_20170318_132923

Blog

 

By eearle, Mar 20 2017 08:42PM

So guys, I’m in South Africa.


This time in England last year, my world had crumbled and I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do with my life. Hope had disintegrated. Joy was gone. All I could ever hope for was another day of feeling slightly less worse, feel a day with less pain.


And those of you who follow my blog will know. You’ll know because of those moments when rum overcame everything and I opened my laptop to spill my guts onto the screen, never being too specific, never being too precise, never quite saying what had happened.


It’s a strange thing actually being in the dream that you never thought possible. It’s strange being with the people you never thought you would meet. Fate in the past seemed like a cruel teacher, but all of those shitty obstacles can lead us to something amazing.


And I’m here.




I moved in with my housemate Steve. It was the morning after the night before. My face stung with the rum I was sweating from the previous night out. My tongue wishing for the taste of bacon and my hand shaking for the familiar hold of a good cup of tea. I sat down, seeing Steve already settled onto the sofa, his eyes glued onto the screen ahead.


“What you watching, mate?” I muttered, sinking down into miles of pillows and wrapping myself in a blanket.


“Just this sailing channel,” he answered back, giving me a quick nod. “It’s good.”


I nodded back insincerely, not believing him and hoping he would soon put something else on we could both watch.


I was glad he didn’t.


It was a YouTube channel called SV Delos- about a group of people that quit their jobs to go travelling around the world on a boat. By the second episode I was hooked.


My eyes were transfixed on the screen as I watched these people laugh and joke, celebrate, get drunk, dance, fish and explore new places. I sat there with my fry up breakfast, cup of tea and spent the first few hours wishing that I was there. That I could be one of them.


“I wish I could do that,” I found myself murmuring.


Days passed, house parties came and went. I drank, became hungover and watched another episode and another. Following the journey of these people living this amazing adventure that I knew I could never reach.


But why not?


Time went on and on. I stabilised, gaining control of the threads of my life again. I became a grown up. I got a job. But the cycle of partying didn’t stop and the hangover mornings of watching SV Delos with my housemate Steve continued. I was searching for something. I was restless, unsatisfied and disinterested. I became depressed, wishing for an adventure I never thought I could reach, repeating the same thought in my head, I’m going to be stuck in this town, I’m going to be stuck in this town, this town, this town-


The morning came when I repeated myself. “I wish I could do that…”


But wait… What was stopping me? I was single, I didn’t have a mortgage, I had no ties- there was no reason why I couldn’t do exactly what these people were doing.


I tried to write a new book. I always loved to write- creating these characters in my head and spilling out their life adventures onto a page- living out my wishes and dreams through them. But it wasn’t real- none of it was real- but for a time- it was enough, until it wasn’t.


I knew I had to do something. It was another hangover morning when I was speaking to my dad and he was urging me to come over to join him in Australia. I thought- “I have to do something.”


I sold all of my possessions. I put what I couldn’t sell into storage, trusting my friend Tommy and his experience playing Tetris to store them accordingly. I quit my job, bought a flight and within three weeks, found myself on a plane with a rum and coke staring out of the window, full of hope, full of longing, full of aspirations-


I can do this- I can do this- I can-


Five months passed in Australia. I drank rum, I danced and I lay in the sun, still hungover, still restless, still watching SV Delos thinking: “I wish I could do that.”


It was after a very bad date, riding home in a taxi when I checked my phone. SV Delos has left a status update and tagged one of the crew members- Mr Brady.


I had decided.


F**k it, I thought.


I messaged Mr Brady, squinting at my phone with the extra concentration required by one inebriated by Captain Morgan. I told him what the crew meant to me. How they had inspired me to move, how they had motivated me to quit my job. I didn’t want to say “I wish, I wish” anymore. I wanted to DO something. I wanted to BE. But I didn’t know how to, and to be honest, I lacked the courage to take that first step.


To my surprise I got a response. Three months passed of talking about arm wrestles, human pyramids, and spilling a whole life’s problems, aspirations and drunken ramblings into messenger.


Then came the day when the question came of coming to meet them in Cape Town.


“Would you like to go sailing?”


I think it took me several moments to let that sink in.


It was a voyage that would take up to a month of sailing towards West Africa from Cape Town, stopping off at islands, exploring, filming and more than likely- drinking rum.


