Things will never be the same… still i’m awfully glad I came…

December 23, 2009

What is reality and who has the right to decide what is right or what is wrong?

Whose choice is it when something is deemed important; very important, important enough or not important at all?

Who dictates the truth behind a belief? Isn’t belief truth? And the thought of something to be true, does that not create some form of existence? And again, what makes this form of existence any less important than physical existence; things we can touch, taste, feel or smell, what makes this form of existence any more important or real than non-physical existence?

Who decides this? You? Me? That famous person, that politician, that religion?

When did we give other people the right to tell us what something is worth in our minds? An issue that we deem to be of the utmost importance, something that takes a high priority in out thoughts may to others be as meaningless as a piece of shit on their shoe!

Is it something inherit in us from birth, predicted by the stars? Or something that we are taught; what things make us happy, sad, jaded, elated or overjoyed? Even to what extent we feel these feelings, is this nature or nurture? Do our experiences in life cause us to feel these feelings, extract these emotions? And to what extent things must be presented to us in order to emote any sense of reaction?

Some people, like myself, can be made happy by the sight of a baby bird feather floating by on a breeze, and be brought down just as quickly by one simple negative statement.

Others may need to be shown the most amazing feats of human kindness or gather material possessions to even bring about an upward muscle movement to their faces – also know as a smile.

To some, the death of a loved one, the loss of a close friend will not even be enough to bring one solitary tear to their eyes and on the other extreme it may take a simple commercial featuring a kitten to make someone reach for the tissue box.

I write this on the night that I found out that my favorite musician, John Frusciante, has made the decision to leave The Red Hot Chili Peppers; a band that I have loved and obsessed over for the past six years of my life.

My reaction took me by surprise. I feel like someone had ripped out a part of me, many parts in fact. For me, their music represents so many aspects of my life; from helping me through moments of extreme grief and loneliness to being the beat to which I jog to. The emotional centre I reach when I listen to them whilst doing yoga, the speed of my car as the soundtrack to my many road trips.

They have been a constant and kind of best friend in a way – something I could always rely on and turn to in times of need to pull me out of whatever mood I happen to find myself in. It feels like the end of an era, a quiet death of parts of my life. So many memories made all the more memorable by their music. My little brother and I watching their concerts over and over, night after night, discussing that chord, that vocal harmony; these types of memories will never be replaced and mean the world to me. It becomes as intimate as that feeling of warmth my heart experiences, this uplifting sensation when I hear a lyric or arrangement that just seems to exceed any other music I listen to. Going to a concert and seeing John’s fingers bleeding all over the strings; such passion and intensity put into a song.

The people around me, those that do not know me very well, although supportive and offering of kind words can never understand the ache I feel and it is this precisely that has led me to ask these questions of human nature.

I guess no one person can truly understand another soul one hundred percent; what makes them feel any particular emotion at any given time. And we cannot expect each other to, for we are not always there, living that person’s life, experiencing their experiences, loving their loves or hating their hates.

A little something to ponder as I fall asleep tonight, most likely with my most loyal companion playing in my ear…

A homage to the hummingbird & Breakfast Boy

November 28, 2009

There is a myth that if the hummingbird stops flapping its wings it will die. I guess this is how I feel most of the time; if I stop traveling, exploring, seeing new places and people, I too will cease to be. Cease to be happy, cease to be me…

I came to Canada seven months ago under the pretence of settling down somewhere for a while, getting a job and saving some cash. The decision to come to Canada initially came quite easily to me. I have long desired to live here or simply just to travel the country, reasons for which are not entirely clear to me. Perhaps it has something to do with the native animals of Canada and the connection I feel between myself and them. I have strong beliefs in totem animals and man’s lifelong affiliation with nature and all it can provide him and teach him. I believe it is blatantly obvious that we, as humans, have maintained this connection since the dawn of time and that we all have specific animals that empower us and teach us valuable lessons about life and ourselves. Regardless of my reasoning, the timing was perfect. I had returned from living in Europe only months before and the infliction many people call “The Travel Bug” was still alive in my system, swimming infectiously through my blood stream. I had also just broken up with my long term boyfriend, Francis, someone whom I considered to be my best friend in the world. Therefore, the need for a fresh start and new adventures was almost unbearable.

