Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Loving Adam {adventures in dating}

Almost two years ago I matched with a guy on a dating app who told me his name was Adam Watson. For 18 months we were seeing each other in a pretty low key way. I was busy and he was busy and we didn't see each other often, but we talked or messaged every day and we didn't see other people.

Adam was everything I thought I wanted in a guy, but he was busy and there was something about him that I knew he was hiding. My guess was that maybe he still lived on the property of his ex wife. Sometimes that happens. I fully believed what he said, because I could often verify it. Anyway I knew he was not being completely honest but I didn't know what about and I didn't pry much because I wasn't ready for a full on relationship anyway. I always knew that he wasn't a forever guy, in that he was never going to change from his workaholic ways, but I loved him and he loved me and I decided to worry about the details later.

But then one day I got a phone call from his wife, the one he told me he was divorced from for four years. Lets just say that didn't go well. I also heard from his son (he was actually nice) who explained that not only was Adam not called Adam, he had a wife and a girl friend and maybe some other women as well on the side. I heard from his daughter, she was not nice, I hung up on her. I don't think I'm the baddie in this story.

I've spoken to his girlfriend (let's call her Sarah) several times and I really like her. She's a lovely person and she sounds just like me. In an other life, we would be friends.

Let's just say that these revelations were an absolute shock to me. It was far beyond the scope of anything I could possibly have imagined. It was devastating. Of course Adam Watson wasn't his real name. Even that was a lie. His lies were so many and so detailed, I don't know how he kept track of them. He's one smart guy, shame he uses it to manipulate vulnerable women.

But Sarah told me that maybe he was there for me for that time and to take the good. And that really resonated with me. Adam was so encouraging to me. His good morning texts made me feel visible to someone in a time when I felt invisible in big part of my life. His faith in me, helped me to make the decision to do my masters. It wasn't all bad. It was lonely and frustrating but his absence made me do all the hard things myself and made me stronger.

After his wife rang (she confronted him too) I never spoke to him again. I prayed that I would never run into him because I could not face it. Until two nights ago when an unknown number texted me and it was him. I could not believe it. He said he was sorry, he always knows the right things to say; it's what he does. I got to say all the things I needed to say. And then say good bye. And then I blocked him. And then I texted Sarah.

I woke up the next morning and felt so much relief. Relief that I didn't get sucked into his lies again (it could have been so easy). Relief that I was able to tell him how much he hurt me. Relief that I've moved on and don't need that anymore.

I'm dating again. I've met the loveliest guy and we have been out for dinner a few times and to the movies. We actually get to do things together. I can ring him and he's not too busy to answer. He's what I didn't know I was looking for. I have hope, I refuse to not have hope. I'm so scared but I'm not going to let Adam win. I'm learning to trust again.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

New beginnings and a fresh view...

To get to my new job, I take a slightly longer route each morning so I can drive past
the filtration ponds (known locally as the "poo ponds") and see the sun rise.
Then when I turn left I can see the mountains in the distance.
I missed the mountains the most when we left Rolleston a year ago
(how was that only a year ago?)

The strangest thing though, is that you cannot see any of the city.
Just the road I am on and the mountains far away.
It's a refreshing perspective, and a reminder I value as I start every day.

This last month I have been striving to live life like that. 
Keeping my eye on the prize and trying not to focus on all the things in between.
We were mostly successful really. 
We managed to pack up our whole house,
store some of the children's precious things in the attic
and my books in the attic at work.

After all the sorting, we still did end up with a truck load of stuff, 
but we discovered that if you give all your precious possessions a ride in a truck
and pile them outside at the required destination;
that it is far far easier to get rid of them.

To say we decluttered is an understatement.

And now Annie and I have mixed our treasures together,
we have Marie Kondo'd our clothes to the enth degree
and we have played jenga with the possessions we decided to keep.

In the kitchen, Chrissy and I merged our resources together,
keeping the best of both kitchens. Making a space where we can work together
and find everything we want close to hand.

Jacob carried out a mighty mission in the garage.
The camping gear that we absolutely could not part with is now stacked up neatly.
We were not ready to part with all that yet.
We hope to have some more camping adventures in the next few years.

