The Flowers

I’ve had something on my mind for the past couple of days, I’ve thought about it a lot, but I’ve been struggling to put it in to words.

It seems a simple topic, or well it might seem a simple topic to most other people, but for me its more than a opinion, or my own taste in decorating, it’s more like…how can I put this; the way I see life.

I’ve been thinking about flowers.

I believe the whole world knows by now that I’m getting married in about a month. I’ve decided a long time ago that I don’t want any flowers at my wedding, I’m using branches and leaves as decorations. I decided this without even a second thought, or looking for a reason as to why, or considered that flowers may be “prettier”.

It wasn’t until this past weekend that I began to think about it, to wonder why, it wasn’t such a struggle to figure out, but it was good realising why.

Our wedding photographers came to the farm, and we went out looking for good spots for our photo session. The photographer asked me what flowers I’m using at the table, for I moment I was stuck in a panic : flowers!!

She liked my idea about the leaves, she agreed with me that flowers is so “everyday”, which was my reply. But that’s not really the reason why. I think she thought I’m not a flowery kind of girl.

I love flowers! I adore the hell out of them. My friends call me flower child, I think some of them has even forgotten my real name. I get crazy happy and excited whenever I’m in a garden, and nothing makes me as happy as planting flowers in the garden. About 75% of my wardrobe are just flowery tunics. My first tattoo was that of a cosmos flower, it’s on my forearm so that I can look at it every day, so that people can see it and know that I love flowers.

But, a flower in a vase? Even as a kid I didn’t even pick flowers to put in my room. I didn’t like it. I still don’t like it.

Without wanting to sound like a hippie, (or a Buddhist monk) flowers lose their beauty the moment they are picked and rearranged to suit our desires. Flowers aren’t meant to be arranged and bundled up with other flowers to “look a certain way” or suit a specific occasion.

The flowers belong in the field where they were planted, where they grow, clearly this is where they want to be. When you pick it, you take the life away, you take the beauty away.

When I see a room filled with vases of flowers, I see death. I see panicked faces. I see the face of enslavement.

You might think, what’s the difference with the leaves and branches I’m using for decorations then. The answer is simple, and selfish I’m afraid: I don’t feel personally connected or attached to leaves.

I’m not much of a feminist. Well, I don’t really know the complete definition of a feminist, but whenever I hear the word I immediately imagine a bunch of women trying to break down men. So I’m pretty ignorant.

However, I am quite feminine. Yes, I like chick flicks, dresses and ducklings. Mostly I see myself as a kind of flower. At least, I yearn to be. I also want to be gently and lovely. I want to be free, to feel the wind blowing through my hair. I also want to feel loved by the kisses of the sun. I want to grow with the seasons.

But mostly I want to be able to be in the life that I belong.

You see, flowers are free.

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9 June 2017 : Morning of Insecurities

This morning I’m back on reminiscing on the past. On past loves

Love hurts.”

No, It doesn’t.” At least now I know that, but I didn’t always.

Insecurities hurt. Fear hurts. Someone else’s pain hurts. The world hurts.

I think I have written about this before, but this morning I’m a little overcome with emotion, and all those past hurts and pain and heartbreak that I thought was gone, that I thought I had dealt with…actually, I’ve always known I hadn’t dealt with it. I didn’t know how to deal with it, I still don’t know.

Instead I simply bottled it up somewhere, hoping to forget about it, hoping it would go away eventually if I just went on as if nothing ever happened. But then every chance it gets, those insecurities come bubbling up to the surface. The surface of who I am.

I used to be in a very emotionally abusive relationship with a guy that I thought I loved. I don’t know, maybe I did love him. At the time it felt very real. At least to my definition of what I thought love was like.

I don’t blame him, and I hold no grudges against him, that I can honestly say. But he himself had been wounded by life so I was dragged(since I tied myself to him) along for a two year long ride. We had our happy moments, but mostly it was just one big roller-coaster of neglect, heartbreak, unworthiness and abandonment. Things like that tend to stick and are unwilling to go away.

I still find myself constantly dealing with feelings of unworthiness, it’s a day to day struggle.

No matter how good life gets, and that I’m in a healthy, loving and caring relationship now, I still fight with that demon every god damn day. I can say at least that there are more often good days, and mostly my I have learnt how to handle those shadowy corners of my mind…but those feelings are still there.

