Category Archives: life

Numbers

Are weird things. Mine keeps changing and I keep changing with it. I just had my 40th and I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means. To me, and to people around me, and how we all have such different ideas on life, and who we are and what impact we want to have on the world.

I’ve really and truly reached and accepted the fact that I am now middle aged. The reality is that most of us live until we’re in our 80’s. 90’s if we’re lucky..some of us may even see a hundred, and hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to still be inside our own brains when that happens.

Growing older has always been a challenging concept for me. There have been many points in my life where I truly thought I wouldn’t make it past certain ages. I have struggled with depression for most of my life, and every year that I survived it for awhile felt like a victory. It still does, but…now it’s just easier. Now instead of wondering if I’ll make it, I’m able to realise that I have, and I like my days, I like my life, I like where I live. I like living.

I’ve lived a life, and it’s one I’m mostly proud of. There are definitely things that I’m super not proud of, but I know I’m not alone in that, so I’ve learned to let them go.

So what have I learned in my 40 years on this planet? Shit, so much. And I know that there’s still so much left to learn.

I’ve learned that people are just people. They’re all messed up and scared and fighting their own battles. Some are more successful than others, some understand things better and are built for things others find really hard to deal with. But everyone has a history, a past that makes them who they are, and a life that’s filled with love, and loss, successes and failures. Because all of us? We all have hopes and dreams.

I’ve learned that having friends in all age brackets is really important. Everyone has something to teach you. Even the people who waste your time. It’s definitely easier to pick these people out as you get older.

I’ve learned that trying new things and proving people wrong is still pretty much the best feeling in the world. Every time someone said I couldn’t, I did. And maybe I didn’t do it amazingly, or stick with it, but I still did it. Trying is really important. Failure happens.

 

You know what, I could go on and write a fucking novel and bore you all to tears, or I could just tell you that getting older is a blessing. I love myself more now than I ever have. I am so proud of who I am, as a 40 year old woman.  And in the words of the magnificent Roald Dahl “Never grow up, always down!”

Because this shit? It goes really fast. And don’t believe what anyone tells you you should be. At ANY age. All you ever have to be, is yourself. People can like you, or they can not. And exa fuckin’ exa to those guys. You don’t need them anyway. Here’s a picture of me being a responsible 40 year old woman.

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40 is amazing you guys. Roll on the next 10 years. And the next, and the next… 🙂

Special thanks to these two amazing human beings for making all my dreams come true. <3

 

Palawan

My external hard drive has been playing up which means I’ve had no access to photos! But I have them back and now I can enthrall you with the freakin’ amazingness that was Palawan.

I can’t even begin to properly describe how fantastic this place is. The airport is this tiny little thing tucked away in the corner, and you walk in to fresh food and all the coffee you can drink, and friendly people and then they put you on a tiny plane and fly you for like an hour or two out of Manila, until you arrive here…DSC_2493

And I mean that literally. The airport we arrived in is behind this. Directly behind this. There were people waiting there who sung to us as we arrived and gave us more beautiful food until we were driven 5 minutes to here, where we climbed into boats and were taken across the sea to our resort.

So, the resort is on an island and…that’s ALL that’s on the island. We stayed at El Nido which caters for about 50 guests, and was the one recommended to us as the resort with the more energetic itinerary.  We had left Manila after being stuck there due to the APEC conferences in a tiny little hotel near the airport with absolutely no redeeming features, and that smelled like pee. The window was just a curtain covered wall, and outside there were riot police all lined up down the street – which was completely blocked due to traffic.

Manila was an interesting city. I would have liked to have been able to see more of it to be honest, and am super disappointed Ollie wouldn’t hire one of the guys on bikes to take us around. Because we walked, and it was miserable. Too hot, too big, too dirty….too full of riot police.

I should write a post about Manila too actually. I’ll do that. Back to El Nido!! So after about two hours on a boat, we rounded the corner of an island to find this waiting for us…

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I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything that quite resembled my idea of heaven…and then I saw this.  It might not look like much, but…

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It was freakin’ paradise at every hour of the day.

Their were people waiting here for us too, singing us a welcome song, with the most amazing coconut juice I’ve ever had in my life. From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left, we felt like it was home. The staff knew us by name, and were always available. They provided a turn down service every night, which included a handwritten note in silver pen written on a leaf, and a Palawan folk story. I wished we’d stayed forever, just for the stories to be honest!

