I Am Not Your Valentine

So, the month of love has come and gone, & I can come out of hiding. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day. I have found that people who don’t are generally in one of four categories:

1)”Manly men” who have to prove their manliness by having nothing to do with anything whimsical.

2) People who genuinely recognize it for the money making scheme it has become (or always has been, depending on your school of thought), and would rather celebrate their loved ones outside of the allocated day.

3) Bitter people.

And 4) Those who actually would love to celebrate it, but tell themselves and anyone who will listen that they don’t care about it because well, roses lose their whimsical lustre if you send them to yourself.

I though, am in a category I am yet to find someone else in too. I LOVE romance, & whimsey, & surprises, & dreamy magical places & experiences. Nostalgic gifts & hand written letters are all right up my ally (Anyone who knows me personally probably would be surprised by this. Tomboy Zoe who keeps her nails short and can’t stand weaves?? NO! Haha). I don’t like flowers, they make me sneeze, & most of them smell bad, but there are these mini sunflower/daisy things that grow on the side of the road along most freeways here that just make me So happy. How does that work? I just said I hate flowers. I don’t know. But I’ll marry the man who parks his car on the side of the road to pick one of those for me.

I never celebrated Valentines day for two reasons, the first and most obvious being that I’ve been single for most of my adult life. The second is a sore one. The one Valentines day I was in a relationship, I knew the guy I was dating, and celebrating that day would lead to nothing but disappointment and tears. I always say that whoever gets that guy in the end is a lucky girl because he really is such a gem. I just wasn’t his target audience.

So, I come home from work having been surrounded by an endless amount of roses, heart shaped chocolates and old people being extra annoying (I worked at an old age home that posed as a country club. The members were survivors of the flood) Anyway, I digress. I get home & sit in front of the TV with my housemate ready for an episode of Game of Thrones when, there is a knock on the door. On the other side of it is a very nervous looking Irishman. I let him in albeit a little surprised because I really wasn’t expecting to see him that night.

He mumbles something about how he knows I said I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, but he has something that will make me happy…I internally roll my eyes because I just knew what was to follow was the expectation of me being nice about a really lame, NOT thought out gift he just picked up somewhere, probably within the last hour. But I’d have to be nice because this guy is a sweetheart with the kind of spirit you Never want to crush because he’s just so genuine. Whatever the lame gift he’s about to pull out of that backpack he carries everywhere is, that’s about as good as it gets. So I took a breath and told my inner self to chill. And out it came, the ugliest looking garage…well this was in America so Gas Station? Yes, gas station rose & the weirdest looking ball of fluff which I presume was meant to be a teddy bear…I wanted to burst into tears. Mostly because of the many many questions I was holding in like “What is this?” “You know I hate flowers right? So what reaction did you expect from this” “When you think of me, This is what you feel I deserve?” “This shit is making me sneeze, do have kleenex in that backpack?”

I realise that that whole story does NOT paint me in a positive light. “What an ungrateful shrew this girl is” is what I would think while reading it. And that is fair.

Here’s my thing though, “It’s the thought that counts” sooo…what is the thought behind giving your girlfriend something that you know she hates…

I’m almost impossible to please, my head is FULL of romantic scenes from movies, Pinterest & Tumbler & crazy things that most guys would Never even think about! So, to eliminate the expectation & the pressure, I just cancel the day as a whole. I found that that made me appreciate all the other 364 days with him more.

He always carried that backpack, & when he started dating me, he always put an extra hoodie in there no matter how hot the day was because he noticed that the slightest breeze has me shivering like a Chihuahua. He always brought me food. Out of the blue. If he was at the shop buying whatever & decided he wanted a sweet, he’d buy two. If that’s not love, I have no Clue what is.

Someone tweeted “People don’t understand the emotional significance of finding someone who understands you”. And this is So true. He was so thoughtful, and I was so grateful for it. But I never felt understood. He just didn’t Get me.

If he did, he would have bought me nothing and just taken me for a stroll so we could just chat about everything and nothing, or just walk in silence..

