A big change in a small bundle.

It’s funny how someone so small can completely change your world. A few kilograms of little human dressed in unicorns or dinosaurs alters your perspective, your attitude, your love. They change everything, yet sleep through it.

We welcomed our baby earthside in March and she has transformed our lives, well us, in every way. Having her here with us has been the greatest thing and the most difficult too.
Nothing good comes easy, and boy, this is true.

Before she was here, we had no clue what it would all be like. And to be honest, it’s truly impossible to know or fully prepare until you’re in the thick of it. When you’re exhausted beyond exhausted and your baby is screaming and your heart is overflowing and you realize that this is now your life. It’s tough. It’s the best. It’s every ebb and flow.

At first we were a mess. But everyday we all learn a little bit more about each other and it’s slowly getting easier. To adjust, to grow, to merely learn how to live within all this newness and wonder. Some days I just cry and some days I smile so big and every day I feel the weight of her on my chest and I just know that I’m the luckiest.

Written words are my fuel, my fire, and the best way I can express myself. And so I’m going to write little bits and pieces of our journey together on here, simply because it’s freeing and uplifting to document and share. Our story isn’t perfect but that’s what makes it real and ours.

Sending lots of love and sleepy newborn snuggles.
Kaitlyn.

A sweet, ordinary weekend.

A sweet, ordinary weekend that was so, so good. A perfect example to teach me that not everything needs to be going perfectly (it never will, and learning to live well in that discomfort is good), but there are certainly still beautiful things if I just open myself to seeing them.

+ A ruthless game of game of thrones themed monopoly that was the fastest we have ever played because everyone apart from Cameron (he is the monopoly king, somehow – I’ve never seen him lose) lost miserably and very quickly. It made me so thankful for old friends and new because board games are one of our favorite things to do and it makes us so happy to play. We love board games with our friends and family down here, but we also miss our board game nights with our dear friends and family back where we used to live. But that’s okay, we have plans for board games with them in a few months time!

+ The most beautiful plums! They are deep red and bright yellow, and they taste exactly like summer.

+ Calm, unwinding evenings with Fleetwood Mac, a good game of gin, and the soft, summer air.

+ Finding out that our baby is “long and lanky”, just like her Dad, and that she is positioned head down and facing the right way, so everything is looking like it’s heading towards going smoothly.

+ Beginning our very long list of house renovations! We began priming and painting some exterior parts and so far it’s going well. Despite me accidentally painting the driveway and Cameron the carpet, all things are good! The colour we chose for outside is called Tricky so we are really hoping that the name isn’t a prophecy of the renovation process, though if it is, I guess that’s all just part of it!

+ Feeling so, so loved and cared for. Pregnancy has really been taking its toll on me lately and this doesn’t really mix well with my must-do-everything nature. Cameron has been I. N. C. R. E. D. I. B. L. E. to put it lightly. He takes care of me so well and makes me take care of myself, despite how awful and useless I feel because of it. Thinking about how amazing he is makes me get all goosebumpy and want to cry all the happy tears all at once. To put it very lightly, I am so thankful for him and I can’t find the words to describe how much so (but my rambles can certainly try)!

To anyone reading this, I hope that there have been plenty of beautiful, little sparks that have been glistening in your days!

Lots of love and hugs,

Kaitlyn.

730 days.

My wildest dream come true. You! Four years ago the universe did some crazy magic and we somehow ended up working together. Scrubbing mirrors till late every night, leaving each other little notes by the microwave, going on late night drives in Nancy. And then two years ago a little bit more magic happened and I got to be the luckiest person ever. Saying I do to you. You have changed my life in every possible way and every day I still pinch myself checking that you’re real. We laugh and cry and argue and do all the normal human things, but there is truly no one else I would rather debate with about which way the ironing board goes. You make every single day special and radiant, and my goodness I love you Cameron. You are my best friend, my favorite human, and the most radiant, loving, generous, and funny person I know. I am so excited about how much more “you” that you will become next month when you’re a Dad. Here’s to a lifetime of celebrations and to a love that keeps on growing.

Finding Writing Again.

I have so many words that I want to say, but I do not know how to pour them out.

I feel as though they used to flow effortlessly, a tangent, a whirlwind of letters and vocabulary that represented the storms of my mind.

And now they feel stuck.

There are ideas, memories, song lyrics, and love notes inched toward the front of my brain.

But I am afraid of being vulnerable.

And I am afraid of being lost where everything was once so familiar.

Perhaps I am just out of practice, of letting these thoughts out freely to strangers.

Perhaps I am practicing the expression of these through my lips instead.

