The feels

Its funny how sometimes you can forget what you did yesterday and yet, certain memories, smells and feelings can stick with you for the rest of your life.

That crazy, euphoric feeling of nostalgia that nestles somewhere within your subconscious, waiting for the trigger to take you right back to an exact moment in time and where for just a few intense seconds, has the ability to take your breath away all over again.

I love that feeling, particularly when it takes me back to a time where I met my cheeky Army soldier with his boyish good looks and all the charm to make me wobbly at the knees. With just a smell or a song, I’m right back there in Darwin, during the sweltering wet season build up of late 2002.

On that one particular balmy night, I am squished in the back of a station wagon with some new friends after fleeing from a secluded beach and Lifehouse’ song “Spin” is blasting over the stereo speakers as we make the bumpy journey down the dark, windy passage back to the main road.

If I am to hear this song today, I’m still there, butterflies making me feel sick and my trembling hand, gently brushing against his, with the sweet smell of my Ralph Lauren perfume lingering in the thick humid air surrounding us.

Up until this moment, I can honestly say I’ve never felt like that before. Sure, I would still experience nostalgia from time to time where I could recall childhood memories from the scent of coconut oil and zinc from days in the sun, but until I met Adam, there hadn’t been any songs or smells that attached themselves to a particular memory from any previous relationship.

I turned 35 recently. It seems the older I get the more I understand that there’s a part inside of me that refuses to acknowledge the amount of candles that decorate my cake. It seems that part of me, who still giggles like a child and dances with demons is in fact, having more fun than ever. As the years pass by, I am becoming more comfortable within myself, confident in my marriage and committed to my dreams and it feels as though, in many ways I am turning back the clock.

For my birthday, I received this gorgeous novel I’d once pointed out to Adam, that I desperately wanted. It’s a book that’s hard to describe as its not a regular kind of book. It’s a mixture of old fashioned romance and poetry combined to make up several short chapters. It is the perfect read for Shakespearean fans or for those who appreciate beautiful words.

Waking up to this little book, with its simple cover whispered so much more to me than just the poetry it held within. As Adam watched me silently, I felt the words he didn’t need to speak: “I listen to you, even when you think I don’t”

Upon opening the book which had traveled to me from the US, I found it was hand signed by the author. I burst in to tears, all over my incredible pink SUP board, another thoughtful and exciting gift that also had me in tears.

You see, I am a romantic. I love all things amorous and magical. I get swept away by romantic gestures, movies and books where I spend many a day living in my own little whimsical daydream. Nothing in my head is black and white. I live in a world of colour, regardless of the darkness that might at times, surround me.

I don’t cry often over things – but I DO cry like a baby when I feel grateful and overwhelmed by the people whom I love.

I am incredibly fortunate to have with me on this journey, a man who supports my unconventional way of living, who encourages and motivates me to be creative and to embrace my quirkiness and who never fails to make me see the sunshine on even the cloudiest of days.

You are my rock, Adam. You are the fire in my heart and the wild blood that runs through my veins. I can sit silently in a room with you and feel at peace or I could run with you through a wild fire and know I will come out, unscathed.

I love that I am living this life with my best friend. Love is too often hidden or avoided these days. It’s not a dirty secret. It is one of life’s most spectacular gifts and I am sick to death of people cowering from it. There is nothing scary about love and if you haven’t found it yet, then when you do, embrace the crap out of it and shout it to the stars.

You have one life and tomorrow is never promised to any one of us. Don’t spend your days in the shadows, holding back. Use your voice, engage your mind and open your heart.

Be weird. Be awkward. Be alive.

Start soaking up the details of memories you create with people you love. Inhale their scents deeply, listen carefully to the words and the harmony of the music and savour every precious second.

Start developing that nostalgic memory bank of yours and join the resistance! Love over all.

Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️

I wish to breathe silent words in to your ear

That convey something of my understanding

That life is short and precious

And I intend to benefit all of society,

And that I require a match,

A princess,

A fellow troublemaker

And whom to make love

And mischief

– Waylon Lewis

Take a break from self-hate

Over the weekend I had a lot of different ideas about what I wanted to write about. My crazy mind drafted up close to 100 topics I felt a need to share. I “accidentally” polished off a bottle of Sav Blanc on Friday night, which I normally steer clear of these days (that’s another story) and at the latter part of the evening, I popped up some random post on my Instagram account regarding vanity and how superficial the world has become. I referred to a picture of my younger self in my Army uniform and compared it to a different version of myself during the height of my selfie-taking (and rather insecure) phase. I wanted to demonstrate how once, I seemed comfortable in my own skin – makeup free and untamed eyebrows yet, I wore an authentic smile, one which represented both pride and a curious lust for life.

