IMAGINATION IS HER DRINK

I drank an exceptional amount of alcohol last night.

I really need to stop doing that. Or at least think about stopping.

Or not.

Well, let’s say not. Because I’m drinking and writing as we speak…

Yesterday’s day on a plate, consisted of two coffees, a cup of tea, and a muesli bar.

Until around 11pm that is.

Who are these people that manage to have free range egg white omelettes, with a side of organic spinach, washed down by some bullshit freshly made juice? I mean, really…

For some reason I woke up in a bit of a mood yesterday, and lounged around in my pyjamas until 3pm.

I cleaned my house like a mad woman all morning, even though it was already clean, before going and visiting my parents for a bit.

I always clean when I feel as though my life is spinning out of control.

If my outer world is in order, then hopefully it will do something to my inner world. Silly theory really. But there’s always a method to my ever present madness.

After spending a few hours with my parents, I decided to drink and write.

With more drinking than writing taking place.

Not realising the gravity of what a relatively empty stomach, in addition to a whole bottle of wine might do to me.

After finally deciding to eat at 11pm, I took myself to bed a couple of hours later.

I switched off the light, and then the fun began. I hadn’t felt like this is in a while.

The room began to spin. My jaw started clenching up.

Oh no. I was going to vomit.

I staggered into my ensuite, and sat down on the cold tiles, holding onto the toilet bowl for support. My eyes unable to focus on anything.

Ugh. Why do I do this to myself?

I returned to the bed after a fruitless attempt at ridding myself of the toxins I had consumed.

The room began to spin again. I inhaled deeply through my nostrils, trying desperately to make this feeling go away.

I got up, went to the laundry to retrieve a bucket, and turned on all of the lights in the bedroom, before laying back down again.

At some point I must have drifted off, because I looked at the time and it was now 6am.

I got up, switched off the lights, and fell back into a deep slumber. The best sleep I’d had for a long time.

I woke up at around 10am, with a fort of pillows around me. My arms and neck sore from whatever position I had managed to fall asleep in.

I looked down at the floor.

The bucket still next to the bed. An empty packet of antacids beside it (I don’t recall that part), and clothes strewn everywhere.

My girlfriend phoned then, and we spoke for a while, before I decided to drag myself out of bed and start putting my world in order once again.

And then I recalled all of the inspirational messages I had throughout the week in regards to my writing. And I thought, “you know what? It’s totally fine.”

Sometimes I suffer from “word vomit”.

My writing being an outpouring of whatever thoughts and feelings I have going on in my mind. And I’m totally cool with that.

To an observer, they just see me as this stupidly tiny woman, who cracks jokes all the time. Who laughs at everything. Who dresses like a hobo most of the time. The eternal girl that doesn’t really care what anyone thinks of her.

And to those who follow my writing (and for those few that are my friend), they understand that I run a lot deeper than what meets the eye.

That I’m somewhat of a recluse, and that I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve. That I live very much in my head. And off in the ethers at times. And that I’m terribly insecure.

But that I see the beauty, and inspiration in everything.

And it’s this that I think helps me write the way that I do.

That I am so stupidly sensitive to everything around me.

Then I had another thought.

When I was feeling what I was feeling last night, I was trying to make the feeling go away.

Instead of just embracing it.

Sometimes in life, we do become intoxicated.

We allow certain things to not only get under our skin, but also into our veins.

How when we become an empty vessel of sorts, we make room for things that can completely mesmerise us into a state of what the dictionary describes intoxication as being in a state of being mentally or emotionally exhilarated.

So turn the lights on. Illuminate what is there. And relax into that fort of pillows and comfort in knowing that you have surrendered to what is. You might wake up feeling better than you have in an eternity.

Whilst alcohol definitely is my drug of choice, so is imagination.

So I will leave you today with a quote from Christopher Poindexter, which I personally feel as though was written for me.

“What I love most about her is that she knows how to fuck reality and make love to fantasy, not something many other humans know how to do. Imagination, is her drink.”

I HAVE DIED EVERY DAY WAITING FOR YOU

So it’s not a cliche after all.

Us mad artists really are quite neurotic.

I didn’t pay attention to it properly until today.

I was sitting at my kitchen bench this afternoon. I looked over to the fishbowl sitting on my bench top.
It has no fish in it.

I had every intention of buying some fish to put in there, but I decided that it was all too hard. I know they’d just end up dying, and I’d end up being beside myself.

To anyone else, this might be weird. But it totally makes sense to me.

I looked over at the corner of my now empty lounge room. A plant, well, some sticks, live in a pot plant in the corner.

This plant died around 10 years ago. Yet, I still keep it there for some unexplained reason.

I pull my earphones out of my ears. My ears are sore.

My earphones are an extension of myself. I am constantly listening to music. I don’t think anyone is plugged in as much as I am.

I use music as a constant source of inspiration, as well as a distraction.

My overthinking mind sometimes has my thoughts spiralling into things I desperately want to forget about.

