shantaram – pt. 1

where i am: montrose, CA

what im listening to: tori kelly- unbreakable smile

can i just say this holiday rocks! i haven’t been this relaxed in so long – i haven’t eaten  this much in forever – i am constantly full up. its got to the point where i may need to book an extra seat on the flight home to accommodate my increasingly large arse. not only that but i am getting the chance to write so much, i haven’t written in my notebook this much since the beginning of the year when i was a bum. the more i write, the clearer my head feels, always.

today’s post is a little different from the norm in that i’m going to be giving you someone else’s words and thoughts and not my own.

i am constantly fascinated with people, their stories, their lessons, their thoughts and views on life and everything that happens to us. 

if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ll know i can be quite sensitive (i pretend i am not “i don’t have a heart” is a favourite line of mine) but actually i am really sensitive and i feel everything probably a bit more than i should. i am that girl that can burst into tears over a book, a song or even an advert on the telly (yes, i’m a loser). 

i was recently lent a book by a friend called ‘shantaram’ by gregory david roberts. i am obsessed. there are so many truth bombs in the text, so many statements that make me really think and so many that resonate with me. i’m going to share some of them here. also, i’ve called this part one because i can guarantee i will end up sharing more from this book in the future. you’re welcome. 

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant. The choice you make between hating and forgiving can be come the story of your life”

The best thing in the world is power… love is the opposite of power, that’s why we fear it so much”

“She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some women are like that. Some loves are like that, from what I can see. Your love starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self respect and your independence. After a while you start throwing people out, your friends, people you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking and you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of girls here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love.”

“There’s a truth that’s deeper than experience. It’s beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It’s an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We’re helpless usually in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn’t always help us to love the world but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know the truth, is to share it, heart to heart…”

“I think that we all, each one of us, we all have to earn our future. I think the future is like anything else that is important. It had to be earned. If we don’t earn it, we don’t have a future at all. And if we don’t earn it, we don’t deserve it. We have to live in the present, more or less forever. Or worse, we have to live in the past. I think that’s probably what love is – a way of earning the future”

“One of the reasons we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you”

“Fate has every power over us but two. Fate cannot control our free will, and fate cannot lie. Men lie, to themselves more than to others, and to others more often than they tell the truth. But fate does not lie”

Reality – as you see it, as most people see it – is nothing more than an illusion. There is another reality, beyond what we see with our eyes. You have to feel your way into that reality with your heart. There is no other way”

“Justice is not only the way we punish those who do wrong. It is also the way we save them”

“It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would have anhilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in someway a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive”


i mean…  wow, right? 

some of those i read, and re read, and read again. i copied those down in my journal and annotated them, i added my thoughts (i haven’t done that here because i don’t think it’s necessary and would probably take away from the original message) some of those made me really sit and think. others brought me to tears. does that make me weird? most likely. i’m ok that. 

i’m about halfway through the book and i’m excited to see how it turns out. if you’re looking for a new book to read i can’t recommend it enough. 

xoxo

Micks 

feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

Just like John, I’m so tired. 

where i am: Los Angeles with my American fam.

where my head is at: who bloody knows. when it stops spinning I’ll let you know. 

It’s happening, friends. I’m getting old. I can feel it in myself. I realise 28 isn’t really old in a numbers sense but I’m not talking about numbers and years. I’m talking about in my mindset, in my head. 

I’m feeling old. I’m feeling tired. I’m feeling the need to slow down and take some time for me, myself and I. I’m feeling like I want to start being selfish with my time. Since I was 20 or 21 every single holiday I took from work has been filled with trips here, there and everywhere. One of the first lines people say to me when they see me is ‘Where’s your next trip?’ Or ‘Where are you going to next?’. The self confessed free-spirit of my family, the traveller, the nomad I have always been the adventurer. I have loved it. I do love it, still, but I’m tired.

