Friday, June 13, 2014

Lesson 202. Sometimes it's the best thing to just be like AWK.

Isn't life just such a cliche sometimes? 

I kind of love it and hate it all at once, similar to the way I feel about Five Seconds of Summer Song. I'd die if the world knew about it, but I purchased a pair of American Apparel unisex underwear with an obscene shipping cost attached simply so I could stand in it. 

Life taught me a cliche but crucial lesson today. One that I'm proud to say I was routing for all along, I just didn't realise quite why.

And so begins my story: I was supposed to be trading my car for my sister's old car. Why? Because hers is substantially better looking, so we all assumed it was a better car. First mistake made. My car is full of parking receipts and remnants of almost perfect conversations, dried up tears and consequent kisses and cuddles. However, she's known to my family members as "The Bash Mobile" because she isn't as pretty as the cars my sisters drive. So, my Dad told me we'd sell her on and I'd get the better car out of it, Katie's car would run better and serve me longer so I should probably just get over my sentimentality. My parents also told me that it wasn't a normal to go and sit in the garage and sing "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith at the top of my lungs, to my car.  But I believe in a thorough and proper grieving process, car through to cat (who am I kidding, I don't love cats at all).

Today I reluctantly drove my wee AWK to Honda and asked, as per my Dad's instructions, for them to check her out fully and let us know which car would be best to keep. I left with a heavy heart, almost certain that I would return to the news that AWK would be on her way and ERA would be my new girl. I stupidly assumed that because AWK looks a little worse for wear, she'd be the one to get rid of.

I was wrong. I went back to pick up the car and the Chelsea, the lovely receptionist with a skirt that was the length that nobody really knows how to describe, told me that they would recommend we kept AWK and sold ERA. Although ERA looked better cosmetically, AWK was running much better on the inside, and that's what matters.

I walked away smiling, it was kind of nice to know that I'd get to keep my old friend. But more than that, it was nice to be reminded of one of life's most generic lessons; you don't have to look perfect to keep going. You don't have to be the best to be valued, you just have to keep your heart healthy and in the right place.

Sometimes it's the best thing to just be like AWK.

Lesson 201. Let rain remind you

The last few days have seen a lot of rain.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's the kind of rain that I like because of where I sit. I'm home at the moment, so it's the kind of rain that sends me to bed with Calamity Jane, My Fair Lady, and a packet of chocolate chips stolen from the cupboard while my mum was in the laundry. But I get that it's also the kind of rain that has pulled trees to pavements and floods to floors. The kind of rain that can break things, the kind of rain that can sweep you off your feet in an entirely unromantic whoosh and land you with a bruised tailbone and mud smattered trousers. The last two years and a half years have forged a friendship between my bottom and the concrete in an (almost) purely metaphorical way because of this kind of rain, so I know it just as well as I do the feeling of safety that rain can bring. It's kind of strange how something can stir everything standing or secure a feeling of safety in where you are.

Over the last few days, life has reminded me of something that I'd forgotten from my now safe stomping grounds. Wherever you sit, stand (or fall) within what rain means for your life, it must always prompt a moment of gratitude.

If you're like me and you're experiencing a time of little to no turbulence, let it serve as a reminder of how you've grown to who you are. Recognise that maybe the whole cliche that nothing grows without rain is true, and that even though you might never understand why it rained at that time or why on earth it rained so heavy, you grew. You grew stronger and taller and braver.

If you're standing where I stood not so long ago and you're fighting the floods, take a moment to be grateful that you're still standing. Because when the waters are rising, we have to be grateful that we are still there to see them rise. Gratitude has to come from a place deeper than a superficial happiness, it has to come from that place past the corner in your soul that you shut and reopened when you fell in love, it doesn't mean you don't stand in the rain in tears, it means that you see how the tears make you taller, even in that moment.

Let rain remind you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lesson 200. Perfect doesn't come without practice

I'm skipping the apologies. I've decided to go straight in for the post-argument cuddles because I know that's your favourite part too. Your head just fits so perfectly on my chest, you know? I'm sorry we had to have the "Where've you been?" conversation, I'm glad we moved past it so swiftly.

Yes, you really have missed me and my hilarity (or perhaps I've missed you and my attempts at hilarity that you so graciously muddle through with me and whilst doing so validate my existence) so I won't waste any more precious text space with inappropriately long sentences.

How's your 2014 going so far? Mine looks a bit like this: excellent human beings, summer school, shingles, anger towards lack of resident parking on my street, general increase of enjoyment when it comes to all things Beyonce, and embarrassment in regards to the fact that I often forget to put my headphones in when walking home, don't realise until I get home and finally come to the conclusion that most people don't love Shania Twain any more. Ok, I'm tricking. Those things have all actually happened but that definitely doesn't even begin to cover this year and I seem to be plying you with the trivial- I'm not quite sure why but I'll do some in-depth pyschological analysis on myself and get back to you.

Last week I found myself actually learning something in my tutorial as opposed to making a grocery list or an hour-by-hour plan for the rest of my day, and it's something simple that I want to share with you. I've been struggling creatively, sitting down and staring at a blank screen, singing two lines and stopping, not knowing quite where the best place to push off from is. I sat and listened to my tutor talking about writing content, and how the only way to create it is to simply write. I then unlocked something I'd always known but never held, the ability to let go of perfectionism in order to do better.

It's a strange concept really, but one that makes sense. The more we try, the more we fail, the more we learn. The more content we create, the more likely it is that we'll stumble upon something we're happy with. The more we open up, the more likely it is that the thing we so desperately want to let go of will emerge.

So talk and talk lots, write and write excessively, love and love often, because one of these days, you're going to have a win. Perfect doesn't come without practice.