Can one be suitably outraged, contented and peaceful all at once?

For a little while I have been thinking about blogging again. I miss it. The getting to know people through their stories. The new ideas, perspectives, the clarity it brings and the personal nature of it. I do wonder … does it even exist anymore, the blogosphere? Hello, is anybody out there? Or has it become something else, something I seek that used to exist. Is blogging simply a thing from the past that I pine for. Lately, I seem to pine for past things, past times. Times that can’t return. I can’t go back and yet I am unsure about which way is forward. So, I guess I will do what I do in these times, I will write.

It seems hard to feel excited about the future when the world is warming, fighting, trapped in an online vortex of some sort of bullshit alternate reality and it’s becoming so ridiculously expensive to live in, how can all of this be sustainable? And yet, everyday the world goes on and I do want to feel excited about that, and about life. I do want to have hope, adventure, fun times, laugher, good food, joy and sadness with my people and to live in my natural state of optimism. But … I don’t want to do that at the cost of living in denial about the world. How do we call bullshit on the bullshit and live peacefully, contentedly at the same time?

After being away from Australia for over 5 years I do feel the pull back. There are a lot of things I miss. I miss all things ‘Aussie’ish’. The things that are Aussie to me. My family, friends, the bush, the beach, the smashed avo and egg breakfasts, the humour, the language that shortens all words, the familiarity, the ease in which we are open, the 5 TV channels, all the things really and of course the warm weather. Maybe it’s belonging to something that’s a big part of me, of who I am that I crave. And for whatever reason I haven’t managed to create that sense of belonging to here – to where I am.

Yesterday, I said to a friend ‘I don’t think I have caught up to where I am in my life’. I am in such a different phase to the one we were in when we landed here. We arrived with young kids, a huge adventure on the horizon and now we have teens who are almost adults. When we left, I felt a world of possibility … and for a while there was this great sense of something new being built. The world seemed so big, anything, everything seemed possible. I felt on the cusp of something. What was that cusp though? And where did I climb down from walking towards it? What was it that stopped me in my tracks? Did I even stop in my tracks, or am I taking a longer route, an alternative route?

I am, of course, very much here and while a clear path back to Australia doesn’t seem to be looking at us right now there are lots of things I enjoy and love about this life. Train to Paris anyone? Take the bike kids! Oh I’ll be hiking a part of the Northern Camino for a bit, toodles. We have built something amazing, but still, something feels like it is missing. I should be able to find it here … right. The missing puzzle piece. I mean, I know the grass is never greener. Fact. And in the quiet when I think about what I miss the most about my ‘old’ life (aside from Aussie’ness) it is the doing of something that matters. I want to be someone who stands for something, for many things. For most of my life I have had a job where that’s been my day to day. From teaching kids at risk to supporting women in childbirth. Right now, I seem to be in an apathetic state. I don’t feel like I fit in here. I just don’t know how, or where to fight ‘the good fight’. What even is the good fight right now?

Some days I feel I am living in complete culture shock. I don’t understand the world. The big world and my smaller world. I know I’m not someone who wants to be super loud. I am no politician, and I am not striving for a leadership or big job. But I do want to do something that matters. Writing is this little thing I do, often in the quiet and and it does matter. It helps me to make sense of my world and sometimes it seems to also help others. Words can be magical like that. And when I’m lost in writing all the other not so important things, seem, well, just so not important.

In this post pandemic, post yearlong renovation, post kids growing faster than I have been able to keep up with time – I really need to find which way is North again. I think it’s changed for me and in this phase of my life, it isn’t so clear cut! The way forward really isn’t obvious. Decisions seem momentous with far reaching consequences. Where will the children end up, where will I grow old. And there is the simple fact that I am a lot less ‘cartwheely’ these days about the whole process of life and change. I can’t quite summon the energy for huge expectations and outrageously gung-ho plans. Which ironically and so not like me – I kind of like. This feels peaceful in its own way.

I did very simple things yesterday. I played music most of the day, I cooked a favorite meal for one of my loved from scratch, I started regrowing spring onions. I had some lovely conversation where there were no answers, but questions were asked. I started thinking about decisions without needing to make any. I think it is in these small things that the big things can unfold. And I was suitably outraged when I learnt that petrol is coming up through the sinks in a suburb south of Sydney. As well as the flooding. Climate change is happening in real time, I wasn’t wrong about that years ago when I left. Am I outraged by the fact that this is happening without consequence for those in power, or is it that I’m in a languishing, apathetic way that outrages me.