I have done some of the most incredible things on these holidays – I have had tomatoes thrown at my face during La Tomatina in Spain, seen the sunrise across Bryce Canyon in the US, got lost in the caves in Postonja, Slovenia. I’ve climbed Mount Vesuvius, sang and danced my way down the Champs Elysées, had my heart broken walking around Anne Frank House. I stayed out until the sun came up with friends I just made in NYC, felt the flames of Fallas on my face (not literally) in Valencia, visited Obama at the White House, swooned over the views at Giant’s Causeway… and so much more. 

But I’m tired.

I’m really fucking tired.

I was talking to one of my friends about this recently. I said that after my trip to India I have no trips planned. For the first time in a long time, I’m totally ok with that. It’s a very odd thing for me to say. I’m always looking ahead to the next holiday, the next adventure. Sure there are loose plans, but nothing confirmed.

My friend agreed it was odd and I said how tired I was. I said how I feel like I’m always travelling and that I have minimal time at home, to spend my time just being with the people I have in my life in England. My friend said to me that it’s ok to be selfish with my free time. That sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes, instead of flying off to visit someone when I have rare time off work, it’s ok to be selfish and say either ‘you come here’ or simply, ‘no’. I’m taking this time for me. I’m taking this time to be at home, to sleep in and see the people in this country. 

I realise this may post may rub people the wrong way, it may come across as ungrateful; you may be thinking I’m a brat. I promise you I’m not, that’s not my intention. I am aware how lucky I am to have travelled as I do, as I have. 

I’m also aware that I may change my mind on this (hello the sometimes fickle Gemini mind), perhaps I’m feeling this way as I’ve only had one week off since March. 

I’m just saying that right now, in this moment, I’m tired.

I’m currently visiting friends in the US. I go home, have 5 days at work and then fly to India for 2 weeks. After that, aside from work, my time is my own. 

I can’t fucking wait 

Xoxo Micks 

This song reminds me of you

What I’m listening to: Pentatonix; PTX Vol. IV – Classics (dem harmonies, though!)

 

 

Hiya pals,

I hope you’re all well. I’ve had a lovely weekend of work and general social merriment. I’ve even found time to start reading a new book after not having read anything since April (we can safely say that my aim of reading 2 books a month went out the window, ay) This book though, I’m in it hook, line and sinker. It’s called ‘I am missing’ by Tim Weaver about a guy that wakes up on a beach with no memory trying to find out who he is. I’m intrigued.

Anyway, today’s post is about the best therapy – music. I have posted before about how much I love it, my history with it and even my Desert Island Discs.

I always have and always will believe music is one of the few things that can bring people together. I have so many memories tied to songs; both good and bad memories. They are both as important as each other.

 

There are also songs that remind me of certain people – the other day in the car I was listening to Magic (my absolute fave station, no shame) and no less than four songs came on in a row that reminded of my best friend, Rachel.

  1. Hold on by Wilson Phillips – it’s ‘our’ song
  2. Despacito – Luis Fonzi and Daddy Yankee – anything Spanish we tie to each other as we became pals when we lived in Valencia
  3. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas – it was the soundtrack to so many nights out in Valencia.
  4. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman – one of Rachel’s favourite songs (if not her favourite) so it always makes me think of her when I see her.

N.B when I say the other day I can mean anything from 6 months ago until yesterday

Then because I’m self-centred I wanted to know what songs remind other people of me so I asked.

Here’s what they said…

 

Sophie

Mulan – Reflection, because I think you’re still trying to find yourself

Frozen – Let it Go, because we ran around Paris singing this (much to Leanne’s embarrassment)

I’ll make a man out of you from Mulan reminds me of Sophia because we both love it. As soon as one of us says ‘Let’s get down to business’ that’s it, get ready for the show.

 

Leanne

Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones; “I don’t know why, just ‘cause”

(I have no idea how Leanne’s brain works as we have never listened to this song together)

Anything Ed Sheeran because he is Leanna’s favourite. Also, Elvis ‘Can’t help falling love’ reminds me of Sophia and Leanna because it is ‘their’ song and it’s so cute!

 

Rachel

Hold on – Wilson Phillips “because it’s our song”

I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas “because Valencia”

Anything by Jason Derulo “because you used to be obsessed with him” (It’s true, sorrynotsorry)

Carlos Baute – Te Regalo – this song is sooooo cheesy but we both love it

 

Aside from the ones I mentioned earlier, anything UB40. They’re her fave.