I think my intention was to compare that photo to a time several years later, where I felt lost, unsure of myself and with a desperate need for validation disguised in the form of “likes” on a filtered, airbrushed (and most likely), filtered again, selfie and show the evolution of personal growth from then to the present day.

I deleted my Instagram post, because, at the peak of my “vino high” I was in fact, executing a false sense of confidence. I hinted that I was beyond the insecure phase and that I had somehow, woken up one day to discover the secret to self love and acceptance. I insinuated that I was now some kind of empowered “confident woman”.

Pffffffffffffffttttttttttttt

To be clear, am I confident? In some ways. Have I learned to accept myself for all my flaws? Not really. Do I still take selfies and wack on a filter? Well, yes, but these days I prefer to use my camera phone to capture events and memories rather than my face . I’ve also long dropped the airbrush tool. Thank goodness.

I have four children. I don’t want them to see me constantly in the bathroom with my face masques, makeup and fake tan. I wish they could see their mummy throw on a tshirt and track pants and head out to tackle the world, makeup free, rocking a “DGAF” smile. No matter how much I run this dream through my head though, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to making it a reality. I wear a slither of foundation to spin class for Pete’s sake! Yes, I KNOW it’s only going to sweat off and clog up my pores! My fake tan sometimes sweats through my light coloured tank tops too and I look like I’ve been rolling around in clay and smell like a rotting coconut. Ew.

It’s funny how it all works though. How many of us can see the beauty in others and aren’t afraid to let them know, “Your skin is beautiful” “You are such a caring friend” or “Congratulations on your promotion. You work hard and deserve it!” Accepting a compliment however, without being over-modest and shrugging it off or feeling the urge to respond by self-deprecating, is a challenge for many of us.

We can be successful, kind and compassionate. We might be raising articulate children, living a healthy lifestyle and outwardly, looking like we’ve dam well got it all worked out.

We can also have everyone fooled.

I don’t have to stand in front of a mirror to recite all of my physical “flaws.” I know each and every one better than the back of my hand. My head is too big for my body, my teeth are chipped and crooked, my nose is too wide, I have a double chin when I look down, I have scars all over my stomach, stretch marks on my boobs, cellulite on my thighs, I can’t wave excitedly, for fear of my “tuck shop lady” arms joining in on the party. My heels are so dam dry, they look like cracked mud plains. In fact, they’re so dry and cracked they look like an earth quake has erupted on each of my feet.. and they hurt when I walk. Yikes.

So that was kind of brutal.

Last night, I quietly cried to myself under the covers about something I recently felt excluded from. Childish, perhaps. I can beat myself up about things sometimes and I overthink and over assume and it can cause my heart all kinds of agony. I had my 6 year old daughter, Sophie next to me, and although it was pitch black and I thought I hadn’t made a sound, I felt her little hand reach out to me and touch my face. I don’t know how she knew or if she even did, but she gently patted my hair and held my face as though she could sense my sadness.

I wiped my tears and I snuggled close to her. I’m not even sure if she was awake or asleep, but that one little act reminded me of what my purpose in life is.

I am a a mother and I am loved. I am a wife and I am loved. I am a friend and I am loved. I am flawed, and still, I am loved.

And I love, right back.

I may pick my physical self to pieces which results in spending too much time in the bathroom but I am pretty content with the person I am on the inside.

This week, I have been truly overwhelmed by all the love and support I have received from family, friends and acquaintances surrounding my new blog. The encouraging and heart-felt words have really aspired me to take the reins and see this thing through. I can’t remember the last time Ive had a good dose of “determination” and how bloody amazing it feels to have some goals. Thank you.

Today, I’ve decided is the day that I stop picking myself apart and instead, I am going to transform every negative thought I’ve held of myself in to a positive one.

I might give myself a hard time about the 9 years I’ve spent out of the workforce instead of building a career, but instead, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend that time being a full time mumma and guiding my four children through to school age.

