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.

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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

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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?

New Hair, New Me?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when girls break up with someone, they often change their hair to signify a difference in their life. 

We’ve all done it. 

Whether it’s to get back at them by saying, “Look how bloody good I look, you idiot!” or just to make a symbolic gesture to yourself and the world around you that you’re moving on, it’s often just as therapeutic as crying whilst force feeding yourself ice cream.

Trust me, I’ve done it many times:

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It’s a visual signifier of something new — of letting go of the past.

I’ve yet again changed my hair, going blonder this time.

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But I haven’t broken up with someone. Well, no one except myself.

I think people can hate aspects of their personality and assume that they are impossible to change. In reality, people can ‘kill’ parts of themselves that they don’t like rather than having such an intense dislike of themselves that they can cause harm to themselves.

I don’t like that my temper can be too much for me to handle, but I do like that it takes a lot for me to get angry. I can learn to control my temper when it does rear its head, but I can hold onto the ability to withstand a lot before I get to a point of anger.

I don’t like that I become a version of myself that I don’t like when I stoop to others’ levels. I don’t like that I let my anxiety rule my social life. I don’t like that I don’t have the wherewithal to rid myself of negative people in my life.

But I can change those things. I can reinvent myself by holding onto the good qualities I have and trying to get rid of the ones I don’t like. We are not static people – we are forever changing. It’s about embracing that change.

To do this, you need to be able to appreciate the many amazing qualities that you have, and surround yourself with people that bring positivity to your life.

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Every person is unique and wonderful in their own way.

You have so many gifts that the world needs. So don’t lose yourself in self doubt or self hatred. If there is something about you or about your life that makes you unhappy — change it! 

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Ultimately, it’s up to you. You know what’s best for you. That’s important. If you dislike something about yourself then change it. But if someone else doesn’t like something about you, screw them. Take a leaf out of Kanye’s book (only one leaf — don’t hook up with Kim K) and have some confidence! Though maybe not as much confidence as he has…

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Be equal parts Kanye and Patrick, that’s the secret to life.

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This is a bit of a convoluted post but the message is this: Surround yourself with good people, and make sure YOU are one of those good people.

Be happy. There is always a solution and a way out.

My Go To Books

I have the attention span of a gnat. I love TV shows and movies but I really struggle to stay engaged with them. I do have a few that I really enjoy, but it is a rare occurrence if I don’t skip parts of the movie. To be fair though, that also boils down to the fact I’m scared of absolutely everything and prefer to just skip any and all parts that are suspenseful or in any way frightening. Yes, I miss out on huge chunks of the storyline, but I don’t lie awake all night making faces with the coats hanging up in my room.

The only thing that has been able to hold my attention and give me an escape that others get in movies is books.

Consequently, books have always played a huge role in my life.

More than in people or events, I have found solace in books. I find that I can give myself over to any book, irregardless of genre, so long as it is written well and hooked me.

While I love a good love story, I’m very much a reader who looks for something deeper, some kind of meaning that makes me question my beliefs or passions.

I’m the kind of impressionable person that watches a British TV show and gets the accent for a day, or watches Gossip Girl and becomes very secretive and manipulative for an hour or so. Books are no exception to this. A good book can enrapture me to a point where I think about it for days, weeks, years to come.

I’ve read many a crappy book in my time. But I have the upside of my problem with spending way too much money on books – I have also read a lot of books that I have loved, and some that have stuck with me and irreversibly changed me, whether in small ways or otherwise.

I am forever thankful to some authors for the little worlds they have created that have become a smaller part of my bigger world.

Books have given me my yearning for travel, my self confidence, my intellect (or there lack of, it would sometimes appear) and my love for words. I hope some day that I could be that author for someone else, but my god it is hard to finish something once you start it.

The amount of 10,000 word novel beginnings on my computer make me quite sad — I can never seem to get very much further. But the belief in the power of words that good books have harvested in me stokes my determination to try and try again.

Books are a very subjective thing, but for those of you who may have a similar taste as me, here are some of my recommendations:

(I have many other books that I adore so so much – Harry Potter, LOTR, etc. etc, but these are ones that emotionally affected me and were perhaps lesser known. Because, really, who needs to be told to read Harry Potter? Nutty people, that’s who).

