THESE ARE THE THINGS / JOURNAL

  • thoughts on forgiveness (and love), part 2.

    I'm down by Sunshine Beach with my brother. It's the last day. The last day that i'm going to get to see the face of the beautiful boy. It's so warm, and the air is salty and thick and textured with moisture. It's that classic middle of summer heat where you're comfortably dirty. You don't feel clean but you're alright with it because you're sort of at one with the atmosphere and you know that at some point you're going to end up back in the water anyway. Some type of water will eventually rinse you clean and you'll start again. Queensland humidity is a blanket of protection that registers me carefree and casual, and it's also the thing that drives me insane. Typical. 

    I got in the water. I needed to swim and be submerged, because I was just so excited, and so nervous. We went to Sunshine Beach that day to take photos and so that I could film my brother walking into the waves fully clothed. I needed to distract myself with a creative project of some kind. Some little outpouring of expression to kind of infuse some hope into the general blueness that this last day held. It actually felt blue. But it was so warm.

    So i'm waiting by my phone, i'm nervous, i'm restless, i'm eager to say hello, and I know i'll be saying goodbye too. I'm sort of half consumed by a glowing feeling, a feeling of sureness and weight and safety because I get to see him tonight! I'll drive after midnight! I'll park my car! I'll get out and there he'll be! And then the other half of me is consumed by fear and panic and, well, pain. True pain. I know all pain is true, but most pain I can brush off, like the pain I felt after I had ankle surgery when I was fourteen, or the pain from running too hard and fast after a period of inactivity, you wake up with aching legs, but whatever, you get on with it. This pain enveloped me, it filled all my empty spots and I couldn't just shake it away. So i'm calling this pain true.

    Anyway, I need to maybe stop this whole thing right here, right now. I wrote the part above a few months ago when I was still in love, when not a single day would pass without a thought of him entering my mind. Somehow this all felt kind of romantic and beautiful and I felt compelled to write about it, but now it's a new year and i've moved on and it's important that I continue this forward movement, because last year was just straight up painful and nuts, and I cried more than ever before. For the second half of the year I pretty much shut myself down. I missed out on a lot, by choice because I was too preoccupied with trying to understand the meaning behind all of this. It wasn't just a breakup, I mean was it even a relationship? In the scheme of social norms and labels and what a relationship is supposed to look like, ours wasn't all that. It was something else. I'm grateful though, for all of it. For what I know now, and for what i've felt. There's a really clear line that seperates my life pre and post meeting this person. It's like I became a completely different person the next day after meeting him, and the two years that followed were some of the most ludicrous years. Who knows what's ahead? Plenty i'm sure.

    So that's all there is for me to share regarding him and us, there isn't any more. This all ends now, and i'm striding forward taking off the heaviness that has cloaked me for the past two years. I'm back on track. The path is illuminated and there's things to make and goodness to let in. 

    If it's heavy, let it go.

    BG

  • thoughts on forgiveness (and love), part 1.

    I tend to dilute the intensity of what I felt, and have been feeling, with words like ‘think’ and ‘maybe’ when really what i’ve come to know and accept and trust, is that yes, yes I really was in love. Not a ‘maybe’ love. Not an I ‘think’ love.

    A love.

    The Love.

    Some kind of love?

    My life adjusted, greatly, nearly two years ago when I was introduced to another soul while home visiting my family in Noosa. I say ‘soul’ because that’s what it felt like, and that’s how it’s been feeling. The meeting felt fated, it was bizarre, it was a little bit surreal and the unraveling of this connection occurred over the course of about a week (only a week!) during the nights, always at night, never in the day. He was young, really young, and I was longing (as usual) to feel a sense of beauty and homecoming and sureness. And I got it. Stronger than ever before. And I think we both did.

    I know, I really know, that for the two of us, during that week, there was a shared feeling of ‘yay’ and ‘finally’. It was the first time in, well, forever, that I had felt seen. It was the first time in forever that my admiration for another was mirrored back to me. It felt equal and focused. Like we were both dancing on the same wavelength. Add to this the atmosphere of hot summer evenings and a holiday town that sort of holds you in a period of time that feels too good to be true - like there’s no beginning or end - like you are possibly floating - and POW! What’s not to like? Whats not to love?

    I’ve tried to explain this to a few people and the only way I can sum it up, is by saying that it felt sort of like an activation. I physically (metaphysically?) felt an energy pour out of my chest area, each time we were in contact. Pretty weird hey? But i’m not going to discount the experience or palm it off in any way, because it was heavy. It all felt heavy and warm and flushed. The whole thing still comes back to me during bouts of nostalgia and I can still remember the friendliness of it all. Of course. No wonder.

    I remember rushing through my days just so eager and excited to see him! We could only meet at night because he was staying with his family, and apparently getting to know an older local required late night sneak outs. So that’s pretty much how it was. We would meet up late at night, everything quiet, and we’d talk, and touch, and look. The look on this boy's face said so much. I don’t know if he’s had comparable experiences since. Hell, I don't even really know if any of it hit him the way it hit me. (How will I ever know?) But I haven’t been hit since, not like that, not with that sort of quality. No one has looked at me and made me really lean forward. Not the way he did. Because that’s the thing. The looking felt important? Again it is hard to explain. But imagine, not needing to touch and not needing to speak, and just looking at someone, and without understanding how or why, feeling a sense of “Hi, I think I know you from someplace other than here?” Or “Hello old friend, where have you been?”

    Where had he been? What had he been through? And how did he get to me? Because i'd been all over the damn place, and I had also been through a fuckload of pain in my lifetime. A lot of longing. A lot of waiting. So for there to be that connection that I felt, for there to be that urge to know him as quickly as possible, well surely there also had to be some sort of shared weathering then. Had he been longing too? Had he been waiting also? I sensed right away that he was just as complicated as I was, just younger and packaged differently, with a diferent charm. And I don't mean complicated in a showy way, in an overbearing way, just genuinely odd. Off. I've forever felt off. I've forever felt uncomfortable.

    But there we were, down on the sand, right by the sea, a storm brewing overhead, comfortable.    

    I want to tell you about the steps, the fireworks, the backseat, the beach, the red flags, the goodbye, the year in Melbourne, the reason I left Melbourne!, the hello again, the second goodbye, the pain, and how I lost control of myself. 

    And there's a lesson in here, a big one, obviously, and i'll get to that. I will. But for now, I just want to indulge a bit more, I want to express the details, how crazy I felt, not crazy in love, just crazy. But also the love.

    A love.

    The love.

    Some kind of love?

    BG

    // Photos taken on iPhone and edited with VSCO.

  • where we're going.

    Why are you doing this?

    Who is it for?

    The two questions I ask myself daily. The two questions I want you to answer.

    The whole idea and the whole concept of what matters to me has changed. It’s been changing for a while now, but it hasn’t felt this clear. I’ve been looking for a platform, an outlet, a task, a demand, something to attach myself and my abilities to, in order to feel wanted and significant - i’ve been searching for my identity (again). Because my old identity collapsed, and was put aside. By my own doing. I was the one that forced it to collapse, I did the collapsing with my own two hands, because I wanted to, because I had to.

    Being a full time ballet dancer started to feel like work, hard work, a burden, an inconvenience. I was no longer happy in the studio, perfecting, striving, comparing, trying to measure up. And I knew something wasn't right, when everyday I found myself gazing out the gigantic studio windows, looking out across the Yarra River towards the Melbourne skyline, wondering, guessing, fantasising. I became more and more curious about the lives of the people outside. I felt trapped. And my desire to be something else, to try something new, was too strong to ignore. So I quit. I made a choice, and I jettisoned that dream into the air, and I moved on.

    I moved on to other forms of storytelling and communication. Other versions of the same thing really. Just a basic desire to be heard and seen and understood. I had grown up secretly thinking that being an actor might be the thing for me, the big arrival, the real me. It had been a background dream that I knew I would acknowledge some day. So after my self declared final job as a dancer (cruise ship) I decided to move to Sydney to be the real me. Finally!

