The Accidental Brazilian

I feel like it could only happen to me. To get my first Brazilian wax totally accidently in Bali. When I did not, nor haven’t ever really, wanted a Brazilian. But anyway, for anyone else out there who wants to know how (or how not) to have thIs happen to you, here’s the low-down on the down-low wax.

The whole getting to Bali for our family holiday has been a complete debacle. Volcanic ash. Cancelled flights. Holidays in winter in the city. But we finally made it here last night. Nowhere in the weeks leading up to the holiday, or the 3 extra days stuck in the wintery city did I find time to prepare my body for being in the tropics in a bathing suit. Until this morning.

By 11am we’d done nearly everything possible, buffet breakfast, kids in the pool before 9am, walk down to the beach, coffee, small child patting a mangy dog, bartering for stuff we don’t want or need. So then we headed the other way to the small, cheap beauty place for $5 massages. And there, on the menu was waxing. First error. Waxing in a $5 place in Bali. Second error seeing $5 bikini wax and deciding it to be a good option.

Three daughters all set up with foot massages and toenail painting, fourth daughter getting back massage. Me in the “private” room for my bikini wax. I really thought we had it all sorted. She did come in wearing a mask like a dentist or a nurse or a surgeon. I still tried to be calm, even though once I went to get undressed realised I was wearing a full-piece bathing suit and had to strip naked. We had a conversation where she pulled back the sarong and I pointed out the very obvious pre-existing bikini line and she nodded. Then she bent down, got hot wax on a large kitchen spatula (like for flipping pancakes) and basically took out my entire bush with one stroke. I guess there is no other way to get wax off than to wax off. She waxed off. And then, no matter what I said or how I pointed she determinedly waxed every single bit of hair off my entire va-jay-jay. But she did not wax my bikini line. In fact, I was having what could only be described as a reverse bikini line – where all the hair is removed from the part that would be covered by your bikini and the bikini line hair is left.

I also am not sure she’s ever had any official waxing training, because although I have never had a Brazilian wax before I do know the basics about holding the skin taut as you pull off the wax and also firmly putting your hand on the newly waxed bit so it doesn’t sting as much. Well there was none of that. And each time I said “that’s enough there, can you just do these bits on the side?” she would nod, load the spatula with more wax and take out my va-jay-jay again. I think she thought I was trying to wuss out. Which I wasn’t (because I am very brave) but fark, I just didn’t want it all waxed.

Anyhoo, it’s all waxed. It actually cost $12 because it was called a “Full bikini wax” not just a “Bikini wax”. Like an add-on. Like a bonus. Like the full service. Anyway my children were on the side of the curtain, and regardless of what I said or gestured or pointed out, there was no way she wasn’t taking it all off.

So it’s done. And I’m on holidays with my children who will freak out as much as I do when they see what’s happened. Even if it was worth it (it wasn’t) the only other person in my life who could possible appreciate it is not here and I’m never doing it again ever, accidentally or not.
It was not on my bucket list, but now I’ve added it so I can scrub it off. Kissing a Brazilian man is on there, but that all seems a bit naff after today.

So here are my three hot tops for not accidentally getting a Brazilian:

1. Don’t opt for any kind of waxing around your bikini area in Bali. Especially if it’s only $5
2. Don’t take your pants off before the waxing
3. Don’t do it. Just go to your lovely salon at home before you leave (even if it’s mid winter an means you will have to take your jeans off) and pay appropriately for them to take off just the right amount from the sides. Kindly. Gently. With training.

And you know. Big loves from Bali. It’s happy hour. The poolside waiter is just grabbing me the cocktail menu.

Serial killers creep in the cracks

I’ve been having bad dreams. Not nightmares, although I wake up feeling the same way as after a nightmare. My nightmares are actually like serial-killer movies, with intense and complicated plots and an ominous feeling of evil. They make me not breathe properly and wake up startled, too scared to move in my bed momentarily and then I realise it’s a nightmare and I breathe again and there is not actually a serial killer in my room listening for my breath so they can serially kill me. And I go back to sleep and usually the nightmare doesn’t come back that night. Unless it was just part 1 of a serial killer serial. I always wished I could remember the detail, because I feel like those nightmares have the kind of plots and suspense that could earn me some money. But I’m not into serial killers or writing movie scripts, and in the morning I can’t remember much but the feeling of the fear that if I move or breathe something will slit my throat.

So it’s not dreams like that. It’s dreams about him. And her. And us all being together as though we are mature adults moving on and have decided to hang out with our children at the park or in local holiday destinations and “be cool”. I can not look in the eyes of either of them in the dream, and in the last one there was someone else as well, someone with children who was part of their relationship too and I recall being surprised at his ability to be kind to those small children and to choose another person with children when he really only mostly likes his own. I don’t want to dream about them. There is no reason for them to haunt me. But like clever serial killers they are there, acting all “family unity” and stuff and I am bewildered and want to take my children away, but his children are there and they are so happy we are all together that even though I am bewildered I stay. And say nothing. And I cannot look directly at either of them.