 

Diane

Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Ray “You were sad for such a long time and it makes me smile to think how far you’ve come”

 

How nice is that? Thanks, Dalbs. Mine for Diane are Amy Winehouse – Rehab and Rick Astley ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ , we spent sooooo many afternoons sorting the delivery out dancing and singing to these songs. Oh and Sugababes ‘About You Now’ that was another one we danced to.

Amy

I see the light – Tangled “your fave”

Do it like a dude – Jessie J “you put it on a CD for me when we were on placement together and sang it allll the time in the car”

I was made for loving you – Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran “you suggested it to me for our wedding and it made it on our wedding playlist”

Girls by Marina and the Diamonds because Ams said it was written about me and I’ve always remembered that, Ho Hey by the Lumineers because it was another song at her wedding and also 5,6,7,8 by Steps because she loves a line dance…

Charlie

Paolo Nutini – Candy “I don’t know why, it just does”

Anything by Taylor Swift “because of our epic singalongs in the car”

Taylor Swift, for exactly the same reason plus ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac (such a tune)

 

Byng

Walkashame – Meghan Trainor “reminds me of the car ride to Norfolk for Amy’s wedding

Love on Top – Beyonce “we listened to it loads when we stayed in London”

 

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepson. If you are ever lucky enough to meet Byng ask her about this song and Milan. That’s all I’m gonna say.

 

Jade

Happy – Pharrell Williams “every time it comes on my mom says ‘Oh I miss Michaela’ “

Let her go – Passenger / Best Song Ever – One Direction “because you listened to Passenger loads on the road trip and drove me mad with the One Direction one on the trip too.

It’s not my fault, Harry Styles is my one true love he just doesn’t know it yet. The song that always reminds me of Jade is Ryan Bingham ‘The Weary Kind’, I remember we were front row for one of his shows in Kings Cross and we both cried at this song and he cried too!

I know for sure I asked other people but in a move that is completely out of character I cannot find where I wrote them down and I have a habit of clearing all my chats so I can’t even go back and check. My bad.

Send them to me again, sure.

I’ll try not to lose them this time.

Xoxo

Micks

Thank you for being a friend.

Hi guys and dolls,

I hope this finds you all well. I’m currently sat on my bed in my pants, half singing/ half crying along to Maren Morris (totes emosh, hun) and eating Marmite on toast for dinner because I clearly suck at adulting.

In the last post I shared I spoke about how life had been a bit of a shitter lately,  well my very best friend in the whole world knew I’d been having a shit time and decided to book me a wee treat to cheer me up. Last night Rachel and I had a cracking night at Komedia in Brighton. Their Sunday night comedy club, dinner and drinks was JUST what the doctor ordered. We walked out of there with tears in our eyes and stitches in our sides.

I’ve dedicated a post to Rachel before, and I can pretty much guarantee that I will again. She is just THE BEST. When people have asked me to describe her I say she’s just like me but SO MUCH BETTER. I’m sorry for the shouty capitals but she’s just my favourite. It’s a very rare thing to feel understood and accepted for all your sides, some of which are really not pretty and she’s never made me feel any less of a person for not being so completely imperfect. Rachel is one of a handful of people who I will happily talk to at anytime, always via text because not only does she understand how much I detest talking on the phone (WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS) but she hates it just as much.

THANK YOU, RACHY-RACH. YOU DA BESTEST.

As I am a big geek I then started Googling (what did we do before google?) different types of friends and it appears a lot of people have a lot of opinions on the different types of friends you can have.

Quite famously (well, in my friendship groups anyway) I once upset my favourite Irishman by saying we were acquaintances at a time he thought we were legit friends (I’m nothing if honest). He’s still bitter about it to this day – MARK SEWELL, IF YOU’RE READING THIS I’M SORRY I’M NOT SORRY. I LOVE YOU LIKE A BROTHER NOW THOUGH OK. YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND UNTIL I’M DEAD. AND THEN WHEN I’M DEAD I’LL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU BECAUSE ANNOYING YOU IS MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO.

