March 8, 2013

What I know about women


Image from here

Every house Ive ever lived in is etched in my mind from the position I lay in at bedtime. Regardless of the house, its people, the furniture scavenged I can remember each place from the view that greets me when I turn off the light and let my eyes adjust to the darkness.

12 years ago I lived in London.  It was a share house filled with south Africans, one couple from tassie and a few odds and sods that drifted in and out. There was a man with a long beard and no hair on his head. He stole my milo. I stole his golden syrup. I moved out without paying my phone bill. I still feel bad about that.

My partner at the time was a heavy sleeper, his head would hit the pillow and any attempts at meaningful conversation slowly drifted into the sound that was made by his nose and his mouth. In unison. I spent a lot of time lying there wondering, dreaming, about what my mates were doing back home, fearful of the move we were making to another country that wasnt home, imagining my dad in his new house, wondering how my mum was going in a new relationship.

During the day I didnt feel disconnected from home but those nights, on someone elses pillow, with a sleeping bag for a doona, made me feel cast adrift. Anchor-less. Absent. Lost.

Loneliness and night tend to go hand in hand.

I lay in bed the other night and listened for the change in rhythm of my husbands breath. I could hear the snuffles from my boy next door and the sound of all the girls twisting and turning in bed and for a moment I felt like that girl in Londontown – lost and foggy. I wanted to get up, to sit in front of my computer with that glow from the streetlights flooding in to the lounge room. In the space where I didn’t have to explain how I was feeling, or what I was feeling.

We make sense of where we are in different ways – by talking, by writing, by running. Is there some way to combine the three?

Kerri Sackville talked once about her anxiety that rises once the lights dim. Other women  share it with me in my counselling room – the sense of night falling and the brain beginning to turn, twirl and explore. Some might call it over-thinking, over-analysing over-wondering but part of embracing life as a woman – the journey you choose and the one you get forced along – requires moments of mindfulness, of reflection, of sitting in the space of fear and working your way through it.

Its international Women’s day today.

Whatever journey you are on may your days be calm, your nights not too lonely and your powers of self-reflection empowering.

Link up your posts below and link back here x

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Loved this, Sarah. Such wonderful writing. I’ll give it some thought and link up a post as soon as I can xx

  2. This is a lovely post Sarah. I can relate to those quiet moments as the light goes out at night. My thoughts wander, run and dodge through the maze that is my mind. Sometimes it is a peaceful feeling, sometimes lonely. Mostly, it is one of my favourite times of the day. x

    • It is like a maze isnt it – its amazing how one thought can push you through so many little spaces. I sometimes like to weave my way backwards to see where I started! x

  3. Beautiful words Sarah. I think about different stuff at night to the day. Deeper stuff. I wonder what makes night bring out the deep thoughts?

    • its almost as if the world gets quiet and your brain kicks in to action. Its like a mini maze before bed time!

  4. Hi Sarah – Loved this. I’m perhaps chiming in a bit late for a post link-up (what exactly do you mean?). But to share my experiences – we lived in Canada during 2011 – we did a job and house swap. I was at home with the kids for the year (our son turned 1 just after we arrived). It felt so strange sleeping in someone else’s bed, living in their house and trying to make it home – the whole experience was very surreal (we’d just come back from China after adopting our son and headed to Canada a few months later, so everything felt upside down). I would say that the whole experience (even though I loved it and Canada) was like living in ‘a space in between’ – its like a bookmark on my life. And the nights were even stranger – like I had to check I was in my own body, my own life. But being in a strange place does you good – I had never experienced a change of perspective quite like it. I think if we can use our night-time wake ups as stocktakes, yin time to manifest what we want to achieve rather than to stress and ruminate then they can be really valuable. So maybe we get inspiration while running (or whatever), clarity in the middle of the night, and then we write it down to somehow make it real – that’s the in between…cheers..kathy

    • Hi Kathy – this message got a little lost in my inbox! Night times can help us take stock, I like that idea. Perhaps Ill pop a sign above the bed saying closed for stocktake?
      Thanks so much for commenting – post linkys are where you can write a post about the same topic and add it in here and then share it amongst a little community x


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