I ran my fingers through my tangled mess of a hair. My hair that is often kept hidden beneath a hat for that very reason.

I don’t know anyone else who goes an entire week without brushing their hair. Who allows it to go into dreads by the weeks end. The girl who only wears makeup on Saturdays.

I thought about my messed up sleeping patterns.

Sometimes I’ll be up haunting the hallways in the middle of the night. My mind restless, and unable to switch off.

I’ll often take naps during the day to make up for the lack of sleep I get through the night.

And I thought to myself – I’m such a weirdo.

So I left my house and went and bought some alcohol. It was time to write. To channel my torments creatively.

Alcohol. My faithful friend that always manages to take the edge off all of the nonsense that runs through my mind.

Upon going to the liquor store, I attempted to convince the cashier that I’m not an alcoholic. That I’m a writer. And it helps me write.

“Hey, whatever gets you there right?” He responded to me.

Serendipity.

Of course. Whatever gets you to where you need to go. That’s my motto. My mantra. Why was I even apologising?

I saw a quote today. And you all know how I love my quotes.

“Never love anybody who treats you like you’re ordinary” – Oscar Wilde

At school, I remember being taught to love ourselves.

Not until recently have I discovered the weight of those words.

And then I had a thought.

I don’t think I’ve ever really loved myself. Until now.

I’ve always searched for someone else to love me when I had the capacity to love myself that whole time.

When I had the ability to recognise that I’m far from ordinary. In fact, I’m extraordinary. I’m brilliant.

Sometimes in life, we are so fragile and easily broken by the world that it does take someone else seeing that extraordinary self that we are. To help to open our eyes to what, for whatever reason, we have been blinded to. To remind us of who we truly are.

And for the beautiful friends I have in my life, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me to the attention of myself.

Especially my other brother who told his sons friends the other day “I love Amy. She’s crazy. But she knows she’s crazy. And that’s why I love her.”

I love Amy too. Finally. My quirky flaws and all.

As I write this, I’m listening to music with my perpetually sore ears.

I’m listening to Christina Perri.

Her lyrics “I have died every day waiting for you” play out.

Perhaps I have died every day waiting for you.

The you, being the extraordinary, brilliant, beautiful, and captivating self that has always resided within.

So let’s learn to love ourselves for the extraordinary, completely neurotic, utterly eccentric gifts that we truly are.

And only allow those into your world who can see you for the individual you are. And as always, do whatever it takes you to where you need to go.

ALL MY LOVE

This is a letter I wrote to a very special friend this morning. My soul sister.

I have been writing a lot of letters lately.

This was going to be emailed to her, however I’ve decided to do something a little different and publish it instead, because I am so grateful for everything she has done for me in terms of rebuilding my broken spirit.

No names will be mentioned as that part is private, but I hope that everyone gets to find a friendship as pure and sacred as the one I have with this beautiful soul.

My love,

I wanted to make you a video blog. Especially because you always say you like them. Even if I think they’re really shit. I think a lot of the things I do suck. I’m a complicated work in progress as you know. And you are aware that I constantly doubt myself and often feel like a fraud.

The reason I didn’t make you a video blog is because I would get too emotional. I know I’d cry. And I really hate showing emotion in public like that. Even if I happen to do it on a more regular basis than anyone else I know. I am actually writing you this letter through a haze of tears right now. Because it’s coming from such a pure place. It’s coming straight from my heart.

Don’t you think it’s so strange how our paths crossed?

I always go back to Steve Jobs quote on hindsight. About not being able to connect the dots looking forward.

If it weren’t for your own trials that you endured, you wouldn’t have ever been in contact with me. It’s funny how you almost had to go on that particular journey in order to get to me. It couldn’t have happened any other way.

You have held my hand like no one has ever done before. You have helped me no end with my writing.

Pushing me, and pushing me to continue on even when I wanted to give up. Forbidding me from publishing certain things. You don’t get to decide on whether I publish this today though.

You would speak to me for hours and hours. You would allow me to fall apart and you would be there to put me back together. Every single time. I know it’s been just as traumatic for you as it has been for me. But you have been the voice of reason where I cannot make sense of anything. When the end of that tunnel seemingly beared no light.

I was always able to be completely candid with you. You would hear my voice sometimes began to tremble when I explained certain things to you, and you would tell me “It’s ok. Let it out”.

I sometimes wept on these occasions. Like this morning when we were speaking. And you heard me inhale sharply, before going silent. Holding my breath to try to get rid of the tears that I knew were about to flow.

“If you want to cry, cry. Don’t hold it in.”

And I did.

You have never made me feel ashamed or embarrassed of being so stupidly sensitive. Of falling apart. Of sometimes being a complete mess.

You forced me to get out of my comfort zone for the longest time, before discovering, upon digging a little deeper, that whilst I’m worldly and wise beyond my years, that I’m also that scared little girl who doesn’t know much at all.

I’ve been able to call upon you for anything I have needed.

