I got a Ticket… On the way to the Airport

I have spent a good chunk of my adult life in airports.

I adore travel for business and leisure.  My beloved husband agreed to attend an EV and technology tradeshow in Berlin for my birthday this year.

Rather unfortunately, beloved husband had to stay back in New Zealand this week as he’s speaking at a conference and attending a very important meeting thing that I am not allowed to talk about.  (Eye roll)

ANYWAY!

I am footloose and fancy free for a couple of weeks in Europe.

I attended the IDTechEx show and met some wonderful people, and got to know three Kiwi colleagues a lot better over the days that we were hanging out together.  Very fond of all of them, and we all got a lot out of attending the conference.  Admittedly, one of the things I got was a massive hangover as I stayed out till 4:00am drinking on the eve of my Birthday. A couple of days later and I am feeling quite human again.

I am here at the Berlin Tegel airport, hours ahead of catching my flight to Amsertdam because I mistakenly thought I was booked on a star alliance flight and would therefore have lounge access.  WRONG.  I am flying with KLM and they are sky scanner not star alliance, so I am sitting here at a table in a crowded terminal catching up on Blog posts.  I’ll also be writing to the potentially soon to be ex-travel agent to inquire as to why I am not booked on star alliance.  I could have done all of this myself with less hassle.  Grrr.

The trip to the airport was fraught.  I don’t fully grasp the german rail ticket thing so the four single trip passes I bought when I landed (enough to get me to and from the airport I thought as I had to take one bus and one train each way) were not validated and no good.  I managed to score a nice shiny $60Euro ticket for fucking up something as simple as buying a train ticket.  Admittedly, it was all quite comical, as the German ticket collector fella was SO GERMAN and there was no way he was going to let me get away with this, even though it was obvious that I had made an earnest attempt to do the right thing and purchase the correct ticket.  He did, however, assure me that the German government probably won’t care enough to send me a ticket to New Zealand.  I guess we will see.

Shortly after receiving my nice big infringement notice, the train I was on stopped and we all had to get off and wait for a new train.  The new train was VASTLY overcrowded and I was squeezed into the carriage like a sardine.  There was a couple of other women, one who looked Chinese, and one who was Italian, trying to get to the airport.  They asked me for help.  I explained that I am probably not the right person to be asking, but I did know that we had to get the TXT bus from the station to get to the airport.

It was nice to make a short but real connection with some strangers, as I’ve become very acutely aware that I am very reliant on human interaction and connectedness.  I’m missing my husband and children, and I am missing my friends and workmates as well.

I won’t let this put a damper on the amazing opportunity to explore Europe and connect with some of our EV and green tech colleagues.  I am feeling pretty blessed and pretty deflated all at the same time.

So I’ll wrap this little whinge session up now I guess.  I’ll be boarding the plane in a little more than an hour, and until then I will try and catch up on some actual work.

Once I arrive in Amsterdam (my next stop) I think I will venture into the city and walk along the canals and maybe stop at a hash bar and read a book for a couple of hours.  Whether I can be bothered venturing out at all…

Better go and catch up on some other stuff.

Hope you are well, whatever you’re up to over the weekend ahead.

 

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My Castle, My Book, and my Busy, BUSY Brain

I do not know if it is the jet lag, or the emotional rollercoaster of the past few weeks, or maybe some sort of hallucination as I am on day four of a 500 calorie per day diet (mostly on purpose, but also because I am just too exhausted to be hungry).

But today, All my plans were reduced to dust and I ended up in one of my favourite places on earth.

I am here now, in a room in Hotel Muller where I have stayed twice before.  This is my fourth trip to the castle.  I always come alone, except once when I was here with my wonderful mother in law and Adam when he was in a front pack, just a baby of less than a year old.

I love this place.  It might be my Austrian blood, as I am predominantly Austrian thanks to my father being exceptionally German/Bavarian/Austrian/Czech or whatever he is.  It might just be my active imagination and huge heart.  I don’t care really what the reason is, but this place is one of those places that holds a special kind of magic for me.

I am in two minds about sharing it, because part of the magic was that few people took the pains to come here when I first started to visit.  Now, the place is always crawling with people.

I digress (as I am so often prone to do!)

