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Dear Adventure

:: THE LOVE LETTER TO LIFE SERIES ::

Dear Adventure,

Thank you for always finding me, challenging me and stretching me.
Calling me to go, seek and uncover.
Thank you for pushing me to learn more about the world and most importantly more about myself.
I love when you surprise me with an idea that unsettles everything I’ve known up until then, and a plan that unravels and ignites me in equal measure.
You bring out the fear and the brave in me.

Thank you for giving me a reason to go. Your allure ensures I’m never in one spot too long.
Your wisdom shows me how to grow, to stretch, to do a backflip into a new version of myself.I love when we go on a walk with friends and it was promised to only be a two hour stroll and then with a haphazard wrong turn becomes a five hour hike.
Across boulders, rivers, a mountain. And when it feels like it’s too much, too hard, too far, you remind me that I can do it.
You remind me that the story of this, around the bonfire later, with cheese and wine in hand, will be worth it.   You remind me that moving my body, stretching my muscles and being still with my mind today, are more important than a blister tomorrow.

I love when you encourage me to move to another country, to start new jobs, to meet new people.
And I never feel ready, I could have always planned more, saved more. But you remind me that ready is never the point.
No one is ever really ready to anything. We just have to do the thing.
You’re the reason I hired a camper van and drove up the coast on my own.
You knew I’d see the majestic pine trees lining the road, and I’d find the reason for being there.
That rush of calm and serenity and insignificance that fills your lungs and your heart.
The beauty of nature. Of solitude. Of unfiltered thinking.

You’re the reason I wander and wonder.
You help me lust after a better version of this life. 
You help me strive for more peace, more connectedness, more self awareness.
You are going to an obscure restaurant with my partner on an impromptu date night and having to learn how to make our own broth.
You are the family camping trip where we forget the second gazebo and needed to huddle together in a rainstorm, and sprawl out on the grass in a heatwave.
You are the story of my grandmother in her 20s travelling solo, on a ship for three weeks, across the globe, to see where she came from.

I love you for gifting me friends in other countries.  Lovers who didn’t share the same language. Family who miss me.
You are a reason to get up in the morning, to go for a walk in a new neighbourhood, new city, new country.
You are what stories are made of.
You are physical adventure and most preciously you are self adventure.
You are what happens in my heart and my mind when I’m figuring something out.
You are the meanderings of my subconscious.

You teach me. 
When I have my first panic attack in time square in New York city, during my first day of looking for work, after my laptop crashes.
You show me how to ask for help.
How to sit with myself and ask myself why it hurts, where is the discomfort, how can I let go, lean in, heal.
You are the ever present sense of living a life that is true to me, even when it feels against the grain. Against the norm. Against the ‘easy’.

You, adventure, are my deep appreciation for going to dinners with good people, hiking towards waterfalls with my thoughts, camping with my family, flying towards friends with my hugs and travelling the world with my love.

Thank you for carrying me everywhere I go, adventure, I love you x

Sarah x

 

For Grandma.

~ Performed live at Camp Good Life Project in upstate New York, August 2016. ~

A year ago today I watched all of you perform wonderful things on this stage with such bravery, vulnerability and talent. And I promised myself that night, that I would come back this year and I would perform something too.

I had high hopes of writing an interesting, moving piece that I would rehearse until it was a melodic, flawless work of art.

But that is not what happened.

As it turns out 2016 was destined to be a tricky one. And jam packed full of lessons I didn’t really want.

My mum has been sick.
I moved countries and houses several times.
I got a new job I didn’t know I wanted, but deep down I knew I needed.
And I let go of my business.
My Nanna passed away 3 weeks ago and my Grandma died at the start of April, at 92 after a short fight with a rare cancer.

I wanted to write a poem that was profound and uplifting and effortlessly entertaining and well written.

But instead I’m here to tell you that you need to let go of how you thought things would work out.
That you need to find ease in change.
That your expectation of yourself and the reality of yourself will be different.

I need to tell that you need to stand in your shit.

And that I’ve realised that I can be both strong and not strong, and that that is ok.

That there is no one way to love, be loved or to grieve.

And,  really what I want to tell you about,  is my Grandma.

This strong woman shaped me.

She was Nancy Harney and she was the epitome of the resilient country woman.
She travelled the world as a solo woman in her 20s in the 1940s.
She was a supportive and generous wife for nearly 60 years.
She raised 5 children in rural Australia and co ran a farm for decades.

