Returning home to North Queensland after spending a week in Sydney is never an easy thing to do. Some people hate the city life and spend every working hour of their lives planning to escape it for greener pastures one day. I on the other hand thrive in it. The busy city streets, swamped crowds awaiting the green man at the traffic lights, the corporate women in their designer suits and un walkable high heeled shoes, the haze that hovers just above the city skyline and the everyday feeling of freedom and opportunity. City living isn’t for everyone but for me it’s my ultimate lifestyle.
This recent Sydney trip, I stayed in the suburb of Surry Hills. Close to the city and a mix of poor and rich, this suburb is funky, metro and vintage. The people of Surry dress how they want to dress. Clothing attire is individual and ‘screams look at me’. The artistic world takes its place with the people’s fashion alongside the old Terrace houses that line its streets. Big bold glasses, brown sports jackets worn with black boots and green skinny jeans, topped with a hat to the side with a feather on top describes the normal look for many who call Surry home. I had the pleasure of calling Surry home for a few weeks last year and found that I probably wasn’t cool enough to live in the suburb. Me and my 80’s style kicks tried our best anyways.
Walking down Crown Street, the second hand clothing stores are more popular than the designer label stores, and the organic food shops (as expensive as they are) are all packed with people wanting guilt free food for their insides. The trees stand along on the streets of Surry, often their bark is grey/white and the leaves barely green. As you take in the sights and sounds (and sometimes smells) of Surry Hills, there is an overriding feeling that you can be anyone you want to be in Surry Hills. It’s refreshing and rewarding to know that here, no one gives a sh*t what you think about them!
I spent Friday night with some of my awesome twitter girls who I want to give a shout out too; all outspoken, all incredibly smart, all down to earth and not afraid to hold back on a subject they are passionate about. A law student, a manager at a corporate accounting firm, a DJ, a fashion design student, and then me, a former radio announcer turned full time carer. Sitting around a table up the back of a loud and dark little cocktail bar on a Friday night drinking Margaritas’ and Majito’s with REAL WOMEN who speak REAL TALK was just what my soul needed. Thanks girl!!
Flying home after my 3rd Sydney trip this year was even harder given that tomorrow will mark 6 months since my mum passed away and 6 months since I made the move back to the country after living in the city I loved. 6 months later and my brother and I are good. We are healthy and alive. He is my strength everyday and we get each other through the good and the bad. 6 months feels like a long time ago, but it also feels like only yesterday when I think of my mum and my old life in the city. I miss her everyday and emotions are still as raw as they were since the day she left us. I think of all the things she has missed out on seeing this year, like my brothers first day at school, my birthday, my nephew starting prep, our dinners at Aunty and Uncles, family days at the creek and her 50th birthday.
I miss my mum more than words can say. There isn’t a day that goes by where she doesn’t cross my thought process. A smell, a song, a bath gel I saw of hers in a $2 shop are all the small triggers that will creep into my daily life to remind me that she is no longer here with us. Although I know she is always with us in spirit, but not being able to pick up the phone to call her or receiving a text from her or even just needing to call her for advice when I’m in a tough spot or someone is getting me down is the hardest thing to comprehend about her death.
The everyday things she would do as a mother are now gone and are now forced on me to do for my brother. A choice I do not regret and a choice I am embracing daily. I take every day as a new day and just hope that I am doing her proud with raising him on behalf of her. I will never be her, nor will I ever be good enough, but I am trying my best with the limited experience I have in this role as carer. I know that one day I will see my mum again, it’s just a matter of time, but until then, every day, every month and every year that passes will result in me becoming a little emptier without her in my life. This is my reality.
All I have time to do these days is sit and think. 6 months later, here, there are no busy streets; there are no power suits or high heels, no hazy city skyline, no Surry Hills attitude, nor the sense of opportunity or freedom. Instead there is me, my brother, our dog Ali, our 3 bedroom house and a lot of hope that we will one day again taste the sweet taste of success in our lives. Until then, I will keep the faith...
One love, One life.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Love, kindness, selflessness, compassion, patience and respect; these are just a few of the values that I believe nearly everyone growing up gets taught... These values are often easy to show and practice towards others but funnily enough, not always given in return at times when you need them the most.
It’s funny how life works when it comes to love and relationships. We will more often than not meet people in times when we aren’t searching and the feelings of joy and happiness of sharing your life with another start to take over. Excitement enters your life and all you can think about is that person and how they make you feel. You begin to know what makes each other tick, your dislikes, the things you share in common and begin to develop a level of genuine care for each other. So how do we go from all of this to eventually falling out of love?
We’ve all had those moments when we’ve gone from those heightened emotions of joy and euphoria to having enough of a person, not feeling it, having our loved one walk away from us or just being over the whole relationship you once shared with that person. When it’s time to part ways, no one likes to say goodbye, our minds try their best to keep on track but our heart tells us another story and toys with every emotion we have inside of us.
Depending on the break up/departure, I’ve realised other certain characteristics we don’t show as much in life, suddenly make an appearance; Ruthlessness being one of them and being straight up heartless when we need to be, the other. If break ups were meant to be easy, we’d all still be with the ones we once loved. When it’s time to be ruthless, heartless and unforgiving, we need to be in order for our hearts to heal and our souls to regather it’s self.
The biggest mistake we make is holding onto something that we know we should let go of. What we don’t realise is, when we hold on to something ‘that once was’, all we are doing is emotionally crippling ourselves. Although we may be sad and shed countless amounts of tears about it, if we hold onto something when it’s clearly not going to work, we only have ourselves to blame for all of the heartache we will feel day in and day out. If we chose to live with the pain others inflict on us instead of saying, ‘No, I deserve better than this’, then we are subconsciously choosing that life of inbetween and misery.
