DISCOVER THAT STAR…

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I’m going to be 36 years old.

I can’t believe it.

Where did all of that time go?

Am I REALLY going to be 36?

Particularly, as I have been jokingly saying for the past 9 birthdays that I am 27…

It was then that I had one of my many thoughts that my overthinking mind afflicts, and torments me with.

What have I learnt so far in my relatively short 36 years that I have graced this earth with my presence?

Yesterday, I got a card in the post from my Aunty:

star

It was the last sentence in that card from my beloved Aunty Gael that really moved me.

…”and just like the apple, when it is cut open….guess what? You discover a STAR!”

I don’t know why all of us can’t recognise this.

That beneath the tough (or sometimes weak), exterior that we display, that we are all stars.

We are essentially the star of our own show.

We are the masters (or mistresses) of our own universe.

Our world really does revolve around us.

Of course it does.

Who else could it possibly revolve around?

Sure, we love the people that are a part of our lives.

We often place them high upon pedestals.

We are there for them through thick and thin.

We cry for them, and with them.

We get mad at them.

We forgive them.

We see things from their perspective.

And at times, we don’t.

And sometimes, we use the courage that we have been born with, to let them go.

And that in hindsight, we often learn that it is a kindness.

It’s important to recognise that the central point of all that we attract into our lives, is that one pivotal thing.

That we are at the centre of all of those relationships and interactions.

We ARE the star, when you finally decide to dissect it all.

To break it all down.

So what have I learnt on the eve of my 36th birthday?

That my mind messes with me more than I would like.

That I refuse to be someone that I am not.

That I will not accept anything other than kind, accepting, non-judgemental, and loving relationships around me.

That I refuse to be held accountable for anyone else’s emotions, or perceived inadequacies, that they subconsciously choose to project upon me.

I will not stand for it.

I have decided that I am a force to be reckoned with.

You cannot fuck with me.

My choices are mine.

I own them all.

That I am unapologetically, a girly girl.

That I like to dress up, and drink too much wine, and dance a lot at a party.

That I am soft, and kind, and super friendly.

That I am not a feminist.

I’m not. Sorry to disappoint any of you.

That I cry often.

That I worry way too much.

And that’s totally ok.

I love me for me.

It is not a sign of weakness to feel everything so deeply. But one of deep empathy. and compassion.

That I am often taken advantage of.

And my friends are there, fiercely watching over me to recognise the rare occasions that it alludes me.

That up until a little while ago, I was hopeless at putting boundaries around me.

But not anymore.

If there is something that doesn’t feel good – I’ll announce it.

At times, it may seem as though I’m a little “firecracker”.

But I’m not. Not really.

Or maybe I am.

But I will not put up will having someone else’s toxic crap poured all over me.

I refuse to allow myself to be walked all over.

I’m not concerned with hurting anyone else’s feelings, particularly when not announcing what I feel is to my own detriment.

I’ve been there before.

I have finally, and magically connected to my intuition.

To my gut.

My core.

My centre.

To the star that I always have been, even if I somehow forgot.

I trust myself.

I do not lead myself astray.

How could I?

I pay attention to the feelings that arise within me. And I speak out on the things that don’t sit well with me.

Because life is short.

And it’s too short to put up with the bullshit of a reality that is not your own.

So on the eve of my 36th birthday, I implore you all to allow yourself to split yourself wide open and reveal the beauty of that star that resides within you. That IS you.

Even if you think it is forgotten, or buried too deep within, for you to find it.

Today, I leave you with a quote from the brilliant author, and philosopher Haruki Marukami, on “stars”.

Be brave, and bold enough to let that inner light of yours shine without.

Stop being so afraid of what everyone else thinks of you. Worry about what YOU think of you.

Cut yourself wide open, and discover that star…

“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star. It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist anymore. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me that anything.”

A LETTER TO MY LITTLE SISTER…

On the weekend, I watched you get married to your best friend.

To your soul mate.

To the love of your life.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing me to be your maid of honour.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

My heart is bursting with pride, and joy.

