Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grace, Integrity, Honesty

No matter how low or broken I may become, I stand here with the grace I was given by God, the integrity to carry myself in an enviable way, and the honesty within myself to know that I have always tried my very best to love and live.

What about you?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Leaf, The Branch, The Root

Almost 2 years to the day, I wrote on www.kateonthenogo.blogspot.com about the leaf that blows away in the wind, the branch that snaps when a little pressure is placed on it, and then the roots that stand by you no matter what.

I am blessed every day that I have just a few strong roots that are helping me hold up my tree.

As for the leaves, I've let them float away with the seasons.

As for the branches, I'm sorry they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure. It hasn't shaken my tree, nor affected its lifespan in any way. You'll become just part of the foilage that will get blown away as the winds of change pass through.

I am not angry, I'm numb. Ambivalent. There is not even a hint of disappointment. Pity? Perhaps. But even that's not registering high enough of my list of emotions right now to even bother.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eat, Pray...Love

"Many of us dont [have a quiet mind]. Many of us look into the fire and only see the inferno.... Instead of being amused though, I am only anxious. Instead of watching, I am always probing, interfering...

I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways and all of these acquisitions and accomplishments - they run you down in the end. Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death.

Time - when pursued like a bandit - will behave like one; always remaining one country or one room ahead of you, changing its name and hair colour to elude you, slipping out of the back door of the motel as you're banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you.

At some point, you have to stop because it won't. You have to admit you wont catch it. That you're not supposed to catch it. At some point, you have to let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you."

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


And the Rain Fell....

A few photos of raindrops and then it was off to grab beer until the rain stopped!

PhotoWalk in Botannic Gardens - DragonFly

Not bad shots given that I was working on next to no macro gear, and surrounded by many others with super-dooper magic magnifying kits.

I couldnt get any closer though, because my camera just doesnt have those capabilities. In time, I shall spend the thousands of dollars like everyone else has in order to capture those magic shots.


I went out with the photography group this afternoon. We headed to the Botanic Gardens, knowing full well that it was about to thunderstorm. We got caught in the rain. Its funny how photographer's priorities become obvious when it comes to the elements. Carli and I preferred to use our umbrellas to shelter our cameras, rather than ourselves.

Did the weather bother us? No way. We took our shoes off, ran around in the pouring rain. We felt like kids again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Keep On Singin My Song....

I'm human, I ain't able to please
Everyone at the same time, so now I find
My peace of mind living one day at a time

I'm human and I answer to one God
It comes down to one love
Until I get to heaven above

I've made the decision
Never to give up
Til the I day I die no matter what

I'm gonna carry on & keep on singing my song.....

When the World Gets You Down.... Laugh!

Shifting The Gear to Low...

Its 9.45pm. I sit in my apartment in a country located in the Far East.

I look outside the window of my luxury apartment and know that in the shophouses surrounding me, there are hundreds of young men from India and Bangladesh. They sleep on nothing but mattress-less bunk beds. They've spent their week's wage on an electric fan and a couple of blankets. The others sleeping in the same room, often ten or twelve of them, have come and gone over the last month. Construction projects finish. Many are sent back home. New construction projects commence. New workmen arrive. Most of them are under the age of 30. They come alone, with a promise of a better life, better living conditions and a future. Whether they receive what they are promised is something I do not know. Its hard to know. Do they lay awake each night, wondering where their life is headed?

My mind turns from the misfortune of young men with whom I feel no association, to the newspaper online. An article catches my eye. There is a story about a young woman who shares a similar age of many of these young men. Her world is very different from theirs. She is beautiful. She is incredibly successful. From the outside, everything that she does appears perfect. No errors. Total control. Poise. Grace. A loving relationship. A caring partner. A close family. Money. Endless opportunity. Yet, only a handful of people in her life knew that every day was torture for her. For ten years, she had battled depression and anxiety yet to everyone but a small number of people in her life, she was a rising star. I have no idea what she was going through when she stood at the Gap that November afternoon. No one will ever understand what a person is dealing with when to get to a point where they feel that the only option they have is to end their life.

