Sunday, 28 April 2013

Pencils, Paints, Crayons and Love

Today, I did something I have not done in a long time.
I unwrapped a fresh canvas and let my heart draw on it.

I set my babies up by my side with their paints and sets of water colour paper,
and we went to work.

Never with an idea in my mind, my work draws itself on the canvas.
My pencil makes shapes without control, my pastels shade and blend
driven only by a sense of balance.
Crayons and paints smooth together creating texture and movement.

My babies made self portraits and pictures of their dad.
They played in the colours of their watercolour paints,
adventurously blending colours and experimenting with what might happen.

This is how things look at the end of the day.
Some are already hung on the fridge.
Mine is awaiting the final touches.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Weekend with ALL THE THINGS.

My weekend had ALL THE THINGS!

A road trip with the BF.
Ice-skating, my first ever adventure on ice.
A romantic night away.
Delicious breakfasts.
Strolls by the ocean.
Playing Marylin Munroe at the Sawtell blow hole.
A photoshoot at the local Agricultural Show with the beautiful and talented Minyarose Photography.
Eating carny food.
Watching bull riding and woodchopping.
My babies came home from their dad's house.
An ANZAC service.
A picnic in the park.
Horse riding with Deegan and Shannon.
and Movies with the munchkins snuggled in bed.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I'm a Survivor

I'm a survivorI'm not gonna give upI'm not gonna stopI'm gonna work harderI'm a survivorI'm gonna make it I will survive and keep on survivin'- Destiny's Child, Survivor 

It's been 2 years. 

I am still alive. 
Because of friends, family, my babies, my man, therapy and drugs.
These years have been long, swift, changing, challenging, beautiful, awkward, evolving, educational and a blessing. 

Not only have I noticed changes in me; I have witnessed changes for my family and friends. 
Princess A turned her life around with a career change, My sista from another mister is moving to the big city to  follow her destiny, my art-soulmate is engaged to her sweetheart and I await the moment I can witness their marital union, my bro and SIL blessed the world with a beautiful new human, my children make me proud every day with their personal and educational growth. 

There are also new people in my life, and while our friendships are in their infancy, I feel like these beautiful people have been in my life forever. I love my C&D boys, but more I love their WAG's. These women embraced me and made me welcome to their inner circle. Women that I would probably never have met nor "chose" as friends under any other circumstances now fill my Friday and Saturday nights in bars with laughter and fun.

I would be lying if I said that it was all smooth sailing. 
It's not. 
My moods still fluctuate. 
I still struggle to control my emotions and words. 
I still cry and laugh manically; sometimes at the same time. 
But I am managing and sometimes I think that this is the best it will be.
I am ok with that. 

What makes it  more ok, is that there is a man that loves me, 
regardless of my imperfections, he actually embraces and encourages my idiosyncrasies  . 
When things are out of control in my head, he is in control, 
his voice speaks softly to my soul, and levels out my brain. 
His gentle calmness balances out my loud craziness almost perfectly.

The last 12 months have bought art back into my life on a more regular basis. 
Clearly I am blogging again.
I am writing .

I am art journalling. 
I am drawing.
I am painting. 
And I am accepting my mistakes, 
because art is no longer about perfection for me, it is about expression. 

As I am writing this, I am listening to my friends make beautiful music in the living room. 
Reflecting on the choices that I presented myself with 2 years ago, to live or to die. 

I was leaning so heavily towards taking my own life that when I think about it now I can;t believe that it was even a thought in my mind, let alone something I was prepared to do. 
How on earth did I think it would be OK to miss out on all the magic I am experiencing right now.

My life is not perfect but I am content and that is the best feeling ever. 

Happy, Health and Here. 
Photo: GS

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Deep Thinking, Gentle Feeling.

I think a lot.
Too much.
I ponder and analyse.
I break down and reconstruct.

Today I thought about connections.
The threads that join us.
The needles that bring us together to start with.

My circle of friends is so richly woven.
One person, connecting me to the next.
Under and over and in-between.
Drawn together by food, music, humour and Bryan Adams.

