Perception of perfection

Thoughts have turned to interviews, as I have an interview on Tuesday. No, no, not for the 224 character application I put in. Won’t hear anything about that for at least a month *shakes head*

I can actually count on two hands the number of interviews I’ve been to since I left school at 15. Seriously, 26 years and 7 interviews, that is if I’m remembering them all. Today I remembered my very first interview, one I blocked out all these years… as a check-out chick in a supermarket. About to open for business, they were taking on junior casuals. Actually, if you were a junior, decently presented and good at maths, you were in.

I didn’t get in.

I was well presented, well spoken and an A grade maths student… and I didn’t get in. It’s funny to understand my perceptions back then. Back then I was devastated because of that whole supposed perfectionist thing I had going on. You see, I didn’t actually hear what the manager was telling me when he said I should be applying for office junior positions. All I heard was I wasn’t good enough, while now I understand he was trying to tell me I was better than the position I was applying for.

That is something I’ve done most of my life… identify myself from outside with the opinions of others. Ms Mari Fit-In-At-All-Costs. It’s one of the reasons my perfectionism was unattainable. How do you meet the standards everyone else has of you? Simple. You can’t. At least not if you want to remain sane. The only standards you can meet are your own.

The big questions with standards are… Are they your own? How high is high enough? We’re human, we don’t actually need to be perfect. Thinking we do is just our own perception.

Repeat after me… I am enough.

Now, off to the hairdresser I go. No reason I can’t give myself a little extra boost in the confidence department ūüėÄ

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Change and Sydney

This will shoot through from the future into today, which isn’t so bad, since it’s Tuesday for most people now anyway. You lot have finally caught up! Wednesday is looking great by the way,¬† just in case you want a little note from the future. Just remember to take some time out for yourselves and you’ll be well on your way to having a great day.

Now that I’ve confused myself trying to confuse all of you… I’m suffering from thought block, or thought seizures might be a better description. There’s a lot going on, just most of it inside. Change does that to me at times. Okay, most of the time. I’ve begun applying for jobs in Sydney. Yes, Sydney. I never pictured myself living here and I’ll need to head back to Queensland sometime in the next week or so, at least to swap cars.

Although I know I wouldn’t do well in a small town, I think of myself as a small town girl. Albeit one with a larger outlook on life and it’s myriad twists and turns. And here I am about to take a leap into living in a big city. Well, Sydney is big to us Aussies! What brought this change about Sydney? A reminder that what you want life to be like, or at least how you see it will play a big part of how your life is. Or in this case… how my life is.

My brother’s first flat in Sydney was in Bondi Junction. It was a fourth floor walk up and about a 20 minute drive to his work. Actually, it was the day we looked at this apartment that I dented his Patrol. He was newly married, his wife still overseas waiting for permission to enter the country again. We went flat hunting, found it, rented a truck on the weekend and drove down to Wollongong to collect their furniture out of storage.

Fourth floor. That was a lot of stairs. Emptying the truck. Yeah. I remember that. The flat had a balcony and that was what we both fell in love with. I went out and bought some miniature roses as a house-warming gift. That and a cane tray so my brother could serve his new wife breakfast in bed when she finally arrived. Well, this was their first home together as newlyweds and it was all very romantic in my eyes.

Even though everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief when they moved a year later as we all hated those stairs, the joy and memories once inside that door have remained with all of us. And yes, my brother did serve breakfast in bed, more than once. Often with a miniature rose in a little cup as decoration.

Life can be what you see it as. Since beginning my thinking about where I want to live I’ve had talks with the pest control guy that was doing a termite inspection on the flats, the road service guy, okay, that was a lot of flirting, my ex-SIL, my brother and even my mother. The outcome is that I have begun applying for jobs, here in Sydney.

Change. There’s anxiety in this decision. I thought to myself the other day… what if I don’t fit in? Seriously, I did! Then I remembered… I only need to fit into my own life. Yep, that’s all I had to remember.

And as I hit publish on this post, I watch a pair of lorikeets through the window having their afternoon discussion on the balcony rail. So pretty.

Fear and learning from the past

Dodging the bullet from the pastThis post ended up being a pain in the neck to write. Seriously. The feelings I could deal with. Mmm, so nice to be able to say that. It was the tangents my mind wanted to run off on. Snipped and snipped sooo many times. Then I deleted the lot and started over. Then I deleted it all again.

