The Ups and Ups of a Long Distance Relationship

Three and a half years ago I met her. The One I Love.

Touring the UK with my mum and brother, she was an unexpected appearance in my recently fractured world.

“We can make this work.” She ponders as we avoid counting the minutes that we have left together at Heathrow Airport.

“I don’t know…I have so little to offer..” My voice trailing off as the reality of the vast distance between London and Melbourne began to sink in. 16,893 kilometers to be exact.

“You have SO much to offer!” We stand in silence and despair at the thought of parting.

With the concept of physical distance beginning to dissolve, being replaced with the closeness one feels in the heart when emotionally connected through a dimension physical distance does not occupy, I began to see that maybe this could work. We could have a chance at this. It need not be the end, especially as it really did feel like the beginning…

Jump forward three and a half years and I wonder in awe at how we have come this far.

Have we bridged the gap? No.

Is there a move scheduled sometime soon? Nope.

BUT!

We see each other every few months for a few weeks at a time, minimum. The world and it’s noise ceases to exist and only we are present in our glorious bubble of love. We condense our ‘dates’ into blocks (and have a bloody good time with that, let me tell you!).  When we are together we laugh, chill, go out, stay in, sleep late, eat delicious food, drink way too much and go places that we really want to share with each other. We read funny things and share them, in real time!

What about when you are apart I hear you ask?

We skype and text message everyday. And send lovely (and ridiculous) snail mail and special deliveries. We share our online music.

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Anything else that brings you comfort when you are apart? 

Well since you asked..

I know she can’t smell me when I skip a shower some days.

Garlic consumption is no longer an issue. For either of us.

I can eat at weird times (or not at all) and not feel guilty that I am depriving her of her daily nutritional intake.

There is a bucket load of time to work on personal goals, study and plan for when we are next together. This has to be a good thing, right? Yes!

I can research new places to go when we are next together, add to my list and watch it grow.

Netflix binging. It’s only natural that not all our viewing tastes align. Say no more.

There is no limit to the amount of sport one can listen to. Or choose not to listen to!

The cat sleeps on my bed (again, shh..).

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Ridiculous snail mail! (Postcard courtesy of Chit Chat Design UK)

In all seriousness, what I appreciate most of all about being apart is the abundance of time for personal growth and working on achieving goals. Knowing that I can invest time in myself which will help me to become a better person, which in turn will bring us closer to being where we want to be, whenever that happens to be. There is something so wonderful about working hard for something that is so important to you (i.e. your future life), and enjoying your time together along the way.

I know that it won’t always be this way and I have every faith that we will somehow bridge that gap the separates us at times. Until then, there is much work to do to make sure I am in the best possible place when that time presents itself announcing that it is in fact right.

Be well out there, whether you are near or far from your love, if you are yet to meet them, or your love is yourself (as it should be for all of us!).

Luna xo

The Importance of Queer Role Models when Coming Out

With Midsumma currently on in Melbourne, I find it interesting to reflect on how coming out can open one’s eyes to the presence (or at times, lack of) queer role models that we can look to for guidance, support and validation.

In early 2015, I came out to my husband and children. I was in my late thirties at the time. Yes, I guess you could say I am ‘one of those type of persons’. You know, the one who is married, has a happy family and then, BOOM! Out of nowhere completely shakes up her world and that of all those around her. “Why didn’t she know before?” “How could we not see it?” and my personal favourite “Oh, yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense!”

Coming out at this age was the most heartbreaking experience of my life because it meant dismantling the family unit I was in that was so close and so strong. Yet, I knew I would not be true to my authentic self if I continued to remain in a situation that was unrepresentative of who I actually was. Fast forward to looking at the world through my fresh queer eyes that everyone else was aware of too. This was completely foreign to me. Somehow I had thought that coming out would be the end of all my problems, and subsequently the beginning of a smooth existence without the wrinkles of deceit. Which to be fair, it basically was in the scheme of things, yet one thing was lacking. The presence of any queer role models in my world. I think my go to’s were Ellen and the gay couple who lived in our neighbourhood. All of my friends were in heterosexual relationships, and had children and families of their own. I felt completely isolated.