– For when my lips could not speak, these words could do it for me –

I want to write about my husband. His beautiful, kind soul.

I want to write about love. About how it grows and changes over time. About how love is work and how love is everything.

I want to write about our child. About her indescribable soul who we feel as though we already know. And about how we know that we have no idea how much we are able to love her just yet.

I want to write about people that I know. Because they fill me with awe and gratitude and things that I do not know what to call.

I want to write about what is not seen from the outside. About how we have no idea what we are doing or how we got here.

About everything that has created this path and how we found ourselves together in it.

We are only wandering, really.

I want to write about this period of change. About growth. The absolute, pure, discomfort of it.

And the surprising strength that can be found within these mountains.  

About how everything we have ever dreamt of is “over there” and we are “over here”.

And my god, that space in the middle is terrifying. But necessary.

But necessary.

//

Since starting to write professionally full-time, I feel as though my creativity has become stuck in a way. I feel confident in writing reports, instructions, and directions from A-Z, where everything is straightforward and without emotion. Having that golden freedom that makes writing feel limitless and without bounds? That is what I miss. I know that what you focus on grows and what you pour your energy into expands. I just need to create space to practice this outlet once again.

Liquid light and all those crazy feelings.

It’s winter right now and I’m not normally one to say this, but I’m really missing summer. Wearing shorts and eating cold watermelon and downing all the water like there’s no tomorrow – it’s a stark comparison to our gray days now. Usually I find it tricky to pick one season that I like best, because honestly each can be so magical in their own way, we just have to appreciate them differently. But for now, baking in the sun and diving into the ocean is where I wish it was at. When it does get there though, I’ll probably miss being able to sleep under blankets and snuggle with Cameron and watching the rain pour outside. So for now, I’m just trying to be grateful and love the season we’re in.

So many big life things are in a time of change at the moment. I’ve almost made it through university, something I highly doubted was possible for a long time. My year-long research project about using UAVs to monitor coastal dunes is 50% driving me mad and 50% making me feel in awe of all the good that Geospatial technology can do, and how the field is really advancing at the moment. It’s a love-hate relationship! It’s the mid semester break at the moment, then I have my final few months, and then somehow it will all be over. The rush and the climb and the fall of everything is surreal.

Last week I began my new job as a content creator, and it has really showed me how weirdly life can turn out. At the start of this year when I was pouring a lot into blogging (e.g. my life and soul, literally), I made it a goal for the year to get some sort of financial return through writing, and that has certainly ended up happening! In a completely different way than I ever would have guessed though, and much better than I imagined too. Life is funny like that. How it can feel that so many doors are slamming shut one after the other, only for something better for us to be waiting at the end. Anyway, I am so thankful for this job. It has slotted into our life at just the right time, and has really helped to positively impact things for the future too. I can’t say too much about it all yet, but there are so many bright things, and we are so thankful for these.

It was strange leaving my old job and saying goodbye to everyone. I didn’t expect to be as sad, or to find it as difficult as I did. I was so happy to be leaving the job, but my coworkers were a whole different story. Seeing the same people on most days for two years makes you grow close; they become apart of your story and you apart of theirs. These endings are good though, but they are hard too. That’s how change is born.

Last night we were talking with some dear friends about how much has changed. It’s so crazy to think of how different things are compared to life one, two, five, ten years ago. How people grow. And how you can see things changing before your own eyes. It’s terrifying but it just is too. It’s the most natural thing really, but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable.

Liquid light had been abundant lately. All those moments when you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be – they are everything. By a bonfire, or beneath the stars, or seeing the look on someone specials face. These are the moments that make life worth living, and I’m trying to remember that it’s important to search for these. What we focus on expands, and heck that has to be one of the most powerful things in the universe.

Anyway, life is crazy. We are looking for our first home. We are making big, giant, stomping steps. There is more wellness than unwellness mental health wise, which is a wonderful season.

Everything is sad and happy and wonderful and terrible, and I suppose that’s exactly how life is meant to be. Everything feels surreal.

Expecting nothing and accepting everything today.

Today I woke up feeling a little flat. You know those days where there is nothing in particular wrong, but it’s like you have deflated a little? Just a bit hrmpfh. It didn’t help that I was waking up to face a ten hour shift at work, a place which is currently in a state of shambling chaos with Christmas just around the corner. I am indeed a fan of Christmas and the holiday season, but this is mildly stifled by a lack of air conditioning, guady mall decorations and too many grumpy customers. And so, it only makes sense that I was feeling a little flat, because I had already subconsciously flattened how I expected my day to go. I had automatically decided that work would be long, overly warm and tedious. Looking back, this is unfair and silly of me, to place these expectations of how my day would go, which only serves to dampen and dull how the day will actually go.