And now here we all are, blending our lives together.
It's so lovely to be able to work together
and the household is running so smoothly so far.
Even all our pets are getting on at this point, long may it continue.

I think as long as we keep our eyes on the big picture
and don't focus on the little things that may annoy us in time,
we will all be able to live happily together until life
moves us on to another stage.

But first, rest and recovery and some catching up of study!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Encouragement Project

Recently I have been lucky enough to be part of the encouragement project
which is being trialed by my friend Abraham.

Abraham does these photos on Instagram and it always
makes me happy to see them.

(By the way Abraham is married to the fabulous Rhiannon
who makes the dresses I wear. Between them they are
a beautiful pair of amazingly talented creative
humble people.)

Anyway back to the encouragement project.
As part of the project, we had to tell Abraham what our goals
are that we were working towards.

Now I am have a pretty stressful year, as it turns out
and both of the times I have been part of the trial,
have been extra extra stressful for some reason.

I absolutely loved getting the texts from Abraham in the morning,
it make my heart warm to know that someone 
cared enough to send me a text. 

I learned a whole lot about myself through the project.
I learned that I am pretty motivated actually and I already
work consistently at my goals.

But what I really needed was encouragement
to be able to acknowledge to myself that I was doing great.
To keep going and to not be discouraged.

This last time I don't think I meet my goals,
but I did a whole lot of other things that were all vital in moving forward.
The texts from Abraham were a huge encouragement
to keep going, to not give up and, most importantly
to take a moment to acknowledge that actually I'm doing great.

For me the encouragement project is a success.
When Abraham runs the program for real, I will be signing up,
you can't really put a value on having someone
remind you that moving forward is not easy
but absolutely worth it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Beginning is easy, continuing is hard {Japanese Proverb}

I've been writing this blog for years now. Many years.
It's become a way for me to process all the things in my head
and in someways, a journal of the meanderings of my life.
There's so much going on in my life right now,
that I'm just going to take 10 minutes and capture them.

It would be an understatement to say that I'm going through a period of change.
There's so much change, its ridiculous. Tomorrow I finish my current job
and on Monday I start a new one. 

This job almost broke me to be honest,
(it probably almost broke my boss too actually)
but I learned to make cold calls like a pro
and I've mostly got over the deep sense of failure I developed in the first 12 months.
I learned to have great self talk, and to set mini goals for myself
that made it seem like I was actually making progress.
It's a shame to leave just as I am getting good at it,
but that's how it is I'm afraid.

Anyway on Monday I start a new job that I'm very excited about
in which I truly hope I can make a difference every day
and it's a lot closer to my future social worker heart.
But because of this new job (I'll tell you about it sometime)
I have had to bring forward the changing of my name.

I'm legally changing my name, but I'll keep blogging under Deb
but if you know me in my real life, you will know that I have a new name.
The reason is because I've been writing here for so long,
my Deb Robertson name is very very easy to find
and that's not such a good thing for my future roles.
I plan to keep writing in this space as Deb, I hope you can still find me if you want to!

And then because clearly two life changes are not quite enough,
Annie and I are moving house. 
Once again, this was something we were planning, but not quite right now.
But a few things have come together and so it's happening in two weeks.
This weekend I'm packing the things to go in storage
(all the books and two 60 litre containers of precious things)
and sorting the things that we will take with us.
and the much much larger pile of what we will get rid of.

Our sweet little house is being rented to a young friend of mine
and he's found himself some flatmates.
I hope it all goes well for all of us.
Annie and I are moving in with family for three years
while I finish my studies.

It's going to be really lovely and we are looking forward to it.
But also I won't lie, we are sad to be leaving our house
and we might not come back to live here (but that's another future post).
We have only been here for a year
and we can't quite believe we are moving already.

In the meantime I'm still trying to finish an essay that is almost killing me
and catch up on my studies while working full time.

I'm filled with a whole lot of feelings that I'm having trouble processing.
I don't know really what's going on, but I am holding onto hope that it's all going to be ok.

