I’m Not Going to Write You a Love Story… Okay, Maybe Kinda.

Travel is something I feel blessed and obsessed about. I could happily own no home and just walk the world, provided there was regular family visits or, even better, the hobbit tribe were all in tow.  They refuse to stop their lives and leave the comfort and familiarity of friends and family to meander around the planet with their eccentric wee mother.

I’ve been in or around airports since 10pm Pacific time yesterday.  That’s well over 24 hours of the faint smell of kerosene (also known as NavGas) and the roar of jet engines as the faded background music in my rather strange and inarguably interesting existence.  I’ve met new people, sucked back more than 5 litres of bubbly water (they have the same taps in the Air Canada lounges that give you sparkling water as in the Koru lounge) and eaten my body weight in simple carbs.  You may think that not much can happen while you are in transit, but I’m struggling to pick a story to share with you, as so much cool shit has gone down, from the moment I woke up… erm… yesterday, until the point that I started writing this blog to share with you now.

I think I shall tell you a Love story.

Where shall I begin?  Let me think. 

Okay, I have been on the dating scene for well over a year now.  I’ve opted to only coffee or cocktail or hook up with people who do not live in New Zealand, for obvious reasons.  I have very much enjoyed being single and ready to mingle.  I’ve met so many nice and intelligent people and only a small smattering of absolute assholes.  I was out with my dear friends having Korean BBQ and we were swapping war stories of single days, and my friend told me a story of dating an astrophysicist. Apparently, the relationship met its doom when he couldn’t handle her asking what was before the time before time, as in, what was there before the big bang.  I thought on this for a moment. Seeing as I really don’t have an opinion or much idea about astrophysics, instead, I quite earnestly contributed this fact: “I think most, perhaps all of my relationships break down or end because I am proper fucking nuts and incredibly needy and emotional.  Or I ghost people.  Which is proper fucking nuts actually, so yes.” 


So I have met some really nice people online and IRL. I have almost absolute zero desire to be shipped out or settle down again.  I Love my Phteven more than the moon and the stars, even though we’re both feeling much better in the friend zone after a very tricky last couple of years indeed.

I do wonder though, about soulmates and true Love and the one.  I think there are a lot more than just one of the ones.  But, what if you meet and miss one!  What if the time space continuum delivers you mr. or mrs. Or ms. or zee zi so who knows RIGHT for your timing is just off?

Well.  I suspect that may have happened to me tonight.  Buckle in, I have a story to tell you.

I slept in this morning so had to rush out without even showering from the airport hotel I stayed at last night.  I met a couple of well-dressed men at the entrance, and asked them if they were waiting for the shuttle (which only comes every 20-30 minutes).  They had ordered and Uber and offered to let me tag along.  So I did.  I found out that they’d had a killer night and were feeling rather like cups of cold sick. We had nice chats and connected on LinkedIn and I gave them coffee/vitamin shots I had picked up with Dan at the bulletproof coffee lab.  They were lovely and wouldn’t even let me chip in for the Uber.

Then I found out my flight was cancelled.

Met lots of strangers, a couple of celebrities (I will NEVER tell… kidding, happy to share the goss but not write it down so ask me sometime if you see me) and generally had a fairly decent time just people watching and being the friendliest fucking person on the planet as I am prone to do most days.

Then the moment finally arrived, it was time to line up to board.

Here is where the Love story begins.

I was hiding from some ridiculously attractive and charismatic millennials who had been exchanging witty quips and champagne complaints in the lounge earlier. They were standing around by the airbridge entrance with their designer scarves and perfectly quaffed hairdos, kinda the way the mean girls in any high school guard their territories in the quad or lunchroom or common room.  ANYWAY, they were gross so I was keeping a low profile on the other end of the gate waiting area.

That, is when I saw him.  

You know when you do that thing, when you kinda feel like someone is watching you, so you look in that direction, but they aren’t. Then it happens again, a few times perhaps, and eventually you make eye contact.  Yeah.  That happened.  It was kinda nice.  

Quick Segway:  

I’ve just had three days of being mercilessly chatted up by countless people across LA.  My self-esteem is soaring pretty high currently, and my new campaign mantra is: Dee goes to California, she’s… wait for it… Making. America. Date. Again.  HAHAHhahaha.  I am so funny it actually hurts.

Anyway, back to brown eyed sweater guy.

So the look up look away game ended when my name got called over the PA as they had changed my seat from 1A to 4F.  Bastards.  I missed out on having the fish because I was in the last row, and that cod looked good on the menu.  Grrrr.

I must take a moment to describe brown eyed sweater guy. I thought for a moment he was that Zac Effron guy.  Not him in Hairspray or even Greatest Showman, more the one from that dark comedy with Seth Rogan as the neighbor of the frat house look about him.  I figured out fairly quickly it wasn’t.  But boy did I think he was cute.  And his sweater was that deep shade of merlot that has become my signature colour over the years.  I had a pastor wearing that colour in Edinburgh some months back and we are firm friends and I suspect always will be.  That colour is a great omen for me.  

