This is my mum and I circa 67.
In her book #inthemeantime, #iyanlavanzant wrote that when we're in our mothers wombs, we're marinating in whatever they're going through. I rang my mum straight away and asked how she felt when she was pregnant with me. She said "I was really happy and content because you were the first thing no one could take off me!" And I've always felt that, so it broke my heart only a few years ago when she admitted she felt like she'd been a bad mum to my brother and I. I've never met another human less selfless or more humble, generous and non judgmental than my mother. She was also the purest teacher for my own mothering attempts, especially since both my grandmother's died before I was born.
Everyone needs at least one rock in their lives who has their back and, having met so many women who don't get on with their mothers, I'm so grateful I hit the jackpot with mine!
So merely days after that last post IT happened.
Well - an IT.
I was almost at the end of my money and I didn't know if I was going to have to move back to the caravan behind my parents in my hometown this weekend, when I got up to a stunning sunny Sunday morning. As I had a shower, I wished upon wish that my son would ask me to go to brunch because I didn't know when I would have to leave and wanted to have one last quality outing with him and I was just so hungry. I could have texted but his airline stewardess girlfriend was home briefly and I was aware of me costing him money as he tries to save. However, just as I was dressing a text came in.
I couldn't text back quick enough.
When he picked me up he said he was sitting at KFC trying to get hold of his friend then suddenly thought Hold on a minute! then texted me instead.
He drove me south to a small village that was brimming with markets and we went straight to the busy cottagey cafe in the middle. He treated me to the most divine brunch with wine and beer and we just relaxed as we caught up on the past week and our progress. After that he drove back another way, through farmlands, until we came to a coastal road and like everyone we passed, we couldn't help but feel excited at the onset of summer.
As we were getting closer to town I said that all I felt like now was a coffee and my day would be complete. Anything else would be a bonus so he drove me to a small coffee shop. He was distracted on his phone and I couldn't bring myself to ask him to pay for it so, trying to stay calm I pulled out the last $20 note I had. When it was ready and the Barista handed it to me, my throat started constricting and tears threatened. I could tell I wasn't going to enjoy it. It was too big and too hot. As we walked back to the car, I was holding back a bout of hyperventilation as I obsessed over what food that wasted $5.50 could have bought instead.
We stopped in at his flat and sat out on the deck as his flatmates came and went, making the most of the fine weather. I drank my not nice but not revolting enough to throw out coffee and just chilled. There was nothing I could do about any of it so there was no point ruining such a relaxing day. After an hour or so we left to pick up his girlfriend then go to a supermarket. They'd invited me to stay for the flats Sunday dinner and needed to get the ingredients. Because I'd been obsessing over my last $14.50, I knew exactly what I would get to last me the week. Two loaves of bread and a block of butter. When we got to the check out, I had to borrow 30c of my son.
So that was it. I only had the money for my last weeks rent and the storage bill due the week after that which meant if I was to move back to the caravan the next weekend, I wouldn't have a cent to get there or pay rent or buy food etc.
Then IT happened.
For many years, at some stage in every day I've felt a profound sense of bliss. I've written about it before because it took me a while to get used to it. So you can imagine my surprise as I sat in the back seat of the car as we drove back to my sons flat, absolutely broke and verging on homeless, when I felt the familiar wave of excitement course through me. Shouldn't I have been feeling the opposite? As my mind processed what was happening I had a sudden jolt of understanding that took my breath away.
In that instant I understood that the material world no longer had any impact on me or my sense of self worth. That no matter where I was, who I was with, what I had or what I was doing, I would be happy! That I would continue to feel this state of bliss no matter what my circumstances.
Can you imagine how profound the resulting sense of freedom was?
Suddenly I knew that I didn't have to WAIT for the next film contract, that I could apply for any job that interested me, because I would be happy in whatever I was accepted for.
That I didn't have to WAIT for the perfect flat. That I could live in any environment, because I would settle in and make myself comfortable wherever I ended up.
I no longer had to WAIT to meet people and be invited to things because I felt worthy of friendship and love.
