Sometimes sadness is happiness.

Dear Joan,

After hanging up from my mum I felt the need to write. We clearly got internet on the weekend and am now able to access you with an edge of ease.

So much has happened. All of which you know because boy, am I great at creating a wonderful Book Of Face life for all to envy!

New home.

London. Paris. Yorkshire. Edinburgh. London.15585257_10154647114790168_472140695738838609_o.jpg

London – Oxford Christmas lights

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Arc De Triomphe

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Paris Disneyland

Planning new holidays.

Invites to families houses.

In all of these though, the part I don’t dwell so publicly about is the beautiful sadness attached to these things. And I do mean it Joan. Beautiful sadness.

Going back to Europe felt like a homecoming. I belong there. It was like putting on my pair of cons. Perfect. Yet it left me sad. But beautifully sad. How damn lucky am I to have lived somewhere that I just adored? Where i made friends with people that I can reconnect with instantly – even after many years apart? Yep. Lucky.

Being invited to people’s houses, being asked to see their lives – humble or not. Who am I to judge? Having them share their stories. On the weekend just gone, we went to a Chinese family’s home. Sofia and her husband or so incredibly giving. There was a moment when she asked me if we were to have more kids…because in Australia you can. I said no. Then the beautifully sad moment occurred. She explained how they only have one because of the laws in China. The laws changed too late for them. They looked at my girls playing with such beautifully sad faces. At that moment I was so grateful to be able to make that choice myself, to be able to give my girls a sibling.

I received a reply to a text I sent (just giving thanks). Sofia said it perfectly in her broken English. We are both here without our families. We need to look after each other. How lucky am I Joan that someone I barely know, wants to look after me? That she is so thankful that I taught her son that she gives thanks by opening her arms and heart to me?

In December Joan, I laughed so much. Felt so much happiness…even at work. hahahaha.

I wanted to write and tell you about all these moments. To capture them. But instead I chose to just keep them to myself. I kind of wish I had. Maybe then I could have relived the moments but instead I just get to remember the feeling. I am ok with that. Joy. Joy was a great feeling. The beautiful sadness of knowing that life cannot always be joy but knowing and appreciating it when it is.

I feel like any letter just scrapes the surface and then I just stop. Well tonight I am hungry, so my stomach stops me.

 

Toot! Toot! An Epiphany!

Wednesday 9th December, 2015

Dearest Joan,

It has been an incredibly long time between writes. I have had so many things run through my head since the last letter. BUT literally, they have ran…in and quickly out. There doesn’t seem to be a huge capacity to hang onto anything at the moment that isn’t Malaysian, packing related or Eastbourne connected.

I so desperately wanted to respond to a blog I had read about a red string of fate – destiny between two people who were always going to meet in a given situation. Talking about the people that have shaped me, wondering about those I have influenced, questioning why fate occurs when it does. Some people have walked into my life this year, profoundly affected me as a human, yet I am leaving. The time that fate has allowed seems too short. Unfair. Testing.

BUT then I think of you AND me. The relationship we had, didn’t have and have now. The intensity, the hiatus, the reconnection. I feel blessed for the time apart. The red string of fate between you and I was never cut. Perhaps we just failed to see it or acknowledge it. The reconnection has been perfect. For some reason we have always had kms between us. The best long distance relationship ever.

ANYWAY this email isn’t about that. It is about where I am at right now, mentally, with the move. What is happening. The epiphany of today.

Toot! Toot! All aboard the CRAZY train!

That is just how I feel. My emotions are absolutely everywhere. Babu (the little kid) received a card and a pressie from her bestie at crèche. It just set me off. It still sets me off. Leaving her friend, her network – Feeling horrible about it is just how it sits in my heart. It is much the same for Borsz (the older kid) but for her, can rationalise it with her a little. I also find myself distancing myself, putting the wall up when I should be embracing every moment with everyone. Be fair dear Eve to yourself….for some people I give the time to, others not.

Joan, it depends on the eyes. If the eyes cannot move beyond sad I don’t spend so much time there. It hurts too much because I feel like I am doing that. I guess why I haven’t pushed a lot of time with my mum. A decision I am annoyed at myself about. Sadness is just hard to be around. Sad eyes harder. I know the sad eyes love me, cherish me, wish I wasn’t going (so too do the non-sad eyes) and it is that I should hang on to.

It all kicked off when I told my neighbour, Lorraine, our moving out date and she cried. It was that very moment that I realised that our decision has had a wider ripple effect than perhaps I ever considered. This too led me to today’s epiphany. Lorraine is an elderly neighbour. No children. A recently passed husband. We have been a part of their lives for the last 2 and half years quite a lot and prior to that just friendly with each other. I just love her Joan. Find myself worrying about her, often however I have been doing this for some time.

