Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lesson 177. Be the Queen of Nostalgia.

I love Christmas. I love being at candlelit services where strangers lend a hand to light up each and every wax tip. I love the smell of the tree and how it fills a whole room with a soul reaching warmth. I love the lights for their gentle twinkle and their ability to make anything festive. I love Christmas.

My sister called me the Queen of Nostalgia the other day, I'm beginning to think she's right. Maybe that's why I bathe in Christmas carols and lie under the tree listening to my record player every night when I get in from work. Maybe it's simply because if I close my eyes I am six again, and everything is wonderful. Broken hearts don't exist, nor do financial concerns or jam packed timetables. All that exists is the hope of what lies beneath the wrapping paper, the arms of loved ones that will envelop me in days to come, and the dreams that are unrestricted by adult logic or reasoning. 

Maybe one of the reasons why I love Christmas so much is because it reminds me to be six. Because six year old Lydia could teach eighteen year old Lydia a thing or two about life (Although choice in pets and hair cuts would definitely be something I could teach past Lydia about. Mice and a bowl cut? Seriously Gregory and Sheena encourage healthy life decisions.) Tonight, I'm lying down on the floor by the tree, and I'm attempting to leave behind the teeny broken pieces of myself, to shut down financial concern and to just take time out from my jam packed timetable. Tis' the season to be jolly and the weight of adult life can often eliminate the said joy from the whole situation. I'm not saying neglect all responsibility and start wearing clothes from the kid's department, I'm saying learn from six year old you. Leave behind the worries that you don't need, be the Queen of Nostalgia. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lesson 176. For Orli, reach out.

Have we discussed my forty five children strong Christmas choir? I feel as though we have. If we haven't, or if you missed it, it's quite the tale. One might compare me to the pied piper minus the rodents and apparent medieval dress sense. I sing for some very sweet children in preparation for a big town show the weekend before Christmas, and they in turn stare at me and offer a weekly self esteem boost by cheering every time I enter the room. It's a jolly holiday with my kids.

Any way, two weeks ago I missed a week because my head weighed in at a catrillion kilograms. Although it was just a headache, I thought it was best to stay away from choir practice as to avoid it being trampled by the not-so-pitter-patter of overexcited primary school children. I was back the next week, but a favourite face of mine was missing. Enter Orli, the sweetest girl with the saddest story. 

I do not know the details of Orli's illness but what I do know is that it is chronic and it's been alluded to that Orli will not see the length of life that you and I will. There is constantly a tube in Orli's nose that connects to the backpack she wears all day everyday, there is an alarm that goes off at which her mother instantly responds to. Orli is not the size of a healthy eight year old, due to her illness her growth has been stunted and I'm unsure as to how her growth has been affected long term. Orli has the most beautiful smile and the cutest nose. When she stands by your side, a shadow by the bend in your knee, you wish that she'd just stay a little while. Her quiet presence is calming and her attitude is astounding. Orli is a very precious child and was hospitalised last week.

Things were very uncertain. We were told not to rely on her being out of hospital for Christmas, but with prayer and her mother by her side, she returned this week.

Orli approached me with a beaming smile this afternoon. Then the sides of her smile drooped a little as concern crept into her eyes. "I'm sad that you were sick the other week" she said to me. My eyes filled with tears and my heart broke. "I'm sad that you were sick last week Orli," I said, "I really missed you" 
and with that she smiled and took her place in the choir. I couldn't stop thinking about what she said, her slightly shaken voice replaying over in my head. A child that knows the hospital walls better than a staff member was telling me she was sad that I was sick.

Maybe it's the genuineness of Orli that struck me. The way she could so easily relate to illness with such a heart full of love and concern. Then came the challenge that sent my head spinning until this very moment, where I write out all the wonderings and whats and whys and whens of my encounter today. 

Orli unintentionally changed my life in that moment. Orli made me realise that our biggest battles in life can be our biggest breakthroughs to others. I want to get back to the genuine heart of a child. I want to reach out to someone regardless of my own circumstance, whether or not mine seems better or worse, I want to reach out. Because reaching out starts change and begins a fire of challenge within a community. If I cared for someone a little more, they would care for someone else a little more. If I was able to reach out to someone in heartache because I had experienced heartache instead of wallowing in my own pool of pathetic, I might actually be able to do something about it. I might actually be able to flip a perspective or stand a shoulder. Our wounds can be the source of relational growth and healing. Don't let your sickness riddle all areas, see it as a point of difference in the way you relate. We have to face this together, whether big or small, headache or chronic illness, if we face it together, we face it much better.

So for Orli, reach out. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lesson 175. Trust the road you walk on enough to walk down the middle of it.

There's something about being able to walk in the middle of the road at any given time without any form of fear. That's where I live.

Not that cars don't come by, they do. But I hear them, and I move. I am in no danger when I walk in the middle of my street, and that's something I treasure.

I took the dogs for a walk today, and they preferred the road to the grass, so they walked on down it. They too are attuned to the whoosh of a car approaching and sense it soon enough to seek safety, they trust the road they walk on and so do I.

Do you have a road like that? Do you trust where you are? Do you trust yourself to know when you need to move?

I think that's when we're most secure. When we know the road we are on, when we trust the ground beneath our feet enough to take risks but trust ourselves to know when the risk is simply too risky. Today I felt at peace, I trusted that my wee lane was a safe one. I trusted Missy and Perdita to listen to me and adjust to the conditions. Trust the road you walk on enough to walk down the middle of it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lesson 174. Be nice to a sales assistant.

I made a muddle of the till. I entered the wrong figures into the wrong columns, printed off the wrong receipt and sent all of my very very wrong information to head office. I made a right mess, and it was all before nine am.

Needless to say I was panicked, I got all clammy and my head suddenly felt as though it was several kilograms lighter and I had to sit down for a second.

I regathered, I told myself "You are calm, confident and serene" in the words of my high school speech and drama teacher, Kate Kelway (We'll save her for another story, she was perhaps the classiest woman I've ever come across) and I carried on.

An hour passed, no customers, just Lydia and the store. No one to chat to, and no one to sell to. I'd botched up the morning's activities and I was without sales, I was ready to have a wee weep in the back room and I hadn't even reached midday.

Finally, two customers walked in. Relieved at the sight of someone with shopping to be done and something in mind, I talked my way through to the till where I put through the perfect gift for her mentor. She wasn't standoffish or rude the way some customers get around Christmas, she was chatty and appreciated the fact that I was genuinely interested in what she did, so she asked me what I did. I told her, we discussed a mutual love for Westlife amongst other things and when she had to go she thanked me with great warmth and told me she'd be back.

She made my day. Just by being willing to chat, just by being a Westlife fan, just by thanking me for putting in effort. From there on, I was on my way up. I was in a brilliant mood and dealt with other customers much better than I would've had she not come my way. It didn't take much but she really changed the course of my shift.

Be nice to a sales assistant. It doesn't take a lot to talk a little but it makes a world of difference. You never know- you might turn someone's day around. Be nice to a sales assistant.

Lesson 173. Apply grace and wait.

The lights were crimson and so I sat. The lights turned emerald and so I sat.

That doesn't sound correct does it? Well that's because it wasn't. The car two cars in front was obviously unaware of the light change and neglected to bring their foot off the brake. This meant I had to wait for the next turn of events, but to be honest I didn't mind.

I basked in the moment that was. I was sitting in a few cars deep traffic and nobody honked, yelled or made any sort of angry advance towards the driver, they just sat and waited patiently for the mistake to be corrected- which it was within the next few minutes. It's a rare and precious moment when we can simply wait. Wait and trust that the time is coming, wait and accept that sometimes people make mistakes, wait with patience for them to wake up behind the wheel. It's a rare and precious moment because it exemplifies grace, an undeserved mercy or gift that is seemingly less and less common in our cut throat society. I kind of wanted to get out of my car and hug every person in front of me because of they proved to me that even though it's a rarity it's still in existence. We don't all get road ragin' at the drop of a hat or miss of a light. We don't all tell someone to hit the road because of one little mistake. It's when we are able to accept a mistake and trust that soon we will move forward that we actually will move forward. That's when we move forward without anger, bitterness or regret. Without a mood or an attitude to carry to the next stage, we move forward with a new understanding of one another and a renewed appreciation for the human race. That's when we trust ourselves and those around us.

I want to live in a world where grace is an everyday occurrence. I want to see people dismissing road rage and resisting to sweat the small stuff. I'm not saying I think crime should come without punishment, I'm simply saying that if grace were exercised we'd live alongside one another in relationships that weren't full of angry words and harbored hatred. Maybe I'm alone, but I challenge you the next time someone is sitting at the lights, wait. You'll feel better for it. Apply grace and wait. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lesson 172. Don't let go of your Africa.

My heart's started stirring again, this means trouble. It keeps plying my head with memories of moments that within I felt more alive than ever before. The time I fell in love with a continent and walked away a woman never the same.

Africa. Kenya was first, I suspect Uganda will be second, but it'll always be Africa. The way it smells straight after rain pelts the red soil, the way it sounds on a Sunday morning, the way it feels to hold a child and know that you're capable of changing their world by purely being present.

I'll never forget dancing in a classroom with fifty children in the middle of a thunderstorm. I'll never forget the way that their voices drowned out the claps of the clouds or the hard hitting water on the tin roof. I'll never forget the way their smiles consumed their whole beings, or the joy that radiated from those who had so little but loved so much.

