It’s just a jump to the left…

It's Just a Jump to the Left by Casey Carlisle

I thought I’d do a little time travelling today – would my self of yesteryear even recognise me today?

5 years ago by Casey CarlisleI was a much different person back then. In the grand scheme of the universe five years isn’t such a big stretch, but I was amazed at just how much things have changed… I still had all my family members, was working in an office full time and just coming out of a seven year long battle against cancer (thankfully triumphant). But notably, I don’t think I had embraced being a writer yet.

So where was I five years ago?

Casey Carlisle red 01I had recently joined Facebook for the first time… my maiden venture into all things social media and online possibilities. I was a late bloomer. So I guess this my fifth birthday of sorts.

One of my first profile pics…

Visiting my Mum in Townsville to help her with her business, and catching up with some old friends I hadnt seen in years – not to mention meeting a couple of cute guys – I had little stress and begun to branch out and enjoy what life had to offer. My weekends were spent socialising and going out (not writing). Gone were days spent resting from Chemo, or simply feeling too weak and tired (or motivated) to do anything. It was a time of possibilities.

Realising I was also at the arse-end of fighting off cancer with two major final surgeries sheduled in the following months. That thought was terrifying!

It’s weird – that was such a turning point in my life. I beat cancer. Got my life back and decided I wanted to write (with the encouragement of many friends and family). But at the time all I could think about was I hope my eyebrows grow back.

Although I took another three temporary office jobs before I taking the plunge and devoting all my time to my passion, I guess fate had been steering me in that direction. Only because I was actually quite happy in those admin roles; one company went bust, another was sold and my position made redundant, and the thrid was a short temporary contract. I loved my work collegues and the daily tasks, so I think if I hadn’t been forced out of the roles, I’d still be there today, dreams of writing on the back burner. Gee girl – can’t you take a hint?

The key thing you need in realisling your aspirations is that you need to set yourself a due date… otherwise you will keep on procrastinating.

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It was also the year I got back into contact with old high school frineds I hadn’t seen in nearly twenty years, one of which lived 20mins away! It was like a mini reunion. And I have to say I’m so glad we reconnected – they are all so near and dear to my heart, and their mere presence gave me strength through the major operations, and losing my mother, aunt, and grandmother in close succesion. It really felt like I was some cosmic joke at the time – see how many times you can kick Casey in the teeth before she snaps.

Don’t give into the darkness. You are special. You are worth more than all the precious stones in the world to someone.

And when you come out the other side, stronger, you can go on to acomplish amazing things.

This all takes me back even further – to high school; and envisiging what I thought my life was going to be like. Dreams of woking with whales or puppy dogs, editing a national magazine or writing my own books. I also wanted to run my own accounting firm or have a role within my parents company… (ahh, to be young and clueless again)…I pretty much attempted all those things and more. But am happy for settling into a life of writing novels. And if I could give my teen self any advice – don’t get your hair cut short, you’ll regret it and it will take three years to grow it back. Oh, and oversized  t-shirts with shoulder pads, hightop sneakers and legwarmers don’t look great together… on anyone… especially in neon green!

So, my hair is lighter, my backside wider and I don’t wear as much make up. While it has been a difficult couple of years I’m still smiling. Greatful for all the people I have met, those same people who gave me the courage to keep going, to reach for passionate endeavours. These few battle scars have made me a more interesting person… and I hope a provocative writer… there is still more of my story to come!

Casey's Childhood Banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When is a lemon not a lemon?

lemon wars 05My childhood home had a multitude of citrus trees around our pool, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins. It’s no wonder we were always outside swimming in the Centralian heat, desert temperatures perfect for aquatic adventures and food within arm’s reach. The neighbourhood kids would come over and we’d all be bombing into the water and playing Marco Polo. Quite often some of the fruit would make its way into the pool, and, as you do when you are a child, you’d throw it out of the water… usually directed at someone standing along its edge.

And so was born the Great Age of the Lemon Wars!

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Before my parents came home from work, we’d chuck all evidence over the back fence. I was sure to get any play privileges revoked with the back yard littered with yellow bombs. Though, as luck would have it, our neighbours took unkindly to our dumping of copious fruit over the fence and proceeded to toss them back over – and whola! It’s raining lemons.

Lemon Wars on Steroids!

I’m positive it was not our neighbour’s intention for us to enjoy the barrage of flying citrus. We danced and giggled dodging projectiles and pitching them back over to continue the game. It goes without saying we were not popular with those who dwelled over the back fence. But nonetheless they provided us with hours of entertainment in the summer months.

I don’t think ever met these tumultuous neighbours in the ten years I lived there, or even bothered to learn their names. They were just ‘the enemy.’ It’s funny how childhood perception is so limited… It never occurred to us that what we were doing was wrong, that is could land my parents into trouble. We lived in a fantasy world of exploding mortars and mermaids and sharks, living off the land on an alien planet.

I must thank those unnamed people who dwelled over my back fence, you fed my imagination, kept me entertained and were a constant companion through gangly limbs, braces and sunny weekends. (Who knows maybe you actually enjoyed throwing lemons backward and forward?)

But as in all wars, there are causalities… It’s all fun and games until someone gets pelted in the face with a lemon – and leaves in tears. Which happened to be my best friend. She had reached that age when you start to discover boys – and instead of standing guard, was ogling the boy from down the street diving into the pool and did not see the incoming projectile. It was of the slightly over-ripe variety. A little mushy. So when it connected with her cheek it exploded in magnanimous glory, covering her entire head in sticky goo. We thought it was awesome, my friend not so much. She was totally humiliated in front of the boy she liked and stormed out in a trail of language to put a truck driver to shame.

And that caused a cease-fire. At least until the next weekend…

Make love not lemon wars… or at least, if you have to, make lemonade.

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Casey's Childhood Banner by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.