From the Past to the Present

From the Past to the Present

I want to read you all something I found today while sorting through my journals:  

I really am just so lost,

And it is really awful.

I just want this year, this horrible, horrible year to bring some happiness by the end of it.

I’ll keep stumbling forward in the dark.

I don’t know the way, but I’ll keep stumbling.

I really don’t have any other choice. 

This journal ends as it begins, with me being lost in a lonely abyss of despair. 

Nothing changes. 

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 3/7/2017

Several months later I began a new journal in a NASA themed notebook – 29th of December 2017. This is a quote from the first page.

It is amazing to be able to start this journal off so very different from all other journals that have ever come before…

Yes – the House is mine (sorta).

But I HAVE A HOUSE to live in and to make my own, and I am so, so happy.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 29/12/2017

Change. Change happened. Indeed, the small journal that sits between the 7th month of 2017 and the 12th month is packed with a considerable amount of content. I was rapidly reaching the end of my tether, but without realising it, I was also spinning towards a resolution I could not see.

My journal’s are a fascinating journey – some are very repetitive – but others are absolute gems into my life, and frankly, the life of my family. There are things in them that I have entirely forgotten about – events that lead into other enormous, earth-shattering events (such as my older brother’s heart attack). I started writing about my brother’s symptoms THREE YEARS before he had his heart attack. I had no idea I started writing about his symptoms so early. That just…that just freaks me out…
There are car-crashes, cars being stolen, trees falling on the house, pets dying, my siblings going on dates, camping trips, me betting with my sister who will get married first (she owes me 50 bucks!).  


Have you ever wondered what your teenage self would say to you?
You know, like those letters that sometimes pop up on the internet:
Sixteen-year-old me writes a letter to thirty-year-old-me” 
Well – having a journal is a little bit like that. 


What captured me tonight was a journal from 2004 – when I would have been fifteen. I started reading this journal because I expected something a lot more depressing, following 2003 – a very difficult year upon which I left face-to-face school, and went on anti-antidepressants, and if it wasn’t for my journals, I would have NO recollection of 2003 due to those drugs.  So, what did I discover from 2004, after my mother pulled me off Zoloft, due to its…ah…side-effects? I discovered a brilliant, articulated teenage girl who loved God. 
I know this might sound a bit…awful to say about myself…but for the longest time, I have had a very poor opinion of teenage me. I felt I caused immense amount of strife for my family, and I have been deeply ashamed. 
So, reading back a journal and discovering a teenager full of such happiness, such life, such enthusiasm and love  for her family just fills me with gratitude for that young girl. 
That was me – once upon a time – and if that was me once upon a time, doesn’t that mean that is still me now? 

I’ll leave you with some wisdom from fifteen-year-old me: 

You are a beautiful young lady. Smart and intelligent. 
No matter what, never give up.
You will get somewhere in this world.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 16/12/04

Talking About a Clementine Ford Article

Yesterday I was browsing Twitter, ignoring the mountain of work that I have to do. Twitter is an awful place. It really is – I find it’s like watching a disaster unfolding around me, and I cannot look away. I am utterly fascinated by the hatred I sense towards people like myself. People who have *gasp* different opinions. And yes, it is hatred. I have had to work hard on not feeling like I am a worthless, disgusting, awful person due to the things I read, hear and come by due to Twitter. It is like being slammed by a constant barrage of people screaming how much they hate your existence without even realising they’re doing it.
I came across a Tweet promoting an article written by Clementine Ford – “The men’s march organised by a woman” Now, I am terrified of Clementine Ford. She scares me, so much. Yeah, I’ll admit it – I am down right scared and intimidated by her. The values I uphold as an individual, she rips apart. (I’m sure she’s a really nice person IRL.)

Don’t get me wrong, she has VALID points to make – always. I am not here to argue over that. I was raised to not walk outside at particular times at night, I was raised to carry my key’s in my hand when I did. I never questioned why. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I just presumed everyone protected themselves. At my one and only self-defence course my male teacher took me aside and told me “Kylie, the first thing I am going to teach you is the first thing I teach every woman. How get out of a guy’s grip.” 
I never forgot what he taught me. He drilled it into me. Time, and time again, he made sure I knew it.