I flew into Vancouver and met up with one of my High School friends, Margaret. We had always talked about traveling together so the fact that I was coming over to Canada was the perfect excuse for us to start now. From the moment I stepped off the plane, Margaret was amazing, making everything very easy for me.

She would finish work late every night or early every morning depending on how you look at it, and we would lay awake on her double air mattress and talk for hours. Her apartment was on the 17th floor of the building and she always had the blinds pulled open. We would lay there giggling looking at all the other buildings and the cars passing by on the streets. I was forever wandering where I would end up in life. Looking at other people in their homes will do this to you. You begin to imagine them and make up stories for them; oh, he must be watching TV at two in the morning because he is on shift work, or he’s an insomniac or he just really loves infomercials!  You begin to wonder where you will fit in life, where you will one day settle and call home. Where will you go? What will you do? When will you finally find a place you love enough where you will buy furniture and a TV so you can sit awake to all hours watching re-runs of old sitcoms? Because, truthfully, that’s all I have wanted for the last five years; no, not to watch re-runs of old sitcoms at 3 AM, unless of course it’s Seinfeld… I mean somewhere I feel contented, somewhere I am happy to be without “me” ruining everything good with my whole “the grass is always greener” routine that I have developed in my life. I guess deep inside I am terrified of that contented feeling. That feeling of having what I want. Having all that I need at any point and knowing what that is.

A naturopath once asked me, “When was the last time you were truly happy?”

The answer came quite easy to me, “When I had Roy, my horse,” I replied without hesitation; this was the last time I felt truly contented and completely at ease with where my life was. I can still recall as if it were yesterday, what I was doing the Friday night before the Saturday morning that I found him laying in his paddock with a broken leg. I had put something else ahead of him that Friday afternoon and allowed it, for a brief few hours to assume greater importance than him. Instead of taking care of him for the evening, I had allowed my mother to go to his paddock and rug him up instead of me. I arrived home later that night and was sitting on my bed, listening to music and writing a “to do list” of everything I needed to get organized over the upcoming week. It was mainly a list of art projects and supplies I needed for paintings, but topping my list was things I needed for Roy. I needed to buy him some more food; hay and chaff, pay off the farrier’s fee from two weeks prior when he had new shoes put on. Things like that. It was while composing this list that a song came on randomly and something in the lyric stood out to me, “All I need is you in my life…” and I immediately found something in that statement. Roy was all I truly needed! Why had it taken me this long to see that? Leaving mum to take care of him while I had been busy doing something else, how silly of me. I remember vowing to myself that I would never let something stupid and insignificant ever stop me taking care of the number one love in my life, Roy. The love I felt for that horse was like nothing I had felt prior to meeting him. I felt like it was pure love. One that surpassed all conventional ways two people can love one another which can include superficiality and ugly lies. Love for the sake of love; no strings attached or expectations. Just love where you could be yourself and be loved for being yourself. That is real love. What more could I have wanted or needed? Roy was all I needed. I can recall having that exact thought and smiling, I had all that I needed and I was content, I was happy. The next day, he was gone.

