The Swan & the Fawn

A lake of thoughts and experiences, and a forest of dreams and ideas

Grief and Goodbyes, Hellos and Halos

Matai. My best friend, my chosen family; committed suicide early Christmas Morning. The details are not in full (they never will be), but from what we have gathered, he had a fight with his boyfriend after a happy night of drinking. When his boyfriend left, he wrote a short sorry and goodbye note via tumblr, then hung himself.

I got news of it at family lunch. Just after dessert. An old friend of mine Jenna, called me. We hadn’t spoken on the phone for years, and hadn’t seen each other for months. I howled, so loudly that I shook the trees in the valley that dresses my home.

All I could think about was Matai’s smiling face. He was a sun. The moon. The brightest star in the entire universe. He was our light.

After ages of crying together through the phone, Jenna and I decided that we better get in touch with other people who needed to know. Yes, it was Christmas. But all of our friends are the type of people who would want to know something like that from someone they know, rather than a post on Facebook. I look around me, and saw my family balling their eyes out. All were circling me in a sphere of comfort. I began to think about the people who were apart of the sphere, but that I could no longer see, no longer hold- My dog, my cat, my Father. And now Matai.

Chelsea was a mutual friend of ours. I met her through him, and in 2013 her and I became inseparable. By the end of 2013, I decided to move in with her, and another mutual friend, Vicki. In the new year or 2014, our friendship hit a sour note. And we spent half the year ignoring each other, and the other half communicating only through likes on Facebook. Matai never gave up in trying to get us to reunite. So there I was. Swallowing the fact that I had lost my friend, and realising that all anger aside- I had to call Chelsea. She had already found out. And again, we cried through the phone. She told me that they were going to go see Matai’s mom. She offered to pick me up. And just like that, holes of absence and silence were filled with common emotions that outweigh everything. Grief and Love.

While I waited for her, Jenna and Rohan (another old friend of mine) came over to my house. We called our old friend Connor who is now living in Australia. I hadn’t spoken to him in five years. The news crushed him. It is hard being the bearer of hard news. The messenger of Death. You become responsible for changing someone’s entire life in one sentence. Others arrived at my home. All seeking comfort. Some I knew, others I had only heard about through Matai’s tales of his social life. Eventually Chelsea and Vicki came. Without hesitation, her and I hugged, while crying in to each other’s shoulders. We both laughed at how this had to be the situation that we would reunite in.

But that was Matai. He was the glue that brought everyone together. No two friends were the same, and he embodied the idea of individuality, and the bringing together of people from all walks of life. He also never gave up on people. He let go of destructive souls, but only after chance, after chance. But he never, ever, gave up on anyone over small fights, or long silences. He always made an effort. Always ensured that everyone who came in contact with him, knew how much he loved them for being themselves. He never claimed to want to change people- only make sure that everyone was being the best they could be. He was forgiving, trusting, loving and charming.

Everyone knew him as the happiest person. When you met him, he always had a huge smile on his face, with bright eyes. I know he hit dark places too. Who doesn’t? But he always made sure that he lived life to the full. Leading up to his suicide, he cancelled on me a few times when we planned to hang out. I knew it wasn’t like him, and I knew that something must be going on. But I never thought it would run that deep. When he came to my 21st, he was so happy and full of life. Everyone who hadn’t met him, talked about how amazing he was. Cause that was him too, he would walk into a room of strangers, and walk out as the highlight of everyone’s night. He had to leave my 21st early, because his bf was too young to be there, and the bartender had to kick them out. He sent me a beautiful txt saying he would read the speech he wrote for my 21st in private, and that the next 21 years will be amazing. I edited my 21st photos on Christmas Eve. As I looked at him in the photos, I could see that his smile was a little different, and that he looked tired. Things I had not seen on the night. When we spoke to his mom on Christmas day, she said that the year had been tough. We knew that his parents had gotten a divorce, after Matai’s dad was found to be cheating. His sister had a miscarriage, which broke the hearts of everyone. And his mother had a cancer scare. On top of all of that, Matai lost his job and couldn’t find work anywhere else. He had discovered his boyfriend had cheated on him again and so they broke up, then got back together again. He was crumbling from the inside out. But to us, he was still a steady beam of light, shooting through any darkness.

