Sue

Dear Sue,

Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday to a woman I hold so high, and so close, in my life. Thank you for being the woman I look to, when I despair. You make me believe that anything is possible. You remind me that it’s about determination. You remind me that it’s braver to be honest, than it is to pretend that you are okay. You are my honesty in life beacon. You are the little voice in my head that spurs me on to try again.

I am, every day, thankful for you.

Happy Birthday my Suetjie. A bazillion blessings and good things for you, today, and every day.

xxx

One Year Ago

1 year ago

Every day in gratitude. Every day in love.

This time, one year ago exactly, I was packing my things and flying to Cape Town for a week’s holiday.

Wow.

At that time, I felt weak. I felt rushed and I felt uncertain.

As the aeroplane descended towards that gorgeous town, I felt my heart slow down for the first time in, well, I don’t know how long.

Met by Jolene at the airport, with her sign, something inside my head felt like it was finally settling.

That week in Cape Town screwed my head on straight, planted my feet in the ground of the earth my life grows from. It relaxed me, it made me see straight instead of hopelessly blindly stabbing at destiny.

That week in Cape Town, if I think back, prepared me for one of the hardest and most exhilarating years of my life.

When I left, I came home and finally felt strong enough to make choices. Strong in a way I had never felt before. But more on that later.

You see, when I went to Cape Town, I had to make a choice. My mom was having surgery whilst I was away, and I had to choose between staying for her, or leaving for me. I didn’t even discuss the choice with anyone. I just knew I had to do it, for me. And my mom knew too. So I went.

Some people may read that and think “sheesh, selfish cow”. I’m okay with that. My mother didn’t think that of me, and she knew, more than anyone, that I needed to go.

When I returned home, I was able to make choices that meant something. I was able to set boundaries and enforce them. I learnt how to make decisions for my heart, with my head. One of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make, I made when I came home. I could not have done it without the solid grounding in love that I got during that week.

I think about it all. The wonderful, larger-than-life-and-big-in-my-heart friends. My colleagues at The Forge and the hilarious in-office Skypes. The night Brendon had to help me open the front door (still, I cringe at my own ineptitude post one heck of a bender with Justin). The happiness of waking up to a kitty cuddle. The quiet I felt within me, in a room full of people I absolutely adore and admire. Pina Cathlada. La Med and the stories of “well, you know, I’m actually a serial killer” (hat tip to a friend, you know very well who you are). The throwing away of comfort zones and sitting on a hill with Jolene. The mad first actual meeting of the OtherCath. Tents which eat us. Lying under the trees. Laughing over Pina Coladas with friends. This one night in Camps Bay. Tweet ups and hilarious photos in which I look very special. Hugging Heather tightly. Shopping with Sue. Being able to reach across the table and squeeze her hand. Cows. The mosaic of faces and people who I am proud to call my friends.

Which brings me toÔÇŽ

It’s been a year. I have gained, I have lost, I have cried and I have laughed. I have slept, not slept, loved, hated, fallen into despondence and buoyed straight through it.

I could not have done any of the things I have done since then, without that week. For me, it was a turning point that noone else really saw. For me, it was the beginning of the person I always knew I wanted to be. The laying of foundations for what I needed to do with my life. That week helped me begin to take control. When I returned home, I finally believed I was capable. Capable of more than I knew I was. Capable and worthy of receiving love. And wow, not long after, it turned out, I was holding hands with the man who is the love of my life.

Every single day since then, when I awake, I wake up in gratitude. Every day, I am thankful to the two women who were the centrifugal forces that made it happen.

To OtherCath and Sue. Every day, you are the inspiration I turn to. You are the rocks I lean on. And even in silence, you are there. Even in the darkest bits of this past year, you are there. And in the brightest moments, you’re dancing with me.

Every day in gratitude. Every day in love.

Thank you.

my favourite word is mama

there you were.

at the end of a hard day, i was back in the proverbial saddle at work, fighting fires and trying not to grimace but, to truly smile.

you jumped off the swings at school, ran towards me, the word “mama!” leaping from your lips.

your eyes sparkled as though i was the easter bunny, christmas father /that’s your name for him/, the tooth fairy and the birthday fairy, all rolled into one.

you kissed my face and i knew.

i knew i was home.

so, we went home, into my room where presents waited for you.

my favourite word to hear is mama.

my favourite person is you.

Cam and earrings

A word on The Forge

So, where have I been all this time? Ensconced at The Forge, that’s where.

Some people don’t know this, and I think they should – The Forge is the only place in the world where they really SHOULD want to work.

The energy abounds, and the team environment that exists is not superficial, it’s personal. It’s deep and real and there is never a moment where you are left to just ‘get on with it’. There’s banter, there’s laughter, there’s picking on each other (Hey, Brendon, nice guns :P) and there is real care.

The truth is, I’ve had two personal things happen whilst I’ve been here – both of them disconcertingly scary – first, my mom is in hospital, recovering from a serious operation. You missed that one, didn’t you? Yeah. She is. And she’s recovering. But, on Monday morning whilst she was in theatre, I was beyond concerned. And the moment I had word that my mum was out of theatre and in recovery, everyone breathed a sigh of relief with me, not just for me.