I do know however someone who deals with anxiety and depression. I spoke with her today.

She reminds me a little of Charmaine Dragun. She comes to mind when I read articles about Charmaine. She once told me that during her darkest periods, all she wants is for the "pain" to stop. Strangely though, she cannot identify the pain other than the dull ache that feels as though its in her heart. She once told me that, when going through a "relapse", powerful surges of adrenaline run from her fingertips up her arms. These pulsate through her body every five to seven seconds, or each time her mind flicks from one thought to another. She says that she needs to turn the airconditioning to its coldest so that she can stop the heat, yet in an instant, the hot flushes turn to cold sweats. I ask her whether a walk outside would prevent her from feeling this way. She says no. She explains to me that an anxiety attack makes you afraid to even get out of bed. She explains the theory of how your body is made up in a way to allow you to choose "fight or flight" within an instant. She tells me that, in her case, this works against her. Her body is biologically designed to shift into 'flight' mode at an instant. I ask her how long this feeling lasts. She says that it goes on for days...sometimes weeks.

I ask her how it could have been that this successful woman, this newsreader, felt that she had no other option than to end her life. My friend shakes her head and says that many factors probably contributed to this woman's situation. Medication. Lack of medical guidance. However, my friend speaks of an overwhelming feeling of utter and total helplessness during times of relapse. She says that in between the electric pulses of adrenline, she questions why someone, anyone, won't just do something to stop the pain. She says that she asks herself many questions. Why won't someone just come and help her? Why wont people understand this debilitating condition? Why is she walking out of a doctor's office without feeling any better, or any closer to understanding how to make the pain stop? Why are people carrying on with their lives when she cannot even do simple things, like brush her teeth without losing control of her limbs because of this "flight" sensation into which her body sends her. Things seem out of control, because her mind and body is making her feel that way.

I ask her what she does when she relapses. She says that she waits for time to pass. The waiting is the hardest part, apparently. Medication needs to kick in, the chemical levels in her body need to stabilise and recommence their work. She explains that it is a waiting game. A torturous waiting game.

In this case, Charmaine didn't make it through that waiting game. This scares my friend, but my friend says that she doesnt want to get too dramatic about it. She says that she has wonderful support around her who know what to do when it happens. A handful of people who will drop everything to sit with her and wait. My heart warms as she speaks of her love for her family. She says that this is what may eventually differentiate her from Charmaine - her family is aware, and they have learnt through education and experience how to manage these relapses when they occur.

My heart breaks when I read about Charmaine, and when I listen to my friend's story.

I wish more could have been done for Charmaine Dragun.

I wish the world could face the issue that my friend, and this woman, and so many other people in this world, are facing on a day to day basis. They are successful people. People who have the world at their feet.

This keeps me awake tonight. I know that my friend will get up next week and continue on with her successful career, with a smile on the face. No one will know what she's been through, except for the very few family members with whom she shares her pain. I want to help my friend. I want to get the message out there that mental illness is real, that it should not alienate anyone, and our community has a responsibility to look at every single way possible to ensure that people like Charmaine, who clearly felt that she didnt have the support network that my friend has, gets that support before they get to a point where they feel their only option is to end their life.

We all have a responsibility to familiarise ourselves with Charmaine Dragun's story and to look closely at how it could have been prevented.




