Where the Light Lies

Hope if a funny old thing. We manage to find it in the most unique and desperate places.

It isn’t always called Hope. Sometimes we call it Faith. Sometimes it is called Surviving.

Sometimes it doesn’t really have a proper name.

In the darkness – it is simply a facet of your being.

A glimmer deep in your soul that reaches out for life. For love. For peace. For something better.

Sometimes, it is very simply, your soul searching and reaching for where the light lies.

The light of laughter on a cool evening.

The light of joy in a smiling baby.

The light of faith in an everlasting.

The light of healing in the face of illness.

The light of enduring when faced with devastation.

The light of a God, when you know you didn’t get here by yourself.

The hope that the light will find you and love you and accept you anyway. Even when you don’t love yourself.

It is always there. Even when you see only darkness.

It is there in the people around you, the ones that are light.

The ones that are hope.

Because they are there.

And they see the you that, just for a moment, you cannot.

May the light find you.

And may you find where your light lies.

 

The Small Things

Sjoe, I have been gone a while.
Thing happened. Reality shifted. Time passed.
And here we are.
Life has this really annoying and occasionally cool habit of throwing stuff back in your face. At your lowest, or your highest, or somewhere in between. A little memory. A little song. A little blog.
A little bit of God.
I forget sometimes how far I have come. How hard this road was to travel. Sometimes I traveled it alone. Sometimes with family. Sometimes with friends. I have written before about being the Black Sheep. About being the Fat Chick.
Reality is – we are who we are in the moment. As kind or vicious, as generous or selfish, as alive or dead, as happy or sad. All we have is a moment. Because the next moment may be a life ender. Or a reality shifter.
In a moment, a Blessed moment, I walked into a gym with a little bit of hope. And I met a lovely lady who runs a gym, a lady of passion and laughter.
In a moment, an Inspired moment, I faced a lifetime of fears around what I look like. Around inherent sporting ability. And I thought screw it. I joined a gym.
In a moment, a Divine moment, I remembered that even though it is hard. I really do like exercising. I am crap at it. But that doesn’t change the Joy.
I have written before about finding Joy in the small things.
Sometimes the small things are the ache that comes from 18 flights of stairs.
The laughter that comes with trying to skip.
The giggle that accompanies a burpee done in the style of a deranged alien.
Sometimes the small things are driving on a farm road at 5 in the morning. In the mist.

Just you and your God.

Sometimes the small things are realising that you came from here….

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And you have gotten here so far…..

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With a whole world still to go…..

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Revisited

Anyone who knows me probably needs to know that my sister and I (and I suspect my mother) have this weird holey / fluid / trans-dimensional annoying memory issue. We forget. We know we forget, but because the ‘thing’ is forgotten, we don’t miss it. Till someone says something like “Remember that time” and we really, really don’t.

This is a blog I wrote 363 days ago. Perhaps read if you want some context, but it is not necessary. I remember vowing to never age another day, but the actual writing of this piece has slipped into that other dimension filled with half bits of my memory. Reading it now I recognize the tone as me, and I can appreciate the idea behind it, but it is not quite right. Just a feeling of ‘offness’ and a vague disconnect.

It was written before the landscape changed so dramatically. And more water has flowed under my metaphorical bridges than I knew existed. Perhaps that is why it doesn’t sit well now. So here is version 4.0.

I turn 40 in a few days. Presents are still mandatory because I love getting them a whole bunch.

Thing is – I don’t feel 40. I don’t even feel 29 or 19. Apart from a whole lot more darkness in my heart and spirit, buffered by hope and knowledge, I don’t feel like time has passed.

So forgive me if I reflect.

I have loved. Or thought I loved. And lost very badly. I learnt along the way that it wasn’t love. It was the broken pieces of my nature that needed to fix / be loved / help. I have yet to love and be loved in the way Hollywood would have us believe is our life’s goal. Doesn’t matter though. For I have learnt to love myself for who I am. More so every day. The journey is ongoing.

I have cried for friends that have passed me by. But I have learnt that those that are meant to stay, do. And those that leave make space for better ones.

I have buried a father I barely knew. Barely remember. He died too young and because of it, I grew up alone with a broken mother. I have learnt to forgive him, and God, for the reality I found myself in. And I look forward to meeting him again one day. Perhaps he will even be proud of me.

I have learnt to accept a mother that is damaged. Still she manipulates and plays on my feelings and still my nature allows it. But I have come to realize that she is not doing it out of vindictiveness or malice. She is simply broken in her own way, and was perhaps never afforded the opportunity to heal herself. She is my mother, she is old, and I love her. I will not abandon her because of her faults. I have my own, and I hope they do not become the sum of me, as they have her.

I have made my own version of an immediate family. Friends, animals, my mother. A sister I never thought I would get along with, who carries me more than she should. A sister who has left to follow her own path. A hard path. One I do not know if I would be brave enough to chose. And for all the times that she has carried me, I will try to carry her this time. These people and these creatures care for me and I care for them. And in the dark moments – that is enough. Love is always enough. 