My children woke me up in the middle of all of this last night. They don’t usually wake up the night often, so I was glad even though it was freezing and I didn’t want to get up to turn on lights and rescue the rabbit from weeing on the bed again. One must have called out and the other woke up, and there was a kerfuffle as I sorted them out. Then I crawled back into bed where the man who found me/the man who I have found wrapped me up in his warm arms. The safest, most precious feeling in the world. He makes my heart squeeze and although I am scared of what that means (not because of him, but because it would be hard not to be scared of the thing I have always wanted but been too scared to ask for, for fear it could not or would not be possible) I am safe and all is as it should be. And as I drift off to sleep they are back, and until I wake up again I cannot make them go away.

Is that what happens? I can’t remember. That when there is no space anymore they come in the cracks? Or can they only come in the cracks because there is space? I believe I have forgiven them, but that there is no reason for me to ever like them or want them in my life in any way. I think that is OK. I am not bitter or twisted but I like that there is an ugly photo of her on my computer. The masochist in me has not deleted it, even though I do not look at it anymore. I just know it’s there and once (about a year ago) the ugliness made me feel momentarily better. I think I am not bitter, but although I wish them luck, in my heart of hearts I do not believe it will end well and some part of me is glad about that. Because if it does end well and they are happy? The part of me that won’t delete the photo will remind the part of me that is so grateful they are gone that she wasn’t enough to do that.

I want the dreams to stop. Everything else (and I mean everything) is bit-by-bit falling into place and my life is this life that I dreamed of. But nowhere in that dream was there room to be dreaming about them. That is so NOT my dream. That’s like a nightmare. Fed by the cracks.

So this is healing the cracks. If you don’t talk about what scares you then it grows. I’m scared I will always dream of them, even wrapped in the arms of the man who found me/the man who I have found. I’m scared that my heart squeezing means it’s too hurt, and not that it’s coming back to life. I’m scared one day I will see them in the street and I not be able to look them in the eye and graciously thank them for my freedom (oh the times I have dreamed of that). I’m scared that the ugly photo defines my bitterness even though I am sure I am not bitter. The bitterness is sour on my tongue. And the hurt is heavy in my chest. Still. And I am scared that even though it is so much less than it was that it never goes away. Like ever. And the dreams are just to remind me not to get too excited about the possibility that it will one day it will not even be a thing. Even in my dreams.

The story of the weather

The weather was weaved into my childhood like a person. A moody and unpredictable type of person who had influence by what she gave and what she didn’t. I guess that would make her a woman. Prone to changing her mind. Spectacularly beautiful, harrowing, wild and angry, calm and divine, alive.

Yesterday was the warmest winter day on record for our town in like, forever (research is not my forte even though I saw this on a meme only yesterday). It was a magnificent day for a town lover. But the meaning of the weather is too in me (woven into the fabric of my being) to fully appreciate it, because my stomach always clenches slightly when it’s warm and dry and meant to be winter and the growing season for the crops and there’s no rain, and nothing much like winter at all.

The moods of our household, and perhaps most farming families, was intrinsically linked to the weather. It seemed to me it never rained. Or it never rained at the right time. It rained in November and December and stuffed up the harvest and watered down the quality of the grain. And the price. Except when it rained so much in one State (but not ours) that the crops were trashed and the price went up. And then the mood changed, I guess a bit like the relief when the tragedy is close to home but not yours and you feel simultaneously relieved and guilty for feeling relieved. Glad it’s not your tragedy, but hurting for the people who are hurting.

The radio was always on in the morning. The weather reporter or the guy (usually) from the BOM was the most important person. But no amount of baited breath could change what he’d say. And then there would be conflicting reports about what to expect, and my father would sigh heavily, angrily turn off the radio and head out the door to work. And the sun would shine, and sometimes the wildflowers would come out by the middle of July (or there would be blow-flies in June like today) and I’d feel panic because it meant the possibility of a long, slow, hot, dusty summer (which even with an amazing growing season still happened every year because of where we live). The easterly would blow, cold and harsh from the desert and then hot like dragon’s breath. The southerly would kick in in summer and bring the dust from the farms made bare with livestock or not enough ground-cover and the summer storm clouds would be tinted pink. Beautifully, magnificent sunsets and sunrises, and days like the desert.

The mood could go on for days or weeks or months or the entire growing season. Our house would be quieter. The radio or the evening ABC weather report would be the only thing that mattered. Once the guy on the TV reported certain rain that never came and my Dad wrote him letter, which my brother faxed (gleefully). I believed it said something about him not knowing a weather map from his a-hole. Which I guess was early-version trolling. Distressed would be the emotion that lived around my Dad on those days. And then despondent.