Then, on the same day, I learnt that I had lost a family member in waiting. I’m not going into details on this one but, it broke my heart to know that Cam will never know this person. And she was so excited to meet them. Rest in peace little one. And, in my other life, away from here, I would have felt so alone at that time. But, I didn’t. Not even a little bit. Everyone was sad with me, not just for me.

Are you seeing the difference here? I am.

And then there is the work that I do at The Forge. The glorious play that I can have with words and researching. I learn so much, every day, and totally get to bug the crap out of Chris. Hehe.

I’ve never worked with such a team. A natural team. It’s not forced, there are no silly team shirts and there is no demanded-upon team building with arsey pyramids and cheerleading. It’s an energy that exists just because it does. I don’t know how Sue did it, but she does.

It’s focused, it’s caring, it’s committed and it’s real. And that pervades into every single piece of work that emanates from The Forge. The fact is, if you want to be a client that is cared for, cared about and work with a team that is inherently interested in what you do and how you do it, you want to have The Forge with you.

And for all this greatness, I blame one person. Sue. Sue, the creator of beautiful things, Sue, the writer who speaks her truth without fear. Sue, who awes me with her endless love for those around her. Sue, the woman I am proud to call my friend. Sue, who makes all things possible.

I love you my friends. Thank you so much for this time. It’s true when I say, that you have changed my world.

I am footed in gratitude. And buoyed by love. Thank you.

twelve random monday thoughts as i sit here

1. I am a lucky, lucky fucker.

2. I’ve never been this relaxed. Ever. That’s all there is to it.

3. They’re gonna have to draaaaaaaaaaaaag my ass home.

4. As I sit here typing, Sue is to my right. And I am just awed.

5. Awed. Can I tell you this, audience of twelve? Here is my gorgeous fried, a woman who works hard, loves without abandon and does everything in her power, every day, to live her life to the full, and moreover, help everyone around her, at all times. She has the time for everyone, for every nuance of life, and does not mind my insane mess in the room I’m staying in. No really, it’s a mess.

That aside, when I walked in on Wednesday and finally got to see my amazing friend, and hugged her, I felt like home. I just felt home. I can’t ever thank Sue enough for this time, in her home, in her office, in her space. Where I truly feel zen. And inspired. And compelled towards being a better-than-I-am-Cath.

6. The people. I’m surrounded by gorgeous, divine, funny people. Chris, who makes me laugh so much. So passionate. Brendon. Beyond clever. Beyond divine. Gabriel. Hilarious storyteller. JoC. My friend. She who is now beyond her comfort zones. The amazing Forge team. I just have no words.

7. The people. The Justin. Hilarious and honest and so much fun it scares me. We could talk for years and never be finished. The Andre. My friend with the moon photo that saved my day so often. The BC. What do I say there? Hey, at least I didn’t bail on you! ­čśÇ ┬áThe Heather. Mama to be and so full of love. ┬áThe Scott. The funnyman with heart.

8. Rocking the Daisies. The infamous, brilliant Byron. The superwoman Cath. The crazy and funny Elan. The musicalmover Gabi. All the beautiful people.

9. The random things. The random man opening our tent at 3am. The random naked people at RTD. The cold lake swimmingness. The tunes, the feel of the ground beneath my feet. The chilly wind. The man with the mattress tied to the top of his car. The fact that Sue has the same mugs as me at home.

10. Were it not for Cam and some members of the audience reading this, waiting for me to come home, I would never leave.

11. Thank you so much my friends. Thank you so so much for this time. This heart-time, and quiet.

12.I am so blessed.

X

catch you soon.

angular-momentumi’ll be under the radar and quiet. for at least a week. i may or may not blog. depends really. don’t be hurt by that.

sometimes i need a little cath time. this is cath time.

be good. don’t fight. love each other. make peace with the fact that you are only as much as you can be. don’t let people tread on you. ignore destructive commentary. love the compliments. honour each day. remember to say please and thank you. make sure you get your chocolate rations in, every day. laugh. listen to children. always listen to children. they are more honest than you could ever hope to be. they’re the courageous ones. remember that. they’re untempered by real life, yet. don’t let anything or anyone keep you down. shit is bound to get you down, it’s the staying down that’s the problem.┬áThis picture is for you.

And, Cam. Cam. Mama loves you. You and your gorgeous hugs. You and your stellar smile.

You and the brightest eyes. You bounded out of bed this morning and said

“mom. you’re going to catch a plane. i want a big box of different coloured earrings from cape town. that’s my present. tell aunty sue so that she can remind you”

i love you munchkin. i love you my Campai. this will be the longest time ever i will be away from you.

remember what we know about Mommies and Camerons…

They Always Come Back.

And, as moral fibre reminded me, and which i wear proudly on a shirt,

Don’t Let Anyone Fuck With Your Dreams.