Jaded

I fell once again out of the blue, he looked at me with eyes of a beautiful hazel hue

He clasped my hands and the world faded out, all that mattered in that moment was the butterflies I was feeling throughout

I felt that pinch… I knew I’d jumped off the edge into freefall, I thought he’d be there to catch me, to hold me, to warm me through to the depths of my soul

He told me he’d wait, that he was ready and I believed everything he was saying to be true, but when I came home things changed… it’s been since then that I’ve been feeling blue

For months I’ve tried to make peace with it all, my heart fails me and I need clarity to help mend my broken soul

I reached out and asked… I really just needed some closure, but instead I hit another fucking brick wall, I’ve been pounding on it repeatedly with no change in it so…

Where do I go with all this anger and disdain? In what box do I file away my questions, my thoughts and my pain?

Do I just walk on and hope that I meet someone else whose presence eclipses his? Does it take someone else to help realise that those questions will go remissed?

Will I care then, as I do now? or does time make everything fade into the background?

I’m so tired of waiting and hoping, of trying and failing. I’m done, do you hear me? Cynicism, anger, they are taking a hold of me.

I am jaded, it’s true.

If love just equals pain, then I’ll avoid it thank you

Valentines Day

Valentines Day, whether you celebrate it or vehemently oppose it, is about love. Valentines Day exists as a reminder to tell your loved ones how you feel, but this shouldn’t just be about your lover/partner or significant other. The beauty of love is that it exists in many forms, is shared with many different people, and it will light up different parts of you.

For me, Valentines Day knows no bounds. If I love you, I will tell you. This year, my Valentines Day treat is a date to a musical with an intimate dinner beforehand. I won’t be going with a lover or partner though; I will be going with my sister-in-law. A woman who I love more than words can say, who is carrying my unborn niece, who truly loves with no bounds and who also shares an 18cm scar down her chest.

Lucy was my heart sister before she became my real sister. Our blogs about our open-heart surgeries connected us, even though we lived tens of thousands of kilometres apart. When you have such an experience and you are given the rare opportunity to meet someone who understands, you relish in that opportunity to be raw and open with someone who just ‘gets’ you.

Lucy and I met in person about 6 years ago and our friendship flourished. I introduced her to my brother and from that moment our lives quite simply intersected and forged a new, joint pathway.

We now live two blocks from one another, we practice yoga together, cook dinners for each other, we’ve travelled through Europe together (last year when I third-wheeled their holiday), we explore brunch and coffee spots together, shop for lululemon together, and support and back each other with the same love and honesty that best friends and sisters support each other.

We are both very aware that opportunities like this are rare, our story is every bit amazing and romantic as it is unique; and as stories do, it’s moved and grown and added new people. In about three months, we’ll add another to our story and when that happens, our fractured and full hearts will explode once more with a love that maybe isn’t what one would typically honour on Valentines Day, but we’ll do it anyway because love, regardless of the type should always be celebrated.

Happy Valentines Day, tell those you love how you feel.

Kalamatiano

Last night I stood there with my hands on shoulders, aligned in a perfect semi-circle. Sweat dripped down the sides of my face, my ponytail had loosened so my damp hair was stuck to the back of my neck. I looked to my right and there was Mum, beaming at me (mostly, because I was getting my steps right), and to my left was my sister Lucy who just radiated healthy beauty.

In that moment, my heart was full. In that moment I was so bloody happy and not only because I was amped up on caffeine and endorphins, but because two of the most beautiful women in the world, my women, were happy too. 

It’s these precious moments in time which overload me with such emotion that I can’t believe I get to live this life, with these people. How could I get so fucking lucky?

When it comes down to it, no matter the day’s frustrations, no matter whether you’re in a high, low or plateau, no matter how much reflection time you’ve had… sometimes all you need is them, their pride, their unconditional love, their warmth. 

It’s something too beautiful to describe in words… nor should it be. It simply is, and it’s incredible.

Heat Packs & Ibuprofen

 

Pain grabs you. It holds you the same way that we hold our most dear… close, so intimately close that you can feel it pulsing against you. We breathe it in, we let it in, because really, there is no alternative – no matter how much your muscles tense or how long you close down your eyes.

Pain is like one of those short-term loves. You know the ones, they’re intense, like a whirlwind they enter your life. You’re consumed, distracted, changed… you submit and with the click of the fingers, they leave – with nothing much else than a tingling on your lips.

The good thing about pain is that it’s truly only temporary. Physical, emotional… pain changes and dissipates over time and before you know it, you are pain free.

I write this as I drop two-ibuprofen, two-paracetamol and clutch a heat pack for dear life. Tomorrow will be better I’m sure. 

 

Seeking unbridled love

As the sun sets on yet another relationship, I wonder if I’ll ever love someone again.

Not that basic love, but that unbridled, delirious, blinding love. The kind of love that makes you give everything you have. The kind of love where you can feel their warmth. The kind of love that exudes electricity.