Coming out with no support from ‘your tribe’ is tough. No matter how amazing your family and friends are, there needs to be validation from people who share the same components that make up You. I remember at the time searching hard for similarly aged role models who I could relate to and coming up with zilch. And then do you know what happened? I started to find validation and support in younger people. My daughters who were in their teens began to talk about their friends who identified as queer. I looked to younger people in the media who were being so open and honest and unashamedly true to being themselves. It was empowering and validating. I felt not like some outcast of her world, but more like someone who was yet to arrive to her world. As my awareness of role models around me grew, from the political arena to the entertainment industry, so too did my experiences with real life role models. Again, the first to appear were people in my daughters’ age group. Their completely accepting and open natures made me speechless and so grateful to have them in my world. How wonderful to be a young person today and growing up without a lot of the undercurrents of homophobia that existed when I was a teenager. I know undercurrents (and outright blatant currents!) still exist, but so much has also dropped away. Yes indeed. How wonderful.

As my interactions with real life, younger role models grew, so too did role models more my same age, they just took a little longer to appear. From teachers to the people in my local cafe. From friends of friends to colleagues. Humans are indeed herd creatures. We function best when we are accepted by our ‘group’. Being able to find support among your peers is vital, especially when those peers know, and I mean really know the place you are coming from. The unspoken understanding of being different to the majority of the population. This comes from the look in a person’s eyes, no spoken words are necessary.

As Melbournians gear up for Pride on Sunday, I hope you are in a good place, with contact to positive role models that bring you validation and a sense of comfort and acceptance within yourself.

Take care out there,

Love Luna xo

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Dream Chasing (aka Goal Setting)

With January almost over and the working calendar about to step up a notch for many of us, it can be easy to let the new year’s resolutions that were made just a few short weeks ago with the best of intentions slip off our radar. My thoughts today are swirling around how we can set ourselves up for the best possible chance of success when it comes to achieving our dreams, and this is where goal setting comes in.

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The following are a few notes to myself to refer back to when it comes to chasing dreams, when I am feeling swamped by the everyday. Perhaps they may be of help to you too:

  1. Write down all goals..large, small, funny or serious, it doesn’t matter. Keep the list somewhere you can revisit it often, whether that be on your phone, in a diary or pinned to a noticeboard/fridge.
  2. Ponder hard about what is currently preventing you from achieving your goals and approach from this direction. This can be really helpful for those larger goals that seem so far off and unattainable, yet by breaking down the barriers into smaller hurdles, we can maximise our chances of success through digestible challenges.
  3. Reward yourself each time you make progress, whether that be hitting a certain target, acquiring a new set of skills or getting through another semester of study. Choose what feels right for you and enjoy some time away from the goal path once in a while. Coming back refreshed can help with moving forward with a fresh outlook and new inspiration. The goals/dreams will still be there tomorrow.
  4. Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Limit time with people who do not stretch you in ways of new thinking, developing ideas or who are content with their unchanging routine/aspirations. Seek out people who may have skills similar to what you are striving for and focus your energies here.
  5. Don’t be afraid to help others along the way. What you put out comes back and if your energy is being shared from the heart, it will be returned to you in unexpected and abundant ways.
  6. Be thankful. Embrace gratitude and take a moment to honor all that is good in your life. Write these thoughts down and add to the list as it grows over time. Revisit often.
  7. Self care. If you are not looking after yourself then how will you work on your goals which are like fuel stops on the road to success? Take time out of each day, whether 10 mins, an hour or longer to focus on you and only You. Do something that brings you pleasure, relaxation or joy (or all three!). Eat well, stay hydrated, get enough sleep and connect with nature. Move your body in ways that feel right and fit in with your day.
  8. Record achievements to keep track of progress. Revisit and add to the list as it grows. Congratulate yourself on working hard and achieving the smaller goals that comprise the larger ones.

