Tag Archives: Love

F is for (you are not a) Failure

Today I want to say

So many of us live in a world of constant apologies and a constant awareness of failure. We set the bar way too high for ourselves and ultimately end up believing we are, as a person, a failure. We use phrases like ‘I can’t cope’ or ‘I can’t keep up’ and we end up crashing and burning. Quite regularly too – like it’s some kind of insane life cycle. But forget hibernation, forget cocoon making, forget growing wings and gathering food – I’m talking insomnia,panic attacks, relationship break-downs and eating disorders.

Where is the chance of redemption? Where’s the soul-deep rest? Where has prioritising our health gone? Why aren’t these things understood and honoured in our society?

To you who cancelled plans last minute last night – it’s ok.

To you who broke down on the bus on your way to work this morning – it’s ok.

To you who regularly spends time in the office loo trying to regain sanity and oxygen – it’s ok.

To you who eats lunch hiding in the storage cupboard – it’s ok.

To you who went to bed early instead of visiting friends tonight – it’s ok.

And to you who has already failed in five million different ways today – it really IS ok.

I promise.

You are NOT a failure.

You are tired and so, so fed up. You’re exhausted and your head is full. Your heart is weary and your chest is tight and sore – take a breath…there, feel that?Your jaw is subconsciously clenched and you’re on the edge of tears so often.

It’s ok.

I’m sure you can think back to the hundreds of times you’ve said that. To yourself,to others. The ultimate admittance that things are, in fact, not ok. Irony so common it’s not even noticeable anymore.

It’s ok.

Things are upside down and things are a mess. There are hidden walls, monsters andbooby traps everywhere. There’s baggage and lies and disappointments. There’s no time. No money. No resources. No space. No room. Nobody.

It’s ok.

Sometimes I picture life like the Christmas story – stick with me! Sometimes, life is a pregnant woman on a long journey, in labour, with nowhere to give birth.

What I mean to say is, I so often feel pregnant with emotion, confusion, memories,stress, rage, hurt, pressure and trauma – but with nowhere to release it. I’m holding something inside me that’s alive, it’s needy, it takes from me and it affects me physically. It changes me and it has it’s own demands. Sometimes it even controls me and makes me do things I don’t want to do – and the world around me is telling me there’s no room. There’s no room for all of that. There’s no space for me and my baby.

But it’s ok. Mary was ok. She found her bit of space. And people came to that space. And that space became something special because that’s where she had her baby. And people still talk about that space and relate to that space. Not because it was easy, but because of the difficult and near impossible circumstances. It’s ok to feel out of place in social situations. It’s ok to hate the daily, 9-5, boxed in, grey, grimey grind. It’s ok to listen to your body when it’s shouting at you to slow down. It’s ok to do whatever you need to, to get through the day. It’s ok to be different and to do things differently. It’s ok to cancel plans last minute or to go home early. It’s ok to have a meltdown, to stomp and cry and feel lost. It’s ok to feel like nobody gets you – it’s ok to feel like YOU don’t get you. It’s ok to be irrational and grouchy. It’s ok to need certain things or to do things in a certain way. It’s ok to have baggage and for it to affect you. It’s ok to NOT be ok.

But what can we do?

Let’s let each other breathe. Let’s give each other space and time. Create it, find it, BE it.

How? By being authentic. By being the real you and by being honest – painfully so. Don’t float along the surface of life. Don’t be afraid of the deep and meaningful – of the mud and grit. Shareyourself. Put yourself out there and try. Let yourself cry in place of wearing a mask. Admit your weaknesses and ask for help. Say sorry and face your mistakes. Take time to understand each other. Forgive yourself and forgive each other. Remember grace and mercy and rediscover what they really mean. Put love in the centre and work outwards from there. Make the jump a little easier and have a go.

And if you trip or miss or crash and burn?

It’s ok. You are NOT a failure.

Being vulnerable and speaking the truth is difficult. Figuring this life out is difficult.

