happy birthday, John

it’s 1.35 am. i can’t sleep.

when i have trouble sleeping i always seem to do one of three things; listen to music, watch friends or write. tonight i am combining two of those. music and writing.

i am currently listening to a mix of The Beatles and John Lennon’s solo work – in case you didn’t know today would have been John’s 77th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN.

for those of you that know me, you’ll know The Beatles are my favourite band, John is was my favourite member. to this day he is my favourite musician/artist/lyricist in the history of the world. to some it is an obvious choice, to others a cliché. to me it is the only choice. laugh if you will. i don’t care.

the best compliment i ever received (or one of them) was from my mum. having read a John biography she concluded that john and i were very similar in personality. she has since repeated that to me, and it still makes me happy to hear.

my love affair with The Beatles began when i was around 10 years old. my mum, a lifelong Beatles fan, insisted on watching a movie called ‘Help’ on the telly one Sunday afternoon. i can’t remember my response to being told this is what we were watching but i remember my reaction when it finished. i was intrigued. this was before the age of smart phones and wi-fi so i couldn’t just hop online and listen to their back catalogue and find out about the band, i remember asking my mum about them, i’d heard their songs my whole life but never really paid that much attention to them, until now. i remember my singing along to their songs in assembly (Nowhere man was a fave of our music teacher, so was Ob-la-di Ob-la-da) with way more enthusiasm.

the older i got the more my taste in music (and men) varied but i always came back to John and The Beatles.

my 21st birthday was not spent in some generic nightclub getting wasted, (not that there is anything wrong with that), it was spent wandering the streets of Liverpool, stomping the same pavements that John once had. we visited the Cavern, we strolled around the Albert Dock, we visited Penny Lane, saw the house George was born in, the registry office that John and Cynthia got married in. i remember being on a tour (so wonderfully titled “magical mystery tour”) and the tour guide/host was firing questions at everyone. who got most of them correct? who was the youngest fan on the bus? me and ME. the tour guide actually turned to  me at one point and said “it should really be you stood here doing this job” day=made.

i couldn’t pin point what it is exactly about John and his music that i love. it’s really a load of little things. there was an honesty to his music that i adore, a vulnerability. he was, in my opinion, very comical but also had a depth to him that was evident in his music and his mind. i admire how he handled his unconventional upbringing, and the tragedy that came to him early in life. he wanted to bring people together. he was wise – i mean, sure, we can’t assume that all these quotes attributed to him are ALL really his, but there’s no smoke without fire, right?

his mind

Some of my favourite John thoughts –

“The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it”
“We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance for once?”
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant…. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong”
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people”

i could go on but i won’t. you can read more of his musings on brainy quote or a similar website.

his music

some of my best, and worst, moments are tied to his music. my 25th birthday, driving along the Almalfi Coast in the beautiful Italian sunshine our driver had John’s “(Just like) Starting Over playing. whilst it’s widely accepted that ‘Crippled Inside’ is about everybody’s hypocrisy, for me i use it to laugh at myself when my mental demons are loud and winning, much like they are now; but that’s another post for another day. there are also songs that i hope to attach to memories in the future – one day i hope to have ‘In My Life’ played at my wedding, i hope to sing ‘Beautiful Boy’ to my son.

 

 

 

 

 

it is also the birthday of the person John wrote that song about – his son Sean (who is a TREAT for the eyes).

Happy Birthday, Sean.

Happy Birthday, John.

and thank you.

xoxo

micks

#tb to when I went to NYC with a blanket around my neck and my favourite place in the city was empty except for me, my mum and a busker singing my favourite John songs.

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 

A change of perspective.

Hi friends,

I’d been feeling pretty overwhelmed about work and I was feeling really very sorry for myself. I’d been covering two stores for about 12 weeks, was struggling to balance everything, focus myself and what we were all trying to achieve; like I said I was feeling very overwhelmed. I got to the point where I was moaning to my work bff about it and no amount of pep talk was helping. I was working long days (including the commute some days it was 14hr days), I was tired and had had some stuff going on outside of work too that I wanted to give more of my attention to and that, quite frankly, needed. The thing is I was happy to do it for my boss, whom I have a lot of time and respect for, but I was also kind of done with it.

 

Then I saw this post on Instagram:

 

It was just what I needed to slap some sense into me.

 

Why was I complaining about being busy? Why was I complaining about work at all? I know we all have days that beat us but c’mon Michaela! If I wasn’t busy at work, if I felt useless and not needed then I would be even more down about it.

I’d had a couple months not working when I got home from America at the end of Jan and I was going nuts at home, NUTS.