Roy had led a very sad existence. One filled with harshness and cruelty from humans. When he had proved a poor performer on the racetracks, they tried him over steeples. The second time he almost broke his back was from a fall whilst jumping, the first was when he was put in an awful transport situation where he inevitably fell out of the float he was traveling in. When it was clear that there was no monetary value to be had from him, he was left in a paddock, no apparent use to anyone. The woman who was meant to be looking after him had neglected this responsibility. My first thoughts when I met Roy were nothing like you would expect. There was no handsome steed staring at me with his well formed flanks shimmering in the sunlight, no images of us galloping through green pastures, instead what met my eyes was the hollow shell of a horse. His belly bloated and full of worms that were eating what little food he was consuming, this made evident by the bones along his back that were sticking through his skin like an anorexic persons ribcage. He had rug burns all over his chest, withers and shoulders, his skin thin from the lack of food and nutrients. If you know anything at all about horses, you will know that one of the most important things to keep healthy is their hooves. Roy’s were so badly overgrown that they were to the point of curling and so dry that the cracks continued from the base of his hooves all the way to the top. I was unable to ride him for many months due to their condition. He was in a lot of pain just carrying his own weight let alone mine too. The good that came from this was the trust that was able to build between us. For the first time in his life someone was there for the sole purpose of taking care of him, not to gain from him. He clearly had no respect or trust for the woman who was leasing him for she was unable to even coax him with food. He had retreated into the corner of the paddock and as I approached him with the headstall I felt this intense connection with him. You know those moments in life when time seems to stand still and all the noise around you stops. All the sound around you disappears and you feel nothing but what you are doing, see nothing but what you are seeing. I walked up to his head and spoke softly to him, “its O.K. I’m going to take care of you now.”

We had a tumultuous beginning. Whenever I would try to catch him he would turn his back to me and completely ignore my existence; probably very suspicious of my intentions with him. When food bribery was entered into the equation with no success I knew a different strategy was needed. I knew that the only thing that would make Roy want to come to me was if it was his decision and his decision alone. So I began to go into the paddock and just sit, head down, not paying him any attention at all. He quickly became intrigued. Clearly a girl sitting completely still, not moving or making a sound was far more interesting than eating another blade of grass. He would come over and put his nose to me and sniff; my hair, my back, my arms. Getting to know me in his own little way. The whole time this sensory inspection was occurring I would remain completely still. He began to learn that nothing bad would happen if he approached me, nothing bad would come of him in my company.

It eventually developed from me not moving at all, to talking to him quietly, to being able to pat him gently. In the end it became him running up to me whenever he saw me approaching the paddock, nickering at my presence! Still to this day there is nothing that makes me smile more or my heart ache harder than when I imagine him trotting towards me making those beautiful tones with his voice. We both found in one another, a soul that could love beyond life and would forever remain watchful of the other. Whenever we would go riding and he would be scared, I would sing to him to calm him down, I still cannot listen to this song today… It took me quite some time to get him back to peak condition physically, but I know he found peace within himself and with life before the end; “happy and contented.”

He was lovely, he was my old gentleman, and he was everything in the world to me. The day he died changed me forever. As I stepped into the paddock to see him laying on the ground the space between us disappeared as if I were standing right beside him when, in fact, I was twenty meters away. I knew immediately that all was not ok. After long efforts, we finally got him to stand up. The image of his back left leg swinging lifeless still haunts me to this day. The moment he stood, the moment his life’s fate was sealed, was the moment my heart ripped apart and has never really mended. A broken leg is an immediate death sentence for a horse. The way a horse is built, they need to be able to bare weight on their four hooves. It is part of the way their circulatory system is built; they need the pressure on their hooves in order to get blood to return back up their legs. When a horse can’t put weight on their hooves they can end up with necrotizing tissue, inflammation and laminitis, severe pain and ultimately death. If a horse lies down for too long a period of time it can cause internal problems as well. The only truly humane thing to do is euthanasia.

I have read recently that an animal will begin eating when experiencing intense pain. Back when I was fifteen, standing in that paddock next to Roy I had no idea that this was why he was nervously picking at the grass. It took two injections before he fell to the ground. I looked into his eye that would not stay closed no matter how many times I panicked to keep it shut… I did not want dirt to touch it.

I knelt beside his body completely stripped of who I was, rebuilt into someone I did not yet recognize but would soon grow to call “me.” Someone who had just lost, not only the greatest love they had ever experienced, but themselves too.