My childhood was very much affected by three books, all of which gave me different lessons and perspectives on things:

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Lemony Snicket was my first introduction to the world of sarcasm, ridiculousness and hilariousness. Of course, there is a lot of death and sympathising with the poor orphaned children, but there is also a lot of laughter (from me).

(Special mention to his heart-wrenching but oddly amusing dedications of the book to his departed lover:
“To Beatrice — darling, dearest, dead.”
“For Beatrice— My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not.”
“For Beatrice —My love flew like a butterfly. Until death swooped down like a bat. As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said:”That’s the end of that”.”
“For Beatrice — When we met, my life began. Soon afterward, yours ended.”
“For Beatrice — Summer without you is cold like winter \ Winter without you is even colder.”
“For Beatrice — Our love broke my heart\and stopped yours testing.”
“For Beatrice — You will always be in my heart, in my memory\ and in your grave”
“For Beatrice—When we met, you were pretty, and I was lonely\Now, I am pretty lonely.”
“For Beatrice — Dead women tell no tales\Sad men write them down.”
“For Beatrice—No one could extinguish my love\Or your house.”
“For Beatrice — I cherished, you perished \The world’s been nightmarished.”)

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“Voices and faces aren’t manifestations of good or bad.”
Fairest means a lot to me. As a girl who felt quite down about her height and her skin, a princess book highlighting the importance of talent and kindness over looks was an amazing thing to have. I can’t count how many times i have read this book (it is very well worn). This is a pretty big commendation from someone who barely ever read princess-y things. The author, Gail Carson Levine, has written many princess books, not least of all Ella Enchanted, which is a gorgeous book about the importance of believing in yourself and having determination to live by your own standards rather than anyone else’s. If I could meet Ms. Levine, I would wholeheartedly thank her. This book honestly gave me so much confidence in myself. It is an amazing thing to open up the opportunity to a young girl to believe in the importance of what is inside rather than on the outside. It is something easily forgotten in a society such as ours.

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“Through my curtains I can see a big yellow moon. I’m thinking of all the people in the world who will be looking at that same moon. I wonder how many of them haven’t got any eyebrows?”
The Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging series by Louise Rennison is a must-read. Full stop, end of story. It not only teaches younger girls about the importance of friendship, but made me almost wet myself laughing and cringe outwardly at the awkwardness of Georgia’s life. I still turn to these books to make me smile when I’m in a bad mood or just a mood for some simple, funny reading.

With a special mention to:

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Ha, ha, ha, ha! Boom! Boom!”
You don’t need a reason for Basil. No one ever needs a reason for Basil.

Some books that have had a lasting impact in the more recent years of my life:

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“We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.”
This book is absolutely gorgeous. It was written by an ageing lady who didn’t live to see it published (it was finished by her niece, Annie). It is such a wonderful depiction of love, the importance of being where you should be in life, the effects of war and the importance of books in grieving and learning to live again. The book follows a witty, clever author named Juliet who rediscovers what is important in life in the after effects of war, on a Channel Island called Guernsey. I won’t give too much away because I REALLY think that you should real this beautiful book, but it also offers a very different kind of love interest. It is wonderfully written — so much so that it somehow makes you dearly miss a character you never even get to meet (oops, spoilers, I’m sorry — it’s tricky trying to convince someone to read a book without giving anything away). Just… read it. Okay? Okay.

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“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” 
Most young people have read this book or at least watched the movie, I’m sure. Even if the guys just watched the film for Emma Watson. This won’t be news to you, but the Perks of Being a Wallflower is an amazing book. It allows people to see life from a very different perspective. For me, Charlie is a reminder to live more simply and to love harder. He has a lot of pressing problems in his life, but he is selfless in his need to ensure the happiness and safety of his friends and family. It’s an amazing feet to comment on mental issues such as depression without ever really commenting on them. An amazing book.

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“It’s far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.” 
“In a country that doesn’t discriminate between fame and infamy, the latter presents itself as plainly more achievable.” 
This book…This book. It messed me up. It’ll mess you up. It’ll mess the world up. But my god, it is a brilliant, brilliant book. It’s not something to be read with a light heart. It is a deep, frightening look into the relationship between child and mother and more importantly the result of a flaw in that connection. It looks at who is to blame, and how life goes on after a life-stopping event. It is so beautifully written. It will build you up and tear you down and ultimately make you think. Any book that can do that is a hit in my mind. Much like the book Room (by Emma Donoghue), which I also love, it is a startling look into an aspect of life not usually ventured into. You don’t often think of the emotional effects of a school shooting on the shooter or their family. This book has stayed with me thus far, and probably always will. It is emotionally draining but also an absolutely riveting read.