 

Seeing that post (thanks, Jessie J) gave me kick to change my perspective and be GRATEFUL. I’ve been trying to practice the art of gratitude this year more than I ever have; and seeing this reminded me of that. Why was I complaining about a temporary situation? A situation that actually I was probably lucky to be in? I was being trusted to oversee not one, but two stores, only a little while after returning after effectively jumping ship the year before. I’m doing a job I love, I have amazing work colleagues, I actually like/ respect my boss – how many people can say that? Sure it gets overwhelming at times, sure it’s not perfect but looking at the bigger picture instead of the minutia it’s not bad. Not bad at all.

Sometimes a change of perspective is all that is needed.

So next time I moan about being overwhelmed at work, send me the link to this blog!

 

Xoxo

 

Micks

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

The one where Elsa was the inspiration.

How often have you heard the phrase ‘let it go’?

Not including all the times you sang along with Elsa, obvs. How many times in life do we tell ourselves, and the others around us to ‘let it go’?

When you’re having a bad day, life is getting you down it seems to be people’s go to phrase.

“Let it go”.

It’s a great message in theory – accept life and situations for what they are, some things cannot be changed. There is definitely an argument for it being a cornerstone of a happy life.

I just have one problem.

It’s hard.

It’s really fucking hard.

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When we’re being asked, or told, to let go of something, it’s usually something (or someone) we’re very passionate about, something we’re deeply connected to. It almost seems like we’re being told to forget about the past – forget about the person or event we’re connected to. Letting go is something very, very different to forgetting though.

If we’re all honest, we all have things we need to let go of. Myself included. If anyone reading this can so “no, I don’t” then I’m really very jealous.

As I previously said, it’s really hard to let go. It takes a lot of work on our part. We have to really look at the situation and work out what it is we’re attached to. Is it really the person or event? Or is it how it made us feel? Is it idea of them and/or it?

Only when we’ve been really honest can we start the process of letting go. When we let go of what’s holding us back and whatever is tying us to the situation then the healing can begin.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” said someone, somewhere at sometime. I know, it’s cliché af and basic but there is actually some truth in it.

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We need stop over thinking everything. We need to stop projecting how we think the future is going to pan out – that doesn’t mean don’t have goals, don’t have drive and ambition – it means get rid of that image in your head of how you think it will be, get rid of the “I’ll be happy when…” phrase.

If you’re on the “things should be this way for me to be happy train” GET OFF NOW; you have reached your final destination.

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Staying fixated on how you think your life should be not only stops us from letting go but also stops us from appreciating what we have now – we all know I’m a big believer in gratitude.

The reality is, and I know it’s hard to hear at times, and even harder to accept, everything at this time is exactly as it should be.

 

Learning to let go of things that aren’t bringing us happiness will free up energy, time and resources and we can begin to reap the benefits of that. We can put it towards things that are productive, that will make a positive difference and have real, impactful change in our lives.

Let’s all make like Elsa – it’s time to let it go.

 I’ll try my best to do so if you do too.

Pinky promise?

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There will come a time…

There will come a time where the tears don’t fall everyday. Where a task as simple as breathing won’t hurt. Where you can remember them with a smile, instead of tears falling down your cheeks. There will come a time it won’t hurt so much to talk about them, and remember the person they were. You’ll talk about them with a smile on your face and joy in your heart instead of a heaviness on your chest and knots in your stomach.

 

There will come a time when that song comes on the radio that reminds you of them you’ll turn it up and sing along, instead of changing the station because it’s too raw to listen to it just yet. You’ll let yourself get swept up in the melody and remember with a sad smile the moments that you shared with that song. When it’s finished you’ll sit there and say hey to them, because you believe it’s their way of letting you know they are still around.

 

There will come a time when you see something or experience something that you know they would have found funny and you’ll laugh a little bit louder and harder because imagining their reaction to it makes it funnier somehow.

 

There will come a time when you are used to them not being around, you won’t like it and wish they were still here, but you will get used to them being gone. It becomes the new normal, no matter how much you know it’s not really ‘normal’ that they are gone, it becomes your new normal. It has to because, although they are gone, you have to keep on living. Even on those days you don’t want to. You get to keep on making memories, going places, meeting people. You won’t be ok with them being gone, but it will become a type of normal.

 

There will be times when the sadness comes back stronger, usually when there is a big event; weddings, promotions, proposals, births and graduations. You get sad that they aren’t there to share those moments with you because they should be. They should be there for all of it. Or at least that’s what we feel. That’s the way we think it should be. Life isn’t that nice though. It’s true the only certainty in life is death, we just get too busy living and forget. We always think we have tomorrow.

 

There will come a time that the anniversaries become a time to reflect as well as mourn. On Tuesday it will be 2 years since my beloved Grandad passed. 2 years. I don’t even know where that time has gone. So much has happened since then but yet it still feels like yesterday. I found myself walking past his old flat the other day whilst I was on my way to meet friends. For a second I forgot he had gone, and started smiling at his front door and then, of course, I remembered.

