Finding Strength through Persistence.

I was a pretty frustrating child. I was annoying, dramatic and I always longed to be someone else. I was constantly trying to outwit/manoeuvre the system, I longed to be a crafty, flaky kid, sitting in a jazz club with a beret on listing to some poem I didn’t understand and clicking at the end in unison with everyone else- I wanted to be in that world so badly, I’d have done anything to get there. My mother, bless her soul, spent so long trying to understand why. She would spend hours talking with me, trying to process what was going on in my mind, attempting to make me grow and push through this rut that I landed myself in, which probably lasted a good ten-fifteen years – I fought her every step of the way, I am lucky I never pushed her over the edge, although a couple of times, I am pretty sure I came close. I never fought with my dad quiet as much, not sure why, for some reason I didn’t clash with his as much, probably because we were so similar, I didn’t have to try as hard to make him understand me. But my poor mum, I gave her a hard time, like nails on a chalk board, I would driver her nuts.

Persistent, that is the best way I can describe her. No matter how much I yelled, screamed, cried, fought, made snarky inappropriate comments, she was persistent. She never gave up. When I had a problem, she always found the solution, even if I was totally unaware of it. She was in my corner fighting for me every step of the way, slowly as I grew, I started to notice it more and more.

We always had this joke, her and I, that she was my knight in shining armor, riding in on her horse coming to the rescue, sword in hard.

Then one day she started to get tired. Her health had started to deteriortate and she started to fade. Although my mum was still fighting for me, it became less and less at the front of the battle-line and more apparent that she was fighting from the shadows. No, not because she didn’t want me to see her, but because she was tired.

Around the time when I was 16, I was lying next to mum on the couch in the living room. She was exhausted. It was written all over her face – the smiles were still there, but the there was a tired hollowness behind her eyes that I could seen glaring at me, she needed a break. She had been fighting a losing battle, pushing herself to work after two years whilst being unwell, holding countless more years of undiagnosed issues before that in her hand- pushing forward without answers. Although we were all here to support her, my knight in shining amour was very much like superwoman she had to do it all herself – she took pride in all she did.

As she lay there on the couch, barely able to lift her head – all of a sudden, this giant, this warrior, this battle axe full of fierceness – suddenly looked so small, so tired, as wave upon wave of exhaustion, started crash over her. At no time did she ever look weak (even in that moment), just simply tired. I took her hand that day as I sat with her, and I said “you are not going back, please do not go back, I won’t let you”. I was looking at this warrior, who fought everyday to get out bed, struggled to get ready, every move of every limb looking like she was lifting hundreds of kilos, as the heaviness of exhaustion took over and I could not let her go back.

I held her hand that morning, as she made the call to work, to say she needed to retire – I sat with her for most of the day in fact. Pride, like I had never felt before, struck through me as she made that call – there were no tears, no shame – she simply said, “it’s time to look after me, I need to get better and I need answers.”

Then it came again, persistence. Except this time, she was not only fighting for her family, her husband, the underdog, or me – this time, she fought for herself as well. I had seen my mother fight for years, for everyone else, for those she loved and those she didn’t, in the countless children she taught, to ensure she not only educated, but she nurtured as well – I never had more pride than in that moment when I saw her fight for herself. It’s easy to fight for someone else, but it is very hard to say that you are worth fighting for.

I never gave up fighting with mum, I never gave up sparing with her – and I never made it easy. There were some days I am sure she wanted to pop me over the head and in a lot of situations we still don’t see eye to eye. But, every step I take, every decision I make, is because she fought – I will never stop attempting to make her proud. Her persistence is what gave me the strength to accomplish each and every milestone I have and will ever accomplish. Her persistence gave me a cause worth fighting for.

You flow around the kitchen

Late last night, I took my cousin for a walk along Chapel Street and we walked past a store selling Nutella Icecream with hot melted Nutella on top – there was no way I was walking past without the largest serving they had – of course in a chocolate coated cone. If your going to eat the naughty foods – bloody do it right!

I woke up this morning, with a slight headache – self inflicted, I ate way too much ice cream before bed, without enough water. You let me sleep in, maybe knowing I had a bit of a restless sleep (crazy dreams – thanks ice cream). I stumbled into the kitchen and there you were smile on your face, ready to jump out and scare me – I was too asleep to jump. I gravitated to the couch (we were in no rush this morning) to sit for a while – I stared blankly at you. I like to describe this state, as sleeping with my eyes open. You were way too awake for my liking and I was staring at you stoned faced – as you went about your morning.

FullSizeRender I watched you flow through the kitchen, flick the kettle on, whilst still gaming, cup out, tea bag in, milk on the counter, next move in the game, your laptop is never too far away. You come over to couch, noticing that I haven’t moved, get me pillows, wrap me up like a breakfast burrito in blankets “it’s only 8 degrees, stay warm” I hear you say, and vaguely the words cut through the morning brain fog, to reach me. Back to the kitchen you strut, but not before kissing me on the forehead.