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“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” 
I’m certain you’ve heard of this book, or at least the author. Although I quibble with the pretentiousness of the characters and Green’s obsession with making an idealised version of his teenaged self and his inevitable chase of manic-pixie-dream girls, the writing is gorgeous. And the Fault in Our Stars differs from the other books written by John Green in that it isn’t about the chase of an unattainable girl, but instead the importance of living a full life, no matter how short it may be. It is beautiful, sad, funny and heartwarming.

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“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.” 
“Even death has a heart.” 
This book will simultaneously break your heart and warm it. It is equal parts horribly sad and wonderfully beautiful. It is the power of words, the power of people, of love, of war, of life. It’s just really wonderful. I only read it after the prodding of my friend, Tahlia, so I’m very grateful to her. I really recommend everyone to read it. It’s a book like no other, it really is.

For a little bit of Austen, because I love her to death:

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“It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a considerable fortune must be in need of a wife.”
Ah, Jane Austen. I love her, I really do. When you’ve lost all faith in love, just head to Mr. Darcy. Every time, without fail. The ultimate chick flick — but written centuries ago! Her heroines are sassy, lovely, funny — and ultimately attract the cutest guys. She’s the classic pick-me-upper. I have four copies of Pride and Prejudice. Is that weird? Who cares. Love ya, Janey.

You may hate, love or not ever read these books – but they mean a lot to me, so I wanted to share my love for them with you. These books have all contributed in some small way in making me the person I am today. I have read them all time and time again (except Kevin, it’s quite hard to read that one more than once or twice – it breaks you) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For those who don’t read – pick up a book. Any book. One of them will change your life.

Thank you so much for reading!

P.S. I will possibly do another of these posts on my favorite movies, shows and songs. Narcissism at its finest, so ha!

Death Row Meals (Nice and Cheery)

As a university lecturer, my mother prides herself on having good ice breakers, intended to inspire intellectual conversation and creativity.

I usually stick to the trusty: “How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice. Hi, I’m Emily.”

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That’s a lie, I just awkwardly stare at the ground until someone walks away.

My mum, on the other hand, asks her students a number of questions at the beginning of the semester. One of which is what their last meal on death row would be. She gets the typical, “My mum’s spaghetti” or “A cheeseburger kids meal” from the budgeted students more often than not.

Occasionally she does get some kids who shake things up a little. She had a student say that his last meal would be human meat. Worrying this was leading to the first ever cannibalistic university attack, my mum questioned his choice.

He told the class that seeing as he was being put to death anyway, it would be the one time he could really do something taboo. Why stick to the same old meals as always when you can eat someone’s flesh? I think that’s how the old saying goes…

It did get me thinking on what my last meal would be, what my last words would be and even how I would spend my ideal last day.

I think planning your last day on earth would be extremely difficult. I couldn’t decide whether I’d do as many crazy things as I could, or whether I’d just spend time with family and friends. Maybe I could get the best of both worlds and have tea midair with my grandma as we skydive. I’m sure I could convince her…

Even last words are difficult. I love some peoples’ last words. They will be burned into my memory forever. But could I make my own memorable or lasting? Probably not. At least I don’t ironically use YOLO, because I’d hate to have those as my last words. Let alone etched onto my hand forever like Zac Efron.

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My last meal is easier, though. I know what I love. Remembering that calories are not an issue, and I can eat my self sick before I get the chop the next morning, I would go fatty boomba.

I would start with a bowl of grapes and a bowl of olives. I think I could happily survive forever on just grapes and olives without ever getting tired of them. I’d probably slowly morph into that ovally shape, and possibly turn green, but I would be having a great time.

These would be followed up by garlic bread. Lots and lots of garlic bread. I’m dying the next day, so who cares if the bread causes me to knock out a few guards just with the powerful stench of my garlic breath? Not me.

