Wednesday 22 December 2010

Accept It

People are always telling me that I will find someone who is right for me. Someone who will respect me and not be intimidated by my brains, success of flirty personality. They say he will treat me right and not lay a hand on me in anger. They say a lot of things.

My bestie Allison said that people say that because they think that is what I want to hear. The truth is that I don't want to hear that. Seriously.

For the first time in over a decade, I am truly happy. Each day, I get out of bed and look forward to an amazing life filled with meaning and love. That to me does not mean "a man" to complete me. In fact, I feel complete.

Every time someone tells me that I will find that person, I actually feel a little cr@ppy. I don't feel incomplete. There is so much love in my life. My loving family and my amazingly wonderful friends make me feel complete in that way. I have no doubt that people love me and that I am lovable beyond belief.

The thing is that I feel complete. There is nothing missing from my life. Nothing lacking. Nothing lost. If I found a great friend who I wanted to spend my whole life with then I would but I certainly don't need that.

Please don't tell me what I need to hear. Just accept that I'm happy and be happy for me. Please.

I love you all and appreciate your help. Love me for who I am.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Invisible Idiot

There is a computing joke about a guy giving a demonstration of a language translation application that can translate anything to and from different languages. He chooses to translate the phrase "Out of sight, out of mind" from English to Chinese and back again. The result is "Invisible Idiot". The computer took "Out of sight" to mean "Invisible" and "Out of mind" to mean "Idiot". Together, the original meaning is lost but we are left with a literal and logical translation.

This is how I now refer to my ex. He is out of sight and out of mind and that means that my trigger for my depression is no longer present in my life. Happiness abounds and there are no regrets. Life moves forward and upward, with me smiling and blowing kisses the whole time.

A few days ago, he decided I should be the first person to know that he was moving to Chicago with Thoughtworks. Two years after leaving, he thought I would be thrilled for him? Celebrate his success? Honestly, I'm glad when anyone does well at their job. Good for him. I still don't think I am the person to tell about it.

A friend pointed out to me that men will often leave their life long partners and go out in the world and re-sow their wild oats. They'll find friends to party with, women to kiss and a freedom like they forgot they could ever have. Then a few years down the track, the party slows down a little and those people who supported you in your breakup go back to giving you some of their time but not all of it all the time, as they did when you needed them. The women they had short term relationships with or a few months of whatever, start to bore them and they move on. The job they spend hours on starts to be a job again and dedicating non-stop time to it isn't as liberating as it once felt.

Then one day, he gets the biggest news of his career. He is stoked. He wants to share it. The first person he calls is that person that he used to share all his moments with. The woman who would squeal at the end of the phone and do a little dance, in shared excitement. The person who would demand they go out and celebrate or bring home a bottle of French champagne and talk of nothing else but the thrill of the achievement.

But too bad. She is no longer that person. She has friends, family and her own person to share life with now. She doesn't miss him. She doesn't feel any real thrill at hearing his achievement. She is actually a little surprised when she sees the caller ID on her phone.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, hypothesising.

You can not walk out of someone's life in such a destructive way and believe that two years later she will be waiting for your call and be thrilled to hear your news.

Remember how you said I had to move on. Right back atchya, my old love.

You're an invisible idiot.

Monday 13 December 2010

A Crash Course in Australian History

We Aussies are very proud of our cosmopolitan population. There is the tens of thousands of years of gentle occupation and respect of the land by the Australian Aborigines. Then Captain Cook found a good dumping ground for the British criminals condemned for starving and stealing stale bread. The settlers who conquered the land by trying to be English farmers and settling on breeding and farming what ever animals didn't die. There were the gold rushes in the 1850s that brought the Chinese immigrants and their vast knowledge of farming practices and hard work to improve what the settlers had started. The gold rushers rebelled and gave us the Eureka Stockade and made the southern cross an emblem of our independence.

Then we decided to dam (or damn some would say) one of our most beautiful and powerful rivers to make electricity. That brought the Italian and other southern European immigrants to build the Snowy River Dam.

In between, we loved our criminals. There was Ned Kelly who was our Irish Robin Hood but the poor people he gave the money to were his family so they hanged him. This led to the habit of the Victorian Police shooting people first and asking questions later. The NSW police weren't angels either. There is a great story about the Victorian and NSW Police meeting at the border of the two states to do a joint operation. The Victorian Sergeant in charge said "We won't shoot anyone if you guys don't steal anything. Deal?"

We can't help it though. A lot of people don't like our national anthem: Advance Australia Fair. It doesn't really represent anyone who actually live here. It's more the kind of anthem that would be written by a music geek in high school who had never listened to Triple J and thought the Carpenters were so happenin'. Instead, most locals will claim that the true song of the nation is Waltzing Matilda. It's a story about a starving guy in the country who steals a sheep to kill and eat. He steals it from a rich settler which were called squatters at the time. The squatter called the cops in. They were most likely Victorian because they found him and shot at him. He refused to let them catch him alive and he jumped in to a small lake that we call a billabong. Now he haunts the billabong and every school kid and sporting fan in this country sings that first when they think of a national song.

