We won’t cry

Just after I lost my hair in March 2016 I set off in my little green Rav to the Man from Snowy River Bush festival, if you love the MFSR movie or poem by Banjo Paterson you will know about this festival which happens every year in the Victoria High Country, if you don’t know about the movie or poem then there is something wrong with you and I don’t think we can be friends!! 🙂 I had bought two tickets for this festival almost a year prior and planned on doing the trip with my partner at the time so when we broke up just before the festival I almost didn’t go, then when all my bloody hair fell out and I really didn’t want to go but this festival had been on my bucket list for years.

Road trips in our family always meant buying a few new CD’s, one of the songs on the CD I purchased for this trip was called We won’t cry by Archie Roach. Archie has had a bloody hard life, he was stolen from his family when he was three years old, his soul mate died of a heart attack at their home, he’s battled cancer which left him with half a lung and he’s had a stroke. When you listen to We won’t cry you can tell this man has been to hell and back but he is still facing the world one day at a time.

I had tears pouring down my face as I listened to this song over and over because it made me think of all that I had lost but I told myself that I had to sing this song out loud all the way to Corryong and back (22 hours of driving in total) until I could sing it without crying. I would like to tell ya that I managed to sing it without crying on that trip but I did not.

As I was waiting in line for my wrist band to give me access to all aspects of the MFSR festival I decided to pick the poorest looking bastard in the queue and give him my spare ticket. I approached an old fella with a ripped shirt and jeans and handed him the ticket. We chatted on the steps of the information centre then the old codger asked me to go with him to the ATM so he could give me the money for the ticket. I told him the money wasn’t important I just didn’t want the ticket to go to waste, I will never forget what happened next. Old mate cried on the steps of the information centre as he explained that money wasn’t an issue for him as he’d just sold his caravan park for 5 mil, he has 2 mil in superannuation and 2 mil in the bank and he had been planning to bring his wife to the festival for years but she had recently passed away so now he would never get to share this with her. I told old mate that if he really needed to give me the money for the ticket I’d be at the coffee shop next door for a bit.

Me and the old fella sat in the sunshine on the main street of Corryong and chatted like lifelong friends for over two hours. Driving for two days to get to this festival (even if I did cry like a big sook all the way there) was worthwhile just to spend a bit of time with this lovely old gentleman who was feeling as lost as I was.

The moral of this story is we WILL cry but we WILL survive and if we force ourselves to do things that seem impossible we will meet amazing human beings along the way that inspire us to be better people and in my opinion, trips like this make life worth living.

 

On the road again…

It’s been three weeks since I moved to the Fleurieu Peninsula and this spot is perfect; the beach is minutes from my rental, the climate is superb, all necessary facilities and services are within a 30 minute drive which makes life easy but…. yes there is a but… I’m bored and I need an adventure.

I’ve applied for a few jobs in the past week but most of them would be just another boring job and I’m tired of boring jobs, I’ve spent the last 30 years doing what’s required of me but surely there’s more to life than that?! One of the jobs I applied for since moving here was a Governess job on a cattle station 360 kms south of Katherine. I’ve never been a Govi before but since spending time with my mates kids in the Flinders Ranges I’ve realised I like little kids, I think it’s the maternal cluckyness that kicks in when you’re ready for grandkids.

I was chatting to my sister this week about the fact that ever since my family was destroyed by infidelity my children and I have no sense of belonging and it’s very noticeable on occasions like Easter and Christmas, our house used to be the place where everyone gathered and I bloody loved it. It makes me sad for my kids because they lost their sense of belonging too. My son has created a fabulous supportive/family network at his church and work at Victor Harbor and now that he has a gorgeous girl in his life (who comes from a loving family) he has a family environment again and I am so happy for him and proud of the man he has become despite everything he’s lost. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to my girl and I’m convinced she has gypsy blood flowing through her veins just like her Ma. She will settle when she meets a good man and creates her own family but in the meantime she is living life to the fullest with all sorts of interesting experiences and I love the gutsyness of my little runt.