And then? Sometimes it would rain. Sometimes only a few millimetres, but enough for the tiny plants to stand up straighter and get a bit greener. And the cooler weather and the grey skies made it easier for them. And they were (and are) the most amazingly resilient plants. Like farmers. Surviving on the drop of an oily rag. Or a damp morning. And then? There would be hope. The steps would be lighter. There would be banter in the workshop or over the two-way. Everyone could breath a little easier. Sometimes it rained a lot. We would get in trouble for wrecking the wet roads by driving on them. Some seasons were magnificent. Magnificent beyond. Those seasons we would whinge about weeds, or pests or getting bogged in the paddock and then about filling the bins too quick at harvest and the trucks not being able to keep up. Those seasons were the seasons I believe that keep people farming. Not just because of the money they bring in, but because they were infused with hope. And the hope would keep many people farming beyond what was possible with the money they made. And whatever else it is when farming is woven into the fabric of your being. That even when you don’t live there or do it anymore you are not entirely free of it. And that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. It probably isn’t a bad thing. It’s just how it is. Like the colour of your eyes, or the shape of your smile or the way you laugh.

It seemed that the weather could break people, one hot, dry day at a time. The communities who loved and supported each other would find other ways to hold themselves together (they are resilient you see), but every year someone would be broken by it. Momentarily or for a long time. And the communities got smaller, but somehow stronger.

I remember big weather events. Not clearly, but mixed in the mix of all the years. Like the cyclone when I was 4 that broke our TV antenna (and thus no ABC for weeks) and meant we had to get the ducklings inside and warm them in the oven (door open). The times the river flooded to the road near our house, and I slipped in the mud. And then the time the river touched the house and there were frogs on my windowsill in the morning and ducks in the fronts paddock. Swimming ducks. And swimming children. Droughts. Sheep leaving. Tall glorious canola crops. Thick wheat. Shrivelled wheat. Dust. Wildflowers. Rain. Sunshine. There was even a type of weather I associated with Armageddon. End-of-the-world weather. When it was still and overcast and muggy, but probably not going to rain. But the sky was dark and the mood ominous. That would the day the world ended. It didn’t though. It didn’t end. But on reflection I find it interesting that I thought Armageddon would come on a day that threatened rain but probably wouldn’t rain.

I always said I couldn’t be a farmer because I could not depend on something that was so out of my control. That no matter how well I thought I knew my land, or the technology I used or the love I felt for what I did I could not control if the heavens opened and helped the crops grow. And yet somehow, you’re always a farmer, even if you move away because it’s woven into the fabric you’re made of. And so even if you live in town you have your own farm – chooks and chickens, and rabbits, and (badly) grown herbs – and you notice the weather. And you still pray for rain in winter (except when it rains too much and fills your town pool with dirty water), and pray for it not to rain during harvest (except when it’s so hot you are dying and dreaming of a summer thunderstorm) and feel simultaneously relieved and guilty that your livelihood no longer depends on it.
And then you meet someone who works with farmers, and suddenly the conversations about the weather are not just with your Dad at afternoon teas on Sunday, but they become a part of everyday again. Like the story of the weather. Woven into the fabric of your being. Like the colour of your eyes, or the shape of your smile or the way you laugh.

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11 reasons why I am the WORST Mum

These reason are mostly according to my fourth daughter, Miss 4. However you will see that some reasons are supported by all my children. And even me.

Sometimes I like to bemoan with her about her poor luck in her mother, and offer her options for other Mums. So far she has only requested my older sister and I totally get that, so I wasn’t hurt.

When she’s really done with things she actually says “You are the WORST Mum”. Usually I agree.

1. I will not give her money to buy a fish to put in the fish tank her Dad brought her and sent over to my house to populate. I am not good at keeping fish alive (even thought I am a marine biologist) and don’t know how to talk to them in the same way I do to things that are furry or feathered. And further to this, Even though we have 2 dogs, a cat, 2 chickens, 2 rabbits and 8 chooks I will not let them get another kitten or puppy. Or fish.

2. On numerous occasions I have started backing out of the driveway before she has put on her seatbelt. Even though previous to me reversing we have been stationary in the car in the driveway for 15 minutes whilst we put on seatbelts.

3. Some days I let them have pancakes for breakfast with Nutella, giant marshmallows and ice-cream. On the same days I say things like “No you can not have ice-cream and Nutella and marshmallows for dessert. That would be ridiculous”. I think the appropriate parenting shame word is inconsistent.

4. I named her Juno instead of Zoe. And now her best friend at kindy is called Zoe so that name is taken.

5. I only do school drop off twice a week and school pickup NEVER. I am gleeful about these low numbers and they can not understand why I begrudge 40 minutes of time in the car, parking, walking to classrooms, waiting, trying not to look at my phone, walking to the car, driving, getting stuck in school traffic even though we only live one block from the school (but in between three schools).