I was terrified that I wouldn’t have the courage to go. That I wouldn’t buy the ticket. That this would just be one of those things I watched slip away and would look back on with regret.


Days came and went as I tried to figure out which direction my life was supposed to twist. Was I supposed to settle in Australia, continue to attempt to be a “grown up” and try and get the stable job, the apartment, the partner and the car I could just afford?


Or did I go down the rabbit hole once again and take a chance? Would I actually reach out and grab the one thing that made me start feeling hopeful again?


I decided.


Fast forward and I’m on a plane, being picked up by Mr Brady. The walk down the docks towards Delos was probably one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had, increasing to a pitch when I finally stepped on board. I knew this place. I had seen every inch at Steve’s, cup of tea in hand, bacon sandwich in the other, wishing- wishing-wishing-


I blinked, going below deck and seeing Karin and Brian.


I.am.here.


I’ve been here for two weeks and I’ve enjoyed keeping this to myself, savouring it, enjoying it. But I wanted to share with you all that it is possible. That anything is possible really. The future is so uncertain- and that’s actually a pretty beautiful thing. Your story is still being written. You can decide how you want your adventure to go.


Sometimes the best choice is the one that scares you the most.


Mine was following a dream.


So my plea would now be to anyone else who is thinking, “I wish I could do that, I wish, I wish-”


Life is too god damn short to be in a situation where you’re not happy. Iife is too marvellous, incredible, bright, colourful, exciting and damn right scary at times.


Stop saying “I wish I could do that” and do it.


Because you can.


You so f**king can.


Want to know more about SV Delos? Follow their Facebook page here






By eearle, Mar 16 2017 04:46PM

She turned, ash falling hot on her fingertips. She turned slowly to the sound of that voice. She didn’t want to meet the gaze. Didn’t want to square her body up to that person’s. Yet she didn’t want to retreat. The coldness from stone seeped into her spine as she slowly took a breath.


One.


Two.


Three.


The devil always was in the detail and she had met her match.


Except she hadn’t. She felt beneath the gaze of that person.


What am I?


I am nothing, a voice said in her mind.


Anger quickly followed. The acidity burning her throat as she heard her own mind describe herself.


I am not that, she wanted to scream. I am not that.


It had taken her a long time to build herself back again, one bone at a time. Her backbone had been crumbled for a long time.


Such a long…


Time.


She didn’t want to feel that way again. She didn’t want to feel that way again. Why did she have to prove her worth?


She knew her worth. She didn’t have to prove that to anyone.


But she knew it was coming. She wanted the wave to come and hit her. She had been pelted by so many waves already. So many fucking waves that she felt that she was made by water itself.


She had become the ocean, the salt from her eyes was proof was it not?


The salt in her blood was proof.


The blue in her eyes was proof.


She had become a tidal wave in itself, waiting to break,


Waiting to break,


Waiting to-


The voice spoke again and she looked up this time, slowly.


Something spread through her lungs, so she lifted the cigarette to her mouth to extinguish it.


Let him look away first. Let him-


But he didn’t.


So she stared.


And waited.


By eearle, Feb 26 2017 02:19PM

She swirled the glass before her eyes, staring at the dark liquid as it swished back and forth. She dug her toes further into the sand as she brought the cold glass to her lips, the rum spreading across her tongue and down her throat.


“Oh man…” she murmured into the empty air, her mouth twisting into a smile.


Another, her mind whispered. Another, another, another!


The bones in her fingers clicked as she reached for her companion, its cool body meeting her warm palm.


“Come ‘ere…”


Not content with topping up her glass, she swigged directly from the bottle, wincing as the heat burned through her mouth.


Blackness surrounded her as she sat on the sun-bleached porch, its white painted wood flaking off against her old denim shorts.


She had waited a long time to get here. To feel the ties of life cut away from her completely. To feel the expectations attached to her spine plucked off one by one.


There was nowhere she needed to be. No one she needed to speak to. She was floating in an abyss of night air and Captain Morgan, her body encased in warmth and her feet cooled by white sand.


The past year was another life time away. The person who she had been another age gone past.


She tilted her head, allowing for one moment the memories to wash over her.


A confrontation. On her knees, on her knees. Bin bags.


“Please help me, I’ve got nowhere to go…”


2am. Sleeping on a bed that wasn’t hers. Drinking with friends. Seeing a face. Waking up in a hospital bed.