And just when you feel like giving up, have another go.

Because it’s so, so worth it.

I promise.

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F is for fervor

So I haven’t written here in a criminally long time.

Life (excuse my french) is a bitch. And then you die.

Right now, I wouldn’t mind trying out an experimental drug that induces a week long coma. If you’re developing this ,ye scientists, pray do get in touch. Why?

BECAUSE I’D REALLY LIKE A BREAK.

God, come on give me a break

How many of us feel like we’re in over our heads? How many of us are in pain of some kind every day? How many of us are overwhelmingly stressed? How many of us would give our most prized possession, a limb, our hopes or dreams to simply experience 10 solid minutes of health and stability? If I had anything of worth, or the opportunity to barter bits of me for a glimpse of health and peace….

I would hand it over no questions asked.

x

I was wondering, does this desperate state of mind & body damage us? Does it mean we forget things? Like the art of patience, forgiveness, empathy and even simple thought? Does it erase the parts of us that had perspective and the ability to dream and hope? Does it mean that we become blind and detached?

Do we lose the will to believe in anything but pain and anger? Do we make menial things, Gods? The small things that actually have some kind of affect and positive interaction in our lives? Or do we let something much darker take hold of us? Do we bow down to medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling, self harm, money? Do we sabotage others in a desperate attempt to feel better about ourselves?

Maybe we can take it slow, start over, begin again every day. I may have been able to ignore some of the pain today, but yesterday I let it take over me. Tomorrow I could feel excited and hopeful and be able to help somebody in some small way… Next week I could consider suicide. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, or indeed what this evening will hold, but maybe that’s ok. Maybe then we could release the guilt and release the shame. Take it slow. Maybe?

What do I think?

Keep asking

&

Change your expectations

Of yourself, others, life, experiences, the bigger picture.

Stop and think and ask yourself

Do I need to rest, do I need to be sad, do I think I can go and see a friend, do I want to cry, do I feel angry, do I need to get help, do I need to breathe deeper…..stop and think and ask.

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Here’s a song that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with for a while now. I feel hesitant to share it because it’s my life line at the moment, but today I can share and today I can write.

Today I can ask, maybe?

Love and strength to you x

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F is for Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself”

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the heart of feminism over the past few years. Whether that’s intentionally or by mistake, consciously or subconsciously. It’s been an amazing journey.

For me, true feminism offers forgiveness, love and growth – not the fires of spiteful anger, violence and revenge, like so many people think it is or indeed want it to be. I think this is a great misuse and a terrible manipulation of the ‘shield’ of feminism. We mustn’t use feminism to justify recklessness and violence or to trample on others. We can’t use it to hide, excuse or justify wrongdoing. We must not turn feminism into an ugly, angry, clumsy troll.

Feminism is about peace, justice, love, grace, forgiveness, growth and truth.

NONE of those words are ‘soft’, ‘pathetic’ or ‘weak’.

In fact, they are the strongest, mightiest words I know.

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I know what it’s like to be used. I know what it’s like to be treated badly because of my gender. I know what it’s like to experience sexual abuse and harassment. I know what it’s like to have your self worth manipulated and crushed. I know what it’s like to be angry and filled with rage. I know what it’s like to feel utterly alone, abandoned and ignored.

And I know that the strongest, most powerful tools I have to fight all of these things are those seven words I mentioned up there.

May we, feminists, commit to providing an alternative and righteous way of life that promotes:

Refuge, not revenge

Peace in place of pride

Justice in place of judgment

Love in place of lies

Community, not conflict

Equality in place of ego

Healing instead of hatred

Truth and not tyranny

Hope in the place of hypocrisy

Grace instead of greed

and

Forgiveness, not fist fights

Anyone care to have a stab at what they think a great

‘mission statement’

for feminism would be?

Truth Cartoon

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I DO!

“Everything that I know…

I know only because I love.”