6. I like Jason Derulo “Want you to want me” and play it loudly in the car and sing falsetto.

7. I never cook anything she likes. I never cook. I don’t cook as good as our au pair. I don’t cook as good as her Dad or her aunty (the one she has requested to be her Mum). I’m not going to tell you here that I do cook and that I’m quite a good cook because it would be hard to prove lately with all the cooking our au pair does, and I am not competitive about some things (cooking and school drop offs to start with)

8. I make them go to bed at bed-time and get really mad if they come out EVER. By the fourth time of coming out I have banned all treats, dessert, money, fun, everything. I have this thing where I reckon by bedtime you get to stop being a Mum for the night. Unfortunately this starts about 6.30pm for me and the first round of bedtime in this house is 7pm. I know. The worst.

9. Last week when we had peas and corn for dinner I remembered a meme I saw on Facebook. So then, it just happened that I said “we’re having porn for dinner” and then when Miss 6 asked what that was I said “ask your teacher”. My biggest girl stared at me with shock. There were a lot of “porn” references for the rest of the meal. And snickering. Even though they don’t know what that word means. Until I took parental responsibility and told them it was the same as the f-word and they had best never say it again.

10. I let them listen to the song “I’m an Albatroaz” but then banned it when Miss 4 made up her own song with the f-word in it.

11. I like to take photos or videos of tantrums and share them on social media. Just so other people understand. Or I remember that I did not make it up.

12. And because I am the worst and cannot count number 11 plus 1 is – Sometimes I say “no”. The worst. Ever. Especially if it involves Nutella. Or the Ipad. Or fish.

Show me who you are greedy lady

I’m so greedy. I have 2 blogs. This one, and another one called The Goddamn Motherworker. I have two because. Because I just would. Because I thought one was about everything that wasn’t my business and one was about stuff that related to work. But I’m a life coach, so it all kind of runs into each other. A duality dual. A mixed up mix. My ego and me. The mother and the worker.

Turns out I can’t really separate them, and sometimes I think I’m witting for one and then I think it’s for the other. So I share it with all and both because it seems that the people who like the way I write seem to like most of it.

I’m so greedy. I have 2 Instagram profiles. I have been told by all the knowing and naff social media crew that I know that this is silly and a waste of time. Which is true because I spend a lot of time logging in and out on my phone so I can post business stuff and family stuff on both profiles. Because I’m the goddamn motherworker and my ego just cannot shut the fuck up sometimes and then there’s me. Who loves taking photos and writing about stuff. As much as possible.

I’m super greedy. I have 4 children. At least. By that I mean I’m also into loving other people’s children, and it’s not enough that I have four of my own daughters but I greedily like to love children who I did not give birth to as well. And I try to write about this on My Ego and Me because sometimes I love being mother and sometimes I loathe it. And I try to write about it on the Goddamn Motherworker because sometimes it makes me better at my job and sometimes it makes my job impossible. And my Instagram profiles are linked to my blogs, which are linked to my Facebook (a profile and a business page both in the same name, but one you have to be my friend and one you can just follow). And then I see people all the time out in the world and they guiltily tell me that they feel like a stalker because they know EVERYTHING about me, and I just laugh and said it would only be weird and stalky if I hadn’t shared it in the first place. Which I have. Via at least 2 of every social media channel.

And then, I get to LinkedIn, which I understand is meant to be very professional. My professional profile. And I’m like, don’t show me your professional profile, show me who you are. I want to know who you are. Even the perfect life Facebook version, because there’ll always be something in the back of photos or a desperation in your selfie-eyes or something that shows me you. Use it for good. Add value to the world, because actually that’s what’s possible and I make sure that all the stuff that comes through me and back to the world is going to add to it and not take from it or rip it apart. Even if it’s just something funny or a dog singing. Add heart. #lovewins. So My LinkedIn profile is linked to all my other stuff because that’s who I am and I refuse to give you the professional version of me. She’s only half a woman. I actually couldn’t tell you who that is; because the whole version of me is the only one I’m prepared to show, even if sometimes I make myself want to shut up. I can’t shut up. And I can’t only share the good half of it in case someone thinks perhaps I am too messy or ridiculous. I am, at times, so messy and beyond ridiculous. I completely lost my crap with my biggest girl and our au pair (who’s just another one of my biggest girls now) on the weekend because I came home and the sink was full. I may have said, “It’s not a fucking hotel” a few too many times. And then, after all my ranting and getting it off my chest I did not feel better, so I had to call them back to start again. Clarifying that going out and leaving the house a mess is not my favourite, but that actually I was just upset because I’m responsible for them both and they’re adults and THAT IS NEVER GOING TO CHANGE. Even when they are bigger adults. Even when the other 3 children are adults. And I love that and I hate it in equal parts. And it’s teaching me everything and sometimes I don’t like learning it that way. And so lets just love and support each other and clean up the kitchen and not make dramatic declarations about “fucking hotels” and we’ll all be OK. And then we all got on with living together. Which with 6 women is beyond ridiculous most of the time.

Many times I said that the thing I wanted to do was to write every day. I thought that meant a blog and then when I couldn’t manage that I wondered how on earth I could ever do it. And then I found a way I could write everyday. On social media. And sometimes I could write with a photo I took, or just tell a funny story about how my children had nearly killed me before 8am or ask a question or write it all out. And I am so greedy I made sure I had as many ways as possible so I would have to just keep writing, and sharing and this is the way I give it back.

Because I’m so grateful that I get to be so greedy and have a life so full that there is always too much to say.

And too many ways to say it.

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A brief history of men otherwise known as a history of brief men.

* FOREWORD. FOREWARNED. Do not read this if you have ever dated me or are currently dating me (I get there is only one person in this second category, I hope you know who you are and stop here, and I also hope you know that even though I said that I don’t really mean it).

I was going to write a book titled something like this post, and thought perhaps, if I can get it out of my system as a blog post rather than an entire history of the world, that might be a good thing. I could still write a book, but a blog post probably won’t take up as much of my life as a book. About Fleur’s brief history of men. It could be seriously long and disappointing. And also, I’m kind of completely sick of the whole novel to be honest. Been writing that mofo for far too many years.

I have to write this because (it’s been going around in my head for ages and writing it out is my best solution) I re-read something last night that I wrote about a year ago which tells the history of relationships and me pretty succinctly. It goes a bit like this…

All those men who weren’t lost I dumped first. Those men who were smart and interesting and seemed to adore me. And I left them for the crazy, lost freaks collection. The lost boys. And I tried to love them and overlove them. I attracted lost men and became more lost and then when I started to find my way out of the foggy maze of lostness and decide not to accept lost anymore they leave. And in the end they didn’t leave me and become amazing, they left me and stayed lost.

And that’s it really. And I’d actually written so much more, and what I intended to do about that, but I forgot that I wrote such a detailed description of my choices. I actually laughed out loud when I read that I wrote the “crazy, lost freaks collection”. I would be worried that they could get offended if they read that, but most of them can’t read. Ouch. Bitter cow.

I’m writing all of this because the complete opposite person has happened. To me. And I’m guessing you don’t get to meet people until you’re ready because honestly my 20-year-old self would have chewed him up. Not intentionally. Not with forethought and dedicated planning. But my fear would have driven me so far from someone like him and directly into the path of some dude with long hair, a skateboard and a drug habit. My 30-year-old self was not much better. Finally though, my 40-year-old self (apart from occasionally feeling terrified and this funny squeezy feeling in my heart when he fixes my taps and reads stories to my children) cannot find any reasons (not one) to put this person into the crazy, lost freaks collection. And I’m SO GLAD I’m grown up. So this is like the accountability check in. Just to make sure you know that I know that I’m on a good thing.

I’m a bit scared. Of course. Because it’s way too close to everything I wanted and asked for. And that’s terrifying. What would it mean if it all worked out? If someone kind and loving and beautiful and caring and who thought my children were adorable and I was funny and beautiful and precious and had his shit together just turned up and loved us? Gently and slowly, and without pressure of expectation? Would it be OK?

He just turned up. At the end of Gap Year. He has swirled in similar circles to me for years and although I knew his face and name, I had not noticed him before. I was busy. He was married. I was married. I was lost. He was lost. And then, one day he read something I wrote and wrote to me. And when it happened I noticed him, and wrote back really briefly because it was late at night and I didn’t know him enough to write back all the words I wanted to say. Not for any reason, but just that there are always so many words with me. So I just said “thanks” (this was a shock even to me. To be so succinct). The very next morning I went to the closest shops to my house to get milk for breakfast. This NEVER happens because we always have milk or if we don’t we have toast. But for some reason we had to have milk, and as I walked into the shop, he walked out. BAM. How did that happen? I have never seen him at that shop ever before. In the 7 years it has been my closest shop. It’s his closest shop too. He lives pretty much directly above my house on the hill a few streets back. He has lived there for probably the same time I have lived here. And so, it seemed that somehow the time was right for me to meet him properly and notice, and slowly and gently it has just become this thing that is everything I ever wanted and asked for. But not until I stopped being lost, and took some time to work out what that was exactly. You need to do that bit. Stop being lost. And set an intention for what you want and how that will be and then live your life as though it is already happening and then one day it is.

I suspect this is not a brief thing. The possibility is it could be quite an enormous new direction in the history of the world. Amongst other things. Brief and not so brief.

The addicts, the liars and the cheats

I have never been addicted to anything. Like really, truly unable to stop. Except maybe people. I have been addicted to some people who were really not good for me.

I can’t write this from a place of someone who understands substance (not people) addiction from inside it, but I can write from the place of someone who knows what it’s like to live with an addict, and be the person who made that OK.

