Some people will look at this question and either know the answer or have no idea. Myself, as I do with my blog I write from my heart, with honest thoughts.
Life starts as soon as we are born, some will believe that this happens even inside the womb. All I am here to do is be true to my site and write my feeling’s towards this post.
Many different religions will have their version on how we came to be and that is to be admired and respected. I am not here to say what a ‘religion’ says is right or wrong… I’m here to ponder the question in a world that is full of diverse opinions. Do you have one?
I do believe that we are here for a reason, as to what that reason is I don’t have the answers but I do know my experiences in life could not be in vain. As those of my readers.
I think this question is asked more when you suffer. That being said we all suffer in some way. That can be through the loss of a loved one, chronic illness or struggling day to day. Life is not easy for anyone, some have it harder than others, but we can’t compare experiences.
So, the question for me is “what is the meaning of life?”.
The answer; I don’t know. I do know that life is a gift, one to be treasured. But, in saying that I have not lived my life inline with that gift. As some of my readers would know I have tried by my own hands to end my pain, but here I am writing this article, was there meant to be a reason for that? I simply cannot answer that question…
“There is no right or wrong”
I do know that I have my own meaning. As my twitter blog states;
“I am here to be inspired and hopefully to inspire others.. never judge the steps of others, write your own path”
My life has never been easy, it’s not a sob story, it is what it is. I come from a dysfunctional family, eating disorder, Bipolar II, chronic pain BUT it does not define me, what I choose to do with those experiences does, that is my meaning to life.
Some will say money,prominence and having the love of your life with you is the meaning… The truth is…
“The meaning of life, is up to us, we create it, we live it each day.. make sure you live it like it is your last day”
As always thank you for taking the time to read my articles. They come from my heart and experiences.
Written by Lina Raudino
Photos sourced: Media library and personal connection
She worked out how to speak English after pre-school, she even knew how to talk to other girls but being in primary school was so different. Here she was, sitting and knowing what was to come every day. It happened all the time, looking around, her heart was pounding, sweating fingers, she knew what was to come. They all made fun of her, right on time every day, they never missed. Drops came down her eyes, but she couldn’t let them see them. Her heart wouldn’t stop racing, because of what was in her lap, the same stuff all the time, but she saw what they had. That day she decided to leave class earlier, she was prepared. She could hear the sound, hated the sound, but the bell signalled anguish for her, an anguish that only she knew about. The smell was overpowering but it was good food, the inside of her mouth was watering but it did smell like stale bread. The red and white dot food in round cuts felt slimy, but it was delicious. It wasn’t like the others; they had that thick black stuff with butter! They obviously were not educated, oil is much better, that’s what papa said to her;
‘Lincuha put oil with it, it won’t taste the same if you don’t!’
On one occasion she remembered something on television. Vince Sorrenti, said that you needed wine with that food, so she decided to ask her parents, but was told not yet. Today it was going to change. She was determined to do that thing they did in the movies, stand tall and puff her chest out. To her she had everything under control. She thought they knew today was different. Then the girl came out, with the others, blonde hair, pretty and she imagined smart too.
it together, this is under control, she had this’
looked straight at the main girl; she was sure they knew today was different.
All of a sudden it felt so soft, but it started hard. Was solid, checked it out
before she sat down, but she realised it was the feeling of sinking. Then the
girl stopped in front of her and she looked up; she thought she did. She kept
saying sit straighter, she did, but they had it in for her that day.
She didn’t care anymore; the drops were falling, and the ground went dark from the splattered tears. Slowly she pushed her fabric down, those drops wouldn’t stop, she hated that. All she could hear was ringing, was someone calling, did the teacher come and rescue her? Then she realised that noise was coming from her ears. The girl suddenly got her stale smell and threw it in the bin. This was her food, her salami, her lunch. She decided that this was it, she was not going to let this girl do this to her anymore. She would show her. She stood up, looked at the girl straight like they did in the movies.
‘Revenge is sweet!’ That’s what she’d heard on the
television and she kept saying this to herself.
That’s when she did it, felt good, seeing her going down, she pushed her! How funny was that! All the girls that hung around her stepped right back. She could only assume they got scared, because their faces changed white, that’s what she saw. There was so much churning, like ants eating away at her, she thought she was the one in control and that felt good. The blonde girl for the first time didn’t do anything. She would regret this, that’s why her friends walked away, that’s what she thought. That sound came back again, all she could think was that something was wrong.
