The speech I never got to make…


Mark’s fainting episode at my 30th meant that I never got to make a toast. This is what I wanted to say, to all my friends who were there and those who couldn’t make it.
Thank you all for being there. This past year has been an immensely difficult but rewarding year for me. My hardest and also my happiest.

When I was down earlier this year, I was blessed to have friends and family.

My girlfriends sat in bed with me when I didn’t have the energy to get up.

My guy friends dropped in after work with DVDs and soggy sushi.

Friends with family took the kids out and gave them home-cooked meals.

My mom was constantly by my side with advice, wanted or not.

Everyone said – you will not fall. We will be there to catch you.

I’m so glad to be turning 30 having so much love and energy in my life.

I remember what Jean Dominique Bauby wrote in his memoirs. He was paralysed in an accident and dictated his memoirs to a nurse by blinking his left eye in a sequence to spell out every single word.  Every day he had letters from friends, and he wrote:

“I hoard these letters like treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship”.

I am lucky to have all of you and instead of a banner, I have a helium balloon filled with love and wishes.

As you know, we are moving to Melbourne. A big change and a good one, I think. I look back on my life and whenever I found things hardest, it was always because I was trying to resist change in some shape or form.

My 20s were about solidification, building things, relationships, houses, babies, careers.  Now I believe my 30s will be about fluidity because life is change. The only time things are static in your life is when you are dead, and I firmly believe that the sooner one learns to embrace change and shake up old patterns, the better.

To end, this is a poem by a 13th century Sufi mystic named Rumi about change.

by Rumi

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralysed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.

– Rumi


Crystal (vintage – 1979)

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