It amazes me that given my experiences I came from a family of non-drinkers (well, my Dad would sometimes have a small glass of cask wine mixed with orange juice in the evening for a couple of years, before he gave it away), non-smokers, and complete drug naivety. Which I thought was a good thing. But I am not sure it prepared me for the reality of this life I have lived after that.

Someone gave me a book on co-dependency once. I wanted to shove it down her judgemental throat, after I’d shred it into a million pieces and raged at the universe for everything I read in it that sounded (mostly) like me. I am not a drug addict, an alcoholic, a food or sex addict, but I do get addicted to people and make their addictions OK. And dream of fixing them. And try to be their fix. And living that? That’s like filling your veins with chemicals anyway. Up and down. Good and bad. Moments of pure clarity, moments of dark hell. And if I am not true that it still haunts me, it will continue to haunt me.

I am not saying I have not tried those things. The truth, I have tried all those things – drugs and alcohol and food and coffee and sex. I like all of them in the moment, but when there’s a point where I have to stop or give it up or let it go, I just can. I have had nasty caffeine head-aches, horrible hangovers, come down like sack of shit and cried on Sunday, been briefly bulimic and tried stuff that only a good sex addict would ask of you. But when it was time to stop. I just stopped. I had a harder time walking away from people and relationships which pushed all the boundaries. And those people? They were addicts and liars and cheats.

My ex-husband is (Was? How do you know? Does it ever end?) a drug addict. I do not want to say that out loud. I do not want that to be the truth of him and us. He is still my daughters’ father and I do not know how to reconcile what I know about him and what they need from him. And he will lie. He will look directly into my eyes and lie and I will believe him because I would prefer his lie to be the truth than the real, actual truth. And in the end, when it comes down to it, he chose that. He chose “not us”. But “not us” meant he chose that and I am not sure I will ever not be angry about that. Not for me. But for them. Because 5 years on it is still the same and almost everyday (except the days he has them, I want to believe except those days) he chooses that and not them. And I cannot look into his eyes anymore. And I cannot speak to him about it. But I know what he is like when those addictions run him. He is better than without them. I know this seems like a weird thing to say. But whatever it does for him in his life and the brief bits of time we see him he is better. More alive. And I, for the life of me (because I am not an addict and I can not fathom what it’s like from inside it) cannot understand why that is. Does it hurt less? All the time or just for while?

And then the next guy (who is not my guy) is (Was? How do you know? Does it ever end?) an alcoholic. I do not want to say that out loud. I do not want that to be the truth of him and us. Somehow, because it was alcohol, it didn’t seem as bad and somehow (even though he told me outright in a semi-jokey way that he was) I would not actually accept that that was the truth. But he could drink a stubby of beer in three smooth mouthfuls. He could drink 8 beers a night without blinking and ¾ of a carton (18 beers) in a weekend evening. He would drink beer and smoke cigarettes and they would keep him alive (until they kill him, but when you’re addicted this doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter and I cannot understand that either). I wanted him to be addicted to me. I wanted to be the thing that kept him alive. That’s my co-dependency shit and as much as I tried it is not possible to be that for someone who is trying to fill some unfathomably deep hole. Or anyone, hole or not. Combine that with a sex addiction (not about quantity but about what it takes to be satisfied) and one person will never be enough. And although I never wanted to believe that either, that was also the truth of him. And so he too chose “not us” and finally I got that the addicts and the liars and the cheats do not want what I want and no amount of convincing about how great that might be will work. They want something else that maybe doesn’t hurt so much. But also maybe doesn’t have so much joy. I’m not sure because I don’t want what they want, and then I don’t really know what it is like from inside it.

This town (like towns all over the country and the world) has an ample supply of all kinds of drugs that all the young people (and the addicts who just can not stop) can access easily enough. I am not talking about alcohol here. But it’s just as bad. I’m talking about everything else. You just need some money or something to trade. My biggest girl tells me with openness about how it is. She doesn’t really get it. But I am the gladdest about anything that she talks to me about it, even though I know that some of those people (those young people, her friends) will be the same lost souls in 20 years time, and we will not understand how or why it happened.

I have learnt not be scared to hear about it. I have learnt to talk openly with her about my life experiences because I would rather her know the truth than just say “Don’t do it EVER”. I mean I’d like to say that, but I didn’t live that, and I had to learn and she will too. And if we are lucky she will learn and be OK and go on to do all the things she dreams of. Because for me that’s been possible. And not just because I wasn’t an addict. Because I wanted more. I always did, even when I wasn’t living that life. The desire for more was always there. Just not more beer or more drugs. And I guess that is the bit I cannot understand because it makes sense to every part of my being to want more, and to want to grow and learn and live life to the fullest. But trying to drag people along with you on that one? Doesn’t work. And all that does work it seems for me is just accepting that they only want what they want, and they can only cope with what life is like in the way they can cope with it, and it is not and was not ever anyone else’s job to fix that. As heartbreaking as that is to me.