I Got You


A place to crash
I got you
No need to ask
I got you
Just get on the phone
I got you
Come and pick you up if I have to
What’s weird about it
Is we’re right at the end
And mad about it
Just figured it out in my head
I’m proud to say
I got you

Go ahead and say goodbye
I’ll be alright
Go ahead and make me cry
I’ll be alright
And when you need a place to run to
For better for worse
I got you
I got you

Ain’t falling a part, or bitter
Let’s be bigger than that and remember
The cooling outdoor when you’re all alone
We’ll go on surviving
No drama, no need for a show
Just wanna say
I got you

Go ahead and say goodbye
I’ll be alright
Go ahead and make me cry
I’ll be alright
And when you need a place to run to
For better for worse
I got you
Go ahead and say goodbye (go ahead)
I’ll be alright (say goodbye)
Go ahead and make me cry
I’ll be alright
And when you need a place to run to
For better for worse
I got you

‘Cause this is love and life
And nothing we can both control
And if it don’t feel right
You’re not losing me by letting me know

Go ahead and say goodbye (say goodbye)
I’ll be alright
Go ahead and make me cry
I’ll be alright
And when you need a place to run to
For better for worse
I got you
Go ahead and say goodbye (go ahead)
I’ll be alright (say goodbye)
Go ahead and make me cry
I’ll be alright
And when you need a place to run to
For better for worse
I got you

A place to crash
I got you
No need to ask
I got you

The Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

A taste tester of photos to come - the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves...

Losing What Is Important to Us

I hear that there is nothing more heartbreaking than watching something you love slip away.

At the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, they are fighting a battle which, sadly, is unlikely to be won. Tasmanian Devils are slowly disappearing, due to a cancer which is spreading amongst the species. It is heartbreaking to see. The cancer on each of the little animals' faces is obvious.

The Tasmanian Devil Rehab Centre, along with the CSIRO, are working tirelessly to stop the Devils from becoming extinct. I would encourage everyone to visit the Centre if they are in Tasmania, or if you see a fund where you can contribute money to the cause, please do what you can.

These little Devils are part of Australia's identity.

We have to do something.

Lemonthyme Lodge

Our second night was spent at the glorious Lemonthyme Lodge near the Cradle Mountain National Park. The Boy booked us the best suite, being the luxury spa suite. We were so sad that we only had a day here, because it was truly heaven. We wished we could bottle the peace and quiet we experienced here at Lemonthyme and we have agreed to come back to Lemonthyme for a proper holiday very soon.

The beautiful bedroom.

Our balcony - entirely isolated and private. We sat and listened to the birds, and watched the rain lightly drizzle down into the rainforest. Pure bliss.

A highlight for an romantic - the spa bath that looks out across the rainforest.

The view across the mountains.

One of the other cabins at the Lodge.

The main lodge - the largest log cabin in the Southern Hemisphere.

This didnt stop us from taking a hike up to the lookout and down to the waterfalls.

The view of the main cabin in the morning light.

The gorgeous Champagne Falls.

This was the second time i have been to Lemonthyme Lodge. I highly recommend it for anyone who can get down to Launceston and then down into the Cradle Mountain area. It really is a spectacular area. I know the Boy and I will be back some day.

I Am Proud

I am so proud that I found the strength and courage seven years ago to finish my law degree and become a lawyer. I recognise the monumental challenge that was and I am proud of myself.

I am so proud that I travelled the world singlehandedly, to gather as much wisdom about the world as possible. I recognise the huge challenge this was, time and time again, and I am proud of myself.

I am so proud that I was brave enough to move over to Asia, alone, to experience life in the Far East. I recognise what a challenge this is for a single female professional, and I am proud of myself for having accomplished it.

I am so proud that I was able to rise from the adversity of a spinal injury and continue on in a foreign country, without having my family and friends around me. I recognise that this was an incredible feat and I am so proud of myself for it.

I am so proud of myself for being able to maintain a close relationship with my family, including my wonderful mother and father, and my amazing sister. I realise that it is could have been easy to have shut them out, but I am proud of myself to maintaining such a good relationship with them.

I am so proud of myself for having maintained a long distance relationship for the last nine months. I realise that I continue to face this difficult situation, but I am so proud of myself (and M) for having maintained the mutual respect and understanding for each other.

On the Road Again

We became addicted to driving through Tasmania.... and its obvious as to why... the scenery was so beautiful... so peaceful....