My heart's started stirring again. It's the part where the names of the children who changed it are engraved: Victor, Nifa, Adelaide, Wilson, Blessing. It's been two years and I've never really let go, I'm still figuring out where it fits, but it's safe to say it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Dont stop your heart from stirring. Hold on to the dreams that live within it and trust that when the time is right they'll be before your eyes. Don't let go of your Africa.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lesson 171. Talk to someone in a lonely moment.

It's getting on, and although I've been in bed for two hours I still can't sleep. My best friend right now is Shania Twain's biography and I'm currently googling if it's good to sleep with a deep conditioning treatment in or not, clearly my life is thrilling (maybe if I got out more I'd actually be tired enough to sleep right?)

Okay so I haven't been in bed for a solid two hours. I actually just wandered downstairs to quench my thirst after reading up a storm of Shania's childhood. I then discovered that I was not the only one battling a mind all too awake for midnight on a Monday, sitting on the couch was my mother. She was knitting for Christmas, and she had a cup of tea. I poured myself a glass of juice and joined her.

We discussed and debriefed the details of our day. Even though the majority of it was spent together, it was nice just to have someone to talk tiny things. To talk tea cups and record players, to talk Christmas colours and dinner plans. To talk just to talk. 

She doesn't know that a simple conversation about nothing did me a world of good. She's asleep in the next room oblivious to the fact that I can rest easier because there was someone discuss what time I would be waking up in the morning and what I had to get done during daylight hours. Not because she said anything profound or particularly stirring, but because she was simply there to converse and communicate with in a lonely moment.

To be perfectly honest, the last few days have been lonely. I've been battling thoughts of being by myself and they seem to overtake all else at the most inappropriate of times. I thought tonight would be no different, I was wrong. A couch chat with my Mama at midnight was exactly what I needed.

Don't underestimate the power of pure communication. Trust me, it doesn't always take a pearl of wisdom or a discovery of great importance to change something for someone. Talk shop, talk anything. Talk to someone in a lonely moment. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lesson 170. Make your blunders beneficial.

I showed up to work today as usual. With 5 minutes to spare I wandered into the back room and placed my things down for the day, timed in on the computer and tied my apron strings neatly. I hit the shop floor with a bow in my hair and a smile on my face when a babe of a co-worker walked in.

I was surprised to see her because we're barely ever rostered on together and it seemed like a strange over staffing coincidence. I asked her if she was sure she was working and she replied confidently and went in search of evidence- to the rosters. She then emerged rather sheepish and mumbled "You aren't rostered on" My cheeks flushed crimson and I apologised profusely. I then went and sat down and tried to figure out where I went wrong. I just had it in my head and the idea had lead me so far astray that I'd planned my Friday around a 10-3 stint at work. I'd also brought my sister over, who wouldn't be finished work until around 3. I felt foolish to say the least.

Luckily, my trainee manager was a witness of my despair and made a few calls to ensure that my journey would not be in vain. I ended up working only an hour short of my made up time. Somehow, I managed to make a little extra money out of a less than impressive situation.

Now I'm not saying I'd do anything like that deliberately and I'll hopefully avoid any further incidents involving roster blunders but, I'm saying that there's a possibility to work out a way to make the clumsy beneficial. You can either choose to have a tanty and walk away before you can find a solution or you can sit a few short minutes until one is found. It's up to you. Make your blunders beneficial.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lesson 169. Be thankful.

I'm no American. I don't have pumpkin pie and I don't talk about the pilgrims, I don't sit around the table holding hands with my family or eat 'til my belly is fit to burst. I do, however, celebrate thanksgiving. I celebrate thanksgiving here and now, you and I style, consider it a rather momentous occasion as it is our first thanksgiving as a unit.

I was supposed to have finished my blog by now- before life happened. Today was the goal finishing date, and we've got a way to go yet. But I remain thankful, because although I haven't achieved quite what I wanted yet, I have more time with you. I have more time to be challenged by each day and to write in such a way that maybe challenges you. I'm thankful that you're reading this, I'm thankful for you.

In case you haven't caught on, I'm about to list what I'm thankful for in the hope that you might do the same somewhere. Write it down, I dare you. Consolidate your list of loves and I promise your heart will catch a little happy too. Don't be afraid of feelings friend, they only bite when they're bitter and they only grow bitter when they're smothered by smirks and shoulder shrugs.

I'm thankful for the one who made me. For his persistence in an unrelenting pursuit of broken people, for his love and his grace. For his sacrifice.

I'm thankful for family. I am thankful for their arms and their hearts, for the way it feels like coming home with each hello. I'm thankful for those I'm blessed with not only through blood but through deep friendship. I'm thankful for another home through times of trial when my family felt far away. I'm thankful for my parents and their commitment to unswervingly loving one another and each child with the same incredible strength. I'm thankful for my big sisters and how I'll never cease to learn from them or laugh with them.

I'm thankful for friends. Especially this year. I'm thankful for new friends that made their way into my heart successfully and deeply. I'm thankful for the laughter, for the understanding of one another. I'm thankful for the way they've walked me through the hardest things I've ever had to do. I'm thankful for friends who will sing Westlife and quote silly things and occasionally humiliate themselves in order to cheer me up. I'm thankful for old friends, dear friends, friends that although see distance don't see change in relationship. For those who drift in and out but remain as always a source of great friendship. I'm thankful for friendship and the way it reminds me of how blessed I am to enjoy such an excellent standard of human beings.

I'm thankful for music. For the way it changes people and things. I'm thankful that it allows me opportunities to be happy and sad and occasionally slightly psycho. I'm thankful that it runs through each stream of everyday life and that I'm blessed enough to study it. I'm thankful for the way it bonds total strangers.

I'm thankful for love of all sorts. I'm thankful for falling in love and feeling heartbreak. I'm thankful for the love of a friend and the love of a family. I'm thankful for the love of food.

Which brings me to this, oh how I am thankful for food. I am thankful for full bellies and their contents. I'm thankful for chocolate, my dear sweet love. I am thankful for cookies and movenpick.

I'm thankful for 2012. It's been absolute madness and I've had to do harder things than ever before. I'm thankful for the challenges and the trials for the way they show ability to grow and move forwards. For the way they give strength. I'm thankful for the people it's showed in and I'm thankful for the people it has sustained. I'm thankful that I have learnt that cookie dough and kisses on the forehead make the world a better place. I'm thankful that it has allowed me to figure myself out.

I'm thankful for home. And I'm thankful that I've realised how beautiful it is.

I'm thankful for Snoosan and his companionship. I'm thankful that he can't talk because I've told him an awful lot. I'm thankful that his little blankie attached to his hand doubles as a tear catcher.

I'm thankful for Singin' in the Rain. I'm thankful that Gene Kelly is a wonderful man and I'm thankful that he gives me hope that one day I'll make a man tap dance through various puddles.

I'm thankful for cuddles. For arms that hold on tighter and just long enough to know the presence of love. They're one of my favourite things in the world.

I'm thankful for underwear. Mostly just because they're not only necessary but also excellent when the right sort is selected.

I'm thankful for new life. For the reminder it is of how precious each second is and for how it makes my eyes get all foggy and my throat get all froggy. I'm thankful for the beauty of a baby and a brave mother.

I'm thankful for lake Rotoma. That it provides the most basic and beautiful hiding place. I'm thankful for the peace that it radiates and the happy memories that reside. I'm thankful for clothes that smell like campfires and ever so slightly sunburnt noses.

I'm thankful for everyday needs being met without thought. I'm thankful that I'm blessed enough to live each day with food in my stomach, a roof over my head and clean water on tap. I'm thankful to be a healthy eighteen year old.

I'm thankful for bed. I'm in bed right now so I suppose this is where my post ends, although it's only where my thanks begin. So I challenge you to try this too, it's this crazy thing called 'being thankful' and I've heard it's a pretty groundbreaking new trend. It might even do a little something for your perspective, go on, be thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lesson 168. Commit to your diet.

I literally just cried because I'm on a diet- not even a slight exaggeration required. I sat through a movie today and missed 3/4 of it purely because I could smell junk food. Oh how I miss the sweet caress of chocolate and the constant reassurance of carbs. 

However, I don't want to ditch the diet because I want to see results. It's killing me, but I want to see results. So here I sit, with a pang in the pit of my stomach because I know I just have to push through. 

I have to shut off my daydreams of belly meeting brownie. I have to smile, salad fork in hand, and stomach food that I always felt was meant for rabbits and people who had their picture taken every day. 

You gotta push through if you want to see the results. You have to keep on keeping on in order to get to your dream destination. Commit to your diet.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lesson 167. Stop skimming, start living.

I read a whole book last night. I couldn't sleep, so I read a book. Not a chapter, not half, the whole 224 page story of Ben Carson's life.

It was about 2am when I finally wrapped up although it should've been long before. My eyes were half shut and if I sat up dizziness promptly made sure my back was to bed within seconds. I didn't enjoy the last few chapters which were actually the most joyous of the book. I was just trying to get through, to see the last page and know how it ended. I'm impatient with endings.

I'm this way in most situations. Not in a morbid "I want to see how I die" kind of way at all, but in a "I wonder who I marry, I wonder what job I'll end up in, I wonder if my children will also be freakishly klutzy" kind of way.

I don't know about you, but I've realised I need to slow down before I miss all the good bits. Before I'm so busy looking forward that I neglect to look beside me and marvel at the people walking this journey with me, before it's too late to laugh or to learn. Start enjoying every page and stop skimming. Appreciate that it's part of a grander plan but appreciate the phase that you're in even more.

Stop skimming, start living.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lesson 166. Smell good.