While I was walking up to the castle, a familiar feeling washed over me.  I was angry at all the tourists and visitors for invading this sacred place.  I felt like somehow the eccentric genius, shrouded with mystery, King Ludwig was being defiled with their presence.  And of course I never think of Ludwig without thinking of Sissy… And that’s how today’s super wave of crazy inspiration began.

“This is NOT your fucking castle!” I felt like saying to anyone not showing an appropriate amount of reverence for this place. “Show some fucking respect!” I wanted to huff at the joke-cracking jackasses on my tour.

So that’s a wee look into my crazy for today, but the REALLY important thing is this:

There’s a book in me, and the chapters, the literary tools, the characters, the plot and the narrator have been invading my senses to the point I fear my heart and head might actually explode.

So here is the first little taste of the first chapter of the book I’ll give myself a year to finish.  Feel free to offer feedback.  This is first draft, zero edit, zero changes.  It kinda just flowed out of my fingers like words and laughter flow out of my mouth…

I’ll also share a few snaps of the day today…  Just because more people read my fucking blog if I include pictures.

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This is the face of a woman who got hit with a creative brick… Hope it turns into something I finish for a change!
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My Castle (not really obviously) Neuschwanstein
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It snowed all afternoon, and by early evening everything was melting and birds were singing
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Holy CRAP my head is sooooo full of ideas. Freaking magic this place!
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Waterfall on the way up to the castle.  Water is going to be a BIG metaphor and literary tool in this story… You’re only getting the first few hundred words though, until it is all done!

OKAY!  Ready?  Here it is:

Soundtrack chapter one:

Enigma – return to innocence; Natalie Merchant – Wonder;  Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun to Care) – Michael Nesmith (1971); Something is Worrying Me – Otis Redding AND the MOST important song for the first chapter is: 

Wagner – ‘Parsifal’ – Act I Prelude

So it begins:

My name is Kathryn. With a K and a Y. Like the lubricant jelly.  I am not Kathy. Sometimes Kate. Most often Katie.

 

I’m the narrator for the story you’re settling in to read. I’ll be telling you this story from a second person omniscient perspective just to fuck with you and push the limits of your logic. Basically, what that means is I am intimately and completely immersed with, and entirely knowledgeable of all the characters and events you are about to get seriously fucking attached to as this story unfolds.

 

This story, or at least hundreds (if not thousands) of stories just like this have been told through the ages.  The only thing that sets this apart is that I can swear to you that every word is true, as queer and confusing as the story appears, it is all as real as you are.

 

What I can assure you as you go through these pages that lay before you, as yet undiscovered is this:

 

Love and passion are eternal and unbreakable. They are also powerful forces for harm or healing, and sometimes the love that filters down through our human experience gets steeped in tragedy unless the right kind of magic comes along to change the cycle.

 

Hate can also be a pretty powerful and unbreakable force, but that’ll become dreadfully clear in time as well.  And fuck hate.  Hate is not what I am here to convince you of.  It is destructive and cowardly.  I’m here to prove to you, once and for all, that true Love is immortal and eternal.  Time is not what you think it to be, and magic is a force far greater and more common than you can currently imagine.  

 

This is a story about Cecilia Maria Jamieson. One of the best bitches to ever walk this earth. It is a story about her lover Stephen, her husband Mark, Mark’s many lovers (one lover in particular being Mrs. Cassandra Church), and at least one incarnation of her life lived in the 21st century, to heal the hurt of the 19th century tragedy she once endured.

 

If you’re already confused, you might want to trade this book in for some Fifty Shades of Grey smut; or perhaps even some self-help bullshit, because it only gets weirder as we delve into this delicious, destructive, inspiring and absolutely true story.

 

Before I acquaint you with the characters in this story, let me tell you a few things:

 

First, I regularly practice appalling language. Unlike the pristinely perfect protogaonist CeeCee, who wouldn’t say shit if her mouth was full of it.

 

You’ll see me slip in and out of story-teller mode, and you’ll notice me telling you about things I could not have witnessed because I was not there. Trust me when I tell you that every detail is accurate and honest.