Tolstoy – War&Peace

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Everybody’s had marriage on their minds recently. Some of you want to stay away from it, some of you are trapped within it. Some of you feel free because of it and some of you don’t know how you feel about it. Some of you are desperate for it, some of you have dreamt of it since you were wee and some of you couldn’t care less.

All of that is ok and all of that is valid.

Not that you need an ‘ok’ from me – I just wanted you to know that I get that life is complicated and there are few safe places to feel accepted and at peace. You can relax here and you can speak freely.

F is for Feisty welcomes you with a big fat FUGGLE! (A free cuddle, or free hug = FUG)

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Here are my messy, random, frantic, silly, OTT, slightly odd thoughts on the matter of marriage.

I got married in 2009 on July the 4th.

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Some may find that ironic, but for me it sits perfectly.

In a previous post about changing my name when getting married, I said…

From the day Russ and I started dating I felt strongly about not wanting to lose myself to the relationship. I had been ‘lost’ so many times before, I’d seen so many people get ‘lost’ and I didn’t want to sink and just be ‘Russ’s girlfriend’ or ‘Russ’s wife’.

I wanted to be Kate.

An individual who was free and independent with her own mind. And you know, Russ knew that. Before I told him. I didn’t have to spell it out – he knew my heart and he wanted to be the one to free me from the crap that bound me from negative experiences in my past.

!SOPPY SLUSHY PUKEY WARNING!

For our last wedding anniversary he gave me a bird cage, with a bird shaped candle inside.

He told me that the door on this little bird cage would never be closed – and that has been our biggest promise to each other for 6 (nearly 7!) years now – to give each other wings, to free each other from pain, insecurities – anything that holds us back.

To want the best for each other and to FIND ourselves within the promises we made, not LOSE ourselves.

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I am glad to say that this is still the foundation of our marriage – that, and honesty.

When I got engaged, I got a lot of confused looks and a lot of questions. I also got a lot of remarks like:

‘but you still have so much of your life left!’

‘but you’re so young!’

‘why not wait until you’ve lived and you’re ready to settle down’

‘marriage is for old people who are miserable!’

and so on.

My favourite list of comments showered me when I was at the hairdressers one spring afternoon back in 2009….

Shocked to see an engagement ring on my finger, my hairdresser – visibly panic-stricken – asked if I was part of a cult or if it was some kind of an arranged marriage. A good effort was made to talk me out of it and to get the ‘real story’ out of me, like I was a lost child with ‘help me’ written on my oh-so-youthful forehead. Having never met this hairdresser before I was a little baffled by the whole thing. The sad looks like I had announced I had days to live, the slight snigger at my ‘young age’ and the patronising list of questions about the seriousness of this commitment all added to my confused little chair/mirror/cape/towel combo.

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The thing that kept me confused and pretty speechless throughout the whole shebang was that my hairdresser – shocked and fearful at the mere thought of marriage – was about 7 or 8 months pregnant.

Now, please don’t hear me wrong – I have nothing against makin’ babies. In fact, I CAN’T WAIT to have a little tribe of mini people to live life with.

My point is – when did marriage become this plague-like life sentence that we are victims of and need rescuing from? When did it become a retirement home for the miserable and doomed?

Why is it for some people and not for others? Who gets to judge or decide that? Who gets to deny or grant it?

What the F-is-for-Flip IS it?!

A simple ‘define marriage’ in the google search bar gave me this ‘gem’ of an explanation:

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Personally I feel this is extremely dated and rather vague and, well, RUBBISH.

So, naturally, I turned to my friends kids.

What is marriage?! I cried. Who is it for?!

This is what they told me….

Marriage is when you marry someone and it’s after you’re engaged.

The book reader says you are now husband and wife and the lady gets another ring.

The lady changes her second name to the husband’s second name and you have bridesmaids to hold up the end of the bride’s dress.

You live together forever.

Look, bumblebee!

I asked the children “what do we do when we love each other?” a 3 year old told me…. “we get married and hug.”

Marriage is a festival!

Marriage is for mummy and daddy, you should marry daddy.