ANYWAY.  Get through to the airbridge, and who is standing three people away from me??? THAT’S riiiight.  Brown eyed sweater guy.  So we exchanged sheepish smiles and I sat down and started texting my son Adam to make it look like I was very important and busy, because looking at sweater guy made me all gooey.

The line finally started to move and there was no sign of brown eyed sweater guy.  I did get to listen in on a very interesting conversation about screenplays and personal tragedy from the quirky middle-aged creatives infront of me.  I wanted to join in like ten times but it was obviously very much an intimate conversation for them.  Not intimate enough that they chose not to have it on an airbridge, but it had some pretty deep shit going on so I left them to it.

I finally got to the plane, and who is sitting next to me?!?!  Not brown eyed sweater guy.  There was a very nice property developer with a NYC accent next to me, think his name was Mike.  

However… Directly infront of me was.  YES!  Brown eyed sweater guy.  He even turned to look at me once or twice while he could pretend he was shuffling around to settle in.

Anyway, long story short, nothing much happened all flight, I had to have the ravioli because everything else was already ordered by the people who didn’t have their seat changed from 1a to 4f.  But something, I have no idea what, perhaps a panic attack or respritory issue?  Brown eyed sweater guy needed a doctor and quick!  SERIOUSLY, this drama actually happened y’all.  The man sitting next to him alerted the crew and he had a chat with a doctor and his blood pressure wasn’t right and I tried very hard not to stare, but it was happening right in the seat infront of me.  I turned to my neighbor and asked if he knew what was happening, and he just shook his head with concern and said; “He’s not doing to great.” And we had a short chat and tried not to stare.

When we landed brown eyed sweater guy walked off the plane with the paramedics.  He had an English accent and was polite without being sheepish or obsequious.  I turned to Mike again to ask him if he had overheard anything about how brown eyed sweater guy was doing, and he shrugged his shoulders.  I then smiled and said to Mike:  “well, it was most likely the fact the poor guy was overcome by my beauty.”  And Mike open mouth gafawed.  Just one big chuckle, but it was a great sound.  “Yes, I’m sure I overheard that this was the issue when he was talking to the medics.”  And we smiled.  “Yes, it happens all the time.  It’s a curse.”  And with that, the line had started to move and we shuffled off the plane, now engaged in a conversation. 

I diverted my stare as Mike and I talked and walked toward customs and immigration together. 

Nearly two hours later, I was downstairs talking to a retired woman named Dawn who really REALLY hates Trump.  As we sat and chatted and discussed the horror of climate change and the injustice of wealth distribution, who appeared in the corner of my eye?

Yup.  That’s right. It was brown eyed sweater guy. Again.

He was looking a little tired but all and all pretty good.  I caught his gaze and squealed “Oof I was worried about you!  Are you feeling okay?”  And bounded up and hugged him as I do with just about everyone everywhere all the time.

He said he’s feeling much better and thanked me for the concern.  I patted his shoulder and said my goodbyes and headed back to sit down and continue my discussions with Dawn.  He turned back to me and asked if my shirt (which is an oversized grey sweater with the words “rise up” on the front) was from Hamilton.  

I nearly cried.

“No, it’s just a shirt, but I do so fucking very much LOVE Hamilton.”

And we smiled.  And he turned and left.

And that is probably the last time in my whole life I will see brown eyed sweater guy.  

And that, is my Love story for today.  And it really isn’t a Love story at all.  Brown eyed sweater guy could very well be married or gay and not for a moment feeling the same way as I did.  But the what if thoughts make me smile.  And I will keep being me around the globe in search of the aha connection that I’ve heard people talk about.  

Thanks for reading.

Three Things

I’m adrift.  Three months since the megaquake level nervous breakdown, and feeling happier, healthier, and more optimisitic than I have done in years. I am happy, but clueless and quite lost. I’ve got no idea what I want, where I am going, what I want to be doing, or how I want to be doing it.

There are three unyielding veracities that keep filling my chest and gnawing and snarling at me if I veer too far from any of them.  

