Don’t look back. You can only look forward and look toward a place you do not know until you reach it. Sometimes, as difficult as it seems, you must learn to leave what you have grown to love be it somewhere you have lived and where perhaps your yesterdays are all buried deep. It is an odd feeling leaving. You not only miss the existence of the life you have built for yourself but most of all, you miss the person you have been at that time in that place and you know you will never feel that same way again.
Perhaps there are times where the bottom is supposed to fall out of our lives. We lose what we love, we lose our trust and faith and we lose the truth of what we thought we believed so very deeply in. When this happens, you can find yourself in a very dark place and it is from here you have the choice whether to move on or not.
So very Southern. The glorious magnolia flower………
Our trip home, documented in the last 15 posts, was disconcerting at best. Amazing yet heartbreakingly difficult all at the same time. Our lives thrown into careless turmoil and all the while dearly missing our family Gus and Zoe. How were we to know when we packed up our home and our lives in the beautiful state of South Australia (a wonderful posting, as every one of our postings have been) in November of 2013 to begin that remarkable journey, that it would end as it did. That life would change in an instant! A single very ordinary instant and that we would be made to forfeit all which we never believed we could forfeit.
November 2013. Our entire home and lives packed up in readiness for this wonderful adventure. How could we have known it would end as it did………
Packed and ready to go………
Last moments in Sydney Australia. Cheers to a wonderful adventure……….
There is the realisation that one grows from something like this, as well one should, and you will learn much. During the most harrowing of times, although I thought I had lost absolutely everything, I gained so very much more. I only had to look for it.
I have learnt that I need not tie myself to the weight of other peoples’ worth for when they are not made of heart they hold no purpose in my life. I have discovered the world has people in it who will want to destroy you at any cost however the dehumanising process they use will only make you stronger and your determined courage will see you take your rightful stand.
In times such as these you also come to know your worth and you learn not to allow it to be measured by anyone else. That although overwhelmed by sorrow you won’t give up. You learn grief has no mercy but you endeavor to fight a good fair fight even against an opponent who will play the lowest and grubbiest of hands. That something like this also shows you that different people will spurn you in different ways and this is especially true the sly and cowardly piss weak when they have backing and the promise of immunity.
I have learnt I needed to allow my hurt to leave as though casting a stone and that in the baptism of fire of how truly cruel and hateful some women can be, you just need to hold fast your grace. Don’t ever allow those very disagreeable trolls who favor spite, unkindness, calumny and profound negativity to ruin your benevolence. Believe me, they are not worthy of it………xx.
I have come to understand I will still struggle with moments of bleak resentment toward those who so brutally drove all that happened. When my forgiveness wavers, I fret at my lack of compassion for them and this is only because it sees me momentarily lose sight to empathy and humility which I hold dear.
I am also able to recognise that although some have felt justified through misguided, outdated and restless social barriers they had the right to dislocate and make inconsolable, they in turn unwittingly unleashed the singular power of my self respect and this has driven me on. Regardless of the heinous bitter and very nasty shit they have thrown my way, I am stronger and more resilient than ever.
Most importantly though, I now know when assaulted from all sides and unsupported by those whom I should have been able to turn to yet were exiled from, I learnt to rely only upon myself. Big tip – Trust only yourself and believe in yourself always.
We met some wonderful people and their friendships will be with us life long. We had the most amazing time in America, as we have done in all of our postings, and we are so deeply grateful of our time there. We made the absolute most of every single opportunity to explore, to travel, to experience and to see and do……and believe me, we did 🙂 We took road trips of thousands of miles. Driving through the golden forge of Americas’ heartland. Through sleepy forgotten towns where a richness often lies in such brokenness yet these places become an awfully human place to exist. To vibrant cities of architectural beauty. Those magnificent steel and glass cities that sound of car and taxi horns and the thrum of a million people. We rode trolley cars and trains. Walked hundreds of miles on streets we could only have dreamt of walking. We flew in American skies over patchwork pastures and smog settled cities. In moments I remember the small things such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the dusting of snow Georgia received in our first weeks there, a terrace house in a neighborhood of Washington, glorious magnolia blossom, my first Georgia peach, blackened catfish and the very spot where Elvis fried up his peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Touch down in America saw us touring the incredibly beautiful city of San Francisco for a few days………..
A wealthy neighborhood where the hand of a Buddha statue held a leather catcher’s mitt. Where Martin Luther King died for his cause and where Presidents have been inaugurated. Blue Ridge Mountains, dear little chipmunks and ‘bandits’, diners and corner cafes, juke joints, those long long four lane concrete freeways, the slow drawl of the beautiful southern accent, water towers and the desolate painful trail of tears in Chattanooga. Sugar dusted beignets at Café du Monde, Spanish moss and mocking birds. Fresh home-made waffles and pancakes, fried chicken, pecan pie and corn bread. Sometimes it was the America I had always imagined and often it wasn’t, but perhaps this is what it means to travel.
Our teeny tiny snowman made from a dusting of Georgian snow……….
I missed the hot clotted air and heat of the south which wrapped around me, tanned my skin and frizzed my hair. The south has a heat which is indescribable yet it lets you discover your porch, friendships, lazy afternoons and a pitcher of anything icy cold.
Once back home in Australia, unsettled and with a sorrow I could not comprehend, I unpacked my bag and shook out a raging aching heart. It may have been over but really, it was only the beginning…………
And here in Newcastle, as unforeseeable as it was at that time, my life is all I imagined it to be. From the moment I arrived I knew I was home. Nowhere I had ever lived before gave the warmth of knowing I was home and you know instantly where you belong and that is the true beauty of life . At home and at one with that beautiful ocean and where optimism, one of humanities great traits, beguiles and where soul expanding moments continually happen.
Don’t look back. What matters is now. Go only forward and go with courage and dignity and summon that great value of the human spirit which is to never ever give up……..xx
Footnote: “Don’t look back. You’ll turn into a pillar of shit” is a line by Ellen Burstyn in the 1974 movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.