Today I enjoyed my morning chai,
with my best friend and my boy.
A trio that was delicately stitched together
one night back in September 2012.

It was my besties first night on the
town in a long while and I was celebrating the
absence of my ex-husband and his birthday.
We went to catch a band we had heard all about
but never actually heard play.

We gathered our already intricately connected
groups of friends together and hit the pub.
We drank and danced
and were exposed to some interpretative dance.

It wasn't long before I was captivated.
Behind a microphone with nice piece of brass
in his left hand, was a boy.
A tall, rather good looking, smiling boy.

Now as girls do, I mentioned to my bestie
that I thought Brass Boy was attractive.
Her response was something along the lines of
" I've known him for years, he's not your type"

Never the less the thread had passed through the needle.
I threw it across the room at him.
It hit, but didn't stick.
I received a quiet invitation to a gig the following night.

With some struggle, nervousness, and awkwardness
we ended up hanging out.
He and I quickly developed a friendship, he really made me laugh,
this shocked bestie and others.

She was right, that bestie of mine.
He wasn't my type at all.
He was nice!
Gentle, caring, nurturing, understanding and amazing.

Our threads had crossed, then crossed back over again.
Each day our paths are drawn closer together
and our threads are making beautiful patterns
on the fabric of our souls.

The connections in my life
amaze me more every day.

Me and He - Bluesfest 2013

Armidale Heritage Walk

A long while ago while attending a residential school in Armidale, I had a free afternoon. 
I took myself to the tourist information centre and there I found a map labelled 
"Armidale Heritage Walk" 

I picked one up and took myself on a beautiful spring walk through the streets of this magnificent city. 
This is what I saw.

Dedicated to Ms Ellie x

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Adventures in Tertiary Education

In January 2004 I decided that it was time for change, that I wanted to do something productive with my life.
I enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Science. 
I studied part time, at night and in between work, I discovered that research and statistics were not for me, that Maslow had a dog and Schroedinger had a cat.
However, 24 months later I gave birth to my beautiful little princess and decided that perhaps being a mummy was more important than a certificate and letters after my name. So I discontinued my degree.

In January 2011 during a manic episode, I thought it to be a splendid idea to recommence study. 
Not so keen on the Social Science degree, I decided I should study what I know, Disability Services. 
I enrolled and was accepted into a Bachelor of Health, Ageing and Community Services.

Now this in itself is not an extraordinary thing for me to have done, I like to fill my mind with new things, the extraordinary part was that for the first semester of my degree I was hospitalised for 3 weeks for treatment of my mental illness. Completing 2 assignments inside a locked hospital ward and still receiving a Pass and a Credit.

Upon discharge, I was advised that the medication I was taking would reduce my ability to concentrate. 
I didn't fully understand how significantly this would impact on my education. 
I could not read, literally. The words swirled like alphabet soup on the pages, it took every fibre of my being to concentrate enough to read a paragraph, comprehending it was a whole other task. Yet I powered on. 
I tried to find journal articles that were available in audio, I swallowed my selfish pride and I asked lecturers for help understanding the material, something I would never have done before, I was so determined that I could and would do this. 

In most part I did it for me, to show myself that I can finish what I begin, that I can make choices that positively affect my life and that no challenge is insurmountable. 
In some ways I did it for my kids, to show them that without struggle and sacrifice there is no success and that it is never too late to change your own destiny
And I would be lying if I didn't say, I did it to make my Dad proud of me. The greatest moment of my graduation day was not shaking the Vice Chancellors hand and saying "Shit Yeah" to him, it was when my Dad gave me an awkward hug, patted me on the back and said "I am proud of you".

My day was also made memorable by the attendance of a special man, he calmed my anxiety, wrangled my children and captured the whole event in beautiful pictures. So blessed to have this man in my life. 

Shout out too, for the beautiful ladies that housed, hugged and loved me during my residential schools, stitch and bitches and knitting camps, your friendship and generosity is infinite and I love you all deeply. 

I struggled, I pushed, I cried, I laughed, I wrote, I read, I believed and I achieved.