I am honoured to have been chosen as such an important person to represent you on your special day.

I guess that’s why it’s called “maid of honour”.

The dictionary definition for “maid of honour”, is as follows:

“An unmarried woman who is the chief attendant of the bride.”

But for me, it runs so much deeper than that “definition”.

I detest being put into a “box”.

I am so much more than an “unmarried woman”. That is the “chief attendant of the bride”.

As you are much more to me than just the “bride”.

You are my blood. My family. My friend.

As I am yours.

And it is a huge honour that you chose ME to stand beside you on your wedding day.

I hope I did ok.

Especially when I dropped your bouquet in front of everyone when you handed it to me (*face-palms self* – you really can’t take me anywhere)…

I wanted to let you know that I am so happy for the both of you.

I am so excited I could lay an egg, whilst vomiting rainbows, glitter, and riding a unicorn.

I am beyond happy that you have married such a kind, and beautiful soul.

I am so proud, and honoured to call your husband, my brother.

I am ecstatic that he comes from such a lovely family, that are so warm and welcoming.

I trust that I too, have gained four wonderful sisters.

What lovely girls you have as new sisters…

It made my heart swell seeing you so happy, in love, and adored by all of his family.

I can’t wait to kiss your babies, and pinch their chubby cheeks.

I promise to be the best Aunty EVER.

I want to thank you for such an amazing weekend.

I was so honoured to have the privilege of being able to walk you down the aisle with our father.

shadow1

And I hope that the shadow that we cast on the ground in that photograph is a reminder of the support stands behind you. That there is a message in the way the sun shone on you that day. That neither of us are afraid of the dark that sometimes takes us captive. And even if we are, we possess the strength, and courage to pull the other one into the light. To reach for the stars, no matter what anyone else thinks..

You deserve all of the luck that is coming your way.

And then some.

Ironically, I want to thank you for being MY big sister over the past 18 months.

Without you, and the other women in my life (you all know who you are), I wouldn’t have been able to stand tall next to you the way that I did.

You have been firm with me, with your “no-nonsense” take on life, yet allowed me to be the free-spirited, and soft-to-a-fault woman that I am.

Allowing me to walk tall next to you. And I am eternally grateful.

So to my little sister and her new husband, I wish you all the luck, love, joy, and happiness in the world.

I look forward to watching your family grow, and I thank you with all of my heart for including me the way that you did in your special day.

Sending you all the love and light in the universe that I can muster up, and all of the luck for your future.

Congratulations. Much love to you both xxx.

“There were once two sisters who were not afraid of the dark,
because the dark was full of the other’s voice
across the room,
because even when the night was thick and starless,
they walked home together from the river
seeing who could last the longest without turning on her flashlight,
not afraid
because sometimes in the pitch of night,
they’d lie on their backs in the middle of the path and look up until the stars came back,
and when they did,
they’d reach their arms up to touch them
and did.” – Jandy Nelson

REMOVE THAT FUCKING FILTER

 

I love social media. I think it’s brilliant.

It really has revolutionised the way that we “connect”. And it has personally meant A LOT for me, in terms of being able to have a voice, and communicate, and interact with people.

I’ve written an article before about Facebook, and the “bullshit” it poses upon us… http://chasingamy.com.au/2013/08/is-the-grass-always-greener/

Yet, today’s article is about Instagram. 

On Instagram, I follow a bunch of different people. 

Writers. Fashion designers. Fashion bloggers. @MenAndCoffee (you women know who they are)…

But one thing that has been bothering me lately, is the realisation that I’ve had just this evening. 

I’ve finally connected the dots. 

A picture tells a thousand words right?

That’s what Instagram is. 

A picture telling a thousand words. 

With Instagram, I’ve noticed that I feel like I’m never enough.

I never have enough of the fabulous clothes I see in those pictures. 

I need everything that I “like”. 

Seriously.

I don’t have a good enough body. 

I don’t do that “paleo” nonsense, and there’s no #fitspo about the way I choose to eat, or exercise. Or conduct my life…

I don’t have a cool, sexy outfit that I wear to the gym every day. 