Okay. So. I’m going to all tell you the story of how I was almost kidnapped by a sex offender when I was fourteen. I have never shared this story, because, well, I don’t really have anything to back it up – but it’s life:

This was back in the day of MSN, Elfwood and dial up internet, before I was aware that there was strangers lurking on the web who meant harm. I was a very innocent, naive little girl. I was, frankly, stupid. I started talking with a guy online, had no idea who he was, but gradually, as time went on, he shared some photos and kept asking to meet. I was like, yeah, nah, I can’t, I don’t have that sort of freedom. Which I didn’t.
I was a very, very lonely, depressed girl – but I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone.
With my refusal to meet up, I thought, well, that was the end of that odd friendship.
Hm. No. It wasn’t.
I had a routine back then – due to everything that had happened to me at face-to-face school, I had started doing home-schooling, and I took walks to the local shops, pretty much everyday. I knew my area VERY well and if there was one thing I did pride myself on it was being very hyper-aware of my surrounds. I might have even stupid online, but I was hyper-aware in-real-life. Which is why, on one particular day as I was walking home from the shops, with the rain beginning to pick up, I sensed a large four-wheel-drive pull up.
A man wound down the passenger window, urging me to pause. “Hey, you live on ***** don’t you? How about you jump in and I’ll take you home, it’s raining.”
I froze. Dead on the spot. That wasn’t my street. That was a fake street I gave out to people who I didn’t trust (oh, did I forget to mention I did that? Yeah…)
This man looked like an ordinary man, in an ordinary car, but his fingers keep twitching on the wheel. I really didn’t like his hands. I had never seen him in the area before. I had never seen the car in the area, and I prided myself in knowing faces and cars from all my walks. I smiled. “No thanks. I like walking.”
With that, I turned away and continued walking.
Now, I bet you’re asking yourself “KYLIE, DID YOU GO TO THE POLICE?!”
No. Actually. I didn’t even tell my parents. I was fourteen…I just, sorta shrugged it off and never really thought about it again until I was in my early twenties and it hit me what could have happened that day.
There was another occasion in the city, after a friends birthday party. I was dressed up to the nine – in an outfit I would NEVER fit into anymore. I looked gorgeous. I wish I could tell twenty-one year old me she was beautiful…
Anyway…
I was standing on the curb waiting for my parents to pick me up, my friend had gone off to continue the night clubbing and I didn’t drink or club so, it was an early night for me.
A group of drunk men walked past. Stopped. And walked back. I could tell they had every intent of making a total scene and I – being the most inexperienced and sheltered person on the face of the planet – had no idea what to do. I kid you not, two police men took that moment to walk right across the road and plant themselves on either side of me like guards. They did not say anything to me, they just stood there. The drunk men walked away grumbling.
Those police men stayed with me until my parents came.
Heroes. They were my heroes.
The point I am trying to make is that if you dig deep enough, women have stories – women have lived life. So, I do understand where Clementine Ford comes from, I just do not understand her hatred and her viciousness. It is perhaps that misunderstanding that makes me fear her. I doubt she would be welcoming to my position either, after reading the above article and seeing how hostile she is with women who don’t toe-the-line. I mean, obviously I am not a Trump-Loving-Aussie (that’s a bit weird if you ask me) but I do wish we allowed for a little bit more leg-room and less mob-pitch-fork destroying in society.

My grandmother has been staying with me for several weeks while having radiotherapy for breast cancer. During this time, we’ve had many discussions about what life was like back in her day. When I was a little girl, one my earliest memories of my Grandmother was of her reading me feminist literature. I basically learnt about feminism and the Suffragette Movement from my Grandmother.  Frankly, women today have little concept (I feel) of what living under a patriarchy means. The stories my grandmother has to tell from just her lifetime is chilling, and that’s not even mentioning the stories of my great-grandmother. We have come so far in just several generations, these are things to be celebrated and yet, all I see is a continuous tearing down. However, perhaps this is just because I have always been overly sensitive – I don’t like to see people hurting.
I was once told that I saw things in black and white because I only saw the pain people were in and I wanted to instantly help those people. I thought it was an interesting observation to be given.

Anyway.
It’s always interesting to see how the world keeps rolling on, how the internet is causing us to pull further and further apart and form ever more increasingly hostile sides.
I am gradually becoming more inclined towards the idea of leaving it all behind to become an author who just sits quietly in the shadows, watching everything pass on by.
It sounds much more peaceful.

