With Christmas fast approaching and more than a hint of Bing Crosby in the air, I’m reminded of something that happened at last year’s Tilligerry Christmas Carols.  

I slipped and fell on my way to the stage to sing Silent Night…..

Oh shit! I’m meant to sing on this one…’ In a rush I forgot myself, my feet took control and I raced around side of stage, only to falter just before the steps, slipping on the dew covered cable tray (that the crew had diligently put there, for safety) and…..I was down! Not to worry! With my best Magda Szubanski impersonation, I leapt to my feet, thumbs up, waving to my mates, whose expressions shifted from concern to laughter.   Job done, a comedian in my own sitcom… not a woman who’d had surgery to remove endometriosis only 3 weeks earlier and was in immense pain.

My mantra has always been, ‘On with the show!’, so up I go on stage to sing a heartfelt rendition of Silent Night… 3 hours later, the carols are over, the last firework has ignited.. and I’m in the passenger seat of the car, hunched over, sobbing, hoping no one will notice.  My life so far has been a series of too much, too soon, not enough, too much again.. a repeated pattern of over and under doing it.  I wonder if it’s in my DNA to be so unbalanced, the proverbial Taurean ‘bull at a gate’?  ‘Slow down!’, my father would say as I rode the motor bike or ran through the farm like a girl possessed, I would obey for a moment, briefly in slow motion, until I was beyond his line of sight, only to ‘gun it’ again once the road was clear. 

I am prone to hurting myself, both physically and emotionally.   Once I’ve decided on an action I dive in feet first, fearlessly. This has been both a saving grace and a contributing factor in many of my most miserable moments.

The past 24 months have been a holding pattern of chronic pain and inescapable but exciting career commitments, and getting through It all has taught me a great deal about myself.  I realise that this life is both ordinary and extraordinarily beautiful. Sometimes I find myself crying, not for what has or what might be, but for what is.  Over the years I’ve developed a tough outer shell, a girl that jokes about her weight and pokes fun at her clumsiness… but hiding in plain sight is not easy to maintain. 

Don’t get me wrong, I AM a bubbly, happy person, I AM joyous and optimistic, but at times I wish I could just relax and be ‘me’ in the moment, not the ‘me’ I think people prefer to see. This complaint I have about how the world views me at times is both a reflection of our society’s attitudes towards imperfection and my own complicity in it. The clown, the fool, the funny fat chick, all distractions from my perceived failings.

I have so much to learn, and much to unlearn.  

I know there are many people who assume that those of us struggling with obesity are lazy, and the answer, at least to them, is simple; eat less, move more.  I guess it is simple, if you discount dealing with PCOS, Endometriosis and the medical and emotional issues that have lead me to take this rollercoaster ride . 

I’m no expert, I have won and lost, lost and gained so many times over the years that my body has stretch mark war-wounds from each tour of duty!  My hope is that at this point in time I have come to a place of gratefulness, where I am at peace with who I am; the storyteller, the joker, the lonely artist, the student, the teacher, the doting partner, the daughter, the sister and the sometimes-mother. 

I‘m very grateful for this life I have made, and now is the time to make sure I can live a long and healthy one….fearlessly.  I’m already well on the way, losing 12 Kg since my operation last November and now it’s time to keep moving forward and lose the rest!  

A Christmas gift to myself.