I just cried because I couldn’t find parking.

Ok, so, those of you who’ve been following along the last few days know I’ve been working intensely through some emotions.

I had an appointment with my psychologist last night and we delved even further into my physical manifestation of emotions through the third eye, throat, heart and naval spaces.

We practiced mobilising techniques of speaking with ownership the feelings that stem from these sites.

This session climaxed with my realisation that as a child, when I was in my fathers care, I was blamed for many things I never did, I felt utterly invisible throughout most of my childhood and was silenced on almost every subject. This has resulted in my aversion to conflict, my need to surrogate feelings for others because I believe I can take the pain for them, the importance I place on my own voice and being heard, and an assortment of other behaviours/trauma.

I woke up this morning, feeling very groggy and a little ‘off’, shall we say.

I had a final round interview with a top tier bank today that I was excited about, but unsure as to whether or not I should go.

I decided it would be best to get ready, and go.

Half an hour of driving later, I arrive at the location. It’s a little off where I thought it would be and I immediately started to feel a tightening in my forehead.

I drive around.

2hr parking signs are everywhere – perfect! this is all I need!

No free spaces.

I keep driving.

I see a space, but its a fair walk away and my shoes will grate on feet if I have to walk that far.

I decide to give it another go looking closer to the site, or to look at the paid parking.

Forehead getting tighter. Emotions stirring.

Around and around in circles I go for 20 minutes.

Paid parking is $30-40 for 2 hours. No.

I keep missing the street parking.

Session starts at 12:00pm, it’s 11:48am.

The email asks us to arrive 15 minutes early so I already feel like I’m letting them down.

More driving before I head back to that other spot and risk the walk, space taken.

Tears start rolling down my cheeks.

I decide it’s best to drive home and email them when I’m home to explain what happened – totally unsure what kind of email that was going to be, because how do you tell a future employer that you’re in the middle of a fairly intense emotional workshop on yourself and you’re still getting to know your triggers?

As I’m driving home, the feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted takes centre stage. My awareness that I’m emotionally drained is clear as day, and my incessant feelings of overwhelm refuse to be ignored. So here I am, driving, feeling every second of them.

The bank calls.

Where am I? Is everything ok?

I explain briefly that I’ve had a rough few days and I attempted to make it but struggled to find parking and would need to unfortunately not attend today.

They said it was fine and they’d rebook me for the next available session.

Shocked, relieved and grateful. I’m so grateful that woman made that call and made my day that little bit easier.

Now, as I type this in bed – head thumping, eyes puffy, totally wiped out – I’m still trying to honour every feeling I have today. Tiredness. Overwhelm. Needy.

This is going to be a wild month or two while I process all these pent up feelings. It’ll only get better from here.

Mo’ Time, Mo’ Feels

Here we go again, another day of feeling…

After some confronting conversations with some close friends last night, I’m feeling very light. My honesty and candour with these close girlfriends has enriched our already long and heartfelt friendships – at least as far as I can tell.

It’s always hard to know how they’ve experienced the evening, and I remember constantly being careful to ensure they didn’t feel that I was putting anything on them.

Which leads me to today’s feels;

Today I am unsure about why I surrogate peoples feelings all the time.

  • Why am I so afraid of offending people?
  • Why do I feel it’s my responsibility to surrogate peoples feelings for them?
  • Why am I frightened to confront people when I feel they’ve hurt me? Or destabilised the emotions I held for them?

At a guess, I would imagine it has to do with the emotional abuse I grew up around.

Adults who confided their problems and emotions to a teenage me.
Adults whose emotions were so out of control, anything would set them off.
Adults who created a “walking-on-eggshell” home environment everyday.
Adults who made their very adult problems public to their developing children.
Adults who manifested an environment where feelings equalled drama/violence/pain.
Adults who didn’t have the tools to emotionally support their children.
Adults who didn’t understand the idea of a ‘Childs voice’.
Adults who unfortunately didn’t know any better.

It seems I have an innate fear of upsetting people from an installed fear that it will result in pain for me. That if I upset someone they’ll come bearing down on me like a tonne of bricks and I’ll feel trapped under the weight of their emotions.

Instead I internalise.

I’d rather work through my emotions alone – and incredibly slowly – than risk rocking the boat with a friend/colleague/family member.

Thankfully last night I was able to set some of those emotions free. I was able to safely communicate how I felt and my friends took it really well.

Last night I didn’t have to surrogate.

Turns out, I don’t have to surrogate tomorrow either.