Keep well,
KL

 

Danger, Will Robinson

Recently I have been watching the new Lost In Space series on Netflix.
Lost In Space is one of those nostalgic series for me. I remember my Dad showing me some of the early 1967 episodes, and telling me about them in great detail, and then when the 1998 movie came out it was one that my family borrowed and rewatched several times – this was back in the era when we went to Blockbusters and borrowed a VHS still. Feels like ancient times…

I loved Lost In Space because it reminded me of two stories that have always been a favourite of mine:
The Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe.
These two books were profoundly meaningful to me.
The Swiss Family Robinson I highly recommend – it is dated – as you would expect – but if you are a Christian with an understanding of grace, reading it with that outlook, things the father, William, says, become so much more clearer. It is also a book that made me love my family and cherish my siblings so much more.

Robinson Crusoe is also very dated – but just as interesting – being also about someone lost at sea. I loved Robinson Crusoe because Crusoe was a hero to me, someone who I would have hoped I would have been if I found myself in the situation he was in. He took a terrible situation and just kept moving forward, day by day.

So, Lost In Space, was like a science fiction version of these two stories and I LOVED that.

Now having an updated version of Lost In Space is fantastic! I am so happy. And they’re doing a great job. I cannot recommend the series enough. The character’s are wonderfully crafted, and the changes they have made work extremely well to bring the story forward into this century.

The relationship I was pegging all my hope on was the relationship between Will Robinson and Robot and I feel that has been realised fantastically – so I’m very happy.

However, what I hadn’t been expecting to run into was…this problem…a problem I keep running into with series these days: you don’t need to make the male characters weaker to make the female characters stronger. I’m serious about this. STOP DOING IT.
Stop curtailing the men.

There is a reason why The Walking Dead is one of my favourite shows. Rick, Daryl, Glenn are incredible men and they are allowed to be men alongside incredible women like Maggie,  Michonne and Carol. The writer’s have never had to make the men appear weaker, or submissive, to highlight the female characters because the female characters shine bright and amazing on their own feet. That’s great writing.
Now, Fear The Walking Dead…that’s a whole other story. I stopped watching that show because of the relationship between between the husband and wife was awful. What purpose did the husband serve, can I ask? His wife practically did everything, and that’s fine, it’s FINE, I’m not saying women can’t – I’m saying there is an imbalance – if you’re writing a husband and wife team, let them be a team, don’t curtail the man to raise the woman up. She can shine on her own. Stop making women seem like we need men to be beaten down so we act rough and awesome. Watching that show I just kept wishing they’d kill the husband because he was being so darn useless.
And I am not saying men can’t act differently – I am NOT saying that – what I am talking about is a balance in how you write characters. If you have a TEAM of characters, a husband and wife TEAM – you need to make sure one is not over-powering the other, that they both have a purpose. Heck, in Fear the Walking Dead it would have been awesome if the husband had actually been the one who looked after the kids, etc. etc but instead the Mum seemed to do that as well, so it just got really…like…okay…so…what does Dad do? Everyone hates Dad? Can Dad be like…awesome too? I’m talking about an ebb and flow, a give and take, otherwise it’s just a mess…
To me anyway…

That’s where Lost In Space is bothering me a little. It’s falling into this trap – and I can sorta see why they’re doing it with the back-flashes and I don’t want to spoil it…
But it is bothering me a little.
Maureen Robinson (Robinson Mum) is amazing, she can apparently seem to do everything. She also likes to be in total control and that’s a great character flaw as well as strength, I can see how they’re playing to that.
John Robinson (Robinson Dad) is ex-military and that alone should give an indication of what his character should be like. He’s ex-military–but he keeps getting walked all over by EVERYONE. I like his character – don’t get me wrong – he actually reminds me of my Dad. A quiet, reserved, tender man, who *adores* his family. His family is everything to him. He would go to the ends of the earth for his family – his children are his world – but my Dad knows when to stand up for himself and he’s not ex-military. Someone from the military I keep expecting to at least have a bit more of a backbone.
If I was to be honest, other than Will and Robot, he is my favourite character simply because of just how much he reminds me of my Dad.
But then Maureen is also pretty awesome…
They’re a well written cast all round.

However, I am seeing this imbalance in a relationship and I am not sure if they’re doing it on purpose – because I know they’re supposed to sorta not be getting along – or if it’s just something I keep picking up in how husband and wife teams are being written in tv-shows today.

If you have been watching the show I’m curious as to your thoughts.
Perhaps I’m thinking a little bit to much about it.

All in all – it’s a really great remake and I highly recommend it.