They were right about the activities too. We did all of them – well, I missed the last snorkeling trip in favour for lying in a deck chair and looking at the view and reading.

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I honestly could have stayed forever. This water!!!! That view!!! Ollie and I went off one morning by ourselves to the “big lagoon” where we pushed the kayak up on a small beach and just lay in the water for hours. We went caving, and rock climbing, and island hopping and snorkeling. It was so, so, SO gorgeous.

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Look at those fishiiieeeessssss!!!!

It was just the ultimate. I wish we’d gone to this resort last, because it sort of ruined the last part of our trip, because it was so amazing that nothing could compare!

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We took boats out to watch the sunset over this island. Just out in the middle of the sea, with nothing around you except ocean. And I broke my ‘never’ again sunrise watching, so that I could watch the sunrise one more time.

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It hid itself behind this perfectly placed cloud, but that just made it all the more beautiful for me. Slightly melancholy and throwing beautiful shade, the colours of the sky are so much softer in the morning than they are at night time. I did not regret the wake up call, nor the beautiful coffee served to me while we waited, or the amazing breakfast that was ready for us on our return.

Palawan is an incredibly beautiful place, and if you get the chance to go there – you most definitely should. If I could have stayed there forever I would have.

They also sing to you as you leave the island. They stand at the end of the jetty waving and singing until the boat is out of sight. It was so lovely.

After El Nido, we went further down the coast to Puerto Princesa, which was a much larger place but equally as beautiful. The coastline was more rugged here, and we stayed at the Sheridan which had the most amazing swimming pool in the world! I spent more time in that pool than anywhere else I think!

We went to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which was so amazing! They take you one kilometre into the cave and then back out again. We also took a boat ride to see the mangroves. And wildlife.

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I really enjoyed this trip. Our guide was lovely and told us all about the flora and fauna of the area, pointing out birds and snakes in the trees, and explaining how the ecology works. It was very beautiful.

You can also zip line from the top of a hill down out over the sea to the beach – which of course we also did. The Philippines is just such an amazing country. There’s so much diversity and difference amongst all the islands. So much to see and do.  I’d go back a million times over if I could.

beautiful

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to figure out what exactly beautiful means. I’ve decided that there’s not really any definition at all, but that has never stopped me from trying to figure out what beautiful means to me. And then I had daughters.

Two of the most incredibly beautiful creatures, and so completely different to one another.

They taught me that beauty is something that doesn’t depend on any one thing. It’s an all encompassing whole person thing. My daughters are so beautiful, it’s ridiculous. It shouldn’t be allowed, to be honest. But I’m so glad it is, because without them, my life wouldn’t be as awesome as it is. I don’t know if they even realise that. I’m bad at talking, so this return to blogging has also been for them.

When you become a parent, I’m not sure that you ever expect the sudden onslaught of parental guilt that pretty much hits you from day one. This new beautiful life in your hands, so perfect, and sweet smelling and new. How can you keep it happy, and healthy and nurture it into a good person? How can you instill all the values you need to? How will you know if you’ve been a good parent? Are they going to hate you when they’re teenagers? Where are you going to go wrong.

You’re not going to go wrong.

Even when you do, so long as you have love for that child, and are honest with them? You’re not going to go wrong.

Take it from a woman with borderline personality disorder and bipolar II. Those girls of mine have had to deal with a lot of emotional weirdness while I’ve tried to find a medication that works, and a way to deal with things when the medication still doesn’t. Sometimes we’d go for drives – when I learned, and we’d talk in the car about the big important things.

I was always amazed at how insightful and thoughtful my girls were about the way that people are. Every time I bought up a big topic, they always had good questions. Deep questions…they still do. Except about sex. Because…I have no filter I suppose. Not that talking about sex with your parents is fun at all – for anyone but me. Call it sadism, but the pleasure I get from watching them and their father squirm is totally worth it! Haha!! (I promise I’ve only ever talked about the good stuff – safety, pleasure, respect, love and permission). I studied sexuality in both religion and literature, human sexuality really interests me.

My girls are teens now. Well, actually…Siobhan will turn 20 this year, and Aleeya will be 18. Adults. I am now the parent of adult children…and while that scares the pants off me, I’m so proud of them. They’re both such beautifully, intelligent and thoughtful girls. And I know how scary becoming an adult is. I may get frustrated a lot – mostly that’s my illness talking though – I remember what this time in your life feels like.

It’s scary, and hard, and learning to make your own decisions will change your life path forever. In ways you won’t understand, or even consider, and they will be wonderful. I do not look back on my life and regret any of it. Every choice I made, lead me right here. I never would have predicted I would live a life like this. And I owe so much of it to those girls. Such beautiful, compassionate, loving creatures. I am always awed that you’re mine. <3

real talk

So most of you who have stuck with me, and are continuing to read me (thank you so much btw!) know that I have mental illness. It is however, very new for me to discuss it in public kind of ways. I am much better at one on one discussions with people, so the thought of standing here in front of you all and talking about how my brain works, has always been super scary for me.

Which I guess, is why I started to write. I remember feeling so much frustration as a child and young person, because most people just didn’t seem to understand me. I didn’t know how to express myself, and often that would lead me to just completely melting down and crying. Which did not help matters much. Particularly when you grow up with people who think and feel things so differently to you.

The only way I’ve ever actually been able to express how I’m feeling, is by writing it down. I’m a natural born dramatist. I can weave a pretty good story, and within that story, are truths that I don’t know how to say. I feel comfortable writing it all down, but I struggled with actual pen and paper, because my brain thinks faster than I can physically write. Once I learned how to touch type, it’s been pretty much impossible to get me off the computer.

I have come to realise though, that I’ve been doing a lot of internal journalling too. Which isn’t a bad thing. Journalling to no audience allows me to read back over what I’ve written and pick out the parts that will be helpful and hopefully inspiring.

My intention in speaking to you about my own struggles with mental illness isn’t to make you feel sorry for me. I hope that these posts will help others. Please feel free to support me by sharing links to my blog. There are a lot of young people out there, who I’d like to talk to. The ones like me, who maybe feel like it’s just never going to get better at all. Who, like me probably put an age limit on themselves, and are potentially reaching that number, and wondering what they’ll do next (mine was 25 – in case you were wondering. I’m 40 this year, and so proud of it!)

My entries will be about my own personal struggle with bipolar disorder II and borderline personality disorder. I promise they’ll leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful. And I’d like to urge you to send people here if you think reading my words might help.

I also want to apologise – again…for any unexplained absences from my writing. Sometimes I’m very chatty, and sometimes I need to sit inside my own head for awhile and organise my thoughts. Sometimes I just don’t think I’m very interesting, and life takes hold of me and the next thing I know, two years have gone by and I haven’t written ANYTHING!

I’d promise that wasn’t going to happen again, but we both know I’d be lying. I do want you to know though, if you don’t see any posts from me (more Philippines is coming – I can’t WAIT to show you the island resorts..omgomg!!) it is because my life is more wonderful than I could have ever hoped it would be. And even when I am battling fits of pure self loathing and wishing I was dead, I never lose sight of the incredibleness around me. There’s a light at the end of that tunnel, sometimes it’s a fucking slog to trek back down to reach it, but when I do, the sun is always waiting for me.

Thank you for that Australia. I had no idea I’d find a home here. I love you, even when I’m sure the heat is going to kill me.

Sagada

I haven’t forgotten you! I just got really, REALLY sick. Which is strange, and yet kind of typical for me in mid Australian summer. I’m not sure why my body decides to do this to me when it’s hot, but it does. Three weeks later, I’m finally starting to feel human again. So here’s the last part of our Northern Philippines tour!

After leaving Batad and Banaue, we were taken by our guide to Sagada, which is about a four hour drive through some truly amazing hill country. Everything is so beautiful and green, and then out of nowhere, you look down the hill and this is the view. I’m not sure what this village is called, but we just rounded a corner and there it was. Nestled into a valley, right up against the cliff side. Like brightly coloured lego blocks just scattered over the carpet.

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Sagada itself was a beautiful township. The main street runs up and down one hilly street, and is mostly just full of tourist shops – which isn’t exactly a bad thing. But what it’s really famous for, are the Hanging Coffins. When we were planning our trip here, I had two things that were definite musts for me. To visit the hill country and see the hanging coffins, and to chill out on a beach. Although I was still not 100% better during this part of the trip, I am so grateful that we were able to do these things. I’ve never seen anything like Sagada in my life, and just like Batad, it was incredibly difficult to leave.

The Hanging Coffins are a pretty short walk from the township and so worth it. We hired a local guide to take us here, and then also caving. The two smallest coffins are the oldest ones, and he told us that they’re small like this, because before the country was colonised, they would bury their dead in the fetal position. It was the Christian missionaries who taught them to bury their dead laying flat. So the smaller coffins are pre-Christian era, and the chairs you can see were used to display the deceased person so that family and friends could come and pay their respects, before they were interred into the coffins and hung on the cliff faces – sometimes – as you can see, with the chairs they rested on.

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They also interred their dead in caves.

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It’s a little morbid perhaps, but I’ve always been fascinated by graveyards. My mum would take me to them and we’d walk around them together for hours, reading the names and imagining the stories of their lives, and it always gives me a sense of peace. It’s extremely interesting to me to see how other cultures bury their dead. Some of the coffins were so old they were broken apart, and the bones inside were visible. In the cave, they were all stacked in tightly together against the walls, held in place with rocks and some where decorated with lizards carved into the wood. There was one which had a thigh bone resting on the coffin lid. Most of these are very old, but the latest hanging coffin was placed there only about 5 or 10 years ago.

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We walked for another hour or so to the opposite end of this cave, where Ollie went spelunking with the guide, but – due to my still not great health, I stayed behind at the one cafe where I sat upstairs and watched the locals come down the paths with brightly coloured packages held on their heads, tourists come for the caving, and read my book.

Probably my most favourite thing about the hill country – aside from the amazing views – was the coffee. It was rich and thick and so delicious. They also have their own tea, and so obviously I had both. The tea was delicious, very mild and not bitter at all. I would have loved to have brought some home with us, but I wasn’t sure it would get through customs. I did however bring home the coffee. Of which, I no longer have any, which is a travesty! I miss this coffee more than I can express!

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There were a lot of things that made this part of the trip incredibly memorable, and also very hard going. We had heard so much about watching the sunrise over Kilpetan, that at the time it really seemed worth the 4.30am wake up call. It was so cold, and beautiful, and thank god for the coffee!!  This was as good as we got though, because the entire place just filled up with tourists, and it was all too much. So we went back to our homestay and slept a couple more hours before we left to head back to Banaue, and the 10 hour bus ride back to Manila.

Never again, I told myself. Everyone who knows me, knows I am not a morning person at all. Also, of course..the night before the rest of the tourists at our homestay partied until early in the morning, and Kelly on anything less than 6 hours of sleep is generally not a Kelly you want to spent time with. Poor Ollie.

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Still though, it was incredibly beautiful, and a lovely way to end our stay in the Northern Philippines.

We Went To The Philippines!

In November, the husband and I took a trip to the Philippines child free. It was our first ever holiday without kids in 19 years! So many things went wrong with it. Now that I think back on it though, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Ollie and I got to spend some really amazing quality time together, and it was just what we both needed. Plus…we were in the Philippines, and it looked like this at breakfast time.

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This is Banaue. It’s a 10 hour overnight bus ride from Manila, and worth every second. We spent two nights here, at Ramon’s Homestay in Batad. The food was amazing, the coffee was to die for, and this view? Honestly, leaving here was so hard. We had no access to internet and the time off was beautiful.

I don’t think I’ve ever done so much walking in my life! And we took the easier walking option! You definitely need stamina for this place and I suggest lots of hill walks before you go! But I seriously don’t think there’s a more beautiful place in the world. The people were so friendly and our guides were amazing. We hired ours with Irene Binalet who was just the best ever. She and her guides made the whole trip so amazing. Without them, I don’t think we would have seen and done as much on our own.  She has a great sense of humour and organised everything for us. I definitely recommend doing this if you’re traveling to a country where you don’t know the language yourself.
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We took a 4 hour guided walk to the waterfalls while we were there. Walking the Rice Terraces was both devastating, and incredible! It was the hardest walk I’ve ever done in my LIFE! haha! But man, what a view! In the picture above, we had reached the top of the terraces and were looking down into the villages. We were staying in the top right corner, the largest white roof you can see – underneath a red one. After that, we walked down the opposite side of the hill to find this.

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This was as close as I made it unfortunately, and is definitely the reason I’ll be back! During this part of the trip, I got sick – right as we left of course. So I didn’t get to do as many things as I would have liked to have done.

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But considering these were our pathways, I’m pretty proud of myself! Sickness be damned! It was a balancing act most of the way there. I really want to go back when the terraces are all planted up before harvesting.  I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved being here. It was like a giant version of my childhood garden, when I spent all my time outside playing witches and making potions and catching tadpoles.

