A collector of people

Dearest Joan,

Before I get cracking in this post, I still suck at my Lenten promises. Yep.

Anyway, as you read this post/blog/ramble/letter, I hope your are in good health both physically and mentally, that work is ticking nicely and that you found some volunteers to help you out.

International Women’s Day. I have never given it a thought. It comes. It goes. This year I thought about it. Maybe it received more social media attention than it has before. Maybe it was because it was on my school calendar so I thought school might acknowledge it. They didn’t. Or maybe, I finally get how important women are.

Reflecting on this day and the days after, made me think about the women I have collected through the years and who in fact, are the ones on my top shelf. Ha! I make it sound so not personal when I write it like that, a little removed. I asked myself, if I could have anyone here, around my table right now, who would it be?

Actually, I couldn’t think of anything socially worse by having many people together. I am a one at a time kind of person. I digress or maybe I actually am on topic…

I was surprised by my decisions. People that I thought would be at the round table (it is in fact rectangular but that doesn’t read as well – maybe I now know how the Knights of the Round table were borne), were in fact not. Not because I don’t love and care for them, not because I wouldn’t do things for them but because I feel I have to explain myself to them.

Look – a person should not go through life without having to answer to their actions or thoughts – but there is a sense of ease that should come with friends. Maybe that is what it is that was the defining moment – ease.

Well who are these women – you, my cuz Ros, my friend Ella (who also reads this) and my friend Jayde.

Ros kind of makes it by default. The question for her is, how could she not be at the table? She knows everything of me growing up, she knows everything of me since returning to Oz. I cannot really blame her for not knowing 8 years in the UK. I was rather terrible at communicating that with anyone. We both know regular contact is not a strength of mine. Ros understands the cultural pressures too – though she as stayed close to the mould of it all and for that I admire her. She has a true sense of being Maltese. Oh, she also let me cut her hair when we were younger. I left her with a bald spot.

You dear Joan, are an easy one. You were there in my awakening that began with Pauleen. You got to see me begin to find the person I wanted to be in all it’s glorious awkwardness. We temporarily scooped ice cream together, my hair came out of a pony tail and I started to wear it down, I did trips to Wagga Wagga to see Jebidiah and eat a meal at your then boyfriend’s place where we burnt the saucepan. Hmm maybe not boyfriend. Maybe just a dude you had a lot of ‘chemistry’ going on with. The hiatus was a blessing because when we did catch up again you gave me sound advice on how to solve a problem I was having. It worked. And now though in a physical sense you drift in and out, you are permanently around in a much grander way.

Next up is Ella. Our connection began in an interesting way. She was my replacement when I went off on maternity leave. When I came back I worked with her and another friend. I think we would both say that the second half of the year was much better than the first AND that our friendship grew when we no longer worked together. Ella and I are very similar in temperament. hahahaha. We we stopped working together we found that we really did enjoy spending time together. Turns out she is my sister from another mister. She taught me about being girly through dresses. I so miss shopping with her. For me, the most memorable thing between us (besides going to her parties) was our morning swim before work. There was just something about the hour we spent doing that. It was freeing in so many ways. I find that Ella gets my emotional craziness in all it’s glory and is still happy to be my friend. I feel equally vulnerable with her. Apparently vulnerable people actually have greater depths of happiness.

My final lady is Jayde. She is a new friend. That doesn’t surprise me. In fact I think it is kind of to be expected. I met her at this job in Malaysia. We laugh lots. Have a common philosophy in teaching. Share a common moral centre. Turns out that both of these are really important here. She also does anything for me. Loves my kids like she is their aunty. After telling her about how Ella and I would tell each other how our hair looks shit in times of emotional stress, has joined in with that. She just loves hanging with us and not doing much in the hang time. I like being with people who are happy to just be in the presence of you without expectation. She is a good human with a story that is so varied and rich that it continues to surprise me – but at the same time not really.