Cheers,
Kylie

Seasons of Change

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As the season changes in gradual Autumn colours the life of my family shifts once more. How can such joy come in such a tiny package? I am filled with an immense, overwhelming happiness when thinking about the newest member of my family – little Mordecai Gratez, born on the 9th of March.

At the beginning of last year things were so different and to just look upon my nephew gives me so much hope for the future, to realise that anything is possible. I hold onto that hope for my own life.

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My parents recently came around to my house to help with the garden – we called it a working bee – and it was really helpful to clear a lot away so I can begin building the garden back up again. We cut down some old, dead trees, took out some cacti. I am pretty much in the garden every day now.

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Dad was able to put my signs up. They look pretty adorable. ^_^

Having a house is an incredible change, a huge step, and I am still adapting to it, still having to pinch myself sometimes when I wake up in the morning and step outside. There is a lot to do, a lot of responsibility. Every day there is something to do. Paths to sweep. Garden to water. Floor to clean. Dishes to wash. Just something. Sometimes its something I can’t do because I’m not strong enough and I gripe about it for awhile and set it aside in my basket of ‘things Kylie can’t do’ – but I will get there, eventually.

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Having my cat with me has been wonderful. I know it’s an awful stereotype that single women, who are writers, love their cats – but I do. Once upon a time, I was a on a drug called Zoloft, and this was back in the day before the knowledge that in certain people, anti-depressants could have an adverse reaction was common. Instead of giving me equilibrium, the drug threw me into a suicidal cycle. Very frightening for my parents. It was during this period of time that my mother brought me a companion – Aislinn. I was very lonely. So, so lonely. I had just left face-to-face school, feeling like I had failed completely in my education and started school via long-distance. I was alone. So my mother brought me a friend. Aislinn barely left my side.

Eventually my mother figured out what was going on with the drugs – she’s got smarts, my Mum – and coming off them allowed me to regain my mind. I don’t recall much of this time in my life (which is odd for me), it is a big, blurry whole of nothing apart from scattered fragments. I didn’t even keep a journal, and the few scratches of pages I do have are…frankly…the writings of a girl I don’t know. Someday I want to write a book about this but I really don’t know where to start. That’s the thing about having kept a journal from when I was eight. Where do I start?

I have always been really embarrassed about it, and I’ve never wanted to speak about it. Every time I go to the doctors, having a diagnosis of ‘depression’ is frustrating because, obviously, that was a LONG, LONG time ago and I am an adult now but these things stay on your record forever no matter how much you grow and change as a person. But I am growing and changing as a young woman, and realising I don’t need to be embarrassed for a past I had no control over, for the story that has made me who I am today. The strong, resilient young woman who wants to hold her head up high and walk out into the world without fear.

I still react poorly to most medications. Whatever the worst side-effect is, there is a high likelihood that I’ll get it. Just seems to be the way my body works.

But I got through all that, as difficult as it was, and here Aislinn and I are, still together, a cat and her writer.

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But I digressed – back to my original point – as I look upon my nephew, beautiful, sweet and so new into this world, his entire life ahead of him I reminded by his existence, that anything is possible.

So I live in hope.

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The seasons are always changing and I am looking forward to seeing what adventure lies around the next corner. As I wait, I will just keep gardening, writing and loving my family as the leaves gradually fall.

 

That Gift is Gone

It might surprise people who I interact with online to realise that I actually have very strong opinions about a lot of things, but that I silence myself – I suppose the saying would be I ‘self-censor’. I don’t say what I want to say because I am afraid – I am afraid of today’s society, the mob mentality that has been created due to social media, and because of friends that I love and respect. I would much rather let myself be told I cannot say something, cannot be someone, than loose friends – at least – that is what I keep telling myself.

Because. Well. I highly value the people around me. I consider everyone I communicate with as incredible – because you all are. Humans are incredible. Guys. We made it to the Moon, we have a Space Station, Elon Musk shot a freaking car into space. I can’t wait to see what we get up too.

Frankly, I hate hurting people. I always want to stand beside someone and offer support and be the best friend I can be – I was raised in a family of supporters and listeners and taught to *always* put the ‘other’ first, but this does have a negative, as we have discovered growing into our adulthood, we tend to get trodden on and walked over. We avoid conflict.

I avoid conflict.

I will choose words to make someone happy, to calm a situation, to appease people, to make sure they know they’re important.

