My Mumma said, you are enough. ( Fast Non-Fiction, a 1 minute read)

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.55.20 pmThe irony of freelance writing and pursuing time for creative fiction.

It’s crazy, the busier my freelance writing world becomes, the more productive I am with my own fiction work. Go figure! But backstage my unworthiness gremlin slips in and tells me I cannot pursue busy success and write with a true voice at the same time.

Since October 2016 I have been freelance writing for Australian Fashion House, Swish Plus Size Fashion  Writing for others keeps me accountable and I love it.

So after a work period of crazy busyness and accepting some incredible writing opportunities  I forgot to slow down, get still and I slid off balance, just like the little gremlin prophecised.

I was tired and luckily I didn’t fall back on patterns of my past. I no longer sucked down my feeling by escaping into food or wine or more activity, in moments like this I did what I do now – I called my mum in New Zealand.

 

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My mum keeps it real and I know she secretly she loved it when ‘A’ I said,

‘Mum I need your advice’ and ‘B’ I stopped speaking long enough to listen,

The words tumbled out all together.

Anxiety was decapitating my self belief and I was running about like a headless chicken in search of the sun. 

‘I have a ball in my chest where I’m not sure how to breath about my writing. I think I have set it way up high on a pedestal and I don’t know how to reach it’.

My Mum said,

‘I knew you were  doing this, you have done this before, you have been running around, being here, there and everywhere and you need to get still. You need to sit down and talk to yourself.’

I really, really wanted to interrupt her wisdom with defence, to delay the inevitable. Although she offered what I needed, my defence, my safety, was reluctant to hearing.

I inhaled hard, bigger than a chicken breath, kicked my inner voice ‘know-it-all’ to the curb and listened.

‘You are enough and whatever you write is enough’

‘Write what you have now. It doesn’t have to be perfect’, she said.

She laughed and then said,

‘why don’t you grab a pen and write about how much you hate me’.

A joke between us from my overdramatic stomps as a teenager when feeling the whole world had wronged me and my mother was the only thing that stood between me and experiencing more of the whole, wrong, world.

I would stomp off into my room and begin writing, but I never wrote hate letters or notes to my mum, I wrote stories. Stories that I escaped and poured myself into, where I created exotic, teen-girl-wanting-to-be dramatic, free landscapes outside of my teenage-tiny-bedroom walls.

As a teenager I wrote from a ball of desire and anger and a need to escape.

I like writing from that place.

And like my mum said, I am enough exactly as I am.

I need to sit, get quiet, be a little bit headless and be more in that heart ball of desire bursting in my chest.

I love writing from that place.

How do you find stillness in your world? I’d love to hear your methods for finding that spot for yourself.

Xx

Much love,

Simmon

I like doodling in bed too, it helps get me still.

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Some of my freelance work published by Swish Fashion 2017

memoir

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/an-inspirational-swish-mum-overcomes-body-shaming

Profiles

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/anita-carmody-stays-loyal-to-manufacture-in-australia-plus-size-fashion

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/stories-for-women-who-have-achieved-success-in-their-field.-plussize-empoweringwomen-mothersday

 

#women #mothers #nonfiction #growingup #swishplussizefashion #50pluswoman #mentalhealth #parentingadvice #worklifebalance #writerslife #freelancewriting

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Body shaming, plus-size and grace in action with cake.

An inspirational mum, Carrie Strongman is a woman who’s attitude embodies an unapologetic confidence in being a beautiful plus size woman.

She also happens to be my mum.

My mum is plus size and has always shown me how beautiful her curves are.

If as a child, my raised eyebrows teased her as she sashayed past, she would tackle me with kisses until I surrendered out loud just how beautiful she was.

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My mum pictured above with my two daughters Saskia and Scarlett

I love these memories of my mum, from them my mum taught me how to love boldly, with strength and out loud.

My mum is incredibly independent, fearless, creative and intelligent. My mum with all her strength is also one of the funniest and wittiest people I know.

But I remember one moment wishing I could be her strength when two Parnell Village fashion-retail sales-women tried to shame my mother because of her plus size.

Parnell Village in one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs with historic, cobblestone- paved charm, remains one of my favourite places in Auckland.

My mother grew up on her father’s sprawling Waitakaruru dairy farm before moving by herself at the age of 13 to the city of Auckland to study and board at New Zealand’s prestigious all girl’s Queen Victoria School. Situated in the equally affluent suburb of Remuera, a 30-minute walk from Parnell Village.