Ok, where is this going? Today, I had a chance to be involved with the school Christmas choir, singing in old folks home. I struggled Joan, hugely. All the thoughts, loneliness, the ill health of Lorraine came flooding. I saw it en masse. My heart broke. I always thought that my destiny was to work with refugees at some point. I am not so sure anymore.

When I get back to Oz – one day, with whatever school I end up in – I have decided to set up links with an old folk’s home. I think I want to become like a companion for an older person. To bring friendship, a little joy. I think I want to involve the girls a little. I even started thinking about Christmas day lunches. It is still swirling in my head everywhere. Trying to sort out. It feels good. I don’t think it is a change of career, just an extra to making the world a little kinder, less lonely. Much like your next venture….which I think is so admirable.

In the scheme of jobs to do before leaving our beautiful beach home on the 21st of December we are doing ok. We have had an application on the house, the steam cleaner is booked, friends are coming over on a weekend to pack and move. I need to phone utilities, sell cars, pack more. The husband is sorting cars, has finished the garden, is sorting out his grade sixes for end of year and generally remaining very focused on all the jobs he needs to complete.

The adventure is getting closer!

Sorry about the delay Joan.

Love you loads,

Eve

The Cup Runneth Over

Friday 6th November 2015

Dear Joan,

The first and foremost thing I want to address is the lack of me asking about you. I don’t want to give information about you away. Just because I’m writing to you, doesn’t give me the right to share your details with the world. Secondly, I don’t want you to feel obliged to respond, ever. Life gets busy and we as humans, already have so much on our plate. The only response I truly want is for you to take a few minutes out to read it and pop into my head.

Moving on…..I am brimming with so many emotions and being at work just feeds the overflowing cup. To sound big headed, I am thought of highly at school – a potential power player. I am regarded by management to be hard working, enthusiastic, a team player. My colleagues respect me as a peer. I get on board, give things a go and am equally happy to self-reflect on failures and successes. I have been gently guided to the path of leadership. Receiving an email today about a leadership course that I was going to be on next year just made me feel disappointed. Disappointed that I am not going to be able to do it. This isn’t the first time I have walked away from management opportunities. BUT this is the first time where I am second guessing the decision.

Some friends felt I was sacrificing a lot with the move to Malaysia and that I was doing it for my hubby. His work place isn’t forward thinking, innovative, exciting or challenging. He has been essentially unhappy at his place for a while. They questioned why I would change countries when he could just change jobs. Back then I told them they were crazy. Hmmm maybe they saw it clearer than I did. Don’t get me wrong, my seven year itch started in year three and I could not fathom the thought that this here is my forever with nothing else. I just love my school. Love my work ethic here. Love the clientele and the innovation of the school. I just don’t like walking into a school and being just another teacher. How terrible does that sound?! Imagine saying just another doctor, just another nurse, just another policeman. It is terrible but that is how I feel. I don’t just want to sit in the background. I am also worried I won’t be the best teacher working with kids of privilege. What if the husband flourishes? And I don’t? That he finds his place and I lose mine? What if the big kid finally finds her groove in a school? And I just become a sore thumb?

Trusting in the path I am on. Trusting in the choices I have made so far. That is all I can do. AND if it turns out to be the wrong choice, then we will know rather than have regrets. Regrets are far worse.

Love you Joan,

Eve

Life and faces

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Dear Joan,

Never mind starting with the formal salutations, lets just get straight into it. You gave me this idea to blog about the impending adventure to Malaysia but I figured it has started now. Preparing the girls, the house, my work, the husband, myself, is all a part of it. All the bits pertaining to my life here, right now, also a part of it.

You have written me endless letters and now, I am hoping to return it albeit in a potentially very public forum.

Actually, I have been blogging in my head to you for a few days now. I want to write about a movie I saw, how I am feeling about the move BUT today’s events just seem more pressing.

Today I went to the funeral of my neighbour. It has left me with so many feelings. Firstly though is the funeral face. Yep, the funeral face. That look people give each other that almost seems condescending. The face that people use that just seems so insincere. A funeral is the one place, along with that of births that we should just be allowed to embrace every damn feeling we want. No stoic behaviour, just plain raw emotion. Be angry, be sad, be devastated, be nothing BUT whatever you do, whatever you feel just embrace it. Be sincere.

Equally, I just want honesty at a funeral. Say it as it is and if you can’t then don’t do the eulogy.

From all of this, the husband and I have been talking about what we would want at ours. Cremated. Ashes spread in New York, London, Paris and The Alps in Switzerland. If the bloke doesn’t or can’t do the eulogy, you and another friend has been picked. Just thought I better give you the heads up.

My neighbour’s death has just made me angry. As a society we don’t take enough care of our elders. I feel not enough care was taken of him. What does this say about me though? I am leaving my aging parents. Am I just trusting in one of siblings or aunt and uncle to come to their rescue if needed? What decision would I make if something happened? I don’t know the answers Joan.

I just needed to ‘talk’ about this today. I think next time might be a little more light-hearted.

Love Eve