The person I am today, why I was looking out of Margaret’s windows wondering with fear, when will I be able to feel that contentment, too scared to feel that way again? Constantly feeling the need to move on, move along. Sabotaging any reality where I might start to feel comfortable, always changing, and never accepting the new thing as permanent or continual. There was even a fear committing to writing this blog, and do not even let me begin about the apprehension i have about living out a full season on a ski mountain in Canada. I become scared whenever something begins to feel right, when it begins to feel nice, when it is comfortable, attaching negative connotations to everything good; worrying that it will all be taken away if I enjoy it or relax just a little. This is one of the reasons I feel like I would lose myself if I stopped traveling. Traveling provides me with the subconscious excuse of new beginnings and no attachments. Perhaps this is why I feel like the hummingbird that will die if it stops beating its wings. But do you know what I have discovered; the hummingbird does indeed continue living when ceases to beat its wing, when it rests, when it stops for a little to just be. So maybe I am truly like the little hovering bird, and I too will survive when I do finally choose to stop for a while… what I have come to learn is that, when the time finally does arrive that my wings become motionless, it will not be a physical place, person, country, city, house, beach, loft that I find myself content with; it will be a place inside of me…

Learning to be grateful…

November 6, 2009

So here I am, in another random bed writing this. Another random bed is better than another random couch, which is better than another random floor, wooden or carpeted. At least a floor generally has a roof. Having said that, the tent I have been calling home for the last few months had a roof, let’s just say it was water proof at least. Before the tent it was a tarp and before the tarp it was simply the night sky.

I have been extensively traveling ‘The Land of the Free’ for the past few months of my life, living in the cheapest possible way, willing to sacrifice the usually deemed “necessary” comforts of everyday living. This way of traveling all began when I first met Germ, Curly, Joe and Marissa roughly one month after arriving in Canada. My friends, Margaret and Tim and I decided that we would make a trip down from Vancouver into California. Originally this trip was meant to be a quick camping adventure, us three crazy kids seeing how far we could go on what little money we each had. We started our trip on an overnight train from Olympia, at the top of California, south to San Francisco. We had budgeted roughly two dollars per day for food, something which is truthfully quite easy to do in America, granted you know where to shop and are willing to forego basic nutrients and live on bread and peanut butter. After meeting a lovely artist woman, purely by fate, by the name of Sheila in the San Francisco markets, we got a ride with her and her boyfriend Beau to the town of Half Moon Bay where they lived. The best part for us is that Half Moon Bay was exactly where we had wanted to go next, but with no public transportation going there, we were struggling to find our way.

“$3.00 Hike & Bike,” the man at the entrance to the campsite told us. With this, we pitched our tent and started cooking. “Have you guys got a smoke?” A question, with the company that I have been keeping, that has become as frequently heard by my ears as someone asking for the time, was our first introduction to Curly, one of four homeless people that we would become great friends with from then on. We spent that night all hanging out and getting to know each other. I remember looking towards Margaret in amazement as their stories unfolded unto us. Curly, Germ, Joe and Marissa came from the small Californian town of Auburn. They weren’t just homeless in the traveling sense; they were homeless, full stop.  They lived however and wherever they could, accepting money off strangers for gas and food, more often than not, camping wherever they could lay down their bags to sleep. I personally found this to be so inspiring and intriguing. I wondered if I could live this way if I had to…

I guess this is a thought that both Margaret and I shared. We both decided to join up with these guys and see what would come of it all. But first, we had some things to learn about what it is to be homeless.

So it is my pleasure to present to you THE LIFE OF A HOMELESS PERSON: LESSON ONE: DICTION.

