WHATEVER’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL? DO THAT.

Today I was one of the many affected by the power outage at Sydney Airport.

It all comes down to Mercury Retrograde you know….but I’m not going to start with that sort of shit in today’s article…

Yes, I was planning on leaving yet again.

But as fate would have it, my flight was cancelled.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and for whatever reason, I was just not supposed to leave today.

Fate is funny like that.

Throughout my life, I have found that when things work seamlessly, when it all just “comes together”, it generally means you are on the right path to your destiny.

And when you are faced with roadblocks – when doors keep slamming all around you, it’s the universes way of redirecting you towards what’s meant to be.

I guess that’s what faith is. Trusting that everything will work out how it should.

We all try to control situations. But really, we can’t.

Yes, we can make plans, however whatever is meant to be will be.

So for whatever reason, I am still here for the moment.

Now that’s a strange notion really.

We are always “here”.

Because wherever you are, that’s where you are.

I’m very aware that I’m trying to escape in a lot of ways.

Run away from my life.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s what a lot of us do. Run away from things. Try to escape from what is. Bury our heads in the sand, with a means of distraction.

Through travel. Through hobbies. Through addiction. Through movies, TV shows, and books. Through jobs that we hate. Through buying things we don’t really need, so we can have the momentary high of the new purchase until the novelty wears off. Come take a browse through my wardrobe and you’ll see I’m an expert with that one.

Is it because we don’t want to feel the full effect of our reality and what we have ultimately created?

Or do we honestly believe that certain things – emotions, feelings, problems, people, debts, whatever, are going to disappear if we do the same? If we hop on the “distraction bus” and try to get as far away as we can from our hearts? Does it really change anything?

Paulo Coelho says, “if it’s still in your mind, it’s still in your heart”.

I often use this whimsical logic when trying to justify whether or not I REALLY need that new outfit.

But in life, it’s unfortunately not as trivial as deciding whether or not you need that new pair of jeans.

It is about following your heart. And what’s good for your soul.

Sometimes we need to cling to our distractions and illusions in order to heal our hearts. To move forward. To give us hope.

However, as we can never escape our hearts, is disappearing, or “dropping off the radar”, really the way to alleviate this?

Not really. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. As foolish as it may seem.

Sometimes you need to get as far away as possible from your reality in order to begin to see clearly. Even if you can’t escape from the other reality that your heart is coming with you, and it really doesn’t change a damn thing.

But sometimes, you have to give yourself the gift of space. To be able to breathe again.

With enough time, and distance, whether it be literal or metaphorical, I do believe that everything will work out in the end.

So like I always say, do whatever it takes to get you to where you need to go. And whatever’s good for your soul? Do that.

STOP BEING WHO YOU WERE, AND CHANGE INTO WHO YOU ARE

The first thing I do when I get into work is get my “other brother” to make me a coffee.

I like to do this. It eases me into the work day, and we get to chat about a bunch of things. Life, business, life…

Today’s conversation was a little different, and my own life, and the plans I have for it were the topic of conversation.

I’m of the belief that a true friend will call you out on your bullshit. And that’s precisely what happened today.

“What happened to you wanting to be a writer?” He asked me.

“I am a writer. I’m doing it” I responded. Mildly annoyed that I was in a sense, being challenged.

I’m very, very hard headed.

“Yeah but you keep dwelling on the past. I want to see you with a book released in the next 12 months, travelling the world on a book tour. Isn’t that what you want? Do you know how cool it is that you’re a writer? I don’t know any writers” he went on.

Yeah. It is pretty cool when I really think about it.

Even when I introduced myself to all of the fascinating people I met whilst I was away, and they asked me what I did, that was always my response.

“I’m a writer”.

It’s kind of weird saying it out loud. Even if that is “what I do”.
I write.

People were always, without fail, very intrigued.

I guess it is kind of interesting. To turn words into stories. God knows I am an avid reader myself.

However I couldn’t get the relatively firm reprimanding out of my head.

I am always stupidly honest, so I expect the same in return.

And whilst I knew that it was uncomfortable for my progeny to have this conversation with me, particularly being 10 years my junior, and with me acting as a “mentor” to him at times,

I know that it was a discussion that needed to be had.

I am dwelling on the past. I am very aware of that. But it’s a part of who I am. Or at least, who I was.

One of my favourite quotes is from C.S. Lewis.

“Have I gone mad?” – The Mad Hatter (of “Alice in Wonderland)

Yes. I am quite possibly “mad” to a lot of people. But in the most spectacular way possible.

And I think the response that Alice gives, sums it up beautifully.

