Dear Little Sister

Standard

Dear Little Sister

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while now, because you’re at an age where I had made too many mistakes to keep track of. ¬†I had just moved out of home, moved 1000km south to a big city where I knew 2 people, I was dating my high school boyfriend of 3 almost 4 years. ¬†I went through some dark days, when I was your age and I wish someone had been there to guide me through.

I think I’ll write a series of letters addressing what I was experiencing at your age compared to what I have learnt 8 years down the track, but to start off with, lets talk about love.

When I was 18, love was broken to me.  I had just ended my relationship with my high school sweetheart after only living together for 3 weeks.  I then made a series of mistakes involving his best friend, which to this day, I completely and utterly regret and wish beyond many other things, that I could take my actions back.   I then met an amazing guy on the night of my 18th birthday; he was  musician, he was in corporate banking, he was covered in tattoos and his birthday was 2 days before mine.

I was in love from the moment I met him, or so I thought.  I then persisted by calling him everytime I was drunk and singing to him on the phone and telling him how amazing he was.   Safe to say, he ran away pretty effing quickly.

After that, I loved attention so much because I had only had the same guy in my life for 3/4 years, that I hate to admit I became promiscuous in a bad way.  I drank too much, partied too much, slept with whoever I felt like and treated myself quite poorly.

At the time, I knew it was wrong, what I was doing and how I was treating myself, but I didn’t really understand when to stop or when to call it quits. ¬† I kept spiraling down this horrible path and ended up in hospital for alcohol poisoning or suicide attempts at least 8 times within that year… I wasn’t someone who valued themselves or what I had to offer.

 

I stand now at the age of (almost) 26, and wonder what I have learnt. ¬†I definitely don’t party anywhere near as much as I used to (hell you’ll be lucky if you get me in a club once every 2 months). ¬†I’m not promiscuous in any sense of the word, and more importantly I have learnt to cope with my manic depression so much better than I ever thought I could.

 

But what have I learnt about love?

 

Good question and it’s a question I will always, ALWAYS reflect on with every year or milestone or relationship.

 

I suppose if I had to figure out the three main things I have learnt about love in that time they would be…

 

1. We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve – Until We Realise We Deserve Better

The amount of times I’ve called our stepmum bawling my eyes out because I’ve finally just had enough of accepting the bare minimum in a relationship, is overwhelming. ¬†I sometimes wonder if I have in fact learnt anything from all my previous heartbreak, or if I will continuously make the same mistake, as it seems at the moment.

I have thought about this in depth alot particularly in the past 24 hours, and one thing I can’t shake from my head, is that when women stop putting in the effort they usually do and start putting in the same amount of effort their partner does, thats when you can really see the truth behind a relationship. ¬† Either you are compatible because the amount of effort is agreeable by both parties, or you will realise that you actually need someone who WANTS to date you and who WANTS to spoil you.

If you are dating someone where if you don’t make plans, book dates, schedule time in to spend together, then you would have a pretty effing boring relationship – you need to wake up to yourself and really question whether this person wants you as a ‘friend with benefits’ or a ‘life partner’.

I really have taken a step back lately, because I in fact just realised this myself. ¬†I realised I was bored and had nothing to look forward to in my relationship, because I stopped planning and I took a step back from putting effort in. ¬†I had no dates to look forward to, no travel plans to look forward to, no weekend escapes to look forward to… and you know for once I didn’t want to ‘fix this’ myself. ¬†I wanted my partner… my ‘equal’… to actually put effort in and PROVE he wanted to be with me…

Which brings me to my next point…

2.  Talk Is Cheap

Talking things through with your partner or lover or friend or WHOEVER is so important when you want to ensure you’re on the same page. ¬†BUT and this is a Kim Kardashian but… do not let continuous promises of ‘fixing’ or ‘getting better’ fool you.

If someone values what you have to say, sees that there needs to be improvements and understands that you are a special commodity that might be lost at any moment, they will WORK and let their actions speak more than their words.

When someone continuously over promises and under delivers, if they deliver at all, maybe it’s time to leave.

As much as your heart and your time and your head might be invested in this person, if they can’t prove their integrity to you or keep their word now – what makes you think they ever will change? ¬†Sure give them some chances… but if it’s an issue which CONTINUOUSLY is brought up and you are continuously having to explain why you feel like you’re in a one sided relationship, take a step back and actually analyse if they are in fact changing or sticking to anything they say, or if they are just using words for a quick fix, hoping you’ll forget.

A person who truly values another person, will do what it takes (within means) to keep that person.  A person who places little value in another person, will watch them struggle and get upset and KNOW they can fix it with a bit of effort, but will fail to do so.

Ask yourself, are you a ‘friend’ or a ‘girlfriend’? Because as much as I hate the ‘needy’ girlfriend stereotype, the truth is, it was created by society to make women feel guilty for wanting to be treated with a bit more respect and love and appreciation than the postman. ¬†There is nothing wrong with wanting a man who says he loves you, to prove it.

