Today is the 27th of December here on our beloved Islands of Aotearoa. It’s a big day as a year ago my spunky monk proposed to me on a clifftop overlooking Te Henga on Auckland’s wild west coast. It’s also the anniversary of the death of one of my most admired feminists/artists/goddesses the irrepressible pocket rocket Carrie Fisher.
This blog though, I am going to take a quick moment to wish a very happy born day to a true Greek Goddess, my friend Angela.
Ange is the epitome of grace, beauty, kindness and joy. She’s always taken the time to read my many meandering blogs, and has been a source of joy and encouragement, sans judgement or side-eyes regardless of how much of a mess I may have been at any moment or over months and months.
Recently we engaged her through her creative branding/marketing firm Red Spark Creative, to help us to organise a logo and brand story for our new project. She was easy to work with and a joy to collaborate with throughout the project and the elegant final draft of our Logo is beautiful and we will be proud to share it with the world as our brand and narrative evolve.
Ange doesn’t seek the spotlight and is supportive and sympathic to her loyal tribe of women, some of whom I am lucky enough to know. She’s always so beautifully put together with absolutely perfect hair and make-up and frequently rocking bright red somewhere in her cleverly coordinated ensembles. No stranger to struggle, she’s a loving mother, an ideal confidante and a fierce ally for so many hot mess mamas who have been lucky enough to know here over the years.
I’d like to take a quick moment to let her and everyone know how much it means to have a cheerleader and chum who knows first hand how hard it is to juggle the journey of being a working creative mother, wife and colleague. Her generosity of spirit and genuine enthusiasm for seeing other people’s joy, coupled with her kindness in dark days is something I wish we could all bottle and imbibe if we need a little boost. She’s always got the time for me and others and puts herself on the shelf far too often and I just wanted to say publicly it has been a blessing and I am so glad to call her my friend.
So that’s it. My gushy mushy thank you to Ange for being the gorgeous Greek goddess she is. Hope to see her IRL soon and give her a squeeze in person to say thanks for everything she’s done and said for so many years.
Happy Birthday Goddess. Hope you are practicing some radical self care and I hope this reminds you just how much light you bring to some pretty strange times for all of us.
I just got off the phone with Lou, our Nanny/housekeeper/hurricane. She’s a lot is our Lou. And I Love her dearly. She works and plays hard and Loves with the ferocity of that red spot storm on Jupiter that has been raging on for millions of years. Her daughter and my son are in a very real sense siblings and her family will forever be a part of his life as we’ve raised him together and he considers us both to be his safest and most favourite humans. He adores his dad too, but Lou and I take up the biggest parts of that sweet, quirky, chatty, cuddly boy’s heart.
She’s cleared out 20 years of memories and mayhem from the Greenhithe house since we left in rather a rush because my mental health again took priority and we found a rental property in Pt. Chev. Most of the stuff she’s sorted through is in perfectly good nick, some of it is boxed up in cupboards never opened or touched since being purchased at some tourist stand somewhere on my many adventures. From Los Angeles to Lima, from Whistler to Whitehorse, Nice to the isles of Greece, Reno to Rome… I’ve been all over this beautiful planet and now I am settled in, snug as a bug on our island nation of Aotearoa.
I so deeply cherish all the memories and I have a rich tapestry of them to keep me company in my imagination during the very limited down-time I have lately to day-dream. I have known romances, wild rides, adventures, misadventures, friendships, faux pas, and some moments of pure magic. Now I am tired and crave comfort and calm. My circle is small and safe and my focus is on hyper-local and meaningful connections. Miss my old friends, old networks, old life sometimes. But I have been able to maintain wonderful (if not all too infrequent) connections with the true kindred spirits I have found and held space for and over years. There’s always a way to reach people if you really want to connect with them.
So, back to the story. During a conversation Lou, in an attempt to be kind, said she’s proud of me. Huge trigger. There is nothing to be proud of, I indisputably barely survived all those years of chaos, people pleasing, attention seeking, binges, battles and heart break. To be proud of me for walking away from nearly everything I knew, not necessarily because I chose to, but because I had to, is nothing to be proud of anyone for. It’s an incredibly sad story. I opened my heart, home, and life to basically anyone and everyone. The level of Love, trust, and hope I had in so many interactions was ludicrous. The fact I am even alive today considering the blind faith and trust I had in humanity for most of my life is… well it’s a great source of shame now that my rose coloured glasses have melted off and I am thoroughly broken and jaded. I have no option anymore but to live a safe and simple life rather than driving myself completely loopy again. And goodness. I was loopy.
Today there is less loopy and more healthy and happy. Incredibly calm and content and I genuinely do not have the bandwidth for drama or shade. Not every day is a good day, and I’ve had a slight but persistent headache that basically doesn’t go away and has been with me since my second severe nervous breakdown. Perhaps I did some irreparable damage during the suicide attempt. Whatever the cause, a slight headache is a small price to pay for the dangerous levels of cortisol and other stress hormones swirling around my brain in the days I was crashing around engaged in the glorification of busy and being seen.
All that travel, excess, and chaos of my former life also resulted in a huge house filled with a bunch of stuff that weighs a person down. Stuff and ostentatious spaces seem to encourage negativity, gossip and boring or mean people who suck the colour from our canvas. We were stuck somewhere we are not appreciated or respected and it ate away at your soul and attacked our mind until it got so bad we just had to leave.
We did. It’s better. Not perfect, but better.
So. We are all managing new normal and navigating new territories lately it seems. I am not sure how you feel about or handle all the weirdness that is life these days, but I have noticed that I spend a lot of time feeling torn between my Love/appreciation of people and the fear/exhaustion that comes from human interactions. I adore people, they are fascinating, and they are so scary. I am equally scared of the effect I have on people as they have on me these days. How are you dealing with your stuff? Are you having less to do with humanity these days too? Is this a shift that would have happened without the pandemic I wonder? Who knows how much of any of our new beginnings are our choice or out of necessity.
Anyway. It’s now been well over a month since we moved into our rental and it is so far from set up still. It is a new beginning after a sad ending and I am happy that I have the opportunity to pursue new beginnings at all.
The metaphor of the farm being cleared, planted and nurtured is in total parallel to what’s happening internally. Because we both (Damon and myself) still have kids between the ages of 7 and 17 who still need us in the city, we need to be based in town for a few more years yet. The farm is our core and key passion and project, and luckily the kids are at least moderately interested in what we are up to, as they were with the work their dad and I did in building the electric vehicle charging network.
So that’s it. New city pad, new passion project. Sad endings and still striving to be the change I want to see in the world, only this time, without placing basically every single person who crosses my path as a priority. Every day I prioritise only myself and my most important people because that’s all the bandwidth most of us have these days.
Hope you are coping well with whatever sad/happy endings and new beginnings you are navigating.