I just bathed in the glory that is the So White bath ballistic from Lush. I smell like the lord himself kissed me after eating a crisp green apple. This is a simple lesson, but it's one I feel you should fairly easily apply to everyday life: Smell good.

All it takes is a teeny weeny bit of effort to eliminate your natural stench and adopt a slightly sweeter one. I assure you it will make life that little bit better. It will not only bring confidence but will remind you that even if everything falls to pieces, at least you smell good and have that under your control.

Simple, smell good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lesson 165. A time is coming where you're gonna see rain.

I'm so proud of my big sister Annie. She got news today that she'd aced one of her core papers and had earned herself an internship for next year at a fashion/pr company.

Annie has had a rough year. The big city is lonely and the lights aren't enough to keep you smiling. She's battled the ups and downs of massive life change and turbulence in almost every area. She hasn't really experienced a breakthrough like this 'til this very moment.

We all go through dry seasons. We wander through deserts of loneliness and confusion and we wonder when it all ends. I think sometimes we almost decide it won't. We almost lose heart and stop trying. I'm proud of my sister because she didn't, and she's on her way up and out of the valley.

Keep believing and trusting that your time will come. I know it's hard, but push. Push through and know that you won't be in the desert forever. A time is coming where you're gonna see rain.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lesson 164. Tune into the rain and out of the fly.

There's a fly in my bedroom. It's a bee in my bonnet.

The incessant buzzing is driving me to the great line of sanity and I'm about to start kicking my legs and flailing my arms about in sheer frustration.

There's rain on my window pane. It's my favourite lullaby.

It sings of safety. It feels like home.

There's a battle between the two. And I'll admit that right now it's easier to listen to the buzzing, it's closer and it dominates. The rain though beautiful seems further, and harder to hear above the fly. But right now, I'll choose it.

I choose to hear the rain. To hear the sweet sound. To block out the cheap noise and choose something that reminds me of the beauty in life, something that I trust as constant and true. I choose to tune out the fly, to listen beyond him for better things. To ignore what bothers me and look towards what makes my heart happy.

I choose to hear words spoken out of love. I choose to hear the laughter of a child or the sound of happy tears embracing the ground. I choose to trust those who I know are full of wisdom and are consistent with sharing it. I choose to ignore the talk of those who stir for the sake of stirring, I choose to listen beyond them and hear the voices of those who believe and know truth about me and my decisions.

Tune into the rain and out of the fly.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lesson 163. For goodness sake, fight.

Fighting is a funny thing.

I quarreled with my parents throughout numerous conversations today. I have like a five second rebound rate and then I'm right into the apology, I don't stay mad for long enough for bickering to effect our relationship. Still, I apologised and expressed my frustration with myself for being generally agitated. My Dad simply said, "At least you're fighting again."

He made me think. He often does that. I realised that he was referring to the somewhat out of character passive state I'd been in for the last few months.  He was right, at least I'd started fighting again.

When we fight, we take on fire. We pack punches with great gumption because we're living with passion and without apathy. Fighting means we're fighting for something, it means we have a cause, a greater agenda and that's something to acknowledge and appreciate. You might not quite be at the place you're wanting to be but at least you're fighting for it.

For goodness sake, fight. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lesson 162. Pack up properly.

I packed my year into twelve boxes and a suitcase. I then neatly stacked them into my five seater honda jazz, turned up "On My Way" by Rusted Root to full volume and I drove home in record time.

I'm sitting at the kitchen table having just consumed six cookies and a savoury muffin pondering quite how I did it. My bedroom was atrocious looking yesterday when I woke up. My bedroom was immaculate when I handed in my keys today.

It was so messy. So complex. There were so many different areas that needed tending to. I started in the righthand corner, only to pack it all up and feel as though I'd done less than make a dent. Even so, I decided to push through. So corner by corner, lush product by lush product, trouser to t-shirt, I boxed a years worth of my life. I'd avoided it so long that I had to face a giant pile of things I didn't know how to, so with sufficient tears and little grace I did so. But the point is I did. And I'm here, I made it home. I'm sitting at the kitchen table having just consumed six cookies and a savoury muffin realising quite how we should do things.

Take it corner by corner, step by step and know that it's not supposed to be easy. Know that the things that define us never are. But know that you'll get there. Maybe your righthand corner has exhausted you and you still feel as though you've got forever to go before you get to okay, but let me assure you you'll get there. Have the courage to face things and to place them appropriately. To take, or to leave behind. Pack up properly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lesson 161. All it takes is a touch.

We were sitting in Starbucks when I felt something I'd never felt before.

I'm not talking about the heart-skips-a-beat-jumping-fences-kissing-the-skies kind of stuff. Yuckity yuck yuck, thank you kindly but absolutely no thank you good sir, I'll be leaving that until I'm middle aged and at least slightly emotionally equipped for it.

I'm talking about something that my fingertips had never met before. The feeling of a baby doing a little dance in his mama's belly when sensing the need for a wee party trick.

I cried. Right there in the Starbucks with my hand on my best friend's belly. My throat suddenly had kermit living in it and my eyes got all watery and the corners of my mouth were pinned to my cheekbones. Every single experience I've had watching this new life form has been a game changer but there's something about physical feeling.

There's something about touch, about physically knowing something and not just mentally processing. It got me thinking about how much hope a simple flutter can bring. A hand on your back or quietly slipped into yours, a head resting on your shoulder, a hug, a kiss, a baby moving under your palm for the very first time.

Reach out. Bring hope. Be the flutter. The reminder that life is beautiful and that it's really right in front of you. Be a physical reminder for someone today that there is so much happiness and light to be found in a world so seemingly riddled with woes and sorrows. All it takes is a touch. 

Lesson 160. Be happy you're here.

I passed first year of University, if that isn't a silver lining then I don't know what is.

The cloud is change, the cloud is life's erratic weather patterns, the cloud was university.

The silver lining is growth, learning to love each and every season, the silver lining is passing, being better and stronger than before. If making it out of any sort of madness alive isn't a something to celebrate then I don't know what is.

Congratulations, you're breathing. You woke up this morning. You're lucky enough to have made it through the night so start smiling about it. Note your smallest of victories and rejoice in them.  I'm so happy you're still here. Be happy you're here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lesson 159. Kiss your little pinky.

Have we ever discussed my righthand pinky finger before? I don't believe so.

It's rather ugly. Kind of mangled. Sort of  hookish. Has two knuckles.

It blame physical education for it. I wasn't even properly partaking (I never really did) and it evolved into a rather disastrous occasion. I was just minding my own business, contemplating lunch and why toast always seems slightly browner on one side when I fell over my own foot. Everyone started laughing, there goes Lydia falling over without reason. Then everyone stopped laughing, up I stood with the top half of my pinky pointing in a direction pinkies should never point, to the side.

I hid it behind my back and darted for the office. Sonya the irritatingly calm office lady asked me if she could see so I covered my eyes and proceeded to shove my unsightly extremity in her line of vision. She quickly sent me to the health nurse. The health nurse told me I'd be fine. She then sent me to my mother. My Mother assured me I would not be. She ordered x-rays for the next morning and before I knew it I was headed for surgery on what Dr. Galley (Or as I like to call him, Butcher face) would later tell me was the most unforgiving joint in my body. He popped some metal in it. I had hand therapy for 9 months with the most wonderful hand therapist (who's wedding I attended and promptly was one of the first to be informed that she was with child.) and then another surgery and then was informed "Sorry, the joint is completely deformed. The next step would be amputation as you're going to get severe early onset arthritis"

I managed to break my finger in three places and rotate my bone, cost the government several thousand dollars and cry in front of numerous doctors over what would seem like spilt milk.

We're going somewhere with this-trust me.

My point is this. Well actually, several points could be extracted.

1. Don't contemplate life's most harrowing questions (When lightning strikes the ocean, why don't all the fish die? Why is toast slightly browner on one side? etc etc.) during a PE lesson
2. Don't go to said PE lesson. It'll only end in tears. People who jog and enjoy it are never going to be on the same wavelength as someone who considers their lunch half the day and dinner the other half.
3. Sometimes the things that break and get complicated and hurt and require multiple minor surgeries are the things the make us who we are. I'm never without a fact when it comes to those awkward meeting people and saying something strange games you play. I'm never without conversation and I pride myself on being able to make other feel comfortable when they see quite how ridiculous I am.

The things that make us cry in front of doctors make us who we are in the long term. We're make up of our baby sized tragedies turning to victories. Whether it's a healing of a wound or simply overcoming and accepting, it's something to be celebrated. Your scars remind you of who you are, learn to love them because who you are is rather breathtaking if I say so myself. Kiss your little pinky.

Lesson 158. Soundtracking makes everything better.

I told myself I wouldn't blog until my big final recital was done and dusted- and here we are. It's 11.43pm and I'm well equipped with brownie and anecdotes to complete two daily conversations with you.

There were three in the bed tonight. My two flatmates came into my room and thought it would be hilarious to hide under my covers. After discovering two eighteen year old girls behaving like six year olds with a secret, I joined them.

We then went through my iTunes and discussed appropriate songs for appropriate moments in life.

Soundtracking makes everything one hundred percent better. Even heartache can be found more bearable when the background is Michael Buble's 'Haven't met you yet'

I think it made me realise that the seasons give us all sorts of reasons to listen to all sorts of songs. And they're songs that should be listened to and loved. Just like each season should be listened to and loved. We have to embrace all of life's curved balls and learn that they're each striking in their own right.

So listen to the songs. Embrace every moment with full volume. Don't just sit and let life happen. Play music in every scene to follow the rhythm of your heart and feel what you need to feel.

