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. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lesson 109. Hold your head high and don't loose your fight or your joy in living.

I just received an email that brought me to tears. It simply spoke words of wisdom from one who knows me best. It was from my loving and proud father.

My Dad is a hero. He loves his family and he does right by everyone he can. He fights for justice and he cares in the best of ways. My Dad has always been and will always be the most heroic man I know. He's honest even when its hard and his love grows more evident within the raw statements he shares.

I've been fighting uphill battles. I know you're so aware of it because I tend to yabber on, but I've been really feeling it the last few days. It's silly because I have so much, but I feel like I have to be straight up with you because it's a part of my heart that is as real as the part of yours that hurts too. I've lost faith in myself and I've fallen into habits of retreat. Gone are the jutting of the jaw days and here seem to be the cowering the corner days. My Dad spoke words of great encouragement tonight. He told me that he was proud, that he loves me, and that he admires who I am. I don't think I've ever been more touched by a message in my mail.

He finished with a statement that rings true for all of us. "Hold your head high and don't lose your fight or joy in living" So take it from Greg, I tell you he's a wise one.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lesson 108. Appreciate yourself.

Oh, don't I sound awfully narcissistic. Heavens! Easy with the accusatory tone you've got going, I'm not suggesting any sort of mirror watching love yourself fest, I'm simply explaining something that I've learnt is beneficial to existence.

Friday night I had the house to myself, so naturally I made a video of myself doing funny things and emailed it to my missing flatmates. I've watched it numerous times and I still think I'm quite a hilarious lass.

Laugh at yourself, love yourself for your crazy, it's not something that comes naturally to us. We will often simply shirk off the thought that maybe we are something special for our wild ways but next time don't, next time, just appreciate yourself.

Lesson 107. Remember the proper grocery bags.

Today was a glorious day. We learnt from last weeks debacle and made sure to include the proper grocery bags in our weekly shop. Life was much simpler, there was no breakage or even concern for the welfare of our goods. We could trust our trusty grocery bags.

It's remembering the basics that can often save us. Remembering the things that have made life easier in the past that can make life easier now. We've all faced trials, and we're all still standing (or sitting, or leaning, or grooving, really just existing) and it's because of our grocery bags. The simple things that have walked us up Queen St, through the doors of 441 and swiped us up the elevator. Remember the proper grocery bags.

Lesson 106. Try extreme mattress sliding.

Oh dear. I fear I've become too comfortable with our relationship and taken you for granted. Never again, here goes rekindling the flames. I'm about to give you not one, not two, but three blogs in less than twenty minutes because I told myself I'd make bed before midnight. How are you? I hope you're doing swell.

So Friday was a day of great exhilaration and many adrenalin rushes. My flatmate and I were 'home alone for the weekend and were planning on having some friends over for a sleepover, unfortunately they never showed so we made something quite spectacular of their cancellation. We made a mattress slide. Three mattresses, two girls, one sleeping bag, way too much fun for a Friday. And that's saying something because Friday is definitely one of the most jovial weekdays. We initially began by simply sliding, but then decided to do ourselves one better and increase the wild times with a sleeping bag. This ultimately created an excellent slippery slope (not the bad kind, the excellent kind) which we both thoroughly enjoyed. We were already having fun, but that one little thing made things so much funner.

Go the extra mile. Do yourselves one better. You say it's going well? Make it go better. I promise, extreme mattress sliding is so much cooler than just plain mattress sliding. Try extreme mattress sliding.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lesson 105. Someone's dancing.

First things first, I've just realised that the people in my life are of premium quality. I'm currently winning. 

Daily anecdote begins with three of these top notch individuals. We decided to scoot on down to a open mic night. Greeted by various veterans (of all varieties) and a room dominated by semi seedy males, we voted backseats were best and took up our places. Time ticked on and our ears endured quite the sound smorgasbord. Eventually, the time came for one of our own to grace the stage. The tavern was quite noisy and it was hard to gauge a response from the audience, all bar one girl. 

A german fraulien (who later proceeded to have a cosy chat with one of my friends, he's got game) stood at the front, through all three performances and was almost always slightly mobile. With a jiggle there and a drink pump there, she was constantly dancing. Although easily overlooked, this is no easy feat. Constant dancing requires energy and enthusiasm, both of which she very much had. It was to say the least quietly encouraging to each of us, in a sort of peculiar way.

When you feel like life gets noisy, remember that someone is dancing. Someone is dancing for you, and that's someone to be proud of. I don't doubt for a second that you have your german girl somewhere, whether mother, brother, sister, or your best friends cousins ex girlfriends baby daddy's nephew, someone in your life is always dancing. Always enjoying you, always loving you and spurring you forwards. Believing in you enough to put a little booty into it.

Someone's dancing. 

Lesson 104. The time is now.

I put things off. I procrastinate. I like to think timing will be better a little later on. When the weathers better, when everyone can make it, when pigs are frequenting the sky and I'm athletic and 100% socially capable.

We're confronted by a series of life changing moments throughout our walk on broken ground. We're then faced with two responses: We grab ahold of with two hands, scream joy for dear life and prepare to kiss the dawn, or, we shrug our shoulders, look nervously to the left, kick an imaginary stone and mutter to ourselves about how another time would be better. We don't have a lot of time. The time is now. Stop being scared you silly goose! Speak your heart, do your dreams, don't hold back. The time is now.