What I want seems so huge it’s almost impossible. But if I can open my mouth & take a breath to express an obscure opinion, & my best friend unwittingly beats me to it & says the exact obscure thing I was thinking, well, why wouldn’t the romantic version of that exist out there somewhere?

I want to inspire & be inspired! I want a love as simple as it is complicated. I cannot date for the sake of dating, I want to understand & be understood. Be someones haven.

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Where’s your head at?

My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. I used to be really close with her, but we drifted apart recently. I visited her as often as I could, and we’d chat and laugh, I’d “borrow” one of her scarfs and Promise I’d bring it back next time I came to see her…needless to say, I’ve a pretty impressive scarf collection.

She was one of the smartest people I knew, and that’s why we got along so well. She always challenged my way of thinking and opened me up to different ways of seeing things and people. If it wasn’t for her, I would Never have passed a single Biology test. Nobody knew human anatomy backwards, forward, & sideways like she did, and on the rare occasion that she did not know, she had a book that did and by the end of the conversation, both she and I would be educated.

She very quickly deteriorated towards the end of her life & though she held her sense of humor, she was no longer herself & it was in this time that I said goodbye to her. She knew God so I was not worried bout her soul, but couldn’t see her like that. This woman who was the matriarch of our family, the strongest & most independent female I’ve ever known, was no longer that & I quickly realized that she was already gone. My grandmother, who was the one who figured out I was a lactose intolerant baby, treated my bee stings, taught me how to sew, crochet, knit, paint, how the vascular and lymphatic systems work, was no longer.

I never really cried. I felt a joy instead because I felt she had been liberated when we got the news of her passing. I did not go to see her in her casket because I didn’t want to associate her with that body anymore. She was no longer there. My grandmother could not sit still if you paid her! She was fidgety to her last breath! She told us teachers used to complain about the ants in her pants because she was always so energetic & moving around! That body in that box, that was not her. Gogo was also extremely claustrophobic! It was really funny, she would sit outside on the veranda & wait for us to come home because she couldn’t be in the house alone! She made fun of herself about it all the time! So this person being put in a box, in the ground…nope! Not her. She was liberated. She’s not floating around anywhere because she was afraid of flying too! But, liberated none the less.

What did make me very sad though was seeing all my family members break down. They were all so sad & all I could do was hug them & wish I could share my peace.

And that is where my head is at in terms of that.

Knowing her was an honor and a pleasure. I’m so grateful for the chance to have had her influence in my life.

Your Moon sign predicts…

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Do I think my personality fits my Zodiac sign…

Hmm…My birthday falls between the dates designated to the star sign Cancer.

 

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Well, Cancerians are known mostly for two things I think, being super sensitive, with a thin skin, and being moody.

I am Definitely Not moody. I am annoyingly chipper from the second I open my eyes in the morning, till I close my eyes at night (at which point everyone breathes a sigh of relief because they finally get the chance to talk, or mellow out without the Tasmanian devil whizzing about). Even when I’m feeling chilled, it really doesn’t take much to get me excited. One of my best friends says I’m like a puppy! I do though tend to withdraw quite a bit. This usually happens after I’ve had to be social for a long period of time. It’s almost like recharging.

As for the thin skin…I wish I could deny it. I’ll just leave it at that.

I really don’t believe that every single person born at a certain time of the year could be going through the same thing. According to the internet which is never wrong, 367,934 people are born under the star sign currently. It can’t be that today is the day we all have to avoid coffee & stop to smell the roses! For a bunch of moody people, we would have to be highly coordinated to pull this off. Just a whole lot of super softies who got their feelings hurt by traffic, walking around trying to Carpe the Diem because it is the 4th of January and the moon dictates we do so. Or, as in my case being born between the 13th and 22nd, the Moon and Planet Jupiter say so…No.

There might be some truth to the characteristics assigned to each star sign though. I’ve found I identify with a lot of Cancer ones, and even the Crab mascot works for me. I look a lot tougher than I am, I get along with Pisces, Virgos, Scorpios, & Taurus’, super well. I certainly don’t base my relationships on astrology, it just so happens that all three of my best friends, and the few other people I like are the same star signs that the Zodiac predicts I would get along with.