“I’m so sorry, so sorry.”


Wires. Fear. Pulse beating faster, faster and faster-


A nurse’s kind face. “God has a plan for you.”


Being dragged out of bed by a friend. Planes. Journeys. Drink. Food. Getting lost. A sad bouncer from Ukraine.


“Hey, do you guys speak English?”


A car journey in blazing heat. Windows down. Music blaring. Falling ill. Bed ridden. A friend bringing food and ice cream.


Winter. Hungover.


Sad. Restlessness.


“I can’t do this. I can’t do this.”


A job. Steadiness. Time to be an adult. Time to get a house. Time, time, time-


Restlessness.


“I don’t want to do this.”


A discussion. A plane. Hot, hot, hot.


“I’m still not where I should be.”


Tequila. Music. An old song.


Disappointment. Sad, sad, sad.


“You shouldn’t be here on your own.”


“10, 9, 8-”


“They can’t know.”


“7, 6, 5-”


She’s sober. Staring at the people around here whilst she’s wearing a tight blue dress. She didn’t expect things to go this way… Just smile- you’re scaring people.


“3, 2, 1-”


Another disappointment. More tequila.


Shots! Shots! Shots!


“Mum? I need your help.”


“When are you coming home?” She shrugs, not knowing the answers. She just wants to go, go, go-


A conversation.


Ouch, that hurt.


Walks to the beach, once, twice, three times. Smoke and drink, smoke and drink. She misses something but she can’t explain what. She feels empty but doesn’t know of what. She needs to do it- the time is coming, coming, coming-


Staring at the computer screen, afraid.


Do it.


Do it.


Do it.


She did it.


Days pass.


Weeks go by.


It’s time.


Another plane.


Until…


She straightened up, the rum tight in her grip as she blinked in acknowledgement of the past year. She makes peace with it, knowing that it all brought her here. Forcing herself to relax her hold she takes a deep breath, the salt from the sea air tingling across her tongue.


More rum and another smile.


A sense of peace. A calmness of pulse.


She is nowhere. Her smile widens.


"Exactly where I want to be."



By eearle, Jan 27 2017 02:59PM

This has been a good week. I’ve celebrated my book release in Perth city and becoming a bestseller in Australia, I’ve been on a road trip, visiting ancient caves, stopping off at an abandoned maze, visited a lighthouse and driven down to the southern most point of Western Australia. I’ve been on an epic full day wine tour, been to a natural spa, visited beaches with ivory sands and clear waters and tonight I’ve just come back from a hike around King’s Park in Perth.


It’s been a great thing to bond with people over the past week. For a while I felt quite alone, but it’s been nice to talk to others and hear their story- and actually open to them in return.


Throughout this journey I’ve found that sometimes negative feelings can have a beauty of their own. I’ve heard about other people’s struggle and their heartbreaks. To know that other people have felt such strong emotions for other people is in itself kind of beautiful. To care so much about someone.


That’s pretty awesome.


That’s my silver lining about hearing other folk’s struggles- seeing them overcome their own obstacles, or even if they haven’t yet, listening to how they want to and even offer your own support to their journeys.


It’s been nice to actually make a pact with someone to keep each other on the straight and narrow- for them to help you make sure you look after yourself and think well of yourself. Working to snap your mind out of the pattern that sometimes makes us feel worse- you know the pattern I’m talking about. When your mind starts running away with itself and you think about every situation under the sun. It’s no help worrying. I read something the other day and I can’t help but think how true it is. You feel depressed by thinking about the past and anxious when you worry about the future. The peaceful man lives in the now.


I want to be more like that.


I’m actually excited about that and know it’s well within my ability to achieve it.


The trip to Margaret River was very much needed. I feel a huge sense of relief about the past week. It’s like I’ve finally been able to breathe fully again. As if before, all I could take was small shallow breaths, never having enough air to function or feel good.


I feel like I’ve returned to myself. I became fractured and lost and now I’ve managed to gather the pieces up once again. I don’t regret anything. Because that’s the beauty of living- that’s the beauty in the ability to feel.


I feel great that I’ve found some peace within myself.


I want to focus on myself and make my life as exciting and happy as possible. Now is the time to start building foundations. Now is the time to start making changes. Now.


And if my mind ever wanders backwards or ahead of myself, I try and take a moment.


“Stay in the now. This is the now.”


We have to be our own champions. And whereas I believe in kindness towards others, I think it’s very easy to forget to be kind towards ourselves and make those decisions that will benefit you personally. It’s ok to be selfish sometimes. This is your journey. You need to take the twists and turns you want and need to find what you want. I’ve definitely had to do that.


An adventure can be what we need to refocus- to make us realise so much about ourselves. Margaret River did that for me and I’m so thankful of taking that leap with the little Viking I call her.


I was actually nervous about going on the road trip and first. The little Viking and I didn’t know each other too well, but we seemed to vibe off each other. All in all, it was a suggestion that came from a hungover conversation whilst eating cheesy nachos.


I had found my comfort zone and home and started feeling anxious about leaving the safety net. That usually happens if I feel down for a certain period of time. But after speaking to my dad, he told me simply:


“Pack your bags.”


So I did. The next morning, after shoving everything I could think we may need during the trip, we were on our way. I won’t get into the nearly running out of petrol fiasco, but let’s just say there was at one point a stage where I was very afraid for my lifespan. I was just thankful that I had decided to open a bottle of beer during the situation.


It helped.


I found that where our personalities were very different, our pattern of thinking was very similar. We were completely in sync with everything and that made the journey probably one of the best road trips I had.


It’s important to have someone you can feel comfortable chatting none stop with, and also to have comfortable silences. We had that just lying in our motel after a full day out, not saying anything- simply reading our books and occasionally passing the chocolate, topping up the wine or eating cheese with a spoon.


Hey- we were hungry and desperate.


We started our first day in a café surrounded by pamphlets of the nearby attractions. Our priority of course was chocolate, wine and the caves.


Our drive to the Mammoth Caves was incredible. A long stretch of road with towering trees bowing over the tarmac, sunlight constantly peaching in and out of vision. We were surrounded by such intense yellows, blues and greens that driving became a difficult thing to accomplish without getting distracted.


It would be every five minutes when either the little Viking or I would murmur: “Oooo, pretty…”


After parking, we trotted down to buy our tickets, collect our audio tour guides and prepared ourselves for a Riddle-off with Gollum (if you haven’t watched the Hobbit- shame on you). The entrance was a gaping mouth of black ready to eat us whole. After shrieking when some droplets of water fell and trickled down my back, I managed to get a hold of myself and go in.




I felt the warmth strip from my skin as soon as I stepped into the shadows, the thick Australian accent from my audio tour quietly nattering from my headphones. I pulled them off within the first ten steps, wanting to hear every drip and echo of the caves. I wanted to feel everything, get a real sense of what this place- I wanted to hear-


“Jack! Pack it in!”


“Mum!”


“Jack, just stop it!”


“Oi! You two-”


Desperate to avoid the family of six, the little Viking and I quickened our pace to avoid their whining voices, keen to get onto the next place.


We almost missed the maze. We were driving towards the lighthouse when we saw a random sign. Now, being brought up watching The Labyrinth with my big sister, I have always been obsessed with the idea of getting lost in a bunch of hedges (please mail puns).


I saw the red painted sign and shouted, “Maze! Turn, turn, turn!”


Although we drove up to this decrepit sun-bleached building where an unmanned honesty box was put in place, we ran into the maze immediately. Splitting up, we left the other for dead as we ran around in circles and twists and turns.


I won, of course.





We finished it off with driving to the most southern point of Western Australia to visit Cape Leeuwin.


“Lighthouse is just up ahead, toilets are to your right- be careful around them as the snakes like to hang around there.”


I froze, my hand half outstretched for the offered audio guide. “You what?” I stammered.


The Museum Assistant nodded. “Oh yeah, there’s signs everywhere- got to watch them, y’know,” he said. “Thought you Essex ladies weren’t scared of anything.”


My eyes narrowed before I could stop them. “I’m not from Essex.”


“The last Essex woman I met whacked me round the head with a stiletto,” he told me, crossing his arms over his chest.


I glanced down at my trainers, checking for sharp edges.


“You from Liverpool?”


Taking a breath with my fists clenched, I managed to throw, “I’m from Coventry!” as I was pulled from the door by my co-adventurer.


“I’ll remember that’s where you ladies are from!” he called after me.