It’s been a long time, but whenever my mind has a open space it tends to wander back to those two years of my life. And I go back to the same question every time, a question that I know there is no answer to; “Why wasn’t I enough?

I’m at a point where I really want those feelings to go away, to not have to deal with their living presence every day, but yet they are a reminder of who I am. How I got here.

I got through two years of that. It is a cornerstone of my life, and my way to the light. Even if I did know how to deal with my past and all my bottled up wounds, I’m not sure if I would. I wouldn’t change those two years for the world, even if I could. It has played such a large part in defining me. Most days I like me.

These days of wandering back they make me sad. They make me question life again. Maybe that at least is a good thing.

My Dream Came True

I had a dream.

A dream about us, us all. We were gathered in a fatherly friend’s house, all of us. Sipping wine, making food, having conversation about stuff that really only relates to us.

We are all the same, we all have this similarity. But yet we are all worlds apart and different. We have our own ideas and dreams, our own separate lives, hopes, fears, pains.

There’s a warm wind blowing outside, there’s a storm coming our way, but there’s a warm fire burning inside.

The two dogs sleeping at our feet.

We have good conversations, but even the silence is filled with warmth.

We are bound with love.

Although this journey is about to end, but the time that we have shared, we know, will keep us together. No matter how far apart this world may take us.

We are bound in love.

My dream came true.

These past five months at chef school has miraculously changed me, helped we discover parts of myself that I did not even dream of. It has been crazy hard, as with any thing in life I suppose. Hardest of all was being here alone, being alone for the first time in my life. The first time I’ve truly been able to find myself all by myself.

I’ve been so blessed with the people that had randomly decided to come on this course the same time I did.

In the end I really don’t feel I’ve learnt so much about food, or how to cook. But I’ve learnt stuff way more valuable.

It has been a time of tremendous growth. Mostly just that it is okay. And by that I mean OK. Life is okay. People are okay. The world is okay. I’m okay.

Really it’s all okay.

And more than even I am able to say, and better understand, that love and acceptance is key.

A Beautiful Mess

I feel really excited, anxious, sad and exceedingly happy all at the same time.

I was reading a blog post from someone else. On a journey recovering from depression, self harm, binge eating…writing about how she feels; she’s only going in a downward spiral, and that maybe one day she’ll be able to say she’s recovered…

That made me sad. In my opinion no one will ever truly be healed, whole, but no one is completely broken either. I don’t believe in any set thing, I have my own messed up way of dealing with my own anxieties and crappy emotions…dealing with life. And it works for me. Well, it works sometimes.

But it’s not to say it will work for anyone else. I have my own unique life, I take the really horrible times one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. Although I fully know the feeling of wanting to stop existing because life is too unbearable.

I don’t believe that by focusing on your problems, sitting down to deal with them until they are all sorted out, you can fix them…in my own experience those where my lowest times.

You deal with life as it comes. Stay busy. Do new things…but have a safe haven, a person, a home, a hobby, just something that might bring you joy or take all your attention for a while as life sorts itself out.

Its okay not to be okay. It’s okay to make mistakes and feel horrible.

But just get through it. Let shit go! Let it takes it’s natural course. Just hang on. Stay in bed the whole day if that is what it takes. Hell, stay in bed the whole week.

I’m so grateful for my life. And I know for a fact that I don’t appreciate it enough, I never have.

I’ve been born in to a house that has always had enough, in a loving home with two brothers that has been my frenemies through my entire life.

I’ve been able to express in more way than one way. I’ve always had my own space…more than enough! I’ve had fields and forests and mountains to explore.

I’ve been blessed with talents, creativity and hunger for life and knowledge being my favourite.

I’m about to finish a cheffing course, which has been hard and horrible at times, but I’ve learnt so much about myself and humanity. I’d never want to take it back. I’ve been busy, my depression has been at a minimal these past six months. Yoga, good friends and being too busy to fuss has helped tremendously for me.

I’m about to marry my favourite person in the world. And although he is humanly flawed and a little messed up in his own special way, I can’t wait to start this messy life with him.

And most importantly I’ve noticed this great capacity of myself, to love and understand human pain.

I’ve learned to see the beauty in the most ugly things.