Ultimately, I hadn't understood until this moment that the pool of love within us is unlimited and, like with food, when you feel full, the last thing you need to think about is your next meal.
The wait is over.
On Monday I gave myself the day to roll around in the enormity of the repurcussions and fully feel the impact then on Tuesday I went to work. I started applying for jobs all over the place and within hours, after weeks of no responses, I had two interviews set up. Then yesterday friends and family started giving me surprise gifts and now it's Thursday night, I have more interviews next week and $848.60 in my bank account.
So. It turns out that the waiting was necessary afterall because if I hadn't, I would have got work sooner and never got to the low point where I was able to join these life changing dots and now, my life CAN truly begin...
Every day for the past 5 or so years I've felt waves of overwhelming bliss and excitement - a side effect that takes a bit of getting used to, that no one tells you about when you #overcomedepression. The excitement always felt like I was just about to have a breakthrough, that something big was just around the corner.
Today my son @cmiley24 picked me up, drove me around some sights and treated me to lunch and dinner because it's probably my last weekend in Auckland. As of this minute I have $3.70 to my name, no car and only the occasional driving shift so, unless a miracle happens in the next few days, I have to go back home to my parents caravan this weekend.
BUT. Despite all this, I was surprised to find I still felt teary with bliss and anticipation.
Do you see how significant this is?! Suddenly I realised the material world no longer had any impact on my sense of wellbeing and contentment.
In other words, it doesn't matter whether I'm in New Plymouth or New York, homeless or in a hotel, with friends or friendless, I will still be profoundly happy.
You would think that after overcoming addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, dermatilomania (picking), body dysmorphia and, most of all, depression, that I would be making the most of the freedom. I'm an OK writer and speaker, I'm not shy of crowds or camera's and I really really want to help people but I've discovered I have one more addiction and it's more debilitating than all the others put together. I'm addicted to biding time.
To be more specific - biding time until IT happens.
I have no idea but in my mind, it's when the rest of my life will truly begin.
Some might call it procrastination but the very nature of procrastination is avoiding doing something that needs to be done. I don't do that. I spend all day doing things that need to be done, I'm the Queen of taking care of business.
I'm good at lots of things but not exceptional at anything. I have no education and because I didn't stay at school, I never learned how to learn. I take courses but they're usually only a few days long because my attention span isn't so great and I get bored easily. I'll fully immerse myself in something until the novelty wears off then I move on. And because I have such a problem with retention, I then forget everything that I did learn.
So here's the irony.
If IT did happen - like an editor wanting me to write my story or someone inviting me to speak at an event that lead on to other speaking opportunities, or an agency seeing something contract-worthy in me - I would probably get bored and want to move on anyway. And because I know this, I just carry on taking care of business.
And the worst part about perpetually waiting (which can appear as being aimless and lacking motivation) is that others sense it and avoid me. People love being around engaged, progressive people and because I'm always happy and positive, people initially think I'm 'someone' then when they realise I'm not going anywhere, really fast, they move on. Really fast.
I've been this way all my life but it was easier to function before I based my life around contract work that I absolutely love because if I got bored with a job, I would just get another one. But with contract work, I always feel in limbo waiting for the next call and this feels like it's enabling my waiting addiction.
I've tried everything including coming to terms with just settling in to existing but when I try, I get restless. There's something deep inside me that reminds me that there are millions of people suffering and I haven't been through and overcome all that I have to keep that to myself and just work to live.
I do have a personality and presence and stories that people are attracted to, albeit temporarily, and I'm not scared of giving something a go so, as I keep asking myself, is this really about faith? Do I just have to continue to believe in the breakthrough I've felt coming all my life and remain on high alert, planting seeds everyday from my keyboard, convinced I'll get the chance I've dreamed about to help people or am I deluded?
I don't have an answer but in the meantime I'll carry on doing my housework, keeping my ironing up to date, uploading to Instagram and watching movies until something breaks. And judging by my bank account, that could be very soon...
Pimp My Attitude
This is where I think out loud as I transform my appearance, thought processes and most of all, attitude - no matter how unpretty.