The Inevitable 2014 Wrap Up Post That We All Hate But Here It Is Anyway

It’s been a very long time since I wrote a blog post. Mostly because when I look back on a lot of old blog posts, I don’t feel any real connection with them and it seems weird that they are out in the world when I don’t necessarily have the same feelings and emotions that are linked in them. But as much as I try to write books and poems and diaries and shopping lists and really just anything… I keep stopping. So at least this is a channel through which some form of writing can take place to ensure I don’t forget how to string the same 26 letters into different sentences that somehow connect. 

Happy New Year!

2014 was a big year full of ups and downs… just as everyone says every single year. It was intensely fun and intensely sad and I made many, many mistakes. I learned a lot this year about the people I hold near to me, what I want to do with my life, and what I don’t want to do with it.

2014 really was the year for me that put a lot of things into perspective. I found that university wasn’t what I necessarily loved and that the course I had chosen mightn’t be the one for me, but that deferring wasn’t really a viable option for me yet. And so I’m going to keep on keeping on with higher education because I know it’s going to lead to something I really want to do. But I am not going to shape my life around what I’m learning nor the party atmosphere that surrounds it. Because it took a long time for me to realise that what I want (travel, broadening of my horizons, writing) isn’t necessarily found in parties or drunken antics (which isn’t to say that it can’t be fun, because I still go to parties and have a good time…).

Being out of high school for the first year, it was hard for me to get used to the idea of truly governing my own time. Only recently do I feel that I’m starting to strike a healthy balance between doing too much and doing too little.

I also learned a lot about friendship, as corny as that sounds. Growing up, I was lucky enough to be given one very important piece of advice: the mysterious world of boys and love and sex is significant, but friendship is invaluable. I carried that with me all through the sandpits and tantrums of primary school and the stress and fun of high school. I put friends first and I count myself extremely lucky to have had some of the great friendships I had in such an important part of my life. But no one ever told me what to do when people change, when friendships take a turn for the worst, and when connections turn toxic. When I left high school I was suddenly left with an abundance of time to spend as I chose and a world out of academic life to continue friendships in. Although I enjoyed my newfound freedom, I wasn’t involved in the same things that some of my old friends were and they didn’t necessarily share my excitement to really get going on my dreams of travel and writing and learning.

I just wish that someone had of told me that it’s okay for that to happen. Scratch that, it’s not just okay but normal! It’s common! It would have helped when a close friend of mine from school and I grew separately and differently — that would have helped! Instead, it broke my heart and made me really deeply unhappy. I questioned myself and put myself down for not growing the same way and at the same speed that she did. We had shared so much, had been inseparable (and probably insufferable); I loved her like a sister. She was the Amy Poehler to my Tina Fey when we were at our best, and it felt impossible to give that up. Losing that, it felt like I had done something horribly wrong. I must have to have lost such a fantastic friendship. I hadn’t been told that it was okay to evolve into different versions of myself that didn’t necessarily coincide with the evolutions of my friend. But now, I can look back on a beautiful friendship and smile and feel grateful that I had such a fun, laughter-filled high school experience by the side of my best friend, and then I can move on knowing that we are both happy and on the paths best for ourselves.

A lot of my friendships thrived through the transition between high school and the outside world and many new ones formed, allowing me to branch out and access different parts of myself through new and engaging people. Specials shout outs: Laura, who is sunshine incarnate, Tahlia (and all the girls!), whose friendship and acceptance means so much because the friendships where you don’t even have to try, where they are borne from history and solidified over time are the very best, and all my new friends gained over the year. I have amazing people in my life who make me want to be the very best me that I can be. Which is awesome.

I joined and quit a gym in 2014. I saw the good and the bad in the people I loved and truly loved them deeper for it. I went overseas for the first time in my life (to Bali). I saw my favorite band live. I got an amazing job where I am treated so well and have so much fun. I wrote more. I read more. I walked and ran and rode more. I became a part of a wider community. I learned how to forgive and accept and love a little better.

I also lost my Granddad, which broke my heart, because he was one of the most caring, truly good-hearted and content people I’ve ever met. It has led me to remember time and time again all our memories together and I am finding that I learn something knew and understand more what he was truly ‘about’ the more I remember and think. I miss him so very much but he feels like a guiding presence in my life now, just as he was when he was still with us. Although sometimes I wish I had told him more that he really was my hero, that he taught me more through his actions of love and kindness and acceptance than anyone’s words ever could… but he was never one for soppy stories. I think he knew. Through losing him, I became closer to my own dad, which I think would have made Granddad smile.

All in all, 2014 was tough but good and I think it has set me up for an amazing 2015; a year where I already have plans to travel to Europe, to get to know my family in England better, to further my university degree, to work and to enjoy life, all with a shedding of the insecurity and some of the anxiety that cloaked me in 2014.

I feel free. I really do. So thank you, 2014. You went alright, old friend.

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The 1975 @ The Amplifier

Having been brought up in a relatively small, out of the way (see: bogan) town in north Queensland, experiencing all the wonders of live music is still a novelty to me. The biggest band to come to my hometown when I was young was Evermore… need I say more?

(Side note: the Evermore concert was small enough that it was in the foyer of the auditorium rather than on a real stage, I jarred my finger on the lead singer’s guitar, and my cousin got backstage with no difficulty to tell the band that he liked their “shiny pants.”)

This, coupled with my perpetual state of being penny-less thanks to being a student (and an impulse buyer of very stupid, useless items) has been the driving force for my lack of experience with live music. 

Which means that when I do get to see bands play live, I am almost uncontrollably excited.

Last night, I got to see one of my favorite new bands, The 1975. They are a genre-ambiguous Manchester four-piece whose music (SKIP THIS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ THE MOST CLICHED CLICHE THERE IS) really speaks to me.

Purely because I had such a lovely, lovely night and that in itself deserves its own celebration as a pocket of a few unforgettable hours, I thought that I would write about it here.

Getting into the concert itself was a wonderful fluke — having no money for tickets, I didn’t think I would be able to see them. Four hours before the concert was set to start, through connections with connections, I was able to get in for free under the proviso that I pretend to be a writer for a music magazine doing a review on the concert.

I am a rubbish liar, so up until the very front of the line (which, being the inexperienced North Queensland-bred girls we are, we were in for an hour and a half before we should have been, and actually lined up at the wrong door anyway) I was having a small freak out to my friend, Tahlia. I thought that she should pretend to be me pretending to be a reviewer to get into the concert while I pretended to be her, but she successfully convinced me that making the web of small lies bigger is the stupidest thing to do, and that I should just stop being such a wuss. We got in, no problem. 

