I Swear To You


Yesterday was a big day.  It started early and my phone and meeting schedule was unrelenting from start to finish.  Thoroughly enjoyed it, and even managed to sneak in a 90 minute Thai massage between work and kid commitments, because self-care is important, and never more important than when you are under the hammer.  

A small but strong therapist dug knees and elbows into my knots, and my joints snapped, crackled, and popped while he stretched and contorted me around the table.  It is funny how pain can feel so good sometimes.  It got me to thinking about the wincing some people do when I use my rather trademark colourful language.  I swear like a sailor a lot of the time.  It seems to be both a good and a bad thing. So, as ambient piano music wafted in the background, the chance to be silent got me thinking about a thousand different things, but strangely, kept coming back to swearing.

My internal dialogue is not nearly as sweary as my speech. I can trace my affection for shocking vocabulary to my pre-teen years.  Growing up in an ultra-conservative oil/farming community, my grandparents Carl and Edna were pillars of society.  They sat on committees and were invited to all the pot lucks and bible groups, and greeted with smiles and nods as they meandered around our sleepy little hamlet. They did not drink, smoke, or swear. They fulfilled their traditional roles as bread winner and baker, farmer and home-maker with absolute Austrian precision.  My grandmother would not say shit if her mouth was full of it, and was always in total control of her faculties and put on the finest of faces.

I fucking hated that buttoned up bullshit so much. I was a weirdo from the word go. My path was, although not yet clear to me as a child, going to be paved by an over-active imagination, severe social awkwardness, a stal-worth desire for justice, and the gift of gregariousness and not having any more fucks to give after being placed firmly on the fringes of basically everything until I found my feet in a small island nation at the bottom of the planet.

The simple fact of the matter to me is, that swearing feels good.  It creates a social construct that explains in absolute terms that I do not think, nor do I want, to be stoic or slotted into a social station or class above salt of the earth.  As my best friend for well over two decades often reminds me; “Dee, you can win any award, climb any mountain, and have all the wealth in the world, but you’ll really never be anything but a cashed up bogan.”  I find that quite comforting.  I am what I am and that is all that I am, and I have a potty mouth.

After my massage and my mind meandering through my many meaningful moments dropping expletive bombs like a boss, I went to collect the kids and their friends.  Strangely, the fruit of my loins do not swear, nor are they prone to rule breaking of any kind.  I guess it isn’t that strange, as they have been raised in chaos and crave routine, in the same way I was raised in a bubble and craved chaos I suppose.  Their friends are comfortable dropping the odd expletive in my presence.  But really, they are all amazing kids with humour and manners, their social circles are seriously academic and often smart and sassy.  They spend some of their time learning to correctly say seriously cringe phrases in a variety of languages.  Then, they attempt to teach me and seem to relish the shock that shows on my face, as I am not easily surprised.  

There’s no doubt that language is a very powerful thing. What we say, how we say it makes a huge difference.  Swearing is so often shocking and I like to shock.  Swearing is a kind of verbal armor I carry around, that separates the wheat from the chaff very early on in the piece.  

There’s quite a few articles that sing the praises of the swearier types in our social circles.  As is often the case, I do not only meet, I exceed the parameters of being extra in the swearing stakes.  This time last week, I was having a 20-minute discussion with some near strangers at a conference on the use of the C bomb across different countries I’ve travelled. 

I know that when I meet someone, if they pepper the conversation with some well-chosen and appropriately placed expletives, I tend to feel more at ease. 

Regardless, I think the swearing, along with several of my other vices, will need to be re-examined and maybe shelved a little bit. 

So.  Have an excellent fucking Friday wherever you are, and thanks for reading.

Tusen Tak Norway


Norway eh. Smug bastards reminding the rest of the world how clean, healthy, sustainable and low crime they are. Yeah, the rest of the world gets it Norway, you’re better at most things than most other countries. You can actually shut the fuck up. You smug, tall, incredibly healthy, and good-looking-winter-sport-winning mother fuckers.

OBVIOUSLY I jest.  I absolutely Love Norway.  I adore Scandinavia in general.  Iceland is a firm favourite, but Oslo has been in my top 20 and always feels a little like coming home.  The way it used to feel in Seattle, and still feels when I fly into Wellington or Buenos Aires.  Every city has a feeling, a vibration, a spirit?  Most I like, some I do not.