I need to turn the sad fact that I have no sense of belonging into an opportunity where I am free to be a gypsy and meet all sorts of weird and wonderful characters along the way. South Australia will always be my home and I will settle here again once I’ve had enough of being a gypsy but until then – record levels of humidity in 60 years, isolation, scorpions, crocodiles and death adders here I come!!

Say goodbye to where you’ve been

This blog post has been on my mind for a long time but it’s a post that my kids may not want to read because it’s raw and hurts like hell but its’ part of my journey and I hope my pain may help someone else.

On the 20th of November 2011 my life changed forever. My husband of 18.5 years told me that he’d had an affair with a woman he’d met online but he expected me to stay with him for the sake of our children. I have never felt so lost and scared in my entire life. My number one goal in life was to be a young mum so I could enjoy my kids while I was young, I didn’t have a career, I had a part-time job that paid less than $20,000 a year, even if I wanted to leave my husband I couldn’t afford to support myself and my babies.

I wanted to leave my husband that day but Christmas was just around the corner and I wanted one last Christmas with my kids as a whole family. I cried in secret so many times that Christmas and I struggled to keep my shit together as our families celebrated Christmas for the last time. It was 5 months before I could talk about what was going on in my life because I couldn’t make the words come out of my mouth.

One of my best mates was fighting cancer at the same time that my life was falling apart, she was the first person I told. I remember looking across the table at my gorgeous buddy in her gray beanie which was covering her bald head thinking I’d rather be fighting my battle than hers because I couldn’t bear to lose my hair (I wouldn’t really give a shit about losing a boob cos they were fucked after feeding my babies anyway) but my hair was so important to me – how ironic and thank god we don’t know what the future holds or I may have ended up rocking in the corner!!

It is impossible to go through life without hurt, disappointment, tears, fear and rejection but we have to let every heartbreak and every battle scar reminds us of how strong and resilient we are. Before that day in November of 2011 I used to sleep as if I was in a bloody coma but since that day I have never slept through the night, my life has been hard yacka since then but we have to get back up and leave the darkness behind us because the show must go on, even if its one fucked up freak show!

I’ve discovered with this recent move that I NEED the beach and cannot live without it. During the weeks that my husband was confessing his indiscretions I decided for the first time in my married life to take time out just for me so after I’d fed my kids dinner each night I went to the beach to try and process the information my husband was telling me. I finally felt close to the God I’d been taught about my whole life. I used to sit in direct line with the setting sun and cry, talk, dream, reflect and try and get the courage to leave the man who had broken my heart.

It took me 7 months to get a better job, find a rental and get the guts to tell my husband it was over. The emotional manipulation that took place during that time was horrific, he almost had me convinced that my leaving would be the reason my kid’s lives would be ruined forever. I would like to tell ya that since that time I have had my faith restored in men but I have not. I fell in love again but the relationship was not respectful and the man who I fell in love with did not love me in the same way. My Ma is hopeful that I will meet another fella but I have zero interest, I’m happy doing life on my own and peace is more important to me than having a partner.

One of my nieces (from my ex-husbands side) sent me the link to this song today, the words are incredible and so is she. Hannah you are an amazing girl who has had your fair share of battles to fight but look at you – you’ve risen above them and are living life to the fullest. ❤

So my dear readers, when you think you’re never gunna get back up again take one step at a time towards peace because your story is far from over and even though most days will be hard yacka there will be many beautiful days too. Xx

Houses and stuff

Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t get attached to material things however I realised this week I still have way too much stuff. I can’t believe I’ve dragged all this shit from Seaford Rise to Laura and now to my new town when there are only three things that are actually precious to me. Two dinner plates that my children painted when they were little darlings and a tiny teddy bear that my children bought from Cheap Arse Chips the first Mother’s day after my divorce. I’ve never been attached to any of the houses I’ve lived in but this is my 18th house, I am officially over moving and I seriously need to chuck out some more stuff!!

I thought I would live in the Mid-North for 5-10 years and would then move back to the coast but clearly I wasn’t meant to stay in that region for very long. The people of Laura were very friendly and I have made friendships that will last a life time but sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways and maybe having an ex-boyfriend buy a house way too close for comfort was the universes way of making sure I ended up where I was supposed to be?