    And guess what? It wasn't the big arrival, it wasn't the magic fit. But it certainly was a big learning curve in my timeline. And I recently went to Los Angeles (i'll write more about this another time) and all I can say is no. No. No. No. Big no. It was another quick fix attempt. And it was incredibly eye opening and horizon expanding. Because it clarified yet another foggy idea I had held onto for so long. The idea that notability would be my key to peace and belonging. As though success in the film industry would be the balm that would soothe my loneliness. I had been on the path for around five years, forging a career as an actor which then in the last two years also turned into a career as a director and writer (identity, identity, identity). And it culminated with this recent trip to the US which had me thinking that a visa and a permanent relocation to Hollywood would fix everything and give me a new perspective and new hope. It was as though I thought that if I continued to fake it in a shiny new town, then maybe I would start to actually enjoy being the person I had become - the hustling artist - using performance and creativity to hush my true yearning for stability. Bingo! It's all about stability! And for sure I enjoyed parts of the journey. The years in Sydney at acting school, the six months it took to secure a reputable agent, the rushing around from opportunity to opportunity, each one a chance at a turnaround. The celebration of small milestones and achievements. I had some fun. I lived my days in a state of nervousness, running on adrenalin. Ready for a yes that would change my life. 

    Sure, I made things i'm proud of. But the entire time my heart never unclenched. 

    Which brings me to now. To this new section in my life. To a point where I can recognise that i've matured leaps and bounds, and give myself a pat on the back. I see the value in stability now and I see the way it will help me to make my art from a place of love not fear. I like being useful. I like to contribute. I like to know that I matter, and I want to make an impact. But mostly, and this is the thing, the new thing - I want my impact to be witnessed - by just one person. One is enough now. I want someone there, when i'm on the verge of something great, or when i'm about to fall. There's no space left in me for self indulgence anymore. It's all about service now. It's more about us, and less about me. Because now i've arrived at plan B and the door is open and i'm interested. I actually want to get to know plan B, because it feels like the right thing to do. I no longer feel the pull to identify myself only through my creativity. Of course i'm still passionate about sharing who I am through words and images. But my self worth no longer depends on it. I don't link exterior success with survival anymore. I'm surviving for a long list of reasons now. Healthy, logical, rational and quiet reasons. Amen!

    I know i've got more to make, and more to give, and I know it's going to be good. And i'm ready to let someone join me, to be my witness, to let me be theirs.

    I know why i'm doing this.

    I know who it's for.

    BG

    // Photos taken on iPhone and edited with VSCO.

  • you can do everything right and still lose, or do everything wrong and still win.

    I think as people we can often feel a great need to try and control things. We control our appearance in order to be percieved in a certain light by the public. We control each step we take and the choices we make. We control our relationships. We try to control who loves us. And I think that in doing this, we end up suffering a great deal. We essentially end up blocking the miracles and the answers that are available to us. We don't notice the answers over there, because we are too busy over here trying to make something happen. 

    I really believe that above all, there are miracles everywhere. There are revelations at every crossroad, and there is universal magic waiting to be known. We just have to get out of our own way, in order to feel it and see it and use it.

    I've always been a forcer, a pusher, I try too hard and I get miserable when things don't move quickly. Or when things just don't take shape in the way I had hoped. This is where the control element comes into play. I've never been very good at just letting things unfold. Just listening for the right direction, rather than forcing a wrong result.

    When you've worked as hard as you can, when you have plead, and bargained, and strived, and given, and asked, and hoped - surrender. Let go. And listen for the answer. It may take a few days, or a few weeks, or even longer, but the answer will come, and you will feel it, like a whisper. The universe is always whispering, giving us nudges and clues, helping us to move ahead.

    So stop the controlling, stop the forcing, and just listen. 

    Listen for the instruction instead of begging for the direction.

    BG

    // Photos taken on iPhone and edited with VSCO.

  • do i get off this grid?

    Alright, so here I am, wondering, thinking, very much not sure and very much not okay. Okay?