3 May : The last haul

I’m back in Hermanus, in my flat. Empty as a rat hole, it only has the most necessary pieces of clothing, my bedding and pillows, my yoga mat that is currently rolled out, some green tea and brown rice and lentils, a new Ganesha statue that I bought today(a really shiny Indian looking one), a new pair if really cute boots and a couple of old books on nutrition that didn’t fit in the car when I took all my stuff back home to Napier.

It’s empty and not homey, but right now I need space to think, empty space and time to focus. Focus on my chef friends and school and my yoga and lastly, and most importantly myself and my own inner peace.

My place is empty.

I don’t like it all that much, but it’s time I dealt with myself and find a new sort of balance within myself. The one I haven’t found yet because I’ve been too focused on everything and everyone else. I’ll constantly be needing new, fresh balance…but this one is for my sanity and my future.

I’m not awfully fond to be back, and away from Steven. I hate being away from Steven more than anything else in the world. I hate not being with him. I hate missing him.

I loved our morning coffees. And I love our “picket fence” life.

Funny, on my last day at home we went to eat lunch at the restaurant where I had worked, he pointed over across the road to another house with a brown, wooden picket fence and told me he wants to put a fence just like that on our front porch to keep the dogs in and give us some privacy from the road. Funny, I’ve never told him about the picket fence…and that I think we have a picket “fence life”.

Being back, and these last two weeks have only made me ever so certain that I do not want to be a “chef in the kitchen”. I despised ever second, half the course I was simply exhausted and drained from stress and too many people. On the two weeks internship that only thing that got me through each day was knowing I could go home that afternoon and go pass out on the bed, in the safety and silence of my own space.

I can’t live that way.

I’ll figure out yet what I’ll do with my life, and I love making nice healthy foods. But what I know with absolute certainty is that I do not want to be a chef.

I’m not dropping my course, I’ll finish it and get something behind my name. I’m still enjoying some last time with my friends this coming month and seven days.

But I need to spend my life doing something that excites me just as much as seeing Stevens face excites me when he comes home from work, or when I step on to my yoga mat on rainy days in full yoga attire, or I’m crawled up in bed with some tea and a good book. When I’m on a flow with a piece of writing or a piece of story. Watching gardens thrive that I planted and feed. Going for Sunday walks in my home town…

Those things excites me. Those things make me see the beauty of life. Makes me feel alive.

Not a restaurant’s kitchen or a full bank account.

These are many obstacles, but the little Ganesha sitting next to me on my bedside table and I are going to have a few very long chats. And we’ll figure it out yet.

18 April 2017 : Moving to the start

Going day to day from now on…for the next few weeks.

I’m sitting at home on the couch half asleep with my cup of coffee. A cute new cup that me and my fiancée bought yesterday at the five rand store. The cup is humongous, cute, green and has the face and form of a tiny owl. The front door is open, I can hear the little birds chirping away outside The sun is shining golden on the already half golden wall.

Despite all these beautiful and contagiously wonderful things, these things that would usually fill me with utter joy, I’m still filled with anxiety.

Today is my first day at a two week internship, and I have an absolute paralysis-fear for first days..well actually anything that I don’t know. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m not adventurous, but I’m not a diver of deep unknown pools.

What can I say, it’s not me?

Besides the nerves cracking me up, I’m trying to keep a sane mind, besides, yesterday was a great day. I packed up all my sentimental stuff at my flat in Hermanus, by sentimental I ,mean pretty much most of the stuff I own, that place is empty now. I think the salt and pepper that I left could quite possibly be 50% of the things I left there, and I’m already starting to get a strong longing to them.

Me and Steven(my fiancée) spent most of our morning packing up the flat, in to the car. Packing up books, my Buddha statues, plants, groceries…pretty much everything that I could fit in the car. The three little cactus/fat plants that used to stand in my bedroom windowsill with my hand crafted wooden Buddha stood on back of the back seat, tending as decorations for anyone looking through the back windscreen. I would have kept them there if they weren’t going to wilt in the heat of the car.

We had a long shopping day planned, but of course we ignored the obvious sign that it was a public holiday and all the shops were closed, don’t ask what holiday, I have a habit of not giving a damn about dates or special days. Except for Christmas and birthdays. But I think it’s more about the value of the gifts than it is of the actual value of the holiday.

