Letting go.

If there is one thing I’ve come to really realise this year, it’s that life is constantly changing. I used to think of life as having chapters that would change seamlessly into the next at the catalyst of a big life alteration.

Like when I graduated high school and entered the ‘real’ world, and then again when I walked out of the cafe for the last time as a waitress to start my career as a nurse. And then of course once more when my friend died and almost everything changed.

I used to think that those kind of moments were the distinctive page turns into new chapters of my life, because they were all so large and significant events. But I now have come to realise that sometimes life chapters change subtly, without warning and without a big moment.

This year my life has changed, and I didn’t really realise it until now.

I had spent this morning organising a few things before my Mr. woke from his everlasting slumber to take me out to our usual Tuesday breakfast date. In a moment of nostalgia, I had decided to look back through some of my posts from earlier this year.

As a person, I haven’t changed a great deal. Still determined as ever to make a difference, finding various adventures to get lost upon and new hobbies to take up. Even my surroundings haven’t. I still live in the same place and travel for the most part, to the same places. Instead, it’s the people around me that have changed. And most surprisingly it’s been some of the people I counted on to always be there, who have undoubtedly left in pursuit of a life that no longer includes me.

And when I look back, there was no big moment that these people walked out of my life. There wasn’t a huge fight, or a dramatic parting. No one moved overseas or passed away. We just drifted, for whatever reason. And now it seems so odd to finish this year without them, or even that my life in it’s new chapter doesn’t include them.

I suppose in hindsight, I subconciously knew it was happening at the time. It that’s surging ache in your heart for no longer being the person they turned to for advice or even a pick-me-up mid-week. And when I really sink my teeth into it, I’ve been putting off letting go of that chapter for a long time now. Angry in the idea of even having to accept that my life will never quite go back to being like that. Fearful to so conclusively close the prior chapter of my life.

But without doing that, I can’t keep writing my own story. And more importantly, it isn’t healthy to carry around that hurt and fear anymore, and it’s exhausting to hope something will return to it’s humble beginnings. I have to let go.

This new chapter includes new friendships, and new weekly traditions. And I absolutely love it for what it is. I’ve also come to realise that my Mr. has been my best friend the whole way through, and that while I lost a few close friends this year, I’ve never once lost him. And really, at the end of the day – that’s all I could ever really need.

I  may not have the people in my life that I once used to, but there’s reasons for that, even if I don’t entirely know them right now. So I’m conclusively closing that chapter and choose to look back at it with a fondness for the memories it holds.

I didn’t see it coming, but it’s here. This is the new chapter. It’s wasn’t a life changing moment that catapulted me into it and I’m not even sure yet what this new chapter will be about, but everything from here is shaped differently now because the people around me are different. And I’m okay with that.

d x

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Barricading the ‘Busy-ness’

I was driving down the highway towards my parent’s place the other morning with Igloo riding shot-gun, thinking about the term ‘busy’.

As of late, I’ve grown to really dislike the word. To be busy, is one thing. To let busy take over, is another. There’s a fine line between the two, and I’ve found there to be little to barricade the difference.

It seems to me that these days people have taken an odd sense of pride in the idea of ‘busy-ness’. As it if were a sign of great achievement, or self-importance to be busy all of the time. It’s almost like being busy were to mean that the life you’re living was more advantageous than others, and that no one else could ever understand just how much you had to accomplish. And when the busy it takes-over, and suddenly someone doesn’t reply to your message until five days later with the excuse that the week has just been “so busy”…the barricade appears non-existent.

I’m left to wonder, when did busy become an all-enveloping excuse for making time for the things that really should matter more?

Now, disclaimer: I’ve alway’s been a busy person. Self-confessed, I prefer the chaos. But I’ve never been someone to let it completely envelope me to the point of exclusion of all else – or at least, I like to think I never have. I have always aimed for balance, and found time for the things that matter most, like family and friends -because shouldn’t that be more important?