 

Second, you’ll see that there’s a list of songs at the top of each chapter. You can play these while you read the chapter, on repeat or in the background. You can also listen to the songs after you’ve read the chapter and let it all sink in. You’ll get a taste of everything form Wagner to Black Sabbath throughout this story, so I am hopeful that this journey together will expand, not only your faith in magic, Love and reincarnation, but also your musical knowledge. If you don’t want to listen to the songs at any point, I give exactly zero fucks. But trust me when I say, the soundtrack for each chapter will have meaning and multiply your enjoyment if you just suck it up and trust me on this shit.

Shall we begin?

Okay… there’s heaps more but that is all anyone is going to see until it is finished.  Except Phteven and a few other mad keen reader friends and editors.  Good God I hope I can finish this, because it feels like it is going to be a very, VERY good story.

I might just be delirious from hunger and lack of sleep though, so please throw your feedback right at me if you have the time and inclination.

XXOO

Dee

 

An Embarrassment of Riches

I’m a pretty fucking lucky little princess.  I have health, wealth and I laugh loud and often with good friends.  Fights and disagreements are almost always swift and help me to evolve.  I am well fed, well loved, and (usually) well groomed.

I should be the happiest fat little pampered pussy cat on the planet.

Yet, somehow, I always feel like it is all going to end any moment.  Worse perhaps, I want to run screaming into the hills away from this idyllic life, career and family.

There’s a genuine psychological affliction called imposters syndrome.  I’ve taken the liberty of diagnosing myself with it.

There’s a good summary of imposters syndrome on Wikipedia, but I prefer the CalTech Website information, which you may expand upon by clicking, or is summed up with:

Impostor Syndrome

Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence.

You know what is really interesting about imposter syndrome? Women are extremely over-represented as suffering with it.

This pisses me off.

So why can’t we all just be proud of our achievements, no matter how great or small?  Why can’t we feel so confident in our skills and talents that our efficacy overflows and infects those around us with greatness?!?!

No matter how many times I hear positive things (and admittedly, I almost ALWAYS dig for any compliment I receive because I am very needy) I never believe that I have earned, or deserve any of the great stuff I am privy to.

I had an amazing marriage counsellor a few years ago, his name was Richard.  He saved my marriage when it was in very real danger of dissolving.  I’ll always remember one conversation with him about my intense and almost indulgent self-loathing.  The fact I feel grossly inadequate and generally like a fake or an intruder in the amazing social and professional circles I am lucky enough to frequent, means I need to assuage my middle-class guilt constantly.  The only thing that truly fills up my empty is doing shit for other people.  True story!  Like small things or large.  Smiling at strangers or moving heaven and earth to help someone or get behind a cause I feel is worthy.  Richard pondered this for a while.  A few weeks in fact.  And he came back to me with this:

“Dee, I’m not meant, in my professional capacity to encourage people to be actively self loathing… but, if it is the fuel that feeds all the good shit that you do, then have at it.”  or something very close to that at any rate.

There’s a down side to all of this needing to help people shit of course.  Phteven wanted me to mention that people walk all over me; like, a lot.  Sometimes my efforts to help are more of a hinderance.  Sometimes people hurt me because I am a very visible and easy target.  But when something good works, and when I find something useful to do that seems to help, my self hatred abates for long enough that I can think straight and keep carrying on with my crazy, busy, wonderful, life…

So now, I am sitting in the Koru Lounge, having finished a few reviews, written some overdue copy, talked to dozens of friends on several social media platforms, bought some noise cancelling headphones, and pondered how unbelievably lucky I am to be jetting off for a whirlwind adventure in Europe and the USA connecting with other Green Tech and EV enthusiasts.

I do not have any chance of understanding how I ended up with this life when most people struggle.  I will NEVER feel like I’ve earned any of it, and I will spend every day of my life trying to assuage the guilt and insecurity I feel because this is the life I lead.

I will, however, relish every amazing moment and grab every chance to enjoy and experience life with both fucking hands!

And maybe, just maybe, I can figure out how to STOP feeling like everyone in the whole world knows that I am just a loud, awkward, selfish, crazy, needy, over-the-top TRAIN WRECK!  If I am successful I promise I’ll share all my learnings, and help to encourage other women who I know are suffering from terrible imposters syndrome to overcome it as well.