I’m not eating an exciting enough meal each day. 

At a really hip restaurant, that most certainly requires a trip to McDonald’s on the way home anyway, because of those bullshit small portions they serve you. 

What’s THAT about anyway?

It often highlights to me, my love of carbs. 

I do not dine on kale, and quinoa, washed down with a soy latte. 

In fact, as I write, I am dining on chocolate, and corn chips, washed down with a glass of Merlot…

My skin isn’t flawless. 

I have wrinkles and occasional pimples. 

I am human. 

I am a woman. 

And I’m far from perfect.

My hair isn’t always perfectly blow-dried. 

It’s messy, dirty, and knotted 99% of the time. 

And I have grey hairs. 

Because I’m not 21. 

I don’t wear makeup every day. 

Nor do I affix false eyelashes every time I leave my house. 

My social calendar isn’t full. 

I am the epitome of “boring”.

And then I had a thought. 

About what it is that happiness looks like. 

I then decided to make a list of what happiness looks like, and feels like to ME. 

Happiness to me, is a clean house. 

It’s the joy that I feel when the sun is out, knowing that I can wash my sheets, and hang them in the sunshine to dry. 

It’s the smell and feel, of above mentioned freshly washed sheets. 

It’s pyjamas till midday. 

It’s thinking of someone, and then they mysteriously reach out to you. 

It’s inch thick butter on raisin toast. 

Or hot cross buns. 

It’s a full tummy, and a warm bed.

It’s an early morning ocean swim.

It’s feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

It’s life being like “who wants to be a millionaire”, and having the option to “phone a friend” when you don’t have the answer. Or when you’re having a meltdown.

When you’re in doubt.

It’s talcum powder after a shower, and clean pyjamas. 

It’s coffee in the morning, and wine in the late afternoon. 

It’s swims in the ocean, and topless sunbathing.

It’s familiar, comforting smells. 

It’s making someone smile. 

And even better than that – it’s making someone laugh. 

It’s face masks whilst sitting in a warm bath, and listening to music. 

It’s a parcel being delivered to the house after doing online shopping. 

It’s vacuuming the house and listening to music. 

It’s back-to-back episodes of “Entourage” on cable TV. 

It’s nailing the “winged eyeliner” look. 

It’s sharing a meal with a loved one. 

It’s being seen for who you are, flaws and all, and being loved anyway.

It’s not being at a Vipassana. 

I kiss the ground every day with sheer gratitude for not being at one of those godforsaken retreats. 

It’s conversations where you don’t feel like you’re being judged. 

Where you feel safe enough to be able to be yourself. 

To say what you feel.

Unapologetically.

It’s hosing my driveway. 

It’s washing my car. 

It’s washing my hair.

It’s the warm embrace from the person who has my heart.

It’s being able to express myself without a filter. 

Which brings me back to exactly what Instagram is. 

I post quotes, and “outfit pics” to Instagram all the time. 

In no way, am I pretending that I have not succumbed to what, in a way, is “peer pressure”, and attempting to portray “perfection”.

I too, want to be able to tell my own story.

As we all do.

And all of the pictures I post, are done using the filter that Instagram provides. 

We try to beautify, and perfect the moment. 

We edit out all of the imperfections that we see. 

We make it as flawless as we possibly can.

But that’s not what REAL life is about.

It’s actually about not having a filter there.

It’s having the courage to allow people to see us unedited. With #NoFilter.

It’s about seeing the perfection of what we are surrounded by.

It’s about allowing those that are in our lives, to see our inescapable, and unapologetic beauty.

Without that motherfucking filter.

Life is about what makes us happy.

About what makes our hearts smile.

Not what makes us feel a sense of lack.

It’s about surrounding ourselves with beautiful people that lift us higher.

That see us for who we truly are.

That support us no matter what.

For knowing within ourselves what “happiness” REALLY looks like.

So, go ahead. Be brave. Be honest with yourself about what makes you truly happy. 

Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks happiness resembles, and figure it out for yourself.

And remove that fucking filter.