The Amplifier, where the concert was held, is an amazing venue in Perth. It seems to open up into more and more rooms as you walk through, so that there are DJ spots, indoor and outdoor bar rooms, V.I.P areas, an overhanging upstairs and a live music stage and standing area all tucked away; a marked improvement from the front entrance of a small amphitheatre, thank you very much, Evermore.

The warm up band was pretty great, albeit unable to get the crowd moving. They were No Doubt if No Doubt toed the line between punk rock and all out rock a little more, and if Gwen Stefani rocked an outfit somewhere between Clueless and generic goth. 

By the time The 1975 advanced onto the stage, I was ready to wet my pants with excitement. So, I definitely fit in with the cooler-than-thou crowd…

Living up to their quickly growing reputation, The 1975 played amazingly. They were truly brilliant performers. The small venue was perfect for allowing the facades put on in a usual performance to fall away, effectively eradicating the boundary between performers and the audience in a way that more than allowed for direct interaction between. It was a very intimate performance, one they were evidently not used to, with lead singer Matt Healy saying to the crowd at one point that he was about to go back stage with the band, only to return when we shouted for more, as he did at the rest of their concerts, but that he had decided against it this time as there was only a tiny room and a table back there, which would make them look like “douchebags.”

Matt Healy, coupled with a cigarette and ever-present bottle of red wine, exuded stage persona and sexual charisma in a way that was eerily reminiscent of Michael Hutchence. 

Late in the show, the crowd chanted for a fan favorite song, titled Sex, until Healy laughed and stopped them, telling the girls that they were confusing the hell out of the boyfriends they had dragged along by yelling “we want sex!”

It was the kind of concert, small and enveloping, where you lose yourself in the music and the general atmosphere and just enjoy what is right in front of you and all around you rather than letting your mind wander. They captured the attention of the crowd in their opening number and didn’t release it until their last.

It was a wonderful night, with music that was one-part dense with very Tumblr-esque lyrics that made you want to run off and get a nautical tattoo (but brilliant, nonetheless) and one-part beats that took you up, up and away.

All in all, the 1975 performing intimately and engagingly to a couple of hundred people beat the hell out of my previous live music experience. Evermore, eat your heart out.

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Panic Attacks (& Other Fun Things!)

(Note: panic attacks are “a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety.”)

For someone like myself who suffers from anxiety in certain situations, distractions are a very helpful tool.

Personally, I very quickly fall into OCD behaviors and have some that I have been doing for year and years, as I said in this post. So I have learnt to use outside distractions rather than too many self-made tools. Someone once told me to recite the alphabet backwards to calm down, which may work for you, but for me almost led me to slip into another habit to dwell on and obsess over.

Anxiety differs from person to person, and I doubt that there are many people who haven’t been touched by it in their lives or in the lives of those around them at some point. In other words, it is very common, but rarely ever the same; like fingerprints.

With people experiencing anxiety in such different ways, there are many different methods of calming down and feeling centered again in the midst of a panic attack or a prolonged feeling of overwhelming stress.

There are the usual tips to help people in this situation:
Breathe deeply (it actually does work — it is very calming and centers people in a situation where they feel like they aren’t tethered down to anything substantial enough to stop feeling so overwhelmed).
Listen to music (again, a foolproof method so long as you choose the right songs for you! Personally, I have a playlist ready for such occasions, with music that either distracts me, calms me or snaps me out of myself through humor or relatable material).
Remove yourself from the stressful environment (seriously, just leave. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about it. Screw social graces. You do what is best for you. If people judge you for that, punch them in the nose. That always does the trick).
Meditate (possibly don’t do this one if the place you are stressing out in is a busy nightclub — I refuse to be responsible for any broken toes or fingers if you take this advice out of context and sit down on the dance floor! This is mostly useful when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed over a prolonged period of time rather than when you are having a panic attack.

For me, and many other people, these really work.
Mostly, you just need to find what works for YOU personally. Whether its watching your favorite TV show, reading a book, singing to yourself, listening to the radio or focusing on your breathing, find an activity or person or action or thought that centers you in a time of crisis.

Listen to your own body. Find the pattern in your panic attacks or feelings of being overwhelmed by stress and lock into the common denominator: then try to avoid that situation, person or feeling.

For me, drinking alcohol excessively (see: getting drunk and falling over) can be a recipe for disaster if it is within a situation that I don’t feel entirely comfortable in. If I am at a party or a gathering with friends that I love and trust and in a place that I know and understand, drinking will do what so many teenagers hope it will do: add up to a good time and an unforgettable night that, ultimately, you forget. But if I drink a lot in a night club where I feel unsafe or harassed, or at a party where I don’t know many people, I begin to feel really stressed out and hyper aware of absolutely everything that is going on around me. I can teeter on that precipice for quite a while until either I snap and have a full blown panic attack or get out of the situation and calm down.

There are also certain people and certain types of people who I can absolutely love and adore but who, in the wrong circumstances, can stress me right out. People who I feel I end up babysitting on nights out and are starting fights or going off and getting lost while drunk can contribute to an all out panic attack.

I have had many panic attacks in my life, big and small. Almost all of them I keep to myself. If you know me, I’m usually a very loud person who over shares and is scared of awkward silences. But at heart I am an introvert, and when I get to the point of panicking, I completely shut out everyone around me. Sometimes people around me can be completely unaware that I am having a panic attack because it can seem like I have just zoned out. My heart can be hammering, hands shaking and breath short and the people around me could be none the wiser.

Most of the time, I can calm myself down. I know how to deal with my own mind and body. And I’ve never really cared enough about what people think to feel like I can’t just get up and leave the night club or party or classroom.

For me, the worst ever panic attack that I have had, where I honestly felt like my heart was going to explode, was at the beginning of this year at my first ever university organised party. It was a huge outdoor rave with a crazy amount of people in a much too small space listening to very loud music, surrounded by very drunk friends while I was stone-cold sober. I had felt increasingly panicked as all my worst situations were colliding: babysitting drunk friends as they dove in and out of the crowd, being in a very constricted space with too many people pressing against me, with music that was loud enough that it felt like my whole body was vibrating. I had tried to break away from one of my friends, telling them that I needed to get out of the area and calm myself down, but being drunk as they were, they were not really listening and instead kept dragging me through the crowd to the very front and center — the exact place I did not want to be. I tried my hardest to leave, but wasn’t able to get away from their grasp. It was the first situation I had been in that I hadn’t been able to get out of the place or away from the person that was freaking me out quickly enough to allow myself time to calm down. Because of this, I absolutely panicked. I wrenched my hand away from my drunk friend (leaving her in the capable hands of another friend I found — I would never leave them to fend for themselves, do not worry!) and fought my way out of the throng of people, outside onto the grass a little while away. I completely broke down. I felt like I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs so I was hyperventilating, and sobbing loud enough to scare away all the people making out around me. I lay down on the grass and could not calm down. As I lay there, a random drunk guy ran up to me trying to kiss my hands as I cried, which freaked me out (and made me sob) even more, which luckily scared him off too. I had been getting progressively more stressed inside the rave, and by the time I got out and into a fully blown panic attack, I had had adrenaline pumping through my veins and my heart beating too fast for a solid amount of time, and was just so tired. Eventually that was what calmed me down — I was too utterly exhausted to go on in the state I was in. I was able to get up and find a cold metal seat to sit on (which was actually perfect for cooling me down) and a great friend who was at the same rave but hanging out in a different area called my phone, could tell I was stressed out, and came and found me. It is ALWAYS good to have nice, understanding people around you in times like that!