The World Wars came and went. They took a lot of our young men. Many as canon fodder for Churchill, who didn't return the favour when Darwin was bombed to smithereens in 1942. That was the one time that a foreign country attacked Australian soil. It was our Pearl Harbour. That's when the Americans who Australians so love to hate came and helped us after Churchill said he could not spare our boys or his at that moment. When I'm whinging about American world domination, I always stop and remind myself what they did for Australia, Papua New Guinea and the whole of the South Pacific when the rest of the world was too busy protecting Europe to care about the antipodes. There is really no excuse for Sarah Palin or Tom Cruise though.

Australia had The White Australia Policy that lasted from the founding of our country in 1901 until 1973. That was 3 years before I was born to a white father and a black mother.

That is when it became cosmopolitan. With immigration from all over the planet, this finally became a place with a little more flavour. No more "meat and three veg" meals. The country blossomed in the 1980s and became known as the lucky country.

It still wasn't very lucky for the Aborigines who had to live with centuries of racial segregation, extermination and the heartbreaking and quite unjustifiable Stolen Generation. I went to school with kids whose parents were victims of the stolen generation. Half castes were always the first to be rescued and brought up as whites in the world that hated the mixed coloured skin.

Yes, there are plenty of wonderful things to say about Australia and being a melting pot of different cultures is one of those wonders. I don't think we are all the way there yet. We aren't a place without racism and bigotry but I think we generally try to be good people. There is a lot of ignorance out there about a lot of things. My quick history of Australia might not mean anything to you but the more I read and learn, the more I understand the distrust and reasoning behind the inequalities. We have so far to travel but we are this cool collection of misfits who kinda make up the rules as we go along. I think that will work for us.

This is the song that I think should be the National Anthem...

Stuff and Nonsense

Disobey my own decisions
I deserve all your suspicions
First it's yes and then it's no
I dilly-dally down to you, oh
But I've got no secrets that I battle in my sleep
I won't make promises to you that I can't keep

And you know that I love you
Here and now, not forever
I can give you the present
I don't know about the future
That's all stuff and nonsense

I once lived for the future
Everyday was one day closer
Greener on the other side
Yes I believe before I met you
But I soon learned your love burned
Brighter than the stars in my eyes
Now I know how and when
I know where and why

And you know that I love you
Here and now not forever
I can give you the present
I don't know about the future
That's all stuff and nonsense

Sunday 12 December 2010

If we all understood..

... a gentler place.

Single Bright Female

2010 has been a bloody fantastic year for me. Yes, it's relative to the hell that was 2009 but I'll take what I can get. It was a very good year in so many ways. One of the ways I want to discuss is what it has been like to be single.

I won't lie. My first thought on starting all over again and being "alone" was not a happy green field filled with bunnies and butterflies. No sir, it was more a moment of terror that spanned a long few moments.

That was 2009. That's last decade, baby!

At the beginning of 2010, I decided on a new year's resolution that was only shared with a few select members of the Mana inner circle of awesomeness. That resolution was to spend one whole year on my own. I would not get in to relationships or look for love like a lost puppy.

This was implemented in several different ways including filling my time with the distractions of hobbies and habits that were chosen to switch my brain from Damana-in-a-couple mode to something else. What that was, I was quite willing to wait and see.

People told me the clock was ticking and some even called me passed it, at the ripe old age of 34. I ignored and kept on with my promise to myself that this year was the year that I would be my own person and find a way to be alone without being lonely.

My life then filled with time for good friends. It has been like being at university again - hanging out with my girlfriends, drinking a glass of wine and talking about life, the universe and everything. Those friendships were nurtured and have become a rock that I know I can lean on at any moment from now until... well, for ages anyway. They are what I call real friends. You know that saying... Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies. I have me some body movers although I'm sure Bernada and Kellie would not be happy if gunk got on their shoes.

There was time for family and observing the wonderful relationships between them and their significant others. Seeing how people can treat each other with respect, not hurt others and love through everything life throws at them. For better or worse; richer or poorer; and in sickness and health.

There were propositions for relationships - instantaneous; lasting; long since dead; casual; formal; odd; and often unwanted and unsolicited. These from possible princes; predators; punks; already taken partners; pretentious pricks; and an assortment of actually nice guys.

I said thank you but I'll pass this time.

Yes, I understand that they may never come around again. That love is important. That people are in different stages of their lives. That it seems nothing can make me happy.

The truth is that I found who I am this year. I don't know exactly what I want but I have a flaming good idea of what I don't want and some clues on the direction I am heading.

We each must be self-contained and able to identify the "me" in the throng of people or the intimacy of a relationship. My learning has brought me to understand who I am and who I would like to be. If being single is not my lot and a person walks in one day and rocks my world then I'll still have a strong sense of who Damana is. I won't lose her to the sum of a relationship, like I would have in the past.

Now that I can like me, other people can too.

Friday 10 December 2010

Chain of Fools

Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin

Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

Five long years I thought you were my man
But I found out I'm just a link in your chain
You got me where you want me
I ain't nothing but your fool
You treated me mean oh you treated me cruel
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

Every chain has got a weak link
I might be weak child, but I'll give you strength
You told me to leave you alone
My father said come on home
My doctor said take it easy
Whole bunch of lovin is much too strong
I'm added to your chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain,
Chain, chain of fools

One of these mornings the chain is gonna break
But up until then, yeah, I'm gonna take all I can take
Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools