Our newest set of notecards are now available for pre-order!
The eternal spring — wisdom from Rachel
Inspired by Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter.com’s Instagram biography
[video] What the internet is doing to our brains
Anyone tried the Days app yet?
[video] Inspiration bomb with Kemi Nekvapil
And finally, the spring session of Blogging from the Heart starts on Monday so I’ll leave registration open for one more day if you’d like to join us. Plus! Dates for the next sessions of my other classes have (finally!) been posted here xo
The older I get the more I like being on my own. This is not a bad thing as I spend the vast majority of my time actually alone. I work from home and I live alone. I am single. I’m an introvert and find large groups of people exhausting (one-on-one I love). I’m not particularly shy, and can be downright gregarious in the right situation, but on the whole, I prefer my own company.
For many years, this was a problem. The three big relationships of my life were with extroverted men who had lots of friends and like to hit the town at every opportunity. New Year’s Eve was always a battle as they (and yes, all three of them felt the same) wanted to go out and have THE BIGGEST NIGHT EVAH!!! and I wanted to stay at home, light candles and ease into the new year thoughtfully and calmly. I’m sure you can guess who won those battles. One of the greatest joys of these last eight years on my own has been getting to welcome each new year in exactly the way I want.
It’s only in the last few years I’ve truly accepted that this really is how I am. For the longest time I thought my lack of sociability meant there must be something fundamentally wrong with me. My twenties were a blur of college, first jobs, relationships and trying my best to be the extrovert I thought I was supposed to be. I tried, I really did, but it was exhausting. And then another party invite would arrive and we’d go but I’d spend the whole time wishing I was at home. Now I understand how introverts and extroverts work my twenties and early 30s make so much more sense to me. Honestly, this stuff ought to be taught in school — how much easier would life be if we understood how we processed the world right out the gate? Rather than being made to feel we’re boring or strange for liking — sometimes preferring — our alone time.
I’m pondering all of this because this introvert is preparing to put herself back out into the land of dating. I’m remembering my previous attempts at on-line dating and wondering if there are any guys out there who don’t need to have the Biggest Night Evah on New Year’s Eve. Eighty percent of me would rather stay at home than go on what is basically a blind date. I like it here! It’s calm and soothing and all my favourite things are around me. After the rocky start to the new year I’m in a good place, emotionally, so why would I want to risk that? But then there’s this pesky twenty percent….. the part of me that misses the kind of companionship where you can be alone together, quite happily, on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The kisses, the love, the building-a-future-together. The delicious stuff that requires another person be in the same room as you…
It’s time to leave the hermitage.
Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Sas. We met online back in 2010 and our first in-person date was actually a whole weekend at my place in Bath (I’ve since learned that Mr P not only drove her from their home in London but hung around nearby in case I was a psycho and she needed rescuing. Ha!) Since then we’ve been on plenty of escapades and put the world to rights MANY times. Sas recently stepped into her true calling as a life transformer (aka life coach) and I honestly can’t think of anyone more suited to that job. This month she’s leading the first session of emBODYment, her online program for women who want body peace — how awesome does that sound?
She asked me to share the Soundtrack to my Life over on her blog today, so I thought it only right that she does the same over here. Meet Sas!
When were you happiest? Right now, is marvellous. Most of the last decade has been about healing; working through grief and all the ‘stuff’ brought up by this big love with Mr P, irrecoverably changing my body with kindness, and stretching into my real purpose. I turn 40 in a couple of months and I feel awake, open, happy and so grateful. Nora Ephron was so right: ‘everything is copy’.
What was the most important thing that happened to you as a child? I had open heart surgery at four years old to correct a hereditary Atrial Septal Defect and Pulmonary Murmur (which is just fancy talk for a heart with a hole in it and an extra beat). In the early 1970s in New Zealand, this was an experimental procedure. Because she never expected me to survive, Mum poured everything into my early years – I could read and write from the age of three. Every day was an amazing adventure.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why? to Mum. For taking the precious years we had together completely for granted.
What song best explains the soundtrack to your teenage life? Must I Paint you a Picture, Billy Bragg
What does love feel like? It’s like coming home; its so simple and easy. And yet its profoundly extraordinary. It took me a long time to learn how to be loved. And to love myself.
What is the dumbest thing you have done in the name of love? So many things! From awful teenage poetry, to losing my self-belief.
What three qualities must/does your life partner possess? He is thoughtful, kind, and he makes me laugh.
What is your favourite love song? Feeling Good, Nina Simone and Keep Me In Your Heart, Warren Zevon
What is your secret job title? Wielder of the Magic.
What traits do you deplore in others? Any kind of fundamentalism – there is just no room for possibility.
What is your greatest life lesson (so far)? We are not our thoughts, feelings, bodies or actions. At the root of the root of all of us and everything, is love.
What song would you like played at your funeral? Goodbye Old Girl, Art Farmer and Short People, Randy Newman
What is your most treasured possession? A handwritten letter from Mum.
What is your favourite daily ritual? I recently bought a vibrating face cleanser (really) and it has changed my freakin’ life! I use it every morning and night and I love how soft and smooth my skin is.
Who are the five people you would love to host at afternoon tea? I have so many questions for Janet Frame, Buckminster Fuller, Christopher Hitchens, Julia Child and my maternal grandmother who died a decade before I was born.
What song feels like home? Not Given Lightly, Chris Knox. This song is the smell of a BBQ and sunscreen and the sand between my toes. Its the sound of clinking glasses and the kids playing beach cricket. There’s nothing quite like a New Zealand summer evening *homesick face*
How do you take care of your body? Tonnes of water, SPF 86, rest and play. And good chocolate.
What has your body taught you? Everything. Who I am in the world is all because of my body. I navigate every decision in my life through my intuition (Sas Nav. Ha.) which lives in my body. I have such a deep, conscious trust for my body which feels kind of miraculous given how long I was completely indifferent to it.
If reincarnation is a thing, what body do you want to possess in your next life? No question: a beloved cat.
What song never fails to make you feel un-freakin-stoppable? Born Slippy, Underworld
What feeds your soul? Stories. There is nothing like an uninterrupted hour with a book. Or a conversation with someone who knows me well and loves me anyway.
What do people thank you for? For showing up and for the laughs.
If you were to be remembered for one thing, what would you like it to be? For being the kind of friend you could count on to help hide the body.
What song feels like it was written about you? Let Go, Frou Frou
[Photos by Xanthe Berkeley]