    I'm trying to figure something out. A big thing. A thing that puts me into a certain category of people. Plain crazy perhaps?

    You see, I kind of feel that right now, at this very moment, I have to step away, I have to remove myself from everything that seems to be destroying me. I want to get away from the noise.

    Why can't I write the scripts I want to write? I can't edit, I don't feel compelled to create anything at the moment and I seem to be operating at a really low energy, sort of just drifting. The only clue I have as to how I got here, is the fact that around six months ago I met someone, and it sort of flicked a switch. It changed everything. Because for the longest time I did everything on my own. I grew up really fast and I became very self sufficient. The whole of me was poured into dancing, and ballet and intense training, and achievements and goals. And then I sort of woke up and realised that I do everything I do with the intention to be liked, to be included, to feel as though I belong to someone or something. I never experienced the other side of being human, the giving yourself to someone side, the loving another person side. I was always kind of just on the edge of that, peeking in, trying to find it in public, on a train, making eye contact with strangers. Seeing if anyone would be interested in saving me. 

    I've always had this fantasy where in the event that something catastrophic is taking place, like a tsunami, or if a war breaks out, I just want to know that someone will show up, and be there, to grab my hand and get through it with me. I think about it often, on a flight, or if i'm driving. Like who would I call if something bad happened? Who would call me? It's a weird thought to have, but I think about it a lot. I love the idea of a storm or a hurricane or a natural disaster bringing people together. Human connection. Survival. 

    Right now all I want to do is remove myself from social media, turn off my phone and listen. The grid is no place for me to be at the moment. I'm trying to figure out the best way forward. Do I go? And if so, where do I go? Where can I exist without pressure and without expectation. 

    I think soon I'll make some kind of decision. I feel as though I have to. I need to change. I really want to. 

    BG

    // Photos taken on iPhone and edited with VSCO.

  • return.

    I've always been a runner, a chaser, a go getter. Never quite satisfied. Always searching for the next distraction. The next town. The next place to 'start again'. Sometimes it feels like a curse. Or an addiction. And sometimes I just like to lazily blame it on my genetics, as if some how it could be some kind of predisposition inherited from my Father, or maybe my Mother's side of the family? At this point though, i've come to realise and more so accept, that it's not genetics at all, but rather, an inner discord. A lack of harmony and ease within myself. An inability or rather an unwillingness to accept myself and the terms and conditions of what I do, how I move, how I speak and how I exist. Basically, i'm addicted to the idea of reinvention, renewal and regeneration. The feeling of beginning again, in another environment, with different faces and different streets and new air.

    The problem that I always encounter though, is myself. Because of course I take myself with me wherever I go. Obviously. 

    Wherever you go, there you are.

    So what have I learnt? Well for starters, i've accepted that there is a lot going on in my head and in my heart. There's a tendency in me to overthink. My default state is that of melancholia. And well, basically, I love the things that I like. But I don't like myself. Pretty screwy isn't it?

    And so what now? What next? Well, nothing. And everything. If that makes any sort of sense. I recently packed up my belongings, sold my car and returned home to Noosa after a year down south in Melbourne for work. I do this often. It's the nature of the career and the interests that i've been pursuing since I was a kid. Opportunities lure me to busier places, and then I get tired and then I get aggressive and desperate, and then something inside me breaks, and so I return home. I returned after two years in Sydney. I returned after a year dancing and working in the USA when I was nineteen. I pretty much come back whenever I feel the need to rehabilitate my mind and my body. It's my base camp. 

    So, what's different this time? 

    For now i'm just going to listen, and take note. I want to figure out the triggers. I want to learn what really keeps me going. And what blocks my progression. Why do I get sad? Why do I feel unworthy sometimes? How can I lay that part of me to rest? For good!

    Most importantly, i'm interested in finding that inner harmony. That inner acceptance. The stuff that fuels contentment, and authenticity. I'm no longer interested in maintaining superficial friendships and i'm no longer interested in being used. It's too exhausting.

    One day at a time.

    BG 

    // Photos taken on iPhone and edited with VSCO.