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This is true of me too. Two people I’m close to recently expressed their frustration with me over this…I could just BE that way from birth, it could be that I’ve been hurt a few too many times to still be an open book, or the moon (& Jupiter) could be on to something…who knows? I don’t.

And now my favourite Cancer characteristic…

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I don’t know about psychic…or the “Celestial indicator of feelings” in fact I find that pretty funny. It makes me think of the sorcerers in Disney movies

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Either way though, whatever it is, it has helped me avoid a lot of hurt & heart-break because when I meet certain people, I just Know, without proof, that they suck. Some people I don’t even get the chance to meet, it’s as simple as just being in the same space as them for a short period of time, and I just know not to ever go near them. Sometimes I get to find out that I was right about them through a mutual person who was hurt by them unfortunately, & other times I don’t get to find out. I just have to go with the feeling and trust it.

This topic is weird to me. I think I subscribe to a lot of Cancer attributes, but life & experiences have also played a big role in who I am. Anyway, on to the next one already!

Our Father…

My Views on religion

I am a Christian. I was born into an anglican family, went to private Christian schools, grew up in the church and when I grew up and could make my own choices, I chose Christianity. My faith holds a big role in my life. I allow it to govern how I carry myself, how I behave, and how I allow things to affect me, or not affect me.

When I was little, my grandfather was my driver. He drove me to school, picked me up from school, drove me to ballet classes, swimming lessons, sports days, you name it, he drove me! As I grew older, I had to pay for petrol if I wanted a ride. Either because petrol prices had risen, or to teach me responsibility. Either way though, driving around was our thing. He wasn’t a talker, but he listened to me ramble on and on and on about all kinds of things. We would take different routes & get lost so often it was ridiculous! I loved him to pieces. Just being in his presence when I was upset was enough to comfort me.

After university, I left to live abroad for a while, by this time he was 89 years old and he was tired. He’d let us know that he knew we loved him, but he was done now. Just before I left, he and I hung out for a bit. As usual, he didn’t say much, but when I told him I was leaving, he wished me blessings, told me to always do what my heart desired and what was right for me, and he would see me the next time God saw fit for us to see each other, even if it wasn’t in this life. When I left I knew I was never going to see him again. I prayed for his soul, I thanked God that He had given him a full life, &  that He would give my family peace too. I felt the most incredible comfort and warmth in my soul, it could only have been divine.

A few months later, I got the text message that I should call home urgently, & I knew.

I never felt loss, or even grief over my grandpa passing. And I thank my heavenly father for that. In Him I found peace, and comfort, & felt gratitude for the amazingly soft, funny, short, goofy man he had used as a vessel to show me fatherly love.

People often view or portray religion as a prison that stops you from living a full and fun life. That is very sad to me. I wish more people could experience it the way I have, and the way I do everyday. If you feel trapped, you are missing the point. I have found it to be a place of unconditional love, support and a place where I feel whole and centred.

It’s always a controversial topic. I think that if it was viewed as the centre and the source of love as it was meant to be, whatever you believe in, that is what would emanate from us all.

And That is my view on religion.

“Liquor? I don’t even Know her!”

The third topic on my 30 day blog challenge…”What are your thoughts on drugs and alcohol”…hmm

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And that’s pretty much the gist of it!

I discovered partying and alcohol later than most. Drinking is legal in my country from the age of 18, which means teens generally start drinking at 16. I had zero interest. When I did start drinking though, I was in university & was out with a group of friends. Because I was the only girl in the crew and they were introducing me to this lifestyle, they insisted on buying all my drinks. This went on for a few nights out, and nights in at their apartment which was three stories below mine and was the constant party venue. I knew what drinks I liked, loved, hated, and should Never go near (I Still don’t mess with tequila…yuck)

After one holiday, when my roommate and best friend came back from home, I insisted that she and I go out so I could show her all the places I had been and introduce her to all the new yummy drinks I now liked! I hadn’t gone home that holiday, I’d chosen to stay and work on some projects and subsequently, when I wasn’t doing that, I was partying up a storm with the boys. She and I, though years apart in age, had the exact same background, extremely focused in out teen years with no time for boys or parties, so this was also new and cool to her.