Today, this is how I feel;

  • I feel grateful:
    • To the amazing friends I have who create and hold safe spaces for me.
    • To my amazing boyfriend who holds an infinite amount of space and time for me.
    • To the process of time and healing.
    • To the fortunate life circumstances I was born into which has allowed for access to free mental healthcare (if you’re based in Australia, we have this).
    • For my health, the love of my family and friends and for the daily chance to grow and create newness.
  • I feel nervous
    • About my next move. Will I be able to work through my feelings or will I continue to eat them? Will I choose healing over convenience and a quick fix?
    • About parenting my inner child. Will she be open to feeling again? Will she listen to me? Does she know this is the only way forward?

Well, I guess she does, as she is me. But I can feel that she’s scared and really doesn’t want to feel pain again – she feels like she’s had her share and shouldn’t have to feel anymore pain.

I have an appointment with my psychologist tonight, so I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

It’s my weight problem…

I just tried to write an article that felt utterly unauthentic. Very irritating.

Here we are, attempting to allow my feelings to lead me with this – having the best time ever. Not.

The goal of this exercise is to allow myself to feel – really feel.

Because apparently I don’t do enough of that.

Well I don’t really. I never feel. I prefer not to. I prefer to feel through the filter of logic. If I can understand it, I will allow myself to feel it.

Alas, here we are, left only with the persistent emotions that cannot be filtered by logic.

Can you tell I’m attempting to delay the process of feeling for as long as possible?

I have an area of my life that is directly effected by my reluctancy in this area, it’s something I’ve tried to think my way out of for years, to no avail.

My weight.

I’ve genuinely research damn near everything I can to attempt to find a logical solution as to why I find myself uncontrollable around food at times.

I know all the logical solutions; more calories out than in, less refined foods, more whole foods, exercise releases endorphins, etc, etc.

I even know the CBT solutions; mindful eating, fork down between bites, small portions, no distractions, etc.

I’ve even gone as far as being involved in a 12 step program around Food Addiction; which I left after disagreeing with the entire absence of a reintegration program.

These have all had very temporary effects on my predicament. Some worked for a little while, but none had longevity.

Here I am – post my PhD in weight loss from a lifetime of being overweight – and I feel no closer to a solution than I did 12 years ago.

Until three days ago.

Three days ago a very close girlfriend of mine insisted it will never be something I can logically think my way out of. She suggested that perhaps this was only ever going to be resolved through a deep process of feeling and healing. Not in a hindsight, lets-look-at-your-history way, but in an everyday feeling kind of way.

I could have packed up shop then and there.

There is a very distinct part of me – perhaps my ego – that REALLY doesn’t want to feel. Couldn’t think of anything worse; equal parts annoying, weakness and exhausting.

I do however think this could be a good thing to trial – and here we are. Giving it a go.

The argument can be made that by writing down my feels I am processing logically, but we’ll bench that for now as something is better than nothing, amiright?

Ok, how do I feel?

I just did laundry and am contemplating starting a painting to avoid this. Ha!

  • I feel overwhelmed
    • by this task
    • by having to see my close girlfriends today
    • by my new relationship
  • I feel enriched
    • by my new relationship
    • by the fact that I have the girls in my life that I have – I’m truly so lucky to know these women. Amazes me that they want to spend time with me too.
  • I feel scared
    • that I’ll lose the above people
    • that I’ll never get on top of this issue
    • that I’ll be overweight forever, and thus limited. For me, being overweight gets in the way of me doing a lot of things I want to do. I don’t dress that way I’d like to because none of the clothes fit my body the right way. I don’t get out and do things I want to do because I’m scared that my weight will get in the way of the activity. It sounds like I’m hiding behind my weight as a reason to not live my life fully – and maybe that’s true. Maybe I’m afraid that if I lose the weight, I’m on my own. Full exposure. No excuses now.

That is terrifying. The idea that my weight is my protection from liability.

“Oh, it’s not my fault, it’s because I’m fat” – potentially my excuse for not having/acheving things in my life.

Good gracious.

  • Why did your previous boyfriends discard you?
  • Why do all your friends eventually leave?
  • Why are you still under playing in your life?
  • Why aren’t you chasing your hobbies to see if they could be dreams?
  • Why are you settling in comfort and predictability?

Concerned in an understatement.

I have never thought of myself as someone who felt served by being overweight – ever. Seems I was just kidding myself. Despite ALL the shit that comes with carrying excess weight, none of it hurt more than being labelled a failure. “Instead you can plaster that label on my weight problem, because that’s why I don’t have a complete life I love. It’s not me as a person, it’s my weight problem”.