Soundtracking makes everything better.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lesson 157. Stop comparing and start appreciating.

I'm dreadful at comparing myself to people.

I sat in a second year recital tonight and prayed to the good lord that the ground would swallow me up before my turn tomorrow night. They were sensational. 

Then a good friend took the stage and brought me to tears. Everything about how he presented his music to the way his heart jumped off of his sleeve and ran to every single member of the audience caused a change of mind. I realised it's better to just appreciate the talent around you.

Stop comparing, see everything as an individual expression of heart that is just as beautiful as the next. It's not about the biggest set up or meticulously thought out plan, if your heart is in what you're doing there's no use comparing.

So stop. Stop comparing and start appreciating. Every little bit is beautiful. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lesson 156. Give someone your bumble.

My flatmate has a hot water bottle cover she calls bumble. It's a bumble bee, although sometimes she argues that it's a cat when she gets lost in nostalgia and mistakes anything slightly furry for her beloved fat cat.

My flatmate knows me. She knows when I'm sad and she knew it last night. So she told me I could have bumble for the night. Bumble then sat on my belly for the evening and provided a little comfort.

It wasn't even bumble that made me feel better. It was the gesture. The giving up of something for another's happiness. The grand sacrifice we see so little in our self absorbed bubbles. She doesn't know how much it means to me, and she probably won't (Until she reads this, in which case, Hi Lou. You're excellent.)

Give someone your bumble.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lesson 155. Appreciate the people you can share your shoulder's worth with.

I had a dinner date with an old friend from school tonight. I hadn't seen in her in almost a year and things have changed more than I could've imagined. She's madly in love and headed for the aisle sooner rather than later and I'm quite the opposite. Nonetheless, there's nothing like talking to someone who knows your heart historically and it didn't take long for the honest, less than beautiful parts of our lives to be told.

"I'm seeing a therapist" I said. "I'm seeing a counsellor" she said. And we both burst out laughing for a solid 60 seconds. It was a bizarre thing to laugh at, but I think it was the moment we both realised that neither of us had it together and neither of us could pull off pretending. It was precious, a moment that stood out to me as pivotal.

It's the moment you realise that we're all messy. That your shoulders are just as heavy as mine and your eyes just as tired. That we all carry things we wish we didn't. It's the moment where you realise the battles you fight are just as wearying as the next persons. More importantly, it's the moment you realise you don't have to fight alone or try to hide what you're fighting. 

It's not something to be ashamed of, though it's not something to shout from the hilltops, it's a simple fact of life that should be shared between friends. It's something we all have to learn how to walk alongside one another with, and it's a special tie to hold to one another. I'd rather look at it like that. That in seeing her messy and in turn her seeing mine, we shared a moment that went beyond a simple superficial relationship. It ran deeper than liking the same sitcoms or having the same taste in music or males and it took it's form as an honest piece of information. 

Appreciate the people you can share your shoulder's worth with. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lesson 154. Be okay that they don't have answers.

It's a Friday night and I'm full of questions. Why is it socially unacceptable to attend movies alone? Why is there an office party across from my building and why does it mean I have to be fully clothed at all times? Why are my flatmates studying? Why are they ignoring my attempts to distract them via interpretive dance and excellently thought out skits?

Okay so you might be able to answer a few of them, but I'm definitely struggling. My point is, I'm riddled with unanswered questions and so are you. I don't get the twists and turns life takes me on. I don't understand why people and feelings change, I don't understand my heart and it's strange rhythms and I certainly don't understand yours. I know you've had your moments where you've stopped and asked why and further discovered that there's not a whole lot of logic behind the way that things are going for you. 

I've found an answer: there isn't one. Sometimes things just happen, and sometimes they'll break your heart but just as they'll break your heart they'll make your heart. Good things happen all the time and we don't even think to question why. 

So it's time we learnt to deal with them the same way. Acceptance and ultimately hope. Hope that the sun will rise on the horizon just as it did the day before and you'll learn to deal with the cards life deals you. We aren't always going to have straight answers, and when we don't, sometimes it's best just to accept and to hope. To know that it's okay to have questions and it's also okay not to have answers.

It's a Friday night and I'm full of questions, and I'm okay that they don't have answers. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lesson 153. Get back on a different horse.

I have a fun sized filipino friend who I often discuss the highs and lows with. Today was no exception. 
We were talking about falling down a failure. About losing it. About reaching the point where you feel like you just don't know where to go or what to do. And then I said "I guess you've just got to get back on the horse" and she said "Well I don't like this horse, get on a different horse"

She didn't realise it, but what she said struck me. I decided I was going to witter on to you lovely lot about it because I realised it's something we all need to implement.

Getting back up and starting over doesn't always mean getting back to where you were or even who you were. It's about getting to where you're supposed to be and who you've been headed for being all along. The old horse was suited for you then, the things you used to do and the way you used to ride life. But you've out grown it and it's time to accept that getting back up doesn't mean living the same way that you always have, it means getting on a different horse. Whether that means taking on a different attitude, trying something scarier, or simply accepting that things are not going to be the same, it's the healthiest thing for you.

When you fall off, get back on a different horse. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh, hello again.

T'would be correct to assume you've been sorely neglected. It's been almost a month since you and I engaged in our wondrous ramblings of life and her obscenities. To say that I'm sorry would be an understatement, I suppose I've been at a loss as to where to start. Now I've found the place.

The place is here, the task is starting over. Start starting over.

Let's just say in the last month, everything has changed. I've broken hearts, I say hearts because I somehow broke my own in the process. I've battled the heaviness in the pit of my stomach at the light of dawn, the tears that come at the most inappropriate of times (like when I'm watching infomercials or listening to rap music) and I've been searching for sanity amidst the pieces.

The place is here, the task is starting over. I'm starting to start over.

I'm getting out of bed, I'm getting dressed and today it won't include fat pants nor my oversized sweater. I'm deleting the sad playlists and I'm acknowledging that cookie dough is not a staple food item. I'm determined to be silly again, so determined that tonight I got into my swimsuit and pretended to go swimming on my flatmates floor, I'm determined to take life less seriously. I'm determined to see each day as an opportunity to be a part of change in a messy world and to live in a way that makes that statement ring true. I'm determined to trust, to love and to see life in all it's glory. My eyes have never been this open.

I've missed you dreadfully. Welcome back dear friend, take my hand and let's start over.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lesson 152. Every single day should be your airport.

I often wonder how many litres of tears fall to the ground each day in airports.

It seems to me that the airport is a pivotal place in our lives. It's never visited without purpose, without joy, without sorrow. It watches the vast array of emotions in human beings saying hello and goodbye. It witnesses countless arms being wrapped around in love and endless kisses of excitement and heartache.

If the airport could talk, I think it'd tell us not to wait 'til the airport.

Instead, to live with purpose, to feel deep joy and learn how to deal with great sorrow. To make it count before you get in the car to go. Stop waiting, please stop waiting. Stop telling yourself you'll appreciate the ones you love when the time comes, the time is now. I know I've rambled on about this before but today as I walked away from my incredible sister, it became so evident to me. Every single day should be your airport.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lesson 151. She loves you in her own funny way.

My eldest elf of a sister still makes me hold her hand when we cross the road. We fight on a semi regular basis and butt heads on all things emotional. She's the kind of woman I'd like to grow into.

She's leaving for Durham on Saturday. She's getting on a big ol' plane and leaving the country. She's leaving behind her family, stability, her boyfriend, her job, because she's a brave lass with a heart that has never been enclosed or restricted by relationship nor a sense of safety. I admire her immensely and love her even more for her feeling of freedom and fight against mediocrity.

Like I say, she's still intent on holding my hand when I cross the road. If my elbows are even close to touching down on the table I'll know about it within seconds. And if I make any mildly inappropriate comments I will be immediately shipped back into shape. My sister has always wanted the best for me and although she doesn't show it or say it in such words, I look back on her intricate and mostly irritating instructions with a fondness. I know that she does what she does and says what she says because she loves me, and she's looking out for me.

We had coffee yesterday. It was such a special time. I was reminded of our similarities, mostly the way our heads both go slightly forward when we laugh and the way we over think every situation present in our lives. I suddenly realised just how close I hold Katie to my heart as a sister and a friend. I'm going to miss her a lot, but her leaving has made me realise that the things I battle with her are also the things I love the most. It's a silver lining if ever I saw one.

We all have one of those right. An older family member or friend that puts on the mother goose hat majority of the time. And it's easy to only fight with them instead of recognising what's going on, So don't let it take your big sister skipping the country to make you remember that everyone says I love you in different ways. Whether it's making you hold your hand while you cross the street or sending gushy texts or bringing you flowers when you're ill in bed. She loves you in her own funny way.

Lesson 151. Be the wild wind of change.

The wind is wild outside my window.

Not a gentle rain and wind duo to lull any lonely heart to sweet sleepy surrender. No no, none of that. An angry wind. A wind relentless to the window although it will most likely never see the other side.

I want to be like the wild wind. Although it hardly paints a picturesque delicate scene, it paints one of passion and a raw sense of justice. I think sometimes the most breathtaking of life's blessings are the ones that are abrupt, that are real and raw. It lets out an undeniable battle cry that lets the world know that even though the odds are against it, it will stay by window and sigh with all the force nature instilled in it until I listen up.

Be relentless in your battles for what you believe in. Don't be a quiet wind, a lull in the background easily missed, no no, be the wind that stops the sleep. That awakens those lost in shallow dreams. Be the wild wind of change.

Lesson 150. Listen to yourself.

I'm a classic advice giver. I nod, I smile, tender caress of (insert name here's) arm and tell them that all will be good and well again if they just realise their potential and purpose.