I have never been addicted to anything. Like really, truly unable to stop. Except maybe people. I have been addicted to some people who were really not good for me. So I could learn about being an addict from inside it. So I could find a way to get free and guide myself home. So I could be the thing who kept me alive.

You’re like Déjà Vu

By definition “Déjà Vu” is a common intuitive experience that has happened to many of us. The expression is derived from the French, meaning “already seen.” When it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done (definition found on this amazing thing we call the internet).

I met someone and that was the only word that came to me to describe it. The other description was the “opposite of panic and worry”. Which is not calm because calm would not encompass the excitement of the possibilities or the joy of hanging out with him. But when we’re together it’s like that. Like the opposite of panic. Which is really, super nice by the way.

If you haven’t noticed I haven’t been writing about it. Because well. But here’s the thing. I think, for everything else I’ve written it’s been important to write about it. I wrote this, but then could not share it, all the reasons why are written in it. But whatever it is and whatever it means and whatever it turns into, somewhere I want it written that I felt like this. Before it was actually familiar.

I wrote this to him really. And I did send it to him. And I didn’t say that oneday I might share it. And he is way more under the radar than me. But I cannot hide the writing; it just might make someone else brave enough to write too.

I cannot tell you how it just feels like home. Like you belong. Like something so familiar it already existed before it actually did. Like Déjà Vu. Or vegemite toast for breakfast. Or the smell of rain in the bush.

I cannot tell you because I am terrified it is all of those things. And what if it was? Then I would have to believe that somehow it worked to take time and get clear and ask for what I wanted. That the universe conspired to help me find you and all along you were just there. Just there. That is terrifying.

It’s terrifying because it matters. It’s terrifying because the possibility of what this is makes everything that happened before make complete and total sense and I am grateful for every stupid thing I ever did that happened before so this could be you. And me.

I cannot say this out loud. I cannot write this anywhere. I cannot tell you. Not yet. I’m scared I would jinx it. That if I said it out loud it couldn’t possibly be true and somehow I’d be left with all the things I believed before about men and relationships. You make those things not true. You are kind and beautiful. You are gentle and loving. You somehow, just take us all in. Me and all my everything, and them and theirs. They want to eat you up. And that is a good thing. And I did not believe that was possible. And now I do.

Here’s the truth. You feel like home. You feel like family. Like someone I have known forever. Every time I ask you something to just get to know you say the answer I expected you would say. Not that I even knew I expected it, just that when it comes out it’s exactly the right words. I have a sense that with you it could be easy. All that other stuff wouldn’t be the stuff to worry about. It would just be the solid foundation we all needed to go and to be who we are. I can totally be me with you, and that is the bit I was unsure if I could trust. Just being me. But you, you make that OK. You make that the best bit.

If it was possible to tell you all this without freaking out I would just sit in front of you and tell your kind eyes that I am scared and not-even a little bit scared all at the same time. That it doesn’t matter what it is or what it means or exactly how it going to be, but right now it’s just the next right thing to do.

And that’s all because it’s only Wednesday. I don’t want to get carried away.

If I told the world that, would that be OK? If you had it in to write a love letter, what would you tell them? Can you do that? Can you do that today? And put in the bits you would put in if the whole world wasn’t going to read it. Just him or her. All those bits. I did sneak some bits out because they’re for him. And there are so many more bits I haven’t written yet.

The truth is, there are only two things. Love or fear. One expands you and one contracts you. Love is open and vulnerable and shiny. Fear is hiding, and closed off and dull. Don’t let your fear tarnish your love, just let your love be the thing that lights up the whole world with it’s shiny-ness. Write it out, draw it out, speak it out, but be it. And everything will be all right.

Like Déjà Vu. Like vegemite toast for breakfast.

Yoga’s loosest lady

I was a complete yoga slut last week. Just sharing it all around, no loyalty, no particular focus on one practice and discipline, just having a fancy old time of it with all the teachers and all the styles.

I did aerial yoga on Tuesday – hammocks, and inversions, and being all curled up in the cocoon. I do think my eye-balls are going to pop when I’m upside-down for too long, but it is so beautiful and relaxing just hanging there like a grub in a chrysalis waiting to be a butterfly (with poppy eyeballs).

I did have a sore neck a couple of days later which I blamed on too much time in front of the computer (which sadly is one of my favourite things to do ever, even though I know the beauty and the health benefits of having time completely disconnected from any technology). I know the obsession is a problem, but right now I’m focussing on my yoga promiscuity rather than the whole social media addiction. My life is just one big oxy-of-the-morons actually. Anyhoo, Miss 11 wanted to stay up late and watch something with me on Netflix, which I was watching because (apart from being completely obsessed with Netflix even thought I don’t watch TV) I had a sore neck and thought I should get off the computer, so I bribed her to massage my neck and shoulders for an hour so she didn’t have to go to bed. It worked really well and she didn’t stop the whole time in fear I would send her off (which I wouldn’t have, but I didn’t tell her that while she was rubbing my upper shoulders with muscle soothing aromatherapy). I realised afterwards that my sore next was actually probably from trying too hard to engage my core in the aerial yoga hammock. Dangerous.