I’d been hit with a fear about being on display the other night. Something seriously wrong with that fear… I’m not looking for a relationship! It would be a complication in my life and as long as I see it as a complication, I’m far from ready. This I know. So there’s no risk of it happening. Still I felt the fear that night. Sure I get that it’s connected to the memories and feelings from the time after my son’s father, still I dislike feeling I’m taking steps back and that’s what it felt like.

I thought I’d dealt with my feelings from that time. Understood what I did and forgave myself. Really all I did was give myself a good kick… you suck! and locked it all away. I didn’t understand why I ended up in that relationship. I didn’t understand why I didn’t walk away earlier.

When I met my son’s father I had two main problems. Well, I’m not sure if it can only be called two. My own self-worth was skewed, so I had few boundaries. I was a pleaser by nature. If something was wrong, then I was the one at fault. I was the one who had to change to fix it.¬† That is what I believed.

When we have boundaries, we’re accepting that we’re human, that we’re all human. We’re not pretending to be super strong, or super brave and at the other end of the spectrum we’re not pretending that everyone else has the answers.

We can take an attitude of looking for the good in everyone and when it all goes belly up, we blame ourselves, we ask ourselves… why did that happen to me? Or we accept human frailty. None of us are perfect. That’s not to say we look for problems, it means we have our own eyes open. If something isn’t right, or doesn’t feel right, we can take appropriate action. In the case of my son’s father, I could have walked away before the universe put my back against the wall to make me listen.

When we set boundaries I think we’re saying… this is our worth. We allow ourselves to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. Having boundaries isn’t enough, more importantly… we need to act on them.

My lack of boundaries back then meant I walked into a relationship that wasn’t right for me. I stayed in a relationship that was toxic to me. I then blamed myself for this relationship when we both acted as our own inner programming told us we should. And because I didn’t really understand why I did the things I did… I spent the next 20 years detaching and hiding from the world to avoid doing the same things again.

That is the heart of my fear from the other night… lack of boundaries. Will I fall into a bad relationship? Unlikely. Will I see it if it is bad? Possibly. The fear is gone now, or at least I’ve been wearing jewellery everyday since without being hit with that fear. I’ll put the experience down as something that floated up from the memories and feelings from the past. Even though it’s a valid concern, I’m not that woman anymore. And I am working on my boundaries.

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Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Meditation and a mystery

The unknownLast interruption. I promise! I mentioned a while ago that I was having problems with meditating. The block, whatever it was, seems to have gone finally. I’d reached a point where I could quiet my mind of the chatter. Always a nice feeling. By memory that change was around the time I changed the little voice I listen to. At least that’s when I could reach total chatter silence. Getting further than a quiet mind on my own was still a battle. Recorded meditations worked to some degree. It’s the meditation where you drift or work within that I’ve been having trouble with.

I think I understand what my issue was. I’d lost so much trust in everything, and even though I’ve come a long way in the last few months, that broken trust wouldn’t let go. Tonight that changed. When I came out over an hour later, which felt like half the time, I was amazed. Joyful. Peaceful.

I faced the main fears and emotions from my past that have been attaching to the things that have been going on. And now I have a bit of a mystery to solve…

When we make choices that lead to something bad happening, what happens when we block or detach from that person we were? Or integrate that person we were into our current self? Hmm, not sure if that explains what I’m left trying to understand.

Okay, throughout our life we change, going through different stages. At each life stage, do we integrate the person we were into the person we’re becoming? That would make sense that we do, or that we should do so. What happens when we think of that stage as traumatic, or we regret who we were, or what we did? If we can’t deal with what we did, or who we were, then I think the alternative is to lock that person away, detach from that person. So instead of changing and adapting, we’re pushing away the lessons, both good and bad. Maybe? This is my mystery tonight. My thoughts are still… swirling.

In my meditation I came face to face and integrated? with the woman who met and was with my son’s father. Yes, me. Or at least the woman I was back then.

Now later, I feel what I can only describe as a great big pile of… something in the pit of my stomach. I sit back and touch it with my mind, fear is there, as well as joy and laughter, other feelings too. Almost as though all those feelings from that time have come home to sit like a brick in my belly, waiting for me to work through them. Feelings. And memories. From S and for months before. I’m remembering people I had met, that I was becoming friends with. Remembering how I felt about life at that time. Remembering the woman I was becoming. The woman I forgot I was becoming.