Too flummoxed to correct him, I kept focused on the task of avoiding being eaten by snakes.


The next day was a blur in itself- (probably due to the wine tour) but I know it was a bloody good day. Maybe I’ll share it in the next blog.


Returning home to Perth, whenever I listen to various songs always reminds me of the fun I had on our little road trip. This adventure helped me recognise a lot of things about myself and completely reset me.


I feel like February is going to be starting a new positive chapter for me. I’ve got so many projects that I’m excited about and I’ve met some absolutely amazing people. I believe you get out what you put in- and I’m definitely dedicated to investing some time and energy towards my aspirations.


So yeah… I’m feeling good.


I hope you are too. Much love to you all as always.





By eearle, Jan 18 2017 02:30PM

So, a few days have passed since my last personal update. Have things changed? I suppose so. A sense of clarity and realisation came in.


I suppose I was holding onto a lot of things. Hope mainly. But I was hoping for the wrong thing. I realised my energy was misdirected. I could make myself feel amazing in a more constructive way.


I need to create my own happiness and get myself in a place where I am wholly content and confident in myself as a person. I don't want to rely on anyone else to make me happy. I need to make my life amazing for myself. I have that ability- I have that control. I need to realise that.


I know who I am, I know what I can offer. I think it’s important to acknowledge your own self worth. We have so many knock backs that make us doubt ourselves- and I suppose that’s ok. They’re tests each time it happens. Obstacles to overcome.


We cannot add up our value to how others see us. Treat us.


We are treated badly throughout our lives by people, and that is just life. We are human and we error. I am sure that I have done the same in my lifetime. Holding onto grudges never helped anything. I can't hold onto hate or anger. It's like holding onto acid. I enjoy resolutions and peace. But I suppose the fire to keep thinking like that dies out after a while if it becomes too repetitive. To keep trying. It's easy to be taken for granted. But I don't want to stop living by my morals as a person.


I've realised that one of the most important things is to acknowledge you are worth that self investment.


And that is what I’m doing.


I thought to myself- why am I sitting here so sad? I have a degree. I have a loving family and friends. I am in Australia. I have wrote five fucking books for god’s sake. I am an author. An illustrator. I work hard to be there for others, many times at cost of my own emotional wellbeing to help them. I will always give the other person the bigger cut of cake. I will always make sure that you have the hot chocolate with the most foam. I will make sure that I play music you like in the car. I will make sure you are constantly fed and watered. I will pick you up at 3am if you need to fall apart or need a lift home. I will go out when I don’t want to, just because you need a wing man. I always make sure I have emergency snacks in my bag if you’re hungry when we’re out, and will listen if you ever need someone. I always make sure you have water by your bed if you need to pass out and will pull off your sweaty socks and tuck you in.


I am a good person.


Goddammit I am a good person.


And I apologise for sounding like I am blowing my own trumpet (totally not sorry) but it’s about time I realised that I deserve happiness and I am in control of that. It’s about time I appreciated my own worth.

Sometimes it’s ok being your own champion. Sometimes it’s ok to split yourself into two people and let the stronger side take care of the other- telling yourself that you’re awesome, that you’re pretty, your ass looks great and what you said last Friday was ridiculously funny.


I am working hard to realise that I have all of these attributes and they should not be measured by the lows of how others make me feel.


Those opinions do not matter. Those experiences do not matter.

The opinions and experiences that do matter are ones from people who are going to stay in your life, who know who you are and think about you with love. The ones who will sacrifice themselves for you, who will be there for you during those midnight phone calls, hold your hair back whilst being ill and will help and nurture you as you grow as a person.


The ones who know you are worth the effort.


Releasing The Contract of Maddox Black has been a huge milestone for me. It is my biggest novel, starting a saga that I cannot wait to release later on this year.


I need to acknowledge that it is a big deal. It is a big deal. I wrote a bloody book and have released it into the world. And it’s ok to celebrate.


So that’s what I’ll be doing.


I’ll be in Perth, Western Australia this Friday celebrating if anyone wants to join! Join and celebrate our conjoined epic-ness.


And if anyone on here ever wants or needs to talk about anything, or just needs a friend, please feel free to reach out.


Did I ever tell you that you’re awesome?



An update in the inner workings of my brain, what I'm working on, what I should be working on and how mad I've been driven by my storylines. Plunder the depths of an Earle's mind.