Monday, 30 May 2011

Turning Mistakes into Gold

"I've got this light
And the will to show
I will always be better than before." - Eddie Vedder

On my way to therapy this morning I thought, I'm fine. I got this. I don't need therapy anymore. On my way out of therapy this morning I wondered if I would need it forever.

I've spent the last few weeks decluttering my house - sifting through things, re-organising, cleaning. All the foreign things. Against my better judgement, I let Max watch a movie called Zombieland recently - bedtime has been terrifying for him ever since. So I've moved him back downstairs, and moved my office up. Dave is always on my case about my laptop being on the couch, cords and leads and chargers scattered around. I stay up late. I know I shouldn't, but it's the only time nobody will hassle me. My Australian friends say goodnight on twitter just as I'm logging on, to all the good mornings from the Americans.

There have been boxes of my stuff that I have been carrying around with me - since I was about twenty. Over the years I've peeked in there, half gone through them, and shut them up again. It has driven Dave CRAZY. For some reason, I went through every single box the other day. Just like that. It was hard, finding letters from my real dad, photos of my grandmother, my own scattered writings. To my astonishment, I realised I had been writing my whole life. "Dave! I've been writing my whole life!" And I peeled back some mouldy papers and started reading aloud but quickly stopped because there were children around.

I made the decision to just cull stuff. Be brave. Why was I holding on? I threw most of my writing away, scattered in the trailer. I randomly kept a few pieces. Later, in my new office, I read them to myself and blushed. I threw them in the fire and watched them burn, marvelling at the fact that I'm still alive.

I set up my new office, according to the colours of the Spy vs Spy grafitti art we got sprayed on Max's wall last year:

Basically, the whole space is a homage to those sticks of dynamite

            My Tretchikoff beauty. All I do is look at her and I get strength.

                              I'm a self-proclaimed honorary American

I bought that Statue of Liberty for $16.99 in a tourist shop in New York last year. Dave wants it but it's mine, and I remind him that he laughed when I was packing it in my suitcase. The print we got from a street vendor over there for $4, I got it professionally framed. Nicky is a vintage plastic bottle from Mr Pickwicks in Katoomba. Oh Nicky.

               Hulk stickers on the triangle window courtesy of Max

The funny thing is, the very first time I saw that view from that corner, way back in 2002 when Dave was building the house - I knew it was the best vantage point. And I thought wow, wouldn't it be great to write from there one day. But that room was our bedroom first, then the spare room, then Max's room. And now - it's my space. It's my Room of One's Own, leaving me simultaneously grateful, horrified, unworthy and excited.

It took so long, to get to that vantage point.

I'm ready. For exactly what, I'm not sure. All I know is, I'm clearing away a lot of the painful past once and for all. All those years I've spent running and I seem to have stopped.

A lot of this is, strangely enough, due to this blog. Maybe blogging has taught me how to write? No. Blogging taught me ... who I was? I don't know yet. But it's done something magical.

Thank you, Computer. You'll never know exactly how much you've helped me.


"The ways in which a person's online persona contradicts or reinforces their offline existence is presumably destined to become an entirely new field in psychology." - Catherine Bray

"Cyberspace may even be an altered state of consciousness, a dream-like world, that addresses a basic human need to experience oneself and reality from a different perspective. It is psychological space that becomes an extension of one's conscious and unconscious mind ... we could even imagine the global network that comprises the whole internet as larger transcending mind or "self." Which reflects the evolution of human consciousness."
- The Psychology of Cyberspace by John Suler
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