I'm a classic advice ignorer. I nod, I smile, touch (insert name here's) hand on my arm and tell them thank you for shedding light on the topic I've discussed a thousand times over with various bearers of wisdom who seem to tell me the same story, and then I pay for their coffee.

Okay, so it's not deliberate and it's not quite as rude or as obnoxious as I've made it sound. You're guilty too though aren't you chum?

I was having coffee today with a friend and I had to stop myself. We'd both been feeling the same way about our course at University and had discussed with various other friends how we'd been feeling and we're all kind of in the same boat. I was mid sentence exclaiming just how ridiculous these incredibly talented people were for second guessing themselves and they all have different strengths and comparisons just aren't relevant, etc. etc. when my shoulders hunched slightly forwards as if to prompt a little shame. I constantly compare myself to those same people and envy each and every one's strength.

How often do I do that? Probably more times than I can count on my hand. I'll spell off my spiel relatively numbly and go on my merry way.

I'm going to start listening to myself. Save a little time crying, be a little better off. Listen to yourself

Lesson 149. Hold on, we're gonna get through it.

It's safe to say that you and I both are wondering when I'm going to get back on the regular blogging bandwagon. Although playing hard to get has always been my specialty, I do believe that in this instance I've been relatively impossible to get, rather than just teasing you and eventually surrendering to the inevitable-that I would once again be yours like someone who plays the game well would.

I pondered for a moment. I realised that maybe I'm just waiting 'til I feel like I've got the strength to pull wisdom out of these dreary days. Maybe I'm just waiting 'til I've got it together and can pull of a perfectly straight smile without a hint of discontentment or disillusionment. And then I realised that that idea in itself would defeat the purpose of this blog, wouldn't it? I'm far from perfect, I'm overly human. I have my days on top of the world and I have my days on the bottom. I have my moments of indescribable joy and I know the sound of silence and his best friend loneliness. The point of this blog was never to ignore or iron out all the kinks and eliminate all downfalls of this mad ride, the point of the blog was to sightsee, to scream, and to smile together.

I'm a messy creature. Literally and figuratively. It's midnight and I'm sitting on my floor surrounded by clothing and papers that I have no intention of cleaning up in the near future. I have assignments to begin and chores to complete yet I sit, typing to some strangers on the internet. I'm a strange and messy creature but I'm learning to love myself for it.

It's okay that you have bad days. It's more than okay and it's ever so normal to feel alone sometimes. It's even better to be honest.

We're flawed. We're messy. We're broken but we're beautiful. We're made with the strength to stand up again. Our eyes are called to see past our imperfections and believe that what we've been given is unique to only us. It's a wonderful thing to be alive, and it's a wonderful thing to have the chance to change. It's a wonderful thing to realise just how messy and spectacular you are.

The beauty so often lies within what happens when we feel as though we're going nowhere. The beauty is the moment we overcome. It's not always what is immediately given but what we're taught by the hardest seasons that makes us quite so incredible.

So this is take two, welcome back, and in the words of my pal Olly Murs, Hold on, we're gonna get through it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lesson 148. Pay for someone else's coffee.

It's a simple pleasure. One you should indulge in more. 

Pay for someone else's coffee. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lesson 147. Don't point the hypercondriac finger.

I'm not a hypercondriac, said the hypercondriac, right?

But seriously, I'm not. Although I'm pretty sure that majority of the people in my life (excluding my mother, my sister and my flatmates) think that I am. It's what comes with being ill a lot. I've been in bed with belly bugs at least 4 times in counting this year and it's been rather wretched.

Here's what I've learnt from multiple hours staring at the ceiling muttering God take me now in a melodramatic manner (because if he had I wouldn't have been overly impressed on my arrival)

Being sick is not a barrel of laughs. Take it from captain fun times, it's less than enjoyable. Although, I've learnt that sometimes when you're sick, quite magical things can come out of the woodwork. You can realise the depth of someones care for you. For example, my friend Jasmine made me do a little sleepy weep of joy when she dropped off some soup, a teddy called George, and some powerade. My sister Annie brought flowers and sent a link to free download of an excellent album to soothe my feverish head (believe me, it did) and I was awakened to just how precious those things are to me. I learnt that all it takes to feel a little better is someone sitting beside you and saying 'This sucks, I'm here."

Acknowledging that someone is facing trials is like propping up their shoulder, it's telling them that you see what they're fighting and you're fighting too. Don't point the hypercondriac finger.

Lesson 146. Return.

And you thought I wouldn't be back.

Well, it's true that I've been pining over you. I've just been under mountainous papers and strange items of clothing in my bedroom. It's also true that the weather has played his part and I'm not too flash at the moment. But it's true, I'm back.

And so we begin the count up of just how much I owe you, I'm not exactly sure. But this is where it begins and so comes a lesson.

When we've left something too long, we are faced with two choices. Abandon, or return. Abandon is seemingly easier, no strings, no ties, no tears, no fuss, although easy, choosing abandon is a slippery, cowardly slope that is not to be dabbled with. Then we meet return. Return means I'm sorry, I'll try, I'll swallow my pride and pick up the pieces. The harder of the two, but sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same (Am I right The Fray?)


Monday, September 17, 2012

Lesson 145. Kisses every goodbye and I love you's every waking moment.

I had another startling incident on what was the Saturday morn of many revelations.

I was awoken to my flatmate in a state, her Dad had been hospitalised and no one could diagnose him. I had to jump in the car and drive back to Tauranga.

As I drove home I was confronted by a raw realisation. Life can change in an instant. Whether it's an 8am wake up call or clinging for dear life to a cliff, life can take the scariest of terms. I kept squeezing the steering wheel to distract from the tears that were brimming, I'd never quite realised just how quickly time turns. I'd never had quite so much to thank God for than I did in that moment.

That the news for Naomi's Dad hadn't been worse. I wanted to wrap my arms around the ones I love and never let them go. I kind of still want to, so I'm going to try to in a less physical sense.

This state we call living is not permanent. That alone should be cause for kisses every goodbye and I love you's every waking moment. It's not something born of fear, although fear can be a trigger, it's something born of fresh perspective. It's born of a deeper understanding of what really matters.

Start now. Don't wait 'til you're woken by a harsh reality and what ifs rule your wild mind. I challenge you to do the following things today:

1. Tell someone you love them
2. Give someone your seat on the bus
3. Go outside and marvel at the world around you
4. Give a great big bear hug
5. Drop a coin for a stranger to pick up

There's a start. Baby steps. Realise that life is fragile and do something about it. Make right now count, kisses every goodbye and I love you's every waking moment.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lesson 144. You just do.

It was 8am on a Saturday. No one in my life ever tries to communicate with me until at least 10 on my sweet Saturday. No one.

There were four knocks on my door. I rolled over, hoping it was but a dream. Then came four more. Then I awoke to realise that something kind of serious was about to take place- after all, it's 8am on a Saturday and someone is attempting communication. 

My flatmate folded into my arms. Tears told the most of her heart, although she tried to explain what was going on in between gasps for either air or reason. Her Dad had been admitted to hospital, extreme pain, could I please take her home? Of course. So big sister dropped off my trusty jazz, I pulled yesterdays clothes over my head, popped Snoosan and my bible in a bag with a rip in it and off we went. 

Why? Because in times of crisis you just do. I'm not saying apply this to all areas of life because you most certainly shouldn't but when tragedy strikes, you have to trust your gut and just do. Because if someone needs you in a storm of uncertainty you my friend are called to step up and fight for a way out of the rain. In the case of an emergency, you just do. 

Lesson 143. Get over it, get into it.

Broken escalators freak me out. I don't like it when gaps between bricks are out of kilter. I'm OCD about sitting in the same seat at every class and at the dinner table. I can't say rude words or words that have anything to do with reproductive organs.

Oh, sidenote: Hi chum, how are you? Sorry it's been a week. I've been away in the land of due dates, headaches and awful awakenings (All of which I'm about to fill you in on because I've missed you.) Okay diversion done, back to rant about the absurdity of human functions.

I don't cope awfully well with all of the above. I'm ladylike in the worst of ways because I don't posses traits of gracefulness or often tact, so really just ladylike in the way that I enjoy tea cups and can't talk about anything too grotesque. 

I was thinking back to a time in my life I often visit when the present gets a little much. The time I spent in Kenya, Africa. I was faced with many situations where I just had to roll up my sleeves and muck in, I realised that maybe that's what I need to start doing more in general. 

Maybe you do too. Push back your perfect curls and get dirty (not a euphemism) Start learning how to let go of the things that matter less. Don't be afraid to get stuck into something, even if it does make you feel awkward. I'm aiming to get over the fact that someone might sit in my seat so that I can sit beside them and talk to them. I'm trying to get over my broken escalator fear because I really want to get into the supermarket. I'm going to learn how to cope with words that have to do with the reproductive organs because in March I'm going to witness the birth of a best friends beautiful baby boy.

Get over it, get into it. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lesson 142. The truth can heal.

I feel as though a part of me returned tonight that had gone walkabouts with my sanity (though sanity is yet to return, I'll keep you posted on its wherabouts)

My best friend and I had drifted and dropped away all honest communication. We papered over our cracks with niceties and lighthearted conversations. Neither of us willing to acknowledge the rift, we tried to bridge the gap with nothing but flimsy flowery substance.

And then it got too much. So we talked about it, or rather wrote about, then followed with a conversation. And then we found our way back to each other.

We're closer to each other than we've ever been before because we cared enough for one another to speak up instead of letting each other slip away.