So there are quite a few mini phrases one must grasp to truly feel connected to the homeless populous. The first and most important one:

SIGN FLYING: sign flying, or in its verb form, “flying a sign,” quite simply means getting your hands on a scrap piece of cardboard, writing on it a witty or straightforward slogan and holding it for the public to see and hopefully acknowledge. For example, a classic, but one that will always produce the goods and one that I have now had the privilege of “flying” on numerous occasions; “Traveling, Broke & Hungry.” This sign is generally written in any form of black marker and more often than not is accompanied by a picture of a hamburger in a thought bubble. Flying a sign can be fun and creative. Some of the more funnier ones I have encountered have been; “Pigeon killed my parents, need money for a BB Gun,” my friend Germ has flown this one in L.A whilst wearing a paper bag over his head, “Need money for plastic surgery,” and the one that always gets me to hand over a buck without fail, “I bet you a dollar you read my sign.” Damn those homeless people are clever!! You also get the more than honest signs like, “Need money for Booze & Drugs.” The purpose of sign flying is to make some cash without accosting the public. Allowing people to see you and become aware of you and your sign, therefore leaving the decision of whether to contribute cash to your “cause” completely up to them. This leads me to my next phrase…

CRACK SPANGING: Crack Spanging is generally frowned upon in homeless circles. As a girl in Vancouver said to me “Wow, even the homeless people have a slight code of etiquette!” The general idea of “Crack Spanging” is to approach people asking them for change or anything they can spare. It is frowned upon not only because it makes the public very uncomfortable and is basically a way of cornering people and guilting them into handing over their money, but it also makes the person asking for the money generally feel a lot of self loathing and personal degradation. Homeless people, contrary to popular belief, have their pride too, and to have to force your poverty onto people that do not necessarily want to deal with it does not feel good for anybody.

KICK-DOWN: A “Kick-Down” is what it is called when you are given something from the general public. It can be used as a verb or an adjective. Let’s try it in its verbal form, “We got kicked-down so much money today!” or you could use it as an adjective, “Oh this t-shirt? It was a kick down…” Easy enough?

GAS HUSSLING: This one is fairly straight forward. To gas hussle (and yes it is spelt hussle) is to have a car and sit at a Gas Station (those of you from Australia, Petrol/Service Station or as we lovingly call it “Servo” which will only have you met with a blank stare if you ask someone in the U.S.A, “Where’s the nearest servo?”) and ask people for some money for gas. It’s not quite like Crack Spanging because you have the car there with you as proof of where the money is going and people are willing to help you out if you tell them you are stranded somewhere and just trying to get home or to the next place. It is also under the definition of gas hussling to ask people to spare actual gas. Just have a little tank with you and a funnel and people are normally more willing to fill your car up than to give you money.

RE-FRY: this phrase is butt a favorite of mine, pun intended with the spelling of butt! A “re-fry” can usually be located on the highways of America, in the trash cans of America or anywhere people deem it ok to discard their partially smoked cigarettes! To go “butt hunting” in search of re-fry’s is a favorite pastime of someone who has a strong nicotine addiction but cannot always afford to buy a pack of rolling paper and tobacco. Yes, there are moments in your life when you realize you have changed, and when you find yourself bending over on a busy highway to pick up a half smoked cigarette for one of your friends or yelling out “RE-FRY!” and pointing to the culprit hidden in the grass, you evidently have not only stepped down a rung on the social ladder, you have fallen 20 meters into a pile of burnt out filters too! Yes, many a time I have seen my friends rifling through bins and public ashtrays trying to score just ONE MORE hit out of an already dragged out smoke, passing it around the group sharing puffs, lighting it up with their lighters or “pocket dragons” as they are more affectionately known.

SPACE BAG: Known in Australia as a “goon sack” the humble space bag is what homeless people call a bag of wine. Space Bags were originally silver, hence the space reference. They come in boxes and can also be referred to as a cask of wine.  Generally “Space Bags” are the cheapest form of alcohol, but are usually the most effective in getting you swilly, or drunk, very quickly. Just as a side note, myself and Margaret did discover cheaper wine in a Dollar Tree store. Everything for a dollar, and yes, that did include the bottles of wine!