 

Grief is not pleasant. Everyone knows that, those that have experienced it first hand know that. Some people find respite in various sources – drink and drugs (both prescribed and not) are probably the most common. It is my belief that they only serve to numb the pain for a time – as John Green said “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt”. I think, where grieving is concerned, you have to feel the pain in order to move on, in order to carry on. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

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On Tuesday there will be tears, there will be sadness. There will be tea and biscuits. There will be memories shared. There will be Glenn Miller playing. There will be talk of rainbows. Gerry and the Pacemakers will no doubt make an appearance. I expect we will play The Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’ and sing it at the top of our lungs to honour my Grandad’s love of Crystal Palace.

We will remember the man, who he was. What he meant to us, and still means to us. We will, begrudgingly, thank him for his gifting the majority of us with the ‘Snook Spamhead’ – you’ve never met a family with such large foreheads I tell ya. We will wonder together what he would have made of different situations that have happened, of where all our lives have taken us. We will all know, without a doubt, how much he would have loved to have met the three great-grandchildren that came after he left; Mason-James, Lieselotte and Betsy-Bear.

There will be love and smiles as we remember him, and we will realise, again, how lucky we were to have him as ours because he really was the best.

 

Grandad,

 

I love you. I miss you. I hope you’re proud.

 

I’ll meet you at the end of the rainbow.

 

Xoxo Michaela

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You’re not scared of climbing mountains, you’re scared that you can’t make them move.

“Making a big life change is scary, but you know what is scarier?

REGRET”

 

 

This quote is so applicable to my life right now it is freaky. As my family and friends know I am currently working my notice period for a company I have worked at for (on and off) 10 years. I’ve worked my way up from a 6hr Sunday girl to store manager. The company has supported me completely throughout this time, providing me with a part-time job during university, a career after. They have allowed me to take sabbaticals to go off, explore the world and live my best life whilst providing me with a safety net to return to when I’m done. It’s been my comfort blanket for the last 10 years. On August 13th 2016 that comfort blanket is gone for good.

 

A change gon’ come.

 

Now, considering I was the one who made the decision to leave you’d think I’d be more excited about the new challenges that lay ahead with my new job and I am, to an extent, but I am also shitting my pants a bit. Why? Exactly as that quote says – change is a scary thing. I know my job I have now (after 10 years I’d be worried if I didn’t), I still love the company – I believe in where it is going and its vision for the future. Whilst it is not perfect (no business is), it’s determined to be the best in its category. I adore the (majority of) customers that come through the door; in fact I properly enjoy talking with the kids more than the adults! My favourite customers I have seen through numerous children, they have come back to see me time and again – one customer even followed me from my previous store to the one I’m currently in.

To think that will be gone is both sad and scary.

Some of my close friends have had the drama of me officially making this decision – when I handed my notice in my regional manager made it VERY hard to leave – so hard in fact that when I hung up the phone to him I promptly burst into tears through both confusion and because he was very nice to me and I wasn’t expecting it. I then called Den and Michelle straight away and they spoke whilst I cried a bit more, I then crazy messaged my friend in Weymouth shouting about needing her life coach advice (She’s yet to steer me wrong) and then starting harassing two people who’s opinions I value a lot through the mediums of Whatsapp and Snapchat. Ultimately the decision was mine and I decided to go ahead with the resignation because I have bigger, long-term plans and could never live with the ‘what if’ that I know I would end up with if I stayed.

 

Over the last week I have almost called my RM and retracted my notice on a couple of occasions because change is scary. Because I worry that I’ve made the wrong choice and the grass isn’t really greener. Because I worry about the people I’m leaving behind and that I’m somehow letting them down. Especially when you’re settled, change is scary. When you constantly worry about what could go wrong, and what if you feel that you are not strong enough, independent enough or lovable enough to succeed in getting through an important change?

Change is scary.

 

Now, some people embrace change as though it is nothing (I hate and admire those people in equal amounts), a smart man said once “change is the only constant thing in life” and we need to learn to embrace it, little by little to challenge ourselves and grow. If I was to let it, my imagination could come up with a million different worse case scenarios and terrible things that could happen as a result of this change I’m making. Thinking about it, if I can imagine the worst thing, why can’t imagine the best? It can only go one of two ways, right? Things can get better, or they can get worst. 50/50 chance of both.

 “the key to change…is to let go of fear” (Roseanne Cash)

and right now that is what I am deciding to do (at least for the next 5 minutes).

 

 

Yes, the change I am making is scary. Yes, it could go wrong. Right now though, I am deciding to take a leap of faith and trust in the magic of new beginnings. I have to live my life for me, and no one else.

Besides, who knows, give it a year and I might be back where I started, but at least I’ll be able to say I tried.

Xoxo

Micks

P.S to all my work favourites… you’ll never really get rid of me. Like a fly to shit I’ll always be hovering around J Love yous xxx