Please hold. Digesting.

 

 

Why I fucking hate my birthday…

It’s that time of the year again.

The celebration of my birthday.

The actual worst time of the year from me.

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Despite the grinch-like sentiment, I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to this day. Memories are filled with childhood anticipation, parties that ended in tears and – as I grew up – the overwhelming reminder each year that I’m far more sensitive than I care to acknowledge every day.

My birthday is my most emotionally irrational day. I care when people forget, despite my adult approach of ‘its not a big deal’, ‘who cares’ and ‘it’s just another day’.

It is a showcase of those who I expected to remember and who did, those I hoped would remember and who didn’t, those randoms who remembered because social media reminded them, those older friends who have it in their calendar and those family members who essentially own a card factory and sweetly never forget anyone (bless their cotton socks).

The day stings every year. God forbid I go as far as to have a party.

I didn’t plan an 18th or a 21st. My parents forced a 21st on me, that I eventually invited friends to on the day of – because I REALLY wasn’t into it.

My 30th is next week, and I’ve planned a SMALL party for tomorrow and the anxiety is real. What if no-one comes and I’m left feeling irrelevant?

What if people don’t come because they have better things to do? It’ll sting like it did at my 6th birthday when my mum arranged a private room at the local pool. We had snacks, balloons and a sectioned off portion of the pool – and no-one came. It turned out someone else had their birthday on the same day and everyone went there instead.

I suppose, all these years later, I can’t shake that feeling of rejection. The feeling of rejection that now veils my birthday every year. That sting that lands every time I have any expectations around this day. I’d rather treat it like any other day and be happy with anything better than a normal day.

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I’m not great at remembering others birthdays either, and it seems I’ve been infecting others with the rejection I felt, unintentionally. It took years of active effort to care/remember other peoples birthdays and make them feel special – its still an active fight against an internal wound, every time I choose to do it.

To anyone out there who I’ve hurt by not remembering their special day – I’m sorry, it wasn’t you, it was me.

I’m not a birthday person, not sure I even will be.

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Election Ignorance: Why should you care about the 2019 federal election?What difference does it make?

Last night I spent the evening at my boyfriends house, enjoying food and chats with him and his housemate.

One way or another the topic came up.

“Who do you support in this election?”

I blankly stared back as I replied, “In a twist of irony, despite my degree in political science, I don’t follow Australian Politics, and as such, I have zero idea about any of the parties and/or their policies.” (or something to that effect)

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What followed was a surprising, enlightening and eye opening discussion around why I should care, how easy it is to identify some sense of association and what happens if I choose to turn a blind eye to it all.

In an effort to summarise the poignant points, I have paraphrased my learnings below:

  1. Donkey voting, blind voting and/or un-researched voting can result in electing parties (directly or indirectly through the preferential system) who go against the things that matter to me.

    Image result for donkey vote

  2. Being mindful of the preferential system. Once you’ve decided to allocate your vote to someone, be mindful of who you’ve selected after them and where your vote could potentially be allocated. If you’re supporting smaller parties, it’s important to know that it is likely they won’t achieve a 50% support rating, and thus they will move to your second preference and allocate it there, and so on until a clear 50% is reached. So knowing the preferred system of allocation for your smaller party is a good place to start.

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  3. Know what you stand for. If the environment is important to you – as it is to me – know who stands with those beliefs, and how your voting preferences can best support those policies via your voted preferences. Go to your local candidates webpage to view their preferred voting order.

I know it can get overwhelming with all the advertising materials, and all the potential policies people want to push on you as important. If you’re struggling to align with a party, think about the bigger issues each party stands for, and see which fits you best.

Links to their policies/beliefs below:

There are many others available in certain areas, the above is just an initial snapshot.

Who you put on your ballot form, decides for the next 4 years which direction this country goes, what we care about as a nation and what we support and fund.

I’ve heard someone say that no-one really cares who’s in parliament until you’re in direct conflict with its policies. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something, invest a few minutes of your time into discovering who’s about what before heading to the polls tomorrow.

For me, this planet matters. Her resources are finite, and time is running out. Though I may not live to see her demise, the idea that we are the last generation to live as comfortably as we do is frightening. If this is the pinnacle of human existence and we are responsible for a Frank Herbert style ending, I know I don’t want to be a part of the people who did nothing.

Your vote matters, more than you know.

