100 Ways You Can Help Make the World a Better, Brighter Place

And how to help make for a better and brighter YOU – inserts sun emoji -

1. Try and compliment someone at least once every day.

2. Register for the 100happydays challenge. Sharing daily bursts of happiness not only makes you feel better, but rubs off on other’s too.

3. Do a good deed every day. Whether it’s taking your dog to the beach or helping the old lady to her car with her groceries.

4. Call your Dad, or your sister, or whatever family member you haven’t talked to for a while.

5. Donate money to a charity or a cause you care about. Even if it’s just $5.00.

6. Make peace with your past.

7. Take a younger sibling or niece/nephew on a ‘date’. Pick them up and take them wherever they want to go. It could be to a movie they really want to see, to the park to feed the ducks or to the pet store. You could even stay at home and bake cookies together and build a blanket fort. It doesn’t have to be much, but the gesture will mean the world to them.

8. Admit to your mistakes.

9. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you look beautiful. Nothing like starting the day with a bit of self-love.

10. Ask your boss if there’s anything extra you can do to help.

11. Be thankful, every day. And say it out loud, “thank you”. Give thanks for your life, to all the wonderful experiences you’ve had and to all the loving friends and family who shared in them with you.

12. Smile at strangers on the street. Such a small gesture with such a huge impact.

13. Send your best friend a link to a song that brings back memories of you two.

14. Make the effort to catch up with an old friend.

15. Watch your favourite movie from your childhood. Lion King, anyone?

16. Try to see the best in every situation. No matter how shit it may be. I understand that it’s easier said than done, but give it a go. It will probably make the situation a helluva lot less shit.

17. Think for yourself. Question everything. If something doesn’t sit right, research the answers for yourself. Encourage others to do the same. Especially children. Let them make their own decisions, don’t tell them that they’re wrong, instead, ask them to prove why they’re right. The world needs more independent, critical thinkers to challenge old notions.

18. Compliment children (or anyone for that matter) on their abstract qualities, passion, kindness, or loyalty, as opposed to physical qualities like their eyes, smile or hair. People need to start understanding that it’s what’s within that defines them.

19. Keep jumper leads in your car. You never know when a stranger might need you to help them jump start theirs.

20. Tell people why you love them, not just that you do.

21. Clean out your cupboards, donate clothes you don’t want to a charity like the Salvation Army.

22. Volunteer. It could be at a local soup kitchen for the homeless or teaching English to children in Asia. Same impact.

23. Don’t stoop.

24. Spend time in nature as often as you can. It’s good for the mind, body and soul.

25. Be bold enough to ask the universe for what you want. Because if you don’t ask for it, how do you expect to get it? And when I say be bold, I mean be really fucking bold. Ask yourself what your heart truly desires, then ask the universe for that.

26. Write down five things you’re thankful for every day. Then increase it by five each week. You will probably get stuck after the first few weeks, but start to think outside the box and you will find you won’t be able to stop. Your life will become a shit load better for it, trust me.

27. Read books. Like actual books. Although it sounds a bit pretentious, we need to preserve literature in it’s original form before e-books and Kindles take it away entirely.

28. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

29. Choose happiness. We are in control of how we choose to feel, so why not choose to feel good? As Roald Dahl once said, “if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

30. Make a a conscious effort to only talk about what’s working. We all have a tendency of ranting on about what’s not going right, but as soon as you realise that you’re focussing on the negatives, change your tune and focus on the positives.

31. Shout your friend’s coffee.

32. Dedicate a day entirely to cleaning the house and doing the gardening (even better if you live at home and you’re doing it for Mum or Dad). Blast the music through your stereo and pump it out. Treat yourself to some pizza and wine when the day’s done.

33. Don’t live in the past.

34. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t think about what would have happened had you done something differently. You can’t change it so don’t beat yourself up.

35. Learn to stop worrying about things that are out of your control or that you can’t change. Worry is wasted energy that is better focussed on feeling good.

36.  Know that you can’t change people.

37. Or their decisions, so don’t waste your time. Offer your support, understanding and time where they need it, but don’t try to convince them that something is better or worse for them. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. People are always going to do what they want to do regardless of whether or not you think it’s a good idea. The best thing to do is give them your unconditional love and support.

38. Similarly, trust that the people you care about know what they’re doing. Just as you would like them to do for you.

39. Let go of anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.

40. Hate is a powerful emotion. Let yourself feel it, but don’t let it consume you. Your focus is much better spent on love.

41. If you’re angry at your government, your parents, your friends, your school, whatever, ask yourself why you’re angry at them. Then turn your anger into fuel to resolve the deeper issues within you that make you feel that way. To feel anger is fine, but know that no good comes from acting on it.

42. Buy a bouquet of flowers or pick some from the garden and put them in a vase in your home.

43. Soak up the sun. Vitamin D is some seriously good shit.

44. Exercise. Go as hard or as slow as you want. Exercise is exercise and it still releases those feel good endorphins.

 45. Go for long drives every now and then. Blast the stereo and feel the freedom of being on the open road. Destination unnecessary.

46. Write a letter to your younger self.

47. Write a letter to your older self.

48. Instead of buying a Hallmark card for someone’s birthday, make them one. And rather than write “happy birthday, wishing you a wonderful day – insert generic Hallmark birthday message  – all my love, _____” write something personal and meaningful. You’ll make their birthday that bit more special.