I endured Depression for a year myself. And not many people knew either. Yet, I still could not see the signs in my own friend. I had been so consumed in fixing my life, in complaining about my job and family etc, that I did not reach out to someone and ask if they were okay. I know this is not my fault. It is no ones. And what has comforted me through all of this, is Matai would not have done it, if he had not known that we would all be fine. Matai was someone you respected seconds after meeting him. So I respect his decision, and trust that his heart was too warm for this cold world. But aside from that, this has brought to light how little we know about Depression. How little people who are Depressed, feel that they can do. And how little people who are on the outside feel they can do to help.

There is nothing we can do now. Except live life in tribute to Matai. He was a dreamer, and he encouraged me to always dream. We had so many plans, so many ambitions. And I am going to give every single one of them a go. He kept in contact with people, and made friends wherever he went. And I have to do the same. This last year I have hardly seen anyone. That is the irony in all of this- the one man who brought so many of us together, has done it once more through his death. I am going to live life with dreams in my head, hope in my heart, and happiness in my soul. I am never going to give up on anyone, and I am never going to give up on myself.

Rest In Peace my beautiful friend. I will see you in the sun and moon, before meeting you on the other side. Never stop glowing. Amatimy forever ❤

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The Fat Day

You know the feeling.

You wake up, sun streaming in, birds singing, the breeze dancing. Your eyes heavy, your skin soft. Then, a grumble from somewhere deep, echoing a cry for help. It fills your pocket of morning quiet. It is your stomach. Yes, your stomach. And she is telling you off.  What is it she is saying?

“Why on Earth did you eat so much bread last night?!”

“And the beers? With two helpings of mince pies!!”

Oh boy! Nothing like a lecture for breakfast. You try to reason with her. Explain that the lead up to christmas, is like training for a marathon. You have to be consistent. And all these morning after pains she is feeling for the last few days, will ease. Eventually. You explain that over-indulging is what you are supposed to do at BBQs! It is practically law! Especially if the beers are free!

But she doesn’t understand any of this. She just sulks over the sheets, groaning. Then she does the unthinkable. She tells on you. Your mind listens to her whines. Even when you try to refute it by explaining just how amazing fresh buns, with a smidge of butter tastes.  But parts of your mind run away with the idea that what you did last night was bad. And sure as hell, it is going to make you see that.

You rise. A slight headache, that you put down to the beer breaking up with you. Your partner says he is off to make the coffees, so you slowly trudge to the shower. You strip, splash cold water on your eyes, and grow confused at the reflection you see in the mirror. Who is this?

She looks bloated. Pregnant. Unrecognisable. Fat!

You try to ignore the foul whispers circling in your mind. You try to shut them out.

“Now, now. No need to be upset! It is just a bit of post-bbq weight. A food baby. Nothing more”

But those thoughts tell you, you look like your carrying twins. Triplets of dough and frothy mouths. Beer and Bread, your devil children!

You tie up your dressing gown. Race out of the room, avoiding eyes, windows, mirrors, everything! Back under the sheets you decide that you are not fit for this day. That you cannot leave this safe place of surrender. Your partner begs you to come out. You know he won’t understand, but tell him anyway. He laughs. Calls you silly for thinking you are anything less than beautiful. But you choose to ignore these thoughts. You instead choose to feast on the buffet of negativity your mind has cooked up. For days, you will be like this. Until you decide that something truly is wrong with you, and you will spend five hours googling fad diets, and magic pills that ‘kill your fat’.

This was my day today. A day I have encountered many times in my life. A day that can happen at any moment, out of any thing. But is is just a day. If you feel fat, you will see fat. You will think fat. You will be fat, and think that fat is all that you are. But fat does not define you. Your weight doesn’t either. And let me tell you something, your stomach and that voice in your head have no control over you. Yes, that is right. You can actually control them. Mhmm, you. You can change their tune. You can get them to only focus on the good. What you decide to focus on, becomes the food they feed on. And if you decide that you look hella hot in that tight top, and maybe too short skirt, then that will become the reality you live in. If you decide that your giggly thighs are as amazing as jingle bells, then that will be the Christmas you have. If you decide that today you are perfect, lovely, and loveable, then that will be the type of day you have.