Back to my point though, I think a lot of people throw the word ‘friend’ around too easily these days. I actually put a lot on that word. Maybe I’m overthinking it but maybe I’m not. I like to keep things neat and organised so I box people in to either ‘Internet friend’, ‘Friend of a friend’, ‘work friend’, ‘ acquaintance’, ‘friend’ , ‘BEST PALS’. I always say I don’t have a lot of friends, even though when I list them I do probably have more than average. It just feels like I don’t sometimes because all of my friends are so scattered over the UK and various other parts of the world.

I am very good at staying in touch though; I will always make the effort with those I want in my life. Though don’t get me twisted it is a two-way street and if it’s me doing all the reaching, I’m out.

The older I’m getting the more I’m appreciating my friends that are chilled. I have no time for the drama anymore. I want low effort relationships. If you’re too much hassle, SEE YA PAL. I also find myself listening to my sisters more as I get older. They have told me before that they think people aren’t good for me which, of course, at the time I am completely shocked and offended by. In hindsight though, they are usually completely correct. I need low-key, like me.

 So to my best best best friends, thanks for always making sure it’s a two-way street, for making the effort and letting me moan and vent and be sad and perfectly imperfect around you. I hope I do the same for you. Thanks for not being extra. I actually like you, guys. Like, a lot. I’m sorry I’m not around more. It’s because whilst I love you, I hate people.

Thanks for putting up with me and my brutally honest self. Thanks for letting me sing Disney in your face one minute and then debate politics with you the next. Thanks for telling me when I’m right (you know I lap that shit up) but, more importantly, thanks for telling me when I’m wrong.  Thanks for being there to discuss the really important things in life-like “Do giraffes get neck ache?”. You know I would go to the ends of the earth for you, especially if you’re meeting me there with Tequila. I hope I make you feel equally spesh (I’m not so good at expression soppy emotional shit, so I’m gonna stop now before it just becomes stupidly sarcastic and insincere). You’re all on at least a 3 year sentence so I must be doing something right?!

 BIG LOVE, FRIENDS.

 AND THANKS.

xoxo Micks

 

 

WAKE UP

The last month or so has been tough emotionally and it has served a reminder of my own mortality. There has been a number of people passing away around me; their ages across the spectrum and most of them a massive shock.

I was at the funeral of one of those people last week and whilst I was sat there listening to his eulogy and hearing his son speak about what an amazing man his dad was, something clicked. It almost shook me awake to my own life and to how much I have to be grateful for; to all the wonderful people I have in my life and how I perhaps have been very selfish with my time and energy – what would my last memory of them be if they passed? What was theirs be of me if I did?

 

I do realise this sounds very morbid and is probably a bit heavy for a Tuesday night but these thoughts have been taking up a lot of space in this little brain of mine for a while so I figured it was best to get it out there and share it.

 

Being completely honest I have been a selfish mother****** lately with my energy and my time. I have been going through a ‘Why me?’ ‘Why is it always me?’ “Why can’t everyone leave me alone, stupid twats’ phase. I don’t throw pity parties often but boy, when I do! WOO! I have not wanted to talk to anyone, let alone be around them. Work is my perfect escape – with a new team in a new location there is no one that knows me personally to care to ask about my life. They just want Michaela the manager, not Michaela the person and that has suited me just fine. I’ve ignored calls, cancelled plans, told people I was busy when I wasn’t just because I wanted to be alone. I am a true Gemini in that there are two sides to me. I am equal parts introvert and extrovert. I love people but also hate them. This last while I’ve kept to myself because it is easier. There has been about 5 people I’ve been genuinely pleased to hear from in the last month – call me an asshole, it’s fine. I have been one.

 

How many of us have found life through death? It’s a shame that it takes something as final and tragic as death to wake us up. To make us realise what a good thing we’ve got going on. It’s a reminder to live life to the fullest because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Truth is, none of us know what is going to happen so why spend your time being anything but happy? Why spend your time being anything but honest? Be kind. Trust Karma will meet those that need it. Don’t settle for any reason. Don’t be afraid to change your mind.

