Monday, February 3, 2014

1 Year...

As March approaches, so does the one year anniversary since our seperation. And also, "D-Day"... the official divorce. I am at peace - I have full, happy life, surrounded by the people who never cease to challenge, inspire and care for me. There is 'bliss' in the after, too. It is strange, because I never really pictured my life this way, but now it is, I wouldn't trade it. My life is my own. And I am forever thankful. Jo xx

Saturday, October 5, 2013

3 Months On...

3 months after one of the most momentous changes in my life - I'm doing well. Fabulously, fantastically well. 

There is bliss in the after too. From the gorgeous, dream house I find myself in, to the new and old friends welcoming me, Brisbane has proven to be just right...

There are new dreams and opportunities beginning to bloom - and I wonder how I got so incredibly, incredibly lucky. 

There are still days when the darkness and panic overwhelms me. But I know now, that is always darkest before the dawn, and I am getting better at letting go. Embracing the the happiness instead of fearing it. 

I wander aimlessly around this new city, exploring, learning, growing. There is always some new spot to discover, a new experience right around the corner. 

But most of all, I'm forgiving myself for past mistakes, and trying to loose the ties of guilt. And I'm finally discovering me. And I like her. A lot. 

There will be a time when you believe everything is finished.  
That will be the beginning.  
~Louis L'Amour~

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Yesterday was the last time that I saw my husband, in our home.
Yesterday, I laughed, I cried with the man whom has both destroyed me and built me.
Yesterday, I mourned all that I had lost.
Yesterday, I celebrated all that I had gained.

Yesterday, I let go of my marriage and the battle scars that weave themselves through my days and nights beating a rhythm that I do not yet understand.

Today, is the day that I move on.
Today, I create a future for myself.
Today, I have never been more alone.
Today, I have so much hope.

Today, I pluck new dreams out of the universe and spin myself new stars to follow, and renovate old ones.

I am no longer a wife, but instead am just Jo.
Just Jo, with all the potential those two words contain.
What will I become?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weighty Issues

I recently came across this article which explains the damage that the Biggest Loser and shows like it do, not only to the contestants, but also the absolutely idealistic and unrealistic image it portrays to the wider community. My mother (who is very petite), loves the show much to my bewilderment - I just think it is appalling, and completely unrealistic. She has always been obsessed with her weight, I just think... hmm.

I remember being in high school, terrified of becoming one of the 'fat girls'. Terrified that if I gained weight, that I would be considered less than - lazy - weak. I remember being told "Oh you have to be especially careful, Jo - your body will gain weight quickly, like your cousins" - regardless of the fact that at the time, I was barely 45kg.  I would play a game with myself, with everyone actually - taking the bare minimum to school (a muesli bar and fruit juice), and then eat as little as possible at home, but not to the degree that I would have been called out on. Control, Control, Control. The only thing that at the time, I could do.

Now I am the 'fat girl'? I really don't care. I love my body, it is been through hell and back, and it is still here. I am not weak, lazy, or worth less. Frankly, there are many other things to worry about in life. When I read this article (which is BRILLIANT, btw), it was my 'aha' moment. The author writes-

Now I understand what it’s like to grow up in a society that tells women that their beauty matters most, and at the same time defines a standard of beauty that is perpetually out of our reach. I also know the pain of internalising these messages. We have become our own jailors and we inflict our own punishments for failing to measure up. No one is crueller to us than we are to ourselves.
But this madness has to stop, Mum. It stops with you, it stops with me and it stops now. We deserve better – better than to have our days brought to ruin by bad body thoughts, wishing we were otherwise.

If you want to lose weight, that is your choice. But don't make it your daughter's choice. And her daughter' choice and so on. Live a healthy life by all means, but don't try and fit yourself, and your daughters into an impossible box.

It's simple - don't criticise your body in front of your daughter. Or criticise her body. Even little things like 'oh I have put on weight this week - ugh' can be locked in your daughter's head, becoming a beating chant that never leaves it. Don't be ashamed of the stretch marks, the scars, the round, undulating curves. Every woman deserves to be loved just the way she is. This isn't about burying your head in the sand - being healthy matters. But aiming for a ridiculous ideal that doesn't suit every body is not healthy.

I don't want my daughter to grow up with that chant in her head. I want her to feel that her mother loves her own body , and that of hers as well. That she is empowered to make healthy choices not governed by a ridiculous ideal. I want to change the conversation. I know that my mum never wanted me to starve, or become anorexic, but indirectly, her words did very nearly push me in that direction. I love my Mum don't judge her for this - no doubt, she grew up with the same dialogue - and I can see that she is trying to change the way she talks about her body and mine. But I CAN recognise my own struggles in this area, and not continue the cycle. I CAN change the dialogue.