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My mum in her Queen Victoria day uniform

In my teenage years, my mum and I would travel from our home in the Coromandel Peninsula, for special mum and daughter days out in Auckland city. Together we would shop, lunch, visit family and visit sites from her teenage years like the Auckland Art Gallery, a favourite.

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The beautiful Coromandel Coast where my mum and I grew up X

My mum would then take me to one of her favourite cafes in Parnell Village for hot chocolate and cake.

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The nostalgic charm of Parnell Village, Parnell, Auckland.

The first and last time I saw my mother experience body shaming we were about to get hot chocolates in Parnell Village. I remember this detail because I didn’t want a hot chocolate after our encounter with two-fashion retail sales woman. I wanted to leave and hold my mum.

The doorway into their store was abnormally narrow, I glided in and then mum confronted by the fact that she could not fit easily through the door turned herself sideways and shimmied inside.

My mum smiled and looked up at the two women, I smiled too.

Then mum said, 

‘gosh that was a tight squeeze, I almost couldn’t fit in’.

The sales woman from behind her counter said,

‘well perhaps people like you shouldn’t squeeze themselves in here. There is nothing for your size in here.’

They turned and grinned at one another and smiled without any warmth in their eyes.

 

I still have feelings of sadness in my heart recounting this. I remember being so unprepared for their raw and unmasked meanness, I couldn’t believe that well perfumed and well-dressed people would say such mean things out loud.

For a moment, I saw a vulnerability in my mother that made me want to come back one day and buy that shop and fire those women. I was 14 years old and I just wanted to protect my mum.

I don’t remember what my mum said but I remember the proud carriage of her posture as we left.

I wanted to leave Parnell Village but mum hushed me and sat me down in the café directly in front of their store and ordered my hot chocolate, her coffee and two French pastries.

We sat and my mother told me to enjoy our lovely waiter, our lovely steaming drinks, our pastries and the beautiful day.

A powerful lesson I learned that day from my mum.

Their meanness did not define us or how we enjoyed our day.

The meanness of the two fashion sales women was their problem and not ours.

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My mum and step dad pictured here together in their hometown of Coromandel

I love my mum out loud.

#family #growingup #prejudice #bodyimage #women #writing #nonfiction

I am blessed and grateful to be the daughter of a woman who has taught me how to remember to love myself fearlessly and out loud.

And to remember most importantly that with all the energy and strength I give to others to remember to love myself first.

I love my mum.

Whangamata, New Zealand a surf beach like no other.

Snug in bed I smile back at the smiling majesty of Whangamata Beach stretched out languid below me. Patrolled by the sleeping giant of the Coromandel ranges the roar of fickle waves surge in snatching pockets of once crunchy-dry sand-grains.

In bed I sit in awe as the entire ocean front retreats on the horizon leaving nothing but wave print rivulets on the sand.

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Ruled by a circadian rhythm that ebbs and swells with the moon, the beachfront at Whangamata is tidal theatre.

As the waves depart the sand holds its breath, knowing the wet embrace of a never ending repeated return.

Fickle the waves are and best you remember this at Whangamata.

Whangamata all crunchy white sand and pumping waves is home to one of the world’s most legendary surf breaks.

And there’s one other incredible challenge at home off this beach. Perched offshore there beckons a local, an island –  vigilant and wild, a temptress mocking your bravado. ‘How brave are you? She sings, a siren daring you to run the gauntlet of an empty tidal beach, ‘jump in, she says,  just do it’.

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Offshore dejected waves rumble and collude with her ‘go on, jump in, just do it!’

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Non locals beware, an emptied tidal beach looks placid and calm shimmering like a hypnotic giant ice skating rink made of sand, but the dangers in the return.

The danger as all locals know is getting caught unawares by the turn of the tide.

Off the emptied shore the island beckons, run to me, you can make it, touch me, snap a bough from my cover and run back to shore, before the tide returns, run back to shore a hero.

Whangamata Beach is tidal with one of the best surf breaks in New Zealand.

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Did I run the gauntlet, of course I did. As a kid.

Terrified – all high lifted knees and jerked elbows – adrenalin pumped full of joy. My head armed with pre-race real life stories, by  heroes who reached the island and returned.

The fact that the ocean was bursting to return was a given- Of course we knew we had to beat the ocean, and not one of us thought drowning an option. Not yet anyway.

Will I do it again?

No.

As a kid barefoot-nimble ignorance is bliss.

#surfwhangamata #taniwhanz #surfbeach #fishandchips #oysters #newzealandsurf #ilovenewzealand #ilovewhangamata

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