I love the anticipation of potential new friendships, new experiences and the challenge of finding work that a move to a new town brings. It doesn’t bother me that I know no one in this town because I know I will meet more amazing people, I will find work and I am over the moon to be by the ocean again.

What is it that makes a house a home anyways? Is it the memories you experience in that home? Is it the fact that you love the location and have peace in that space? Sometimes I wonder if I am destined to be like Vianne from the movie Chocolat, the clever north wind never seems to be satisfied, it speaks to me of towns yet to be visited, friends in need yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought.

I hope this town will be my last stop before my kids need to chuck me in an old folks home, but I swear to god if for some reason things don’t work out here I’m throwing all my shit in the bin (except those two dinner plates and my little teddy bear) and buying a motor home because Hudson and I don’t need a whole house we just need a bed, a shower and a shitter. 🙂

Love thy neighbor

 

 

 

I received a message this week from a lovely young woman who wanted to let me know that she loves the real-ness of my blog and the fact that I am trying to carve out a life for myself and trying to make my own joy (as opposed to needing a man to bring that joy into my life). This gorgeous girl encouraged me to keep writing and keep “doing my shit” 🙂 The message came on a day that I was feeling a bit down because I am desperate to move away but there are things that need to be done before I can.

My parents and my daughter have been helping me get my house ready for sale. The cottage is looking rather cute and I’ve had a few nights where I’ve thought about building an extremely high fence and staying where I am. Today as my dad was repairing the floorboards he found an old newspaper from 1952 and one of the main stories had the title LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. The newspaper article was about a fella called ‘Syd’ who was charged with indecent language towards his neighbour. His plea was that he was intoxicated at the time but yes he may have erred in his choice of words – I love Syd!!

How ironic that I am preparing to leave my cottage (in order to have peace, privacy and the fresh start I have been craving) and my Dad finds a newspaper article about loving thy neighbour! I was brought up in a cult so have heard that phrase many many times but it is a command that is easier said than done.

I believe everything in life happens for a reason and maybe there is a much bigger reason as to why I was not mean to settle in this region – I have no idea what that is but I am keen to up-sticks and see what lies ahead… I just hope I can get moving soon otherwise I may end up like Syd – who was found drunk sitting on his bed when the Constable went to confront him about his indecent language towards his neighbour. 🙂

Suzi passed the test!

I was told when I ordered Suzi that I would be able to wear her whilst swimming. Yesterday I was minding my own business chatting to a friend by the local pool when all of a sudden I found myself being shoved into the water by a friends son!! Good old Ned thought it would be a good idea to see if the wig comes off in the pool. My sunnies came off as I was flung into the water but Suzi-girl stayed nice and snug on my noggin, I love her even more than I did before!

I love the cheeky look on Ned’s face in this photo, he is a funny, helpful, hardworking little farmer in training and he has wicked sense of humour just like his Mum and his Dad who suggested the trial of Suzi. And I love the innocent curiosity of kids so when Ned’s sister Lexy asked if she could try on my wig I was quite happy to expose my bald head at the swimming pool so she could try it on. This isn’t the first time Ned and Lexy have seen me without a wig and it won’t be the last and I love how kids ask the kind of questions that adults want to ask but have been trained not to.

Anyhoo, if you are considering purchasing an Angel Wig, I highly recommend them and I can promise you that even if you are forced into the water your wig will not come off. Thanks Ned for proving to me that Suzi is the best wig ever 🙂

Bald girls are sexy!

 

Self-pity is an emotion I refuse to entertain however there have been times where I’ve felt sorry for myself because I have a hard-boiled egg for a noggin. I am a deep thinker and an over thinker so sometimes it’s difficult not fall into a ‘poor me’ train of thought when life becomes tough.

When I lost all my hair I knew if I could fully accept the new me I would reach an extraordinary level of authenticity which would be almost dangerous (in an exciting way). I was very honoured to be asked to share my story at the South Australian Alopecia Open Day this month and it was amazing to meet other women who are on a similar journey to me and to hear their stories. One thing I noticed is how raw, honest and real the women are that I met. Having a disease that is difficult to hide and leaves you feeling very naked and exposed and it either makes or breaks you.

