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I have recently acknowledged that my life is actually interesting. Not in a braggy-look-at-me way. More in a Oh-wow-I’m-doing-ok kind of way. I think recently I’d forgotten that fact.

I’ve had a lot of life experiences, some others can relate to, and some they can’t but they are intrigued by the side-show-alley-ness of it.

I spent a lot of time in my life thinking I was less than. That while I loved my picket fence life, outsiders might be gazing in and yawning. No one sees the undercurrents of a person’s path or struggle.

Certainly the last 4 years of my life have been crazy busy and exciting. I spent too much wasted time in the past apologising for myself. Blah! I’m not perfect. I’m learning to embrace the imperfections.

I’m not quite there. I’m still not entirely comfortable in my nakedness, which I miss. I like my curves. I always have but I’ve stood in judgment of myself more since my marriage ended. As if my physicality had anything to do with it. Logic and facts tell me it didn’t. I’m working on this.

I didn’t have an ideal childhood. So much so that I marvel at those that did. I watch grown friends surrounded by siblings and parents who love one another and I smile in wonder. I watch them as I watch movies. Fascinated by that which I can’t really understand. It’s made me a better parent. I’ve learnt that the definition of family cannot be found in the oxford dictionary. It’s different for everyone.

I’ve also learnt that as amazing as my kids are, they are not perfect either. Nor do they need to aspire to be. Sometimes my kids think in a dick, which no doubt I am at times. We have a great relationship.

I’ve had three amazing kids and helped to raise a fourth who was my son’s best friend and remains an inseparable part of my family.

I’ve been married – twice, and divorced…twice. Perhaps I’m an over achiever! I’ve loved and been loved. Ive been un-loved. I’ve had my heart broken. Or more aptly, shattered. I’ve been left. I’ve swept up the pieces.

I’ve travelled a little. This chick from the western suburbs who attended public school once sat in the controversial Wat Phra Dhammakaya
temple in a private meeting with the head monk of the Dhammakaya Movement in Thailand. I meditated amongst their hypnotic chanting. I drank black fragrant tea whilst watching vibrantly draped women in India. I sipped vintage champagne in a bathtub in Paris and wrote poetry in Montmartre. I’ve walked across bridges in Venice and marvelled at the beauty of the naked and brilliant David in Florence. I drank cider and Mulled wine in London and walked the Monopoly board roads that exist there.

I’ve touched statues born from stones thousands of years before my conception. I’ve stood in magnificent rain forests right here in Australia, feeling so tiny amongst giant trees. Still I thought I was somehow lacking.

I’ve worked hard. I’ve had money. I’ve owned pretty things and had houses, to find one day it was all lost. All that was once solid was suddenly little more than shifting sands beneath my feet. Shattered dreams and chaos.

I learnt I am not the sum of the things I owned but of the person I am. I learnt that my integrity and my strength were more important than bricks and mortar.

I dusted myself off, picked myself up and continued to work and support my family. I’m still looking for a new role after my position was made redundant. I admit it’s the first time I’ve worked so hard to find a job! It sucks. I’ve always been lucky in the past to float from one job to the next. I meditate and manifest. I recite daily positive mantras in my head. I’m a born optimist. It’s who I am!

I have amazing friends. I really do. Kick arse people who make my life better because they are a part of it. Friends who encourage me or listen to me, as I do for them. Friends that say “cut the crap, get up and get on with it” when I need that. Friends that I share belly laughs with, or get drunk with, or cry with. Or all of the above.

I write every day. It’s a passion and my heart’s mission. Yesterday I was almost late for an appointment because I got so caught up in something I was writing I lost track of time. I’ve met some incredible and creative people through my blog. I’m so grateful for that and their generosity is inspiring. I’m learning so much by knowing them and following them, and reading their work. Some I now call friends.

I’ve written poetry that was short listed for awards even though I swear I am no poet, and written plays that were performed. By real people. Which astounds me. Even though I am not a playwright.

I am learning that I am a writer. An actual one. Not a fraud. My words are my own, pouring out of me. Shared with the world.

I’m in my first truly adult relationship in my life, the only true love I’ve met outside of my youth. Falling in love in your 40s is radically different than falling in love in your early 20s. It has to be. You are so different from one decade to the next.

I take nothing away from young love which is beautifully innocent and joyful. I’m just a very different person now than I was back then. Thankfully!

Being in a relationship in my 40s means when I gave my heart, I’ve done so with my life time of knowledge and understanding. It hasn’t been given lightly. I now know there are no guarantees in life which is something I simply didn’t understand in my twenties. I thought love was forever and my partner was a prince amongst men. When the shit hit the fan, there was no armoured knight drawing his sword, slaying dragons to fight for me. No sir. He just left.

I don’t believe in fairytales like I did back then. Real life is far more exciting than fables anyway. This was made glaringly obvious when I recently slept, unknowingly, with a packet of peanut M&M’s under a pillow at the Producer’s place. I didn’t even feel them! The tale of the Princess and the Pea comes to mind! Clearly I am no princess! I didn’t feel a whole packet of chocolate peanuts beneath my weary head.