 

3. Learn From Your Parents Mistakes

This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn and one I still struggle with on a daily basis. ¬†Obviously our mother was not a nice person to our father, that’s not debatable. ¬†BUT moving forward, as much as I love our dad, I acknowledge that the way he has treated his ex girlfriends and even our beautiful stepmum, is not up to scratch.

I am not abusive like our mother and never have been. ¬†But do I expect the man to put in little to no effort in a relationship, because that’s why I’ve learnt from our father – yes… god damn yes.

The amount of times I’ve hugged our beautiful stepmum and wanted to just take her away from our dad because I knew she deserved to be treated better, she deserved someone who put in effort and paid attention to her was overwhelming. ¬†Yet I seem to continuously date men who are just like our father because I have somehow accepted this as the norm.

I realised the extent of this last night, when I was talking to one of my best friends and she has the same issue.  Her mum was always the one cooking and cleaning and catering to her fathers every need.  Her father was non-existant when he was home, not putting any effort in with the family and then never spoilt the mother or showed appreciation for her hard work.  So naturally her first marriage was a spitting image of this Рher being the perfect little housewife, without a bar of appreciation.

It is such a shit and hard thing to understand that you don’t have to be the ‘nice girl’ or the ‘always available girl’ or the ‘cool girl’. ¬†Fuck me, I have continuously been ALL of these things in every relationship (besides maybe my first), and you know who always gets hurt in the end – ME!

Why? Because I never EVER expect the man to be the equivalent of what I am. ¬†Society makes out like we have to be these strong independent women, who are great in bed, cool with your man partying with his single friends, leave the house always looking runway ready, keep a clean house and a happy family and earn an income. ¬†What does society expect of the man? ¬†…

Have a job… and don’t cheat…

Literally..

That’s why the term ‘pussy-whipped’ was coined. ¬†Because if a male starts putting in the same amount of effort as a woman, he is clearly dominated by her and is a weakling.

Well no… fuck no… why is there not ¬†a term for when a women is putting every last bit of her energy in for a man, but if a man takes his woman on ¬†date instead of partying with the boys, he is ‘pussywhipped’.

the most important lesson in all of this, is know what you want and don’t let someone give you any less or make you feel like an idiot for having high expectations….¬†

Because you know what, regardless of who you are, you deserve an equal, not a lesser being or someone who just doesn’t get what is standing right in front of them. ¬† A man or woman who sees your worth is out there, and they will come along sooner or later… but the person who makes you feel like shit because you want commitment, you want to know what your future together holds, and you want to know they love you beyond just a text message, is not someone you want in your life for the long term.

Remember I love and adore you, always.

 

 

Your ugly big sister xo

Letter to an Angel

Standard

I think about you more than I ever admit 

I don’t know why, but I assume people wouldn’t understand … 

We weren’t best of friends 

Or extremely close 

In fact, when you passed I don’t think I had seen you in over 4 years 

But you gave me words of advice and strength 

You saw some beauty in me, when I never saw it myself

I remember the day you told me you wish you had my eyelashes… I had never thought I had anything to be envious of.. 

There you stood, glammed up in your school uniform, your phone non stop buzzing and ready for a day full of girly high school drama that I longed for… 

How could you ever see anything special in me ? 

I remember your words of kindness, and often hear them in my head in your mischievous tone… 

You had no idea how many times just seeing your smile lifted me up just enough to pull through another day

I remember when I got the news … 

I didn’t believe it 

It couldn’t be true 

I had to pull over, tears streamed down my face at a pace quicker than my head knew what to do … 

I called my brother, told him the news… 

Hoping he would tell me I was wrong, but all he could do is breathe down the line in shock and ask, “how” and “why?”… 

Then the day came we finally said goodbye 

I hated myself so much because for months we had been saying, “we need to catch up”… But little did we know, this would be the first and last time since school.. 

The song that played the moment you were lifted out of the hearse still haunts me to this day 

It was meant to be an upbeat, dance song… But all I can hear are the tears from that day and the trembling voices of your loved ones… 

I stopped believing in spirits long ago, but every now and then you’ll visit me in a dream 

It’s always a dream of purpose and you are always urging me to do something more… To become the person you clearly knew I could become even though I assumed I was invisible and worthless 

You will never know how much your kind words meant to me… How I was upset and worried if you ever missed the bus… How I aspired to be as bubbly, carefree and loved as you 

I know you lived your last months to your hearts content and saw more in those days than many see in a life time… 

I just wish I had the chance to hear your bubbly voice, your contagious laugh and see that beaming smile lighting up the world one last time before it was all over.. 
I am eternally sorry I continuously said, “we’ll catch up soon…” When that “soon”, turned into never again… 

Thankyou and Goodbye.

Standard

One afternoon when I was 7, my mother and I were reversing out of the driveway, when we were stopped by my brothers best friends father.  He came over to our car, and said,

“Did you hear the news?” We looked at each other confused, he continued, “Princess Diana died today..”princess-diana

I remember that being the first time a celebrity or public figure had passed away that actually had an impact on me.  I didn’t really understand who she was, or why she was so important, but I remember seeing her on the news for her humanitarian work and she always looked so poised, graceful and caring.