Anyway, I love these four women greatly – others too. But you four, I wish I had with me all the time. But maybe our friendship is greater for not having that?

This is by far, one of my most fave posts that I have written.

Love you Joan (and el)

Eve

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40 days? What’s that?

Dearest Joan,

In my most terrible Adele singing voice, “Hello from the other side.” Buggered if I know if they are the lyrics but I have never been one to follow true to them anyway.

Reading your email made me cry. Thanks for the kind words, though please do not think that is what I am fishing for. I don’t think you would but i just need to make sure you know that.

My most favourite correspondence with you of late was your text about going to your old shopping centre and hoping that no one saw you. Geez did I laugh. It so made me wish I was there with you, so we could hope together that we wouldn’t be seen there. Mind you, if you stayed in DP or moved back to DP that would be ok, as long as it was because it made you happy.

Reading your recount of your latest adventure sounded quite sublime. Perhaps I may have even turned a little green – there I go breaking a commandment. I was jealous of your disconnectedness to people, yet the relationship you built with strangers. And yet, here we are in KL for that very same reason (well one of) – so that the expectation from others lessoned – so that we could beat to our own drum.

Insert music here that signifies a realisation of how dumb the protagonist actually is.

None of us really beat to our own drum. The beauty of humans is that we are all interconnected. My drum cannot beat without considering those around me, my family, friends, people i work with. All i can do is alter my drum beat to match the one i hear.

My beat doesn’t have to work too hard around you Joan. I think that is the blessing our time apart offered us. Acceptance. Complete and utterly. It just beats. With my family it is a little on the off beat, but dare I say, most Maltese women who break with tradition would say that. With my little family – my beat is whatever it needs to be. I can accept all of those, all within reason of course.

Work. The beat. My moral code guides this one. It is important. So knowing that my drum beat is so adversely different to others is making life a little tough right now. I can’t turn work off, put it in a box, leave it to office hours. Teaching is not that. That is why I need a reset every ten weeks. Trusting people, is for me, what makes me me. Why wouldn’t I trust someone? I place my trust in people first and foremost. This does lead to some emotional problems for me, for I take it so personally, when someone makes such terrible decisions and choices. Today I thought this, to err is to be human, to forgive divine. Oh Joan, I have to dig deep to be divine.

And cut to a new topic – that matches the previous one in a real round a bout kind of way. Persist. But if it was a film you would be irritated at the edit.

So, it turns out I am shit at keeping Lenten promises.

Firstly, I did the typical shallow – no choc. 2 days in a row I broke this. Not even consciously. What is with that? Hey JC, thanks for giving your life to open the pearly gates of heaven but 40 days of no choc is not possible. The funny thing is, this morning for brekkie we had pancakes. Kids smeared choc spread everywhere and I wouldn’t even lick my fingers.

Secondly, I remember someone saying to me that a Lenten promise should be about making a better version of you. I have always loved that. So, another promise I totally suck at is not saying horrible things about people. Yes, yes you read correctly. In saying that, it is linked to school and my struggles there. BUT, I have been surprised at how horrible I am. Glass houses and all. I would have a very airy glass house at the moment. Stepping back from it all though, I look at it as I realisation and a 40 day discussion with God about me and how to try and turn it all around. God, JC, Mary, the odd saint – we talk often. I pray every night. Makes me feel like I understand mum a little more too these days.

Next shitty edit.

Well I feel like a summary should occur for things that have happened but I won’t really be talking about:

  • Kris and I paid a fortune to attend the symphony but we didn’t get in.
  • We went to see a great version of Romeo and Juliet this week.
  • The youngest discovered that boys don’t have a the same body parts as a girl.
  • The oldest is asking me awkward questions about the birds and the bees.
  • Bring on Japan!
  • We finally bought plants.
  • Borsz is writing little things that are just lovely.

Anyway, Joan, I too cherish our time in the company of each other, albeit infrequent and short.

 

(me, rocking a monocle and a hat!)

 

Eve