I'm determined to do this more often. You might just save a someone. The truth can hurt, but the truth can heal.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lesson 141. Ten truths.

Today I decided to find 10 truths.

10 things that I am sure of. 10 things that I know. 10 things so deeply ingrained with certainty that I can feel them in my bones.

1. God was, is, and will always be enough to get you through.
2. Mistakes will be the makings of your miracles if you let them.
3. It is imperative to have cookie dough in your freezer at all times.
4. Making a sad person laugh will make your heart happy.
5. There's never too much love.
6. Hope. Always hope.
7. Life is constantly beautiful. From the very beginning.
8. Hot water bottles and goodnight kisses from loved ones could make the world a whole lot warmer.
9. I'm in dire need of a hug and some cake ninety percent of my day, 7 days a week.
10. It's more than okay to be crazy.

Find the truths of your heart. Ten truths.

Lesson 140. Admit it, you need someone.

Perilous test results. Dreadful dreadful papers. Oh and how they were placed before my very eyes at approximately 2pm today.

As usual (when things go slightly to extremely pear shaped) I immediately retreated to a haven with never ending tissue supply- the bathroom. I hid in a cubicle, had a little cry, told myself I could do this, took deep breaths, and then took on the world. I returned to my seat red faced and none the better for it, everyone knew I'd shed my share of seeming juvenile tears whilst on my bathroom break. However, both hands beside me knew to squeeze mine and my girls were quick to rest heads of 'I know yours is heavy so lean on mine' on my shoulder. I bit my lip, looked at my dead ringer for a seagull of a lecturer and wiped one stray piece of pity from my cheek.

I went home and sat on my floor and had a further private pity party (Don't ever do this by the way, the reason I started this blog was to stop pitying myself which I have-now) I sobbed and stared at the ceiling and I wept to my mother, then was passed to my sister who told me to do something. She told me to text someone, to see someone, to not be alone when I'm sad.

I struggle to admit when I need someone. I think in all honesty I'd love to be able to carry the burdens of the world and have my life so together that I'm capable of holding the heavy. Truth is, none of us have it all together, we all have our moments on the floor without feeling strong enough to ever sit up again. Truth is, we need each other.

Do you think we were made to walk alone? Nay, quite the opposite. Your hand is meant for reaching for the hand of one in need, your arms to hold them up, your voice to speak words of life and your heart to hear theirs. I discovered this upon swallowing my pride and telling a sweet friend I needed her. Just being with someone, talking to someone, feeling someone beside you in the boat you once thought too tiny to weather the storm makes a difference. Perspective was placed by admitting that I needed someone.

It's okay to not always be okay and it's okay to need someone to walk beside you. There's no shame in living life the way we were intended to, afterall, it was God who first saw that it was not good for man to live alone. Just admit it, you need someone.

Lesson 139. Just wait.

I observed a man at the crossing today. He rubbed his hands together and then on his pale blue baggy jeans, and looked at his watch. His face flushed crimson and his eye gave a little twitch as to show sign of resiliency wearing. He looked at the little red man and considered his options.

He then ran. Only to find that about 10 seconds later, it was safe to go.

This resulted in a slight stumble and an increase of red tinge to his cheeks. Something that could've been easily avoided if only he'd trusted the timing of the lights.

I crossed quite happily and made it to my class on time. 

We're impatient creatures aren't we. We're the man all too eager to get to the other side. We find it so hard to simply trust that the lights will turn when the time is right. Save yourself some sweat, your time will come. Just wait. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lesson 138. Just be there.

I still remember the night before I moved out of home. I tossed and turned in tears and then bunched up my duvet, pillow in one hand and Snoosan in the other and woke my sister. I talked Annie to sleep then lay awake on her floor until thoughts of tomorrow ran my mind ragged and into a state of sleep. I woke, a few times in the night actually, head spinning, heart sinking, scared. I looked up to see my sister asleep and felt better. Not for what she was saying or doing, but because she was being. She was there.

When the going gets tougher, it gets hard to know how to hold the ones you love. Words don't seem enough, nor do acts or attempts at a smile. Sometimes, all that person needs is for you to be there. You don't have to talk, you don't have to have the solution, but just being there can make someone feel like holding on. A simple hand squeeze, a shoulder for a weary head to fall on, eyes that look only with love. Just be there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lesson 137. Real men cry.

It's certainly a powerful sight. 

Lord Grantham, overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of his love for his broken daughter, demands that she does not marry for the sake of saving the family's name. No no, he insists she must marry a man of great bravery at all costs, for he believes that she deserves better, more than the coward she is marrying in order to bury a late night mistake.

It's certainly a powerful sight.

My Father, not a man of many words. Weeping, throwing his fist in the air and declaring 'That's the stuff! A man after my own heart!' whilst watching this tearjerker of a scene taking place.

I'm proud that my Dad can cry. That he lets it out and rejoices in the happier moments. He's actually better known for the tears that come in moments of pride or unexpected joy, I think that's a beautiful thing. 

Shrug off your staunch and try a tear today. I'm telling you, real men cry. 

Lesson 136. Hang out with Auntie Catherine.

I went to visit my Great Auntie this morning. I arrived promptly to be told by my straight shooter of an elderly relative that I must take her to the bookstore and the supermarket first. We waddled along and weaved in and out of the aisles. We got what we wanted and returned to her house, to sit down and talk.

She made me a coffee and herself a tea and sat on the rose tinted couch across from me. She asked me how I was and told me what she knew. 93 years of wisdom and living a life full of love (a different kind to what we know) were poured into my cup.

She told me of her younger days. When she was my age and she used to wonder if this was to be her life, that she'd rest her weary head on the metal bars in the cowshed and ask herself if this was all she was made for. The boy who proposed when she was 18 and although he was wonderful she couldn't accept because she had other burdens on her heart. He never married. The moment she knew she was meant to travel to India and work with those in need. The moment she discovered unconditional love in the eyes of a diseased baby in Mother Theresa's orphanage in Calcutta. The school she built for those yearning to be educated. Her battles with numerous types cancer that she has overcome. The man who she befriended after he'd done a 10 year stint in prison without asking questions. The fire in her heart to see our nation changed.

Strangely enough, the bit that encouraged me the most was that she too questioned what she was doing.  A literal life changer with so many healed hearts in her sight too once wondered why she was where she was. With all that behind her she can now see that there were dreams beyond her ceilings. There were things for her that she wouldn't have even dared to hope for.

Take heart! There are greater times than now. You were made for bigger things than this. Don't underestimate what lies beyond the cowshed. Oh and do yourself a favour, Hang out with Auntie Catherine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lesson 135. When it rains, remember home.

The rain hits hard. The window pane withstands without doubt or tremor. I sit. I watch. 
This is home.  

For some reason rain pulls some nostalgic trigger. Every time it rains when I'm away my heart longs to be within these four walls. My roommate feels the same. There's been many a conversation had about how the rain means we need to be home. 

So I'm trying to breathe it in, soak it up, have this moment. This moment where in this wild weather I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. So that when things get tough and I'm not in such a place of warmth or security, I can place my finger on the feeling, I can feel it by way of memory. I can make it through by holding on to home in my heart. 

When the weather tosses you about, close your eyes and think back. Somewhere along the way there's been a moment, even if only a split second where you've felt safe from the way the rain slaps the concrete with such force. Hold onto that safety, know that it exists, and cling on knowing it returns. 

When it rains, remember home. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lesson 135. For Daddy.

I used to sit on my Father's lap every night after dinner. I used to ask him life's most burning questions, like why his face had spiky hairs on it and how come sometimes people leave to be with Jesus instead. And he'd answer with all the wisdom and caution of a man more thought than spoken.

My Dad can fall asleep anywhere. In films, in the car, mid-conversation. We used to have family sleepovers where we'd all drag down mattresses in the lounge and get the giggles when he started snoring. He's strong enough to shut off when he needs to.

Gregory loves to dance. He can't, but he loves it. He bends his knees out of time and his favourite move is holding an imaginary microphone for the person next to him. He knows who he is and he understands joy. 

He has held my tears and my heartache. Lost countless hours of sleep as my sobs from the next room sink in. He has rested his arm around my shoulder and pulled my mother next to us and spoken volumes in silence. My Dad knows how to love without condition and he knows how to fight. Injustice isn't something he lets live in his life. 

There's a lot to learn and a lot to be thankful for within the men who taught us how to ride our bikes. There's a lot to see when looking back over life at the moments we share with the people who care.

Be grateful, be honest, say it out loud. Appreciate your father, or someone who has stood for you. Be brave, be strong, be all that has been instilled in you from conversations on laps and dances at family weddings. For Daddy. 

Lesson 134. Work at the rust.

Grandad and I have started work on my bike. I traded in the cosmetic carrier for a tool box and donned clothes that were once very loved by a less than lady like shadow of mine. 

He handed me the spanner and proceeded to watch my every move with great care. I dissembled the carrier and then the real work began. A certain type of sanding that removes the more superficial marks and causes fingers to turn a rather questionable shade of ash and causes the elbow to ache, followed by semi-toxic rust remover applied by a teeny weeny little brush.

This bike has surely seen many rainy days. It has clearly weathered several storms but still shows signs of damage. It's standing strong but not without scars.

We're like this. We withstand terrible trials and then neglect the signs of scarring, because after all we did make it through. I'm determined that it's worth working on the little rough bits left over because I'm convinced we can not only make it through the fire, we can find ourselves even more refined, even better than before. We can take a look at what we've lost and take heart in what we've learnt.