I look at the people I know and see so much that I admire, and Love about them.  People who have their priorities right.  People who seem to walk the talk on sustainability and kindness so much more than I do.  People who never utter a bad word about anyone and bring so much joy and comfort to those lucky enough to know them.  And, I also know that many of these people who I so greatly admire, suffer from the same self-doubt as I do.  Especially the women.

So, if you’ve taken the time to read this, thank you.  And if you are one of the people I speak of with imposters syndrome… STOP IT!  You are amazing and WONDERFUL and POWERFUL and GREAT!

I wish I could hug all the self doubt right out of you… but I am just boarding my plane.

XXOO

Maybe I do.

Any day of the week you will hear me utter:

“Oh, will you look at all the many fucks I simply do not give!” with a sassy, energetic, sarcastic and generally highly animated delivery.

fly away fuck

I had a moment today that made me realise that I’m fooling myself though.

That moment, was when I was traveling home to the house after running around getting Stephanie and Daniel’s shit together for sleepover parties, and picking up various bits and bobs before we hit the road.

It happened on the way home from the mall with James nearly falling asleep, and Steph finally seemingly human again after she’d been replaced by some screaming demon creature thing this afternoon.  There’s a guy, seems he might be a bit toothless, good tan on him, probably in his 60’s I’d say?  Anyway, he often sits at the corner up in Glenfield on the road back to our house, and he dances.  He has some headphones in, a tight 80’s jumpsuit and he just gives ‘er some shit and busts out moves for all to see as they trundle along Glenfield road.  THIS guy ACTUALLY gives zero fucks. I was pretty jealous for a while. But because I am often saying; comparison is the thief of joy, I decided not to be jealous.  He has his road I have mine.  But I have to say, there are some days that standing on a corner on a warm day and listening to good tunes while dancing however THE HELL I WANT TO would be a nicer prospect than the constant, heavy, anxiousness of feeling like I have so much more to do!

And then I got to thinking.  I say that I am done, or I’ll hang up my boxing gloves and get out of the ring.  Seems lately that I’ve done too many rounds fighting to be a decent person, acceptable parent, desirable and interesting woman and friend, above average wife, sustainability champion, boss, bosses wife, traveler, writer, daughter, and joyful participant and observer on the journey through life.  I beat myself up constantly because I should and could do more to be good, and end up dropping the ball so often.

bethegood

I have fooled a lot of people into thinking that I don’t have any more fucks to give.  The truth is, I probably do.  I still get upset when people struggle and I watch them.  My instinct is to help, but 37 years of sticking my nose into other people’s trials and tribulations has taught me that for the most part, it is better if I let people figure their own stuff out.  I get upset at the news.  I get upset when things go wrong. I get upset when I hurt people by doing or not doing something.  I REALLY get upset when the kids are struggling or there’s issues at home.  I get upset when Grumpy is stressed and miserable to me.  I get upset that the planet is choking.  I get upset the the reefs are bleaching.  I get upset that children go hungry or unprotected or cared for.  I get upset that people do everything right but still fail.  I get upset that ignorance, fear and hatred feeds MORE ignorance, fear and hatred…

So.

I guess for someone who have away her last fuck, I am holding onto quite a few still.

Rather than just caring and feeling stink about the state of play, I do think the best thing myself, or anyone else can do is SOMETHING.  Yes, do something.  The heaviness of the bad stuff can crush you at any moment, but if you keep momentum it will not.

I’m not going to tell you what kind of something you should/could do.  Doing something can be like Yoga, the gym or a walk.  Or it could be planning a massive philanthropic visit to a far flung Nepalese village to teach family planning and distribute medical supplies.  It could be spending more time with your family.  It could be travel.  Meditation.  I ACTUALLY DO NOT GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU DO.  Just keep doing something.  Even if it is actively relaxing or getting some much needed rest.

If you are someone who knows me IRL and I have fooled  you into thinking that I am confident and have a clear direction or path that I am able to pursue without deviation or distraction, I am sorry.  You may hear me say I have no more fucks to give, but I do.  From the bottom of my heavy heart right now I do.  I give quite a few fucks and I’ll try very hard to keep doing something until I can see that something is getting done.

I hope you are able to find some somethings that you can care about and do the same.

XXOO