My feet are cracked and sore, but I’ve got two strong legs to stand on. My teeth are a little crooked, but I’m lucky enough to have good dental hygiene. I look like a bobble-head, but that head of mine is host to a creative mind. Ive got scars and stretch marks, but those are a constant reminder of my ultimate honour – being fortunate to carry and deliver four healthy children.

If I could flip myself inside out and put my heart out on display, you would see that every part of me is sincere and I would never be afraid to show that to the world.

I AM confident in my character.

I hope that for any of you who are reading my blog and who lack confidence and the inability to see what others see, can take something away from this. Together, let’s start practicing how to love ourselves and take care of ourselves. We don’t have to be cocky or over confident, but we do need to give ourselves a break from time to time.

I’m a work in progress. To some extent, I think we all are. Some of us are harder on ourselves than others and many of us are just better at focusing our attention, elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’ll ever hit the gym without a tiny bit of “something” on my face, and I can’t promise I won’t revert to hair extensions if these sparrow feathers of mine don’t hurry up and grow!!

And, while I work on my ability to genuinely accept a compliment on my appearance, I’ll continue to do my best at just being an all- around good human – and so should you! ❤️🙌🏼

If only, people could see their souls, instead of their faces in the mirrors they hold – Sulekha Pande

Beauty from the inside, out and the outside, in

I actually wrote this little piece a while back, so to those of you close to me, it might ring familiar. It was a little rant I had late one night on my Facebook page after downing a couple of glasses of wine. A lot of the time, this is when I get the itch to write about the things going on inside my mind.

My mind is like something you might see in the comics, with all the thought cloud bubbles surrounding some poor, confused looking cartoon. Day and night the bubbles fill up, sometimes with trivial things like, “I need to ask my neighbour what those strange fruit like things are hanging off her tree?” Or “I really need to get my nails done. It’s almost February and I’m still flossing Christmas colours from when I was feeling festive” to more niggling things, “Why won’t my children sleep in their own beds?” “Am I doing this right?” “Am I doing Anything right?” Eventuality, there are no bubbles left to comprehend my husband when he starts talking about tax and BAS “stuff”. I just nod and stare blankly at him like a deer in the headlights. Sorry babe. There are zero bubbles left for that kind of talk around here. 🙅🏼‍♀️

Another thing I do think about, that often fills my bubbles is how to bestow confidence within my children. How do I fill their cup every day so that they feel positive and accomplished? How do I ensure I’m doing everything in my power to enable them to grow up to be self-sufficient, contributing members of society?

I might not know a lot about what goes on at the accountants office, but I sure do know how to insist my children feel loved and humbled each and every day.

___________________________________________

Setting: One silent evening in late 2017, approximately 11:30pm. Drink of choice: Likely a Brown Brothers prosecco or a drop of a crisp De Bortoli Villiages Sav Blanc. Feeling: content

I didn’t grow up being told I was “pretty” or “beautiful” by my family – Any such praise was reserved for things such as performing well in sport, or acing an English exam.

It’s important of course, to know you are much more than face value, (which is a credit to my parents) however, I’ve only recently learned to be more outwardly confident – and for me, it’s still a continuous work in progress.

I tell my children every single day how smart they are, how talented and kind they are and I do not forget to remind them of how beautiful and/or handsome they are. I need my children to face this world with the utmost of confidence so that their little hearts are less likely to crumble at the harsh words of a bully.

Confidence not only comes from within. You need to feel comfortable & beautiful within the shell that carries that gorgeous soul, too. You need your child to be able to look in that mirror and see what you see. Otherwise, without that confident exterior, it makes it hard for all that special stuff on the inside to shine through.

It’s not perfection – it’s contentment we strive for. It’s not vanity, it’s self acceptance & self love qualities that we want our children to carry with them in to adulthood.

I hope that by doing this, I am giving them the tools they need to be less susceptible of falling victim to this materialistic & plastic world we live in. I don’t want my children wishing they looked like the model they follow on Instagram. I want them to want to look like themselves.

I want them to know, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

K x

Children who grow up feeling loved deeply become adults who are prewired to love deeply. – Karen Salmansohn

My Sophie bear. The epitome of beauty from the inside, out (and the outside, in)