I know you’re still there for me, but I know by helping me, I have also helped you to be the brave warrior gypsy princess that you have always been. And you have now begun your new journey.

Whilst I have come a long way in the past 4 months, I know now, that you’re waiting on me to come that little bit further. Not all the way of course, but to meet you halfway. To begin my own journey.

I am really scared. I know you know that. But I’m almost there. I promise I will stop being so stubborn.

I know you’re going to take care of me when I get to where I’m going.

So I want to thank you with every piece of my being for helping me the way that you have. That I’m so grateful for having a friend like you.

And to know that, I will be seeing you very soon.

All my love,

Amy xxx.

P.S. I couldn’t not leave you a quote. Love you xxx.

“You can run away from yourself so often, and so much, just because the broken pieces of you cut your feet too deeply if you stay around for too long. But then what if someone were to come along and pick up those pieces for you? Then you wouldn’t have to run away from yourself anymore. You could stop running. If someone sees you as something worth staying with— maybe you’ll stay with yourself, too.” – C. JoyBell C.

 

LIFE IS A LONG LESSON IN HUMILITY

I’ve been wanting to write about this for the longest time.

I know I probably shouldn’t.  But it’s something that I should just forget about, but I simply can’t.  Certain things get under my skin.

No. Worse that that.

Certain things get into my veins.

They are traumatically, and permanently imprinted into my mind.

I have a very long memory.

In fact, my mind is like a steel trap, and once something is in there, it’s unfortunately in there to stay.

I remember everything from conversations I’ve had, to outfits I’ve worn, to meals I’ve eaten.  And I remember the things people have said to me.

It’s not that I harbour grudges. I don’t. But like the saying goes, I never forget the way someone has made me feel.

I watched a documentary on fellow Gemini, Marilyn Monroe a few months ago.  Naturally, I wept watching it. She had a very sad life. So stupidly sensitive to everything I am. I couldn’t help but feel for this beautiful and tormented woman.

There was a quote from the biographer narrating the story which really struck a chord with me.  “She provoked people to mistreat her”.

I wondered, is this what I do? What I’ve always done?

This is the longest opening explanation I think I’ve had to anything I’ve written.

Probably because I’m afraid of admitting what I’m about to. It takes a lot of courage to admit to your flaws.

The article that was published with the Huffington Post – “15 Things Women Can Do To Feel More Confident” a few months ago, was something I was ridiculed for.

No one likes to admit when they’re wrong.

And I’m not admitting that I was wrong in writing that particular piece. Just that I didn’t explain myself properly.

So just give me a moment to explain myself. Not that I need to. But that I want to.

I also wrote an article in my defence in response for the abuse I encountered after that article. One that I did send to the Huffington Post that was approved for publishing, but that I decided to pull at the last minute. My fragile demeanour simply couldn’t handle anymore negative feedback.

I didn’t think that it was at all fair that I was attacked for writing what I deemed to be a light-hearted, and what I thought, was a helpful piece. And I simply had to rush to my own defence. No one else was about to do it for me. Even if I only managed to publish my response on my own site.

So let me explain it in a little more detail.

I published the original article on my site on the 4th of February. One day after what would have been my 13 year wedding anniversary. One week and 3 days after my husband had moved out of our marital home after 2 years of a very difficult unravelling of our tumultuous relationship.

I was doing everything I possibly could to fight to keep myself from drowning in a sea of despair. In fact, I thought I may never feel good again. Never, ever again.

I had also been with this man for 20 years. From the tender age of 15. You don’t hear of that much these days.

In a lot of ways, I am very naive. I feel as though I have lived in a bubble for the longest time. My life had mostly consisted of being the perfect “Stepford Wife”, and working tirelessly in my businesses.

The world had changed, yet I remained the same. Suspended in a state of sometimes eternal adolescence, even though I’m an impossibly old soul. Wise beyond my years. But not always.

I was feeling really, really shit about myself.

My self esteem had really taken a hit as a result of the breakdown of my marriage.  I felt unattractive, undesirable, lacking confidence, and very vulnerable. Friends had abandoned me in my darkest hour, and in turn, I had also abandoned myself.

And so when my girlfriend phoned me that fateful day on her way to a date where she felt unattractive and unconfident, I offered up the best advice I could pull together in the state I was in. And I found it so helpful to myself (particularly as I had pretty much refused to leave the house, my weight had dropped to a skeletal 47 kilos, and my wardrobe consisted of pyjamas), that I thought, hey, why not write about it?

I didn’t even consider the rage that this particular piece might incite from women who have been fighting for equality for eons.  I wasn’t thinking of anything like that.

I was thinking of the things that work for me when I’m feeling like absolute crap. When I was clinging to whatever I had left to make me feel like a woman that was now resembling a mere shell of the confident women I was meant to be.

If you feel so poorly on the inside, sometimes it really can help to spruce yourself up on the outside, so when you look in the mirror, you can have a physical reminder that you don’t look as ghastly as you feel.