We did find some shops open though, (like the five rand store). I finally found myself a yoga mat! I’ve been wanting one for so long, the first thing I did when we got home after we unpacked the car(actually, Steven was still busy carrying out suitcases and boxes of books) was unroll my mat and turn earthwards in downward facing dog. It was exhilarating wonderful feeling that seeped through me as I saw my toe prints on the spongy dark turquoise sponge-plastic mat.

Mostly it’s just nice to be home, in my little half decorated haven.

Reality hasn’t kicked in, but as I know myself it probably won’t until the two weeks is over and I’m back at school and everything has turned to memories.

I’m still struggling to get hold of my reality.

15 April 2017: My reality

150 pounds, and absolutely human.

It’s the first time I feel relatively myself for the first time in days. I’ve been sky high and over a billion galaxies in the past few days.

So I thought I’d write. Since it feels as if I’ve forgotten my past and all sense of reality. Although I feel highly confused and floating, it seems like the most sane, most me thing to do. To write.

Chaos turns me to this page. Life seems a little chaotic now and I’d like to experience something familiar just to get me back down to earth.

I’ve been on the effects of something beyond this world for the past 48 hours, to be honest it feels like I’ve been spiralling down a black hole for the past 48 hours.

I’ve been paralysed, unable to move, think or speak. All my deepest darkest fears had come to the surface, being stuck in a place where I am misunderstood, don’t know what surrounds me, and I feel utterly alone.

Even though my fiancée was somewhere else in the same house the entire time, once my thoughts turned inside nothing on the outside even had any familiarity, just to prove how utterly alone we truly are in the world. I spent the whole night locked up in the bedroom rolling around, waiting for the high to pass, trying to fall asleep, literally spiralling around the world. Time ceased to stop, millions of years went past, except everyone else in the house stayed in the past. I floated around the cosmos for lifetimes, forgot everything I’ve lived through in my short 20 years of this life.

One of my single moments of clarity I found in that haze was, what I believe a exposure of love, truth is, the only thing I did not forget was my fiancée. All I wanted in my hours of darkness was just for him to be with me, he was all I could remember of my life.

However human he might be, flawed to perfection, all I felt I needed; was him. That is something of significance to me, however chaotic and scary those few hours of darkness was, I still learnt something from it, that I do have everything I need in life; love.

I have an obscene sense of love, crazy in quantity. It’s all bundled up inside me, waiting to escape out on to a page, in to a plate, a canvas.

These past few hours have given me clarity; to live life for love.

Not necessarily romantic love, but to express my love in every day and every aspect of my life.

To make our home a place of safety to us and to others, to be able to express everything with art, food and flowers,gentle music and cups of warm, strong coffee, smells of fresh bread and glasses of wine.

It’s hard turning from a goal like perfection and turning to the only thing truly perfect even in all it’s faults and imperfections. Lets face it, everyone has their flaws, everyone screws up, even when they love someone or something.

I’m heading in to two weeks of internship at a small family restaurant in my home town. I expect it from myself to heal all the wounds I have created, to myself, my home and to my life over these past few days and months of confusion.

I’ve been unable to love or serve anyone but myself in my exhaustion and confusion of the past days, I just want to get some rest and peace. I just want to be back to a calm, safe place. To know I can get up at a certain time in the morning, meditate, drink my coffee, write a bit, going out and cooking and then being able to go home and to be home, just to be in that place of joy and safety.

I want to get back to reality, or create one since I no longer remember what reality was.

I don’t plan on creating a white picket fence life, even though it might sound that way to others when I describe what I want for my life; a husband, a cosy home, my dog, a garden full of life and greenness, a 10 to 5 job, two babies…etc. But in my head what I want is not a white picket fence life, its having a safe haven when all the rest of the worlds seems to be crumbling slowly to an end.

For now I’m in my bed, having just slept the entire afternoon away, crawling back to reality piece by every little piece, I’m writing with my cup of vanilla green tea, heading for my last Sunday lunch service in two weeks. I’m still a chef student, almost at the end of my course; thank god, I miss home.

I still feel tired, I’m hungry, worried about my man. And I still feel the need to express more in to this page, but my words have run out and I have said everything that needs to be said.