It's worth dealing with, I promise. It's worth recognising what has hurt and it's worth taking time to heal the wounds.

Please, work at the rust. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lesson 133. You just never know.

I looked to my right tonight to discover something rather marvelous. Two of my dearest friends.

I met both of them a long time ago. One of them I now live with and only just became friends with this year after 10 years of schooling. We had countless classes together, an identical moral compass and a mutual appreciation for cheesy christian novels. But we were just never friends. She sat in the middle block in history, I sat at the back. She sat a few desks up in science, I sat at the back. We'd shared a short stint of intimacy (such a cringey word) after we both dated idiots for an identical period of time but still remained strangers. The other I'd had one conversation with once after an exam in 5th form and hadn't conversed with since. They are both now held in the highest of regards within my heart. Best friends can come from nowhere. 

It makes my heart happy to know that there are beautiful surprises hiding. To realise that you really can't predict where life will take you or who will come to mean more than you imagined. It's a sweet awakening and I'm amazed by the absurdity and the breathtaking beauty of it all at the same time. You just never know. 

Lesson 132. You gotta have feist.

No, I'm not talking about the band. Even though they're also pretty imperative to having a gay ol' time in this walk of life, they aren't what I mean.

I was driving my Dad home and he was giving me a pep talk. Once again telling me that he was proud of me because I fight. Because I dig my heels in and I get feisty when I sense injustice.

He's right. In all areas, you gotta have feist.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lesson 132. Step forwards.

One of my best friends is having a baby, my Grandad is dating and his lady looks like big bird, my slightly cynical but super wonderful sister is head over heels in love. I'm at University. Things have changed and are changing with every breath I draw and every one that escapes.

I'm not the first to be terrified, I'm sure. Life advances at such a speed it's no surprise we're easily startled when we wake up and realise that things don't wait for us to be ready, they happen without our consent.

This sounds terribly morbid yes? 'Life happens and it's hard and you have to deal with it' No, I'd argue quite the contrary.

See while the whirlwind is dizzying, the winds of change within it are the winds that teach us the most about life. Things we often push past in search of greater happiness instead of realising that each lesson along this wild ride is one to rejoice in.

I've seen that life in its simplest form is absolutely breathtaking. I have seen bravery in it's rawest and most honest form. My Grandad has shown me that it's possible to be happy after the devastation of losing the sweetest heart you ever knew. My Sister has taught me that even those sensible enough to plan out each step can be swept of their feet, that the unexpected is better than the expected.

I've felt the deepest appreciation for the place I call home and the people dwelling within it. I have seen that tears often begin to water a garden of growth that lines the path forwards. I know how hugs help heartache and how often the simple words are the ones that count. I've held the best of hands in the times of hurt. I've woken up with an achey belly as a physical manifestation of my worried heart and I've ended the day lighter because of the arms of a friend.

You get there. I'm still a bit scared but I'm getting there. My eyes are wide open and although it's full of trials and toils I can see that life is in fact beautiful. I've got a lot to learn and I'm ready. I will overthrow my shackles of fear and move because I am capable of it. So are you. Step forwards.

Lesson 131. Look forward to the day of new beginnings.

I have bought a bike. It has lived in a shed. Behind the mower and the pool toys from Christmas two years ago, hid a weathered treasure.

It's seat is ripped. The leather is tainted. It's rusty, the paint job is chipped and it's tethered together by tape.

I have a dream inside of my head. It's of a beautiful vintage bike that was given a second chance. Grandad and I have decided to make it a reality and tomorrow we begin.

We'll have to get out the rust remover, sand off the rough edges and the paint, rip the tape and polish the seat. It's going to be an arduous task but I have faith in the banter of my Grandad and the warmth of his company. I know that it takes hard work to turn something tired into something alive.

I'm doing it. I'm going in with my sleeves rolled up in my ripped jeans ready for oil stains. I'm ready for the hard yards because I believe in this bicycle. I believe that it was beautiful once before and I believe it will be beautiful once again. I believe that it will be even more spectacular than it was before.

I'm excited, are you? Well you should be. You should sing for second chances. Look forward to the day of new beginnings.

Lesson 130. Stay afloat.

I wandered into the garage today. I walked towards a shelf that stores boogie boards and the occasional figure of a memory. I stumbled across a little raft I made at age 9.

My Grandad made me a workbench for my 8th Birthday. Believe it or not I was boyish and I loved it. Hammer handy and heart on sleeve I'd make things for the boy I had taken a shine to with the occasional gift for some other sweet someone. I then took to making rafts purely for my own entertainment. I'd make them out of kindling. They were simple, a few pieces of wood thrown together with a few nails here and there. 

I'd put them in the pool and I'd watch them, for some reason they fascinated me. I pondered this today as I traced the rough outline of one from many moons before.

They just stayed afloat. With such ease, such grace, such unwavering strength. Water attempted to seep through the cracks and knew no success. The rafts would go where they were supposed to and would stand strong against the rough and tumble waters of the pool. 

That's why I was fascinated. I didn't know it but they inspired me. To stand against the storm. To know what it is to be broken, to have imperfections and cracks but to not use them as an excuse to cave. To be like a raft is to be like one standing strong in the wearying weathering storms of life. The ones that happen and knock us out all too often. Consider this, you were made by someone who completely understands your brokenness, your flaws. Someone that placed you here trusting that in spite of your spaces, you will learn the rhythms and tides of grace and ultimately make it through. You'll inspire some 9 year old. 

Stay afloat. 

Lesson 129. Do things in the right head space.

I've been in a sort of strange head space, hence the general neglect for communication and all things internet.

I didn't want to blog out of negativity or confusion, so I waited. And now I think time and clarity has given me what I need to give you what I mean.

Do things in the right head space.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson 128. Nobody puts baby in a corner.

Oh what a moment. The room is dimly lit, a bland song a sings by those lacking in pitch. The door opens, a flash of leather and pure beauty enters. His eyes search the space and settle on his prize. It's unexpected. Her eyes strike a thousand stars as he stands before her and outstretches his hand. It's magic. He looks her father in the eye and says with all the strength of a warrior 'Nobody puts baby in a corner.' Patrick Swayze, what a man.

They stand on stage. He utters his admiration and radiates with love for the woman he's about to lead about the arena. Then it happens. They dance like no one's danced before and end in one great leap. Quite literally. Into the air propels Francis in a moment of magic. Johnny pulls her down in a graceful slow sweep and she's met by a kiss. 

Dirty Dancing tells a story of people taking steps of courage. Trying something new. Doing something for love. Standing out for someone else. We need to do that more. We have to remind one another of just how capable we are. We need to be Johnny. Pulling someone out into greatness, standing up against those holding the ones we love back.

Nobody puts baby in a corner. 

Lesson 127. Quilt.

I came home today. I took the bus. I saw the skyline where the sun meets the sweet hills and I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd be in the arms of my family. I knew the turns and the twists of the roads. I saw the signs and I made it. I came home today.

I walked through the front door, took a right and carried on up the stairs. My mother had laced the walls with black and white pictures of people gone before us. There was a pile of work shirts my Dad was done with and had decided to pass on to me because he knows how I love the feeling of worn down Yves St. Lauren. That I need to breathe in baggy shirts. On my bed lay the best of surprises.

A quilt. Colour lit by love and woven with the greatest of care. Mother dearest had chosen fabrics rich in reds and beige to warm my bed. She'd sewn together each patch and done so with little hearts around each square. Tiny pieces to make something greater.

They'd been pulled to pieces by the lady at the quilt shop. She'd sliced them straight down into small enough portions. They'd been separated and left alone.

It's a familiar story yes?

We are pulled apart. By something, by someone. We feel isolated, alone, as though we'll never be as big or as beautiful as what we used to be.

Then, someone, something comes along and changes our world. We are picked up, put in place, love becomes an intertwining factor and weaves us next to those who make us greater.

It's rather spectacular. A metaphor for brokenness being made beautiful. Quilt.

Lesson 126. Family first.

Tonight I did a little shirk of school scheduled responsibilities. I went to dinner with my cousins. I talked out life with people who'd known me since I looked a little like a baby boy child.

Turns out focus was so much easier to find after taking a break to tell tales of sweet childhood with people that I love. Take a break, family first.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lesson 125. Two birds, two stones.

I take a treacherous music technology class. Treacherous because I'm a wee bit of a technological dinosaur and copy and paste is about as far as my computing genius goes. I'm supposed to make a song using only computer software and as I've also been trying to write a song that requires a backing class for my main music paper, I thought I'd be a clever cat and kill two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately, the two birds one stone method isn't always the best when trying to deal with the tender creative process. I've been sitting at this computer in the lab for about 2 hours. I was tearing my hair out and getting very angry at the mouse (I don't know why, it was an easy target) when a friend came in and looked over the assignment with me. Josh pointed out that we didn't have to do an original song and maybe I should look at doing them separately. It all became very clear to me. Sometimes it's best to do your best with two tasks individually rather than trying to condense them into one.

So I'm going to take some tacky pop song and make it beautiful. Or at least that's the aim anyway. And I feel good about it, I feel like it's going to be done in time for Friday which I certainly didn't when sitting down to face the original plan this morning.

And I'm going to do my backing track separately, I'm going to channel my creative energy and overactive emotions there. It's going to be a much better alternative. In theory, I should be more stressed right? I now have more work to do yes? No no my friend, quite the opposite. I now feel as though I'm going to do better, I now feel as though success is in my sight, not simple mediocrity.

Two birds, two stones.

Lesson 124. Try Kathy's workout.