We got all dressed up, the place I was taking her was super swanky. The students that went there wore designer everything, so we Had to be posh! Off we went for our first ladies night together.

Now, I must say, that we were Not rich girls. Both our mothers were teachers and trying to support our dreams at a private university, that did not have dorms which meant getting an over priced apartment near the school, or a cheaper one far away, but paying through the nose for transport to & from. They chose the former. And we could barely afford to eat! We had promoting jobs and the little we made from those, we bought our pre paid electricity, noodles & occasionally, a block of cheese!

So there we are. Ladies night so entrance is free for us. Our cab was budgeted for weeks in advance, and we were ready to party! I tell my bestie that  I’ll order our first drinks. I have this signature drink the boys used to buy for me and it’s Delicious! I go up to the bar and order two double shots of Coffee Patron with ice in two glasses, and ask how much it will be as I reach for my wallet…The answer almost knocked me off my uncomfortable heels!!! I had never Once considered the prices of all the things the boys drank and gave me to drink! The price of ONE double shot, was over half of what I had budgeted, FOR THE NIGHT!

My order changed at lightening speed!

It’s an expensive habit, especially considering that whatever budget rules you set before going out, leave your body upon your second drink!

I have been blessed enough to have a great life so drinking was never a form of escapism at all. It has always been just about fun and laughs with friends, and entertaining stories the next day.

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I cannot say much about drugs. I once read a meme that said “All drugs should be made legal and we should let natural selection do it’s thing” … No comment.

So, Miss, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

This is a tough one…

 

I’ve always known, my whole life who and what I’m going to be. When I was 9 years old, I didn’t know what a person who makes cartoons is called so I named my dream job, being a cartoonist! As it turned out, I didn’t make the word up and tough it’s not That aspect of animation I wanted to be involved in, I was very close!

I grew up and realised that what I wanted to be, is an animator. I was 12 years old. From there on out, all I did was draw, paint, sketch, and tell stories. I did not see the inside of a club until I was in my early 20’s, I just wasn’t interested. For me, the weekend meant I could claim a space in the house to set out my art equipment, and not have to clean it up until I was finished with my creation, which would usually be Sunday. Why clean it up when it’s the first place I go when I wake up, and I stayed glued to the spot until bed time. occasionally getting up to bath, eat, or watch cartoons. This was me at 18.

I loved to draw, but just as much, I loved children. I used to do the “children’s church” portion of home cell every week. They loved my made up stories and games I would create on the spot. I wanted to make cartoons, not only because I loved to draw but also because I loved to entertain children.

Something changed though. I’m not sure when I stopped drawing. But I did. I am still very drawn to the artsy things in life. I make my own clothes, create artistic DIY projects & get lost in a good play. But I stopped drawing…

The hiatus from drawing really put a spanner in the works and for the first time in my life, I had no clue what I wanted to be. I was still in that space this year and it scared me! I was forced to coast because there wasn’t anything I was working towards really. I had no goal in mind. I tried prayer, meditating, sabaticals…nothing. Nothing at all!

I could say I’m still in that space, but now I’m learning to live in it. I’m taking things and opportunities as they come…or don’t. I have so much to be grateful for and it’s in this stalled time that I have finally been able to open my eyes, pause, and smell the blessings.

In 10 years, I hope to be content wherever it is I may find myself. I hope to have found myself.

 

 

So, how’s the single life?

There are many cliché quotes and memes…Oh So many memes that accompany the “Single” status

“It is your time to date yourself. Discover yourself. Get to know yourself” “Being single means you can focus on you, your dreams, and your career” Blah Blah BLAH! some of them leave me wondering who it is we’re trying to convince here?

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While these are all true to some degree, for the most part I have found being single neither here nor there really. I have always been a loner so my whole life has been a journey of self discovery. I know myself very well. But, the difference I suppose between a normal journey and the life journey is that with life, there isn’t really a destination. In whatever situation or whatever status you identify with, you will always be learning about yourself. Maybe being single has taught me that. To be aware of the lessons as they happen. While I am the same core person, I’m different in some ways when in a relationship and different stimuli are thrown my way.