So, I do want to apologise if I did offend anyone with that article. It certainly wasn’t my intention, and like I mentioned earlier, I was very broken at the time.

Whilst it often appears that I am quite transparent, I’m actually very, very guarded. No one is allowed to get close to me. Not many people anyway. I guess I didn’t properly explain the full story. I suppose that’s what’s so good about being a writer. The luxury of editing. I hold my cards very close to my chest.

I guess for me, it’s all about hiding my pain behind a beautiful smile. A smile that was dimmed by tears for what felt like an eternity.

Ninety percent of the time, I actually do look like a mess. I’m not this perfectly put together flawless girl. I’m anything but. But I am finally comfortable in my own skin.

I seldom brush my hair. I hardly ever wear makeup, and my wardrobe is one to rival a 15 year old girl. The one that I am desperately trying to free myself of and evolve into the 35 year old woman I will be next Friday. I can’t believe I’m about to be 35. Where did all that time go?

Life really is a long lesson in humility.

My sister had this quote tattooed up her back when she separated from her husband a few years back.  I don’t think I totally got it until I had this same experience that has left a temporary scar on me.

And so, I have now asked myself the question, have I provoked people to mistreat me?

Maybe. Yeah. Maybe.

But if life really is a long lesson in humility, take solace in the knowledge that I have been served.

True beauty and confidence does come from within. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and pretend like it comes from anywhere but. However, like I always say, do whatever you can to get you to where you need to go.

The one comment that probably hurt me the most was that I’m a bad person, and a bad writer.

My guru Todd Savvas (toddsavvas.com) told me to just ignore it. That it’s all just an illusion.

And it is.

I had to try to not let it affect me as much as it did. And in that same lesson of it being an illusion, I also had to recognise that outer beauty is similarly just an illusion too.

I’m not a bad person. I’m anything but. And I think I write beautifully a lot of the time.

But that’s ok. We’re all entitled to voice our own opinions. And I guess it comes down to the quote I’m going to leave you with today. And I’ll just hold out for someone recognising me for the true gift I really am.

“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.” – Kate Angell

DEAR WOOLWORTHS…

Upon waking at the excellent time of 7am, after very little sleep, I remembered that I didn’t have any milk to make my morning coffee.

I rely heavily on stimulants to assist in my messed up circadian rhythm, and to help me write, and today was no exception.

I spent 2 hours on the phone with my girlfriend in London, before deciding that I REALLY wanted a coffee, with milk in it, so I changed out of my pyjama pants, and into something half decent to go grace your establishment with my presence.

image

I kind of think I deserve some type of award, or at least a cuddle for leaving the house looking like a junkie when I reside in such a conservative suburban area, that is known as the “Bible Belt”. Which is kind of ironic, particularly as I am an atheist. I got more than a few disapproving stares as I wandered into the supermarket resembling a drug addicted band member, making a beeline for the milk fridge.

More on that in a moment.

Before I entered your establishment, I was looking for parking.

I’m a really bad driver, and I find attempting to park the very bain of my existence. That, and autocorrect. Do you know how frustrating it is to type “fucked” into your phone, only to have it changed to “ducked”? I mean, what’s THAT about?

Just to give you an idea of the type of parking skills I possess, check out this parking manoeuvre I pulled a few weeks back.

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I actually parked ON your trolley bay. Do you know how difficult this was? To precariously balance my tyre on an oversized gutter? It was pretty embarrassing when someone decided to take a photo of my excellent indiscretion and post it on social media. Lucky for me, I did not give a shit. I will freely admit that I am a very bad driver. And parker.

Anyway, I digress.

I noticed a lot of “parents with prams” parking spaces free. If I were a complete asshole, I would have definitely occupied one of these spaces. Sometimes I go shopping late at night, and I also consider parking in these spaces. Especially because there is a method to my madness on this. Why are parents bringing children in prams to the supermarket after 9pm anyway? Shouldn’t they be asleep?

It got me thinking about assigning car spaces to people like me, who only want to frequent your store for a matter of minutes.

Why don’t you have 5 minute parking? I think you should really think about that at your next board meeting.

But more importantly, as milk is a staple, why is it not kept at the FRONT of the store?

Why do I have to navigate my way to the very back of the store to get my essential item?

It’s really inconvenient.

And I really don’t like your self checkout area.

These “parents with prams” people often allow their children to scan their grocery items.

Which always results in Olympic style eye-rolling, leg shifting, morbid thoughts, and heavy sighing from me.

How is it legal to allow a 4 year old to moonlight as a checkout chick?

Oh that’s right, it’s not.

So essentially, not only does my 5 minute shopping expedition turn into an absolute ordeal, I’m forced to park at the back of your car park to make way for these little people that aren’t even old enough to pay taxes. And don’t get me started on the trials of paying tax…

So as you can tell from this letter, not only am I sleep deprived, and feeling particularly creative this morning, I really feel as though I have some valid points.

