Sunday, 24 November 2013

Christmas - Y U Make Everyone Crazy?

Every year I hope for... something better. Mostly that people will burn their arsehole gene along with their yule log and maybe just once I won't be left feeling like I am just not worth anybody's time.

Woolworths has earned my wrath already for playing dreary carols in between really bad eighties one hit wonders. 

The local Subway shop had it's decorations up in October. Defying even the reasoning of "They get them up early to get people buying early" because, really, who the hell buys presents at Subway? The Penguin stickers are already peeling, just like my rapidly fading good cheer.

I would like, for the first time ever, to take a holiday over Christmas, with my family. Without it causing family row #447.

So I give up on it because it's all just too hurtful and then, of course, I must endure the obligatory guilt trip with the weight of a thousand elephants because I'm being SO FUCKING TERRIBLE to my parents by wanting to not spend my only time off depressed and miserable and living in everyone else's shadow. 

And all around me people are slapping on their fake smiles, hurling awful tinsel everywhere and pretending Christmas is about JOY and LOVE.

I know lots of you feel the same way. Why does it all have to be so hard? Why can't those around us just pull their heads out of their butts for a teeny weeny second?

I don't know. I've never had the answer, but I'm like a dog whose owner latched the doggy door - I just keep trying, banging my head and wasting time better spent sleeping in the sunshine. 

All I can tell you is that Christmas is a holiday engineered to remind you why you moved so damn far away, just in case you forget.

And the sky won't fall in if you spend it at home. I promise.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Of planes and trains and tears...

I flew out of Adelaide at 6am on Friday morning. With my exploding heart wrapped tight  so it wouldn't spill onto those beside me.

(Qantas does a nice breakfast service, by the way, if you are ever considering flights at that ungodly hour. You're welcome.)

Brisbane greeted me with sunshine, and a tiny hire car, which was saved from it's extreme petiteness by the fact that it was bright, bright red. I loved it instantly, even though the air vents rattled when I played the radio too loud. I played it too loud anyway.

Met up with my cousin and uncle, hugged them because I had no words. I still have no words that I can give them, all I have is love, and it feels like it will never be enough.

A morning ticked away as we sat, restless. Distraction was sought, and found. The Railworks Museum, a soothing balm to electric nerves and shattered hearts. A tour guide with simple words, so matter of fact, who must have wondered at our grimaces parading as smiles, as we thanked her in small voices.

Lunch. Stillness. Conversation of the mundane, the everyday. Panic rising as the clock ticked on, towards the minute we could not postpone. 

Changing, smoothing, painting on a face we could hide behind. A hundred little movements in preparation, swallowing the tears and pretending we could hold on to our dignity.

A GPS voice the only sound as I drove that little car to the chapel. Discussions over signposts and parking as we fought to put off the moment we would have to leave the little red bubble of safeness. The engine stilled, a sigh, giving in to the inevitable.

Hugs that shared our love and grief, small talk, three sets of round sad eyes that took my breath away. We walked, side by side, gently, slowly, to the chapel bathed in the light of the setting sun. 

Sat rigid, wound tight, trying so hard to be strong. 

One tear fell and then they were a torrent. A flood no amount of trying could hold back. My dignity mopped up with blue tissues. Dripping from my cheeks and splashing on my hands held tightly in my lap. Like waves racing onto the shore they were relentless, unyielding.

Some are still escaping, even now.

Goodbyes said, choked words exchanged. 

A slow drive back with bad jokes to break the silence. 

Rushing to shed the armoured skin. A taxi driver who thought he was Craig Lowndes in a minivan. Holding those dear little faces close and wishing I could soothe the pain inside.

Promising to write, promising we will always be here. Making promises to ourselves that we will never stop being there.

Laying down on hotel sheets, a 3am alarm. Showering, shedding the dust of yesterday's travel and preparing for today's. Silence in the lift. A smile from the midnight desk lady, back in that tiny red car, with the GPS my only company.

Daylight spreading as I enter the city, singing Katy Perry, loudly, badly. The long, dark, relentless airport tunnel. The beep of the toll thingy and the bustling car park.

A sip of hazelnut coffee as I wait for the call to board. People's faces - tired, excited, bored. Wondering if I look as hurt as I feel. Instagramming my knees because I don't know what else to do.

As I step onto the plane, I feel torn in two. Between my family who let me go but need me back, and those broken hearts I held so close only a few hours before.

I land, wait for my bag. Collect my car, ring Will. My big girl answers, I tell her I will be home soon. They are playing at the train park, a little voice in the background "I want to talk to mummy PLEEEEEASE". A tiny part of my heart splinters - there's no direct line to heaven, when they talk to their mummy it's a one way channel. Tears. 

36 hours after I stepped out of my back door I step through it again. Exhausted, broken, so full of the need to hold my family close it was like a searing pain through the last fifty miles.

Cans of Red Bull, friends to soothe the soul.

Sleep, blessed sleep. The never-ending tick of days passing. 

Writing as I promised. So they know my promises are true. 

Giving and loving all I can. Letting myself be loved. 

The world turns slowly again.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

And so the dam bursts...

It's been so so long since I put words into this space. I took a break during a busy time and it just become longer and longer as the words churned around my head, building pressure and threatening to flood.

And so the dam walls burst... and I am here again.

Life has been like always - up, down, spinning round and round. The kids grow, change, surprise and amaze me.

There are parts that hurt, parts that feel like a piece of sunshine.

Right now my heart is exploding as I pack my bag for the hardest journey of my life so far. 

I'm weighing my carry on, checking I've got my boarding pass. Setting my alarm for 2:30am for the drive to Adelaide airport in the morning.

I have to go and say goodbye to someone very special, and I don't even know how I will bring myself to get in my car tomorrow morning because it hurts so damn much.

I keep crying in all the most inconvenient places - navigating the town roundabout on the school run, in the coffee shop, filing my car with petrol. The tears leak forth around my stone walls as I struggle to build them high enough to contain all I feel. I can't build fast enough, sometimes I have to open the gates and let them flow, mop the floor and wait for them to build again.

Everything I have done for the last few days has been filtered through a veil. I wrap it around me to shelter myself enough to get up each day and do what needs to be done. 

I've smiled when those around me needed my smiles. I wrapped my heart in armour, because it's not their pain to carry. And I have enjoyed all the crazy moments with this little family, because they are keeping me going, giving me love and letting me love them, because in some moments that is all I can manage.

And I will be back. Because now I have let the words flow, there will be more. So many more.

I promise.