Then I would have pasta with no sauce. That’s all I used to eat as a kid, as much as I could get my greedy little hands on. Nothing has changed. Give me a bowl of pasta with no sauce and I’ll give you a bowl licked clean in 30 seconds flat.

I would have a spoonful of caviar just to see how the other side lives, but then feel pretty guilty for the baby fish I chewed up senselessly. If it was good, though, I’d go for another spoonful. Screw you, baby fish, I’m dying tomorrow, too. Selfish bastards.

I would have a stick of cucumber, quickly followed up by celery coated in Nutella.

I would also have a lot of bacon, and some eggs and toast.

Then would come the chocolate. Roll up, roll up. I think I would eat enough chocolate to look like that greedy, fat kid, Augustus, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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I would down everything with a nice chilled vanilla milkshake. Then I would chase that milkshake with another milkshake (my milkshakes would, the next day, bring the boys to the graveyard.. geddit? geddit? okay.) and then again and again in an endless cycle until: the fated moment.

The moment of… pavlova.

Pavlova has a special place in my heart that no man could even touch. Once, when I was 13, I had my birthday party cancelled for answering back so I proceeded to eat my entire pavlova birthday cake (made to feed 20) on my own. Nothing has changed. Actually, I could probably fit in even more pavlova now. And I will never feel bad for that.

That’s what my last meal would be. And I’d go for seconds. Why not, you only live once, right Mr. Efron? (in this case only for a couple more hours)!

I think in reality you can only have one bowl/plate of something. It can’t be as extravagant as my menu would be. However, I would narrow it down to pavlova rather than human flesh. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. I’d prefer cream to tendons, and meringue to muscles.

I do find real criminals’ last meals very interesting. I think for most you can see a lot about who they were, but for some even then they keep their cards close to their chest and don’t go for extravagance. I personally like Victor Feguer’s choice of just one olive with the pip in it.

If you want to see some yourself, have a look here:

http://www.famouslastmeals.com/

http://imgur.com/gallery/7ddjs

Hopefully I’ll never actually have to choose a Death Row meal, but I can be really passionate about pavlova, so if someone does insult it, it may result in murder. So you never know.

Coming Back (Rather Sheepishly With My Tail Dragging Behind)

The knowledge of the power of words frightens me. It weighs my hand down a I go to write posts for this blog.

It can be rather scary writing knowing that people can read, judge and compare your words. Whether it is serious writing or poop jokes, it’s an aspect of your personality that you have willingly shared without filter.

But to me, having your words never read is even scarier.

Talented or the sorry bugger on the other end of the spectrum, every person has the power to manipulate the same old 26 letters in a way that can move people, can make them laugh, can change their lives in the same way the innocent flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause a cyclone.

I’ve never understood the butterfly effect, just for the record. But it sounds deep, so I’ve thrown it in. Leave me alone, don’t question it.

Words are the ripples in the surface of the world.

They seem insignificant and are consequently used flippantly, but they hold the power to make or break someone.

A picture says a thousand words, but a word transcends the barriers between people. Words breed understanding which, in turn, breeds love.

The sum of this inconsequential babble is that I’m coming back to the ol’ blogosphere, despite my fear of the process.

Brace yourself.

Yes, a little-known adolescent blogger with autocorrect is hitting up your screen — and much more frequently.

Yours truly,

The Refreshed Blogger.

The Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Age

It can be hard to decide what to do with your time.

It can be tempting to just relax and take it easy, yet just as tempting to stress and work towards a kind of goal.

Personally, if I could be a reality star and get paid to do nothing, I’m all over it. Yes, please. I mean, that’s the ideal job. I’ve got that down. Doing nothing is a talent of mine.

Doing nothing is the lazy persons’ meditation.

But doing nothing is commonly looked down upon. We are supposed to be constantly striving. Life is supposed to be like monkey bars – you can’t just keep hanging, you have to swing to the next bar.

I should really make playground metaphors a thing… ‘I was stuck to him like old gum underneath the slide.’… ‘They made my heart soar like the flying fox.’

Youth should apparently be constantly moving, jumping from one experience to the next.

Finished school? Start university.

Read a book? Now write one.

It’s daunting! It’s an age where you have to be achieving and creating to be seen as accomplished in the eyes of society. Or even in the eyes of your own parents.

That is why I can’t wait to be old. To me, old age is the red wine and dark chocolate age. It is the age where you are encouraged to do nothing. It is sponge baths and playing bridge. I mean, there are just no cons to it!

The elderly get to relax and be free of stress, leaving them to just enjoy life as it is in its purest form.

The world wasn’t created with this hierarchical system where structured education and material achievement are the means of being deemed worthy.

I thoroughly doubt a higher being looked down and said, “Let there be light! And an unbalanced power structure built on the search for wealth and entirely dominated by middle-aged white men.”

Similarly, I doubt the stars exploded in the big bang and out of their star dust emerged a system built on constantly needing more.

No, it’s a human creation. It’s a human preoccupation with needing more, needing to be constantly working and striving towards goals to feel like they matter.

I understand that working towards goals can be fulfilling and I don’t mean to undermine that. It’s more that I just think there is more to life than just that.

People fear aging because there aren’t really any goals to work towards. Gone are the days of craving a work promotion or marriage or a house upgrade – now it’s just trying to meet the girls for a friendly game of Scrabble on time without forgetting to put some clothes on.

But I don’t fear aging. I want the grey hair that has been hair sprayed so many times that it’s constantly in a state somewhere between ‘I just woke up’ and ‘I’m trying to be an elderly, female Harry Styles.’ I want wrinkles! Think of all the funny faces you could pull. You could buy a pug and become twins. Oh, the joy!

At my age, that kind of thing is frowned upon. Well, not buying a pug, but relaxing and just living life for the fun of it. You can buy a pug. I’m not trying to alienate my pug-owning audience.

I am told that I’m lazy if I sleep in. I’m made to join in with family activities I have no interest in. Heck, I’m made to go to the beach. I hate the beach. Sand in your underwear, shark shadows in your peripheral. No, thank you! I’m quite fond of my limbs. I don’t need them chewed off by a shark thinking I’m a funny looking seal.

The elderly don’t have to do that. They can just stay home and knit, or secretly watch UFC if they want to. No one would ever suspect them.

They don’t have people continually asking what they are doing with their lives like I do. Ask me when I’m 30 maybe but I’m too busy watching Sherlock to plan my life at 17.

I can’t even legally drink yet, what would make you think that I could decide on a viable career option?

How is it fair that after 13 years of waking up before 7am to go to school I can’t sleep in on the holidays past 8am? I think I’ve well and truly earned that freedom!

I am only allowed to sleep in one day a week.

I might be almost 18, but I’m not old enough to decide upon my own life.

As the elderly, you can sleep until people think you might have slipped away.

Parents and workers are always complaining that they don’t get time to themselves anymore, but they encourage teenagers to fill every moment of their time. This is the time in your life where you can just relax! At least, it should be.

I feel judged if I’m not going towards goals 24/7.

Look, even my lamp looks judgmental when I sit down at my desk and scroll through Facebook and Youtube instead of working on my blog or any other projects.

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It looks like it is craning its head at me as if to say, “Really? More cat videos? Really?”

It almost makes me regret setting goals for myself this year, because they were for me, not to be brandished in front of me to belittle me.

That is why I want the red wine and dark chocolate age.

You grow and change and learn as a child in the apple juice and snacks age. You go through the teenage years; the cheap illegal alcohol and Maccas age. Slowly, but surely, you reach the white wine and nibblies age with even more stress.

It is only the red wine and dark chocolate age that is perfect. There are no kids to worry about, no job stress, no love life stress. You reach the age where you can just chill out. You can do whatever makes you happy.

For the old, the biggest struggle is finishing the daily crossword.

You can be the batty grandma at Christmas dinner. You can say whatever you want and be forgiven because of your age.

You never have to carry your own groceries.

People help you to cross the road!

I mean, where can I sign up to that life?

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” I think most people don’t realise that until they are old.

If only I could have been Benjamin Button. Old age can’t come quick enough.

Connections

“We were all born too late to explore the earth, and too early to explore the stars.” – Saphiric

 

In this time then, what are we left to explore but ourselves? 

We make the mistake of searching for some hidden meaning in the constellations, or a definitive answer to an unasked question in the ground beneath our feet.

What if the connections between us are all that matters. 