GROUNDSCORE: The word “groundscore” is generally expressed with enthusiasm and excitement for spotting something particularly alluring on the ground. A ‘groundscore” usually includes an item of clothing, a pack of cigarettes, and during the most dire of days, some food.

So now that we had been taught the basics of what it was to live homeless we began our adventures. Living this lifestyle proved to be more often than not, extremely fun! I learnt quickly to lower my standards for sleep and became comfortable laying my sleeping bag down anywhere. Soon Margaret and I were sleeping on any stretch of beach we could find or bush area that seemed safe from the watchful eyes of the police. By far my favorite place to camp became the sand dunes near Santa Cruz. Germ and Curly had done nothing but talk about these sand dunes since we had met them. We had high expectations and were not disappointed. I remember the first night I camped there. Margaret, Tim and I arrived with Joe, parked the car randomly on the side of the road, and grabbed our packs. It was an amazingly bright night as the moon was full and shining over us. A quick hike through the woods later, the stone and dirt soon turned to sand as we made our way up a small incline. As the trees cleared we were met with an amazing view; an open expanse of sand surrounded by dunes and small cliffs completely illuminated by the moon’s blue light. The sand was practically shining, nice and cold under my bare feet.

We all sat around the fire and passed around the space bags. Once everyone had either fallen asleep or passed out, me and Germ chilled out in his massive sleeping bag chatting away for hours. The fire had started to feel exceptionally hot so we looked up to see how close we were to it when we noticed Tim, with my iPod blaring The Beatles in his ears, dancing like a man possessed. We all had a good laugh together, Tim exclaiming, “I didn’t realize The Beatles were this awesome!” Germ fell asleep as I lay awake all night watching Tim dancing on top of one of the dunes. It wasn’t long before he ascended a nearby cliff and spent the rest of the night entertaining his one person audience with moves that would make John Travolta proud.

Tim went back to Vancouver after one week of this lifestyle but Margaret and I enjoyed every minute of it. Well that is a lie; we did not enjoy trekking with our packs for miles to find camp sites or receiving citations for illegally camping at Natural Bridges Beach. But all in all there is not much sweeter a feeling than waking up during the night and looking up to see the stars shining overhead, or being on a beach and waking from the cold to see the sun rising over the ocean and feeling it begin to warm your body. The hard times are forever worth these moments and until the day I die I will be grateful for each and every grain of sand or grass seed that became stuck in my underwear, because without them, none of the good times would’ve been possible.

In life, balance is more important than anything, and without the bad that comes with the good, we as human beings would begin to take all the small things for granted. A friend the other night said something that got me thinking. He asked, “Don’t you reckon that the more you travel the less amazed or grateful you are about the things you see? Like, the more you see, the less it all matters…”

To some extent I had to agree with him. I guess when you travel extensively and you see more countries, landmarks, monuments, and amazing natural wonders, meet more and more remarkable beings you can become a little complacent and often almost shrug along to the next impressive thing. One thing I have found though and one thing I am positive most travelers would agree upon, as my friend did, when you travel, especially the way I have been in America, it is not the big, amazing or stereotypically beautiful things that become important. It is the little things. You become grateful for the little things in life, and it is these that start to seem amazing. All the things you can lose touch of, these basics of life become so much sweeter.  Family moments, the sound of your father’s voice, which can at times make you impatient or annoyed (and in my case this is not because he has an Irish accent) your mother’s nagging to tidy your room or clean up your dishes, these types of things become, well for me at least, something I look back on with love and sometimes longing. Things such as a hot cup of tea when you wake up in the morning, a place safe and secure to lay your head at night, somewhere warm to just sit and read a book. Hell, for me it has gotten as basic as being grateful for clean underwear!