So let’s break it down. How about you discuss these pressing concerns at your next meeting?

1. Introducing 5 minute parking, and a curfew for “parents with prams”

2. Moving milk to the front of the store

3. Your self check outs being like the rides at an amusement park, with a minimum height requirement of 120cms (I JUST make the cut)

4. Oh, and this one last thing. Once when I was at your store, I watched in stupefied amazement as a woman clothes-lined herself on one of your trolley signs in the car park. It was really cool. But it’s pretty dangerous come to think of it. I know only a few signs are of this height, but I mean really, it does come down to that whole “you had one job” thing doesn’t it? That guy really needs to be replaced. So, as in point 3, I think that it would kind of make sense to utilise these children under the height of 120cms to return trolleys to the trolley bay, and not waste my precious time at the self check out while I painfully wait for them to treat your store as if it were an actual amusement park.

Yours sincerely,

Amy Anka.

ONLY THEN WILL YOU FIND YOUR TREASURE…

I learn something new every single day.

The day before yesterday I woke up early, still a little sick from my flu that I haven’t managed to completely shake.

I made myself a coffee and started working on the things that I needed to work on before realising that I needed some additional paperwork from my office.

I had a shower, got dressed, and made my way in there to see the boys at the office.

I love those boys. I wasn’t blessed with any brothers, but the boys I get to work with are the closest I have to brothers.

They greeted me warmly, made me a coffee. They put shit on me for a while, like any brothers would do. They asked me about my uneventful weekend (I’m impossibly boring), before walking me to my car after getting the things that I needed.

I got back to my home office, and then discovered that I needed to head to the bank to retrieve some additional documents for what I was working on.

I made my way into the bank where they told me that I needed to make an appointment in order to retrieve the documents I was after.

I was mildly annoyed as I have zero patience, and I began to make my way back to my car.

On the way back through the shopping centre, I heard someone say my name.

A guy I used to know many moons ago was sitting at a cafe with his friend. He had called out to me as I wandered past in a daze. They invited me to join them.

I sat down, they offered to buy me a cup of tea, which I politely declined. I’m stupidly proud, and don’t like accepting anything from anyone. Not even a cup of tea.They insisted and insisted, and so I gave in.

I hate awkward silences, so I decided to speak.

“So I’m sure you”ve heard that my husband and I have separated” I said to my friend. Knowing that it was quite possibly the elephant in the room.

“Yeah” he responded.

“That’s life. Shit happens.” I replied to him. I find I say that a lot lately. Shit really does happen.

“You are so brave. I don’t care if I’d been with someone for 30 years. If I wasn’t happy, I’d leave. A lot of people don’t leave.” He went on.

I thought about that for a while. Actually I continued to think of that for the remainder of the day.

I was doing my taxes all day yesterday. In fact, I’ve been doing them all week. Yesterday I didn’t leave the house. I spent one of those days in voluntary solitude. I do that a lot.

As I was nearing the end of my taxes, I was adding up some final figures, when I clumsily hit the clear button.

A dramatic display of theatrics was put on, with thankfully an audience of none to witness.

“FUCK. MY. LIFE.” I said out loud, tears welling up, and spilling down my cheeks. Ohhhh the frustration….

I began to pace the hallways up and down, swearing, sighing, and carrying on like a spoilt child. I went outside and paced the backyard, trying to calm my nerves.

Then a girlfriend phoned me. She was a welcome distraction from the now frazzled state I had gotten myself into.

“Do you know how many people would be jealous of you?” she asked me. She was getting me off the topic of tax.

“Jealous of ME? Why?” I asked incredulously.

“Do you know how many people are unhappily married, yet they stay in it, because they aren’t brave enough to say good bye?”

Twice in two days I’d had that comment. I thought about it for a moment again.

And I thought to myself – you know what? She’s right.

Of course not everyone is unhappily married, or unhappily in a long term relationship, but there are a lot more that are in an unhappy relationship than will admit.

People are afraid to get out of their comfort zone. It’s scary as all shit. And it’s really hard in the beginning. Really, really, REALLY hard.

It brings about the unknown, and we all have a fear of the unknown.

And it raises all sorts of questions.

However I think the main concern that people might have is this one.

“But what if I never meet anyone again?”

But what if, by being brave enough to say goodbye, like Paulo Coelho writes, life rewards you with a new hello?

I have oddly enough, been graced with the “new hello”. I have met someone really special. I have been introduced to myself.

After 20 years of being part of another half, I am finally getting to know myself. Who I am. What moves me. What makes me tick. What I like. And even better than that. What I LOVE. What captivates, and spellbounds me. What has me completely mesmerised.

And it has highlighted my passion.

My passion for writing, above and beyond all else.

That’s why I have been so annoyed all week.

The fact that I have been forced to do my taxes.

I fucking hate numbers. I don’t understand them. I have an aversion to them. It is like a foreign language that I will likely never understand. And perhaps that’s where the problem lies. But more on that later.