  1. I adore my family– and need more time with my tribe. We are our relationships and they are the magic that make the good times better and the bad times bearable. The kids are incredible and open and honest and FUNNY!  They are of course damaged and difficult and it feels like I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t most days.  But far fucking out these kids have a self-awareness, integrity, kindness and depth that blows my mind and both breaks and buoys my fragile and frantic heart.  They Love me. I do not feel like I have earned that, as I am painfully aware that I am a hot fucking mess and let them and anyone else foolish enough to care for me down sometimes.  It is exhausting being my friend and even more exhausting being my family.  And honestly, it is impossibly exhausting being me.  I guess if we stop to think about it, many people would acknowledge feeling a bit overwhelmed by the baggage they carry and the package that has been added to over the years that makes them who they are.  But seriously.  I am full fucking on.  Full throttle or slamming on the breaks.  Hot or cold. Meek or bold.  I am just a lot, and I scare strangers and put small children and animals at ease.  People can only handle me in small doses (those lucky fucking assholes) but I am stuck with me 24/7 and my family, even the husband who has recently agreed to a serious separation, well, they know all of this and Love, forgive and crave me in their lives anyway.  Steph cried so much today when I left.  She doesn’t generally.  And now I am crying as I write this.  I spend ¼ of the year (at least) away from them flitting around the planet to find meaning or scream from some mountaintop.  The kids and I cherish our time together, and I just think it is time we spent a bit more. This year, I will travel with them not away from them, a lot more often.  
  • This is the year of the Goddess.  Championing and supporting the amazing women I know and seeing that ripple on and on feels like it could be the single most impactful thing I could possibly do while on this earth.  We’ve been fighting ourselves, each-other, misogyny, glass ceilings, harsh dealings, and so much judgement (internally, externally, and always detrimentally) that most women find it difficult to fucking breath anymore. The sweet spot at the centre of a Venn diagram of my passions (mental health, social justice, tolerance, sustainability, carbon divestment, tipping the balance of power, shaking up the status quo, kindness, learning, humour, creativity, and just basically NOT being a fucking cunt) well smack in the middle of that huge number of passions and problems, well women being kinder to themselves and others and feeling more empowered falls quite squarely as a potential game changer for any/all of these things.  We’re more than half of the population of the planet. We need to be heard and we need to be strong if this broken clusterfuck of a planet and society in general have any chance of surviving, let alone thriving.  
  • I’m really fucking tired. Before I was adrift I was riddled with guilt and chock full of frenetic energy and guilt that kept me reaching out and striving for… hmmm.  Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw, I genuinely don’t even know what I was striving for.  I do know I had something to prove and a chip on my shoulder and felt I needed to yell to be heard.  I guess it was validation.  I was so desperate for validation and so riddled with guilt I stretched myself so thin I broke. And rather than validation, I was given the gift of a hefty and healthy reality check and an opportunity to stand up and demand to be given the time, space and resources I needed to fucking reboot and find myself.  I was juggling so many balls, flying to so many places, waving around my jazz hands, sobbing, laughing, screaming, crying, and perhaps, almost dying, because every waking moment had to be filled with purpose.  If I wasn’t charging ahead with guns blazing and raising some serious hell, I was bed ridden and sobbing.  That’s bullshit gets to be well fucking tiresome.  I am not interested in repeating the cycle that has led me to that place again.  So yes. I know a lot of you will be able to relate.  I’m forty, and I am fucking seriously bone tired.  The loving my family realization kinda touched on this point. But seriously.  Tired.  

So here I am in the Koru lounge at the Auckland airport. If you pass through I always wear moth leggings and a red tunic when I travel.  You’ll maybe see me showing someone how to use the water spout (tap on one side then the other to get hot, still below, bubbles up top) or chatting with some strangers over the trials of traveling with children, or just getting to know them for the sake of learning something from strangers.  Most of the time though, I am hiding in the corner either by myself or flanked by one or more kids and occasionally my Phoulmate Phteven (we are still undeniably best friends and I hope that never changes).

I am heading to LA to see my friends Cat and Dan and hopefully Tony and Leesa and the girls as well.  Then I am off to a very special women’s retreat in the Dominican Republic. The strength and connection I have enjoyed from attending Women Who Get Shit Done conferences here in NZ impacts my life daily.  If you are one of the WWGSD tribe, I fucking Love and respect you.  Thank you.  Seriously.

Looking for answers, and looking forward to yoga and horses on a beach and being squished back into some sort of metaphorical amalgamated and functioning alloy, instead of feeling like fractious and impossible to combine or control hard chunks of chaos (seriously, I feel like a bag full of ball bearings bumping up against each-other as they get shaken around lately).

I am going to calm the fuck down and figure shit out.

Eva told me before I left, we are all empty.  We are all trying to fill it up.  Being goal oriented and keeping going through adversity is her strategy (and it seems to work, she’s AMAZING!) and she’s made me promise to commit to a goal and give it a completion date.  So this is what I will do.  I want to choose 12 amazing women among the dozens, perhaps hundreds of beautiful women I know.  I want to intensely, sincerely, and genuinely interview them and share their stories with the world.  I want everyone to know that our heroes and the goddesses who shape our lives are ALL shoveling some serious shit, and we all fall down, we all get hurt, and we all feel lost and ready to quit.  I want to find out what they have in common, what keeps them going, what they dream about and how happy they are and why.  None of us are always completely happy.  And that’s something that I think many of my most admired goddess have in common, they know that and embrace and honour the good along with the bad.

So.  I will let you know how it goes.  And DM me if you’re keen on a no holds barred interview and being in my 2019 Year of the Goddess book that I promised Eva I would write, and send into a publisher by December 31st2019.  Even though it will likely never travel beyond my blogs, I will do what I say and I will definitely learn so much along the way.

Thanks for reading.