Maybe one day. But not today. Today is for introversion, family and shared bottles of wine.

Saucepan Advice

Life’s most important advice is always impactful in the moment, like a fat smack in the face with a saucepan. It’s always said matter-of-factly, rolling off the tongue effortlessly and with such conviction that you soak it up the way you would a warm soup on a cold day.

Pain is only temporary

Love is worth the risk

Life’s too short for anything other than perfect (granted, perfect for you)

Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have

The last one was said over breakfast by one of my best and beautiful friends. It hit me like a tonne of bricks, and I realised I’d spent the last 12 months doing the exact opposite: Desperately dating trying to find a diamond in the rough, forcing things that weren’t there. Passively looking for a new job without focusing on the one I had. Wondering what was missing in me instead of enhancing all the many things I have to offer the ones I love.

Whilst this is not a ‘new year, new me’ post, it is a promise to myself and my loved ones that I will be present, that my love is flowing and honest, and that they will keep seeing gratuitous posts of Lazlo and my gym efforts…

(Alex Philipatos: “life’s too short to be small”).

 

 

Training Wheels

I went to a concert last week. I made my way through the crowds of drunk teens and beanpole-sized men, searching for that perfect viewing spot. We settled above a set of stairs, in between a heavy-PDA couple and a set of alco-pop drinkers.

As I scan the crowd, I spot the back of a familiar bald head. Of course, I knew he was going to be there. He knew I was going to be there too… I’d guessed that the lack of contact pre-gig meant that he was there with a woman, and there she was, a mere couple of metres away.

I think it’s always a shock when you see an ex with someone else, especially when it looks like they’re falling in love. If I’m honest, the last week I’ve gone through stages of anger, sadness and envy.

I left Miguel because I wasn’t loved enough. I left because I deserved better. I lost my home, my routine and the person I was convinced was the love of my life. Why does he get to fall in love before I do?

I’m that girl who teaches men, who best prepares them for their next long-term love. I can’t tell you how many boyfriends and flings I’ve had, whose next relationship was ‘the one’.

I hope my lessons have been valuable; I hope that they love their women when they’re at their highest, their lowest and their most frustrating. I hope they show their love in both their behavior and their words. I hope I taught them that the smallest moments are the most important. I hope they communicate through the significant and the insignificant. I hope they fight for love.

I’m sure that somewhere, there’s a man who is tired of being the training wheels. He’s ready for the real, hard love. Love is the single-most beautiful thing in this world and I can’t wait to explore it more with him.

She’s just not that into you

I can’t remember the last time I was actually excited about a date. No wait, I lie. I can… the guy spent a good 48 hours texting me, sending me photos and setting up our date, then he came up with an excuse for postponing our date, then proceeded to ghost me. Before that, it’s probably been about 6 months.

I have built the walls around me so solidly that it’s difficult for me to venture out, or for anyone to shine a light in.

I’ve been on dates, sure… but my gut is ALWAYS there, telling me “no, he’s too intense”, “he’s a playboy”, “he’s not been single for long enough”, “he’s got some issues”, “he’s too quiet”, “that was hard work”, “he’s always talking about himself, does he actually want to know anything about me?”, “those cigarettes are gross”, “DRUGS! HELL NO!”… I find myself sending rejection after rejection, knowing that really, the only excuse is that I’m just not that into them.

When we don’t like someone enough, we come up with reasons as to why it won’t work, to justify ending the relationship. Nothing is wrong with that, for the most part, I think that I’m looking for someone who mirrors me: Someone warm, social and active, who has about 50% of his shit together, and is happy to work through the rest with me. Maybe he’s divorced? That’s cool. Hopefully he’ll have found a meaningful career with a hobby or two that he’s passionate about. Maybe he’ll be keen to explore a new hobby with me, or share one of his and help me learn.

I imagine he’s had his share of guilt and heartbreak, with some long-term relationship experience in there for good measure. He’s probably put his hard-core partying days behind him, still loves a social drink and a nice dinner, but has put a vast chunk of his money in some kind of investment. He cares about his family and friendship network, and that’s evident in the way he speaks about them. He’s happy to talk about marriage and babies, because you know what? We’re in our mid-30’s. He might lead a busy lifestyle, but he still has time to fit me in, and doesn’t hesitate to introduce me to his networks early on in the piece.

But I’ve come across this guy, and he went in full-ball and scared the crap out of me. Not because I wasn’t ready for it, I am. Oh I very much am… but he’s just not the right one.

That gut feel is not something you can ignore for long. It will sit there and manifest itself into anxiety, insecurity or a simple brick wall. It may take a week, a month or years… but eventually, something will have to give. Your partner will pick up on it, or you’ll grow tired of feeling that way…and that’s when things fall apart.