And so I’m not exactly sure why society has classed “busy” and “successful” as belonging in the same box when I find you can be both with, or without, the other. The internet describes the term busy in various ways, but perhaps my favourite description depicted busy as “spending time being cluttered with small, unharmonious details“.

We fill our time with small errands, and work schedules, only to then find little time for ourselves, let alone others – and I don’t think it’s healthy anymore to live like that. I’m all for to-do lists and productivity, but equally in love with bath salts and a good book. There has to be balance. There has to be time for other people, because your iPhone isn’t going to hug you on a bad day.

I think people need to change their perception of busy in the context of success. Because frankly, how could you ever think yourself successful in life if you let the busy-ness eliminate all else. Who would have left to celebrate the real triumphs with at the end of it all? Aren’t people more important than designing a new website, or replying to emails on end?

The bottom line is that we don’t have to be busy, we choose to. And I’ve always strongly believed that if you really want to do something, you’ll find time for it. So here’s my own self-acquired advice on barricading the busy-ness:

  1. Recognise
    It starts with recognising that life is fleeting, and should be filled with the things you love. There’s time to be busy, and there’s days to run errands. But recognise when work is becoming too much. Recognise when it’s becoming the barrier between you and the rest of the world. Don’t spend your time feeling chained to a busy life, staring out the window at the world passing by. Your body will often tell you that you need to stop, and when it does you need to listen. Recognise that there needs to be balance, and being productive does not come at the cost of a night out with friends or a night in with family. Recognise when life is becoming unharmonious, and focus on instilling harmony in it’s place. Chaos shouldn’t be the dot point on a map we find you living in.
  2. Prioritise
    Allocate time for being productive, and then allocate time to not be. I have found it so important to prioritise time to spend with family, friends or even just yourself. There’s something magical in leaving the laptop in the office and venturing to the oceanside where there’s fresh air and crashing waves – and the heaviness is given permission to lift from your shoulders. Find time for others, even when it feels like there is little of it left in your week. Not just because it’ll enrich your life – but because it will enrich the lives of others in your life who maybe just needed a friend during a hard week you never knew they were having. Prioritise your time, because I guarantee there will be nothing worse than looking back on your life on day and realising what you missed when you were busy being busy.
  3. Embrace
    Embrace the to-do lists and work towards your goals – let that be the definition of “busy”. But also embrace knock-off time when the day is done. Draw a line between work and play, and love it’s divide. Spend time with the people who have supported you since the beginning, and do the things you love. An email can wait until 9am tomorrow morning, just because it came through while you were getting dinner with a friend, it doesn’t demand an immediate response. The sooner you learn that you have a choice in being busy, the sooner you’ll find a better success than busy could ever bring.

 

That’s all there is to it. Busy-ness is a choice. And I hope you choose well.

d x

The support act. 

Sometimes I wonder what it is that places a heart and mind on two very separate pages of the same story. 

How is it possible to love something we shouldn’t or what tears us in two? Why can’t a heart change feelings as quickly as the mind can make the decision that we need too?

And what, just what, is it about humans that makes us believe that we never deserved better than that.

I have watched a close friend of mine lose the very things that made her, her… All because the word goodbye was something her heart couldn’t pronounce when her mind had tried it’s hardest to sound it out. 

Over the last three years, I have watched her effervescent personality fade into a shadow of self-doubt and insecurities all because she chose to love someone who will never love her as he should. And it makes me as angry as it does sad to know she’s limited her heart to a future with a hurt that could have so easily been avoided. 

I have been the shoulder to cry on, and I have provided the ‘happy gerbras’ and Krispy Kremes. And now I don’t know what more to do because I want to save her and I can’t. 

This is her battle. The task of pronouncing goodbye isn’t something I can teach her. She will have to learn that one on her own. 

Accepting this has been hard for me. I’m the sort of person who wishes it were completely possible to wipe him from her memory altogether so I could see a genuine happiness return to her world. I want her to enjoy life again, not to see life as a chore or simply her ‘lot in life’. 