More importantly, this bullshit mandatory tax has made me momentarily give up what I truly love. What makes me really happy. Writing.

(Oh, and just a side note – upon going to the office today, I was informed that “Cold and Flu” tablets make you angry. Apparently something to do with the pseudo-ephedrine in it, so it is a possibility that could also be having an effect).

So today, after finally dropping everything off to the accountant, I am back, tending to the love of my life. My love of the written word.

If life is like a book, Paulo Coelho also writes that it’s important to close certain chapters.

It is.

If you are truly done reading a certain book, then turn the page.

It’s not like you didn’t love the book you were reading. You will likely always love it. It’s a part of who you are. Or who you were. Part of your story. But that book has been read. It is done. That story has been told. You have to thank it for the experience, and move onto the next chapter of your life, wherever that may lead you. And whilst it’s daunting, it’s also liberating.

If what you truly desire with all of your heart, is to be able to close a certain chapter so you are able to move onto the next, then muster up all of your courage and just do it. If it has become more than apparent that a romantic union is over, let it go. With all of your heart, release it off into the ethers. Embrace it warmly, and then, be brave,and let it go.

In Fight Club, Tyler Durden says, it is only after you have lost everything, that you are free to do anything.

In a lot of ways, I have lost everything. Not in the material realm of course. However a lot of times there, I thought I may have been losing my mind.

I’ve released everything from my old life that defined me. That defined who I thought I was as a person. As a woman. In fact, I think it’s taken me this long to become the woman that I know I now am.

Or maybe, it really is like a maths sum.

Sometimes the equation no longer adds up. You accidentally keep hitting the clear button, and just keep on going back to the beginning, and nothing is evolving in the way that it should to nurture your soul. You’re no longer moving forward. You just cannot get to the right answer. There is no solution. No conclusion. It was always a foreign language from the very beginning.

So let it go. Accept that you probably just couldn’t really figure it out from the very start.

Life is like that sometimes. Try as hard as you may, some things just never make sense.

Lessons are in everything we touch. In everything we encounter. In every person who graces us with their presence. In everything we attempt to decipher and unravel with everything in our lives. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t ever think you don’t deserve it.

So as always, follow your heart. Be brave. If what makes you brave is saying goodbye – do it. Because life will absolutely reward you with a new hello. Listen to what your heart is silently and magnetically drawing you towards, and only then will you find your treasure.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.”

 

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

DEAR ALCOHOL…

My beautiful and treasured friend in London, when she first became separated from her husband, went to live in a foreign country.

Upon leaving that particular country after some much needed respite and healing, she wrote a thank you letter.

She wrote a thank you letter to her apartment that she lived in during that time.

She said it helped her through her darkest days, and she decided she owed it some loving and gratitude.

I too have now decided to write a thank you letter. To alcohol.

I’m not an alcoholic. Well, I mean, no more than I’m a shopaholic, or a cryaholic.

But I have found the effects of alcohol incredibly healing to me throughout this whole transformation I have been undergoing for the past near 4 months.

So here goes…

Dear Alcohol,

You have been my constant companion for quite some time now.

You have helped me to write when my creative juices weren’t flowing as freely as I would have liked.

You have helped me write some awesome shit, and helped to calm my nerves when fear and anxiety have reared their ugly head and become somewhat of a terrorist to my often overthinking, and sometimes tortured mind.

You have assisted in allowing me to drop my guard. Not only just because you do something to my brain and make me feel more relaxed, but because you strip away my insecurities and allow me to be free to be me.

You don’t judge me, or think that I’m a wacko hippy. You already know that I am, and you love and accept me for the free spirit I am, and that I’ve always been, and will always be.

And you’ve helped me love myself for the true gift I really am.

You’ve pulled me out of the depths of momentary despair, and have given me the confidence to recognise everything I have to offer.

Through your intoxicating haze, you have made me see my inner and outer beauty that has always been there, yet for some reason, I have failed to open my eyes to what is.

You have helped me sleep at night, through the affliction of insomnia.

You have helped me have the most excellent dreams which almost always serve as a constant source of inspiration to the mad artist I am.

You have magically, against all odds, stopped the hands of time from turning, and have youthfully preserved me as the eternal Peter Pan that I’ve always been.

That in itself is remarkable, particularly as I am weeks away from my 35th birthday.

If they say you’re only as young as the man that you feel, then I’m potentially a bottle of 1982 Chateau Haut Brion Pessac-Lognan. Which only makes me 32, but hey, who’s counting right?

And you have made me happy.

Reluctantly dragging that sweet, childlike, and jovial nature back out of me, that seemed to lay dormant and untouched for what felt like an eternity.

Helping me to joke again. To have that constant grin plastered on my face like the smiling Buddha.

Because after all, like Mother Teresa says, “peace begins with a smile”. And that’s were I’m at finally.

At a place of peace. Acceptance within myself.

Looking forward, not backwards. Moving forward. Not remaining stagnant.

Opening myself up to all of the opportunities that lay before me.

