Arnie and Stella

Today I stopped at a property for an interview about their sheep operation.

But truth be told,  I took nothing away about the objective selection of self-replacing Merino’s. Instead, I took away some wisdom, imparted to me by one of the most loved up couples I have encountered.

I walked into their home and was greeted with a pot of tea, homemade sausage rolls, and ginger nut cookies by Stella, she shuffled me into the kitchen and told me what youthful skin I have. I was told to make myself comfortable until her husband, Arnie, returns from fixing the tractor.

I sat down and talked away to the bubbly lady, answered her enormity of questions and drank my tea.

When Arnie walked in the mood changed, from good to incredible. He strolled through the door, was quick to shake my hand before kissing his wife on her grey hair, “whats on the menu today stella bella.”

The couple were more interested in telling me about their love story rather than their operation, I sat back and listened, bathing in their love, laughing at their stories and watching Arnie’s hand rest on top of Stella’s, for the entirety of the conversation.

The feeling was too good, you see lately I have been a walking shell of nothing. Certainly not feeling unloved, but feeling like the modern flashes of 2017 was intruding on my old fashioned soul. Maybe from lack of sleep or maybe I crave the presence of good hearted people, not striving for anything in particular but gripping to what makes their skin glow and heart beat. So when this couple offered me a conversation, not an everyday conversation but a true, heartfelt story about true love and ignoring societal impacts, I obliged.

They told me they’ve had a lot of fights before, that Arnie struggles with mental health issues and they nearly never agree on one thing, but every night before they go to bed they have a cup of tea and tell each other about their day.

When we went outside to grab a photo Arnie headed off first to get his working dogs and Stella and I strolled along, I asked her how after 50 years of married you aren’t sick of each other.

This was her reply-

“You fall in love with one person, only one person. People who say you fall in and out of love are wrong, you’ll know when it happens. We were lucky it happened in a time before mobile gadgets and alcohol fuelled sillies, we were left alone, on the farm together 7 days a week and I guess that made it easy, plus I love wine, maybe that helps.”

When I left they waved me off, arms around each other and I left feeling loved up, like a marshmallow that oozes sweetly filled insides after roasting above a fire.

I didn’t even make it to the front gate before I called Nick to tell him I love him.

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My dear, the best is yet to come.

In high school or even primary school there was always that glimpse of a feeling inside, where you knew life had to get better than this, that learning and spending every day with your friends is great but you were put on this planet to do something remarkable, you would hold that feeling inside and not dare tell anyone. Then that one uncle at a family reunion would pat you on a back with a “my dear don’t complain about school, you will miss it when you are older,” suffocating that little glimpse, with two educated hands, pushing that feeling deep down, until hopefully, you read what I am about to tell you.

I have now been out of school for two years and I am sorry dear uncle, you are completely and utterly wrong.

See so many people think paying bills and working is what is cruel in this world, that doing those simple tasks will give you a hankering to sit inside a class room and fill your mind with Pythagoras Theorem once again.

 

I don’t understand why people think that is a positive account of what happens when you leave school, I also don’t understand how someone would think those simple words will make you appreciate school and what is has to offer. That the pat on the back and your uncle’s useless words don’t double the pain you’re feeling. The only thing I can liken the feeling to is waiting to bungee jump, nerves making your bones rattle, heart race and vomit rise to your throat, then someone saying “Don’t be nervous”, useless! While some may think they are comforting, it’s useless. Tell the truth, “You will jump off this bridge, it will be the most terrifying thing that will happen to your body because you are defying everything your body naturally craves, but the adrenaline and feeling of accomplishment will be worth it.”

By all means value school, relish in it, every class you sit in you should be highlighting and jotting, filling that growing mind with goodness given to you by a passionate teacher. Your recess and lunch should be filled with friends and laughter and a “who kissed who” and a kick of the football, enjoy that!

But don’t believe that if you can’t pass biology your dreams of a scientist are gone, don’t let the pressure gurgle in your stomach every night like a hungry beast. Work hard, but be a kid. My father was always a preacher of “homework can wait it is family time now”, my mother was always a preacher in “you do what classes you love, not what you are told to.”

There are ways around getting a career and I think you will find life will step in at the right time and push you in the direction you need anyway. Take it from someone who was told in 7th-grade I was reading and writing at a 4th-grade level and they think my class choice should consist of sport type activities to match what I am ‘good’ at, now a rural journalist, who still hates running.

You see what no one tells you is this –

The people who have said those words to you, that it doesn’t get better, are bitter. I don’t know why they are bitter, but they have to be in order to believe life isn’t wonderful in the outside world. Yes, you have it easy, coming home to an afternoon tea and not having to pay for Sunday roast, nor are you expected to cook it. But you also have it hard, that those hormones and pimples suck,  that not being taken seriously sucks even more, I get that. But the outside world is scary, every day you are faced with something or someone who tests your boundaries, but you alter and continue. You see you work and you build a positive image, you are in charge of that beautiful future you have in front of you. You want to be a doctor? You can. You want to be a mum? You can. You see every decision once you leave school is solely yours, well it should be yours. Make the rights ones and make positive ones. I emphasise making them positive ones, so when you are the aunt at a family reunion and the studying relative comes to you with a general “exams suck” comment, you reply with “my dear, it gets better.”

You will want to come home, you will crave your mums homemade cooking and the smell of freshly washed sheets but you will not miss hard plastic chairs and the smell of fluro highlighters. You will crave providing those meals and that fresh sheets smell you, every day you will slowly alter and grow without even knowing, you will become prodigies of influential people you had growing up.

Don’t get me wrong, a day off would be nice. However, I would rather take this than that classroom any day.

So for all of you sitting in a class room, wondering if life truly does get better. My dear, it gets 100x better. hold in, study hard, you’re just a caterpillar about to turn into a butterfly, just you wait. Face school with a biro in one hand and a journal filled with future dreams in the other.

My father would always say ” I am the father and you are the child,”  sorry dad, but at times, I did truly know best.  Everyone who is a kid may carry the heart and head of future wisdom, remember that when your daughter or son are laying their thoughts to you over dinner. Adults don’t know everything, your sensitive soul believes that, I believe that.

Homework can wait, your horses can’t. Your math’s exam you failed, just take it on the chin and try harder next time. You will get there, Albert Einstein once wrote “Everyone is a genius. But if you judged a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Be change makers, be exceptional individuals, do what makes you happy and not whats recommended and most of all don’t be bitter.

Bird x