“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

I think when you are truly passionate about anything, and you are following your heart, it may seem as though you have gone a little “mad”.

Particularly as if often involves walking away from everything familiar. And that takes a lot of courage.

And it comes with having the task of taking responsibility for the sometimes destruction that you have created as a result.

But there is beauty in destruction.

In dissembling what you thought was your reality. It clears the way, and opens your eyes to the foundations of what was always there to begin with, yet you’ve masked with something else.

Now in no way am I promoting that an ending of a long term relationship is what is going to lead you to your hearts desire, but I am asking today, what is it that needs to be done in order for you to get what you truly desire out of this relatively short life that we all lead?

What is it that you want? And what lengths are you willing to go to in order to make it your reality?

When in doubt, I always look to the inspirational Paulo Coelho, and I thought this was fitting for today’s post.

So I leave you with the following.

And as always, follow that motherfucking heart of yours…

“One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.

Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.

Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.

This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.
Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.” – Paulo Coelho

POST HOLIDAY BLUES

I realised something yesterday. I realised that I have nothing keeping me where I am.

Yes, I have the dreaded “post holiday blues”.

I became increasingly frustrated as I became slowly aware of my solitude yesterday.

Sundays always do that to me.

Sundays are always a reminder of what is missing in my life for many, many reasons. A lot of them stemming back to my failed marriage.

As I ventured out to the supermarket this afternoon after work, I noticed something.

There seemed to be couples and families everywhere I turned.

I began to feel sorry for myself.

I thought of my big empty house. Too big for a single woman like me.

My house half full of furniture after my marriage separation as I’m still undecided as to where to relocate to. I know for certain that I can’t stay here. The memories of the years are deeply ingrained within the very structure of this house.

And it’s now empty. Devoid of another soul.

I recognised that awful and familiar feeling sweeping over me once more.

Loneliness.

How I hated that feeling. I thought I was free of it. And it came coupled with self pity.

Without fail, I began to cry.

And then I got a goddamn phone call from a telemarketer.

“Are you single, or do you have a significant other?”

Talk about timing.

I heard my voice crack as I answered “no significant other”.

Ugh.

How I hated that stupid woman for phoning me at the exact moment I was typing this article. Highlighting the exact thing I was missing.

Yes, I had chosen this for my life. So I had no one to blame except myself. It was me who chose to walk away. Mustering up the little strength and courage I had left in me to recognise that I needed to close that particular chapter of my life.

My ever thinking mind came back to a quote I wrote in an article I published some months ago now titled “Soulmates”.

“The idea that we find happiness in others is a tough one. Ultimately we should be happy and complete on our own, but it does get very, very lonely at times.”

This particular quote scored me an interview with a UK based PR journalist some time ago too. In fact, what he wrote about that particular article brought a tear to my eye.

“There is no doubt, that at some point in our lives, we have all felt very, very lonely. Such was the forcefulness and sheer brutal beauty of her writing, that it stayed with me for quite some time.”

And it was then that it made me pay attention to the fact that we are all searching for that “other half” to complete us.

Particularly after interacting with all of the new people I met whilst I was away.

We are all searching for Plato’s fabled “soulmate”. The missing piece of the puzzle.

I desperately don’t want to have my heart broken ever again. But is the only way to do that, by locking up my heart and throwing away the key forever? By becoming an impermeable membrane?

Of course not.

There is always a grieving process with everything in life. But how much longer must I grieve in order to heal?

And then I come back to the statement I made at the beginning of the article.

I have nothing keeping me where I am. There’s nothing here for me anymore.

Am I waiting for my “knight in shining armour”?

Yes and no.

I do want the fairytale as much as the next person, but I want to be able to do this on my own too.

Do I want to be alone forever?

No way.

Do I think I will be alone forever?
Yeah. Sometimes I really do.

It’s always fear that holds us back from everything.

Fear of the unknown.

We all want some certainty as to the way things are going to pan out.

But there are no guarantees in life.

We must throw caution to the wind, and take some risks if we are to evolve to that next level.

My life has changed so much over the past 2 years, particularly over the past 6 months.

But it’s time to get away from everything familiar.

It’s time for the naive, reclusive little writer to step out of her comfort zone and start making some decisions about the direction in which she wants her life journey to go in.

I can’t wait for someone to rescue me anymore. It’s only me that can save myself, as desperately as I wish someone could do it for me.

So as usual, I leave you with a quote to ponder. Because despite my many flaws, and my stupid, sensitive vulnerabilities, I do believe in this.