On Saturday I went off to the real traditional yoga with the amazing German yoga teacher in our town. She’s such a great teacher, and I actually love her classes even though she occasionally smacks me on the ass for not engaging my core and has a way of wording things to make you understand the problem is not your body or your lack of flexibility but your weak mind. Which is totally true, but my weak mind really likes to blame my lack of core strength on being tall, having had four children and spending too much time on front of the computer, rather than the fact that I am not determined or dedicated enough to do the plank properly. I even did the scorpion pose all inverted and up the wall, and my eyes didn’t feel like popping and afterwards we went for coffee in the sunshine and I felt strong and fit and later in the day flexed at myself in the mirror and felt proud.

On Sunday, like a little trash bag, I took myself off to SUP yoga. Yoga in the ocean on a stand-up paddleboard that has been anchored so as not to float away. It’s ridiculously good, but after a month off I found I had lost all my talent and spent most of the class desperately trying not to fall in gracelessly. Which happened anyway. I could not even do Warrior 2 on the board and wound up in the ocean screeching. The ocean was magic on Sunday, all silky and soft but there was some sneaky swell, and it’s May, and getting a bit cold for falling off gracelessly. Possibly the biggest oxymoron of this particular morning was driving the world’s loudest V8 ute to yoga and wearing bogan guy’s sunglasses while I breathed in the smell of the ocean and said Namaste.

So there you have it. My slutty week of yoga.

I do think it’s important to mix things up and doing 3 exercise events in one week is my favourite minimum and I haven’t done that for a while, but I only have one more week of aerial yoga to go (before it’s all over) and SUP yoga might be changing to sunset beach yoga (and there may have been a mention of wine in there) and my weak mind is finding it increasingly difficult to get up early in the cold and dark and get out of the house. Might have to find indoor exercise. Nope. I didn’t meant that. Goodness me.

When is it appropriate to ask for cable ties?

So, I am navigating the whole new relationship thing. Like so new that I’m not even sure it’s OK to say it’s a relationship because it’s just the part of checking all that out. It’s the whole post gap year/I may have possibly called in the one/how the hell do you date anyway freak out going on and there is so much to say about it, but how do you talk about something that he’ll probably read, in a public context without freaking out?

So lets just pretend I’m not doing that. I’m just writing in my totally private diary about this thing and you are all not reading this (and if you are him and you’re reading this can you pretend this is not about me and you and just a blog you find interesting by random chick on the Internet? Awesome. We’re clear then.)

It’s progressing slowly, but nicely. Some of his most attractive qualities include being kind, functional and nice. And by attractive I mean BURNINGLY HOT. I am laughing at the fact that for so long they were not necessarily qualities I associated with hotness, but at 40 I think it’s about time I got some quality into qualities of hotness. It’s fairly obvious that many (read most) of my previous choices did not include kind, functional and nice. Functionality. Totally lacking.

Anyhoo, I’m just navigating all of that. New stuff. And trying not to be complete dork about it. Even though by the fact I am writing about it means I’m ridiculously dorky. I will try to be cooler, maybe in my next post?

So then, my question is, at what point is it appropriate to ask new love interest (oh fuck I said love really early on in this piece) if he has cable ties. Via text. How do you even negotiate anything via text? How do you work out what it means? If it’s an auto correct or if he really meant “chic fidget”? If your tone is being received appropriately. How winky is a winky face? How did we used to find out stuff about people before Facebook? When do you start doing ‘x’ at the end of messages? How many x’s is too many?

So cable ties. Via text. At 8am because that was the moment I realised I needed them urgently. He’s a man, so I presume that he does have them because they are a manly thing to have, but is it dodgy that I asked if he had them, or is it more dodgy that he straightaway said yes? Is it inappropriate to go pick them up and exchange them for lunch or weird that he brought me a whole new packet of 100? What does this mean? Women think about this stuff all the time.

I used 2. It was for the highly appropriate job of fixing a fence. So now I have 98 spare cable ties at my house. Should I return them? Make a plan to use them? Suggest we watch 50 Shades of Grey together now that gap year has ended and I can talk about it without gagging (for it)?

It’s all very fun. I am being slightly facetious, but it is a known fact that women think about what men are thinking about more than men even actually think. Apparently. Cable ties are the least of my problems. There’s a whole lot more navigating ahead that is simultaneously exciting and terrifying.

Can someone, just someone give me some hot tips on this? I won’t listen, and I’ll do my own thing anyway, but it would be amusing to hear the hot tips for navigating new relationships from all the wise and wonderful people I know. Tell me, Please tell me. Is it ever OK to say “chic fidget” in a text?