So my tribe up in the North had some questions, as they were all well aware that last year was as stone-cold cluster fuck from start to finish for me. Someone at this conference suggested it was because the year of the dog is a shitty year? I don’t think it had much to do with dogs. At any rate, one of the best things about the Norwegians I know, and Love is their absolute zero tolerance for bullshit. Magne, Stalle, Erik, Christina, Mikkel, Natalie, Petter, and various other Scandinavian shining stars in the vast and varied sky that hangs over my head are always there to offer a sound smack down and some real talk. “You are the one who needs to give less fucks Dee, you always tell everyone else to.” Or “You must learn the rules of poker (analogy for business) because you will never have a poker face.” Or “Dee, you cannot retire, because your passion actually scares people into submission. I will tell you when you can retire.” And “I think you would be much happier if you followed even a little of the advice you give others.” And all of this was delivered with an absolutely delicious sing song scandanavian accent, and deadpan facial expression. Oh, I do Love a good Nordic pep talk. Straight shooters the lot of them. What’s not to Love?

So I am at Oslo airport on my first leg home.  I miss my babies and wish that fucking hyperloop thing that I saw on the first day of the first show in Amsterdam was in operation so I could just get home, emission free, fast, and without too much fuss, at sub sonic (ultrasonic??? I don’t fucking know) speed.  But no.  I will be on the road for nearly 72 hours as I have an overnight stop in the Dam before continuing on to Hong Kong then home.  Hong Kong is home to one of my favourite things in the whole world, my soul sister Krissy, and she is another straight shooter who doesn’t mince words or fuck around with niceties.  I think, I am beginning to see a pattern perhaps?

Bidding a fond farewell to the country that undeniably kicked off the international EV industry, I am not even the slightest bit sad because I know I will be back.  As long as there are things to learn and share and the people I have grown so fond of here to dryly and frequently take me down a peg or two and remind me to calm the actual fuck down, I will keep returning.  Natalie and Mikkel just returned to Oslo after being in the faaaaarrr north where they were treated to a spectacle of Aurora Borealis.  Of course, they filmed it and it looks amazing, but Natalie explained in her usual earnest and magical way, that the lights absolutely convinced her that everything was going to be okay.  Her big beautiful brown eyes twinkled as they looked into mine and said; “You know what Dee, it was magic.  As if nature and the universe was putting a show on just for me, and now I know that everything is going to be okay.”  So yeah, I need an injection of that magic as I can feel myself veering ever so slightly into self-destruct mode.  This mode is best avoided when possible.  It is usually possible.

Sat at the airport, there are lots of tall people wearing really great warm winter clothes.  Someone said that Norwegians don’t smile much, I don’t agree.  Trundling my suitcases from my apartment to central station I was asked three times (with a smile) if I needed help, and it’s little more than a 5-minute walk.  As I sit here writing this there is a group of four Norwegians sipping coffee and laughing among themselves.  Most Norwegians I know have a big, round, full belly laugh.  

Exhausted, overwhelmed by the work ahead, but feeling resolute that the universe can actually be on our side if we let it be, I am looking forward to a magical year. We are about to enter the roaring 20’s.  This is going to be the part in the narrative of our planet where a culmination of climate change goals and infrastructure plans will ensure the industry that we have chosen (or perhaps chose us) will continue to grow and evolve, displacing decades of greed, waste and lies.  This will be a decade of disruption, change, rebuilding and rethinking the way we live and work.  Norway is well past many of the goals and milestones laid out for our island nation.  So, thanks for paving the way you fantastic Nordic nerds and activists.  But most of all, thank you for being home to such wonderful, warm, and welcoming friends.  Tusen Tuk. 

Thanks for reading. 

XXOO

Patience


2019 has been a stellar year.  It feels like there’s been dividends from dues paid, and a solid home, where I feel safe, because some sturdy foundations have been laid.  The universe has spoken, perhaps screamed at me, that I must slow the pace and patience pays in incredible ways.  For the first time in a couple of years, I’m content and aware that magical and meaningful things are so much more gratifying when there is some effort, planning, and yes, patience, involved.

I’ve been dancing on moonbeams for a few weeks now. Full of joy and hope.   Trying to be patient, and TRUST me I gotta try pretty hard, as this is not a virtue that I was freely blessed with.

