Insides and Outsides

One of the fastest ways you can quench your own happiness is to allow time to pass on incongruence.  I learned a long time ago that my capacity to enjoy a rich, rewarding life relies on my ability to align who I am with where I am and what I do.  If you are unhappy with how your days are unfolding, there are only two things that can be changed:  your insides or your outsides.  The trick is knowing which one to deal with.

As the oldest of five in a volatile home, my childhood had taught me to make sure that everyone around me was ok first. This created three problems:

  1. I developed a perspective that put other people’s needs and wants ahead of my own, but
  2. My self-deprecating way of being was unsustainable and robbed me of the perspectives I needed to grow, so
  3. I was desperate to get out but didn’t know how to choose what I wanted

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It was with this potentially crippling baggage that I moved out of home at seventeen years young, into two-bedroom flat in Wodonga with my best friend. Our place was small, and in desperate need of sunlight, but being in the heart of this bustling rural town, it let me roll out of bed and sprint to work five minutes before my shift at Coles began.  The endless hours of work’s boredom were literally mind-numbing, and at times I had to choke back tears as I scanned groceries for people who thought only slightly less of me than I thought of myself.  My friends did provide some reprieve, and I have fond memories of crowding around candlelit meals of pizza, hot chips and two minute noodles.  I tried so hard to make those companions fill my gaping hole of emptiness, but I was like the people I am wary of today: I was a Holey Bucket, unable to be filled because other’s efforts just trickled out of my jarring cracks of incongruence.

Terror marked every night of the three hundred and sixty-five I spent in that flat.  I know I am not the only person who has grown up in a large family only to inherit the fear of being alone, but this knowledge offered zero comfort.  Every zooming car, shouting neighbour, and shuffling pedestrian caused a startle, as I tossed and turned my way through the dark hours.  Every morning saw me facing another new day of hopeless, directionless, dead end.  I was primed for the string of poor choices I would make … but I was armed with the tiny voice inside that told me to move into that flat in the first place.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I had to change my outsides.

Freedom is my passion

Hello! I’m So Happy To Meet You :-)

I know I’m not the centre of the universe… honestly I do. I know I’m one of billions in this world, and that its really simple: my story began, I am living the middle, and one day it will end. This middle sure does have its ups and downs though, doesn’t it?

When I meet someone new, I give them this brief but detailed summary of who I am and what I am about:
I was born in Brisbane to my teenage parents. My dad joined the army when I was born so we moved around a lot when I was little. When I started high school my dad decided to stay put in the stability-promoting country town of Wodonga, Victoria. I am the oldest of five and bore a huge load of responsibility in my dysfunctional Army family. I moved out when I was a frustrated, know-it-all 17 year old, but became a teen parent myself soon after. This was the first time I met the Black Dog of depression. I married my kids’ dad because he was the exact opposite of my own, and this relationship produced my son and daughter, still the two greatest loves of my life. I divorced 6 years later and had my second encounter with a very anxious Black Dog. I moved to Wagga Wagga NSW and remarried a couple of years after that. With my new husband I started a business, went to uni, became a teacher and realised that I liked myself and I loved my life. I lost my voice after 4 years of teaching, and again met a Black Dog, but this one was overwhelmed with the seemingly impossible task of adjusting to a life without a voice. I got there in the end, we kept building our business, we moved to Melbourne, then my husband died unexpectedly. Thankfully, I have never seen that Black Dog again.
Like you, my early years set me up for life. The construction of my unique perspective started early as I picked up the usual skills of walking and talking, riding a bike, cleaning my room, and getting my homework done on time. My transition to adulthood was marked by more learning and more perspective building. As I navigated the standard processes of moving out, being married, having kids, getting divorced and remarried my outlook was being built … In fact, right through all of life’s twists and turns, how I see myself and the world has continued to evolve in response to my world. I can see that for most of my life’s chapters, my outlook was about my life. How I saw the world, and how I responded to it, resulted directly from its people, places and circumstances.
I’m different now. As I face the age of sage, I now realise that all of that learning was close to useless … it was little more than a big fat set up.
Now, I know I’m not the centre of universe, but I have learned that I am the master of mine… and all I want to do is tell you all …