I’m not sure if all of this makes much sense. A week or two ago, I wrote about how my therapist introduced me to expecting nothing and accepting everything. Today, I decided to try and put it into practise. And what better day to start with, than one I had already accidently decided wouldn’t be that great?

My aim for the day was to keep drawing my thoughts back to neutrality; to have no expectations and just take everything as it arrived. To begin with, I practiced Autogenic Training, something I’ve been trying to get into the habit of lately. Autogenic Training is about training different parts of your body to relax, as you ask them too. Apparently it takes a while to get it right, and although I have only been doing it for a short amount of time, today I noticed it getting easier. If nothing else, it’s a good way to practice being present and focussing on what is actually happening.


While I was waiting at the bus stop this morning, an old lady came and sat next to me. She immediately started chatting about how she was going on holiday next week, and how she was meeting a friend at a gift shop later, and how warm it is in Brisbane at the moment. It was really nice to connect with a stranger for a small moment, and it felt good that we each got to brighten each other’s day.

Then, I stepped onto the bus, walked down the aisle, and picked a seat. As I sat down, I saw a man running towards me, and to my surprise it was my Great Uncle! We talked about our mutual love of David  Attenborough (although my Great Uncle does believe that the creatures of the deep sea should be left in peace, and not be showcased in a documentary), how neither of us are Star Wars fans, and he pointed out which house he used to steal clippings of their garden from! He is a person I don’t get to see very often, apart from the very occassional family gathering. It was really lovely to reconnect for the duration of a short bus journey with. Although anxiety was being all loud and fussy (quite obnoxious of it really), I did my best, and an ordinary bus journey became something a bit more special.

Work was indeed long and busy, but it wasn’t all bad. It was great to spend time with a bunch of the lovely people I work with, amongst dealing with the actual work as well. The anxiety skulked around, but I made a solid effort to practice small moments of mindfulness throughout the day, and ended up having some pretty cool conversations.

When I eventually got home, my husband and I continued wrapping the last of our Christmas presents (wrapping is one of the best parts about Christmas, right?), and then we made copious amounts of vegan nachoes, and snuggled in bed watching one of our favourite series – Fresh Meat

I’m working on not using my phone right before I go to sleep, so I read a bit of Elizabeth Knox’s Wake, a wonderful New Zealand, gorey dystopian novel (it’s so spectacularly Kiwi!), and wrote down my accomplishment and gratitude lists for the day.

Today was a good day. It was difficult to stay in the whole realm of expecting nothing and accepting everything, and I definitely wasn’t perfect at it. But it was a start, nevertheless, and today was all the more better because of it.

Not all that we lose is a loss.

We lose daily. We lose moments, we lose hours, we lose pegs. We lose so that there is room to gain.

I am a strong believer in the “realm of possibility” (thanks to David Levithan); in the infinite world of potential. Each moment is a door, each interaction is an opportunity. Within the realm, nothing is fixed, and all is possible. While some outcomes are more probable than others, this does not lessen or reduce the boundaries of potential. They are ever expanding by our movements and exploration. I believe in moments, and I believe in today over tomorrow.

adult, beach, blue water

Something that strikes us hard, and that we could think differently about, is loss. I’m not meaning the grief of loved ones that have passed, because that is really hard and and can feel unbearable. Rather, I’m interested in what happens when we believe we lose friends, or opportunities, or parts of who we are.

While our realm of possibility is broader and richer in depth than our doubts can let us see, our more humanly faucets do have limitations. We have a set amount of time in each day, a fixed quantity of energy that we can expend; a boundary of our humanness that can halt and turn us. Our personality, our experiences, our life situation determines the diameter of fencing around us, and in which direction it extends.

These such “limitations” can result in relationships changing, opportunities that we had hoped were right for us, not granted, and mental illnesses. All experiences that are often viewed as a loss.

adult, back view, beach

And while this could be taken as we are our own worst enemies, restricting ourselves through our very being, it may actually be a good thing. Without our nature of being human, nothing would happen because there would be no pressure influencing circumstances and situations towards a certain way. We would be boundaryless, unfixed, floating away from all that is good, into the stratosphere.