I realize that most people look down with disrespect on homeless people, whether it is their ignorance or judgmental sides. There is a very negative attitude towards people who are homeless by choice, a very “Get a job!” attitude. For most of my friends, even their family looks at them in this way, not with love. Having lived the way I too have chosen to live for my time in the U.S. of A, I now have a newfound respect for these people. To live your life depending on the kindness of strangers, for one, is very brave. Who knows when your next meal will be, your next dollar? What happens if no one kicks down any money or food today? Do you starve or look through the rubbish? Also to live without all those things that most human beings take for granted; all the things I mentioned above, is something I find admirable. Not once did I hear my homeless friends in America complain about things that my friends in Australia so often complain about.  They were so happy to eat bread not out of a bin, fresh fruit, a hot shower; any water pressure is good enough! I think we would all be happier if we learnt to live more like homeless people, and no I do not mean sleeping in parks and begging, I mean thinking as if your next meal may never come; savoring that mouthful of dinner, snuggling into your sheets with the gratefulness of someone who has spent their life laying on the pavement and most importantly, enjoying the people in your life who love you for who you are; people that would love you if you chose to be homeless, even if it is for a short period of your life. This is the basic thing that I am most grateful for – these people who love me regardless. They mean every grain of sand in the world to me and although tonight I am under a roof and sleeping in a bed, I look out the window and thank all the stars I can see in the sky that I have them in my life!

The Art of Running

October 22, 2009

I wonder if I’ll ever do anything amazing enough in my life that they’ll put my bedroom in a museum. Or better still; have my whole house turned into a museum, the likes of Frida Kahlo or Leon Trotsky!

I wonder if I’ll ever amount to anything greater than my current perception of self. A perception that is undeniably negative and cruel.

I have dreamt for as long as I can remember that one day I will be something special, someone special. Someone who is known for her creative talents or her charitable nature; known for her uncompromising ability to give to all; known for her amazing abilities at any given task. This dream of mine, or probably more appropriately put, this obsession of mine, has made my life somewhat of an internal hell! Now I realize how melodramatic that may seem being presented in the written form, but I implore any one, any one at all to try and spend one day in my head. One 24 hour period where the vinyl is skipping on the same beat of the same song, nothing new to be noted, and very rarely a positive thought to be had.

A day in the life of my thought patterns is not for the faint hearted. Not for the light headed or the brittle boned. I have destroyed relationships, tested my family, ruined deep friendships and almost ruined myself with the constant influx of images, trajectories, imagined scenarios and crazy suspicions I have produced in my mind. Now don’t get me wrong, although this does all sound a bit depressing, even self-pitying, I am very far from feeling sorry for “me.” “Me” can go and get fucked as far as “me” is concerned. I do not for one second feel sorry for myself or the way my life has turned out. I am aware of how blessed an individual I am. I just know, deep down, that there is a way to stop this incessant need to “be the best” and to “change the world” shit that has been troubling me for a long time now.

I have literally travelled parts of the world trying to better myself and learn more about life and what makes me tick. Pushing my personal boundaries to see how far my tolerances stretch.

What I have discovered is this; no matter where I am in the world, there I am. That little old “me” bitch just keeps popping up! No matter how many continents I visit, how many oceans I see, how many signs I fly or bags I re-pack, I will always be there, lurking around a corner, with one more put down or unnecessary comment as to why I am not enough. Not enough for what or whom you might ask? Precisely the question I have found myself asking myself. That is why, after much long and arduous deliberation, I have finally decided to start a blog…

Now there is always that initial apprehension when you are writing something that will be viewed by the public, in this case the public most likely being my family and close friends because, honestly, who else would be interested in anything I have to write? Note: self-deprecation in my blogs may be closer than it appears…

The reason behind my decision to begin a blog, end my blogging virginity and pop my metaphorical blogging cherry began a few months ago when I was traveling in the United States. Having exhausted all the “tourist” things to do in the city of San Diego (“I believe it means a whale’s vagina”) I found myself lost. No, not physically lost, San Diego is a small city and anyone with a map and half a brain should be able to navigate its streets, I’m talking lost within myself. Time for reflection was needed to help me discover what it was that was wrong, why was I so sad all of a sudden? Why had I started to think the same old thoughts, thought’s that I had been able to keep at bay for months now. So it was in San Diego, sitting in a cemetery of all places, that I began to write again…

So, how fitting it seems that in my need for clarity and searching for answers I find myself sitting in a cemetery in San Diego.