Embracing, and releasing fear from my core.

And whilst you have me spellbound like an addict of sorts, I know that you have a permanent place in my life, even if it may not necessarily be the best thing for me. Or maybe it’s the best thing that had ever happened.

I do believe you have been my catalyst for the shift that needed to the place.. My muse.

And I’m not letting you get away as easily as you might of hoped. Sometimes I wonder where you have been hiding all my life.

You’re here to stay.

You’re aware I don’t let anyone or anything into my life easily, but you’re a keeper, and unfortunately for you, you’ve become a permanent resident in my world.

So I thank you for gracing me with your presence, and I look forward to learning even more about myself on account of the realisation of you. As it’s brought about the final realisation of me…

Love, Amy xxx.

SHIT I DO IN SECRET

I’m so sick today. I have the worst flu ever.

It’s made my brain leave the building, and I simply cannot construct a proper sentence, let alone write an article.

So I’m taking the day off. I’m actually laying in bed right now. I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired. And I’ve certainly not been this sick for a long time.

When I got home from the chemist today, I made myself something to eat.

I made some toast, and put ricotta and honey on it.

As I wound the nozzle shut on the honey container, I licked the nozzle clean.

I thought to myself “that’s disgusting”.

And then I thought of all of the disgusting and quirky things we do in secret.

So here’s my list of shit I secretly do:

1. I blow my nose in the shower.

2. I sometimes don’t brush my teeth before bed.

3. I have a very weird eating schedule. Sometimes I go a whole day on a piece of fruit and a coffee. Other days, I eat as if I’m going to the electric chair. Like last night. Last night, I had 4 bowls of soup, a tin of tuna, an Easter egg, and 8 Tim Tams for dinner.

4. I sometimes floss my teeth with a loose thread off whatever outfit I’m wearing.

5. When I’m sick (like now), I fashion a tissue into a screwdriver, and shove it up whatever nostril is dripping like a tap.

6. It takes a lot to piss me off, however, I really can’t stand walking behind slow walkers. I sigh, and roll my eyes, and curse them with my inside voice.

7. I talk constantly in the car. By myself. Like a running commentary of my fellow drivers. Something like “nice indicator mutherfucker”. Or “thanks fuckwit”, when someone finally let’s me into their lane. It’s actually quite sad.

8. I kill most insects and spiders in my home with books (because I rarely wear shoes)

9. I push the toothpaste to the top of the tube, and then lick it off. Another disgusting habit.

10. Sometimes, I sit on the vanity, and pluck every stray hair from my face I can find, before squeezing any pimples I have too.

11. I eat wandering around the house. And sometimes I even eat in the bathroom.

12. I try on clothes I’ve had since I was 18 to make sure they still fit.

13. When I feel like I have no control over my life, I clean like a madwoman.

14. I watch really romantic movies and cry.

15. Sometimes I drink too much alcohol. Actually, the other night after a Macca’s run, I brought my Happy Meal home and tipped out half my Sprite and replaced it with Vodka.

16. I take naps in the day sometimes.

17. I’m really, really, really good at Super Mario World on my Super Nintendo. And Mortal Combat too.

18. Sometimes I spill coffee on the floor (I’m the clumsiest person I know), and I don’t bother cleaning it up.

19. I haven’t cleaned my hairbrush out for a long time. Like, I’m talking YEARS.

20. Due to my clumsiness, I drop a lot of food on the floor. I also eat a lot of food off the floor too.

21. If I have a favourite song, I’ll listen to it on repeat. For days… Oh, and I’ll often dance by myself.

22. If I’m not working (I have an odd working schedule), I can sometimes go days without seeing a single soul.

23. I write all the time. Like ALL the time. And I read a lot too. I’m a bit of a nerd like that.

24. I really like the salmon dish at my local Thai restaurant. And my local Thai restaurant really like me as a result (like at Christmas time, one of the staff was going back to Thailand and she gave me a hug and told me she was going to miss me).

25. Sometimes I’ll iron my clothes with my hair straightener because I can’t be bothered getting the iron out.

26. When I watch tv, I put my hand down my top and hold my boob. I don’t know why. I just do.

27. I eat everything out of my “favourite bowl”

28. Sometimes I get really sad because I think too much, and I get a bit lonely at times. I cry a lot, and I’ll blow my nose on whatever I’m wearing (it goes straight into the wash afterwards though)

29. I sometimes take the rubbish out wearing just my knickers (whilst praying the whole time that the neighbours are all asleep)

30. When it’s cold, I’ll wear socks and thongs (flip-flops).

31. I go to the supermarket in my pyjamas at least twice a week.

I hope I made some of you smile with some of the nonsense that goes on in my private life, that no doubt goes on in yours too…

WHO SAYS LIFE ISN’T A FAIRYTALE?

I had a lot of feedback from my last article that I published. Which is so strange. Because I certainly didn’t deem it my best work. Yet, I had reviews from readers that it was one of the most profound articles I’ve written.