Unfortunately though, it’s not up to me. In fact, I could keep doing my best to make it better until my dying breath – but it wouldn’t fix her. Because the fixing can only be done by her. 

This is something that I’ve come to really learn this year. People can only fix themselves if they want to, and there is no more you can do than be the soft landing that catches them on their darkest days. 

I guess I’ve realised that while this boy is the source of many of her problems, he’s also the source of her intermittent happiness. She has fallen so deeply in love with him that she has chosen to love his flaws no matter how cruelly they scar her. 

And while it is easy for me to sit here and form the opinion that she would be better off without him, it is far harder to be in her shoes. To dismantle the life that she has built around him over the last three years would be perhaps a seemingly impossible task. And I’ve only begun to try to see it from her point of view. 

She once told me that she would ‘be no happier without him’ than she is now. It was a statement that broke my heart as I watched her shuffle her feet, bluntly accepting a future where happiness may never truely become the steer. 

I have thrown myself both sides of the invisible friendship line, having offered advice in both support of the relationship, and in protest. 

I have spoken many times with her about deserving far more than he can give, and played devils advocate on many occasions in the hope she would question what her future looks like. 

And in situations like these, I’m really not sure what a good friend should do anymore. 

I guess she will figure it out. And I have already made the decision that I will be there for her in all capacity, be it with or without him. 

While it may frustrate me to see her hurt, I think it would be far worse for me to turn my back just because I don’t think he deserves the love she gives. 

There will be plenty more tears, and plenty more sugar-coated-cream-filled donuts. But this year I have made the promise to not give up on her. Because I think that’s what being a good friend means. 

It isn’t always easy, but I don’t think it was ever meant to be. And if each day I can help her find a little more of what makes her shine brighter again, then it will have been always worth it. 

d x

Sleepless and clueless. 

Over the years, I have come to really question how it seems to be my special ability for attracting the worst luck when it comes to cars. Or anything with wheels for that matter. 

However, despite all the things that have happened to my little cars, none of them compare to the events that unfolded last Wednesday morning…

Last week, on a cloudy Wednesday morning, I made my way out of the hospital after a very long and gruelling 10 hour shift. We had spent the last three hours of the shift run off our feet, trying desperately to keep certain death-willing patients alive and delirium-encumbered patients in the confines of their own beds. 

When the morning staff started to trundle in, we were starting to see the end of the tunnel. When we realised that somehow we were three staff short for the morning shift, that light started to fade quickly. 

With one casual nurse calling in late, one sick leave not replaced and one new baby grad who mixed up his shifts and performed the worlds most unfortunately timed ‘no-show’ – it was shaping up to look somewhat close to a nightmare. 

There were buzzers going off everywhere, and all sorts of bodily fluids not being caught in time as we desperately called everyone we could think of to rescue us from the craziness threatening to envelope us. 

It was an hour past my home time and I vividly  remember thinking of all the things I would happily give just to lay down horizontally, rather than shower the man in bed 3.1 who inappropriately thought I was everything else but a nurse. 

In the end, I think I stumbled down the stairs out the front of the hospital about an hour and half after my roster promised I would be in bed, and by this time I was entirely questioning whether it would be deemed appropriate to sleep all day in my car right there in the carpark. 

Suffice to say, I never got the chance. 

Hoping to brave it home with windows down and cold water to splash on my face, I made a beeline for the drivers door and clambered inside. Turning on the car, I sighed as I placed the gear stick into first. Levelling the accelerator, the car lurched forward… and that’s when I heard the almighty ‘clunk‘. 

The whole car fell to the left on a slant. I had barely made it half a meter, but the noise was enough to make me realise something had already gone very wrong. 

I grumbled ‘What now!?’ under my breath and launched myself out of the car. It’d been a long night, but I had no idea just how much longer it was going to get. 

Venturing around to the back of the car on the right side, I found my culprit. There in the middle of the car park I stood, sleepy-eyed and in utter disbelief as I looked at a wheel hub now blantently bare without a wheel. 

