a gift

Arienne and I had a chat with an inspiring woman today. An unexpected gift, this chat. She is a fifty something stylish elegant Canadian woman who has lived in Australia since she was nineteen. She is a true example of a woman living her life by her ideals. Living fearlessly. She was driving home late last friday afternoon (she lives in Eumundi which is a bit away from town), when she spotted three young hitchhikers. She noticed them particularly because the only girl was carrying a suitcase. Who hitchhikes with a suitcase, she wondered. And the poor girl was struggling a bit. And there was a storm brewing. And they were carrying a sign for Airlie Beach. Which is over 800kms away. She passed them and then seeing the sky, she turned back. She asked if they knew how far away Airlie beach was. A dutch boy and a french boy and girl, they clearly didn’t. Nor that it was illegal to hitchhike in Australia. She thinks it was because she was once looked after as a young hitchhiker that made her offer. Offer to give them a lift. And a place to stay for the night because of the impending storm. The trio graciously declined and said they would attempt to get a bit further. She gave them her number to call her if they changed their mind. And off she went. They did. And what a perfectly wonderful evening she had. What lovely young graduates with much to share. And even more perfect when the young frenchman said he would like to contribute to dinner as he had some food with him.  She was not expecting Tasmanian Salmon.  In a backpack en route to Airlie Beach. How perfectly french. She giggled and laughed and remembered as she shared. What a gift to her that evening was. How many of us would have done that? How many of us would have even considered it? The compassion, empathy and concern for others so outweighed her concern for herself. How wonderful to live a life free of fear. How inspiring. What a wonderful gift she gave them. The gift of her, of her time, of her lack of judgement. The gift of kindness. What a wonderful gift she gave us today. By simply sharing.


Approval Addiction is the title of a book my friend gave me to read. She wasn’t trying to tell me something. It’s something we recognise in each other. Seems like such a harsh word, addiction. Am I an addict? I like approval. We all do, if we’re honest. But am I that dependent. That needy. The more I read the more I recognised myself. And I never got past the first two chapters. Because I stopped. Because I’m not. I am not that dependent. Not anymore. I talk a lot about respect and honesty but my other big thing is fear. Fear is the thing. It strangles us. It makes us make the wrong choices or none at all. Books like this exist because of our fear. The world is as it is because of fear. It is what feeds my need for approval. The fear of not being liked, the fear of not being taken seriously, the fear of offending, the fear of being anonymous, the fear of failure, the fear of being ignored, the fear of being alone, the fear of illness, the fear of being destitute. The fear of death. Of late I’ve pissed a lot of people off because I don’t care so much anymore. I can’t pretend anymore so you’ll like me. I like me. And I’m truly not afraid. Maybe the book is not so relevant to me anymore. So, I will not be ending this post with my name is Lianne Cawood and I am an approval addict. Not anymore.


I told a friend about my blog today. I saw her think about it a bit. Then she asked, isn’t it odd to have your life exposed for others to see. I responded with it’s me who’s doing the exposing. It’s my choice to share. I suppose it is a bit confronting for some, but for some reason I’ve always been comfortable exposing myself. And any comments about advertising agency parties as a reply to this post will be ignored. By exposing I mean being generous in my response to questions. Definitely over generous.  I’m not really sure why. Maybe I’m just self absorbed. I’m hoping it’s because I have nothing to hide.