She recognised it from before, she hit the floor again. Something was coming out beneath her knee which was red, and it was coming from below her skirt. As soon as she realised it was blood, she got so angry that she was determined even more to show that this wog girl would stop this now, once and forever. She got up straight away, didn’t bother with the fabric, she did not care! Something was strange, then she looked around. She kept asking herself if she was dreaming? She asked herself what happened? Did she imagine the blonde girl and her group? No, she just worked it out, that noise, not the ringing one in her ears but it was of girl’s shoes running away. They must have worked out they were in trouble, that’s what she thought as the teacher just turned up. The teacher would protect her, and she did. It didn’t feel right to her though, her revenge was now gone, all she wanted was the fabric to go down and, she wanted to go home where eyes to stop hurting from the tears. Being a wog girl felt soft, warm, and comforting from her bed when she was at home. What just happened told her that she did not belong at school, the only place she fit in was at home, and that’s were she decided to go now.
spill anything or else the lounge will get stained!’ she was told that every
day by her mama.
others didn’t do that, but that didn’t make sense. She was told that in life
that’s how others live outside her home.
Her next memory would always put a smirk on
her face, that’s when the drops were good tears rolling down her cheeks, she
often laughed out loud.
did they not know how to do that?’ she thought.
that foam, two basins and they only used one, how funny was that. It wasn’t
done like that. You fill two basins up, one for rinsing and the other to wash.
She did that all the time, it was the cleanest and best way to do the dishes,
yet she saw how it was different when others did it. Clean dishes for others, I
assume meant wash, don’t rinse. She remembered how silly that looked. She never
stopped thinking about how food would still be stuck on plates because they
were not rinsed the way they should have. Mama taught her those lessons and she
respected her for that, it was how wog girls did things.
remembered a friend coming over one day and this friend looked around the
house, her face looked strange. She was a polite friend, but she didn’t say
much when she came to her home. She presumed it was because she loved it and
was shy to say so, jealousy can do that. She thought if she liked the home, the
garage would be the best. This friend would see how wog families did things.
The smell of fennel in one room, it made her mouth water up. They got hung up
with rope, not just one but enough for a year. Pork and fennel, not just that,
these were delicious pork sausages. Every year as a family this was done, she
looked forward to this because this was home. When she thought about it, funny
it was, the blue car with pork sausages hung from the ceiling. I can only presume
her friend would like to see how wog girls lived. This is when she would see
whether the friend could see how a real home was like. That’s when she thought,
maybe she had not seen the way true wog’s do things, she thought she would have
been jealous. She still didn’t say much, she decided to take her out the back to
see a true wog’s way of living.
She thought dishes and sausages
was different, but what she would see next would make her envious. That’s when
she felt drops of water come down her cheeks again but, the friend looked funny.
The mouth opened with disgust, she could see it and she was standing right next
to her. Beyond the green shrubs, she was proud to be a wog girl. It was strange
because even though she felt the sting of water in her eyes, she was also
annoyed. There was a fly screen covering it, so flies weren’t getting onto it.
They were pushed down flat in the hot sun, but that’s how you do them, along
with the capers on top. She worked out she would just have to tell her, the
friend would appreciate how good these were, she thought this anyway. Everyday
she would sneak some of these in her sandwich, the sundried tomatoes were not
best friends with her thighs, but she didn’t care. She saw the cellulite every
day on her legs. The taste of oil and heat, the first bite was the best. While
she was reminiscing about how good these were, the friend said nothing. This
was her home and she was becoming irritated, she thought if you don’t want to
be in a wog girl’s home just leave. To her surprise she
did. It was pitiful really, a lame excuse.
got to go and do some homework’ she said.
It was jealousy, I could only assume. It was that black stuff and butter they liked, she didn’t care, she knew the good stuff and the one that looked like tar on bread wasn’t it. It was her loss; home was special, and she treasured this home, the one she grew up in from 1992. It was a television show that changed things, but she couldn’t remember the name of it. She still smiled at the thought of it. The show had kangaroos, depicting Australians love of them. That’s when she thought of the blonde girl at school. That girl would now be called a skippy. She now had a nickname for Australians, skippies. She was proud to be a wog girl, so if a kangaroo was about Australia, she would give them that name. She had it all worked out; life now made sense. She thought she had it worked out but then this wog girl started work and she realised things were not so black and white.
