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

The one with the ‘Charmed’ life lessons

So, I’m just finished re-watching ‘Charmed’ – all 8 series – and I still love it now as much as I did when I discovered it in year 9 (ish) at school. The idea that magic existed had just been thrown into the mainstream by J.K Rowling and the Hogwarts lot the year before Charmed made it’s TV debut.

This was a different kind of magic though, sure there was still spells and potions but there were no wands, broomsticks or cloaks. It was brought into the ‘real world’ making the battle between good and evil, the sisters trying to balance mortal life with supernatural life in the battle for the greater good; 3 sisters in a battle to save innocents from the various evils of the world. As the youngest of 3 sisters you can imagine what my vivid imagination and I were dreaming up.

I have enjoyed it as much as normal but this time around I took something different from it. Ordinarily I take the episodes at face value, and because I don’t normally marathon-watch them, I hadn’t seen the subtle messages that underlie the series, and who can blame me? Not only was I teenage and not looking for ‘deeper’ messages, when you were watching it just once a week – with months between seasons – it’s easy to miss. This time though, I found some constant themes that really resonated with me, and make me think. We all know that is a dangerous thing because it normally results in a blog….oops!

  1. Wanting a ‘normal’ life doesn’t make you selfish.

Throughout all the seasons of the show we see the sisters struggle with balancing their work for the ‘greater good’ and their want of a ‘normal’ life. This is a common topic of conversation after (spoiler alert!) Prue dies at the end of Season 3. At this point the focus is on Piper a lot with her trying to have the marriage, career and children whilst fighting demons on a weekly basis. She becomes tired of the juggling act. This want for a ‘normal’ life comes to a head at the end of season 7 and season 8.

What these episodes teach us is this: wanting a ‘normal’ life does not make you a selfish person. It makes you human. You may have an obligation to someone or something, a job, a situation or, like the sisters, an obligation to help people but only you can decide where to draw the line. If you can no longer give your whole self to it because your priorities have changed – as is quite natural as we get older – that is ok. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.

  1. SISTER-SISTER

There is no bond on earth greater than that of sisters. If you have a sister or a sister-like person in your life, you will know it’s an unbreakable bond. Even though they piss you off, and know every way to annoy you, you’d still not be without them. It’s like, I can trash talk my sisters as much as I want but if you join in or do it, you better run for cover ‘cause I will bust a cap in yo’ ass. You know what I mean?

Charmed showed us the power of this bond on-screen before we even realised it ourselves. Their sisters unit was tested time and time again and it never faulted, or if it did, it came back as quickly as it went – their magic became even more powerful when they banded together as ‘The Power of Three’. Irving Berlin once wrote “Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister…” he was definitely on to something there.

3. Real life relationships are not like fairy tales

Disney, I’m looking at you here! Hollywood, you also have a lot to answer for. Girls grow up with the ‘happily ever after’ notion in their head – you can’t blame us, we’re force fed it from a young age. Charmed however, portrayed all the relationships honestly (except maybe the time when Piper fell in love with a Ghost, that might be a bit of a stretch).

There were many great love affairs throughout the season, the biggest (and arguably best) one was Piper and Leo. It was never black and white, it was never easy, they both had to make sacrifices to make it work, they overcame huge hurdles, at times you thought those hurdles would be the end of them. It was completely realistic, and heartbreaking at times, to watch the way their individual stories tore them apart. It was completely heartwarming and uplifting seeing when they were then brought them back together.

Prue and Andy showed us that real love always come back around, and that when you love someone giving your life for them is not a real sacrifice. They showed us that it is normal to be scared, it is normal to be scared of being vulnerable, but when you overcome that it can be the best thing in the world. They showed us that sometimes loving each other isn’t enough to keep you together.
Phoebe and Cole showed us that some love is steamy and passionate, captivating but that doesn’t always spell happily ever after. Phoebe craved that when she was young in the early seasons, age and experience taught her that what she really craved was a mature love – like the one she had with Coop.

Paige showed us that the end game you envisaged (Greg) doesn’t always work out, you can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed (Richard) and that you normally find true love in the most unexpected way (Henry).

  1. We all feel ‘lost’ from time to time

You see all the sisters go through this at some point. Hell, you even see the guys go through it too. Leo and Cole when they give up their powers, Paige when she is trying not to lose her identity after marrying Henry, Piper when Leo leaves (every time), Billie when she loses, finds and loses her sister, Phoebe when she loses her husband and… well pretty much the whole of seasons 1,2,3 and 4.
Out of all of these I love watching Phoebe’s fight through her twenties – she comes back from New York with nothing and is continually lost, trying to find her place in San Francisco, in the family, in the world. By season 8 she’s a grown ass woman (Beyoncé would be proud).

