The Art of Liking Yourself

Last post, I mentioned I was going to Perth to do a 2 day sewing workshop with sewing blogger and all round fabulous vintage starlet Gertie Hirsch. I purchased her book ‘Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book’ about a year ago, and had been following her on Instagram ever since. When I heard she was coming to Australia to teach various dressmaking courses, I jumped at the chance before I could give myself time to think it through. My thoughts after I’d paid my deposit were along the lines of… ‘you can’t sew’, ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘you are too old to be doing this,’ blah, blah, blah. Plus, the only course which hadn’t sold out when I went to enrol, was in Western Australia, Perth. It’s bloody half a continent away from little old South Australia, and I don’t like flying!

God I get sick of that voice inside my head, that’s been there for EVER, telling me I’m not good enough, or can’t do stuff, or I’m going to be sitting next to someone on the plane who has the plague. When I got back from Perth, I realised what a fantastic experience I’d had, how well the dress I’d sewn on the course had turned out, and what a privilege it had been to sew with Gertie. Yet, the whole course had been tainted with the background voice in my head banging on and on about not being good enough.

Each year, for the last few years, I’ve set myself a theme for the year. I had The Year of Reading Instructions, The Year of Saying It’s All In The Timing, but next year is going to be The Year of Speaking Well About Myself. That means inside and outside. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’ve often wondered what would happen if you lost your memory, woke up, and decided your life was amazing, and then just got on with it!

I’m going to do my best to see what that looks like…

In the meantime, I’m going to put my new dress on, get out there into the world and start telling myself that I’m okay. Let’s see what happens!

 

 

The Happiest Day of Your Life?

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I’ve been watching a show on TV about couples getting married, where one set of parents has refused to come to the wedding. Excuses are: the couples are gay, the age gap between the couples, cultural differences, too young. I got married 12 years ago and my parents refused to come to my wedding. Why? I’m not sure. I’m not gay (but totally support gay marriage), there was no great age gap, no cultural difference and at 40, I was definitely not too young. They just had an unspoken falling out with me, and somehow that was that.

I actually think maybe there was a weird belief in my family that I was meant to be the spinster nurse who would look after everyone. Getting married totally betrayed that family dynamic.

My parents were invited to the wedding officially. My brother gave me away. My sister made the decorations for the church. My in-laws turned out in support and we had a fabulous day.

My parents gave me $1000 towards the wedding then spent $40,000 on a trip to France instead of attending our nuptials. We payed for everything ourselves.

I sometimes wonder how anyone gets through these situations.

Life can be bloody tough. In your happiest moments, you can have your darkest hour. I’m not sure how the heart forgives. I’m not sure how families survive this stuff. For a long time, I absolutely hated my parents. But quite a few years of therapy helped that. I don’t have any answers, but I wanted to post this and say, don’t let the negative shit rain on your parade. By forgiving my family, moving on and making my own way in life, I’ve gained so much self respect. At the end of the day, people bang on about family, but sometimes, your family can be a bloody disappointment.

If you have a great family, then celebrate that to the stars and back. If you don’t (like me), then celebrate yourself to the outer edges of the universe and back. Because you are good enough, and they don’t get to dictate your life. Make yourself your own legend. Good luck. Get help where you need it. Make friends with people you can love, and most of all, don’t let your family’s limited vision of who you are become your belief system. Once you free yourself from needing their approval, the world will be your oyster. Don’t look back! You are enough. You are amazing to have survived this sort of family. And they will make great characters in your novel, (which they will never read if you have written it!!!)