She was sitting there as she
normally did, behind the screen, never really knowing how to act socially. This
happened when she left home, not knowing how to act, that’s what you get for
being a wog girl. She hadn’t even come across someone like him, she never
really saw his type at home, but the manager paired me with him, so she had no
choice. She had never come across a black man before. She knew it sounded
racist, but the fact is she never did, just wogs and skippies. She saw the
blonde skippy near the photocopier and even the red haired skippie but not a
coloured man. A two-hour trip for a meeting was uncomfortable, but she got in
the car with him, she had no choice, she knew she would get paid and that they
would have nothing in common, so it didn’t bother her. She could only presume
that he felt the same way, he wouldn’t want to be with a wog girl that even he
I presumed could smell the lunch packed as did the girl at school. She tried so
hard over the years to change what she ate, but she liked it. The waxed little
black hair above her lip, she was sure he could see it, it was something she didn’t
do at school but had to do it now.
She heard his voice before, but never really
paid much attention, but it sounded deep when she was closer to him, deep like
his colour to be honest.
‘How you are going Lins?’
is what he said.
Taken back she just
looked at him and was shocked that he spoke to her. She mumbled some words, but
he kept persisting. It was irritating for her to begin with, but she realised
they had one thing in common, humour. The real humour that even skippies
understood. All she could think was this man was so funny, two hours with him
wouldn’t be so bad.
That was the start of a friendship that she now thinks about and realises how it changed her. This person, Richard, he was also a wog, but Torres strait Islander, he was also a family man and understood what it was like to feel different. She knew this because it was spoken of between the ocean and air were no wog or skippie was mentioned. This was something that she spoke to him about and both realised that the heritage that he and she were brought up in was something uniquely different. The funniest things she remembered was the way he described his family gatherings. She realised that they were no different to the ones that she experienced. She also realised that when she heard him speak so proudly of there food and culture, she wasn’t alone. She reflected on how he was looked upon as a black tough man, but she knew he was soft, gentle, like a teddy bear, she could only hope others saw that.
Then the conversation
that changed her life happened. Sitting together on the soft grain with the
wind blowing around was invigorating for a conversation like this to happen.
The ocean was crystal clear blue, that day the smell of salt wafted between her
conversation with him. Remembering that chat always made her feel those drops
from school and home, but this time it came from sadness and happiness.
On that afternoon during
their lunch break she said that being a wog was difficult, which he said he
could understand as he was a dark man and experienced similar things. He said
to me that day:
‘I don’t care, I know I’m
proud of my heritage, are you?’
Those exact words were stated. She realised that growing up being called a wog was something she hated but after talking with him realised she was proud of heritage, just like him. She thought of the good things when she was a child at school and at home. The smell of fennel sausages, touch of oil, the fat on her body because of those damn sundried tomatoes. It was the salami at school that in that moment she realised she didn’t care like Richard said about his food. So many realisations on that beach.
Being a wog girl was something she in that moment realised made her unique and different. She just wasn’t a wog girl; she was a wog girl with skippie in her. She realised she came from parents that immigrated to Australia and gave her opportunities that other she could presume never had. Questions swirled in her head, just like a washing machine, how silly she felt. Here was a man of colour that was a proud Australian, it occurred to her then and there that for years without saying she was Australian with Italian heritage. She still was that wog girl but this time she realised she didn’t care what others thought, it was about what she thought, how proud it was to be called a wog today, how in that moment things changed.
A group called sooshi mango was now making it big time across Australia and Canada. These group of men were proud wogs who now were making fun of the way they were brought up. She realised that with the help of Richard and this new group of funny men that things had changed so much since school. It really was quite powerful. A power that she lacked at school and at home. What she thought was at times hard to understand was now clear to her. She realised in that moment she was, and still is ‘a wog girl, simple but true in Australia’.
‘A proud Australian with Italian heritage living in Australia’
He was my father, my mother, my best friend… my papa.
Its funny how you think in time grief gets easier but I’m here to say from my personal experience that is not the case. My reality.
A friend of mine said to me that the feeling of loosing someone you love is like a backpack.. you always carry it but some days the load is heavier than others. Today that backpack is full, it would have been my papa’s 85th Birthday. I really didn’t know how to express myself, so I thought I would do best, write from my heart.
You can’t not grieve in life, because that would mean you have not loved, and the innate nature to love is why we are here. Without love, the world would certainly be worse off.
Papa and I would always talk about ‘when he would go’. It may sound strange but he worried about me as I did him. The natural order of progression as they say is parents go first, for me I wish it was the other way around.
I wish he could see that when I lost him 6 years ago that I’ve changed as a person, both good and bad. I feel like I’ve accomplished so much but sometimes so little. We all grow and change and I think with those that we love we want them to see that. He never did…………..
This post is not about how to get over grief, I’m not an expert in this field nor do I particularly like the ‘grief process’ that psychologist’s go on about. I just truly believe that everyone grieves in different ways and that with that, respecting that is so important.