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Having a guide with us was really awesome. She was able to tell us so much about the people and their customs and as a result, we were able to be respectful and interact with local people, which was one of my favourite parts of the trip.  Tourism is still fairly new in Banaue, so the people there are just as interested in you, as you are in them.  I just can’t tell you enough how friendly this place is. DSC_2280

 

The roads are rough as guts and mostly only wide enough for one vehicle, which is super exciting when you get to a place in the road that looks like the photo below, and it’s raining super hard! Which is pretty much THE WHOLE ROAD! I was constantly impressed with how easy it is for these guys to navigate these roads. Like…seriously.

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Also, dogs. <3

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sick remember?!

Walks With Thor

I can’t even begin to describe to you how awesome this dog is. He’s so brave and lovely and ridiculously silly. Taking him on adventures in Australia is one of my most favourite things to do.

He’s such a good walker, and he just loves exploring. It makes him so happy to be out in the wild getting to smell everything. Australia is such an interesting country too. It’s so dry and fierce and full of things that could literally kill you dead. Despite this, we totally brave the hills and aside from a few koalas, kangaroos in the distance and a freakin’ echidna!! I mean, how cool is that?! We haven’t come across anything too scary. Lots of snake warnings though. But if you stick to the paths, you could see them coming. I recommend sticking to the paths at all times.

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We walked up to the site of an old farmhouse. Right at the top of the hill, there’s nothing else up here, and the view was amazing.

I just love this country! It’s so beautiful, and wild and dangerous. I miss soft, green grass and the smell of New Zealand sometimes, so badly. But the harsh, dryness of this country has a really lovely smell all of its own.

Whoa…two years? Really Kelly? >.<

I started this blog nine years ago, after on my last teaching practice in my hometown, my husband set it up so that I could write about whatever I felt like. It was such a godsend to have a place that I knew was mine, and felt safe. Over the years, I let things make it feel unsafe for me, and after a couple of years of pretty good, solid blogging, I just sort of…stopped.

It’s hard to start back up again when you look back over how long it’s been since you did anything, and realise it’s been almost two years.

I didn’t write anything at all last year. Not here at least. I’m not entirely sure why to be honest. It certainly isn’t because my life hasn’t been interesting. I think maybe it’s just become only interesting to me. Or that’s how it’s felt.

I also often feel like I’m being disingenuous, because typically my writing has always been very personal, and putting it online for people to read and pass judgement over filled me with horror. I’ve always sort of brushed things under the carpet. Things that feel too personal, or like I will be judged badly because of my honesty.

I’m at a place in my life now, where other people’s opinions of me no longer matter. I’m almost 40 and I can’t believe that I’ve come all this way only to still feel shame and fear over certain aspects of who I am.

I know that I write my best stuff when I’m being honest, and I kind of needed a really huge kick in the butt to get myself organised. I also needed some inspiration, a change of scenery – because moving to Australia wasn’t enough apparently. So my husband took me to the Philippines and it was amazing.

I’m half way through my second book edit, by the way. That’s still happening. I have to keep reminding myself to stop editing and thinking about everything that’s wrong with it, and just continue writing. I know what needs to be fixed, but then I think about fixing it and end up sighing in despair and putting my creative energy into other things. So the book comes along super slowly. But it comes along…so, there’s that!

too long

I feel like people might have expected a 3 year quake memorial post. I didn’t write one, not because I haven’t been thinking about this day, or remembering what happened, I just sort of didn’t.

Ollie spent the day with Siobhan, and I spent the day, and the evening at the Fringe Festival with wonderful friends, who filled the night with amazing food, circus acts, friendship and hilariousness. It was lovely and eventful.

I shared my story with them over hot chocolate and dessert, and I guess that’s why I didn’t really think to share it here.

It was so wonderful to have so much support and love from friends and family the world over, and we definitely appreciate it. It’s also so wonderful to be here, amongst friends and family in a city that offers us so much. Including dreadful heat and horrible bugs. But you know, that is really nothing in the scheme of things.

This is a great city and we love this country. It feels like home – until I open my mouth and the Australians look at me puzzled because they don’t understand a world I’m saying.

Such is life. It’s hardly their fault they don’t know how to speak proper English. 😉

bottomfeeder

I first heard about Amanda Palmer through Neil Gaiman. It was just before the Christchurch earthquake hit that I got my first album of hers. One was certainly not enough and my love for her music just grew.