I have come to realise that there are already so many negative people out there. Some of which will be your very dear friends, lovers, teachers, even parents. And these negative people are more than happy to dish up their perception of your weight and body. As well as a cold dessert of their opinion about how you should be instead. These people exist, because the negative voice in themselves has become so loud and big, it needs to house itself in others. These people will always be around (not until we teach everyone to love themselves. And I hope this day does come) so why become that to yourself? Why overload your plate with their thoughts and opinions, regurgitated into your own negative thoughts(gross visualisation, I know), and feed on that for a day or two? Life is too short to become a label. It is too short to become a negative thought, stuck on play. It is too short to waste a day sobbing over your body, and cursing your stretch marks and hips.It is too short to wake up guilty about eating an extra bun. You do not need to be anything more (or less) than what you are now. Don’t focus on what other’s are doing. Don’t focus on the thought that says you need to lose five pounds. Don’t focus on trying to starve. Don’t focus on trying to eat your emotions (because although starving isn’t good, over-eating consistently isn’t healthy for the mind either).

Focus on being healthy. Focus on the now. Focus on joy.

Sure, maybe eating three buns is unhealthy. But if you aren’t doing that at every meal, and you indulge in an exercise that you enjoy, then it is okay. You are okay!

*I know myself personally, things have been up the air lately, and the fear of not knowing has caused me to over-eat. But I acknowledge that now, and wont waste time feeling guilty. I will instead focus on being healthy. Mentally, physically an emotionally. But the extra buns and beers have nothing to do with it. I don’t regret them.

Sure, maybe the now isn’t too great. You want to be over there, when you are more toned and have better clothes. But I am telling you, the now is the only thing we ever truly have. You are a living being, made of stardust, right now. And that is pretty damn spectacular.

Sure, maybe joy is a choice. But it is a tough choice to make. Especially when there is so many other emotions and thoughts occupying your mind. But you are in control, always. Do something that brings you joy! Today, for me, that was putting on bright red lipstick. And if you can’t find one thing to make you happy, fake it till you make it!

So ignore this fat day, and all the fat days to come. You are human. You are beautiful. You deserve love and respect, especially from yourself. So do it! Rub your tummy. Right now. Go on. And say to yourself “I am being me. The best me I know I can be. And this me, she is perfect. We are perfect”.

Morphing

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Goosebumps. The cold is kissing my legs, dragging its long fingers down my spine. The wind is talking to me, hollow howls of all the wolves that have passed. It tells me that I am growing as the trees grow before me. Branching out into new skies, but rooted in old eyes of old memories, old lies, old lives.

Ribs. The hunger for touch has buried its roots in the blue veins on my white wrists. The silence is threading out my eyes, knitting webs of dreams, with spiders from my past 8 lives waiting to catch fear. Ingesting the insecurity, devouring the doubts, consuming the confusion.

Eyelashes. The light is making love to my green pools of vision, pouring into me and leaving teeth marks in my mind when my eyes shut. The night is watching me from my window. Waiting for me to burn out into stars it can wear in its hair. Dust from moths wings fall and turn into sleep crumbs in my eyes. The moths understand my addiction for ambition, for solace, for the light.

100 Ways to be a Love Letter to the Universe

I found this post on tumblr and it changed my day

 

100 Ways to be a love letter to the universe

 


 

Do your lips up sticky, sparkly & sweet. Then blow kisses. Say thank you. Allow other people to inspire you. Share your bliss. Smile — even if you’re shy, even if you have bad teeth, even if it scares you. Hold someone’s hand. Be honest. Volunteer your time. Love yourself. Do your best. Learn how to balance having respect for other people’s decisions & being true to yourself. Tell people how much you like them. Send unexpected gifts. Talk to strangers. Do favours. Let go. Be generous. Eat whatever you want without guilt. Don’t think about other people’s definitions of success, beauty or happiness. Make your own rules.Write your own guidebook. Count your blessings. Never stop trying to improve. Be your own superhero. Aim higher. Contribute. Create spaces for other people to enjoy. Sleep in. Let other people sleep in, too. Be compassionate. Listen. Give yourself time off. Be enthusiastic. Choose happiness. Create. Follow your passion. Connect. Compliment people. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Surprise yourself. Appreciate the people who support you. Take photos; document everything. Have a plan. Know your patterns. Be in the present. Laugh. Get close. Move through your fear. Challenge yourself. Keep it simple. Turn up the music. Realise your own freedom. Relax. Flirt. Dress up in some small way every day. Even if it’s just a good pair of knickers or a coat of death-defying mascara. Be different. Be genuine. Allow yourself to change & evolve. Dream big. Believe that you can manifest anything. Take responsibility. Treat everyone the same way — from your lover to your mother to your postman. Appreciate your past for having made you the person you are. Talk about how you feel. Dance. Sing. Let go of guilt. Treat your lovers with respect. Admit your flaws. …& come up with a plan to remedy them. Surprise people. Set yourself a really huge goal. Then achieve it & set another one. Kiss. A lot. Remember that trouble doesn’t last. Be still. Look at the stars. Be as ridiculous as you like. Trust that you are loved. Stay curious. Charm people. Give real hugs. Bat your eyelashes. Forgive yourself. Reach out. Flatter people. Get drunk on life. Release your expectations of other people. Allow them to be who they are, & appreciate them regardless. Stretch. Listen to your instincts. Make eye contact. Keep your word. Talk about real things. Discover yourself. Speak up. Let life excite you & lead you astray. Delight in every day. Don’t be afraid.

