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the great dip

February 11, 2014


Today marks the 2-year anniversary of the day I landed in England, fresh off the boat and newly wed and ready for a big old adventure, feeling invincible, capable of tackling ALL THE THINGS.

I took the bloody bull by the horns, alright, but I was foolish in thinking the bull wouldn’t retaliate. And I especially didn’t expect it to stubbornly fight its corner for two whole years.

When I die, if they make a nice colourful graph of my life, these will be known as the abject years, a great dip where it all went pear-shaped and tits up and everything I thought I knew about myself was turned upside down and examined, like some sort of god damn airport security line; my baggage searched with a fine toothed comb and stuff I thought was innocuous and neatly packed in a transparent and resealable bag turned out to be explosive and suddenly I’m the woman being escorted to airport jail, shouting: “I swear someone else put that there, Mr. Security Man. It’s not my stuff. It wasn’t me. I swear it’s not mine.

It turns out the shit is mine and mine alone.

Here’s a map to illustrate my amateur Paint skills and my point.

And my point is this.

There comes a time in most people’s’ lives called the “cold, hard look”, when, as the term implies, you stop and have a good think about who you are and what you’ve done, missy. And I’m not talking about the fantasy version of yourself. I’m talking about peeking behind the curtain and seeing a weird-looking Technicolor wizard running the show, pointing fingers at everyone and everything else, protecting you from having to take the “cold, hard look”.

Because the trite truth about the “cold, hard look” is that it comes with “cold, hard work”, which is about as fun as a poke in the eye. Actually, fuck it, I’ll take the poke in the eye, thank you very much.

Now you’re probably thinking, what the hell is she going on about? Don’t worry, kids. It’s not like I’m an addict or anything. Or like I’ve tortured kittens or insulted Mother Theresa.

No, no. Nothing of the sort. I’m just really fucking negative, is all.  And it’s never been so blatantly apparent as it has in the past 2 years, in the land of “Chin up, mustn’t grumble, carry on” and other sickeningly positive idioms.

“One who has a stiff upper lip displays fortitude in the face of adversity, or exercises great self-restraint in the expression of emotion.

Stiff upper lip, I have not. More like limp upper lip. My whole world is governed by emotions, most of which, I’m afraid to say, are rather negative.

So yes, the past two years have been hard because, well, moving to another country is really fucking hard. But moving to a new country and failing to see anything positive in any given moment is really, really, really fucking hard.

So it’s time for the slow incline (refer to graph). Hark, a shift is coming! It’s barely perceptible on a day-to-day basis but, as you can see, in the long run we are heading for some serious golden years.

In two years, I want to say “Today marks the 2-year anniversary of the day I decided it was time to sort my shit out. And I did.”

Day One. Here we go. I can already feel my upper lip stiffening.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2014 12:02 am

    Good luck with that…I’m sure you can do it. and if things get rough…head to a tea shop. Tea and scones with devonshire cream works for me every time.

  2. Christine permalink
    February 12, 2014 8:06 am

    I love this! Good luck with the fairy dust!!

  3. February 12, 2014 9:14 am

    Love your graph. I hate all those chin up, stiff upper lip type things. It just gets people trapped where they are. When I get depressed I end up feeding myself a lot of those lines as some self punishment I think.

  4. Alison permalink
    February 12, 2014 12:06 pm

    It makes me think that we don’t have to be super women, we just have to do our best and try to better our selves a little tiny eensy weensy itty bitty bit each day. xxxooo I love your graph and I love you.

  5. arabella permalink
    February 12, 2014 4:22 pm

    I adore your graph. ADORE IT. And I get it. Nothing harder but better than sorting your shit out (says the girl who most certainly does NOT have her shit sorted out. Ahem.) Go to it! Yay you! I rather like the idea of the magical fairy dust.

    You absolutely rock. For real. xo

  6. Stacy permalink
    February 12, 2014 5:55 pm

    LOVE this. At 31 I feel like I should already have my sh*t sorted, esp. since most of my friends do (or seem to?). I don’t. I’m definitely at the rock bottom stage (love the graph, btw) and I think I’ll make today Day 1 as well. Somehow this post makes me feel very optimistic. Thank you 🙂

  7. February 13, 2014 2:31 am

    I love the fairy dust! Hooray for a shift in the happy direction! Sending you a big hug and love xoxoxo

  8. annie s. permalink
    February 13, 2014 10:32 pm

    good on you, you little beauty but wow your hubby must be saint if you were really that bad

  9. Linda permalink
    February 14, 2014 10:44 am


    High fives and hip hip hurrays for your honesty and bravery. We are similar creatures. I turned 40 this year and have realised that my negative thinking and risk avoidance nature has kept me small and from fully enjoying and being present in my life. This surprises some folk as I am generally so chirpy and positive but only on behalf of other people. To myself I can be a total beeeetch and give myself one hell of a hard time.

    It is time to change but as well as fairy dust let’s sprinkle some love and compassion on ourselves. Moving to a new country and life is huge so no wonder you have been finding it difficult. Be gentle with yourself.

    So tally ho….onwards and upwards (said in a v posh English accent!) x

  10. February 16, 2014 8:40 am

    Lovely image

  11. Meagan permalink
    February 16, 2014 12:39 pm

    This post is coming at a great time. I’m going through the cold hard look phase (a few months before my wedding at that… oh joy) and am realizing that I am starting to take on the traits of my mother than I would really rather not exhibit. It’s really hard work trying to change things so heavily engrained in you but there is no other way around it if you don’t want to look back at this time of your life and think, “Well, fuck. That’s not how I wanted that to go.” Cause and effect is everything.

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