Copeland.

I pride myself on coping. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do. When life gets tough, I’m pretty good at managing it. I’m self aware, so I can normally sense what is happening as it happens. I’m not stupid, so I can piece together why I feel the way I do and I can normally make sense of situations. I’m a talker and a big thinker, so I process til the cows come home and then I’m normally okay. I think it’s a good thing to posses the above skills. Life isn’t perfect and it will inevitably have day to day problems and so honing the above skills probably wouldn’t go astray. However I think there is definitely a risk to becoming a pro coper.

Are you at all like me? I thought perhaps I was the most unique person in the world, and for sure, I am a bit weird and there’s definitely parts of me which are unlike anyone else (for example, I’m not remotely afraid of robbers of thiefs when I live alone – what girl is like that?) but I’m coming to realise more and more that people can identify with things I thought I was alone in. Are you an over-thinker and an under-feeler? I cringe at how bad the english is in that statement but still.

Sometimes, when life calls for it, I take a moment to sit somewhere, preferably a nice mix between sunshine and shade and I allow myself to feel. Whatever the feeling is, good or bad, I allow myself to feel it. Sometimes I write.. thoughts or feelings I never knew or really understood somehow form on the pages. Sometimes I sit and listen to some worship, and God speaks to me about hidden things. Sometimes.. I just kick off my shoes and curl up on a park bench and wait. Feel and wait. Wait and feel.

The problem with shutting yourself off to feelings isn’t actually that you shut yourself off to pain, it’s that you shut yourself off to beauty. By avoiding the painful emotions, you inevitably shun joy.

Life is a curious mix of heart aches and heart warming moments. Learn to love and live through both of them. To me, the highs in life are when you feel God leaning down on you and blowing you a sweet little kiss that seems to say ‘See how wonderful life can be’. The lows in life are when you feel God leaning down and almost literally embracing you saying ‘See how wonderful you are to me’. Both are extremely critical moments in life.

Please please please, give yourself permission to feel. Coping is a ridiculous notion. Don’t become good at coping. What a stupid skill.

“I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything’s easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom.” Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

I won’t forget.

Tomorrow marks the 97th anniversary of Australian and New Zealand army troops landing at Gallipoli in 1915. Tomorrow is a day we stop and remember all Australians who serve and have served in all wars, conflicts and peace-keeping operations. At least some of us stop and remember.

Some of us are just excited for a day off. Some of us are excited to sleep in. Some of us are excited to party and get wasted tonight. Some of us will post a token ‘Lest We Forget’ status on facebook and use tomorrow as a much needed study day. That last statement was going to be me in case you’re already judging me for being too judgemental.

As a nation, we’re somewhere down the middle when it comes to patriotism. Most of us are aware that we are lucky to live in Australia and we’re happy to don an Australian Flag tattoo on Australia Day but we are kind of embarassed when we see ourselves represented on American television. We’ll fly flags out the windows of our cars, but hardly any of us have a flagpole installed at home.

I come from a military family. My uncle is in the air force, I’ve got a cousin the army and even closer to home, my father has been serving in the Army for many years and in the last couple of years my brother followed in his footsteps. I’m extremely aware of the sacrifice Australians Service Men and Women have made for our country. I’m aware, because for me, the sacrifice is personal.

I’ve said goodbye at the airport and watched my loved ones depart for over-seas operations. I’ve received letters from war zones and delayed crackly phone calls where we sort of talk in code. I’ve grown up and spent my adult years separated at times from the two men I love the most. And trust me, I have it easy. I haven’t gotten married without loved ones present. I haven’t had to give birth to my child alone because my husband was away on deployment. I haven’t had to bury ones I love because of war. I have it easy.

I’m so aware of what tomorrow represents. I’m so aware of how painful and lonely military life can be. I’m so honoured to know people who serve our country. I’m so honoured to call those people my family. I’m so grateful for their sacrifice. I’m so grateful for this country and the people who have died and will die to protect the freedom we take for granted.

I won’t forget.

Celebs

The other week I went out for dinner with one of my long time beautiful friends. She lives in North Queensland and I see her approximately twice a year, which by the way, sucks. When I saw her, she exclaimed ‘It’s a celebrity, it’s the girl from the pictures’. I was momentarily confused until she explained that for so long, all she’d see of my life was social media. Instagram pictures, facebook posts, this blog.  She asked me if my life was as wonderful as it looked. As much as I spent the whole night enjoying her fine company, in the back of my mind I was thinking about my presence in social media.

Every now and then I have an ‘ah-ha’ moment when I think of or hear something revolutionary. This was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. 

I want everything that surrounds my life to be an accurate reflection of who I am.

I want the words I say to accurately reflect what I think. I want the pictures I take and post to accurately depict the kind of life I lead.

In a world that has become so consumed with social media I find myself swept up and frustrated at the lengths we will go to to make our lives appear awesome. To make ourselves popular on facebook, to take instagram worthy shots. We structure ourselves so well that we end up portraying a slightly different version of ourselves to the world. And unfortunately, different is not always better.

I would hope that when people meet me, they think.. This girl is exactly what she seems. I know that doesn’t sound exciting or mysterious and it probably won’t win me a boyfriend anytime soon but I hope my internet life is an accurate portrayal of my real life.

I guess what I’m saying is.. I want to the be the real me all the time. What you see is what you get.