Someone had stole my back wheel. The whole wheel. Nuts and tyre too boot. Gone without a trace. Poof, into oblivion. Abracadabra. This is not a drill. 

I must have stood by that wheel hub for at least the next ten minutes in a state of fatigued-confusion, not really knowing who to even call in such a situation. Police? Insurance? Dad?… Ghost Busters? 

After all, who in tarnation steals someone else’s wheel!? 

I was absolutely wordless as I crouched down next to the back of my car now noticing a referdex jammed tightly under the brake, which I can only assume was used to prop the car up before I attempted to drive off. The disc that I assumed usually housed a wheel had been dragged along the bitumen along with my suspension. 

If having my wheel stolen hadn’t been unfortunate enough, skull-dragging the rear end of my car along the ground definitely hadn’t helped. 

I decided on calling my mechanic. The boys there have looked after me since I was 16, and knowing my unparalleled history in car misfortune, they were quick to come to my rescue. 

A long 15 hours since first arriving to work the night before, I finally watched my car hoist aboard a large tow truck. Half-asleep in the passenger seat of my Mr.’s car, we followed the tow truck back to my mechanic’s. 

My poor little car (‘Rocket’ as I’ve belovingly named him) needed four new alloys, a new tyre, a new set of brakes and some repairing to the wheel disc. I was sent home to sleep while they fitted Rocket out with the new adjustments. 

I snuck in two hours sleep before my phone woke me from my slumber, and the rough husky voice of my mechanic let me know my little car was ready to pick up. 

Four-hundred and ten dollars later (because my mechanic boys are just way too good to me!), I hopped in the drivers seat for the second time that day and shook my head one last time in disbelief at the way my day had turned out. 

And then out of nowhere I began to simply laugh at the ridiculousness of it. How these things happen to me, I’ll never quite know! But I’ll tell you something for nothing, they sure make for a good story in the tea room. 

I guess in this ever-maddening world, these things happen. They don’t have reason, nor logic. And they most certainly aren’t concerned with bad timing or whether you’ve been awake for a close 24 hours. They just happen. 

So you have to take what comes, and deal with it the best you can. Besides, the world has a funny way of making it up to you when the bad things cuddle a little too close. My newly won four-course dinner next Tuesday night at a fancy restaurant will entirely vouch for that! 

So count on the better things finding their way to you, it’ll never stay all bad forever. 

As for now, I have taken to checking all four wheels before leaving any car park, and parking a little too close to the gutters because if you’re planning on taking up another wheel for your collection, I’m sure not making it easy!

Happy Sunday everyone. Here’s hoping you always have four wheels to drive you home, and the strength to know that no matter how your day has started, the better will eventually fall together!

d x 

#4

Well, it’s official! I did it! I got the job! You are now looking at the newest CN to join the ranks in the surgical unit heading for the new hospital at the end of next month. If the ear-to-ear smile doesn’t give it away, then I’m not sure what would.

I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Admittedly it took me a lot to even apply for the position (read 2017: The Fear), but the whole process has made me realise just how important it is, and has always been, to never stop pursuing your goals  – even when they may prove difficult.

Truthfully, I have my father and my Mr. to entirely thank for pushing me to the brink of frustration. I had never doubted myself more than in the weeks leading up to the application deadline, and could not have fathomed the possibility that I would be successful.

Since finding out the inverted of that, I haven’t stopped thinking about just how lucky I was to have the two greatest men in my life believe in me strongly enough to [lovingly] peer-pressure me into clicking the ‘submit’ button. If it had not been for them, I may have  thrown away this opportunity altogether.

I’ve come to recognise that while we can be strong on our own, true strength is found in numbers. Only in the sense that in your weakness someone else will be there to loan the strength you need. It’s not that you couldn’t fight your battle alone, it’s that there’s comfort in knowing you don’t have to. To have someone else believe you can is sometimes the only ammunition we need.