It wasn’t until I was about 13 when it impacted me again.  I was reading a four page spread on Audrey Hepburn.  I knew who she was, or atleast her face, but that day began my obsession for her.  Once again, she was known for her humanitarian work, her beauty, her elegance, her will to do more for this world than most people.  When I got to the end of the article, I realised it was a dedication to her life, on the 10th anniversary of her passing.  I broke 792fdcf55a98d4b916061e93edd2c0b4down in tears because after becoming so indulged in this beautiful persons story, from her childhood escaping World War II, to her failed ballet dreams, to her Hollywood success, then to her incredible work with UNICEF, I felt like this person was someone who I could just admire and learn so much from.  It felt like I knew her.

Of course in the years passed a number of people have passed away who the public felt like they could connect to, or that impacted their lives in some way, shape or form.

This week, we lost some incredible souls and a large part of the population of the world has been impacted by their passings. Myself included.

David Bowie was a part of my childhood.  My mother loved him and her car cassette player was always switching between Phil Collins, Prince, Queen and David Bowie.  I remember watching Labyrinth as a child and being scared by the Goblin King and laughing at his overly tight tights.  Then as an adult, I admired his music and his work so much more – particularly after visiting the exhibition ‘Bowie Is’ last year in Melbourne.

This man was a performer in every single sense of the word.  He had lived his life, travelled the world, loved and lost, done a shit load of experimental drugs, experienced fashion and culture from every last corner of the earth.  His art has inpsired so many artists, to this day and for years to come, he has left a legacy that cannot simply be ‘forgotten’.  He gave a voice to so many who were confused, or felt out of place – he made it cool to be yourself – no stereotypes, no rules.  Above it all, he was so incredibly humble and human.  He wasn’t fame hungry or greedy, he wasn’t doing it for the money, but rather the love.  And if you read accounts from people who knew him well, he had so much love and passion for everything he put himself into.

david-bowie-quotes-3

 

Then at about 1am last night, I read a message from my brother stating that Alan Rickman had passed away too.  I read it in a half asleep state, my heart broke, but when I woke up in the morning I thought perhaps it were a dream.

I have seen a lot of posts on Facebook stating that Rickman wasn’t just Snape.  I completely agree, he was a brilliant and diverse actor and I wish I had seen him do live theatre because the energy would have been incredible.  However, I think at least for my generation, he was Snape.  I remember reading the books, not all of them and not thoroughly as a child, but identifying with Snape.  He was the kid that didn’t fit in anywhere in particular, and yet had the biggest heart full of love.   Snape was such an incredibly complex character, and reading the books again as an adult, I once again fell in love with Snape and to this day believe J K Rowling wrote one of the best literary characters of all time in him.  It is only fitting then, that she chose an incredible actor capable of being such a negative and sometimes nasty person, with such a complex history and beautiful heart, to portray this character.  tumblr_o028lldm6k1v13e13o1_1280

Alan Rickman brought this character to life.  Over 8 or so years, he became part of our lives in this character.  I know so many people my age that still love Harry Potter as an adult and I can’t see this love ever disappearing.  Alan Rickman gave that character more than it already had, which is so rare for an actor to do to a literary figure.  He showed us that life isn’t black and white and that love can last a lifetime and make us do incredible things.  He gave that character a voice and a persona that I don’t think anyone else could do justice.

 

The one thing you often hear when someone famous passes, is how it is such a tragedy to have lost them.  I don’t fully agree.  We all know death is inevitable, but if we could choose to live a life full of adventure, meaning, experience and love – how is it a tragedy ? It would be a tragedy for any of these people to not have achieved their potential or to die in vain… But they didn’t. 

 

I think it’s just so incredible that in our lifetime, we have been able to witness so many revolutionaries, so many devoted philanthropists, so many incredibly talented people who did it for the love of the art rather than the money.  It seems these days there are a lot of people who seek fame for the wrong reasons, that it makes it so much more special when you come across one of these rare gems who are famous because of their talent, passion and love of their chosen art.  It also makes it so much harder when they pass, because part of you realises that that person was something so special, they’re not created everyday, particularly in the public eye.

After reading about Audrey Hepburn’s life in depth, and for a long time not being able to understand why the world would take away someone who made such a difference, who made so many people happy, who left a legacy… I realised that this is why life is finite.  We only have a certain period of time to make a difference.  To make people laugh, smile, sing along, relate to us.  We only have so long to give the world what we are capable of giving.  To make a legacy.  Of course it’s not going to be to the extent of Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, David Bowie or Alan Rickman for all of us, but we all have the capacity to be kind, caring , to give, volunteer, create something and love. Surely.

So while I have shed a number of tears this week, I also smile and say a massive thank you to those who have given us that happiness.  If we can all aspire to have that impact on at least one person in our lives and leave a legacy of our values, create something in our lifetime that was a true reflection of ourselves, wouldn’t we all die content, thinking to ourselves, ‘wow… what an incredible ride’?

 

jisajat