In 1993, an excellent woman called Kathy made an aerobics dvd for pregnant women. Complete with pastel full body spandex, a posse of woman with enlarged stomachs and a section entitled 'Preggo Shuffle' Kathy created quite the treat for those carrying such cargo.

Today, I experienced the joy of partaking in Kathy's wild work out. One of the ones I hold dearest in my heart is currently expecting and we decided to get our 'Preggo Shuffle' on. So we had dinner, discussed meal plans and the baby and then were in for the ride of our lives. Kathy exceeded our expectations in excellence. 

It was so much fun. I'm not sure if my belly aches from the workout or from the fact that I was in side splitting giggles for a solid 15 minutes. We laughed and we joked and it was good, for both of us.

So try something that you've never tried before or that maybe seems a bit strange in order to support someone. If they need you and you love them, do something practical to show them and hold their hand through not only the rough patches but the peculiarities. It's worth it, and it'll do you a world of good. Try Kathy's workout. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lesson 123. Make 'em laugh.

I had a little unpleasant episode today.
I found myself sobbing in a corner. With Dora the Explorer tissues and a few shreds lacking of dignity. I'd done miserably in a test. So I called mother, cried a little more, called sister, cried a little more, then was discovered so buckled up and brave faced the world. 

It began with a smile and turned to a laugh as my friends became jesters of my heartache. It was followed by some spectacular advice which I am very much taking. I'm in bed watching Singin' in the Rain. There's this scene, this wonderful scene where Cosmo gets comical and sings 'Make 'em laugh'. He sings out our long faces and questions why such a state of unhappiness exists when the world is full of happy happy things. 

Cosmo is kind of onto something. Instead of wallowing in my self pity, the people around me (whether aware of it or not) tickled my heart into light. It was by simple laughter and sweet smiles that I was able to face the rest of the day. Even if it's just a silly statement, or an awful joke, be someone's turn of events. My friends were mine.

Make 'em laugh.

Lesson 122. Get an abdominal examination.

I have a great stomach. I know so because my Nurse in training flatmate just thoroughly examined my abdominals for practice and told me so. I'm considering adding it to my CV, I think it might be a real pull that I have a healthy and happy belly. Although also would be quite weird. Maybe I'll just keep it within our little circle of blogging pals, it can be our little secret that my stomach is excellent yes? (I'm really just joking because this is the internet and secrets don't exist in this domain) 

Anyway, my strange proclamation of appreciation for my innermost workings is because I think it's something to be celebrated. I think we need to appreciate the fact that we are in healthy working order every single day. 

You woke up this morning. You trundled on through your day to day routine and you took it for granted that your stomach completed all it's wondrous but perhaps slightly boredom baring tasks. You kept going because of something inside of you. Appreciate life's every day miracles. Appreciate your lovely little tum tum. Get an abdominal examination. 

Lesson 121. Start a countdown.

My calendar was looking a little empty. I cocked my head slightly to the left and considered what would complete it's lonely life. I then settled on a countdown. Because counting down to something you look forward to just makes life better.

There are 6 days until I return to the arms of my loving, wonderful guardians. It will be warm, it will be safe, it will be home. I will put on hold my concerns for the future, University and all it's confusing friends and simply be. It's important just to be sometimes.

So for the next few days. I'm looking forwards. Past the tests and the tears, beyond the confusion and insecurities and towards Friday the 24th. Set your sights on something to smile about, I guarantee it'll lighten your load. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lesson 120. Purchase your favourite film.

I was visiting my local department store this afternoon and stumbled across my favourite film.

It's "Singin' in the Rain" and it kind of sounds/seems like what would happen if rainbows married kisses and had a child called love. It's dreamy.

I'm rather ecstatic to have it in my possession. And it's not just because it's a classic musical that needs to be a part of ones life on a regular (if not daily) basis, it's because it's a guaranteed smile.

Have something in your life, even something physical that will make you smile. A film, a picture, a book. Something familiar and warming that you can return to after a long day.

Purchase your favourite film.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lesson 119. If in doubt, give all.

We doubts ourselves. It tends to have a turtle effect. Back we shrink into our comfortable shells made of pride and self expectation and we miss out.

If in doubt, give all. Look your challenge in the eye, dig your heels into the dirt and go forth with gumption. I tried it today and it worked out in my favour.

If in doubt, give all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lesson 118. Don't walk in to doors.

I have a bruise on my hip because I managed to wrap myself around my staircase.

I have bruise on my arm that I hit on the corner of my kitchen top.

In the morning, I'll have a bruise on my forehead because I walked into my door as I was opening it this evening.

See the silly thing is, I knew the door was there, I was so aware of it that I was opening it and I hit myself in the face. You do this too.

You're like "Hey now Lydia, we're not all crazy klutz cats"

I'm like "Hey now friend, you actually are."

We do this all the time. On a regular basis, and then we whine about it. We wonder why we make the same mistakes when it's so clear not to make them. It's a moment of stupidity that leads to the magenta marks that tinge your skin. Our heartache is so often something that we just keep falling into. The door we just keep opening and hurting ourselves. We have to stop.

Be aware of your doors, of your stairs, the rhythms of heart ache you so easily fall into. They only leave you battered and bruised.

Don't walk in to doors.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lesson 117. Go out to the roof.

Tonight we sung the songs of our hearts out on the roof.
We talked and we prayed and it was just what I needed.
I then sat on Naomi's bed and talked out my woes.
Clarity, taking time out to do something reflective.
Go out to the roof.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lesson 116. Hug the world.

I’d like to hug the world. I feel as though tonight, I’ve never known the word cynicism and that love really is everywhere I look around.

I don’t think I’m dreaming, although it’s late I’m awake. I think I’m just having my hope restored in humanity.

I put on a fundraiser for a school I helped build in Kenya. $5 door charge, only 40 people coming, my hopes were below the bar. I lay in bed last night and told God he’d have to do the rest. Well, he did.

$674. That’s what he did. He opened the hearts of generous people and he opened their eyes to the needs of those elsewhere. I have the best people in my life and I’m so thankful.

Hug the world. 

Lesson 115. You'll see it soon enough.

5am. I’m tired again. We got on the plane and off we were, back to the big city.

It was ghastly weather. Cold, wet, windy. Not my dream day to say the least, but as the plane soared to greater heights, I witnessed the sunrise beyond the clouds.

I felt it on my face and I watched it hit the clouds. I saw the colours change and I felt my tired eyes open. I felt my tired heart realise what this moment meant for me.

There is always sunshine beyond the clouds. It might be the darkest doomiest day of your life, and I can promise you that somewhere up there, there is great beauty and light to be shed. And its time will come. Have hope in your skyline sunrise, remember that no matter how hard it is down here, there is more only just above, and you’ll see it soon enough.

Lesson 114. There are so many things to smile about.

It was 12.46. I was tired. So I retreated to a corner and accidentally witnessed the spectacular. The shy and sweet blossom of love was less than 2 metres away from me.

They were twirling and laughing. He held her hand and spun her out while she smiled with complete abandon for the rest of the world. I was touched, it was beautiful.

Take time to observe and I promise your load will lighten. There is beauty to be seen around every corner and if you let it, it’ll take your hand and show you that there are so many things to smile about. 

Lesson 113. Hug with your whole heart.

On my flight down to Christchurch tonight, my sister and I were discussing the feeling that one experiences when walking out the gates of an airport. When someone is waiting with open arms and an enthusiastic squeal and for a moment, all dignity flies out the window and you’re left with one excited soul.

It’s a moment we all to often lose to pride and being overly self-aware.
We resort to pats on the backs and a floury “how are you?” instead of suffocation by love and confessions that love is infact everything we feel.

Make someone feel that today. I don’t care if it’s odd; life is odd and could always do with another peculiar friend. Hug with your whole heart.

Lesson 112. Don't let things pile up.

Don’t let things get on top of you. Rookie move. This is proof, it’s getting late and I won’t be seeing sleep anytime soon. So here’s a short and sweet lesson from Auntie Lydia, don’t let things pile up.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

You're mad. It's understandable really. I haven't been returning your calls or looking you in the eye when we speak. You're wondering when I'm going to up my game, make you fall in love again. Well, nows a start, here comes the blogs. 5 to be exact.

I've been poorly today and down the other end of the country pleasing the people for the last few days. So bear with me, tomorrow is our day of new beginnings.

Thank you for being patient, love to you x

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lesson 111. Fight when it's worth fighting.

You've probably been told to choose your battles at some stage in your life. That somethings are worth fighting for and some simply aren't. I think we have a tiny tendency to go a little too passive. When something arises that we know in our heart of hearts is wrong, we try to tell ourselves that it isn't worth the argument. That fall out is simply not an option.

Although I'm very much inclined to agree that some arguments are absolutely pointless, I think we need to stand up a little straighter. Some things are worth fighting for. Someone brought up something with me today and I was faced with two options, either let it go and leave them be, or to be honest and look out for their best interests. I tried the latter and although I didn't get a stunning reception, it felt like I'd done the right thing.

Don't just sit back and let someone rubbish something you feel strongly about. Don't be walked over. Stand up for what and who you love. Start to fight when it's worth fighting.

Lesson 110. Develop photos.

I have two sweet honeymooner friends who have recently entered into courtship. They began with a disposable camera and now the first lot of pictures are ready to be developed. They've reached the end of the first film and so comes the second.

Develop your photos. Take note of this phase, where you are, who you love, what you know. Document it and remember it. It's precious even when it hurts, it's a stage in your life always worth remembering. Who knows, my friends might show the grandkids one day and smile at their early days, or it might mark something different. All the same, its beautiful. Develop photos.