I had people commending me on my bravery. On my ability to put myself out there. To share my story.

My story is not unique. But it is my story. And being a writer, I cannot help but to share my experiences. Because they are mine. I own them. They are my stories to be told.

One comment that had stuck with me is the one that I have taken my readers on a journey with me. Through my own struggles.

I’m not too proud to admit that I often stumble. I make mistakes. I cry a lot. I doubt myself constantly. I’m insecure. A little shy. It is what it is, and I am who I am. I make no apologies for that.

I don’t care that people know that I am weak and vulnerable sometimes. I am. Big deal. We all are. And anyone who disagrees with me is full of shit.

We are human beings for Gods sake. We are always going to experience a range of emotions throughout our lives.

“Your writing is real, unscripted, and brutally honest, which I respect a lot. Very few are as bold in their writing. The secret is to make it personal, because then you aren’t prescribing, and I think your transparency allows that, and helps people to relate.”

As a writer, having this feedback from a fellow writer, had me flattered beyond words.

I often forget that people are reading my stuff. It’s almost strange when people tell me they do.

And because I am so stupidly honest in my articles, a lot of people feel as though they know me on a personal level. And guess what? They do.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just be honest with one another and say how we are really feeling instead of putting up those walls in order to protect ourselves? In order to create the illusion of the facade?

But here’s the flip side of that statement.

I am fiercely private. I don’t let a lot of people get close to me, in fear of them seeing how much hard work I can be at times. There are certainly things that I keep my heart protected from. Far away from my sleeve. I talk too much, I cry too much, I need constant reassurance as I’m very often riddled with self-doubt.

But I also have that old chestnut of polarity.

I am very funny. And a lot of fun. I am full of energy. I never judge anyone. I laugh all the time. And I can be vey confident in my own abilities. And I am brave.

A vast proportion of that time I am a force to be reckoned with.

But I am still that sensitive, vulnerable, eternal teenager. Peter Pan.

But Peter Pan is just a fairytale right?

I think a lot of people desperately want the fairytale. Which is why they perhaps follow my writing. To see the evolution in which takes place in all of us. Maybe I give people hope. I don’t know.

They want the “happily ever after”. And believe me, I want it too.

Sometimes I feel as though it comes back to the myths and fairytales that we humans create in order to explain certain mysteries in life.

Like the Greek myth of Nemesis and Narcissus.

And these two characters kind of go hand in hand.

The dictionary definition for Nemesis is as follows:

“The inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.”

And the definition for a narcissist is:

“Someone in love with themselves”

So now to the myth of Nemesis and Narcissus.

“In the Greek tragedies Nemesis appears chiefly as the avenger of crime and the punisher.

The word Nemesis originally meant the distributor of fortune, neither good nor bad, simply in due proportion to each according to what was deserved. Later, nemesis came to suggest the resentment caused by any disturbance of this right proportion, the sense of justice that could not allow it to pass unpunished.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was the son of a river god named Cephissus and a nymph named Liriope. He was exceptionally proud of what he did to those who loved him. 

Narcissus was a very beautiful and arrogant hunter, who disdained the ones who loved him.

Nemesis lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realising it was only an image. He was unable to leave the beauty of his reflection and he eventually died. Nemesis believed that no one should ever have too much good, and she had always cursed those who were blessed with countless gifts.”

Its important in life, to retain your sense of humility, and your sense of balance. After all, it was that lack of balance that helped Nemesis lure Narcissus to his ultimate demise.

However, we should also try to encompass both traits from these mythological characters.

We should love ourselves. Because only in loving ourselves are we able to allow others to love us. Isn’t that also what the story of “Beauty And The Beast” teaches us?

Yet, there is always going to be that inescapable downfall. The life lesson in everything we undertake. It allows us to grow. And its good to fall. After all, life is a long lesson in humility. And being down is a good thing. Because it means that the only way from there is back up.

And speaking of growth, did you know that a flower, bearing the name of Narcissus sprung up and grew in the spot where he drowned?

The narcissus plant also bears medicinal properties. It is rumoured to “disperse whatever has collected in any part of the body”.

Which is kind of ironic. Because that means that it takes you back to being balanced. Something we all need in order to flourish and bloom.

So perhaps in order to become balanced, we need some part of us to perish, to fully understand what I always refer to as polarity.

I’m so determined to have my fairytale, and to continue to learn and to grow into the best possible version of myself, that you’ll never be able to keep me down for long.

Maybe the only villains and heroes in our lives are ourselves, and the knight in shining armour we need to save us, is just a metaphor. We are already the knight, and the armour is our ego. Start by shattering that armour, and everything you perceive to be true. Shatter those illusions. Drop your guard, and as always, let that heart of yours be drawn silently to what you desire.

To those of you who are “Chasing Amy’, keep watching this space. And I thank you for your continued encouragement and support.

And who says life isn’t a fairytale? Certainly not me…

 “Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t.” 

Tom Hiddleston