I am more than humbled to be given such an amazing opportunity at the age of 23, and am knowingly entering a new chapter of my life with more gratefulness than I thought was possible.

Finally, I get to wear my shiny new CN shoes…and keep them. I am ready.

#4 – Make Clinical Nurse at work: Check!

d x

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2017: The Fear

A few days ago, at the dawn of a new year, I was flicking through the tv channels and stumbled upon a movie I hadn’t seen in a very long time. In the early 2000s, a Cinderella Story was nothing short of a rite of passage for any of us girls growing up at the time. But granted that this was not a era of Disney-watching memories for everyone, let me fill you in a little on the plot…

It was a classic teen heart-throb movie staring the all-too charming Chad Michael Murray and doe-eyed Hilary Duff, that made pink converse sneakers and a extravagant white dresses somewhat of a thing. The storyline imitated the fairytale of Cinderella as it’s title may have blatantly eluded to, and unravelled a new-age technological romance between the orphaned nerdy girl in high school and the handsome quarterback.

It was a feel-good movie that made every girl spend the next 5 years hoping Chad Michael Murray might just fall in love with them someday, myself included. One Tree Hill only exacerbated the fantasy.
But rewatching the movie a few days ago, something really sunk in. It was a quote that underpinned the entire movie, and gave motive to each of its characters. Something I would have never taken in as a child, but now watching it some 13 years later, it’s weighted differently.

Never let the fear of striking out, stop you from playing the game…

Whether it was by chance or not, this was something that I really needed to hear. And when I realised it’s relevancy to my life this year, I couldn’t help but to think that perhaps this was life showing me what 2017 needs to be about – having a little more faith in myself.

Not getting a CN position last year really shook my self-esteem. In a way, I viewed it as a failure. It was the first time I had worked really hard for something, and not had it handed to me in return. I wasn’t used to the feeling. 

I started doubting my ability and caring what others thought of me more than I ever should have allowed myself to. Even though I knew logically not to, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly lost. 

At the end of November they announced that three more positions for CN’s would be advertised and many people asked me if I would re-apply.

The initial answer ‘no way‘ fell from my lips straight away. A large part of me felt that if they had wanted me, they would have given me the job last time, so why would I bother applying again? It was hard to shake the misconception that they obviously didn’t think I could do it.

I battled with the concept that if were to apply, the chances are that they would turn me down again. The original job wasn’t given to me because I’m a relatively new nurse with less than three years experience. And I just couldn’t see how three months onwards, it would be any different.

I was frustrated with my Mr. and my family who encouraged me repeatedly to re-apply. “What have you got to lose?” they would say. Everything felt like my answer. I didn’t want to ‘fail’ again, I didn’t want people to know that I ‘failed’ twice. I didn’t want to go through the rejection again, I didn’t want to deal with the embarressment. In my head, I could only imagine my boss looking at my application and thinking ‘Why on earth would she apply again?‘.

They didn’t want me the first time, it was hard to come back from that.

Then I heard it, the quote from the teenage heart-throb movie, and I suddenly realised I was letting fear dictate not only a terrible predicament of self-doubt, but dictate that I wasn’t worthy to keep chasing my goals.

I was letting the fear stop me from pursuing something I have been working really hard for, for the past year. This is another chance to put myself out there for something great, and I was prepared to let it slip by just to avoid the rejection.

But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realise that rejection is a part of life. I haven’t had a lot of it in mine so far, and I’m so grateful for that, but it’s something that I’m just going to have to learn how to take it in my stride.

Because I’m not always going to have the things I want handed to me. I think that there is going to be plenty more moments where someone says no, and I need to learn to be okay with that.

Three months down the track and I’ve finally realised that didn’t fail when I didn’t get the CN position last time. There were simply more experienced nurses than me. It doesn’t make me a bad nurse, or not capable of being a a CN. It’s taken me a long time to truely recognise that, or at the very least believe it.