Forgive me if I look forward.

I will be who I am. That may seem to be a strange statement, but it has taken me an age to accept that I am me. And it has taken me even longer to just be me. Every day, who I am gets easier. I find that my God has of late placed me in places and with people who just enjoy me. I can see it in them and in their interactions with me. That joy means more to my self esteem than I can ever explain. Or perhaps, He has always surrounded me with these fine souls, it is only now that I can see them. 

I will keep dreaming of the day that I get to sit on a train as it slowly winds its way through to Alaska. Or Russia. Remembering another train and the sound of a carriage going over tracks and a father and a family. A time before it was all gone. Perhaps someone will join me. Perhaps I will be alone. Perhaps I will never make it there. Doesn’t matter. The art of dreaming is just as important as the dream. 

I will strive to be the healthiest I can be. Every day my lungs get a little better I think. And every day I hope to lose a tiny bit more weight. One day – I will walk into a shop and buy a small to medium pair of pants off the rack. I am not far from this. I have avoided hospital for an age now and am off most of the medicines that make me feel so terrible. Baby steps will get you there as well. 

I will try to write more. Because in the writing I find peace. Allot of tears, but also peace.

I will love my family as much as I can. No soul is meant to walk this world alone.

I will love my God as I always have. He has seen me through some serious darkness. With patience and love.

I will be who I am, love who I care for, dream big, diet more, exercise allot and write.

I will be who I was made to be.

Every day.

Age

So I turn 39 tomorrow. I have resolved that it will be the last progressive birthday I will be having. Presents still mandatory into the future though.

Thing is – I don’t feel 39. I don’t even feel 29 or 19. Apart from a whole lot more darkness in my heart and spirit, I don’t feel like time has passed.

So forgive me if I reflect.

I have loved. Or thought I loved. And lost very badly. I learnt along the way that it wasn’t love. It was the broken pieces of my nature that needed to fix / be loved / help. I have yet to love. And be loved. Doesn’t matter though. For I have learnt to love myself for who I am. Mostly. The journey is ongoing.

I have cried for friends that have passed me by. But I have learnt that those that are meant to stay, do. And those that leave make space for better ones.

I have buried a father I barely knew. Barely remember. He died too young and because of it, I grew up alone with a broken mother. I have learnt to forgive him, and God, for the reality I found myself in. And I look forward to meeting him again one day. Perhaps he will even be proud of me.

I have learnt to accept a mother that is damaged. Still she manipulates and plays on my feelings and still my nature allows it. But I have come to realize that she is not doing it out of vindictiveness or malice. She is simply broken in her own way, and was perhaps never afforded the opportunity to heal herself. She is my mother, she is old, and I love her.

I have made my own version of an immediate family. Friends, animals, my mother. A sister I never thought I would get along with, who carries me more than she should. Who gets me through sometimes. They care for me and I care for them. And in the dark moments – that is enough. Love is always enough.

And forgive me if I look forward.

I will be who I am. That may seem to be a strange statement, but it has taken me an age to accept that I am me. And it has taken me even longer to just be me.

I will keep dreaming of the day that I get to sit on a train as it slowly winds its way through to Alaska. Perhaps someone will join me. Perhaps I will be alone. But it will always be my dream.

I will strive to be the healthiest I can be. Every day my lungs get a little better I think. And every day I hope to lose a tiny bit more weight. One day – I will walk into a shop and buy a small to medium pair of pants off the rack.

I will try to write more. Because in the writing I find peace. Allot of tears, but also peace.

I will love my family as much as I can. No soul is meant to walk this world alone.

I will love my God as I always have. He has seen me through some serious darkness. With patience and love.

I will be who I am, love who I care for, dream big, diet more, exercise allot and write.

I will be who I was made to be.

The Death of Friendship

I have a friend who believes that every person in our life, past and present, is there to fulfill a very specific purpose. She also believes that friends, while not only fulfilling a purpose, also cater to a very specific facet of our personality.

Say I have a silly side (so do), I have friends that compliment, elevate and sometimes even exaggerate that facet of who I am.

It follows then that when we go through dark periods, while we do indeed have friends full of light and love, we also draw to us the darker, the hidden agenda and the not always so good for us.

Sometimes we even survive them.

Life is ever changing though. Darkness becomes light, we grow and we hopefully find our joy again.

So what then becomes of these dark period friends? Not everyone is capable of change, of finding peace or hope or joy. And not everyone wants to.

In the face of obvious negativity or overwhelming bitterness, the choice and decision is easy to make.

Not so much when it is just an ‘unpresent’ friend. You know the kind. Always too busy. Never answer anything. When you do meet, usually by chance, they are the one who asks if you have put on weight. They are the gossips. The ones you have a sneaky feeling revel in the misery of others. But they never do anything obvious. And they have their good sides too.

I guess I am wondering when you call it quits? At the first veiled insult? At the tenth? Or is it much like a scale, with the good and bad balancing it out?

I’d like to think I am a good friend. The sad thought though is that I am probably someone’s ‘unpresent’ friend.