This year I went through two breakups. They were both Very different people. The first, was a guy who was almost a decade younger than me and possibly the sweetest person I have ever met.We dated for two years, and I loved him. More than that though, I felt loved, secure, and appreciated. With him, I found that while I have always known myself as caring, but against physical affection (I have never liked hugs, holding hands, cuddling, or just general unnecessary touching) I found that side of me. I suddenly wanted to be hugged and cuddled, and my hand to be held. He showed me that side of me. I learned that about myself and I could never have learned this at that time, without him. Being a really strong personality though, I also found myself bulldozing him often, or dumbing down my vocabulary, and my sarcasm to protect his feelings & to not make him feel  stupid. He wasn’t stupid, just a different kind of smart that he hadn’t learned to embrace as yet, so my kind of smart made him feel ill at ease.

I would have done just about anything for him, but I have found that even as a “strong independent woman” I need to date a leader, and that, he was not. Needless to say, when that relationship ended, though I was sad, more than anything, I felt relieved! It was like when the Genie in Aladdin was set free! This insane effervescent energy broke loose and I could be as sarcastic, condescending, and mouthy as I wanted to be! It was glorious!

The second guy was a decade and a year older than me. He was nice enough. He was thoughtful, and driven. Where the first guy was sweet yet indecisive, this guys knew what he wanted, and where he wanted to go. I could get on board with this ones dreams and be the support structure he needed, while also driving my own dreams! It didn’t take long though before I felt bulldozed myself. My core beliefs challenged, and subliminal and not so subliminal words were being utilised to change me. Of course, that never worked. And while I loved how driven he was, discovering that his drive and his Ultimate goal was all monetary, I realised that  my man giving me a goal to support & help build towards, was not enough. I’d always thought it would be, by virtue of it being His dream. I never thought it would be so important for me to share his belief in the goal. This seems like an obvious thing. How can you support someone who’s dream you don’t believe in? Well, I looked at it this way, I could marry an archaeologist. Though the subject bores me to death, if he was passionate about it, and his dream was to be the best at it he could be, I could support that. It’s passion driven, which means even if it pays peanuts, he will be doing what he loves and that produces an incomparable inner joy and peace. Money on the other hand, is such a surface level goal to me.That person will do just about anything if the price is right and it provides the swanky lifestyle he so badly wants. And in most cases, especially this one, it has nothing to do with the persons fulfilment but to do with other’s perception of him. No. This was not for me. I’m deeper than that. Lesson learned.

So how has the single life been?

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In a word, Glorious…most of the time…

I keep learning, I keep growing & I do whatever I want whenever I want to. If anything, the longer I stay single, the more in love I fall with myself, and my space and wonder more often if I’ll ever find someone worth changing my status for.

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So, there’s day one of thirty:)

How the heck do I do this blogging thing?

I talk A LOT! A lot a lot! And still, even with the personally impressive vocabulary that could only be acquired through socializing with books and nothing & no one else all through high school, weird and quirky way of seeing things and the copious amount of thoughts and concepts that run through my mind and (unbelievably) never make it out my mouth, this blog, my blog, that I started over a year ago, sits empty.

I hear it all the time “You should start a blog!” “Zoe who thinks like that? You should start a blog!” and on and on it goes…So, I did. Then suddenly, where there used to be thoughts racing and gushing out of my face before I had the chance to filter them, there was silence! Absolute, numbing, radio silence…followed by, true to my nature, the dam wall breaking and thousands of words forming incoherent sentences and ideas so fast I couldn’t possibly scribble fast enough to capture even one…

And so it has gone, until I found the gem below while being held hostage by the internet when I was meant to be doing something else, naturally…

So, here it is. For the next 30 days I’ll use this guide to figure my head out and the direction of my blog.

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“i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings

I want to greet every morning with this whimsically, child like joy.

THE POETRY PLACE

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings
1894-1962

Commentary: I love this poem.  The last two lines sound somewhat like a paraphrase of Pauline thought … but the whole poem makes me think about how e.e. cummings let all of his senses awaken to the natural world. All of us can be…

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