The very nature of being human includes our limitations on time, on energy, and this is good. When something doesn’t go as we had hoped or planned, and thus is lost, this reduces the pressure on our time and energy. This allows space to open, to become vacant, for new experiences that we otherwise would have not had room for. The realm of possibility seeps in, allowing for expansions of our lives that otherwise would have never had the space to happen. And this is perfect, exciting, limitless and creative.

action, adult, beach

When we lose, we inevitably gain. Sometimes friends or relationships drift away, and this is painful. However, ultimately space within our time and energy fixtures becomes free, free for possibility and potential, and this is everything to gain. Mental illnesses, while they can be viewed as losing part of ourselves to a monster in the shadows, also give rise to new opportunities for connections to others, for learning and for growth. It is through these experiences that we gain, that we are dynamic and change who we are. We are forever becoming more of ourselves.

Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility— it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead. As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world’s devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us.

David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility.

 

Choosing your path. Or walking around.

As the end of high school approached, it was drilled into each of us that we must have a plan. We were given pages upon pages of post-school propaganda, detailing everything from entering the armed forces, to university, to joining the sisterhood. There were countless career fairs and talks by people “from the industry”, which were always those who had a very victorious job. The sort of job that is clean cut, and that you will stay in for life.

Not having a set career for post-school life wasn’t merely frowned upon; it was unheard of. By the time we walked out the gates for the last time in our final year, we had to have chosen our path, our ingrained footsteps towards a pleasant future. When I completed school, similar to my peers, we had each decided what we wanted to do with ourselves amongst simmering pressure. Pressure to decide, at 17 and 18, what we would be doing to pay the bills for the rest of our lives. University was heavily pushed, far more so than trades or heading straight into work, with the unspoken message of university being a better and more respected option than the rest.

fashion, footwear, grass

For some reason I still don’t quite understand, I decided to study psychology at the university all my friends were going to. I don’t really know why, but I was interested in the mental health field. From the attitude of the school I went to, the ambitions of clinical psychology and even more so psychiatry, were hailed as the sole, successful paths in this field. And so I began university with already failing mental health, and proceeded to drop out 18 months later at rock bottom.

At this stage, I was completely and utterly lost. This was partially due to the illnesses I was experiencing, but also because without university and my set career path ahead of me, it was easy to start to question who you are without it all. And I didn’t like what I found.

It was terrifying at first, not complying with what I had been taught my whole life. Not consistently making progress towards that set career we decided upon while we were still children. I felt as though I had failed myself, my education, my family and my school. Within our plans in our final year, there was no room for mistakes. You pick something that is deemed “good enough”, like medicine or law, and then you head out and do it. Massive shifts in mindset and personal circumstances changing weren’t part of the ideal equation.

adventure, backpack, beach

As time went on, I slowly began to recover, and I was left with exactly what I had been taught to fear. Not being in the prestigious and ambitious game. Not complying with the decisions I had made while still in school. At the time, I was working full time in a job that I didn’t exactly hate, but it was boring, and wasn’t what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

At this point, I was living exactly what school had taught me was wrong. Not excelling. Not being perfect. Not following the “good” path or the “right” path. I was 20, and this is when I learnt that not following the path that is set ahead for you is okay.

The break from constantly striving for success in something I wasn’t even sure I liked, gifted me the time and energy for other realms of life. I was healing from years of mental illnesses, I was working on my relationship with my now husband, I was rekindling the fire and reigniting long hidden passion for life itself. These endeavors are not what we were taught you should be doing after you leave school. However, I discovered that they were far more important and meaningful than where I should have been instead.

adult, agriculture, alone

With time to think and breathe beyond the suffocating pressure, I came across something that truly intrigued me. It was a geospatial science course at a local university, an institute that is viewed as less prestigious, and thus not as good, as the one I had previously attended. I began, and I have never looked back. And things have worked out better than I ever could have envisioned in my final year of school.

I am now 22, and am two thirds of my way through my bachelor’s degree, studying what I wasn’t meant to study, and having made more mistakes than I can ever count. And guess what? I am so happy. I truly enjoy my field, and I am thankful for the experiences that made me deviate from where I was “supposed” to be.

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe it is good that school tries to prepare students for the world beyond. However, acknowledging that it is okay not to know, and that it is okay to change, is also necessary. I am also a strong advocate for taking time to experience life outside of school, before committing to a particular course or field of work. Work in a boring job for a while. See where your mind wanders, feel what pulls you in. Find out who you actually are without the overwhelming pressure to decide exactly who you are at 18.

autumn leaves, canine, cocker spaniel

Not one of my friends that I left school with have stuck exactly with what they initially decided upon leaving. Many have changed majors, some have changed universities, and others have changed careers. And it’s brilliant. We are creating who we are. We are not static creatures.

Go out and be changing, be dynamic, and don’t be afraid of how you will grow in the process. Most of us don’t know what we are doingAnd that, that is truly okay.