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


  1. I think you just inspired me to peek in and clean out my boxes and boxes of ... stuff.

  2. What a view!

    How did it feel, throwing away your old writing? I did it with mine (though it was mostly teenage stuff) and a part of me wishes I'd hung onto it. Having said that, I rarely think of it, YOU brought it up,lol.

  3. That is some view. I would quite happily sit there for hours on my computa!

    There must be something in the air, because I've been cleaning and de-cluttering myself. I'm a bit hooked now that I've started. I have a room (we call it the studio - because that's what the previous owners called it - it's more a store room & mini-gym) and there's a bunch of stuff in there I'm sure we don't need. When the kids are at school/daycare tomorrow, I'm tackling it!


  4. Clutter is holding on to the past, or fear of the future.

    I got that from a blog this morning which I had been led to by another blogger.

    And that is why I texted you that i was decluttering the kitchen. Mindfully. Because I have been hanging on to the past and thinking that I might need stuff in the future. Ridiculous.

    And of course spookily you post this. Which I also needed to read.

    And you know...congratulations on the Ford!


  5. Thinking I need your view point maybe I will be inspired to de clutter adn clean my mess.
    I do have some cleanign I will be doing tomorrow.
    Hoping for some warmer weather to clean the garage. YIKES!
    I think you are right about how the blog helps us.I haven been at it long but feel much freer in many ways as I have been banging away on the keys.
    You are truly inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing your jounrey

  6. Your office = I covet!

    Love love that line by Catherine Bray!!

  7. I do believe that there is something in the concept of clearing things out to create room for ideas to flow. May your new space inspire you - that view is incredible!

  8. I am so jealous of your office and that spectacular view. My Mum forced me to get rid of stuff from my childhood/young adulthood many years ago, and lack of space meant I actually got rid of stuff that I wish I had kept! Things like the A plus and words of praise for an essay I wrote for a favourite Australian author when I was doing my Bachelor of Arts. Photos of when I was fit and foxy.
    Don't declutter too much! xo

  9. Eden, Just love your new space, all yours, it looks beautiful...have always lusted after the view from there! Amazing, your blogs are so awesome now I wonder what gems are going to come from the aura and tranquility up there? I have been doing the same thing this week, going through boxes and being happy and sad at the same time, so cathartic... I especially loved your piece...'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.'
    Eden your blogging has been your saviour, given you your Mojo and brought the Magic into your life...with a lot of help from yourself of course... Keep on blogging,its fascinating to see where the next beautiful piece will come from.... Reach for the Stars Eden, you will see them now in your new beautiful office... Lots of love, Eden's Mum

  10. Beautiful writing again, Eden!
    My husband was very impressed with the Spy Vs. Spy wall art! I think he likes the idea for his man-space!

  11. LOVING the office. Looks fab and so nice to see a little more of your style (I like these things you see). I like that when I imagine you sitting at your computer ready to do a post and you pause, and look out, that I know what you're looking at.

    In a TOTAL NON CREEPY INTERNET STALKER kind of way that is x

  12. Eddie Vedder has always slayed me his lyrics since I listened to Ten all those years ago. Your writing elicits a similar response, your up there with the Vedder for making me pay attention - thank you.

    p.s love your office and congratulations on your car - you rock!

  13. YOU are fabulous! Congrats on your finalist/winner status with the Aussie Bloggers -- now the world!

    You space is great. Your words are terrific. Your view, magnificent!

    Thanks for another eye opening, thought provoking post.

  14. Your office IS fabulous. Seriously so. And, like BabyMac said, it's pretty cool having this vision of where your blog is coming from. Physically.
    I think that blogging let's us 'try on' who we are and what we really think. Sometimes we type furiously and stuff just comes out. When our barriers are down. And with the truth there on the screen we are brave enough to send it out into the universe. Without edit. Other times our truth comes out in bits and drabs, unrecognizable, until we shape it and mold it so that a soul other than our own can see it's truth too. And it feels amazing when someone 'gets' us.
    Can you hear your readers saying 'Yes! YES!' when your writing exposes who we are too? Eden, your writing has become OUR therapy.

  15. Lady room. Yeah, you know it x

  16. Wow, you've really given me something to think about, research, and talk to my therapist about. The psychological views you left with us are profound to me. I often wonder when blogging or corresponding with a blogging friend "what if they really knew me" or "who is this person writing that is funny, bubbly and creative?" when I know the real person suffers from major depression, anxiety, isolates, and lonely. Is it an act? I don't think so, I'm not trying to do it. So where does it come from?? Interesting.

  17. The pressure to keep up with awesome comments is too much. I give up.

    I have boxes of life in my wardrobe - my therapist said it was my way of compartmentalizing my life because I couldn't actually do it in my own head.

    But doing it in boxes taught me to do it in real life. I still can't open those boxes... not just yet.

  18. My blog is where I can be the least edited version of me, which is ironic since it's fairly anonymous. It's been so extraordinarily cathartic.

  19. Brave, that's what you are my friend. Your cleansing took energy and motivation....well done!
    I love your view and can totally understand what it means to you now.

  20. Your space is wonderful…especially that view.
    I am inspired to de-clutter…my husband will thank you. ;)

  21. Blogging provided you with an outlet. The writer has been there all along. You are back in the space that makes you think about writing and you have life expereinces to draw from. Just go ahead and be yourself. Maybe for the first time . . . feel the freedom and possibilities of being you.

  22. Seriously jealous of your writing space / office. It's absolutely lovely. You'd never get me out of there.

  23. I'm totally with you here: I just did a similar clean out of my office, tossing out all the shit I had kept from a lifetime of shortchanging myself. What was I hoarding this crap for?
    Like you, I believe blogging has given me something I had all along, but didn't realise.
    My blog is like a mirror, and the lovely people who read it are like friends holding my hands while I look myself right in the eyes.
    So proud of you Eden. You're a champ. x

  24. I have those boxes. I have not let them infiltrate my space (and I have a spookily similar treetop view to you). But they lurk, as these boxes with stuff in tend to do. They lurk in the garage and upon my consience.

    One day I will deal with it, I'm sure.

    Your space is fertile ground Eden, anticipating a bloom.


  25. That is a lovely view, and I hope writing from that lofty vantage gives you an ever-better view of your wonderful, evolving self.

  26. Congratulations! Your office is wonderful. I relate totally as I have been going through the same thing in terms of letting go of items and finally for the 1st time having a space I call my own. My lovely office from which I type this to you. CHEERS to finally making it. ;)

  27. I just want to know who painted the spy vs spy mural. I have a boy who would kill for that!

  28. Love your blog and the way you so generously share your thoughts. Your new work space is beautiful but I suspect you could be just about anywhere and still come out with gems of brutal honesty. Keep writing.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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