It doesn’t help that I am very, very shy, so IRL situations are very rare. If you are one of the few people to have ever spoken to me IRL, congratulations on that achievement of a lifetime.

My mother once called us – my siblings and I – Peacekeepers.

But I don’t feel like I keep peace anymore. I feel like I hide. I hide my true-self behind a mask of smiles and flowery words on a screen, frightened of a world that would turn against me at a moments notice. If I tweet one wrong tweet, retweet one wrong person, if I write a character wrong or NOT include the right-type of character, use a culture wrongly in a book, say anything about my faith – I don’t know – ANYTHING – could get me in trouble. I have no idea anymore – and that is what frightens me.

I am a writer, and I want to write, I want to say things, I want the freedom to use my words and honestly I feel like that gift is gone.

I realise this is a really silly thing to worry about – but – it’s choked me up for a long time now, and I really wonder if the only way to get away from the worry of it all is to just delete Twitter, abandoned Facebook – other than for adorable pictures of nephews – and live free of those shackles?

Does anyone else feel this way, or am I just weirdly paranoid? I hope so. Then maybe I can just get over it and move forward. 😀

Moving Ever Onward

Tonight is the last night (well, I think) here in my parents house for today I received the key’s to my new home. How can I describe the true elation of this day – it means the world to me – to find myself moving forward.
Suddenly the locomotive that leads my life has roared to life in a burst of steam and we are heading for the mountains that I am sure are to come, but for now, I see green meadows.

At the beginning of 2017 I never expected to be starting 2018 in a new home. It was a dream beyond my grasp. Perhaps though, the most incredible thing to come about is the renewed hope. A hope in a future I had begun to loose spirit in.

2017 was a difficult year, but if climbing the mountain that was 2017 meant I can stand on top of this peak for awhile, then okay, I climbed that mountain like a trooper and now I’m going to enjoy this view while I can.

Tomorrow my amazing family is coming around to help move me into my new home. We’re in the middle of a bit of a heatwave, which is – ah – inconvenient to say the least. Hopefully we can get the heavy lifting out of the way early in the morning. ^_^

I know everyone is not looking forward to moving a particular couch of mine.

There is one thing I am really going to miss about moving into a new home.
That is my beloved cat, Aislinn Dreamer. My mother purchased Aislinn for me in year 9, when I was going through a very difficult time, she became a constant companion of mine and I have – well – I’ll admit – I’ve sort of become a little attached. She means a lot to me. 19125163_10155399160318430_1117968493_o

I always promised myself I would never get another cat until she passed away and she’s in her fifteenth year now – I think – and still going pretty strong, other than some arthritis in her legs. She can’t jump from high places anymore, and she loathes going up and down the stairs to my Loft. She’s very attached to my parents house though – and we’ve all agreed that forcing her to move at her age would just cause more stress than it’s worth when she’s so attached to the house.

Thus, I am leaving behind my cat.
I know, I know, it’s really not that big of a deal – I’m making myself into a total stereotypical single cat lady that I loathe being.  I’m sure my parents will look after her, despite them threatening otherwise.

Well, now, I really do need to sign off this computer and start packing it up for the move tomorrow. It’s all exciting and exhausting all at the same time. I suppose the next time you hear from me it will be from a new office in a new home.

Ever onward then.

The Passage of Time

I keep journals. I’ve kept journals since I was nine years old. Not that those journals are particularly well written, considering my dyslexia. I was only, truly, able to spell and write coherently when I was fifteen, so it was little wonder I was failing school by year nine. Yet – I digress – journal writing is fascinating. It allows this incredible record of the passage of time.

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These journals tell some very dark tales – of a teenage girl fighting for survival – but they also tell the story of hope, love and conquering monstrous dragons, and of a family she utterly adores.

During my packing process (for moving into my new house) I found my journal for the tail end of 2016 and the beginning months of 2017. I was curious – since it was New Years Eve – I decided to sit down and see what my thoughts had been at that time the previous year. Well. I can tell you. I hadn’t been in a great place. Indeed, things seemed rather dim for my whole family, according to my journal.