Emotional baggage that our pasts leave with us is enough to change you as a person. It is no secret that to fully stop caring about a person you once loved takes time but it also begs the question, ‘Once we delete people from our lives, do we ever really stop loving or caring for them, or do we just pretend too when it’s time to cut the cord? The bad news is, we will always care about a person we once cared for, no matter how bad they treated us or what they put us through, it’s human nature to do so, but the good news is, with time, our mind's soon start to forget about them, and our hearts go on to eventually love others.
People will always come into our lives and leave for different reasons. The heartache when you experience a break up clouds your thought process and you are unable to see exactly why it is you are both departing. There is a lesson to be learned in every person we meet and say goodbye too in life if we really sit and think about it. How that person impacted you at the time inevitably goes on to shape the person you are today and what kind of person you will be emotionally in the future.
Perhaps we become weaker from our breakups and maybe walk away from it stronger. Depending on the reasons for saying goodbye, some of us may lose trust in love, or some may in fact grow faith that there is some one better waiting for them just around the corner. Either way we look at it, it’s just another one of life’s lessons that we need to learn and grow from. When it's time to go forward and say goodbye to the person you once cared for, just remember to let the old you guide the new you. Let go when it’s time to let go and move on with faith and hope that life will bring you the joy you truly deserve in time.
The directions to goodbye and beyond are easy to find once you start to shift your way through the pain. The sadness you feel now, will get easier IF YOU LET IT...
One Love, One Life X
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Those that know me, know that I I’ve never really wanted children. I didn’t ever see myself as the mother type, and still don’t to a point. When mum passed away late last year, it was my decision to stop work and move home from Sydney to take care of my 13 year old who she left behind; not the easiest decision to make at 25 years old, but one I have no regrets about making.
The road so far has been paved with many challenges along the way. Not only did I leave behind a life in Sydney, but to a point, I left a lot of myself back there as well. A lot of people, including family were worried about me and how I would cope looking after my brother and I can’t lie and say it’s been all easy these past few months, but by taking it day to day, my brother and I have finally started to form a good routine and Rhythm.
I recently received a long term guardianship order from the court system informing me 6 months down the track that I have now been named my brothers sole guardian for life. Since mum left us, it has been the ultimate struggle everyday to even get up in the morning and face the world each day. Although at times all I’ve wanted to do was curl up and deal with things in the way I’ve always dealt with them in the past, I couldn’t, because I have a 13 year old that depends on me every day of his life now. This has been my strength in what has been without a doubt the hardest 6 months of my life.
Today my brother and I are doing okay but that doesn’t mean that it gets any easier. No day is the same as the next when you have a teenager to take care of and in these past few months I have learnt a few lessons about myself. I’ve learnt that I am a lot more patient when I need to be. I do genuinely have concern for someone else’s life now that it is in my hands. I am more aware of how I spend my money and how my actions, whatever they maybe will ultimately affect my brother.
What makes our bond even more special is the fact that my brother is actually my cousin by blood standards. My mother became his fulltime carer when he was just a few weeks old after his biological mother (my aunty) was unable to take care of him. It’s hard for outsiders or non indigenous people to see how he is called my brother, but the way Indigenous families are, it is a kinship, a bond for life, no matter how close or far the bloodline may be. My mum was the only mother my brother knew, she raised him as her own and I see him in no other way but brother. If you are family, then you are my family, end of story.
With him being ‘adopted’ into our immediate family, and now with mum gone, I have had to go through the process of the courts and government departments in order for him to be legally in my care for good. On top of grieving for our mum and trying to adjust to a new life living back in the country and trying to take on a parent role; having to fill out countless paper work, deal with total government strangers and a system we aren’t used too, has been the heaviest Burdon to carry during the most difficult time. Being handed that one piece of paper from a magistrate granting me my brother’s guardianship was probably the biggest relief I have felt in my life.
Parenthood has been a strange ride for me so far. Things like telling him to be home from riding his bike at a certain time, and then when he doesn’t come back at that set time, the panic that sets in and the concern for his safety. The constant worry as a parent/guardian/carer is the thing that is constantly weighing on your shoulders everyday he leaves to go somewhere by himself. He cut his finger last night when washing up the vegetable peeler and it was my first time having to put a bandaid on his finger. Him as a teenager and the test he’s set for me, have also tested my abilities as an adult and matured me a lot more I feel. Times like these remind me of my new found responsibility, but 6 months later, we are finally finding our feet as Sister and brother/Carer and Child.
My brother and I have always had a close bond. I was there for the first few years of his life. I helped to change his shitty nappies, to feed him, make his bottles, bath him, dress him, and watch him take his first steps and words. He was the cutest little baby and everyone who ever met him loved him immediately. Today at 13 (turning 14 in November), He is loud, proud, funny, energetic, smart, aware and handsome (and he knows it too).
It’s a great feeling to watch him grow and develop everyday and I think how lucky I am to have this opportunity to guide him through the stages in his life. The way he has dealt with our mothers death has been one of the reasons what has kept me so strong. His strength and the way he has composed himself through it all has proved to me that he will grow up to be a strong determined black man.
What my brother has had to go through from the moment of his birth and now with our mother’s death, I don’t think I or anyone else will ever fully comprehend, but I feel he is lucky to have the love and support of us, his family, for the rest of his life. It won’t always be perfect, we will always fight and bicker at times, but we will no doubt have many good times also. There is still a long way to go for the both of us; A whole life time in fact, but regardless, I will be there for him through the good times and the bad, like I know he will for me, because that’s what makes us who we are and that was how we were raised to be; one blood...
Until Next Time...
One life, One Love X