I’ve come across many that have experienced grief, some fine it easier while others are still ‘stuck in that moment’. I’m the person stuck in that moment but still trying to carry on with life, it really is all we can do.
In saying all of that I wish my papa ‘Happy 85th Birthday, if he was still here, his comment would be ‘not bad for a old man’. His humor radiated and people were drawn to him for that and many other qualities. So for an old man…. to a ‘older daughter’… Happy birthday..
Much love, your daughter.. always thinking of you… everyday you inspire me to be the daughter you would be proud of……….. xo
I haven’t of late put a blog post out, but I thought at 5.30am time to do so.
When I started 2019 I had goals that I wanted to achieve and am glad to say that through determination and the “positive attitude” that things are falling into place.
My previous post was that ‘2019 was my year to shine’ and I believe that I have made big steps forward for this to happen. As with any goals, you want them to be SMART
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and timely…
My specific goal was to continue with university studies, get my passport, find work and travel…
As of 19th May, I am excited to say that despite obstacles I am on track for all to fall into place.
They say some things happen for a reason. I’m not sure if that is the case but I can report that through hard work and persistence I am getting there, really excited to share that statement. When you make the statement that you want 2019 to be the year that you shine, you either take that on board or put it down as one of those “new years resolutions” that you dont do anything about. Without consciously knowing I have certainly been working really hard to be in the position I am in now – HAPPY
University Studies – as we head into week 10 of 12 weeks, I can say I am in two weeks time officially finishing my first year!! Nothing is a given to us, I have had to work hard and I believe the results are showing
Passport – DONE!! I received my passport in February and can say it was the most beautiful moment to know I am not restricted anymore. If a opportunity comes by in terms of ‘travel deals’ I don’t have to say anymore “If only I had got my passport”
Work – I can report that this Italian woman finally achieved this goal, and am working on a casual basis. This is a contract position. It is a position that will lead me to the greatest ends…. travelling. (nice to save!)
I’m a believer in positivity and reality. To do the things above I find can be overwhelming, but I try to come away smiling 🙂 thoughts like the below have come to my mind:
“Over it, I can do this, you have this, one step at a time”
During this time I continue with personal difficulties; managing Bipolar II and physical pain. I’m still doing well. Some days are harder than others, but that is the same for anyone. I believe we all have those days…(so the above statement is normal) Continue reading “Determination & Self Belief”→
For anyone that suffers with mental health issues, you will find that everyone has their own story to tell. The journey into mental health is individual, no two experiences are the same.
Recently I did a poll on twitter to find out what helps anyone who suffers with mental health conditions, asking if lived experience examples or education on mental health is helpful. For those that did take the time to respond, overwhelmingly the combination of lived experience with education was what I learnt.
As a writer, a advocated for mental health awareness and a person who has a “lived experience” story to tell I found this interesting. This tells me that being able to identify with someones story, and being educated as well is insightful.
Its been some time that I have put a piece of writing together, reflecting this morning on this, I wondered why. I then spoke to someone and realised I have nothing to be worried about, just be me, so my inspiration comes from that….
Its January 6,2019 – “The New Years Resolution” time.. For me, I dont make them, my personal choice, I call them goals. What I have decided though its time for me to spread my wings and take a chance on, ME. I’ve been scared most of my life but this year, I will face my fear!
Studying to succeed is not a given. You earn the right to get your degree. Head down and work hard. It takes sacrafice, patience, long nights but I believe the timing is now right. It will help me reach my ideal goals of work and travel
I dont even have a passport. First goal, passport. To get the passport I need to afford it, so you find work. Then you start saving, saving for my goal to travel in between terms this year. In Australian we have three full terms that run each 12 weeks, with a break of three. So if I calculate that, for 36 weeks I study, and find work. I then equate that too nine weeks off. The only trick is that I need to prepare for next term in that three weeks! Can it be achieved?YES, you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
I believe with enough determination, persistance and positivity you can do anything you set your mind too. Being true to me, I may have an off day, who doesnt? I may have a painful day? Who doesn’t.
If someone doesnt have a bad day, please let me know what that cure is (lol) – to contact form is below.
I’m not a dreamer anymore, “I will achieve”. The only thing that will stop me from achieving my dream is the “almighty dollar”. But I have kind of figured that I’m not one to want for much.
As long as I can eat, rest, shower, I dont need for anything. I need time to study and work, but that I can do in the right surroundings, which I am making happen this fortnight..