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Resumes, Cover Letters & Job Listings, Oh My! A How-To Guide on Obliterating Your Tolerance for the Job Market

Last night, at 1am-ish, I began applying for new jobs.

I’m heading overseas in July and would ideally like to find something to get me through until I return late August.

Much easier said than done I’m afraid.

Image result for applying for a job

It seems every job worth having wants you to write a customised cover letter, and I’m mindful – as someone who has recruited before – that a resume typically trumps a cover letter in relevance and sway. A cover letter only really comes into play if I can’t find all information needed on the resume.

When reviewing a companies requirements, it seems my experience is relevant, transferrable and lengthy.

This is not the first time I have applied for jobs during the last 6 years – and I’ve never gotten a call back for any of the relevant positions I applied for in the past. This makes me nervous that it won’t happen now, when I need it to.

In some ways, I am over qualified. Too many years doing a varied role makes me a jack of all trades, master of none.

So, if you’d like to become as disheartened as I am, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Remove yourself/be removed from your employment.
  2. Spend hours updating/redoing your resume.
  3. Start looking around for jobs that suit your skills and interests.
  4. Keep applying.
  5. Apply for jobs you’re vaguely interested in.
  6. Apply for anything you might get.
  7. Get discouraged.
  8. Write a blog rant about your shit experience.

Voila! Just like that you now feel underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the same time.

I am hopeful things will pick up soon. I shall keep you posted.

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Rebellious Redundancy: Almost 30 and Starting Over

Last Monday I was made redundant from my career of 6 and half years.

I’ve spent the last week and half on pause, embracing discovery/excitement/nervousness.

What happens when the career you built for yourself stops generating passion and purpose, and becomes a health concern and a daily funeral for your soul? For me, you think about quitting for a year and a half, until the universe conspires to force you into a space of newness by manifesting redundancy.

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Being 29 and unemployed wasn’t on my life plan, and yet, here I am.

11:11pm, on a Tuesday night, making plans with my new and shiny bf, wondering what’s next for me.

There is only one thing I know for sure – I do not want to live a life without purpose, I do not want to jump into the safety of experience and strength of resume. I want to be bold, and brave.

Bold and brave, for me, are creative endeavours. Writing. Art. Both. Maybe even Yoga.

I spent 6 years trying to figure out what I was passionate about, what drove me, and what would light a fire in my soul. It seemed so easy for others to figure it out, while I struggled for years – and in a lot of ways, I still do.

Now, with all the space in the world, random inspiration rushes over me everyday.

Waves of courage inspire me to write. Self care wants me doing Yoga. Songs from my soul have me writing music and painting.

Starting over for me is rediscovering my bravery. Starting over is trusting in the universe and my ability to manifest my dreams. Following all the leads I feel compelled to explore.

I encourage every person out there who finds themselves in unexpected unemployment to be brave, embrace the moment you’re in, sit in the experience of freedom and delve into what’s important to you.

Allow your beliefs, values and passions to lead you and leave fear for dead in the wasteland of unfulfilled endeavours.

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Review: Adrian McKinty – The Cold Cold Ground

Being a somewhat unprofessional reader, I can’t say I’m exceedingly well read, or that I’m aware of all the great novelists of my (our?) time.

One sunny twitter day, I was scrolling through my feed when an animated video began to play. Phrase by phrase I was sucked into wanting, NEEDING to read this book. Drama, thrill and shocking crime – this book had me. This book was The Chain by Adrian McKinty. Currently on pre-order until July, I wanted to whet my palate with some of his previous titles.

I accidentally began with the first book in his Sean Duffy series – The Cold Cold Ground.

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Photo: Allen & Unwin

Before I begin, I should admit, I have no idea what has happened/is happening in politics in the UK & Ireland – however, after reading this book, my heart and mind are fairly invested and curious into its history and the more recent developments.

I do love a book that stimulates further research and makes me curious about my own ignorance.

I’m not a massive fan of long winded reviews, so let me just say this:

  • Sean Duffy – An insanely well developed, well-rounded character. He’s flawed and imperfect, whilst retaining his sense of self.
  • Story Line – Fast paced, hard to predict, immersive, stimulating and satisfying.
  • Writing Style – Easy to read, not complex, and flows well.
  • Pros – Easy to read, moves quickly, informative/educational and immersive.
  • Cons – The story could use more thrill. Though I don’t necessarily dwell on this, as it was hardly an issue. When I closed the book, I just remember hoping for a more thrilling end.

I’ve ordered I Hear The Sirens in The Streets and I’m excited for it’s arrival. Will review the next book and see if it fares as well.