I’m so grateful that my ex left me. Though I’ll never regret all I shared with him, and for the gorgeous ones, in his leaving, the doors were open for me to grow which led me down the yellow brick road. I found myself.

Then I met the Producer. I can honestly say I’ve never loved another person as I love him. It’s a grown up, beautiful feeling. Yes, he makes my knees weak and I get all giddy like a teenager! It’s so nice that when he says he loves me, I just know he does. I’ve never questioned it. He didn’t tell me until he felt it and meant it.

I’ve learnt I’m unique and as such I bring positives to his life as he does mine.

I’ve learnt by being with him that equality in relationships does exist. My feelings matter as much as the other person’s. When he looks at me, I feel beautiful. And I like it. I’ve learnt that I’m not hard to love as I once believed I was. That someone loves me for all I am, not despite it. That being a strong woman with her own opinions and beliefs is more than ok with this man.

He’s not on a pedestal though. I love him, warts and all. I know his strengths and his weaknesses. It’s in my nature to focus on the positives though. For that I make no apologies either. I’m not naive. There is no denial. For the first time I’ve laid my soul truly bare in front of someone and seen the same in return, feeling like I’m more at home than I have been before. He’s standing beside me on this journey. Not above me or in front of me. Just beside me. Occasionally he holds my hand, or walks up behind me and puts his arms around me. Delicious moments of I’m at home-ness personified.

When I’m concerned or confused, I’ve learnt to talk about it with him, not swallow it as I would have in the past.

I’ve been asked a lot of questions though since being in a relationship! People are curious. Will we live together? If so where? How will your lives merge? Would I ever get married again?

I’ve had people offer up their opinions about my love life – telling me I’m too old to bother with marriage, and I’m too old to consider having his children. Wow. Thanks for sharing…don’t hold back. Too old?! I’m 44!

I’ve been told marriage is utter bullshit and is a relic from the days of pre feminism when misogynist men owned women like cattle. Given I’m a divorced, feminist, single parent in a relationship, they assumed I’d agree

Nah. I respect if that’s your opinion but I’m less cynical and still okay with mutual public declarations of love if people choose to get married. I am an advocate for marriage equality – for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. If you’re supporting gay marriage, you can’t not support the idea of marriage! I think everyone has the right to choose – if you are anti marriage, that’s cool. Don’t get married. Celebrate your love in other ways. Simple.

I’m a romantic by nature. I used to think I was foolish to have a romantic heart. Now I’m grateful for it. It doesn’t make you weak to actually feel things deeply. In fact it’s pretty gutsy if you ask me. To feel is a risk. Being brave enough to take a risk is a beautiful thing.

I’ll live my life in a way that feels right for me regardless of other’s views. That’s a cool part of being in my 40s too. I’ve stopped giving a toss about others judgements of me and my choices. Also I don’t know all the answers to all of the questions asked. I’ll know when the time is right.

I’ve had readers concerned that I won’t talk as much about sex now that I’m off the dating circuit! I’m in a relationship, people – I’m not dead! I still have a very healthy sexual appetite (the Producer joked that I’m insatiable!) and I make no apologies for that either.

Mind you I’ve also copped criticism because I talk about sex and in particular because I’ve referenced my own sex life. Gasp! You can’t please everyone all of the time! I’ve been called a slut on more than one occasion since I started The Good Girl Confessional!

I’ve learnt that I don’t have to apologise either for being a feminist who talked about having my arse spanked! Yes I copped flack for that too! How can you call yourself a feminist and be subservient to a man? Sexual play doesn’t make me subservient since it was mutual and also, I’m not apologising that I liked it. Nor should anyone have to.

Being a feminist means I get to choose to live my life how I want and on my own terms. Which I’m doing. I don’t always get it right but my choices are my own!

Damn it. If I want to dress up in a gimp mask and leather I will! I totally don’t by the way – it’s not my thing – but you get what I’m saying!

The one thing I’ve learnt is that my life is interesting to the one person that counts…me. Which really is all that matters. It’s too hard living a life trying to please anyone else. We can’t please everyone, it’s impossible.

I’m continually growing and evolving. I’m learning something new – be it big or small – every day. Sometimes about life, or the world, or politics, my kids, my friends, my man. Learning is endless. It’s brilliant and mindblowing.

I’m learning that in being human, I’m just like everyone else. Sometimes I make mistakes. I say the wrong thing, or I have a moment of judgement. I try not to do it again. Sometimes I’ve inadvertently hurt someone or made someone uncomfortable and that’s crap.

Sometimes it’s important to apologise and in those moments, of course I do. I just don’t consider being myself to be something I need to apologise for. I’m learning that I’m nurturing and giving but It’s okay that I want to be nurtured from time to time. That I’m deserving of that too.

I’ve learnt that although people have grown used to me being strong, it’s okay that I’m not all the time. Even though that makes some people uncomfortable. I’m no longer apologising for other people’s behaviour either! It’s not my place nor my burden.

I’m learning that I’m okay with who I am. With being me. And I’m not sorry.