There are these slight similarities between us all, things that link us irrevocably, quietly —unnoticed. 

Our grandparents all smell of that musky, loving scent that only grandparents seem to have. They remind us of too much food and too much love and too many awkward questions about whether or not you have a new boyfriend.

Chocolate chip cookies are everybody’s weakness. If they aren’t, you’re lying to yourself.

Miley Cyrus confuses us all and no one can stand Tom Cruise.

These are the things that bring us together, even as the world tries to keep us apart. 

Peoples’ lives can be mapped out, with locations of importance and their capitals the people there who changed that person. Those character-changing people or events don’t have to be huge. They can be tiny, seemingly insignificant moments that make you smile, and hope, and love.

I don’t believe in true, lasting love. I believe in momentary connections. 

People fall in love when they see someone at their most vulnerable. Every person craves connections. People want to protect and love those who they see without them.

Love is about time and circumstance. It is about a quick smile or a cuddle when you’re most in need of some kind of contact. It allows people to fall out of themselves, just for a moment. 

Everyone has moments of love. That’s what love is — momentary. A momentary lapse of real life. Love is mystery, arrogance and vulnerability — all rolled up into one. 

You can’t chase it because it will run and you can’t hold it because it will burst.

The stars may be gorgeous but people hold the key to happiness. It’s a smile at a stranger, an unplanned journey, a rambunctious laugh. It is love.

I may not believe in lasting love, but I believe in its momentary power.

Life is the big chunks between moments of love. It is the anticipating moments and the comedown moments. 

Life is people trying to be outside of the norm; trying, craving, yearning to be unique — just like everybody else. People strive against conformity, strive for greatness. But it’s the small things that matter in the end. It’s the moments.

Life is peoples’ stories. It is their individual tale that is told in a highlights package of moments of love.

I feel like everything can be a lot easier than we are making it out to be. We don’t have to search the unknown, not just yet. We can be content in each other. 

We can be happy in the blurred lines of motion that are other people. We can hope that our small acts of kindness make their blurs a little happier. 

We can live in the moment, and explore people. We can make connections.

New Years, Not So New Beginnings

Beginning a New Year always calls for changes. It has become ingrained in our society to make drastic changes to oneself and the world we live in as soon as it hits January 1st. It’s an annual day of hastily scribbling out resolutions whilst nibbling on the leftover Christmas ham and pondering whether it may actually have gone a little yucky after six days crammed in next to some suspicious green stuff in the back of your fridge.

Gym memberships spike, vegetables finally see the light of day and people  throw themselves into things that had decidedly fallen through the cracks in the past year. Things like daily bathing and answering at least a few of your relatives’ many phone calls rather than screening all of them.

Whilst I agree with trying to make improvements and giving new things a try, I disagree with the concept of ‘starting afresh’. I didn’t have a particularly good 2013, but I still grew and changed gradually, but surely, into the person sitting at this computer in their Elmo onesie now (ah, how far I have come).

I learnt how to actually open up to people rather than just putting up a happy, friendly facade. I found out that I, like onions and Shrek, have layers.

I came back to writing with fresh eyes after abandoning it for so long.

I met people who truly inspire me and learnt things about myself and them that I will cherish forever. I was given advice that I will never forget.

I finished school and now have the freedom to work towards my dream of traveling the world and never looking back.

So although the year as a whole can be tied up in a nice little bow and filed under the ‘sort of crappy’ column, I wouldn’t want to start fresh.

New Years’ Resolutions are made and abandoned quicker than people put weight on at Christmastime, which is saying something. They act as a nice little pillow of solace for people to rely on in the scary beginning of a new year.

Personally I always say I’m going to go to the gym more in the New Year (as I munch on chocolate and watch romcoms). At least I can say that I did that in 2013 – I sat inside a sauna at a gym one time in March and it was as much as I’d ventured into that scary, testosterone and motivation filled place in my entire life. Never again, I tell you. Never again.

Side note: what even are saunas? I thought you went in with your gym clothes and took a nice old relaxing sleep, but instead you burn in the fires of hell next to some barely-clothed old ladies cocooned safely in their own wrinkles. 

I want 2014 to be not a year started afresh, but a year where I build upon my own strengths and learn from my weaknesses to expand my horizons.

