If I gain wisdom or knowledge out of my failures, then failure, is well worth experiencing. [Margaret Cunningham]
Fiftypluskiwi is a collection of stories documenting my life from the ‘inside out’ – my journey of self-discovery. Part insight and part hindsight they are stories of my unraveling and of being put back together from the inside out. I dismantle the myths, perceptions and misconceptions that have littered my life.
I have always felt intense feelings of, what I identify as, a yearning or longing. I can dull these feelings at times, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot get rid of them. They are my silent noise. For years I have skirted the peripheries of these emotions, conjecturing at what they might or might not mean, and only assigning attention to them if it suited my ego.
About ten years ago my personal unhappiness threatened to annihilate me. None of my normal efforts of soothing my unhappiness worked. When I tried to ignore or run from my unhappiness, I ran smack bang into myself. As Confucius once said, ‘No matter where you go, there you are.’ That was me.
A mid-life crisis? A break-down? Yes, probably both of those. But there was more to it. For the first time in my life I began asking myself questions: Who am I? Why am I? And I had only one answer, ‘I don’t know’. I had invested significant time and energy into creating me from the ‘outside in’, but had given absolutely no thought, time or energy to my ‘inside out’, or even recognised my mind, heart and spirit needed attention.
I make no apologies about the fact that a central theme decorates my Fiftypluskiwi writings – God and love – for both have woven a well-trodden path of bittersweet moments in my life, and both, as I have come to understand, are connected.
In one of his famous quotes, 13th century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, Rumi, said, ‘Yesterday I was so clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’
We all have a story to tell. It’s not the size of the story that counts. Our day to day experiences, our fragility, our success and failures are our stories. In Fiftypluskiwi I draw upon my personal experiences that I hope will provoke deep thought, conversations, and inspire positive change from the inside out.