Image courtesy of Rachel Awes. Print available by clicking image.
In my recent call-out for help on the “where the heck is this blog going?” variety, one of the questions I posed was, “if you could sit down with me to talk about anything at all, what would it be?” The responses gave me just about enough material to fill at least a few self-indulgent volumes, however the one that’s really been niggling at me ever since it jumped off the screen at me was this: “What do you believe?”
My initial thought process in response went a little something like this:
“Hmm. I’m not sure I even know what I believe.” “Is this even a problem?” “Is it a greater problem that I don’t even know whether it is a problem or not?” “Okay, settle down, Alice. Drink your tea and stop chasing the damn rabbit.”
The thing is, it is a bloody good question. Here goes.
– that life is short. My mum died when I was 5. From that point onwards, I have lived my life under the presumption (perhaps unhealthily so!) that it could be cut short at any time. As such I believe in not over-thinking plans too much, but rather, just doing it. Whatever Nike said.
– in taking the road less travelled. I believe that life is an adventure. I’m much more into accumulating experiences than stuff.
– in telling people you love that you love them. Unless you don’t, in which case they’re not one of the “people that you love” anyway, so why would you? Hmm. I am over thinking. Next.
– that people are generally good. I am sometimes insanely naive when it comes to this. I assume everybody is nice, has their heart in the right place and is going to do the right thing. I really have only been burned a very few number of times, actually, but each time I have been genuinely surprised.
– that if you are one of the privileged folks in the world who has enough to eat and drink without much stress, reliable shelter and safety, then you MUST help others who don’t. No question.
– what goes around comes around. Eventually!
– that magic does happen. Not in a “fairy dropping dust on your pillow” kind of way, but in people, just real human being average people, doing good things.
– that art – music, paintings, cabaret, poetry, writing, dancing, design, comedy… – is important and should be treated as such! Imagine a world without it. Shudder.
– there is always good that can come out of a bad situation. For example, my mum’s very early death. Of COURSE I am not glad that happened, not at all. But…as a result I became extremely close to and maternal towards my little sister in a way that I think only losing a parent can make you, it also hugely influenced my entire life view (i.e. that life is short and you should make the most of it) and I think, also inspired me to treat people better. To say I love you. To apologise. To be kind. Knowing that we’re not all going to be here for long. I think these are all good things that came from an otherwise horrific tragedy. The worst things in life can bring out the best.
– people irritate the living shizz out of each other. It’s just what we do. It seems in direct proportion to the ones we spend the most time with and/or the ones who are in our family. That reason alone is not enough to warrant walking away.
– there will always be reasons not to start that project you’ve been thinking about. Just do it. You’ll work out the details later. Just start.
– in always striving to get better and to be better. I believe in being a lifelong learner.
– that you can still follow pretty wild and crazy adventures with kids. It’s definitely different from how I would have done it solo style, but it’s doable. Hard. Expensive. But doable.
– that travel is one of the best educations and life-transforming experiences ever. For everybody, no matter what their age. I hope to be travelling regularly until I die.
– that living a life is like sewing a giant tapestry quilt, with each patchwork piece representing an adventure/experience/friendship/good thing you did or nurtured during your time here. I imagine myself sometimes as an old lady on her death bed, pulling this gorgeous and amazing quilt over herself and think about what I want it to look like.
– whatever you believe in in terms of spirituality, it’s all pretty crazy. No matter how firm your beliefs (or non-beliefs), at the end of the day, nobody KNOWS. Me? I believe in God, what exactly he/she/it looks like I don’t presume to know. The religious stuff does my head in most of the time. But I am okay with my jury being out. My belief is mine and is held with the full awareness that I KNOW nothing.
– that sometimes when a door shuts or something completely crap-balls happens, something amazing can be right around the corner. Truly. It’s happened to me so many times it feels like a cosmic joke.
– there is no perfect way to parent. I go into this gig knowing that I am going to screw them up somehow, I’m just trying to enjoy them, love them and hope that the rest gets picked up by the mudguards. (Not sure what that means either, but damn I enjoyed writing it.)
– in the power of laughter to heal: people, situations, relationships, hearts.
– the world is a freaking terrifying and horrifying place. But it’s also full of amazingness, wonder, heart, music, love, art and magic, sometimes you just have to seek it out. And make it.
– I believe we can believe very different things and still be friends.
– when in doubt, crank up Boogie Wonderland and dance, baby. It never fails.