Marriage means getting married, you have a party!

It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.

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So I then turned to Sesame Street.

Seemed logical.

Cute, yes, but this kid obviously has better things to think about. He clearly isn’t FOCUSSED.

We need guidance, oh YouTube God! Help us in our time of need!

And then I saw a face.

A face in the darkness.

A face to light my way.

Yes, Brad Pitt, it was your face.

Oh sweet sweet you. 

Who actually talks SENSE!

Sweet sweet sense!

Brad’s is a message of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. It’s a message of SENSE and PEACE and of RESPECT.

It’s a message I like.

We, too, must put on accents and suddenly become a fictitious character on TV and be GORGEOUS in the face of injustice!!

F is for Feisty salutes you, Brad!

*fist pump!*

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At the beginning of this (now somewhat absolutely random) blog post, I quoted Tolstoy. It wasn’t a quote about marriage but about LOVE. I chose this because my reason for living is to love. I try to make every choice through the eyes of love and to see everybody through those eyes too. How many times are choices made without a moments thought of love?

Let’s give it a try.

Let’s start with LOVE and see what happens.

Let’s choose LOVE and see what happens.

Let’s speak LOVE walk LOVE dream LOVE share LOVE give LOVE see LOVE hear LOVE make LOVE create LOVE weave LOVE write LOVE and inspire others to LOVE.

over&out

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Feminiwhatism?!

To be honest,

I am figuring this one out too.

I’m figuring out most things and I hope I always will be. I hope I’ll always want to learn and listen to new and old opinions and experiences and theories.

Over the past couple of years I’ve collected some images and quotes which, so far, sum it up for me. I hope they’ll be helpful to you too.

Don’t forget to share what inspires you, makes you giggle, helps you get up in the morning,makes you angry or makes your heart beat.

Leave a comment, you know you want to!

And when I say you, I mean YOU. Whoever & whatever you call yourself.

I mean the unisex, err’body in the club, love train, join hands, brother, sister, S Club 7, boogie wonderland, marching band, yours&mine, rosie&jim, marvin&tammy, ziggy stardust, granny& gramps, R E S P E C T, mama, papa, hoe down, barn dance, fred&ginger type of thing.

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Graffiti, Soweto, Gauteng

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 feminism

  inspiring-quotes-08

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F is for Feedback

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I’m excited, interested, blown away and chuffed at the responses I’ve had to this blog so far – thank you! I really do love to hear what you guys are thinking – whether you agree with me or not – I’d love to get your input.

This blog is an open house for everyone and anyone and I passionately want it to be a channel for your voices too – your thoughts, feelings and questions are valued here.

Some of these posts will be silly and some will be serious but all are a valid and genuine part of my journey as a person and as a woman.

Thanks again!

x

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Her name was Lola…

My good friend Gabrielle (hello!) often likes to drop F bombs on me. Or as I like to call them, Fem Bombs. Both sound equally as offensive. Neither mean what you think they mean.

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She’ll casually message me over facebook or text me from time to time with a question like:

“I just read a really interesting article about women changing their surnames after marriage. Can I ask what made you decide to change yours?”

(Really Interesting Article)

Well Gabrielle!

I did think about it a lot, and initially I wanted to double barrel it. I wanted to honour my family and continue it’s name (especially with my Dad not having a son to ‘carry’ it on), but then I went on to think about how I wanted or needed my main point of reference to change from my parents to my partner. I wanted to form a strong partnership that would enable us to be such united parents like my parents were. It’s the whole roots and wings thing for me, and actually, I knew that the best way I could carry my family’s ‘legacy’ forward was to honour them through the way that I live and the choices I make and to learn from their lives and choices.

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THEN I had a little think about how I would have felt if my mum and dad had had different names, if and how it would affect me. For example – which name would I take? Which family or ‘side’ did I belong to or relate to most? What would I do when I had kids? Give them four last names?! Did my mum and dad not want to commit to each other completely? Does it matter? And other such wonderings.

x

I THEN thought about Russ’s family name, and just simply getting to know his family and their families and what I thought and felt about them. Over a handful of years I learnt a lot and I’m still learning – but what I’ve found are people. People. Just like the people in my family. People with stories, history, pain, grief, joy, love, warmth – and the last thing on my mind is what our names are.

x

From the day Russ and I started dating I felt strongly about not wanting to lose myself to the relationship. I had been ‘lost’ so many times before, I’d seen so many people get ‘lost’ and I didn’t want to sink and just be ‘Russ’s girlfriend’ or ‘Russ’s wife’.

I wanted to be Kate.

An individual who was free and independent with her own mind. And you know, Russ knew that. Before I told him. I didn’t have to spell it out – he knew my heart and he wanted to be the one to free me from the crap that bound me from negative experiences in my past.

!SOPPY SLUSHY PUKEY WARNING!

For our last wedding anniversary he gave me a bird cage, with a bird shaped candle inside.

He told me that the door on this little bird cage would never be closed – and that has been our biggest promise to each other for 6 years now – to give each other wings, to free each other from pain, insecurities – anything that holds us back. To want the best for each other and to FIND ourselves within the promises we made, not lose ourselves.

x

So, finally, I decided to take on a new name, a new chapter, a new role, a new journey and to ‘fly the nest’ I guess.

It’s a beautiful name and it’s one my parents were more than happy to give to me when Russ asked them if he could propose.

x

But, you know, more importantly – MOST importantly – at the end of the day…

I honestly don’t care if nobody remembers my name.

I just want to love others and empower people to love themselves and others.

THAT’S a legacy.

THAT’S something to honour.

That’s what I have learnt.

Simple as.

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Can I get an ‘F’!?!

Welcome one and all to mon blog!

I’m going to put this out there right now – this blog is totally and completely full to the BRIM of me-ness and my ramblings. This means it’ll focus mainly around:

Being female, being a daughter, creativity , being a sister, being a friend, failing gloriously, being a wife, being a mummy (one day!), having depression, living with unexplained chronic pain, being angry, questions of faith, sex, food, alternative lifestyles, being a geek, music, films, being flipping messy….and everything in between. I also want to promise/warn you that I will try to be completely honest. And I mean, HONEST. So please don’t read this if you’d rather eat a rich tea biscuit and watch the world go by.

I’m thinking we start with a list of things that are in my head RIGHT NOW. This could be interesting. I said could. It’s not a guarantee.

Numero uno – I like making people laugh.

Two – Children are GOLD and should be treated with respect, love and understanding.

Three – I have three teapots and I don’t drink tea.

4 – Charity shops are IMPORTANT and they can change your life.

5ive – Feminism is not a dirty word.

Six – Life is about love. MY life is about love. And yours should be too. Jus’ sayin’.

7 – I sweat and cry more than the average sheila. NICE RIGHT. Don’t care.

8 – Be the change you want to see. Write the book you want to read. A third thing that rhymes.

9 – YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

10 – Barbecue spare ribs. Yep.

11 – I love Kung Fu movies.

Twelve – Embrace the paradox. Act in the face of overwhelm. Love people well. (Courtney Martin)

13een – I love to learn.

14 – I am way too emotional about food.

15 – Everybody poos. Yes you! You poo! And now everybody knows. Sorry.

So this is me.

Saying hi.

Over & out.

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The life of Lyndall

... all its glorious twists and turns

Bento Box

A lunchbox full of tasty treats (maybe)

Frost in May

A Letterpress Miscellany - Victoria Callanan

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Redemption Pictures

Bright Lights and Buttons

thoughts and crafts to pass the time

My African Adventure

Volunteering as a veterinary nurse!

El Lugar De Las Torres

Short Stories by R.J.E Luscombe

If you tolerate this then your daughters will be next

Learning how to behave like a socially acceptable woman

loseeverything.wordpress.com/

a blog about honesty, hope and losing everything