 

The pain and discomfort of grief will follow us everywhere we go – anyone who has lost someone knows this but we can choose everyday what we do with it. We can let it defeat us or let it strengthen us; fall apart for a while, for a day or a week when you need it but remember to pick yourself back up and start again. There is so much more for you to experience. Choose hope every day.

 

Tell the people you love what they mean to you. Hug them. Love them. Treasure them. Give them the one thing above all that they deserve – your time. Try to be grateful for every day; I know I will.

 

“Every day’s a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”

 

xoxo

Words to learn from.

Hi friends,

I hope you’re well on this beautiful, beautiful Saturday. I have had lovely belated birthday out with two of my most favourite friends. I’ve come home with slight sunburn, face paint and lots of memories and possible plans for the future.

So, fun fact about me; I don’t really like people but I am a little obsessed with what they all think. I love listening or reading about people and I adore them sharing their lessons and views on anything and everything. I truly believe that we can learn so much if we just listen. We very often listen just to respond, we don’t listen to learn. We just need to pay attention.

Another fun fact about me: since I was around 15 I have kept journals filled with my thoughts / lessons learnt but also with the words of others that have, for one reason or another, struck a chord with me. Sometimes it has been what I needed to hear at the time, others it has been that I just knew I’d need to hear it at some point in the future. I’ll jot them down in a notepad, other times I’ll take a photo of them with my phone or in the ‘notes’ app and I go over them from time to time.

Today, I did just that and thought I’d share some of those with you. The majority of these are from this year; some are from years gone by. Unfortunately I am not so great at noting down where I get them from, some you may recognise, others you may not but all rights to their respective owners. Some of them I have added my thoughts in brackets to, others I haven’t.

Here we go…

“Ruin is beautiful. It’s where transformation happens” (What a beautiful way to look at it)

 

“Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself”

 

“We all need someone who challenges us, someone who touches our soul”

 

“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first” (This is me. 100% )

 

“We get to choose who we let in to our weird little world”

 

“Sure you’ll have bad times, but it will always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to” (PREACH)

 

“Part of growing up is learning to leave behind the nasty remarks and the hurt that comes with them and turning them into positives.”

 

“Ugliness is on the inside. Hatred and cruelty are what make a person truly ugly”

 

“The perfect marriage, just like the perfect wedding, doesn’t exist”

 

“It’s what marriage is all about: finding someone to love and love you back, through lifes hurdles. There should be excitement and fun but its how you deal with the tough times, how you get through the day-to-day and grow together that matters”

 

“We must take care of our family, no matter where we find them” (For someone who has always said family is purely blood, nothing more, this is super on point)

 

“The only way to heal is to trust”

 

“I thought too much, felt too much. I didn’t want to feel anything” – this should be engraved on my gravestone when I die.

 

“Getting older means accepting loss; it’s a fact of life. Some people will stay forever, some wont. It’s the heartbreak of being on this planet”

 

“My friends are my human wonderbras. Supportive, uplifting and they make me look bigger and better” (Thanks to my human wonderbras. You know who you are)

 

“There are people that you have that you cant bullshit and you have to be honest with them. Whether you want to or not”

 

“To be of service to other people is a purpose of life”

 

“The centre of the earth can be anywhere you want it to be”

 

“Sometimes closure arrives years later. Long after you stopped searching for it. You’re just sitting there, laughing this laugh that is unapologetically yours. As it trails off, the corners of your mouth hugs your face and it hits you “I’m happy”. It’s just like that. With no fanfare or epiphany. Suddenly you are grateful for the goodbyes that carried you to this moment; to the space you are now holding” (LIFE GOALS)

 

And the last one… a lovely one to finish with

 

“You’re always someone’s hero, whether you know it or not”

 

There we have it… just a selection of those I’ve noted down this last while. Those that know me may be able to guess which ones struck a chord with me and why – possibly even ones that I haven’t yet figured out myself. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them, I hope that maybe you might have had a moment of clarity when reading one of them.

 

I know I have.

 

From me and my hippy heart

Big love xoxo

Micks