Just love.

Goddess Demeter & The Wolf

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I live in New Zealand. I have just turned 21, and am half way through my Bachelor of Arts Degree. It is a double major, in which I study Creative Writing, and Conflict Resolution. I dream of changing the world. And photographing/writing about it.

I am currently living in a little town. Submerged by forest and beaches, my home is a tree house. I recently moved back with the family, with my boyfriend, James. We are soul mates, and met on tinder. I call myself Tinderella (I think I’m funny).

We bought a dog a month ago, and care for my mother’s dog. I attract stray cats- the last three we have owned have been runaways or strays that I took in. One remains, a black Maine Coon  that was left by people on our street when they sold their house and moved countries. James and I spend our days walking the beaches, cooking and listening to music while we drink beer.

A few weeks ago I finished my creative writing project that lasted the whole year. It is called Catharsis, it is 20,000 words long and features one continuous story, life writing pieces,drawings and poetry (I will post some of the works on here). My Catharsis was about the healing of my three demons, or children as I like to call them- Anxiety (the oldest), Anorexia (the adopted) and Depression (the wisest). It is highly personal. Many of my family members do not know about these demons/disorders, so this work was my naked soul stained on paper.

The proudest moment of my life, was when I got my results and saw that I had received an A+. My family is very much “OH! You want to be a ________, go for it! But be careful. They may not like you. You may fail. I wanted to do that, but I decided not to. Just have a back-up plan okay?”. So for me to take the step into the light, and have another soul love my writing, makes me the most grateful person in the world. I am different from my family. After being chained up by Anxiety, Anorexia and Depression all my teenage life, I feel that I have finally broken through the chains. I am going to be a writer. I am going to be a photographer.

I sent my writing to my mom. Someone who is usually very critical. She is a cynic. The love of her life (my beloved father) was taken by a brain tumour. I was 15, and harbouring Anorexia at the time. She lost her mom when she was 10, her brother when I was 10, and her sister doesn’t talk to her due to my mom siding with my bitter, lonely Grand dad (who lives in a cottage on our property). She hasn’t read my work yet. She is too busy, as she got a boyfriend this year. They work together. We hardly see her. He isn’t my dad. Nowhere close. But I have learnt not to carry moulds around for people. People are what they are. Either appreciate that, or have nothing to do with them. I sent her my work, but she hasn’t read it yet. I thought after getting such good grades, everyone would want to dive into it. But a lot of people are afraid to peel away other people’s bandages. They are afraid to see that someone’s scars and wounds, may match theirs.

I have also sent my writing to my best friend. He is gay, and encompasses another type of soul mate. I do not know where I would be without him. The only thing I regret is not meeting him sooner. I know he will read it. He is isn’t afraid to fall into darkness, to scuff his knees. We grew up in the dark he and I.

James has it too. He has read bits here and there while I was constructing it. But not the full thing. I know he will get around to it too one day. At the moment he is building up his design company while I finish university. We want nothing more than to be parents and work at home. We are creatives by birth, and both of us cringe at working in an office doing something we hate, just to pay the bills. I love his dream. I know he is scared because he is in a lot of debt from not giving up on his dream. His nails are bitten to the bed. But his eyes always stay confident, always stay clear. And no matter what happens, those nail-beds will be the home I always return to.

I have a habit of automatically thinking that he is fine. He is the strongest person I know. We used to live in a apartment in the city. It was in a hotel built in the 1920s. It was beautiful and our own world. But he would stay up all night (something I didn’t know till we left), because it was too expensive for him. So we came to my mom’s. If I could have one wish answered now, it would be that all his hard work and hours of dedication would be rewarded. He is my greatest teacher, and I am truly blessed to have found him.

So this is me. A dreamer and believer.

So, welcome to my mind. Leave your shoes at the door & keep your fingers to yourself.