes me wish I found it years ago, question why I ever let it go but glad to be back.

So celebrate your victories, find what makes your feel most strong, your home and be you.

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

Vacations still need baggage

Hey all,

So I am in the beautiful country of Latvia. It’s so cold and it’s been snowing BUT it is so incredible. I will add a few photos to the post out of the hundreds I have taken! I’ve walked 8 miles today and I have popped back to the hotel to rest before venturing out later to take some night shots tonight. It’s about 4pm in Riga and I feel like it been a long day already. I started early and it was nice to get out and about. The world felt empty and quiet.

Walking 8 miles in a day isn’t for everyone. I know that. I think that’s why I love travelling alone. I am able to amble, mingle amongst the busy and let my own feet guide me. I let the music play and I wonder until I say enough. Travelling alone allows me to be the small, the unimportant, and the unnoticed. I am the shadow and the faceless. It’s gives me space to be unobserved, untested, and unaccompanied. I don’t forgot my feelings or my responsibilities, they just forgot me.

I sat in a coffee shop today (no shock there), and got my map out, spread myself across the table – maps, bullet journal, camera, hat, handwritten notes of things to do, phone, all over the table. It was my space. The waitress must have just thought “oh my god” when she brought the coffee over. On a table for four, there was no room for a coffee. I made room of course but it felt nice to have so much room to myself. Two coffees later and a day planned for about an hour, I finally looked up from my table and saw the empty seats in my booth opposite. I forgot they were empty. I didn’t mind it’s emptiness, I just noticed it. I guess by noticing it, I thought for a second what would it be like to have someone here? Would I enjoy this experience more? I know I would feel easier about going to the toilet, that’s for sure. But I don’t think I want anyone with me. The comfort with the empty booths, me sitting with three empty spaces around me lets me know I am okay with being alone. With the state of the table, there isn’t room for anyone else. Isn’t that ironic? Maybe that where I am at on a larger scale, maybe I am not ready for anyone to join my table. Not just yet.

img_3444-1

For now, I think that in some cases, having the what if’s are better than the have done’s. Imagination may be better than the reality of things, wishes may be better than memories. My dreams keep me feeling alive, where the memories keep me awake at night. Maybe some dreams and wishes are meant not meant to be heard. When the noise stops, would those dreams still be there? The only thing we can take from this world is the emotions we feel and the memories we have. Maybe that’s all I am meant to need in my life. I’m here, alone, in Riga, and feel powerful. I feel alive, wanderlust fuelled, and so able. I let it all go and get to smile without an audience. Nothing feels forced. I feel no pressure from anyone, I am truly single here. I am unattached to any friend, situation, family member, work colleague, even stranger. I have no one depending on me. I am totally detached to my world. Why cannot my daily life feel this liberating? Maybe that’s what this time is all about. It’s to start detaching a little and taking more time for me. It’s giving myself space to be a single entity. It’s being simply Ivy. Simply me before it’s a “we” or an “us” again. I don’t doubt that I won’t be always be alone, crap I think I am the most unlonely woman in the world. I have so much around me, I cannot feel lonely ever. And damn it, I made my world that way and proud of it. I never have been alone, I never walk in fear, I never feel the coldness. I know I have the bits that make me cry, the bits that make the nights long, the bits where darkness can be scary, but I have never stopped dead in my tracks. I always keep going, I always keep moving, one foot in front of the other for a while, but there is always movement and direction. I have the love of a hundred hearts, some unseen to this world now, but felt by few. Travelling still requires baggage, but I just carry mine better now. I hear the noise, see the chaos but feel the love. It’s never too far away. Whatever my destination is meant to be, make it a little further, I’m not ready to see it yet. I like this journey too much.

Trekking on,

Ivy xx

Noise

Grasp

Captivating

Patience

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

Breaking new ground

Evening all,

As the snow is still coming down as it has done all day and the day is drawing to a close, I have had time to think today. So much time to myself. I updated my bullet journal (see below) – I ended February and started March. I reviewed my goals and my progress and closed the door on another month of 2018. I am proud to say that I have somewhat shifted myself this month, I am breaking new ground. I realise that I think so differently to most people, so deeply, so connected to my decisions, my mistakes, my path, that every step has meaning. I have a intoxicating belief that I can dream outside of the lines and be the different and right now, I am starting to see myself in the distance. I am liking the frame.

There is something about a new month that makes me feel so able. So able to do things, to set new goals, to feel like progress is possible. I reread my old blog posts a few nights ago, just the recent ones, and I can really see the journey I am coming on. Progression has taken the shape of a white page and thousand of words. I put the two quotes pictures above in my bullet journal as a reminder of my purpose, my journey for me. This got me thinking, feeling like I have had the whole thing the wrong way round. I feel like I am so far from anywhere I have ever known, but heading towards home. I look around and see new surroundings, I see no faces, no crowds but yet all looks so familiar. It feels like the opening seconds in the final hour. It’s so beautiful out here, alone, it’s quiet. It’s calm. It’s spacious. It’s untouched and undiscovered. It’s a fresh layer of snow on a tainted road.

Above all else, being scared, worried, uneasied, I’m excited. I followed this road I am on because it felt connected to my purpose in some way. It wasn’t a randomly selected left or right, it felt somewhat paved. I was naturally drawn to it and it just required some courage and a deep breathe. London was incredible. Truly eye opening. I pushed myself to the edge of my own cliff and willingly jumped into the unknown. My youth came rushing back to the surface and I felt so fearless. I walked for miles. I sat at lunch in the sun and wrote one line “remember these moments.” I want to remember sitting in that sit, hearing the street player singing, and looking at the empty chair opposite me and loving its lack of shape. I loved that moment, I want to write a book of those moments. I want to take mental pictures of those moments and let that be a playground for my daydreams. If I think about it, no one remembers the miles I have walked in my own shoes so I am going to make it the best god damn story for my bedtime reading. I am going to replace my fears with curiosities and let my heart do the talking. I am going to stop pulling myself out of the good thing, the chances I get and not let my decisions keep me up at night anymore. I want to look at my journal and say where to next heart? Everything is worth it when you are the one buying the shoes. Make it count. Make it all count.

I was asked at the weekend who I wasn’t. I was talking to a woman and she asked me who I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to answer that as I am so sure of who I am. The only thing I could say was “I am not ordinary and I am not what I expected.” I wasn’t expecting to be this person, to have this path. I may not be the girl you see first but I am the one in the corner dancing to her own tune and I didn’t even see you come in anymore. I’m not watching the door for the next best thing or someone new anymore. I’m done looking around to be saved, validated, felt to have meaning. I have all that right now, here alone, armed with a smile. Please don’t think that I am arrogant or lonely, I am neither I promise you. I am just particular with who my drawbridge is lowered for these days. I am trying to make sense of my soul and just need to protect that space for myself right now. I am made up of the complicated and the unfamiliar with a dash of unwavering passion for life. It just takes time to understand it. To weasel out the doubts and find myself again.

I’ll get there, I am getting there, give me some wise words world,

Ivy xx

Dim