Speaking of being naked and exposed (insert evil snort here) almost 8 weeks ago I met a man who has made my negative self-doubt about my appearance disappear. This man has been able to see past my bald head and for some crazy reason thinks my bald head is sexy! I never thought that would be possible but this fella has transformed my way of thinking about my baldness – I am very quickly starting to realise that bald girls are sexy and I no longer feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for you hairy chicks instead!!

I recently participated in a Mindful Movement and More session at wellness retreat out my way. The session included yoga, meditation, qi-gong and positive reinforcement and as well as enjoying the benefit of time to clear the mind of negative shit I was introduced to a song I’d never heard before by Robbie Williams called Love my Life. I am very happy with my new life in the country but I never thought I would be able to fully love my life until my hair grew back but I am SO past that feeling.

I challenge you to listen to this song every night as you fall asleep for a week and tell me that it doesn’t inspire you to change your life (if you don’t already love your life) and I would be very surprised if you don’t end up fully believing that you are powerful, you are wonderful, you are beautiful and you are free!!

Click here for information on Still Earth Retreat

 

How many keys are on your keyring?

I have this theory that the amount of keys on your keyring is a pretty good indication of how busy/complicated your life is. I have two, soon to be three keys on my keyring – one for my old cottage, one for my old car and one to be added for my old caravan.

I don’t really need a key for my work because I am no longer the first one to arrive and the last to leave, I don’t own many things because to me ‘things’ just mean I have to work more to maintain those things. When I bought my cottage they didn’t give me a front door key so I use the back door and I love the fact that I no longer have to go around and lock 4 or 5 doors when I leave the house – I only need to lock one – that may sound strange but having a simple life is one of my top priorities.

Do you have lots of keys on your key ring and do all those ‘keys’ make you feel stressed? Should you be getting rid of some ‘keys’ but which ones would you get rid of first?

Suzi has arrived but I have a burnt heed!!

In January this year I made at trip to Melbourne with my Ma to order my human hair suction wig and she has finally arrived.  As you know I like to name all my wigs and this one is called Suzi.  Suzi has been ordered to match the hairstyle that I had before the bloody alopecia turned me into a nude nut.  Also since moving to the Southern Flinders Ranges I have become Suzi after one of the gorgeous girls at work asked if she could call me Suzi when I told her I don’t like to be called Sue. 🙂

I have been waiting for Suzi to arrive for a very long time but I’m not sure I will get to wear her straight away because yesterday I spent the day in the garden and didn’t realise the sun was burning my heed, life is never straightforward aye!

The moral of this story is don’t go ‘nude nut’ on warm days, somethings are worth the wait (I LOVE Suzi-girl, she is definitely my new favourite) and most importantly be thankful for what you have because it could be gone tomorrow but even if you do lose something that’s important to you, you will be ok. xx

My therapist, I mean my hairdresser is the best.

I purchased Goldilocks from the USA when I first lost my hair but I wasn’t expecting her to turn up looking like shit so I dropped her at my hairdressers and said I’d pick her up when she looked less freaky.  It took a few months for me to get back to Adelaide to pick Goldilocks up and this past weekend I got to spend an hour with my hairdresser – she is one of the most delightful women I know.

Sam is not only the best hairdresser in the south (sorry Kazzy, you definitely come in a very close second) she is warm, generous, funny, a great mum and just a superb human being.  Since my hair fell out in March 2016 I have missed my therapy sessions with Sam – the topics we girls can cover in the space of a couple of hours is astounding and when you spend time with women like Sam you walk away feeling like you’ve had a chat with a bloody good shrink.

I would never make a good hairdresser because I wouldn’t want to touch people’s heads all day and I also could not spend all day listening to people talk shit (I would probably slap most of my clients up the back of the head every time they said something stupid) so I have always appreciated the lovely hairdressers I’ve had in my life and I think you girls deserve a medal for being so patient and being able to listen to people like me waffle on and have a good whinge about life, men, kids etc… love ya Sammy girl and I hope one day you will be able to fix up my hair without me having to hang on to the bloody wig so it doesn’t fall off while you’re trimming it.