“I do believe I am special. My special gift is my vision, my commitment, and my willingness to do whatever it takes.” – Anthony Robbins

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?

I’m back momentarily. I’m kind of just checking in for the time being. Because I’m holing myself up now indefinitely to write like mad in solitude.

I haven’t published any articles for around 3 weeks now, because for the first time in my life, I took an actual time-out from my life.

In fact, I told very few people that I was temporarily dropping off the radar, and disappearing to another country for a while.

And it was brilliant.

I now understand why people run away. I would do it again in a heartbeat, particularly being the flighty and mercurial Gemini I am…

I was under strict instructions that I was not allowed to publish anything whilst I was taking this sabbatical.

That all of the experiences I was having, all of the people I was meeting, all of the emotions I was feeling, were to be collected and put into a book.

That will be happening as soon as I can string it all together properly. It’s a huge task I’ve set for myself particularly as I’ve become accustomed to publishing less than 1000 word articles. But it’s in the works. The skeleton has been created, and now, I “flesh it out”.

It can’t not be written now. I’ve been changed inexplicably after this time away. In the words of C.S. Lewis “I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then”.

I did write whilst I was away, yet it was more note taking than anything else. Carefully collecting all of my experiences, and trying to figure out the meaning and lesson behind it all.

Trying to discover what moved all of the people I came across during my travels, but what strangely occurred was that all their stories not only moved me, but also changed me somehow. Changed the way I thought about other people, and changed the way I saw myself.

And I discovered that I am like a mirror. We all are.

I am brutally honest, and very trusting, and to my delight and surprise, every person who crossed my path reflected the same in return.

I discovered I have this uncanny knack for getting people to open up to me. Which I love. In fact, one of the common things I heard was “I don’t know why I’m telling you this”, from almost every person I sat down with to pick their brains, and deconstruct their personal journeys.

To all of the people that shared their stories with me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This candidness from all of the people I had the pleasure of meeting, gave me a lot of insight into the way of the world today, which in a lot of ways I feel as though I’ve not been a part of for the longest time.

Listening to their stories blew my mind and heart wide open, and everybody really does have a beautiful and unique story to tell.

I was using this time to have some time alone, but to also go and spend some time with my soul sister.

We are like sisters in so many ways.

Sometimes we’d argue like sisters too. Both being hard-headed with strong personalities is a complicated thing to master. She taught me a lot about myself. We laughed, and we cried. In fact, I cried 3 times as I left her yesterday.

Once as I was getting into my taxi, and I hugged her goodbye (after her refusing to come to the airport with me, and then changing her mind as I was so emotional).

Once when we had a cigarette together outside the airport where she firmly reprimanded me and said “if you’re going to cry, cry properly. Don’t cry like a girl”.

And finally when we bid each other farewell outside the airport where I clung to her for dear life and sobbed and choked and told her that I didn’t want to leave her. There was no way I could hold back the floodgates.

Back to my writing.

It wasn’t until this week that I started to wonder whether or not anyone was missing my writing. If I was interesting enough to continue on writing stories.

That day that I sat pondering if my readers actually wanted more from me, I was flooded with messages asking me when they can expect more.

“Ask, and you shall receive”.

I sent the current of my thoughts out into the universe, and I got the answer I needed.

I have discovered during this journey I’ve been on, that I really am the master of my own universe.

And every person I came across answered my question for me too. I always thought I was this impossibly boring person, yet I was met with feedback from all that I was one of the most interesting people they’ve met. Which was very flattering, and surprising to myself.

Sometimes you really do need someone else to validate you. Particularly if you are somewhat confused about who you are. Yes, it’s important to know who you are without someone else spelling it out for you, but it’s also important to allow your own inner beauty to be reflected through the eyes of others. Sometimes that’s the only way.

Whatever I wanted I was strangely able to manifest. So I will continue to do what I have been doing, and blindly follow my heart wherever it decides to lead me. I promise you all, it’s the only thing that matters.

My soul sister made fun of me for always asking the same question throughout my travels.

“What am I supposed to do?”

I know what I need to do now, and everything is going to work out exactly as it’s meant to.

To my readers, I can’t thank you enough for your continued support. I promise I will have something interesting for you when the time is right.

My honesty may make some uncomfortable, but it’s who I am, and I make no apologies for the complicated, and sometimes impossible woman that I am.

To my soul sister, I miss you already. I can’t thank you enough for all you have been, and continue to be for me. And for you, my dear friend, I leave you with this quote:

“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we’ve lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we’ve found each other. And maybe each time, we’ve been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

35, AND FABULOUS

I haven’t published anything in a week.

