To my own Stepmum

Dear Stepmum

I was having a think about the random path my life is going down and it has really woken me up to what you dealt with when you signed up for our dysfunctional instant-family.

I have never thanked you properly for everything you have ever done for me, and for my dad too.

I really appreciate the constant presence you are in my life, and I truly feel like you have been a very positive influence on me growing up – so thank you.

Thank you for giving me second chances. And for caring. And for our many long and random conversations in the kitchen – I loved those. Thank you for being there for dad since the beginning, even though it has been really really hard for you, too.

Thank you for being an amazing step mum and for bringing so many experiences into my life that I never would have had without you. I really respect your work ethic, and your commitment (or stubbornness, whatever you want to call it).

Thank you for being so funny! and for being honest with me, that’s important. I feel like I have always known where I stand with you.

Thank you for putting up with my crap and attitude when I was living in your home. Thank you for being so willing to open your home to me.

Thank you for my little brother. I cannot believe he is ten now. What a beautiful and thoughtful young man you have raised, I am so proud to call him my brother.

Thank you for taking such a big chance to come and be a part of our family. I love having you in my life.

I really appreciate you.

Thank you

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My prolems don’t mean any thing, because I am not a starving child in Africa.

Okay so maybe that was a little melodramatic.

Yes, a little self realisation that other people have issues in their lives too is definitely a bonus in helping us take stock of our problems and put things into perspective. (In my opinion). No one likes a self-absorbed brat.

But it does not, will not and SHOULD NOT EVER be a strategy for making someone feel like whatever is going on in their world is in some way ‘less important’.

Sometimes I have difficulty empathising with situations or feelings that I am not familiar with. I have to remind myself that not everyone reacts in the same way that I do, and it is unfair to hold everyone to MY standards – it is only fair to hold people to their own standards.

The thing is, when something bad happens to us, it might actually be the WORST thing we have ever experienced, and just because that isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone in the universe ever, has no relevance to the fact that it might be the worse thing that has happened in our own personal universe. So on our own personal scale, we react in a way or hurt in a way that might be on par with how someone else may react to something much worse.

Every person’s reactions are VALID. Every emotion, every sentiment is exactly their personal truth in that moment. What some one else’s personal truth is, has no bearing. Life is subjective.

We don’t have to understand, but simply because it is not how we would react, is not a good enough reason to invalidate someone.

Tribute.

A is for amazing, arty, amorous, adventurous, alcoholic, alone, antagonistic, arresting.

A is for ageless.

A is for Anna.

Anna is for mum, godmother, friend, angel, nightmare, lady, aunt, teacher, role-model, confidant.

Do you know we still think about you, still eat edamame for you, still drink wine for you, still laugh at you, still cry about you?

I wish you could have met my fiance, I wish you would be there at my wedding, I wish you could meet my children, I wish I could hear you laugh, I wish I could hear your stories, I wish you could give me advice.

Thank you for teaching me how to do my make-up, thank you for showing me that life is precious, thank you for being my mum’s best friend, thank you for teaching me that it is ok not to be friends with everyone, thank you for saying what was on your mind.

I knew you my whole life – I wish I had known you more.

All Grown Up

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is but today’s dream – Kahlil Gibran

My baby brother is turning ten tomorrow. A whole decade. I can’t remember what I ate for lunch last Monday, but those days in the hospital when he first arrived – those are vivid in my mind. The things we remember are so bizarre, especially when each moment feels like it is the MOST important…

This is a strange week for me. It is my birthday, my brothers birthday, my sisters birthday and my fiances birthday. What a way to feel old. (and broke!) I hadn’t really thought about how far we had all gotten in life until now – One sister married with a baby, the next one has a real job in the big wide world, me – engaged, the next sister old enough to drive and the littlest brother no longer in single digits. (It’s also bizarre that out of the five of us, only one of them is fully related. Oh my jumbled half siblings. Try explaining to someone that yes he is your brother and she is your sister, but no, the two of them are not related.)

And I bet in another 20 years I will read this post and laugh and laugh and laugh. We are all still babies.

Sometimes I feel like one day is longer than all of my life so far but the next day might pass so quickly. Why do we try and measure, collect, contain time? seems like a pretty fluid thing to me, it’d be easier to measure water in a sieve.

I used that website futureme.org and emailed myself five years from now. That is a cool thing! What a great idea. I guess its a similar reason to why I write this blog – I guess I am guilty of trying to capture time too! or at least moments of it. I wonder where we learn this attachment from? This need to control. Maybe it’s just my culture? Maybe it’s just me?

What next.