I am sitting here at midnight and contemplating the next three months and how to cope with a full-time study load, along with other “integral” part of well-being which exercises, having coffee with a friend and chilling the way, “Can I fit it all in?”
It was interesting this evening as, I was in messenger, talking to a friend of over twenty-five years. The way we came back into each other’s life is surreal!!!
It is October 11 and a Thursday morning. On Monday I was informed through “Twitter” that is was; Mental Health Awareness week. This surprised me, for those that do not have this media platform I contemplated whether many indeed knew this was the case!
I read a startlingly statistic, that every 9 minutes in Australia seven people take their lives and five of this are men. Just think, that could be; someone’s, mother, father, brother, sister, daughter or son. That means every nine minutes, families are grieving. A grief that could have been avoided.
I don’t proclaim to know what the reasons are as to why these ones were successful, I know that when I couldn’t cope with the grief of losing my father five years ago, I indeed did try the same thing. The only reason I survived; my husband woke up earlier than he normally.
Everyone has their own reasons, grief, loneliness, despair and people who are doing it tough on the land. Our farmer’s are not getting rain, they see their very livelihood being crumbled in front of their pieces. Then you have those that take illegal substances, these one are very susceptible due to the side effects of this. You can argue that some will say “If they didn’t take it, they wouldn’t have the side effects” – the fact remains we all make choices in life, and for whatever reason this is, they are suffering, remember they are people just like you and me.
Writing about the loss of my father is something that I have not been able to do until now.
why that is the case, I don’t know? All I know is that losing the first man you ever love is also the greatest grief that you can not imagine.
My father was my everything, and still is. I could say that in death things change… they do, but the loss is amplified by 1000.
Like all parents, no-one is perfect… I will purposely just talk about my father as he has shaped me into the person I am today. He was not without flaws, as I am not. The one thing though that my father had ‘was unconditional love’ for his daughter. Again, I purposely leave other family members out of this writing, out of respect for them.
Papa immigrated to the ‘lucky country’ from Italy when he was 18. Oldest of three but the one constant in my life… up until 5 years ago in August. That day will forever be etched in my mind as if it was yesterday…..
It has been some time since I have placed a reflective message on my domain. Thanks to anyone that is following this journey in life…
In saying that I presented to the emergency department on September 9. It was not something that I wanted to do, my thoughts are that I truly appreciate the work that nurses and doctors do in the ER but like anyone, it is not a place I like to go in.
Those that do follow me know that I believe in “balance” – well that is ironic as my balance to some extent has placed me in the situation that I am in. Weeks ago I was walking, as I do, 4 times a week for an hour. This particular afternoon (I either give 110% or I am my worst critic), 20 minutes into my walk my right knee kind of went underneath me. I thought I had not warmed up enough. I continued to walk. Doing this was the wrong thing to do.
The Bundaberg Athletic club came together on August 24 for their annual sign up for potential athletes. Situated on University Drive, Bundaberg. Family event and exciting to see.
The Wide Bay region is lucky to have a club that offers world-class tracks for use in all aspects of athletics and invites children, teenagers and people with disabilities to participate. The club relies on volunteers and grants to keep each season going.
New members appreciated the environment and atmosphere on the night. Lights were on, little ones in their club shirts were excited, having the opportunity to talk to friends.
I was kindly shown around the venue and to my delight, was made aware that all forms of athletics are available in the wide bay region. The microphone was going on through the night, which added to the nice feel of the event. Their mascot was priceless; children kept going to him wanting to know who this person was. Beautiful to see the happiness of children running around laughing.
I sit here on a Friday morning at 6.00 am and wonder why there still is a stigma around mental illness? We have days like “R U OK” & “Beyond Blue” and more but still people are scared to come out for fear of “what will people think?”
I find that as a nation we need to finally give the recognition of what this illness is part of any illness such as; diabetes, heart conditions, pain etc. I know we have made a progress, but it still requires courage to say “I am not well”, I need help.
When someone exhibits any forms of “depression”, don’t be afraid to ask if there is something wrong! Go on your gut instinct. Your question could impact on the life of one person who thinks that no-one cares!
I am passionate about this subject. I used to be a volunteer crisis support worker on the lines of ‘Lifeline’ and let me say, it is a eye-opening and humbled opportunity to do this. I know I am unable to this right now. It is my goal to go back on the phones.l
There are so many forms of ‘mental illness’ but yet people don’t understand how alone people are. Aged people especially if the have lost a partner are in a world of trouble. You then have those young ones that ring and share a story of bullying or self-harm, do we as a society recognise that we need to step in early so this does not become a cycle of relapse etc.