Friday, May 24, 2013

A Plan for Me, Not We

Now that everything has changed, suddenly, I have to come up with a new life plan - or something I can plan for, hope for. A plan for me, not we.

But right now, I have a rough (very rough) 5 year plan. Goals that I can set myself, and hopefully achieve before my 30th birthday.

  1. Finish my move to Brisbane, into a share house. 
  2. Find a job in childcare industry, and get my Cert 3, or possibly my diploma. I have already partially completed my Cert 3 in high school, I just never got an opportunity to finish it. 
  3. Begin looking for nannying positions overseas - Europe, UK, USA, or Canada. 
  4. Go nannying overseas for 6 months/1 year. Maybe go for 6 months, home for 6 months, and go again for 6 months. 
  5. Come home. Get reestablished, find a home of my own. Get a job in the childcare industry. 
  6. And finally... have a baby. On my own. Yes, on my own, but ideally, in a co-parent situation. Or, look at fostering.

I know, I know, I don't know what is going to happen in the future. I might find an excellent man and get remarried. But I might not, and I need a plan if that doesn't happen. And to be brutally honest, I don't know if I want a long term relationship with a guy again, at right now, and possibly forever. I don't see myself ever not having men in my life (that is just my personality!), but not in a long term relationship type of way. Growing up, I always wanted a child more than a husband - it is just the way I am. Perhaps instead of forcing myself into a box, I need to look at options outside of it. And one of those options is (for all intents and purposes), to do it on my own. And if I think, and plan for it now, it means I have 5 years to plan, organise, think it through and financially stabilize myself so that my child/ren come into a world where they were not only desperately wanted, but planned and provided for.

I recognise that this plan is hard - and that being a single mother is hard. I recognise that it will bring its own challenges, prejudices and judgements. But nothing in life is guaranteed. I can't wait for that perfect (and frankly, unattainable) man, or postpone my plans, for possibly forever, just so I do it the way others think it should be done. Thankfully, I live in an era where I have the freedom to make another choice. That that choice even exists.

If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, 
never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.  
~Flavia Weedn~

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Lately, I have just been a big ball of anxiety, stress, worry and desperation. I feel that moving out date creeping closer, and I feel so far behind, and out of control. I worry if I am doing the right thing, even though the rational part of me knows that it is a healthy step forward.

 Anxiety tends to be the most difficult, and debilitating demon in my mind. I am always on edge, and nearly always fake otherwise. I have a deep love of organisation - and ultimately, of perfection, but find the process to achieve that organisation and perfection stressful and at times, overwhelming - because after all, perfection is impossible.

For me, as long as it 'looked' pretty from the outside (particularly my marriage), I was ok. I could cope. When cracks appeared, I tried to fix them. But the reality, was so very different. The cracks just got bigger or lingered and grew under the surface, until I was drowning in them.  Until we were drowning in them. Lies and truth became indistinguishable - and one of us thought that lies were preferable to the truth, while the other thought that the lie of the image was more important than the truth that one partner was always lying to them.

With the benefit of hindsight, of course, things become clearer.

But doubt brings desperation, worry, anxiety. The only one I can control is myself.


Monday, May 13, 2013

The Devil in the Details

I know I can't take one more step towards you
Cause all that's waiting is regret
And don't you know I'm not your ghost anymore?
~ Jar of Hearts, Christina Perri~

Letting go has been a complicated, ever twisting, ever moving milestone. Everytime I think that finally, I am on the right track, it just pops up again - as with anything, the devil is in the details. 

I have been through the process before - of letting go of the person that hurts you - particularly someone that is supposed to love you. It's different this time round, but no less difficult, and no less complicated.  And above all, still equal parts heartbreak and peace. 

Last time, it was not a person I chose to have in my life to begin with, but rather had always been there. This time, it was someone I had chosen, and sometimes it feels like I share a little more of the responsibility for it falling apart the way it did. Regardless of whatever terrible decisions he made, I also made bad ones. Some would say I should have stayed, some say I should have left a long time ago, but I left when the timing was right for us both. We had come to the end of our journey - we weren't moving forward, but were, instead, just stuck. 

And to a degree, it feels like we are still stuck - by our home. Well, my home now, because he does not technically live here anymore. It feels like like he has just gone away on a holiday, even though I know that is not the case, and in fact, just desperately want to feel the opposite. I want things to be ordered, settled, and what is mine to feel like mine, instead of 'ours'. It is no longer we, our, us. It is now just me. 

But the devil is in the details.