Now, I know not to get into those situations anymore.

When I do get too overwhelmed or I can feel myself slipping into panic mode, I listen to certain artists and songs who center me or I go for a walk/ride or listen to the comic stylings of Bo Burnham or rewatch an episode of Freaks and Geeks or drink a lot of water. I do what ever makes me feel better. If you ever find yourself in that situation, find what works for you and do it! You should be your own number one priority in that situation.

I don’t know if this will help anyone who suffers similarly to me or not, but I hope it does.
As for those of you who do not suffer from anxiety in any form but have friends or relatives who do, there are simple ways to make them feel better:
Tell them to breathe deeply
Ask them how you can help them feel better — don’t pressure them
Do not belittle their feelings of stress or anxiousness
If a situation is the cause, help them remove themselves from that situation
Be understanding, not judgmental — sometimes just knowing that someone cares can make all the difference
Panic attacks usually don’t last too long, even though they can feel like they are never going to end. Nine times out of ten (warning: I just made that statistic up. But 67% of all statistics are made up, so who cares?) the person who is in that situation just wants to know that you are there for them and that you care without judgement.

I know I always feel incredibly embarrassed once I’ve gotten over a panic attack. So be a good person, and make whoever you are around feel better about themselves when they go through it.

And for those of you who suffer themselves, do not be embarrassed. It is so common, so understandable and so very okay. Let yourself deal with the situation without the added difficulty of making yourself feel bad about it! Repeat after me: IT IS OKAY TO FEEL OVERWHELMED, OR SCARED, OR PANICKED. I AM ONLY HUMAN. I PEE ON DOGS. Sorry, the power of making you all repeat after me went straight to my head.

But in all seriousness, you are not alone. Don’t forget that.

P.S. Just for curiosity’s sake, these are the songs I listen to to calm down (each for their own reason):

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P.P.S. I always find myself wanting to sign off blog posts with ‘Live long and prosper’. It just seems like the perfect way to sign off. So, just this once… Live long and prosper, goodbye!

The Beauty of Exercise: From the Perspective of an Unfit, Unmotivated Girl

For a good part of my 18 years thus far on this earth, I have been in rigorous training for the life of a coach potato.

Many said I could never do it, that I could never be that lazy and unproductive… but I showed them. Oh, I showed them.

I have never liked exercise more strenuous or involving greater distances than the walk from the couch to the fridge. Nor have I ever felt enthused at the idea of running around an oval, or lifting up heavy objects for the hell of it. I always came last in cross country, even when I tried my very best (which is really no different from my laziest: I’m very unfit). 

If it were possible, I’d be lapped in a hundred metre race. I really would. 

I never understood the people who would encourage me to exercise. To be honest, I thought they were all raving mad. Worse were the people who ate healthily — no chocolate??!? VEGETABLES?!?! What madness is that!

But I’m a changed (wo)man.

Well, I still eat a lot of crappy food, struggle with beans, and get puffed on stairs but I’m in the process of changing, okay! Leave me be!

I actually really enjoy exercising now. I’m still super unfit, so there is no running. Actually, I hate running and I may always hate running, no matter my fitness. It hurts my boobs and I always think that I can feel my brain bouncing around in my skull. Is that a weird thing to think? Maybe I shouldn’t have said it. Well, it’s out there now. (There is a backspace key? What? No one ever told me!)

But I ride much more often now (which makes that expensive bike that I bought then left untouched in the garage for seven months MUCH more worth it) and I love long walks. I’m also getting more active with sports like basketball (which I coach) and soccer (which I play against my two little siblings and my dog… they always win).

For someone who is a very anxious person and who can easily get weighed down by the BS like me, exercise is really beneficial. I find that I can get absolutely lost when I exercise (figuratively and literally — thank god for Apple Maps). I stop worrying and just let it all go. I feel much happier for it, every time.

And that is the great thing about it – every time I don’t feel like going for a walk or a ride (which is the vast majority of the time) I remember how great I felt every other time I send screw it and just went. I’m lucky enough to be very near the ocean and have easy access to a gorgeous bike/walking path that is frequented by many cute guys. So whether its my view of the ocean, or of the guy in front of me (I like beautiful things, what can I say), I always see or experience something that makes me smile. So I never regret going for a walk or ride. 

Seriously though, this is my view:

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I also find that as I walk, I see really lovely things. Whether its a mum teaching her son to ride a bike, or a sweet moment for a couple overlooking the sunset, I always end up feeling warm and fuzzy inside. 

There are two different walking styles for me: long, lovely walks by myself where I just relax and let go, and shorter, hilarious walks with my friend. 

Although the walks I take with my friend are much shorter, they burn as much energy just through the laughter we share. I thoroughly recommend walking with a friend, especially if you don’t really like exercising. For me, it doesn’t even feel like I’m walking because I’m just having fun. In saying this, choose your walking buddy carefully. If you are a speedy gonzales, choose a speedy gonzales friend. If you are slower and more in the mood for a chat, choose a mirrored friend. The lovely girl I walk with is actually much fitter and faster than I am, but she saves her speedy gonzales moments for her own walks and indulges my turtle-like walking. For that, I am eternally grateful. 

My friend that I walk with personifies the other kind of healthy and fit. She is really good at sticking to healthy eating and is much fitter than I am. I have tried to keep up her in the past, with no sugar diets and the like, but I just do not have the will power. But what I have found through being her friend is that everyone does things their own way. Just because she is much better at sticking to the greens than I am, it doesn’t mean that I can’t slowly transform my eating habits, too. 

(SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO THIS FRIEND: Thank you for putting up with my lies when we used to walk in the early mornings, when you would call when I was late and it would wake me up, but I’d say that I was on my way and almost there. You hardly ever made fun of the fact that I was too tired to change out of pyjamas when I finally showed up for the walk, and never commented on my bed hair. Thank you. Thank you kindly.)

On the other hand, if you ever see me walking alone, you will notice me. I really let myself get transfixed by the music in my ears and the sights around me and just the methodic act of walking, and I’ll end up kind of dancing and singing as I go without really realising it. It happens all the time. I also madly smile at lots of people, who all look back at me like I’m a lunatic. 

(SIDE NOTE: Do not be the person who gives ‘the look’. You know which look I’m talking about. It is the look that says, “I’m completely decked out in Lorna Jane gear and you are wearing pyjamas. Embarrassing.” It is the look that says, “How can you be so puffed already! My make up/hair is perfect but you look like road kill.” Don’t do it. I hate it.)

It is my walks alone with only music for company that see me kind of zone out and get lost in time and end up walking much further than I can really walk, and end up sprinting home because it gets dark and I get increasingly more frightened of being kidnapped. I’m clearly not the brightest bulb in the kitchen. Is that even the saying? Are there any other bulbs in the kitchen to compete with? Who knows…

If I exercised for anything more than fun and feeling good, I would be doing a pretty shitty job. Although I could stand to lost a love handle or two (preferably two because what is the purpose of only one love handle? They are a package deal…), I am taking my time.

At the beginning of this year I was feeling particularly down about myself (see: the rut post previously in my blog). I was on a mission to lose weight, and fast. Because I thought that that would magically make me happy. It was driven by my own insecurity as well as friends and family telling me I had put on weight or that I should watch what I eat. (DON’T DO THIS TO PEOPLE. IT’S SHITTY. IT IS NOT AN ACT OF CHARITY. IF THEIR PANTS AREN’T FITTING RIGHT, THEY WILL KNOW IT. THEY DON’T NEED YOU SPELLING IT OUT FOR THEM. ASSHOLE). Being someone without a really healthy relationship with food or exercise, I found myself eating nothing and then binging crazily, or going from no exercise to making myself run until I felt ill. 

Now, exercise isn’t about losing weight to me. If it happens, cool! But I’m pretty happy with my lumps, bumps and curves. I’m just taking it at my own pace and using it to feel good, rather than putting undue pressure on myself. It is the same with eating healthy now, on a side note. I still eat too much Nutella and lean more towards chips than vegetables, but I’m slowly making my diet healthier, without actually dieting.

This is not because dieting is necessarily bad for you, but because I now know what I am like, and what I need to do to implement change in the long term rather than just short periods of it.

Look, exercise may not be your thing. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you may be super fit and healthy and look down on this post greatly. Don’t we all, don’t we all. But this is just my newly formed opinion on exercise from the girl smack-bang in the middle of the spectrum. 

Now, it’s not the idea of the end goal of weight loss that makes me happy, but the process of exercising that does. 

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A Day in the Life of a Relatively Boring Teenager

My blog is still taking form, as I am, and as such I’m still throwing a bunch of different styles of posts into this higgilty piggilty thing.

It has been all doom and gloom and all things important on my blog the last couple of weeks, so I thought that I would show you that I can actually take away the teen angst and passion and just have a good time. It is essentially the majority of my activities as I stumble and bumble my way through life.

My day started at 6am. I would like to remind you that today is a Saturday.

I pity myself.

I coach an under 9s boys basketball team which is about as fun as it sounds. I didn’t take any photos of that because I was too busy pulling my hair out. It is really rewarding as an experience but coaching boys at that age is really just herding crazy cats, and is usually about as much fun as my last dentist appointment.

The boys are on quite a winning streak which I am proud of them for. Somehow they do this despite my erratic coaching and short attention span.

My little sister was still a bundle of energy when we returned home so I took her for a walk to practice her basketball skills. In case you aren’t noticing a pattern, I’m really only good for two things: babysitting and basketball. And I’m not too good at either.

(Excuse me a moment, just putting that little gem in my CV. That is going to get me bundles of jobs).

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Mmm, just look at those moves. I got that basket in by the way. You will just have to take my word on it…

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This is the face of true concentration.

Or constipation.

They are usually one and the same.

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This is how real players play basketball. Don’t question it. No – uh – no – stop. I said don’t question it.

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Basketball skill training quickly gave way to hopscotch, which is just as important in my books.

 

We found a bunch of playground equipment, so this is what ensued:

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My athletic skills did not necessarily meet those of my sister…

After this lovely little morning adventure, I went home and watched a lot of the old Office episodes because I’m living life to the fullest and I definitely DO NOT procrastinate studying. At all. Ever. Nope. Not me. You’ve got the wrong guy.

My lovely friend from down the road came and picked me up in her (cute/adorable) new car and we went to the gorgeous Yelo cafe on the beach which is gorgeous. I had a lovely, fresh smoothie and healthy banana bread that I smothered in butter to cancel out the healthy aspects.

Later, we made our way back to her house in the cold weather where we had a grand old time and I played with her rabbit, who I find equally adorable and terrifying.

(I have a strong fear that the rabbit will suddenly plunge its teeth into my cheek).

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(Look at the fear in my eyes).

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(I am hoping that none of you have foot fetishes).

I finished the day with a dinner at a Chinese restaurant with the family, which I wore this to:

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My style is somewhere between Hippie-Chic and I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit. It’s leaning more and more towards the latter.

There really is no purpose to this post except to show you that I do sometimes do things in life other than moan about things on a blog.

I also moan about things in real life.

Also, I forget the vast majority of my life so doing something like this may be helpful. Thus, you may see this a little more often.

 

 

Why I Can’t Understand People Who Say They Aren’t Feminists

I am writing this on a public bus with enough vigor to arouse the attention of the man behind me, who just read the title of my page and outwardly snorted. I hope he is still reading what I’m writing, the nosey parker. Nice shirt, mate. It really accentuates your bald patch.

Ignorance breeds ignorance. It is an endless cycle. 

In no way is this cycle of ignorance in society more apparent than in the general fear and dislike of the concept of feminism and people who call themselves feminists. Even the word itself has such ugly connotations of hating men or being stuck up and difficult.

I am stuck up and difficult but that has nothing to do with me identifying as a feminist. It’s more to do with my ‘resting bitch’ face and general awkwardness. 

Feminism is not what many people think it is. Feminism is something that all ‘good’ people should support. No exceptions.

Why? Because feminism is not about hating men. It is not about wanting to rule the world in a giant female girl band. It is not about reversing the patriarchy and putting Beyonce in charge as the undisputed Queen of the World (although, now that I think about it, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea…).

It is about equality. 

To say that you are not a feminist or that you do not support the feminist movement is a subtle nod to misogyny. To stand away from the concept is to leave the gender imbalance in place and continue to allow women to be abused, objectified and victimised. 

A major reason that people do try to avoid being linked to the word ‘feminism’ is that it has become a ‘dirty’ word. No, not like butts and balls and boobies, or even like mud and grime and mould. It has become dirty in its connotations. It has lost its meaning in the abuse of the term by many people who don’t support the movement and by a small group within the feminist movement who really do embody the connotations the word now has. People don’t want to be seen as being part of it. 

To say that you are a feminist seems to invite people to roll their eyes at you, to patronise you or, in extreme cases, to call you a bitch or a ‘feminazi’ or even threaten you. 

Just a quick public service announcement to the people who do roll their eyes, patronise, insult and threaten people for their feminist views: fuck you. 

(Quick little detour from the road to a feminist education: I absolutely HATE the term ‘Feminazi’. Are you likening the movement for equality in all areas of society for all genders to the oppressive Nazi regime? Are you really doing that? Are you saying that a person saying that they support gender equality and equal rights is akin to the psychopath Adolf Hitler? Are you kidding me?)

A dislike of feminism is, in the most part, due to a complete ignorance born from a societal lack of education on what it really means to BE a feminist. 

A lot (though, of course, not all) of guys view feminism and feminists themselves with disdain and negativity because they don’t understand the concept behind it. They think that to invoke feminism is to say that all men suck and all women are saints.

Take, for example, this recent video on how the treatment of abuse differs depending on the gender of the perpetrator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3PgH86OyEM

Reading the comments of this video, you see how misinformed people are with feminism.

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Feminism isn’t about throwing men under the metaphorical bus and calling them all bad guys. It also isn’t about saying that women are all saints who can do no wrong.

Feminism is about fighting for equality between sexes — not replacing the current patriarchy with a matriarchy.

Feminists are not ignorant. They do not think that all women can do no wrong and all men do nothing but. Rather, they are fighting for equality and do so from the perspective of the oppressed in a patriarchal society.

Feminists are fighting particularly against the gender roles in society. The very same gender roles that can entrap men as well.

They are not saying men are evil. They are saying that the society we are part of needs to change.

I understand that domestic violence is a horrible issue – but it is one that is less about gender and more about helping the victims and stopping the persecutors, regardless of their gender.

The views about feminism expressed my these commenters, and held by many more people, are straight up BS. To say that you don’t support feminism is to say that you think women should not have the same rights as men — it is to say that they should be second-class citizens and the ‘second sex’. I think, or at least hope, that a majority of society does not agree with this. I think that if more men understood feminism then there wouldn’t be such horrible connotations associated with the word. And the women and men fighting for the cause would not experience such backlash.

The lack of understanding of feminism as a concept can account for many of the women who shy away from the term as well. When asked if they consider themselves feminists, a lot of women say that they aren’t because they “love men.”

Wait, what?

WHAT?

As feminism is a cause for bettering those very womens’ lives, I struggle with the idea that they have not explored it enough to realise that that is really not what feminism is about.

Feminists do not hate men.

I repeat: Feminists. Do. Not. Hate. Men.

This kind of mislabelling of feminism is much more detrimental to the cause when it is done by people with a social platform that allows them to be heard by a great number of people. For example, the actress Shailene Woodley recently said this exact thing. This kind of sentiment leads to young girls growing up saying that they, too, don’t believe in feminism (the fight for equality) because they love men.

Real feminists (those who follow the core ideals of feminism) want equality and therefore their work does not get in the way of them loving men. In fact, it is helped by it.

Although there are a lot of people who do not support feminism due to their lack of education on the real purpose behind it, there are a whole bunch (yes, this is a highly scientific term) of people who do not support it because they simply do not want equality.

There are people who truly hate women, as seen by the mind-boggling sympathy and support for Elliot Rodger by some, who truly hate women, or at least see them as beneath men in their ‘role’ as a sexual object. They see women as something for them to possess, to own and to control. They simultaneously over-sexualise women from a young age and despise and blame women for the sexuality.

On a local level, it translates to emotional and physical abuse in the domestic home, or sexually predatory behaviour and intimidation in public.

Many people say that feminism is not necessary any more — that, in our current society, we have reached the perfect pinnacle of equality.

To those people I say get your head out of your — sorry, I meant that to those people I say educate yourself.
Do not operate from male privilege or the privilege awarded to you by your socioeconomic position in life (because feminism is most needed in underdeveloped countries where women do not have access to education or a semblance of free will in some cases).
Read the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter.
Read the stories of everyday girls being assaulted, raped or intimidated with no consequences for the male perpetrators. (And, no, I’m not going to say the classic: “Imagine if that was your daughter/wife/mother/sister.” Because you shouldn’t have to imagine someone you know going through this to see its injustice.)
Ask yourself if you think that it is okay that rape victims are vilified because of what they were wearing when the assault took place.
Investigate the wage gap.
Read this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/nico-lang/2012/12/why-we-need-feminism/

The relative oppression of women is not only evident in such obvious ways but also in smaller ones — it can be seen in the derogatory terms with which some men refer to women (“piece of ass” or “bitch” or “slut”).

It can also be seen when guys say one of the most ignorant things in the entire world — that feminism is an excuse to hit women. Yep. That is a real thing.

There was a bunch of guys in my high school who would belittle us and then if we said anything about treating us equally, they would say, “Equal rights means that guys can punch girls, too.”

How about no one punches anyone, dumbass?

Newsflash: you are just twats.

If all you think of with the issue of equality is being allowed to hit women then you have some deep issues. Like, real deep. Like, Mariana Trench deep.

In this bunch of guys, I’m sure that not all of them had such prominent inferiority complexes that they were just bursting to be able to hit women, but they all conformed to what they saw as the norm. It is a common problem in guys particularly. They see their mates talking derogatorily about women and they are too scared to speak out against it.

Whilst I urge them not to fall prey to this form of societal peer pressure, I understand why it happens. What I don’t understand is when the same thing happens in groups of girls.

They call each other sluts and bitches and degrade and dehumanise each other in this way. By doing this to each other, it makes guys think that it is okay to do it to girls as well. Really, it’s not okay for ANYONE to do it.

These girls are often the ones who make fun of the idea of feminism.

But you need to understand — it is a cause fighting for YOU. To go against it is a tad ridiculous.

Whilst you as a reader may not agree with me, this is how I see feminism and, although nervous about voicing this opinion, I steadfastly believe that equality for all genders is important. In Australia, we should not have a man known for saying misogynistic things as the minister for women. We shouldn’t have any man as the minister for women. Even my 10 year old sister picked up on that. Come on, guys.

Educate yourself on feminism.

Stop treating it as a dirty word.

Fight for equality.

Eat mud pies.

(Just thought I’d see how far I could push it with the short, sharp sentences. Mmm, so catchy and effective).

‘Nice Guys’ Finish Last: A BS Mindset

(This blog post is not about guys who are genuinely nice – which there are a lot of! It is about the minority — self-proclaimed nice guys who feel entitled to women)

Over the weekend there was another tragic shooting massacre in America, this time allegedly committed by a 22 year old on other young people at his college because he felt that they shouldn’t be happy when he wasn’t.

I pity the families of those who lost their lives, and the victims themselves for having their potential cut short for someone else’s problems. 

There are a lot of complex issues embroiled in this one horrible incident.

Firstly, the gun laws in America need to change. Yes, I know it’s extremely hard with their rigid constitution and the cemented interpretation of the right to bear arms, but how many more people need to die before the politicians, the NRA and the general voting populace realize it is time to make a change? I hope that the answer to that question is zero. Losing your child in such a horrific way is something that no more parents should have to live through.

Secondly, the alleged shooter had apparently been diagnosed with asperges and was being treated by psychiatrists, but was not taking the medication prescribed to him. There needs to be more support and accountability mechanisms for people with mental illnesses of this sort. 

But the issue that I want to talk about is the messed up mindset that a worryingly large amount of people share with the perpetrator of this crime — that they are nice guys who deserve love and sex from women. 

To feel as if you deserve the affections of someone is to take away their power of choice and assume a position of superior authority. 

To feel as if you deserve the sex of women because you are a ‘nice guy’ and if they don’t give it to you then they are ‘sluts’ is to be a misogynist and just a generally crappy human being.

Chances are that if you think you’re a nice guy and consequently deserve a woman, and that they are stupid and ‘all the same’ for going for ‘douchebags’, then you’re not actually a nice guy at all. You’re actually a twat.

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This ‘nice guy’ mindset is such an unhealthy mindset, not least of all because it is comes from a highly misogynistic place. 

‘Nice guys’ are not entitled to a girl’s heart or body just because they don’t make her feel bad about herself.

Some men (not, by far, all) cannot handle rejection from women because they are brought up thinking that they are god’s gift to women, and that they deserve women. When this does not square with reality, they can go pretty mental. Cue: guy shoots girl for rejecting his prom proposal. 

The really scary thing is that you see it all the time on a local level. It happens to girls all the time when they are out at night at clubs, or just walking down the street. 

When a friend and I walk along the long road next to the beach near our houses, we are beeped at and yelled at by guys in cars as they drive past. They objectify women and make them feel threatened. You may laugh it off or see it as a compliment, but to me it is offensive and it really stresses me out. When I’m walking down the street and a guy slows down next to me to whistle appreciatively or try to strike up a conversation with sexist terms, I feel threatened. My heart beats fast, I have adrenaline pumping through me, my mind is hyper alert. Why? Because they have incited my ‘fight or flight’ reflex. They have me scared. Because while 9/10 guys will see your disinterest in them and speed off, there is a chance I will come face to face with that one in ten guy – the one who follows me, whose advances go from sexual to mean, to calling me a “bitch” or threatening me. It happens to more people and more often then you probably think.

At clubs, guys feel as if by paying for a drink or talking to a girl then their ‘nice’ actions should be rewarded. That is not being a nice guy. Doing something nice for someone in the expectation that you will receive something back isn’t right. 

On my first night out with a friend of mine, we were enjoying catching up whilst sitting in a quiet corner of a bar with a drink each. Two guys, both older than us, proceeded to interrupt this conversation and sit with us. I am fine with that — I’m open to meeting new people. But these guys continued to buy us drinks and act as if they were entitled to our affection and attention because of it. When my friend and I said that we were going to leave, they decided to follow us. When we tried to say goodbye, they tried to link arms with us and physically keep us with them. As if that kind of behavior is going to make us have a sudden epiphany that these are the guys we want to be with. Eventually we were lucky enough to be overheard stressing about how to ditch these guys in the bathroom by one of the owners/workers of the bar we were in. She was just as creeped out as we were, and let us hang out on the DJ’s stage with her to avoid being near those guys. This didn’t stop them from sitting in the booths in front of the stage and taking photos of us. 

It worries me that this is ‘normal’. It worries me that almost every girl who has gone for a night out with a friend has had similar experiences. It worries me that guys feel entitled to the attention of girls, no matter how the girl may feel about them. 

It is a mindset born of misogyny and bred by a society that deals out the idea that girls are sluts if they wear certain clothes, or are ‘asking for it’ (‘it’ being sexual advances, wanted or not) if they show certain behaviors. 

More often than not, the rejection of guys by women leads to a sudden switch from “Why don’t women want to date nice guys like me?” to “Women are bitches and sluts and they all go for the wrong guys. I hate them.” 

Does it happen because of rejection? No. It’s there, underneath a ‘nice’ facade the whole time. 

The very idea that being a nice human being (which should just be a given) entitles you to women is unbelievably sexist and ignorant.

This is not how life works:

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It is an idea that is closely linked to the idea of the ‘friendzone’ which operates under the same principle — ‘nice guys’ are treated as friends by girls while they go off and date ‘douchebags’. 

It’s complete BS. If you are nice to someone and they don’t see you as a potential partner, but do want to be friends with you, then that is great. You’ve made a new friend, well done. 

“The friendzone is somewhere men put themselves when they use the pretense of friendship to try and get laid.”

If a girl dates a guy who isn’t you, it isn’t because you’re a ‘nice guy’. It’s probably because you spend so much time thinking you’re a nice guy when you spout thinly-veiled misogynistic ‘compliments’ that the girls decide to just go for someone who isn’t basing their opinions on girls on such ridiculously outdated ideas of femininity, ‘purity’ and chastity.  I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably the douchebag.

‘Nice guy’ entitlement is thinking that they are the victims of women’s “irrationality or cruelty” rather than realising that they just aren’t that nice of a guy.

You may not think that this is common. And I am not, by any means, saying that all guys, or even most guys, are like this. It’s a minority, but a vocal one. 

In response to the last YouTube video the alleged killer made which spoke about how his rejection by women meant that they deserve to die, a whole bunch of people actually supported his sentiments:

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What?

WHAT? 

This kind of ridiculous feeling is absolutely supported in society.

Our society leads people to ask “what was she wearing?” when they hear a girl was raped.  As if it is her fault. As if her sexuality is a dangerous thing. As if guys just couldn’t help themselves because she was dressed ‘provocatively’.

Our society makes female sexuality such a convoluted concept (virgins are these crazy untouchable ‘pure things’ but simultaneously frigid, and any girl who has been sexually active is a slut) that it leads some people to think that sex is owed to them. 

So take off your fedoras and look in a mirror, ‘nice guys’. NOTHING is owed to you. 

I recommend you get out of this BS mindset before you go down the same tragic path as the alleged killer did. 

P.S. Just because girls say “You’re such a nice guy and all, but…” when they reject you, it doesn’t mean you’re actually a really nice guy. She’s just letting you down easy, buddy. Wake up and smell the roses.

P.P.S. Apparently rather than stricter gun laws, help for those with mental illnesses or a change in societal mindset, legalising prostitution would have solved all issues:

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I can’t. I just can’t.

P.P.P.S. Please read both of these:

http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/dont-want-write-santa-barbara-shooter/

http://www.hannahettinger.com/fuck-the-patriarchy-guest-post-by-clare/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sophia-herbst/dress-coded-an-education-_b_5342040.html

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I Know You Secretly Dream Weird Things and That is Why I Love You

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Last night, I had a dream. No, I’m not Martin Luther King, Jr. Easy mistake to make. I’m just a girl who dreams of ridiculous things that stress her out despite the very real fact that dreams are not, in fact, real at all. 

My dreams are much simpler, and much less inspirational than Martin’s. Yep, that felt wrong as soon as I wrote it. We are not on a first name basis.

We are actually on a nickname basis. Ol’ Marty and EmDasherooni.

I’m going to stop now. Please don’t punch me.

When I have ridiculous dreams, I tend to wake up in the wee hours of the morning (called so because I wake up to do just that) and write them down quickly on the notes application on my phone. Why? Because they are utterly ridiculous and surprisingly complex. Except the ones that just consist of Anton Yelchin falling in love with me. Those are not complex. But, boy, are they great. 

From dreams of zombie apocalypses and WWIII to dreams of public humiliation or intense fights with George W. Bush, I dream some very odd dreams. And they are very fun to read back when I wake up after inevitably hitting the pillow hard after my momentary wakeful moment.

Last night my dream revolved around me making an acceptance speech at the Oscars. I woke up in a cold sweat from it, so apparently this is something my subconscious is very concerned about. Who knew? I don’t have the heart to tell it that I have no talent in the arts and will never get to the Oscars. I just let it keep on dreaming.

During my acceptance speech, I was trying out the obvious choice materials for the thank yous, because nothing annoys me more than listening to acceptance speeches with vague names that mean nothing to me — I’m sorry Bob who did lighting on that movie I never watched but I just couldn’t care less about you. 

I was running off the good ones:

“Thank you to my feet for carrying me here.”

“Thank you to my back for always supporting me.”

“Thank you to my computer for being my best friend and warming my tummy up when it’s cold.”

“Thank you to my brief career at KFC for making me realise that I want bigger and better things in the world. And for turning me off chicken.”

“Most of all, thanks to me, because I’m clearly better than all of you. Seriously, Jennifer Lawrence, eat your heart out. Your stupid, cute, quirky heart out.”

But no one was laughing. In fact, people started boo-ing. And there was Jennifer Lawrence in all her quirky awesomeness standing on top of a table doing the chicken dance. And apparently, that is the height of comedy.

I don’t know when I developed this weird hatred/competitiveness with JLaw, but it’s apparently there in my subconscious, ticking away with ferocity.

I woke up genuinely so mad and sad. 

Because when I wake up from dreams, for a little while I forget that that isn’t my life.

Sometimes, it takes ages for it to dawn on me.

In high school, there were multiple occasions where I would avoid someone all day because I couldn’t believe they had said such horrible things about me. Though, of course, they hadn’t. It was my way overactive subconscious.

I actually recently made a video about my very odd dreams, which you can see here if it so suits you:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8MyLK87tRs&list=UUO6w6TCnt8sV3aetmruuQHg

 

Other than that weird Ellen Degeneres dream that I suppose I should have seen coming considering how much of her show I watch, that video also highlights the scary Titanic-ish recurring dream I had in year four. A dream that saw me kill and eat my sister… for her own good. I don’t know, that’s pretty messed up. My dreams are a place where very odd things thrive.

Here are a couple of highlights from my iPhone notes app (written in the middle of the night on an iPhone so excuse the mistakes):

There are the simple ones, like 29/08/2013: “I had a dream that Britney Spears and Paul Rudd were married and they were trying to find sponsors to start their juice company.” 

And 16/01/2014: “I had a dream that I was a politician but also a secretary and I was in this huge building and there was a little girl who kept changing all the spelling of my signs and then pointing out the mistakes to people but no one knew she was existed because she was so quick that only I saw her, so then they thought I just couldn’t spell and laughed me out of office.”

And 25/08/2012: “I ran into Sam and his family at a holiday detonation* and we were flirting and talking and scuba diving and looking at sea snakes until his dad was eaten by a shark and it was cool.”

*I’m guessing I meant destination.

And then there are the more complicated ones, which I think continue to grow in my weird semi-conscious imagination as I write them bleary-eyed at 2am. 

Like 21/09/2013: “I was staying at my friend’s house and I had a tiny puppy and two tiny kittens, one called Black and one called Snow and I could understand them. Then all these people came over and someone had a dog with a socket on a headband and you could put eyes on it. I don’t know why. And then I kept losing my animals so I went down to their backyard and they had heaps of hidden animals including a lion and the lion was charging at the bars and he escaped and chased me and it was petrifying and then Mike from the show Suits came and saved me with his girlfriend. Then his girlfriend took me out for tea and she had to leave and so Mike came and we started flirting and he was Laura’s brother and she was encouraging me to marry him so we could be sisters but then I felt really bad so I ran off into a sofa factory and everyone started yelling at me. It was not very relaxing.”

And this one: 16/10/2012: “There had been a war, mostly based on beach front, and during that war this crazy old lady decided to take advantage of the circumstances and kidnap me and these two kids and this other guy (may have been named Jason, I can’t remember). She hardly ever fed us and we were pretty much dying. Then as the war was ending, we heard a knock at the door. There was this shirtless old Indian man and he got off a boat and found us and saved us. But the old woman ran away. We all knew that the end of the war was still dangerous, so we wanted to escape from the house. Jason decided to be a hero and stay there to protect Ollivander, who was dying there in captivity.* Then James and Hillary were there because me and the old man ran into them on the beach. Instead of battle ships, there was a freak storm. James died pretty much straight away. Then Hillary and I found a piece of wall to cling onto. We stayed there for hours. Then Hillary died. Finally the war ended and the Indian man found me. He said “follow me” so I did. He led me to a room filled with all kinds of domestic birds. He said “these are your people. You will not want of food and water as you are with your people.” And so I lived out my days surrounded by birds, sheltered from the outside world.”

*Clearly I had just been watching/reading Harry Potter.

I know I’m not the only one who has these weird dreams. That’s what I love about people — no matter how powerful or scary or amazing they are, I know for sure that they dream some weird ass shit at night. And that is comforting. 

There is really no purpose to this blog post, except to say that I know you secretly dream of naked mud wrestling against the powerhouse duo of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I just wanted you to know that I know your secrets there.

No matter how serious life gets, your subconscious is a beautiful, scary, ridiculous place. And that is really awesome.

P.S. I wrote ‘dream’ too many times and now it doesn’t feel like a word anymore.

Why I’m Struggling With University

It’s hard to admit that you don’t enjoy an establishment that is marketed as a validation of your intelligence, and the only ticket to a good life.

To me, university was always built up to be this amazing experience that would enrich my learning.

The truth of the matter is that I’m not enjoying it. And it really is freeing to admit that.

I looked on it not only as a further fundamental step in my education, but as a whole new life. No wonder it has not met my absurdly high expectations.

I do love my university as a place — it is absolutely gorgeous. The University of Western Australia has beautiful grounds, amazing buildings and little niche spots that you only find by being here. Out of all the universities in WA that I looked at, it was the only one that inspired me. And it still does, to be fair. But not in a way that makes me want to study… It inspires me to write mostly. I have a notebook that I carry around and scribble in like a raving lunatic, and that’s lovely, but it certainly doesn’t lead to passing grades.

I have been thinking about why I’m not enjoying university, and I think it comes down to a lot of things.

Firstly, it is described to us when we are younger as an essential step in reaching our full potential in life. We are made to feel that we need to go to university and study something just to prove our worthiness or our own intelligence. For me, that led to me jumping head first into a course that I don’t particularly enjoy.

I wanted to become a teacher, but once my ATAR came back as higher than anyone expected for me (because for the amount of work I did and for how much care I put into my work, my ATAR should have been half what I got) people around me pressured me to change my mind to something seen as more important by society. Law, for example.

I don’t know if you know me very well, but I would not suit law in the slightest. I also would not suit psychology, which was also suggested to me.

I don’t like the idea that your achievement or the importance of your contribution to the world is directly equivalent to your wage, or how hard your university degree was.

In the end, I settled for a double major in Politics and International Relations/Communications and Media. To be honest, I’m not really enjoying it. I dread class, rather than look forward to it. And as much as people say that you can change courses as much as you like in your first year, $3000 is a lot of money to waste in just one semester.

When I picture myself in the future, I don’t see any particular career standing out to me. I don’t want a life based on a black and white career. I want to travel and be happy and do something I love, not for money but just because I want to. I think that is why I make YouTube videos and blog posts – because in some way I hope that that could end up being my future. Impossible goals, I know.

Another reason I think I’m struggling is because I was one of the many people who grew up thinking that they were special, and oh-so intelligent – because that’s what people told me as a child! To be suddenly thrust into the position of being the teeny tiny fish in a big ocean is petrifying! It’s really set me back a bit, which may sound absolutely ridiculous and privileged but it’s still how I feel.

Thirdly, I never studied or worked much during school and I was lucky that this didn’t affect me at all really. I read through the textbook before an exam and could remember most, and BS the rest…. and I ended up doing pretty well when I graduated. I got an ATAR score of 93.5 which isn’t amazing but it is more than I deserved with the amount of work I put in. (For those not in WA, an ATAR of 93.5 means that I scored in the top 6.5% of the state). Because of this, I never learned my lesson. I never had that ‘oh crap’ moment where you realise that you can’t just skate by in life without putting work in. So, I have no study skills whatsoever.

Linking in with this is the fact that I am the self-appointed queen of procrastination. I can waste a week staring at the walls rather than get down to study… so I’m being left behind at uni (entirely my own fault, I know!).

As well as the study, university has a big aspect of partying. I’m not a homebody, but I definitely don’t enjoy parties. As someone with anxiety, they make me very nervous, especially if the people I’m with are all drunk. I have only been to one party that I genuinely enjoyed. All of the others have made me nervous. At university, parties are on a much bigger scale. A rave I went to with a bunch of friends was so hectic that I had a panic attack (which is very rare for me). And that’s just a crappy feeling that I don’t want to have. I’m lucky that I had one lovely friend who came and looked after me!

Ultimately, it’s hard to fully invest myself into university because deep down I know it’s not really what I want to be doing. I want to be travelling, and enjoying my life, because I don’t want to die only knowing education from within four walls – I want to learn from the real world, and I want to be helping people and making a difference in others’ lives. I don’t feel like I’m doing that where I am.

I don’t know what I will end up doing. I may drop out, or defer, or just suck it up and finish the course. I don’t know.

But I know that what I need to do is do what makes me happy. It’s the time to kind of say to hell with what other people want me to do with my life, because I know that they mean the best, but I’m the only one who can decide for me.

P.S. I am not unhappy or anything – I don’t enjoy university, but I’m still doing fine in life, this is just me venting, rather than me breaking down!

I’m an Adult?

So, I turned 18. I’m an adult now. That happened.

As of yet, I feel no difference. I don’t feel any older, I’m not having nightmares about taxes and I haven’t told anyone to “turn that infernal racket down!” yet.

But it’s only a matter of time.

My actual birthday was nice — a relatively chilled girls’ night to reinforce every coming of age movie ever.

I had my first legal drink, ate far too much pavlova and skipped my university classes for the day. So I’ve pretty much set the tone for the rest of my adult life.

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But I really think that I need to talk to whoever is in charge around here. I really think there has been some mistake. I’m not ready to be an adult.

I called my favorite year 12 teacher my “school mum” to her face for an entire year. I think she’s scared of me.

I can’t cook anything beyond toast or 2 minute noodle difficulty level.

I don’t understand simple maths.

I zone out mid-conversation and just nod along as someone talks.

I laugh at butt jokes.

I still have real dreams of being an astronaut (despite the fact that I am afraid of heights & small places and have never trained for space).

I have the coordination of a newborn giraffe.

And to top it all off, as people gathered around to sing happy birthday to me last night as I sat in front of my cake, I accidentally lit my hair on fire. Yep. That’s right. Brushed my hair past the candles and lost some split ends.. and some dignity. Luckily I had a quick-thinking friend who rushed over to put the fire out and brushed away the sooty remnants of hair. I hadn’t even noticed anything was wrong – as everyone gaped at me in horror, I smiled away like the bumbling fool I proved to be.

I’m not ready to be an adult!

I don’t have the maturity nor the brains. First it was my hair – who knows what I’ll put on fire next? A baby? A house? Probably not. But there’s always the chance, and I can be tried as an adult now!

I don’t understand taxes, or houses, or life. I don’t know how to cook, or clean or pay attention. I zone out 90% of my life.

I am really not ready to be an adult.

When did I go from this

Image

to attending university? I still have the mental maturity I did in that picture, and I would love to be dressed the same now.

Time flies (much faster than the bird that just catapulted itself into our window and died. That was one way to cure writers’ block. R.I.P. little bird. I didn’t know you long and you may have been the worst flier the world has ever seen, but you lived life to the full. Probably.)

I don’t think that anyone is going to take me back to childhood, where I arguably belong. I think I’m going to have to age and accept that I am an adult.

But a girl can dream, can’t she?