Thousands of people pontificate on the things that are proven to stabilize anxiety and mental health, and the reason we hear/read so much about it all, is because it actually works.  So, the hot mess mama that is Dee, is choosing , mindfulness, meditation, deviation from drama, yoga, laughter, nature, and pausing a lot more.  I had a massive social streamline and am seriously surrounding myself with people who not only lift me up, but have the courage to make me aware, as well as accountable for faults, foibles, and even fantastic fuck ups.  They all piss me off from time to time, that’s how Love and friendship works.  But I am determined to have better, and be a better friend.  That means more focus, focus, focus, and plan and follow through. Many people have been incredibly patient with me, and it is incomprehensibly nice to be actively be flexing patience and the ability to prioritize.  

Feeling back in the game as I so obviously do (long may it continue), I have also mustered up the courage and strength to get back to work.  Also, thrown myself back into socializing in New Zealand again.  A lot.  After hiding in my room or running away overseas.  For the most part, being social has filled up my cup and kept me smiling.  I went to my first EV event in months, and it was challenging but clearly convinced me that is time I went full throttle back into the scene.  There’s so much work still to be done, and I Love nothing more than our community and the quirky characters who keep me on my toes and give me plenty to do and hope for.  I’ve bowed out of the distraction of Tinder (yeah, that was me you saw on there recently) it’s a rite of passage and I MUST write under a pseudonym soon to share the seriously strange, and sometimes beautiful stories.  But it’s time to bid a fond farewell to superficial distractions, as I was dating to manage my self-hating.  Basically reaching out for attention and validation.  I’ve made some incredible connections, and those friendships will continue, but I know what I want now, and patience has and will be a huge part of finding out if the universe will meet me halfway and deliver it.  I’m quietly confident it will work out.  It took 40 years to figure out what I truly want romantically, and it’s worth waiting for.  So my travel, and work, friends and family will be the focus while fate figures out what it has in store, I’m willing to wait for it.  I really do not want to end up like Aaron Burr though sir (shameless Hamilton reference).

So here’s my list of shit that really seemed to work, you can take what serves you and disregard the rest:

🙂

Occam’s Razor – Take a breath.  Everyone is NOT out to get you.  Everything is NOT your fault.  You will likely find that if you stop and remind yourself that the simplest explanation is the most likely, and simple explanations do very seldom involve conveluded passive aggression or planning from the people involved.  When you stop overthinking shit, you’ll find you’re much freer to be patient and seek solutions with the time you once wasted worrying.  I haven’t mastered this yet, but I am getting HEAPS better all the time.

Sleep – get enough decent sleep.  Feeling rested and being kind to your body and mind may mean you have to step out of your life for a bit to get the rest you need.  So do that, find a way.  Arrange someone for the kids, and get somewhere peaceful so you can catch up on clean and nurturing rest.  Your brain (and likely your friends and family) will thank you for making the effort.

Breathe – Get yourself onto YouTube and get a breathing tutorial and apply that bad ass motherfucking strategy whenever you feel you’re on the verge of losing your shit.  Breathing also means not talking, texting or further fucking up already freaky situations.

Nature – Get outside.  Put your devices down, if you have kids or pets, get those perfect little parasites involved.  The sight, sound, smell and and serious magic of mother nature is healing AF.  Get amongst it.  It’ll calm you down and help you make better decisions.  True story.

Forgiveness – Just let shit go.  Patience comes from knowing that the universe is going to sort you out.  Terrible things happen to good people, and good things happen to terrible people and none of it, seriously… NONE OF IT will be made any better if you stew and freak and fly off the handle.  

Laughter – My family is undeniably nuttier than squirrel shit.  Both nature and nuture play a part in that.  We use humour to defuse and deal with almost everything.  We convey pain through jokes and the time it takes us to belly laugh and hug it out when shit gets real is enough time to cool the brain and slow down our hearts enough that we’re more likely to show patience than say or do hurtful things that can’t be taken back.

Embrace Not Getting Your Way – This may sound counter-intuitive, but so often, things we really want or think we want are just not meant for us.  You can have a plan, it can be a really fucking good plan, but you are not guaranteed success and patiently dealing with disaster and disappointment will mean you get to embrace the shit out of the things that go right when they do. Sometimes these things require patience and planning, sometimes these things just require the patience to wait it out and let magic come to you.  Either way, if you always get what you want in short order, you won’t be a very good, nor a very happy person.  Also a true story.

There’s more, but I have been patiently procrastinating from stuff I seriously have to do so I will wrap up.

Have a great day, and a wonderful week.

Thanks, as always, for reading.