OMG I have reverted to being someone who apologises for taking up space. Have I become a bootlicker? What scared me? Who scared me? Last night in my outrage, I did send off a message to the universe (via the insta world 🤪) seeking a sign, willing myself to find some momentum and I did buy a sweater that said ‘if you’re not angry. you’re not taking notice’. So yeah, look, I’m pretty outraged at the world and myself for being a privileged ass.

Yes, dear friends it is time to face myself and to go in search of something. In search of a tribe maybe, or of myself and most definitely of my strength and courage. ROAR. It’s time to catch up to where I am before yet another year passes. To be outraged with bullshitand to be peaceful and contented with where I am. I don’t know how to solve the climate change problem or all the world’s injustices and I am ok with that. What I’m not ok with is not trying. There was a time when I was was sooo here and so connected that when I walked in the woods I could feel the pain of Mother Earth. I felt she spoke to me one time, I even stopped to write a poem. I am not sure why I’ve put my woo woo self to sleep. Perhaps, there have been too many other voices and just too many people with a different kind of energy around me. It’s just become too crowded. I know I need to wake her up though. I am certain of that. I need the woo woo. It is the essence of who I am and when I am in that space, I can see the North star.

So unapologetically in I go …

14 thoughts on “Can one be suitably outraged, contented and peaceful all at once?”

    1. Dear Annette, I didn’t get to meet you in person during this trip back … it was a whirlwind. I had hoped but ooohhh my, it was non-stop. Next trip I will look forward to it. xx

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  1. Hey Fran – love your posted ponderings … looking for your tribe, wanting to stand up for all the injustices but not knowing how … so much is going wrong/on and we can’t do anything about it (we have been silenced by so many laws) – sends me bonkers that thought that I chose to turn off the TV and any news at all … I now choose to look at the world through rose tinted glasses now … like I am medicated … I am letting life play out and living in my own bubble … probably not the right approach but the right one for me … are you in your Chiron Return (turning point in life)? wondering … write more – love it !

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    1. I agree with you Paula – I think a bubble is sometimes exactly what we need. Sometimes we need that protective membrane. And of course it is permeable but there is nothing wrong with sheltering when needed. I really needed some time to regroup, to remember that I had a life before this time. A very busy time spent indulging in time with my family, friends and what I thought was the past has absolutely revived me. There were so many moments that have fed my soul and invited me back to the present. Ooooh the Chiron Return … I am going to read more about this. Am 50 later this year. And yes I will write more. I am back. xxx

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  2. My beautiful friend. I can’t wait to walk and talk.
    Not long now . Honest and thoughtful words always so bravely shared. Thank you ❤️

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  3. I prescribe a good long walk in Spain. It sounds like you need the simplest of simplicity – sleep, walk, eat, sleep – to work through some of these issues. I suspect we all have them at various times and we all deal with them differently. I am currently reading Ronni Kahn’s book about her journey to starting OzHarvest. A really interesting read – she identified there was a gap in the way she was living and what she wanted to contribute to the World. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself space to think through this stuff. Melx

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    1. Hey Mel! Thank you for your wisdom, as always – so intuitive. A trip home has simmered the rage :) Ronni is an inspiration. I have started reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits and it has completely shifted my mindset! That combined with such beautiful time spent with family and friends has put everything back in its place. Spain though – aah yes. There are a few days coming up to continue the Northern Camino. I walked Irun to Bilbao in October. Heaven. Borders are open now … I think it is safe for you to dream again. xxx

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  4. As you eluded to Fran, I think there are so many distractions in this world right now that it’s difficult to find, or have space to find the woo woo. There is an urgency in my mind because there are so many brutal things happening in the world that I feel compelled to keep running the gauntlet in fear of being engulfed by the sheer volume. There is probably not a week that goes by that I don’t think ‘What is the point of what I am doing?’ ….and in the whole scheme of things, most of it seems futile. I have no answers but each day I try to do some good for the planet, me, others and the dog! Great post Fran. Enjoy your Aussie adventure. xxx

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    1. Aahh Lizzy, thank you for commenting … yes, this is the key. I am with yo each day we be the best we can be and do the good we can do. It is enough. I think my outrage was firmly a look in the mirror, I wasn’t personally doing enough. I think fear had become my brake … now, after a beautiful time home living is the gas pedal. Sad we missed you on the adventure. xxx

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