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Not long after this, Ollie was crushed in his building, and during his long recovery, Amanda Palmer became my solace. I nursed him back to health while listening to her music. I received visitors and well wishers, cards, flowers and meals and I helped him shower, helped him dress, fed him and reminded him to take his medicine with her words in my ear. Ollie did not want a nurse, even though he was entitled to one. So I gave up work and spent 3 months at home with him while he relearned how to walk and how to take care of himself. It was long, and sometimes really difficult, but ultimately it was what I wanted and needed to do for him, and what he needed me to do too.

I listened to her music while EQC came to assess the minor damage to our house. I remember the two men who came vividly. The older of the two, in his late 50’s was enthralled by her voice. He kept stopping to listen and asked me who she was. He wrote down her name and said he planned to go buy the album when he finished up that day. By this stage, I was following all her social media sites and had fallen in love with not just her voice, but who she was and what she stood for. It felt good to share someone that had helped me so much, with someone else.

Music has always been the most driving force in my life. I am a lyrics person and I listen to music that speaks to me and my beliefs, and who I am. I look for connection, and understanding because I quite often feel like I’m alone. I know I’m not of course, but I bond very deeply with music because of this. It’s my religion in a sense. Songs are my sermons. They give me hope when I need it most.

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In the two years following the earthquake, Ollie and I decided it was time to leave Christchurch behind and move to Australia. To leave behind all that we’d been through together in that city, now buried along with people we loved. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was the right one – for both of us. Watching your husband startle awake in the dark, crying out when another quake brings back those memories is heartbreaking. We chose Adelaide, because a lot of his family are here, and it felt like the right place.

I am always up for a challenge, and I love to travel. I also love his family, so it was not a big deal for me to do this, but the more we thought and planned, the more I ached to leave the place that had been my home for the past 15 years. A place that had fallen down around us and changed our lives irrevocably. I spent a lot of time soul searching in the 6 months previous to our leaving. A lot of time walking through places I’d come to love, all changed now, broken if not gone completely, alone with my headphones on listening to Theatre Is Evil.

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I remember hearing about how Amanda had come to Christchurch after the quakes and put on a free concert. I had not been able to go – for obvious reasons.

No one really ever came to Christchurch, and no one EVER went to my hometown, so I am not particularly concert savvy at all. When we moved to Adelaide though, all these concerts opened up right here in our city and Amanda was one of them! I bought my tickets as soon as they went on sale and counted down the weeks until she’d be here.

It has been at least 15 years since I have been in a mosh pit. I wasn’t exactly sure that’s where I wanted to be until the concert started. The opening acts were so fantastic and funny and the crowd was gentle. No one pushed or shoved and very few people tried to sneak in in front of you. At least, until Amanda got on the stage. She came down into the crowd immediately, and they all surged towards her like a human wave. At one point, I had her back pressed against me, and then she was gone, lifted high overhead and passed from hand to hand through the crowd and back on stage.

I had gone from five people from the stage to the third row. By the end of the concert I was at the front. The ebb and flow of people around me had pushed me up there. I’d forgotten how intense the feeling of being so close to people was. How deeply their feelings reflect your own and how you all become one part of something huge and warm and amazing. How suddenly, you’re not alone anymore, because the people with you are all there for the same reason you are. Because this musician has also touched a place in their hearts.

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For me though, the most intense experience, was watching how much Amanda gave of herself. Without reserve. She held nothing back and put her full trust in the people who’d come to see her. She didn’t just give us her voice, she gave us her body, her soul and she trusted us to hold her and touch her and give her back again. I cannot imagine that kind of giving. Or that level of trust. Her faith in her fans inspired me so deeply. The entire concert was just one big party. It was inclusive and passionate and amazing. When we left, I couldn’t really find the words to describe how I felt. It was like being part of a surrealist dream. It’s taken me three days to figure out how to put this into words.

Seeing the woman who had helped keep you sane through her music during the toughest time of your life was incredible on it’s own. But seeing her give herself up, watching her climb into the crowd and trust us, watching her give her fans herself fully, watching her kiss them and be part of them was an experience that I needed so badly right then, that I just don’t really know how to describe it. She humanised herself in a way that so few artists do.

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I love you Amanda, you’re amazing. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. Thank you for your music, for your humanity, your humour and your humility. Thank you for helping me when I needed you most. Thank you for your understanding and your trust and for the selfless love you give back to your fans. You give me hope and because of you, I am writing again.

with love,
Kelly xo