She Loves Magazine, Writing Elsewhere

On Transition and Desire (a SheLoves post)

July 20, 2015
On Transition and Desire// Fiona Lynne for SheLoves Magazine

So we are moving again. Boxes half filled stand across our bedroom floor waiting for contents. We’re filling up Facebook albums with photos of things to sell and give away. We’re packing these last few weeks with lunches and dinners and picnics in the park, trying to savour every last moment of goodness with these friends-who-are-family.

After a year of uncertainty there’s a signed contract and a van booked to carry our belongings across the narrow sea and back to the country I grew up in.

“You’re going home!” people have told me.

But this doesn’t feel like a homecoming. I grew up in a small village, knowing everybody. I’m moving to London, a city 83 times bigger than the capital city I currently live in. And more specifically to Peckham, the most diverse part of the UK. Everything about this is new, everything is different.

The newness of it feels overwhelming at moments. I’ve moved enough to know that the first six months are often a lonely time. No one here knows your name yet. Coffee dates, when you get them, are the slightly awkward get-to-know-you kind, not the comfortable ease of someone who has done life with you for years.

And I’m nervous about what I will do. Here, I have purpose and responsibility. People have relied on me and respected me and sought out my opinion. There, I start from scratch again.

I’m scared of becoming small again. I’m scared of the time it will take to call this new place home.

Of course, small is a good place to begin…

I’m writing at SheLoves today about our upcoming transition from Luxembourg to London, and why I think this is the right move for us right now. Join me over there for the rest of the post.

moments

On moving and heatwaves and chicken pox.

July 16, 2015

BirthdayGirlBalloons

It’s been quiet around here, I know. We are up to our eyes in boxes and vacuum-pack bags and trying to manage the toddler not adding her toys to every box before we tape it up.

In the last few month we’ve celebrated Kaya’s first birthday, endured a mega heatwave (and still have temperatures higher than this Scottish-blooded woman can really cope with) and then Kaya got chicken pox two days before she was scheduled to get the vaccine for it. Oh well. She did so well. Was sad and grumpy for a few days but only light fever and we seemed to prevent too much spot-scratching.

She is at such a fun phase. She understands so much now of what we say to her. Will run to the kitchen if we mention food or milk, points at the door if I say we’re going out, and gets incredibly excited and focused every time the doorbell rings. She is dancing (and Rasmus is teaching her to head bang which is the cutest thing). We taught her to high five and she’s still obsessed with tummy buttons. She’s also got a stubborn streak and acts like it is the end of the world if we tell her no. But seriously, she’s awesome. You should all hang out with her.

I’ve started editing with SheLoves again, which I’m really happy about. It’s been about a year since I stopped when Kaya was born, so it’s so nice to be involved again and hearing all the wonderful plans there.

It’s eight days until Rasmus picks up the big van and starts loading everything on to it. Before then, we have a huge amount to sell/give away, I have my last sermon to preach, a leaving party to throw and a thousand other little tasks and things to remember to do.

I’m a little in denial that we’re actually moving. I seem to have effectively compartmentalised everything so that the packing part has nothing to do with the leaving part, which I am totally not ready for. The sucky thing about leaving in the summer is that so many people are away on holiday, so I’ve already had people come and say goodbye and I’ve thought, “what?! wait! I don’t have my speech prepared! I am SO NOT READY.”

But I guess life happens whether you are ready or not. And I have a suspicion I am more prepared than I realise. This too will be ok.

dreaming, motherhood

Empowered to begin. Permission to try.

June 24, 2015
Empowered to begin. Permission to try. // Fiona Lynne #wholemama

I messaged my sister a photo of Kaya the other day, one I had instagrammed (but she’s not on instagram so she misses all the photo goodness). In the photo, she and her little friend are both lying in Rasmus’ arms, one on top of the other. Her friend’s mama snapped the photo so I’m not quite sure how this situation came about but what’s clear is her friend is somewhat unimpressed by the whole scenario. Kaya is giggling hysterically.

My sister quickly replied: “she looks so like her mum when she laughs”.

She’s right. When I laugh at something in that real, stomach-creasing, can’t control it kinda way, my eyes screw up just like hers and my shoulders inch towards my ears and I’m all in enjoying it.

“Is she always this happy?” people ask me, and the answer is, mostly yes. This morning she was grumpy and clingy and had a meltdown when it got to teeth-brushing time. But now she’s napping and she’ll wake up with a grin on her face.

We play hide and seek around the house and she screeches with delight when I jump out or her or she at me. We play football with the little red ball with stars on it and she giggles the entire time she’s chasing that thing down. She will stand on the balcony, holding onto the bars with one hand and pointing everything out with enthusiasm, “det, det, det”. (We think she’s figuring out the Danish first).

“I wonder where she gets it from?” a few of my friends ask with a glint in their eye. And I guess they are right about that too. I’m an eternal optimist about everyone I meet. I want to know your whole story please. From the beginning. I want to explore all the places and promote all the great things I find.

I’m an eternal optimist about everyone except myself.

With myself it’s a battle to offer the same enthusiasm, the same kindness and generosity as I will easily extend to others. My default is to doubt myself. My default is to think I can’t do it, I won’t be accepted, I will fail. It’s stopped me from beginning way too often.

I’m reading Seth Godin’s book, What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn). It’s kicking my butt.

On one page he speaks about two kinds of pain, the first kind of pain of “being a cog, of not fitting in enough, never enough. The pain of having to measure up in a world that keeps telling us we don’t…”

“The alternative is to experience the pain of being free. The pain of saying, “here, I made this”. The pain of living with the opportunity to make a difference. There’s no pain-free path. But at least you can do something that matters.” – Seth Godin

I want to do something that matters. I want to feel empowered to start some of my ideas, kick off some of the projects in my head, chase down some of the dormant dreams. But only I can do that. No one else can empower me if I’m not willing to embrace the tension, the pain even, of being free to act and free to fail.

I’m trying. This week I invited a small group of people I know to come and spend a morning together talking about writing as a spiritual practice. It’s a step. I’m not sure exactly what it will look like and it might not work perfectly first time (or even second time). But I want to try anyway. I want to take my turn. Stop with the excuses.

To start being as optimistic about myself as I am about everyone else. To reclaim that joy and curiosity that my little girl still has, even the hundredth time she ends up on her butt. She still sucks at getting back up on her own, but once she’s up, she’ll run after that ball with no less enthusiasm than all the previous times.

Only I can give myself permission to begin. So I’m going to try to do just that again today.

//

I’m linking up again with the #wholemama community over at Esther Emery’s place. The theme this week is empowerment and superpowers. It’s such a lovely place to meet new-to-me writers and read some encouraging words.