I don’t want to let myself get caught up in the ever so tempting New Years’ revolution lies (revolies? Lievolutions? I’ll work on it…). I think that I made progress personally in the last few months of last year and that is what I want to continue to build on.

I’ve set a One Year Bucket List for myself so that even if I look back on this year without being able to say I loved it, I can at least say that I accomplished things during it.

Goodbye and so long, 2013, you old dog. There were highs and lows, school  meltdowns and pleasant surprises. Hopefully you were the staggered start for 2014; a year of happier and crazier times.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

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P.S. This is my One Year Bucket List – I’ll keep you updated on how it goes!

Be able to run 15km without stopping… much.

Reach 500 subscribers on my blog, and not have all of them be relatives of mine.

Reach 200 subscribers on my YouTube.

Skydive (preferably without splatting on the ground)

Get my license to forever avoid awkward train rides home with smelly old men.

Complete my first year of university.

Save $8000 for travel and don’t accidentally spend it all on books and clothes.

Learn how to cook without killing people. Or, learn how to cook people.

Write a novel. Don’t accidentally just re-write the Walking Dead. We’ve been through this.

Act in a play.

Get a better job (GOODBYE FAST FOOD!)

Catch a fish (from the ocean, not a store)

Sleep on the beach.

Wake up before 10am every morning without wanting to murder people.

Fill up my whole Polaroid drawer (without too many selfies)

Learn to meditate. Possibly become the Dalai Lama.

Write at least two blog posts every week.

Learn to knit. Infiltrate the elderly.

Put up at least one video every week.

Go on a road trip (avoid Wolf Creek).

Go camping (avoid crocodiles).

Go to a drive-in movie theatre.

Dye my hair purple and cut it shorter.

Get a Pen Pal.

Become a vegetarian/eat less meat (bacon doesn’t count. Obviously.)

Milk a cow (with its permission)

Swim with dolphins.

Donate blood.

Sleep under the stars.

Go paint balling and don’t just hide behind rocks. Or other people.

Visit my hometown, see if its dealt with my absence.

Lose weight by eating healthy and doing more exercise than walking from the fridge to my computer.

Dive with whale sharks.

Go to Penguin Island. See cute penguins.

Mapping Out My Life

There must be more to life.

You go through childhood wishing to be older. You are insatiable, craving knowledge but being rebuffed and belittled at every turn. You’re forced to learn manners and slowly, bit by bit, you are transformed into a socially-acceptable human. You are torn away from the thrill of pure instinct and the curious gleam in your eye is lost as everything you wonder about it given a name, a label, a prescribed way to be. 

And then to your parents horror, you go through puberty. You are awkward and gawky and you eat too much. But you don’t eat enough. You stress too much but you don’t stress enough. You can never, ever please anyone completely. There is always something wrong. You just want a hug but you fight anyone who comes close. Your parents think they are losing you to rebellion and everyone else thinks you’re a loser. 

You can’t concentrate in class because what is the point? You’ll never be the best. You’re mediocre, as is everyone else. You feel alone. You drown your sorrows in a haze of embarrassment and you bury yourself in music. You fall in love with fictional protagonists to escape the real world antagonists – bitches. You bitch about the bitches who bitched about you. It’s a vicious cycle. 

And then you graduate high school, thinking that it is the be all and end all, but now you’re flailing in reality. It’s a big world out there, kiddo. And whether you put it off a year, go to university straight away, or never go at all, you end up in the same place – working a full time job that you hate. But it’s better than going home. 

Whether there is someone waiting for you at home or not, you’re alone. Somehow in between the mindless hours of work, your life slips by. 15 years later, you’ve got a few promotions under your belt but life hasn’t reached new heights. You are married now and you can’t remember what the words ‘passion’ and ‘love’ mean anymore,. You cheat or they cheat but you stay together because it’s a pattern and it’s easier than the effort it takes to leave. Then you have kids who you struggle to understand even though they are only going to do the same old stuff that you did.

There must be more to life.

That’s why I find it difficult to suddenly decide what I want to apply for at university. I don’t want to map my whole life out with my choice because I don’t want my life to be predictable enough to map. 

I want to live day by day, year by year. 

I want to travel and love and write. I want to change my mind and change my job and be able to be my own person. 

And yet with all that I know about myself, I don’t know what I want.