Yep, that’s my mystery and I won’t solve it right here and now! But please, jump in if you have an answer!

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Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sadness and love… my son

Balloons
Rambling warning! Nothing of interest! You’ve been warned!

I made a commitment to post everyday as part of postaday2011, mostly to make sure I didn’t drift into silence, which is something I’ve always been prone to do. Here we are in March and I’ve managed to post every day. Often times I’ve had posts scheduled up to 4 days ahead, sometimes like the last few days there’s nothing until I hit publish.

I’m feeling that way again today. My drafts mean nothing to me, my mind is off in other directions.

There’s sadness and love…

There’s sadness with my son leaving and how he left, but since I ‘switched‘ the inner voice I listen to… there’s love, so much love and it’s reflected back at me with everything happening around me… except my son. Especially as I’ve begun packing the things he wants delivered to him. Yes, he left with little more than the clothes he was wearing.

I miss him. Terribly. The boy he used to be, the man he was set to become… caring and compassionate. I don’t know this person he’s become. I find myself daily wishing happiness for him, that the path he’s taken is the fastest path for him to reach inner happiness. I’m almost afraid to hope that one day he’ll come back. The problem with the thought is that I want my son back, not this other person.

Packing his things brings back memories. Of course, lol…

My son used to play Australian Rules when he was young. He was the smallest on the team, he was always smaller than other boys his age. One weekend the club took part in McHappy Day, which is when McDonalds here raises money for Ronald McDonald House, a great charity that helps families stay closer together when a sick child is undertaking treatment in hospital.

Anyway, the club took part and I remember taking a group of boys across to the shopping centre with the clown to hand out balloons. The clown… am I the only one who finds Ronald McDonald creepy? All the boys decided to hold on to one balloon each, a single balloon that they would leave the centre with. I watched my son as he watched a young girl crying. Her father was trying to calm her, but the girl kept looking up at the roof and continued crying. I looked up to see what had her teary interest. A balloon floating against the roof. Oh.

Just as we were about to leave my son ran across to her and gave her his last balloon, the balloon he was going to keep, as all the boys were going to. The girl’s eyes lit up, her tears stopped, her father’s eyes filled with surprise. V walked back to the group looking like he was the tallest person in the mall.

This is the boy I remember, the son I want to come back.

Sadness and love. Dual moods today.

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Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instafriend! Just add smoke and mirrors

Ilo and I at the apple farmT, from the Deafening post, was a year older than me and the youngest child of an apple growing family. I think I was still 13 when we met.

My first horse had been a drought foal and it was suggested sending her out to grass for a year or two, so she could catch up on the growth she’d missed as a youngster. Somewhere with good feed, the vet said. In other words… no drought!

We sent her to a friend of a friend in apple country. While Canberra and the surrounding areas floundered in drought, Batlow and surrounds thrived, grass to the knees and green in every direction you looked. It was a stunning sight to someone who grew up in Canberra, which would turn green for just a few months of the year.

Okay, thinking back on the Shh… posts, I was in my drinking spiral from 13 to 14. I was pretty screwed up. For the month before we delivered Ilo to the apple farm, my mother would tell me over and over… she’s a good girl from a good family, behave while you’re there. Blah, Blah, Blah. Don’t cause trouble. Blah. Really, the only thing of importance that registered was that I was going to Hate Her.

We walked down the long drive and out the gate with Ilo. Two sets of parents watched T and I walk away. We swapped maybe half a dozen words on that walk. I found her… sullen. Oh Great. This was going to be fun. My own sullenness mirrored hers.

I turned and looked back as we passed out the gate and with not a parent in sight pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Oh yes, I thought, that look of shock on the snotty girl’s face as I lit up was worth every cross word I’d be getting for the next 6 months.

Then she said… Can I have a drag?

My subsequent look of shock must have mirrored hers.

We stood there staring at each other for a long moment as it dawned on us what had just happened. We both burst out laughing and were talking over each other as we told each other almost the exact same story of the last month! She’s a good girl from a good family! Both sets of parents were hoping for the same miracle from this friendship.