So I applied again. And then I cried out of pure emotional exhaustion. I pushed through the fear, and that alone has been frightening. I feel vulnerable, and it’s a strange feeling coming from the usually confident, head-strong girl that I am.

There is a rather large chance that I still won’t get the position, but I don’t really think that’s the point anymore. This year for me, is about not letting the fear hinder and having a little more faith in myself. 

It may have taken Cinderella to teach me this, but I don’t plan on letting anyone bruise my self-worth ever again.

Be brave, be strong and be fearless in pursuit of what sets your heart on fire.

This is 2017. Do something you’ve always been a little too fearful to conquer before. 

Happy new year.

d x

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Christmas Hostess

Well it’s official, there’s only four days left until Christmas brightly jingles itself onto our doorsteps. And I’m totally freaking out.

This year, I’m hosting for the first time given that I now have a house big enough to do so. And I have been so excited to don the Christmas apron and test out my roasting-things-in-the-oven abilities. Because in theory, it should be fairly easy right? Buy the food, hang the fairy lights, drink and be merry?

Oh no. As it would turn out, hosting Christmas is a far bigger task than I ever expected. Cue outburst along the lines of… how on earth does Mum do this every year?!

Consider me well and truly overwhelmed.

I have a to-do list that would rival the height and weight of the Taj Mahal. It includes making garlands, and downloading instructions on how to season chicken amongst other ridiculous tasks that really were only ever meant to be ‘Mum-doing’ things. It seems like every time I think that I have perhaps thought of it all, you bet your rudolf red nose that I’ll find something else to add to the ever-growing, never ending list.

Between making toothpick reindeers for decorations (seriously did not make it easy for myself…remind me to delete Pinterest account once I’m done here), I have been asking myself at least 20 times a day this week, why I ever thought hosting Christmas was a good idea. Mum had a good thing going for the last 23 years, and I’m now entirely sure we should have let her go for her 24th.

Realising six days out that I simply did not have enough dining plates was scary, remembering five days out that I just might need placemats to go under said dining plates made me really question my future-housewife potential.

And the food! Don’t even get me started. With the amount of money I’ve spent on food for one day in December, it’s looking like porridge may well be what I survive on come 2017. It’s made me suddenly feel very grateful for the many Christmas’s before where people have fed me without charge…because I will admit I’ve contemplated portioning salted peanuts to  two per person.

However with all that being said, I am choosing to cut myself a little slack. It is my very first time hosting Christmas, and while I’m entirely sure it will not find itself even remotely close to being in the same proximity to my Mother’s Christmas Extravaganzas – I’m sure that it will be one to remember because it was my own.

After all, I don’t think that it really matters how much food there is, or whether we eat off proper plates or paper ones. It really won’t matter if it doesn’t turn out as planned or if the peanuts all get eaten.

Because I think what really counts is being with the ones you love to celebrate Christmas (and the all-too-time-consuming toothpick reindeers, of course).

It’s about cherishing each other and watching the fairy lights sparkle knowing that you have been so lucky to be sharing such a special day with the people who make your entire world light up. It’s listening to Michael Buble belt out famous Christmas carols and laughing at Grandad who had a little to much brandy with his Christmas cake and decided to sing-along into the end of a bonbon cracker. It’s about reading aloud awful Christmas jokes, and shouting the punch lines in perfect harmony because this isn’t the first time you’ve been asked what a reindeer without eyes is called. It’s about having the pavlova, rocky-road and the fruitcake because losing weight is next weeks problem. It’s finding time to smile and be thankful for the messy kitchen, the stained tablecloth and the trail of Christmas wrapping paper that now embellishes your house, because they are the telltale signs of a Christmas well-enjoyed.

But I think most importantly, it’s about letting the happiness fill your heart to the brim, and feeling the warmth envelop your chest as if it might explode.

I hope that each and every one of you have a really wonderful Christmas this year, and find the happiness I know your heart deserves to feel.

Merry Christmas world.

Love, d x