You take your next move in the game and as the kettle stops, you construct for me the best cup of chai I have ever had. I keep staring at you like a creepy weirdo because in that moment I realised just how much you have made that

space your own – you kind of float through the kitchen, comfortable and at ease with no-one bothering you. In that moment I noticed there is nothing on your mind and you are at peace and I can’t help but have my breath taken away from watching you flow through your morning routine like a well oiled machine, especially knowing, it is all for me.


When I saw you

I remember that moment – no, not the one where I first met you, not the moment when we first spoke or the countless times I had seen you since- but, I remember that moment when I first saw you.

It makes no sense, I know – lets face it, I am not always the best at articulating myself- but I remember that moment.

It’s that moment, that moment when you sort of see your whole life before your eyes with this one person. The moment when you in an instant see the next 50 years. I had it with you.

We had been speaking for weeks – though we hadn’t seen each other in five years. Dad had dropped me off (he hated me catching the bus) and I walked to your front door. I wasn’t one to ever care how I looked but I must have changed my outfit at least 70 times that day – Suddenly I felt very light headed, there was so much pressure on me answering that door – such a build up of anticipation, I think I nearly walked back up the street about 8 times – Why the hell was the driveway so long?!

After some very heavy breathing (man your neighbour must have thought I was a creep), I made it to the front door. Eventually I must have knocked, I don’t remember doing it, but someone came to the door, so I must have. Your mum opened the door and out of nowhere all six children popped out in random locations, but just in eye-site, I was scanning the crowd – where the hell were you?! I have never felt so many eyes on me at one time, scanning me, testing me, waiting for me to move- I opened my mouth to say something eloquent… I think a hello may have come out, but I don’t recall making any sound. Your mum said hello and waved me in. Nothing was new, I knew your family, well at least the older siblings and I wasn’t worried about the younger ones, I snuck chocolates in my handbag, just in case things went pear shaped and I needed to bribe them- oh, who am I kidding – that was if I got nervous – so I could sneak into the bathroom and eat chocolate till I calmed down (so I haven’t changed much). After what must have been 30 seconds (but felt like at least 10 minutes), you popped your head over the balcony, shouted hello and said you would be down in a minute – and there you were, so calm, you had this great presence about you. My breath just caught – jeez you had grown, you were so tall – when the hell did that happen? Then it hit me, I suddenly saw you, saw all the potential you had, the fire in your eyes, your passion for facts and conversing, the excitement you had about accomplishments, big or small.

It was in that moment, that I saw, everything I ever wanted, everything I ever needed – and it was all with you.

Annual Leave

I am a workaholic – there I said it!! I am that neurotic person who walks out of work at 5:30pm and by the time I have walked to my car (about 1km away), I have already checked my emails about a dozen times. It’s not unusual for me to get home after a full on day in the office and work another 4 – 5 hours. I have my personal mobile calls on a permanent diversion to my work mobile, so I only need to carry around the one work cellphone. I always field calls after-hours and like to be accessible to my clients, I am always there if they need me. Most days I am always on the go.

This week I have taken 5 days on annual leave, not because I need it, but because everyone around me keeps telling me to slow down – if I didn’t take some annual leave soon, I think my bosses would just change the locks to the office… although, knowing me, I would just climb in the window… Only one problem with taking time off – I am not good at it. I am not good at taking time for myself. I don’t like time to think and patience is just simply not a quality I possess. Then about two years ago (prompt by a crazy old roommate- although I would never admit it to her), we got two cats.

They are the funniest, craziest, most loving little creatures. We have two female cats from the same litter, one who was the oldest (BMO) and one who is the runt (CatBug), and if you know your Land of Ooo and your Bravest Warriors, you will know where we pinched the names from. We got the two cheeky girls when they were just seven weeks old and have been caring for them ever since. In that time I have learnt more about unconditional love and living in the moment.

They fight, like cats and ermmm cats (felt strange to say dogs), in fact, they fight like sisters, but no matter how much they have torn each other to shreds, they curl up at the end of the day together. No matter who is “in charge”, when one of them is down they comfort each other. They also seem to have this sixth sense about them, whenever me or my partner is feeling down or having a bad day, they come and curl up with us – they not only comfort each other, but they comfort us too.


I find the two of them completely fascinating and it was when I started to care for them, that I learnt to appreciate smaller things. When we first got our cats, they were tiny – so small they would curl up in my shoe. Watching them grow forced me to slow down as it made me realise, I didn’t want to miss some sweet moments with them. Especially when they are feeling affectionate and cuddly.

Yes I know, they are not children, but your pets aren’t some possession that you love, they are little creatures you fall in love with. They have personalities, likes and dislikes, and little moment that make you appreciate some of the more important things going on around you.

I once had someone ask me, what will you do when they go – (horrid, horrid question, by the way) – will I be devastated, of course – you would hurt just as much, as if you were losing someone you loved. Seriously though, who asks a questions like that.

So even though taking a little time off is completely against my nature, waking up to these two gorgeous little fluff-balls does make a little bit easier.