And I actually haven’t written a whole lot in the last week either. My brain just isn’t there right now. That happens a lot with us neurotic writers.

Yet, here I am. Writing.

I find that inspiration is a funny thing. And I can’t write unless I’m inspired. And it hits me at the strangest times.

I’ve been stupidly busy lately, so my mind just isn’t co-operating the way I would like. So I’m taking a little break.

No wait. Scratch that.

I’ve TAKEN a little break. Because as I mentioned a few sentences ago – I am writing.

Yesterday I went and got my hair coloured.

It’s been 4 months since I last had it done. That’s the beauty of balayage for anyone that was wondering. Except for the grey hairs that have frustratingly, and shockingly sprung from my scalp as I enter my mid 30’s.

Luckily for me, they grow straight up.

Like Albert Einstein.

So whenever I spot them, I yank them out with a pair of tweezers.

I turned 35 on Friday.

I can’t believe it. 35.

35 is meant to be the best year of a woman’s life. When she looks her most beautiful. Or so the legend goes…

After getting my hair done, I met up with a girlfriend for lunch.

She showed me a text message from a friend of hers who’s recently started following my blog.

It read “Uhhh-bbsesssssed with reading Chasing Amy blog. When I am flat. When I’m about to go to bed. When I am waiting in line for a coffee…”

I was fucking chuffed.

It happened at Byron Bay a few weeks back too.

“YOU’RE Chasing Amy?!” – a random person incredulously asked me.

I felt the room begin to spin, and I suddenly became hot.

“Yes” I replied sheepishly, staring shyly at the floor.

“We LOVE your blog! We read it all the time at our office” came the random persons reply.

Wow. I felt like a motherfucking rockstar.

I always think that no one reads the crap that I write.

I was beyond flattered. Like, beyond.

And as always, with my overactive, overthinking mind, that attempts to dissect and make sense of everything, I had a thought.

Maybe I AM helping people with my writing. Lord knows, I help myself.

But to actually come to the realisation, that through what I sometimes deem to be brain dumping sessions, that I’m actually helping people? Well…I have no words.

Which is again not true, as I’m dedicating an entire article to it.

So what I wanted to write about today, is that I’m going off the radar for a little while. At least, that’s the plan. I’m quite flippant, and mercurial by nature, so let’s hope I can stick to it.

I’m planning on taking a proper break. A sabbatical. I’ve been forbidden by a very special friend from publishing anything for a while. Everything I write for here on in, is meant to be going into my book.

I’m disappearing for a while. Dropping off the radar.

I’ve gifted myself, for my 35th birthday, the gift of going to find myself. And I’m super excited. Absolutely terrified, but super excited.

I’m going to chase myself. Find who I am. I’m going to be “Chasing Amy”.

I’m going to find out what moves me. What I like. What I love. How I am able to “fend for myself”.

After all, I’m a now 35 year old woman. Not a 15 year old girl.

Sometimes I feel permanently trapped in a somewhat loop of being that eternal teenager.

But it’s time to grow up.

Yet, my dirty blonde hair slowly, but surely changing to a dreaded shade of grey, is the physical reminder that hey, I’m not a teenager anymore, and it’s time to move from the passenger seat, and into the driving seat. To finally take control of my life, and to steer myself confidently in the direction of my dreams, and all of my hearts desires.

After all, that’s what I attempt to drive home with each article. The importance of following your heart.

So, to that lovely reader (you know who you are), thank you for inspiring me enough this morning to publishing an article.

My personal message to you, is to like me, follow your heart. You know what you need to do in order to move forward.

Be brave.

Listen to what you are silently being pulled towards. Pay attention to the signs, and don’t ever conform to what society thinks you should be doing with your life. Because it’s a total load of bullshit.

Open your eyes, but most importantly, open your heart.

Bust that door wide open, and know that whatever happens, is what is meant to happen.

Never ever, ever, EVER let fear, or other people’s opinions hold you back from pursuing the life that you want to live.

So perhaps 35 is the magical number that we need to reach in order to have these “epiphanies” of sorts.

Or maybe, it isn’t until we have those physical “shades of grey”, that we can understand any of this sort of shit. I don’t know…

But either way, I am officially signing off, temporarily for now (here’s hoping), and my lesson today is that while I’m 35, I’m fabulous. But you can be absolutely fabulous at any age.

Chase those dreams. Chase the rainbow. Chase bliss. Stop thinking you can’t do it. You can. Stop chasing everyone else’s preconceived notions about that life should look like. And never give a fuck about what anyone else thinks…

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things.” – Morrie Schwartz