Confessions and Cashmere

cashmere, wine and pathfinding

Posts Tagged ‘memories

Facing the fear of…. birthdays

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Photo care of http://jfeelings.blogspot.fr/2011/02/fear-of-dark.htmlEveryone has their different things. The way they celebrate life. Birthdays seem a nearly universal concept for celebration. And yet for a long time I hated mine. In the past I have had a lot of bad circumstances with my birthday, car accidents, deaths, being lost and alone in foreign cities where I don’t speak the language (it continues but you get the idea).

In fact, I had started to regard it as the coming dark blemish on an otherwisegood year. I wouldn’t tell family and friends when it was, I would have dinnerparties near the date but never ON and never, ever FOR my birthday. I felt like I had accrued some kind of bad Karma from a past life and it always collected on my birthdate.

So two years ago, my then boyfriend, and now husband decided to turn that around. He had watched for a few years, how in the weeks before I grew quiet, evasive and apprehensive about the day I was born. And when he asked why I would clam up, not wanting to dump my horrible memories onto another person.

He didn’t start small either. He just said. It’s your birthday, appreciate it and blew me away with the day he had planned. And since then I have had AWESOME birthdays; He has filmed all of my French friends and family, singing and wishing me a happy birthday. He also has annoyed/texted/messaged everyone of my Australian friends and kept reminding them that no matter how much I denied it, I did have a birthday.

This year he took me for stand up paddle between all the islands, and later on, we had a farm house restaurant family dinner. And for the first time in over 12 years I had looked forward to and enjoyed my birthday.

Looking back I’ve been trying to hide under a mental rock. Yes, I had a huge unlucky amount of birthdays, and yes, that just isn’t right. But at the same time everyone deserves a little happiness. No matter how much bad Karma that is out there. So rather than scream “its my birthday” to the skies I have created my own traditions to celebrate me. Ones that remind me to appreciate life and that I’ll enjoy. This is the day I was born and yes I’ll celebrate it…in my own way:

  • I will make it my day of resolutions/projects/aims/goals/dreams
  • I’ll choose three words to live by for the next year
  • I’ll toast my thanks for the last year at dinner.

This year for my toast, I looked back at the last time we ate at the farmhouse restaurant. I couldn’t speak French. I was afraid to speak it. My husband and I were stuck between the countries back then and we were lost at what to do. During that time, with the patience of his family and friends I have learnt French to the point that I can make my birthday toast in French.
I also touched on how supportive everyone has been of us, no matter how impossible things have seemed. And how grateful I am of my husband, who brings me back down to earth and encourages me to face my fears. I got a little teary, as did his mother and Melo; A special friend of mine and my brother-in-laws boyfriend.

The resolutions I will write about here.
And my words to live by I will write about here.

Other than that. I just want to know what you guys are afraid of? Have you faced them?  How do you make your birthday’s yours? What are your traditions for any day? Have you ever made your own traditions?

Thanks so much for reading this
Chelsea B xx

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Written by confessionsandcashmere

July 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

How I burnt out…

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https://i1.wp.com/www.mbpgsu.ca/mbpblog/files/2010/05/burn-out.jpg

Some of this blog is me climbing/tearing/breaking out of my 8 months of recovering haze, taking stock of where I am and moving forward to a better me and more positive future. Part of that process is working out where I went wrong. And part of that wrongness was my burn out.
I don’t think I couldn’t of not burnt out, because I wouldn’t listen to anyone at the time. I worked myself to the ground and I paid the consequences. As my family and friends said I was a car accident waiting to happen. It was just when and where. Here are the bigger elements of it.

The year before moving had been a big one. In that time,August 2010 to August2011, I had:

  1. Travelled to 4 different countries for work or to see my husband 7 times.
  2. Negotiated with my boss to work while away (usually I did this on my boyfriends bedroom floor), and then take the shitty shifts when I got home to make up for my physical absence.
  3. Spent the first 2 months of the 2011 having my first white christmas with my boyfriend turned fiance.
  4. To delay my return flights home to Australia because of the floods and then clean up my house as it was a flooded snake infested mess after the huge floods. (waterlogged insurance policies anyone?)
  5.  Gotten married and planned the wedding in 6 weeks, I allowed my husband to pressure me to do this (NEVER RECOMMENDED)
  6. Attended and completed full-time university study on campus
  7. Applied to the Embassy to marry in Australia and then applied for the living visa in the European country. (Paper work, tears and more paper work)
  8. Moved house by myself once in Australia and another time to France
  9. Worked full time the entire time I was in Australia

I know I had no kids, no pets, and my husband was in another country. BUT I kept on taking on extra normal life stuff, while dealing with everything that was bizarre. Here is a few small examples of voluntarily overloading myself when
I could have easily said no:

  • Sure Aunty H I’ll bake 2kgs of my famous cookies for your granddaughters school fete.
  • Yea Alana I’ll work that extra shift on top of my normal shift that day… Do you mind if I study when it gets quiet?
  • Mr C, do you need that power presentation on international business due Monday? Oh and will I get extra marks for this subject?
  • There is a birthday Ritz? Ok let me organise the restaurant, you organise the rest!
https://confessionsandcashmere.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tumblr_lgj7ank9vm1qcf2qvo1_500.jpg?w=300

I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t realise how wrong I’d let my life become. How empty and meaningless my actions had become. I was doing stuff but only in reaction. I had stopped being proactive and controlling how, who and what I spent my time and energy on.

I got in over my head. I’m talking about when I still couldn’t sleep cos my body was still holding left over stress. I yelled at my best-friends, and then would burst into tears on the phone to my mother for no reason. And then the Grand Final: Me the total foodaholic, had forgotten to eat properly for 4 days so I dropped a kilo or two, and I didn’t even get excited about it? HELLO??  I spent the last 4 months running on empty. 

By the time I arrived as an immigrant in France, my husbands mother-land, I was numb…I had spent the last 4 months running on empty. And here I was in totally new waters. I had no job, no university study (I had to wait for the new year intake for correspondence), I had no idea how to speak the language, heaps of time and no friends.. 90% of my husbands family can’t even understand English. Our house, which my husband had lived in for 6 months had transformed into a bachelors haven, it was empty, with a shitty couch and his idea of cleanliness. His prized possession was and still is, the huge over-sized flat screen TV.

When everything stops, sometimes you need to too.

Me? After not stopping for over a year? I was numb, isolated and exhausted.

I went from doing too much to having too much time.

I crashed. Hard.

Chelsea B
Have you ever burnt out? How? When? Do you think you could have ever stopped it?

Written by confessionsandcashmere

June 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm