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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Those small balconies!

Topic: Those small balconies!

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    3 February 2018

    I live in a small inner city apartment.

    Since my migration to Australia I chose to live in the inner city and love apartment life.

    In fact, I’ve never lived in a house. Love the views, the containment, the sense of security and most of all the feeling that I’m surrounded by people, upstairs, downstairs, next door. It energezises me and makes me feel alive. Love the city vibes. I’ve never lived in the country. I can’t be in a suburb.

    All my life, my balconies have been my highlight of apartment life. Love plants, water features, fish, outdoor living. Especially if it’s in the 12th floor!

    I currently have transformed my 3meter balcony into an oasis filled with palm trees, bamboo, water feature and a pond with koi fish which I take delight in feeding and spend morning and evening with my coffee, my wine, a book, and the sound of running water. Everyone who has seen my balcony cannot believe what I’ve done up here!

    Theres only one problem. I don’t know my limits. I go overboard. I don’t know when to stop.

    I have accumulated so many pots, plants, soil, rocks, heavy statues etc that my neighbor downstairs is really worried that one day the balcony will collapse - onto hers!

    After some consideration, I contacted the body corporate and found out that I exceed the limit by 1000kgs! It’s a miracle that you haven’t seen my balcony on the news yet! So, upon this new knowledge I had to make changes! I have lots away, I took statues in my garage, and I brought heavy concrete pots with palms, yakas and dracenas inside my lounge room in an attempt to minimize weight on the balcony.

    Today I was pondering on how our lives are like a balcony. We tend to accumulate stuff, knowledge, ideas, information etc to the point where we don’t have capacity anymore - our mental resilience is about to collapse, threatened undercthe weight of the world, society, cultural notions, ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ etc. We conform. We give in. We are crashed. We collapse.

    So what things have you accumulated in your life that hold you down? What heavy cross do you allow others to place upon your shoulder? What weight do you bear? What self-sabotaging you allow to dictate your thoughts? What limiting beliefs hold you back from reaching your maximum potential? Have you reached your limit? Have you put your health in jeopardy? What changes do you need to do in order to find peace and calmness? What do you need to take out? Give away? Rearrange?

  2. SubduedBlues
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    SubduedBlues avatar
    841 posts
    3 February 2018 in reply to Donte'

    Hi Donte'

    When I first read the thread title, I envisaged something about those tiny balconies in Europe. You know the ones, like in Rome and Paris, where it's barely wide enough to stand upon it. Sort of like its just for show.

    But no, yours was really cool. Sucks you had to take your stuff out and the body-corp wouldn't just reinforce it for you. But hey, you are still a star, and I really enjoyed reading your story. I also like the idea for this thread, but I think it may take some soul-searching and reflection for some of us to answer your many, many questions proposed. But I'll try...

    I am driven by an internal desire to help people, and - for better or for worse - I am very forgiving by nature. My ex and I split up some 4 years back, but I still do stuff for her. I know she'd never do the same for me, and I know that I am being used, but I cannot seem to stop myself from helping. Just today, I drove 200km to check out a house that she was looking at buying (she's interstate); wasted my Saturday to see this dump of a place she saw online. For my efforts I got a thank you in an sms. Wow! (sarcasm there)

    I do this for other people too. My DH neighbor, I still take his bins to the curb because he leaves for work early early in the morn, and often forgets to drag them out. Former colleagues that need help with their careers, or solving a work problem... ring up me and let's work out what to do next. This person and that, they all do it. They all know that I will help, and they never do anything in return.... they're just too busy. It may be a cold day in Hell before I ever get any reciprocation, but as they say: never say never.

    SB

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Greece
    • LGBTI
    Donte' avatar
    845 posts
    3 February 2018 in reply to SubduedBlues

    Hello SB,

    Thank you for commenting. Hope that you have found it helpful in reflecting on your experience. You seem like a kind, caring person who gives too much. That is a lovely quality to have even as you say it is not often reciprocated.

    When we give, we do it for us. We do it cause it’s what we desire. If it is right for us, if it gives us purpose, if we feel better people as an outcome, maybe that’s the best reciprocation there is.

    On the other hand if we feel we are taken for granted, if we feel unappreciated or used then we can alter our behavior to protect ourselves from getting hurt.

    People will take whatever they can. Whatever we allow them to take.

    Sometimes it helps to state clearly our needs. To tell others exactly what we’d like in return. Negotiate. Any human engagement is a give and take. A two way street. Maybe we don’t allow others to give as we prefer to be the ones giving. I don’t know. Have you though why you do it? What makes you go into such extents to do things for others?

    For years I was doing things for everyone else and was putting myself last as I was taught this is real love. I’ve learnt through the hard way that I’m a big boy and I’m responsible for my own self. No one will come and give me something I haven’t asked. And if I feel disappointment it’s probably due to my own unmet needs and expectations that didn’t eventuate.

    But we are not trees. We are not stuck in the ground unable to move. If something doesn’t work for us we can try something else. We can change. If it’s not right then go left! I guess learning to say ‘no’ and honoring our own needs is a process and takes practice. I started by making small changes. By thinking and acting and saying different words to myself and others.

    I think it’s good to be selfish sometimes and it’s healthy to show others that you matter, that your time, energy, desires and needs are equally important to everyone else’s and deserve attention. People eventually will admire you for taking a stand and being true to yourself honoring who you are. It is much better to say no, to not answer the phone or the doorbell, to disengage rather than go along and do things for others that later leave you sad, create resentment and drain you.

    You are number one. And that’s ok. It’s good. No one can judge you for it. And if they do, that’s their issue not yours. Setting boundaries and being upfront about it usually helps us to not be taken advantage. Whatever you choose to do, do it for you. X

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