the gift that keeps on giving image: Leah Moore As you may recall, or you can catch up with this post, my guy and I have been friends (at times with benefits) for a really long time. So long, in fact, that when he brought a book to my house that I hand-made and gave him 11 years ago I had actually forgotten about it because that’s a really long time (and I may have lost a few brain cells in the interim – can I still blame baby brain if my kids can tie their own shoelaces?) I’ve been experiencing a little down period at the moment where my mojo seems to have left the building. This feeling started after Africa and has just multiplied and grown like some kind of fungus that I can’t quite scrape off. the gift that keeps on giving Asilah, Morocco, 1999 “Let your light shine. Shine within you so it can shine upon someone else.” It’s infiltrating many parts of my life which heralds to me that something has to change because frankly, this feels pretty pants. Transitions are a really normal part of life. In fact, it’s way more normal than staying stagnant, however, that does not make them easy. Transitions can be scary. Whether you’re changing jobs, or leaving a relationship, or some less obvious transition of the soul it can be similar to a rebirthing or something weird and messy that leaves goo all over your life. I’m experiencing the latter. the gift that keeps on giving Timor Leste, 2003 “When we were children we thought when we grew up we would no longer be vulnerable, but to grow up is to accept vulnerability, to be alive is to be vulnerable.” Madeleine L’Engle I’m a little bit dramatic when it comes to my emotional shit so I don’t keep that stuff bottled up. This is for a couple of reasons… a) I have a huge mouth and can’t keep quiet about shit and b)I think it’s totally fine to bring this upside down life stuff out of the closet because everyone feels it at some time or another. Luckily for my guy, he doesn’t live with me so he missed a couple of days of weeping and gnashing of teeth, but he sure was on the receiving end of some emotional text messages. When he came to stay for the weekend he brought that book I had given him 132 full moons ago the gift that keeps on giving Lake Lefroy, Western Australia “Love is not a decision, it is a feeling. If we could choose who we loved life would be much simpler, but much less magical.” Trey Parker & Matt Stone It was a birthday present. An absolute tight-arse gift which was a covered notebook with printed pictures from my travels stuck in it. Then I wrote wise words in scrawly texta with my ordinary script. I can no longer recall where I found said words, maybe fortune cookies, maybe bathroom walls. It’s kinda scrapbooking before scrapbooking was a thing that I would never do because it’s totally lame. the gift that keeps on giving Taj Mahal, Agra, India. 1999 “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the the freedom to make mistakes.” Ghandi He found this book on its shelf, dusted it off (I’m presuming; his house is actually much tidier than mine) and bought it to remind me of the times I encouraged him to be fearless and bold. He bought it to remind me of all the travels and adventures I had done, not even counting any of the ones that include family and mountains, or mountainous family issues. He said he would just leave the book here at my house so I could keep referring to its pages until I felt better about stuff, which he predicted would not be too long (optimism is sexy, huh?). As I flicked through those pages it was like visiting old friends. I was reminded of the night I slept in the freezing cold car on a mountainside in East Timor. I remembered the chicken stew we ate the night before, cooked on the campfire in a big pot. They asked for a couple of my beers to ass and I remembered not being of generous spirit but wondering if I would still have enough to get wasted enough to stay warm when the fire died down. I remembered the night I slept next to my camel whose name was Johnny Walker. We were in the desert up near the Pakistan border and I sang silly songs with our guides just to see them smile. A rooftop in Morocco, powdered die in India, a child on a mountain, all just old friends from moments past… with surprisingly profound words that suited my current predicament exquisitely. All of these memories came flooding back and overflowed out of my eyes in rivers and it was like a dam finally burst and I snotted all over his shoulder with ugly sobs. I don’t know why I sometimes wig out and completely lose my shit, but I’m not embarrassed about it. Each time the sun peaks up again and like dawn’s early rays drying the droplets across a field in the morning with her golden touch, I slowly come out of it again. Sometimes a little fragile and wobbly, and sometimes like a phoenix. Anyway, I’m going to hang on to the book for a while. It’s right here if he needs it for a stint of his own, and in case you need it for a little bit of that wisdom for yourself I’ve shared some of it here. Maybe you’ll find a gem too.