How did I end up here?

Well that’s an easy answer if you choose to look at it from the sardonic, physical angle… You got off your ass, left the hostel and you walked. You walked out of the door, turned right down 5th Avenue and took a left onto Market Street. From there you  searched for a place to buy a writing pad because, although it keeps slipping your mind, the thought of sitting somewhere quiet and stilling your thoughts through the medium of writing has been one of the only thoughts of late that has bought some excitement into your heart.

So you spotted an Albertson’s store… “No, your definitely could not fly a sign there!” When did you start thinking like this? It used to be, “I wonder what I can purchase at this store today?” Now it seems that all I think about when I see a store or shopping centre are the pros and cons of sitting holding a torn up, worn out piece of cardboard with the words “Traveling, Broke & Hungry” written on it. For which two of the statements written on the sign are complete lies in my case. I am neither broke or hungry; merely just tight with my cash, bored or hormonal. That’s what the sign should say, “Traveling, Broke and Craving something, maybe Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice-Cream.” But I’m not too sure people would have the time to read that let alone want to give money for that cause, although I’m sure I’d get a few, “Amen Sister’s” at some point!

I swear I can hear music coming from one of the graves, although it could just be an Ice-Cream truck!

So I walked into the Albertson’s and find the perfect sketch pad, hop onto the No.92 bus and randomly get out at a cemetery. That’s how I ended up here physically, and although I took the long way to get to that answer the real question I am asking myself is, “How did I end up here?”

In my quest for growth and self-respect, I’ve come full circle and I’m not even sure if this is where I want to be. For someone who can never get her hand to write as fast as she thinks, when I’m trying to answer that question, I have nothing to put down on paper!

Running away is never fun, well maybe if you are playing kiss chasey! So why am I constantly doing it? Now what most people assume when you acknowledge that you are running away is that you are fleeing from some physical issue; the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, etc. But this is not true for me. I am running away from myself… running away from having to take care of myself because most of the time, I do not think that I deserve it. Traveling makes easy work of this, especially the way that I have traveled recently. Excuse after excuse of why I don’t have to eat properly, sleep somewhere comfortable because if I keep pushing myself day after day I don’t have to think about all the things I do not like about me.

If every thought becomes as basic and crucial as “Where am I going to sleep?” “What can I afford to eat?” “How can I get from A to B?” you hope that your will be too full of these thoughts to even bother contemplating all of the other shit that seems to follow your every move; those everyday self loathing thoughts most human beings have, all along the general tangent of “not being enough.” Not funny enough, smart enough, interesting enough, skinny enough, good-looking enough, cool enough…” Wow… now my hand cannot keep up!

Enough for who may I ask? Because trust me, no one else really gives a damn! Most people are walking around with the same thought bubbles as you, full of “not enoughs.”

What I have come to learn is that sooner or later, no matter how fast you run, how far away you sprint, regardless of whether you take a second to look back over your shoulder or just focus straight ahead, these old thoughts will catch up with you. No amount of running away will help. Go ahead and try, but you’ll probably just end up in a graveyard, either dead in the ground or sitting with a writing pad contemplating “How did I get here?”

Throughout my 21 years on this planet, in this body, in this ego, I have seen and experienced many realities. I have grown up and fell down and have learnt many great lessons. This blog and future blogs can be viewed as a small window into my world, my journey of self discovery and acceptance, one that has taken me from place to place, person to person. Admittance is free but your sanity might cost you!