The thing that kept repeating itself, over and over, as I read through the months into 2017 – and no – it had nothing to do with Trump – was my loneliness. I was so lonely. This immense pit of loneliness.
But slowly – as 2017 progressed – little things happened (okay, some of them rather big)
And you know what, I never even noticed. I’ve only noticed it now, looking back.
My Dad got a job. My brother got a job. My sister is pregnant. I’ve found a small community of people to talk too every now and then – goodness – I’m even going to Melbourne this year with them! That lonely feeling – it isn’t as crushing anymore. And just when I thought I’d reached the end of my rope at the very end of 2017 – a lifeline was flung out to me.
I’m moving out of my parents house. I can begin a new journal, on fresh pages, in 2018.
I have read every journal, and none of them have started off with the optimism of 2018.
Sure, a part of me is terrified, but it is sort of that terror that comes when you do something truly daring and exciting.

My pain levels haven’t change. I’m sitting here, my body burning, clothes digging into my flesh like knives. I had the thought the other day – “I am so blessed, so, am I still allowed to cry?”
I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. It’s very conflicting to be in so much pain, yet to feel so happy. ^_^

IMG_20171231_234724.jpgThis New Years, my Father, Mother and had – honestly – the nicest New Years Eve we’ve had in a long time. It was just the three of us – for a BBQ – and then for the first time ever, after all the year’s we’ve lived in Adelaide – we headed to Glenelg to see the fireworks.
It was beautiful. It was such a lovely way to welcome in the new year.
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Whatever this year brings, whatever tales my journals will someday tell of 2018, this princess is no longer trapped in her tower.

She’s going to go and find a prince to help build her kingdom.

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A New Adventure

Christmas Kylie

Merry Christmas Smile ^_^

I still clearly recall it, as it was on one of my Saturday morning walks down Coromandel Valley, where I was to meet my parents at the local Bakery. I’m still working towards doing a 22km half-marathon you see – not that I’ve been doing crash-hot at it of late – but between 9-6km is still an okay average I think.
Anyway – it was one of those early morning walks that I found myself standing in front of a house for sale, a sweet little two bedroom house, tucked away on Main Road.
I thought to myself, “Wow, it would be really nice to get a house like this…”
And I mentioned the house to my parents at the Bakery.
On the way home, we stopped by the house and my Dad agreed that it was a really lovely house.
That – that moment – of us three standing admiring that little house on Main Road, several months ago was the beginning of an adventure that took myself and my parents across the hills, down to Meadows, Mt. Barker, and across the Suburbs. I learnt much about building houses, prices of blocks, the different prices of houses in different suburbs – the difference a single room could make, or a few meters on a block.
Eventually – eventually – I found a house that ticked most of the boxes on our list.
However, I had no clue of what that comes after you find a house you like – the whole, you know, BUYING a house deal is complicated, it deals with far more people I ever imagined, and I do not ever suggest doing it over the Christmas/New Years period.
My childhood idea of what buying a house entails is utterly, utterly shattered. I think…does this make me an adult now?
I cannot even begin to explain the height of emotions the past three weeks have taken me through. It has been an utter roller-coaster.

But.

I have a house.
Part of me is still standing in front of that house-for-sale on Main Road, looking up at it, dreaming of the future and I can’t quite believe the future has actually happened. I have been dreaming on this for a very, very long time. My life has felt like it has been standing still, really since 2009, for nine years, I’ve had this sensation that I’ve been stuck in the mud, while everyone moves on around me; which I know isn’t true, but its an eerie illusion.
I would just keep repeating to myself, “This season will change.”

Sure, over the past nine years I’ve come away with regrets that I didn’t take opportunities to shift the time-stream, but, we all walk our paths to the beat of our chosen drum. Mine just happens to be a rather slow beat. I also don’t think we can live in regret – it’s a terrible way to live.

I am really looking forward to this new adventure.
It isn’t going to be easy. Figuring out how to publish my books while, well, paying off a house, bills, car and all those, you know, ‘life’ things, is going to be an interesting endeavour but I’m rather looking forward to the challenge.
I have just been strictly told not to starve myself…(seriously, that won’t be a problem. *I grumble, knowing I’ve gained, something like 5kg over Christmas, or something awful like that! Gah, gah!!)

For my dear Readers – know that I will still very much be writing books and aiming to publish them! I’m serious when I say, the best thing you can do right now, is shove my book at as many people and spread the word – even reviews on Goodreads and Amazon would help at the moment, anything – anything at all to boost sales so I can get the funds to publish Book 3. Crazy heh, but your money goes directly back into funding books. Whoop!

2017 opened with me having moved back in with my parents and I honestly expected to spend several years with them. I am so grateful, so relieved, so happy to be starting 2018 with a fresh new chapter.