For right now, I don’t really want a live-in partner, a fiancé or a husband. I’ve deleted all the dating apps on my phone, deactivated my Facebook profile (at least, for a week) and I have no upcoming dates or catch-ups planned, other than with my family and friends. I’m happy being single right now, so I might just leave it at that for a little while… but having someone to share music and go for brunches with would be nice.

Must Have Banter

I always read dating app biographies. Whether I remember them by the time I get to the date is another story… but, I like to see that someone is serious enough about their search that they think about the best way to describe themselves to the hundreds that will potentially take the time to read those 300 characters.

Singledom in this day and age has shifted. We no longer go to bars or clubs with the sole purpose of conversing with a potential lover, no. We go to bars/clubs/pubs with friends, we are social but we stick to our cliques. There is no cross-pollination… there is no fear of face-to-face rejection because we’re not even trying to begin with.

Dating apps are safe. You’ll never go up to a love interest who is potentially married or in a relationship – because by default, if they’re on the dating apps, then they’re single. So we dress up, we go out, we drink espresso martinis and we dance. We get tired, we go home and then we open up our phones and swipe away for a lover.

Then depending on the app you’ve registered with… you may need to come up with a flattering or witty opening line which needs to get conversation going… then you need to keep that conversation going, into something that could officially be called “good banter”.

The word ‘banter’ is something of a buzz word in dating apps, followed closely by ‘sapiosexual’, and the four-letters that make up your Myers-Briggs personality profile. For the record, mine is ESFJ… and no, I don’t reference it on my profile.

There are profiles where the person is either lazy or trying to be mysterious, so there’s only one or two photos and no biography. Next you have those that love emoji’s so much that they’ve described themselves with beach-burger-gym-book-beer emojis.

Further along you get the guy who puts a list of his interests down, has a few photos which look reasonably up-to-date, and up next is the bloke who’s done a proper biography with full sentences; grammar nazis eat your heart out.

Lastly, you have the poor cynical male, who’s obviously been on the app for a little too long, and barks out orders like “will delete if you don’t chat”, “no timewasters or pen pals”.

If the conversation is going anywhere, there will be a mention of a first date. Too soon? People are busy. Too far in advance? Your date is likely to flake and forget completely that he or she has made somewhat concrete plans to meet you at a bar on Lygon Street at 8pm on Wednesday.

You can always tell the social beings, they find a way to get your number and arrange a phone call before your first date. This is an excellent way of working out whether the two of you have good energy and can sustain a meaningful conversation. For the record, the best dates I’ve been on have broken the ice prior with a phone call or two.

Some will get your number prior, but not call. Once you’ve sorted the day, time and location of your date… they disappear. I think this is usually because they don’t want to cover first date material before the date and then run out of things to say… but they could just be talking to others. Who knows, right?

When you get to your date, you need to break the ice quickly. A big smile and a hello with a quick following question will generally do the trick. I find that on a date, I do a lot of the talking. I am friendly, warm and charming. I am genuinely interested in the other person’s life and what they’re passionate about. I love to hear them talk about their relationships with their families and friends… I find that a man who can hold his own will be able to ask me questions too and a conversation will flow. At times I’ve left a date completely depleted because I carried the entire conversation, and other times (albeit rarely) I’ve felt energised and excited.

Inevitably, there’s the progression to the second date. Sometimes this is something discussed on the first date, sometimes it’s left for the less-confronting platform of a text message. If I left the first date depleted or put off for one reason or another, I’ll say no. I think of the 30+ dates I’ve been on in the last 21 months, only about 6 or 7 have made it to the second date, and I’ve pursued a relationship of sorts with only two… nothing has really made it past the 4 month mark.

It’s exhausting, putting in the time in the evenings to swipe-converse-date, and to some it will feel like insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. But you do it, and you go on that date, because when you spark with someone for what feels like the first time in ages, that excited feeling that you get when you walk away and get into your car… well that’s unbeatable, and in that instant, all the failed attempts are worth it. Someone said to me this week “you can’t argue with chemistry” and you certainly cannot. That spark of energy that we call chemistry, that’s the base on which you build love, and how can you not get excited and feel hopeful about that?

Ahh love. Back to the swiping I go.

Thunder Clap

The last 6 months my heart has copped a beating. I started free-falling in love with someone, only to be yanked back into reality like one of those old-school flashing yo-yos.

I’ve had a former flame return to me, and I’ve had to come to terms with the changes in myself over the last 20 months. I’ve hurt many feelings, I’ve come to recognize the abuse that manifests when you try and force something that isn’t there.

I’ve internalised a lot of it, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself whilst out there searching for that lightening bolt.

I’ve met some interesting people: loud types, quiet types, insecure types, confused types.

I carry my pain on one shoulder and my guilt from hurting on the other.

I am strong and I am resolute. I will not waver; I will come to work with a bunch of stories for everyone to live vicariously through. Mostly though, I will feel the lows as intensely as the highs… because hell, that’s life.