Grandma taught me how to be whoever I wanted to be.
She told me to be brave, to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to always keep exploring.
Grandma made everyone feel so loved because She loved deeply and (almost) unconditionally.

She was the ultimate provider.
Even if you showed up un-announced there’d be a sandwich whipped up out of what appeared to be nothing.
And family occasions were always a production of great food on the best china.

Community was everything to her.
She worked for every committee, served on every board, volunteered at every event.

Grandma has always reminded me the importance of the things the modern world is moving away from.  She always wrote letters and postcards. And encouraged me to write to her, from wherever I was.
She always called.
And she always showed up.
She believed in dressing up and being there for the big things and the small things.

My favourite thing about Grandma is that she was the matriarch of our family.
She was strong. She was determined.  And to be fair, a little bit stubborn.
She was elegant, generous, thoughtful, committed all the way to the end.

Spending her last short months with her, was an absolute honour and a gift.
She helped raise me and I will be forever grateful for having such an inspiring role model in my life.

So, love those around you deeply, tell them you’re grateful for them and keep up the adventure.

Sarah x

Falling in love with a friend.

Discovering a woman that you love, but do not want to be physically intimate with, is fantastic.

You meet them and you feel instantly connected.

That giggling, rambling, story-telling, of two people who are so excited to have found each other.

Who are so excited to listen to each other.

You look at this person and you hear them agree with you, they laugh at your jokes, mention shows you love, books you love, books you haven’t read yet but know you will love.

You can tell that there are so many conversations to have with this person.

And part of you thinks, this is something, this could be a friendship.

And you are right.

 

If you happen to be a woman, who happens to be attracted to both men and women, meeting anyone and falling only friendship in love with them, is a rare and beautiful thing.

And this woman, she is the best.

She is so funny. She uses words in her accent that you think are in-jokes related to country of origin when in fact they are words that only she uses. Or words she made up.

She says things with such consistent, passionate tone, that you laugh every time.

You love how she has managed to combine such self-assured, mature, confident strength with such soft, caring, self-deprecating kindness. 

It is a personality combination that you admire.

 

And best of all, she loves you.

At a time when you are sometimes forgetting that you are strong and brave and interesting and worth listening to, she tells you that you are.

She wants to hear more stories.

She never appears bored or distracted.

She laughs at things you didn’t realise were jokes.

She thinks the things you do just because you are you, are brave and inspiring.

She makes you feel better about everything.

About where you are, who you are and what you want.

She helps you feel less alone.

 

Most importantly she makes you feel, simultaneously, rescued and like you don’t need rescuing.

There is no judgement. There is accountability, there is love, there is goddamn fabulous ideas and glorious rambling trains-of-thought but there is no time to feel less than.

Time warps and slows and extends and you spend time apart and more time together.

And your friendship deepens.

You get to that point where you can’t remember a time when you were not friends, let alone didn’t even know the other existed, even if it were merely months ago.

You talk about the big things.

You talk about the small things.

You talk about the things you’ve been telling yourself are small but actually are not.

You share good food, you drink good wine, you go on adventures.

You talk about the universe, the stars, the numbers, the conspiracies.

What does it all mean?

 

And sometimes you have to say a physical goodbye.

Because this is the nature of travel and countries and the world, we don’t always live near the people we love.

And you try to write something to this person to thank them for existing.

To thank them for taking care of you and supporting you.

To thank them for loving you.

 

And it’s tricky sometimes, to say all that, to write all that.

We don’t talk enough about how fundamental and life-changing friendships can be.

People often ask if ‘you’ve met someone?’ and they always mean romantically.

But you don’t have to be romantic with someone to fall in another kind of love with them.

In fact ‘meeting someone’ is not always what you need.

A solid, eye-opening, unapologetic, loving friendship is what you needed.

You may have been metaphorically or geographically lost, or both.

And you needed a kindred spirit friendship then, and probably forever.

And you walked into each other lives.

And you’re saying hell yes.

And you are so fucking grateful.

And you love them.

 

And you wonder why we don’t talk about friendship love enough.

Because it is just as exciting as romantic love.

You tell your parents about them, you want to show them where you’re from.

You want them to meet your family, your friends.

You want to share your life with them.

And if you’re lucky, you probably will. 

 

Sarelizah xx

 

 

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