Let’s see where this new chapter of this book of life takes me.

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Cafe Life

 

As I brush through the fly screen into the quiet atmosphere of the early morning lull, I am greeted with a call “Morning, Kylie.”
I lift my head. “Good morning,” I chime back in reply as I dump my heavy bag on my usual table. A single table, with two chairs, second up from the door, far enough away not to the catch the breeze. I would have preferred a seat by the window, in the comfy chair, but I loathed taking up two tables and four chairs for hours at a time – just for me and my laptop, didn’t seem proper, you know. 

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The new owners of my cafe – my cafe, funny that, it’s away’s been MY cafe in my head, even though, technically, I don’t own the place – anyway – the new owners are delightful, cheerful and always up for a chat. I still haven’t managed to figure out their names yet, but considering it took me several years to learn the names of the previous owners, I’m not to fussed, it will come in time.

I have been told to find another place, to move on – time and time again – but I am a creature of habit, someone who loves familiarity. Perhaps it isn’t a good thing, perhaps it is, perhaps I am stuck in a cycle that circles around and around, I do not know, but I love the comfort that comes with knowing a place and the people within it, and watching the world change gradually, year by year. I have seen women marry, new born children grow up, start school, all from my seat within this cafe. I’ve talked with war vets, listened to their heroic tales take me to Germany, England and to the skies within planes, or the fields of Africa, all while mulling over a cappuccino. 

My cafe is like the TARDIS. 

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It can transport me anywhere. Through the people within it, that share the magical place with me. 

Before the previous owners left one of the patrons painted a painting that now hangs in the cafe. When I first saw it, I just smiled, thinking; “Oh, that’s lovey, they put in some of the regulars…” I was a little sad, as I couldn’t see myself in my regular spot so I thought I must not have been included. 
Silly me.
Silly, silly me.
I was standing by the counter one misty winters morning and the painting had been hung on the wall nearby. As I was waiting for my turn, something caught my eye and I started laughing. It was me. There I was, sitting towards the back of the painting, wearing my black coat, my beanie, with my laptop and my  books. My eyes grew damp and my chest tightened. Was this what I looked like in the eyes of the other patrons?
It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen – myself – in a painting. 

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Perhaps this sounds ridiculous, or maybe it’s just me, but I feel, almost as though I have become part of a mythos, that is gradually being crafted, day after day, year after year. A mythos that is our incredible little pocket in the world. And here I am, sitting it, writing stories of other worlds. Isn’t that just the most delightful thing.  

 

 

Bonfire Night

 

 

Last weekend my parents had some visitors from the Philippines over. It was wonderful to see them again after many years. I am the only one of my family who hasn’t visited the shanties, so I am always enthralled by the stories they have to share about the children we’ve supported over the past couple of decades.

As everyone was swapping stories, my Dad happened to mention something interesting – as he often does – Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night – due to him mentioning the time he, my mother and older brother spent in the Philippines on New Years Eve and just how alarmingly loud the fire works there had been. I was fascinated when he said that as a child, here in Australia we’d had a celebration in which fireworks and bonfires had been a major part.

My father turned to me with his knowing smile. “It was a celebration about the day when Guy Fawkes didn’t blow up the British Parliament, didn’t you learn about it at school?”

I was moue. “No,” I replied. “I didn’t learn anything interesting about Australian or British history at school.”

A couple days later and I was on Facebook and I stumbled across this trailer for a new mini-series. What’s it for? Yeah, the story behind that plot on November the 5th. I just sat there laughing, thinking how ironic it was that my Dad and I had just been talking about it on the weekend.

Our history, and our culture is so interesting – it is full of such incredible tales that I was never told. I sort of had an idea there was something behind the 5th of November because I’ve seen “V for Vendetta”, but I’d never researched into it. I rather wish at school, in history class, our teacher could have told the fascinating tales that gradually lead to Australia being the nation it is. Sure, we don’t celebrate Guy Fawkes Night now (though, I really wish we did, what an interesting tradition, and traditions create bonds, culture and stories within a country –  I understand why they stopped it though) but I feel the story should be told, and kept on being told, so the history can continue, and become legend, and that legend remains a part of the culture we’ve become. We shouldn’t forget where we’ve come from, and what has made us, shaped us – what scars have crafted us into the nation of Australia.

I love it when my Dad tells me a piece of history that reminds me we’re all stories, just waiting to be told.