We’ve been home for over a week now. To say I felt like the earth had been lifted out from under me when we returned home, would be a glorious understatement. Travel does this to me, to most of us, I think. It shifts the way I think and it changes my priorities. The things a person can learn through travel greatly outweigh the things you can learn by standing still… but holding on to those things, the revelations, after you have returned home, is difficult at best. I wrote notes when I was away. Notes that looked like scratched paper, rushed between wrestling a giddy toddler and wiping doghnut sugar off our hands and faces… notes that reminded me of the things I wanted to accomplish once I got home… it’s not surprising that ” some sort of a detox” was one of them. We may have over indulged… in the best way possible. Introducing my own child to the candies and treats (like sweet tarts and doughnuts and grape juice and pumpkin pie) of my own childhood, was a pleasure that was totally worth the sugar highs and terrible lows.
Jet lag was hard coming home… we had a flight cancellation in Vancouver which made the trip a little longer and a little harder, but the comfort of my own bed and the privacy of my own kitchen made it a lot easier. The heat of an early summer quickly stripped the bright cool air of Canada from our clothes and our hair.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and my Self and the direction that I want to head in the future. Wondering what all this is… wondering where this need to share comes from, this need to turn a story into words on a page for people to read. Why not just write for myself? Why do I share? And I realised somewhere along the way that I share because I need to. Because I need to feel connected in a world where we are so disconnected from each other. I need to share because it is as much a way to discover myself as it is a way to share my stories with the world. Don’t get me wrong, writing can be just as deceiving as it can be revealing. I look back at some of my own posts from the past few years and I can see my own need to create an alter ego for myself. To create an ideal self to show to the world. Maybe it’s all part of the self discovery… maybe it’s just human nature. I don’t know.
Half way through writing this post (because I can never seem to find the time to do it all in one sitting any more) I read this post from Emily at The Beetle Shack. I’ve always liked Emily’s blog. I’ve been a bit of a silent follower for some time now. Reading some posts and not reading others, which is always the way for me. Not everything is written for every one. And that’s ok. I love Emily’s honesty about finding the (moral and economic) balance between wanting to be sustainable and fair trade and eco friendly whilst still managing to exist in mainstream, middle class Australia. I liked that this post reminded me that I’m not alone in this constant ebb and flow of self realisation and self doubt. It reminded me that even when I am feeling lonely and lost and without a place to hang my hat… there will always be someone else in the world feeling the same. Whenever I’m doubting myself and what I do (both here, and in other aspects of my life), I’m reminded that I’m never alone in feeling that, either. It’s bloody nice not to be alone, isn’t it? It’s the best.
We all feel a bit shit sometimes. And it always feels a bit less shit when we are not alone in those feelings.
We all want to be something that we are not, sometimes. And we are not alone in that either.
On the weekend I left Bo with my mum for the night for the very first time and I went to the city for a girls weekend for my best friends Bachelorette Party. I drank (a lot), I wore red lipstick and heels and I managed not to make a total fool of myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve been dressed up and out in the world. It’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed toilet discussions of gorgeous drunk girls and their sudden beautiful honesty with one another.
I was washing my hands in the bathroom just after midnight. A girl stood next to me, slightly wobbly in her heels, her tight electric blue mini skirt hugging her hips, one hand steadying herself on the bathroom counter and the other holding her iPhone out in front of her. She pursed her lips and popped her hip out and clicked selfie after selfie. I couldn’t help but smile into the suds washing down the drain in front of me. I said nothing… I was about to walk out the door when another girl in a black dress and feathers bumps her body awkwardly into the counter next to me….
‘scuuuuse me darl,’ she said to me, her words slurred with the fun of an evening out.
The girl in the black spots the girl in the blue and slams her drink onto the counter.
‘Stop!!!’ She yells at the girl in blue who startled looks our way, lips still puckered. ‘What are you doing?!’ The girl in blue obviously has no idea how to respond… neither do I for that matter.
The girl in black takes a few steps towards the girl in blue and puts her hands ever so gently on her cheeks.
‘Just stop with that duck face,’ she says quietly, ‘why are you doing that face? it’s awful!!’
The girl in blue looks at her, as if she’s just found her best friend in a sea of drunken dresses and tequila slammers.
‘I, I don’t know!’ she replies. ‘I don’t know why…’
‘It’s just awful.’ Says the girls in black, ‘it makes your face look like a cats arse, and look at you, you’re gorgeous. You don’t look like a cats arse at all!’
‘I guess I thought that’s what I had to do,’ the girl in blue says quietly, ‘everyone else is doing it… aren’t they?’
‘You are beautiful!!!’ her new best friend replies. She then bounces away from the counter and bangs on the door of every single cubicle in the bathroom. ‘YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!!! DOWN WITH THE DUCK FACE.’
I laugh and leave the bathroom, turning around only once to see the girl in blue and the girl in black taking selfies together with big, beautiful, drunken smiles on their faces.
Perhaps I will always be torn between what I am expected to do and what I truly want to do. Perhaps that is a part of my nature that no matter how hard I try to set free, will always exist. The structure of this blog is going to change a bit as I let go of some of the baggage I’ve been holding on to and free myself from the need to conform not only to my own expectations but to the (somewhat invisible) expectations of the industry in which this little blog has managed to find a footing. It will happen gradually and probably a bit haphazardly at times, because that’s just my way. I’m still figuring out who I am…
Maybe we all need to just let go of the duckface and embrace our new best friends and remember that expectations are rarely placed on us by others… almost every time, we place them on ourselves.