The process of change is for the courageous. To change you have to meet yourself honestly which takes determination and patience. Struggling with a rampant inner critic, I view myself harshly, expecting perfection. Nothing less.
Stress triggers coping mechanisms and perfection is a coping mechanism. Perfectionism is common in those living with eating disorders such as anorexia.
Everyone’s busy. Grim faced people stream past me on the street. Many are typing or scrolling on their phones. An old lady approaches, dressed up for an outing, a day in town. ‘Beautiful day isn’t it?’ her gravelly voice washes past me. She’s still walking having learned that no one has time to stop.
I think of the VCE students who walked through the school gate for the last time yesterday. The relief and uncertainty, a balm and a wound shoulder them. It’s now or never … exams, results, courses, dreams … I remember.
Traveling for the past six weeks, my perspective changed. I admit it had to.
Turkey invited me to share her concern for the changes which may tether liberal thought, as war and politics spread the glue of fear. I knew fear, my novel unaltered for months now. Feeling guilty, I kept mulling but not writing.
In my book ‘Schicksal’ I draw on my own experiences of hospital life, that of my mother on whom Reine’s life is based and on my daughters who has followed us into the jaw of the lion. In a hospital, one has the unique privilege of meeting a person in a trough not on the crest of their wave. They are unwell and vulnerable trusting nurses, doctors and allied health workers to help them.
The environment is a leveller as most wear if not the memorable white gown with ties down the back, pyjamas. I have found it hard for folk to be pretentious in PJs. On the whole the environment is safe and the hands gentle. Those of us with big hearts go there willingly even though the pay is poor, hours long and smells atrocious. The smile or softly spoken thanks light us up, spurring us on.