The Fullest Circle

22 years ago I arrived in Australia, fresh faced and damaged, 18 going on 19, already affected yet still so naive. I moved in with my Dad in a Victorian suburb called Clifton Hill, in a cute little apartment opposite the massive park that dominates the suburb. I had intended on a fresh start, away from the mire and malignancy of Auckland, a city I loved and hated simultaneously. I came here, to Australia, to Clifton Hill to reinvent myself.

Of course, we all know that problems follow us, even across the expanse of oceans. A fresh start is a fallacy, especially at that age, when wisdom is yet to touch our brows. The span of experience between then and now is staggering. So many lives compacted into one. 41 years old, and I find myself back in Clifton Hill, cat sitting a marvellous creature named Keyser in a cute little shoebox apartment – right next door to where I used to live.

The concept of things coming full circle has always eluded me, being somewhat of an unintentional nomad. I have moved constantly in the 20 odd years I’ve been here, all within the same city, never settling for long, always trying to outrun the darkness. And here I am, back where I started, in much the same situation. Shell-shocked and blinking against the light as I start my life again. Again. Always again. It feels odd. I don’t feel completed, or satisfied, or finalised in any way. I feel much the same as I did then, albeit tempered by the complexities of a life well-lived. Here I am, talking as if I’m in my twilight years when really, I’m just beginning.

I have no idea what’s coming next. I don’t know what the Fates have in store for me. I know things are moving; my career, my self worth, my adultness, all are moving forward at a rate that I can’t fathom. I have no control, I’m just holding on and going for the ride, knowing that what’s to come will be as surprising and soul altering as what has been.

One thing that is different now to what was then: I am fierce now. More fierce than I have ever been. My heart is shredded, my soul is singed at the edges, but it gives me a power that I can’t describe. I am aware now, more awake than I ever could have imagined. I don’t see the path in front of me, but I’m now at a point where I don’t need to know what’s coming. I just have an unwavering faith that the Universe knows what it’s doing, and I’m about to enter something new and unimagined.

This blog, all the things I have written, splashing my innermost desires and despairs across the page gives only a fraction of what I experience. It’s my platform, my tool of self-expression. I have followers, but really, it’s just for me. My own little narcissistic soap box of opinions and responses; a sifting of disjointed thoughts into something clearer. Comprehensible.

I am here now.

I am here.

I am.

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Share And Share Alike

I share an awful lot on Facebook. I share how funny I am, how smart I am, how socially aware, how much I’m awesome at life and conversely, how much I suck at it. I share my ups and downs, my heartbreak, my successes, and all the things that make up the online persona that is me (which is not unlike the real world persona, just clarifying).

There are those who criticise me for this, that I should perhaps not be so open so publicly (it’s a common criticism, as those who have read this blog will know). I get my back up about it for a number of reasons:

1. I don’t like being told what to do with regards to the way I choose to live my life, particularly by those significantly younger than me. I figure I’ve been around the block enough times to know how to life, and if I’m having trouble doing the life thing, I am self aware enough to acknowledge it and ask for advice.

2. I very rarely share about other people, and if I do, I don’t use names and I’m usually having a passive aggressive rant about a person who isn’t on Facebook anyway.

3. I am subconciously afraid that maybe these critics are right, maybe I do share too much. Why else would I get so defensive about it?

Look, there are times when I post and then realise seconds later that I perhaps shouldn’t have, so I delete it. Then there are times when I think I’ve overshared, but then the response to said share is one of recognition and gratitude that “someone else is as fucked up as I am!” I am not going to pretend that I’ve got my shit sorted, or that I’m never wrong, or that I’m always level-headed, so I’ll talk about my haemmorhoids and my sore boobs and how grumpy I feel ’cause I’ve got my period, and so on. I’m getting older, things are starting to fray at the edges. And I like to whinge occasionally.

Just yesterday I found out my cervical dysplasia is back. Cervical dysplasia is abnormal cell activity on the surface of the cervix, caused by the HPV virus, or by having multiple partners over an extended period of time, or having sex before the age of 18, or a combination of any of the above. I’ve dealt with it a number of times before, all with varying levels of seriousness, all successfully with surgery. It’s back again, however, and last night I was having a hard time coping with the idea that maybe my behaviour earlier in life (as the nasty voice in my head calls it, my “whoring around” – that voice is a bitch) has caused this. I know, in the cold light of day, that there is no point tearing myself up over something I can’t change, but at 11.30 at night, by myself in my room, it’s pretty overwhelming to deal with.

And that’s the point of this rant, really. I’m alone a lot of the time. I have one family member in this country and he lives an hour and a half drive away. He’s also 65 and incredibly busy and will probably be asleep at 11.30 at night, so won’t answer the phone. I no longer have a partner to look after me when I need it (not that the last one was very good at that, bless his cotton socks. Well, actually, that’s not fair, he was getting better at it. Then he dumped me), and my friends live away from me and have their own stuff to deal with. I guess I’m not the sort of person that a lot of people think needs taking care of (which is fine by me) or maybe there’s the assumption that I already have someone to look after me when I’m sick, sad, grieving, whatever. But I don’t. And that’s okay.

It’s okay, because that’s when I share on social media. I share because I need to tell someone I’m not doing great, but I know I’ll be fine eventually so I don’t necessarily need to have a three-hour long conversation to realise that. Just the knowledge that someone out there in cyber land is thinking of me and knows what’s going on is enough. When I do need to talk, I call my Dad in the daytime when I’m not going to sob in his ear and make him worry about me when I’m an hour and a half drive away, or I call my bestie, or talk to my older lady-boss. And I share because that’s what I do. No other reason, really. It’s just what I do.

So, to my detractors, thank you for your opinion. When you get to my age, maybe I’ll actually pay attention to you. In the meantime, go live your life, learn from it and then maybe even share it. Warts and all.