I've come so far now. I can't give up.
Even though right now, I have moments when really really wish I could.

There's been a few quiet tears in the shower
and lots of encouraging words from friends helping us to get through.

We will get there I think. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Parenting, hard times and still fighting to move forward

I don't know if it is because time has passed and we have settled into our role parenting apart, 
or if it is the season we are in, but I have noticed that it has become easier to have a working relationship wth the children's dad. For a long time, it was hard work to make things work and often harsh words were said that I regretted later.

{We are human after all and there are reasons why we aren't married to each other any more!!}

Currently we are working through probably the toughest patch in our parenting story,
and it is fortunate that this easing of things has coincided with having to work together
to make truly difficult decisions. 

I'm also finding myself increasingly grateful for all the things that Annie's dad and step-mum
do with her. They take her on amazing holidays, they do all sorts of activities
and often show up when I can't.

I don't want to have a pity party, but I'm becoming increasingly aware
that I have given myself an impossible workload.
And so I'm working to make a few really big changes
so that I can get through this patch alive. 

It turns out three years is quite a long time when you under it so to speak,
I know that in a few years I will look back and it will seem but a moment.
So with this in mind, I am planning some practical changes in the next few months.
In the meantime, I'm loving for both the fact that Annie's dad sends me photos of her having a truly
wonderful time when he has her, and also I'm working hard to make thing work out better for us.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A celebration of life for Cam

On Sunday I was incredibly fortunate to be able to fly to Melbourne to go to Camille's (Curlypops) funeral on Monday. It truly was a celebration of her life and although there were lots of tears, there was a lot of laughter too. Cam managed to maximise the influence that her life made and that was evidenced by all the people there.

 For a lot of us, it was the first time we had actually met in real life. There were people there I have known for more than 10 years, who I have watched their children grow up, who I have laughed with and cried with; but who I have never given a hug to. That is because our friendships were begun in the early days of the blogging community. A time when we found our tribe. That's how we all knew Cam, who was our connection to each other.

So although it was sad and we will miss Cam forever, it was amazing to share the experience of grief and shed our tears together, as opposed to in our individual houses like we usually do. To give and receive hugs from people who we knew. We all did know each other. It was amazing.

 We all sat around a table drinking our coffee and talking. And then some of us pulled out our knitting or our stitching and we talked the afternoon away. I feel like this was exactly what Cam would have wanted. Even though it was a sad sad time, being together definitely did help.

 Blogging and our shared passion for making things brought us all together. You don't often get a chance to be part of a big group that all get you, that think about things like you do and that have such a shared history. I really felt like I was with my tribe. It was a very healing experience. I made two new friends too, which was awesome. We made plans to catch up again.

I'm so grateful to Cam for this gift she gave us. We will never forget her and we miss her desperately.

Monday, April 22, 2019

I love you Cam xox

My heart is so sad tonight. One of our dear friends, Cam,  (Curlypops) is dying in Melbourne. Cam has been so full of colour and light that it hurts so much to see that light being extinguished.

In the early days of the Internet when it was all fresh and new and exciting, a lot of us started blogs.
There was a whole world out there and we could connect with it. I was living an extremely difficult life and blogging was like a light in the darkness. Finally I could find people like me. It literally changed my life.

One of the people I met was Cam. Cam was sewing the brightest of bright fabrics while waiting for a lung transplant. In 2012 I met Cam when I went to Melbourne for my brother’s wedding and I posted a photo on Instagram and she said, you are in my neighbourhood! I visited her again after her transplant bringing a quilt I made with a lot of help from Cam’s friends. (The photo with this post is of a hottie cover I made for a fundraiser that Cam organised)

I count Cam as a dear friend. Whenever we are in the same city we visit. But we keep in touch through the happenings on Instagram.

And now she is leaving us. She leaves the biggest biggest hole in our community. She is an example to us to embrace life with everything that we have. I cannot even imagine not seeing her around in our online spaces.

This afternoon I sewed a rainbow quilt, because rainbows are what I think of when I think of Cam.

Love you Cam, you will live forever in our hearts. Fly free sweet sweet friend.