Do you have any strategies for achieving your goals? I would love to hear in the comments section.

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Have a great day out there dream-chasers!

Luna xo

 

Midsumma 2019: Dogz and Drag

One thing I love about summer in Melbourne is Midsumma festival. Midsumma is the queer festival on the calendar for Melbournians. It runs over 23 days and offers over 165 unique and diverse events that support the LGBTQI+ community. Two highlights of the Midsumma festival are Carnival day, a fantastic day out for the whole family in the Alexandra Gardens, set along the south bank of the Yarra river and the city’s annual Pride March. Carnival day would be my favourite, as it is such a great atmosphere with all ages catered for, including under 18’s. Many people choose to bring a picnic and meet friends under the shady trees, enjoying the wide range of performances on the stages throughout the day. I really love seeing all the dogs come out with their owners and I take great joy in watching the dog show, which includes such categories as Best Bitch, Sexiest Stud, Best Dressed and Best in Show. Below are a selection of this years contestants..with a little bit of drag sprinkled in because who doesn’t love a bit of glam..?

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I was also so happy to see such a spectacularly dressed roving supporter from RMIT University. It made me feel so proud to be studying somewhere that celebrates diversity in all of its glorious colour and excitement!

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Best Dressed: Rocket Dog

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If you happen to be reading this and get a chance to see CAZELEON, I strongly suggest you do – I found their performance to be completely soulful and moving!

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More information on Midsumma can be found here.

Looking forward to the Pride March in a couple of weeks!

Luna xo

Potential Benefits of Bullet Journaling

Hello and happy new year!

As the new year is laid out full of hope and possibility, my mind shifts towards how I would like to shape the coming months. I really love the phrase: “Our thoughts create our reality, so choose your thoughts wisely.” It really seems to be the case that when we focus our attention on aspects of our lives, we create thought patterns or ‘grooves’ that allow us to revisit these thoughts again and again. By planning and mapping the coming months, I find it frees up my mind to allow fresh, new thoughts and ideas in. There seems to be something about mapping out time on paper that soothes my sometimes over-fretful mind. This has to be a good thing!

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The journal is fully customisable, providing unlimited possibilities

I have always used a planner of some sort, be it a wall calendar, a week-by-week diary and more recently, the calendar on my phone. Not long ago I came across a new method of documenting the ‘to-do’ lists which drew me in. The bullet journal is basically a book full of dotted pages that are otherwise completely blank. I now, hard to believe, right? It is completely up to the user to customise how they would like the journal to work for them. Just searching up #bulletjournal or #bujo (for short) on instagram or youtube yields a tonne of results! There is no end to the creativity that some people pour into their bullet journals. Whilst drooling over the glorious artworks on people’s ‘weekly spreads’ (weekly planner pages), I was concerned that this new method would require more time than I had to give it. However! I found myself continuing to be drawn in to this alternative way of planning.

From my fresh-eyed perspective of a newbie ‘bujo’ user, what appeals to me is the approach of mindfully sitting down at regular intervals, be it daily, weekly or monthly (or any other interval of choice) and consciously planning out my time, jotting down goals, which leads to thinking about goals, which leads to thoughts about how to achieve these goals. By carrying over tasks from one period to the next I am consciously revisiting them and forming an intentional focus to my days. I really am a great believer in the power of thought and writing down thoughts seems to consolidate the swirling mess that sometimes occupies my mind. This is particularly appealing as my previous way of planning was to use my planner as a ‘brain dump’ with the greatest focus on the ‘what dates would work when’ approach. The other aspect that appeals to me with the bullet journal is that it can be a creative outlet. Not because I am a talented artist that loves to hone my skill. Rather, I love the follow on effects of allowing creativity to flow – the sense of calm that washes over me, the release of background brain ‘noise’ and the time away from the screen. More of that for me, please! I am also interested if this new method of planning/journaling/creativity will enhance my sleeping rhythms. Stay tuned!

If you bullet journal please feel free to share your experiences and any tips you have, I would love to hear what works or doesn’t work for you…

Luna x