  1. I LOVE CUPID

I learnt this this time around. Cupid a.k.a Coop is completely lickable. I mean, just look at him..

Coop_(Charmed)

Of course there are other lessons in there, like don’t fall in love with the source of all evil, and you can always count on a demon to double cross you but I think these are the main ones, especially number 5. Number 5 is very important. Charmed is not only badass TV – if you’ve never watched it do it, it’s super-smashing-great! It also showed us that your life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be happy. Happiness comes from accepting the things in life that you can’t control, and that we shouldn’t take for granted the amazing things that happen anyway.

Bless-ed be,

xoxo

Micks

Eat. Pray. Love

Eat. Pray. Love.
If you work with me, chances are you’ve heard me raving about this book. It was a complete fluke that I bought it; I was at Naples airport on my way home (by myself) and I’d already finished my only book I hadn’t read on my iPad ( The Elegant Art of Falling Apart by Jessica Jones – AWESOME read) and I was bored waiting alone. So I wondered into the newsagents and bought the only 2 books that looked half decent that were written in English. One was ‘The a Day before Happiness’ by Erri de Luca, the second ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I knew there was a movie adaptation with the original pretty woman, one Ms. Julia Roberts. I’d seen bits and bobs of the movie, I knew it was about a woman who went travelling. But that was it. Now, I’m not gonna sit here and write a blurb on the book, that’d be a bit boring. I am however, gonna talk about how rad the book is.

I believe that Liz and I (that’s right, I call her Liz. We’re pals in my head) are kindred spirits. She goes off travelling in search of answers, in search of some kind of equilibrium. And, Lord knows, that is what I am always doing. She meets some weird and wonderful people along the way – travelling is awesome for that – and she learns some pretty cool tings too.

I love a book that makes me think, and EPL does just that. I felt like I was going on her journey with her and as she learnt lessons, so did I (I realise that sounds a bit cray cray but you know, I felt involved) There are some passages in there that really rang true with me. The first one is this…

“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tears your walls down and smack you awake. But to live with a soulmate forever? Nah, too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave. And thank God for it”

As a girl, you are fed the “happily ever after” dream from when you are small. All the Disney movies have a ‘love story’ at the centre and it always seems to be a man who saves the poor, helpless woman. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sums it up “ because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage, I am expected to make my life decisions always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important thing…” (Watch her whole speech on feminism here: http://youtu.be/hg3umXU_qWc – credit to Beyonce for bringing it to my attention).
We are sold this idea that every girl has her ‘one true love’ and that we won’t be complete until we find them. So, reading this view on ‘soul mates’ (which actually came from a dude) challenged everything that I’d been fed, but, for me, it actually makes better sense. You learn and you grow from every relationship (romantic or otherwise) and sometimes people are really crap, but them being crap to you teaches you about yourself and what you will or won’t accept from people, it reveals another layer of yourself. It also teaches you how to deal with assholes but that’s another story for another day.

The second passage is this…

“Only the young and stupid are confident about sex and romance. Do you think any of us know what we’re doing? Do you think humans can love each other without complication?… (Western men) think this pretty little girl will make them happy, make their lives easy. But whenever I see it happen, I always want to say the same thing ‘good luck’. Because you still have a woman in front of you, my friend. And you’re still a man. It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must still try to love each other, darling. We must get out hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something”.

Falling down in life and love, well, it sucks balls to be quite honest. But it does mean you’ve tried, you’re living. It would be so easy to not out ourselves out there for fear of getting hurt, or fear of not succeeding but, that would be boring. Like the fabulous Brazilian man said to Liz ‘it means we have tried for something’. And I’ll take a few failures, and a well lived life over a safe, unlived life any day. The only thing I disagree with is that love is ‘always complicated’, I think we MAKE it complicated. We play hard-to-get and a whole lot of other games, we don’t want to reply to a msg too soon for fear of seeming ‘keen’. I’m not being funny, but if I’ve given you my number in the first place then you can pretty much assume I’m interested or ‘keen’. I’m not gonna wait an extra 5 minutes to msg you back. If someone is put off because you reply to a msg quickly then I think it’s them that has the problem, I’m just sayin!

The final one (because I really this is going on for ages) is this…

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and just to keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices”

This is the very last paragraph in the book.
I love this.
We can find help and support in places that you would never expect, from people you would never expect and we can then feel an overwhelming urge to make a big gesture to repay their help, to express our gratitude, when most of the time a genuine thank you is all that is needed.

I could go on. But I won’t.

Eat. Pray. Love.

Xoxo Micks

this blog originally appeared on micksmusings.tumblr.com