49. Reach out to someone you think needs it. You never know, it might be all they need to pull them back from the edge.

50. Learn to trust your your intuition. You know that feeling in your gut? Honour it. Because somehow it already knows.

51. Give back to the community that gave to you. Remember, Sally’s Mum who coached your netball team when you were seven wasn’t getting paid for it. Nor were the parents who helped organise all the fun school events you got to go to.

52. Instead of grilling friends or family on where they’re working or what they’re doing with their lives, ask them how they are. People want to know that you care about them, not their accomplishments. A simple, “how are you? How’s life?” is so much nicer to hear than, “so, where are you working these days?”

53. Support local businesses.

54. Learn how to grow and keep a veggie garden, then grow one. You’ll thank yourself for it.

55. Affirm that you love yourself every day and why, even if you don’t. You will soon start to believe it. Self-love is integral to the richness and quality of one’s life, so learn to love yourself.

56. Learn to do things for others out of the goodness of your heart, not with the intention of remuneration.

57. Apologise for your wrong doings. Even if it was years ago. If it’s playing on your conscience, find them on Facebook, send them a letter, meet them for coffee or give them a call and put it to rest. You’ll feel a weight of relief.

58. Know that happiness is not a destination, it is a mindset. Stop looking for it in people, in places or in possessions and start seeing it in yourself and the moment you’re in. I understand that this is often easier said than done, but try.

59. Drink water. Lots of it.

60. Learn to look after yourself. Nourish your mind, body and soul with good food, fresh air and exercise. Even if you start with baby steps, you’re still beating everyone sitting on their ass at McDonald’s.

61. In saying that, treat yourself too. Just don’t give yourself “treats” for breakfast, lunch and tea every day.

62. Go skinny dipping.

63. Start sleeping naked. It’s so much better for your quality of sleep and it might even help you out with #55.

64. Trust that if it should have it would have.

65. When you travel somewhere new, make time to check out the smaller towns on the outskirts. By all means do the typically ‘touristy’ things, but you’ll find the real gems hidden away out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

67. Start each day with a positive affirmation. For example, “today I choose to be happy” or, “today I will only focus on the good in my life”. Try this every day for a year. Your life will change in ways you couldn’t imagine.

68. Go to an open space and scream all your frustrations out. Like full on head back, arms out wide screaming with everything you’ve got. I went to the beach and did this once and it was so. fucking. liberating.

69. Buy a Starbucks voucher and put it somewhere random but that so someone will find it. It’s guaranteed to make their day and inspire them to pay the favour forward.

70. Similarly, write positive messages on post it notes and drop them into people’s mailboxes or stick them under the window wipers on their car. Something as simple as, “here’s wishing you a wonderful day full of love and good vibes! :)”

71.  Make the effort to stop judging others. I know we all have a tendency to do it, but that doesn’t make it any less of a shit thing to do. Similarly, if you notice you’re assigning value to a person based on their appearance, stop.

72. Stop bitching about others when you’re with your friends. Rather than gossiping and spreading rumours about how many guys Katie has slept in the past month, engage in a stimulating and inspiring conversation. Like talking about your dreams or travel plans and how you’re going to make them happen.

73. Keep your main playlist to strictly feel good songs. Filter through your music and assign a separate album for sad songs, then only listen to those when you’re really feeling like you need to take a moment and cry. Nothing kills your happy buzz like iTunes shuffling to Fast Car.

74. Learn the routine to Time Warp or Grease Lightening and bust that shit out at the club – any GOOD club will play these from time to time, so be prepared!

75. When you get home from work, take your pants off, take your hair out, blast the stereo and dance.

76. Start a conversation with the barista, waitress or cashier. Ask them how their day has been. Treat them like people, not inanimate servants.

77. Put your change in the tip jar. Don’t just look at it as you pay for your meal. (Note: we don’t tip wait staff in New Zealand)

78. If you’ve got it lying around, put an extra dollar or two in the parking metre for the next person.

79. Challenge yourself.

80. The next time you find yourself thinking something nice about someone, say it out loud. It’s no good up your head!

81. Even if you don’t think you’re that creative, buy some paint and a canvas, blast some music and see where it goes. It really is a release! Who knows, you could be the next great expressionist artist.

82. Spend a few hours talking to the elderly at a local retirement home. Ask them about their life, their fondest memories, their happiest moments, their crazy experiences. Give back to the generation whose influences helped shape the world we live in.

83. Have an open minded conversation with someone new. Share your world-views and listen to theirs. Operative word being listen. Don’t shut off or start an argument when you hear something you disagree with, hear them out. Ask them why they think that and respect it. Do this as often as you can.

84. Don’t act out of spite or pride.

85. Know that you have nothing to prove, to anyone, ever.

86. Next time you’re at a cafe with outdoor seating on a sunny day, sit outside.

87. Stop comparing yourself to others.

88. Write a list of all of your dreams, goals and aspirations. Don’t hold back though, start thinking about what the ideal life for you would be then put your focus on that. Don’t be afraid to dream big! Remember: the only difference between your life and the life of those you admire is that they had the balls to ask for it. Live the life you’ve imagined.

89. Consider these words of Jordan Belfourt, “the only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

90. Don’t settle. EVER!

91. Start getting rid of sedentary and uninspiring people from your life. Instead, choose to spend time with people challenge, uplift and motivate you.

92. Tune out the negativity of others.

93. You might need a bit of liquid confidence, but ask out that guy you like. If you never try you’ll never know. Granted, I am yet to do this myself. But I will!

94. Remind yourself to breathe. Like, breathe that shit in deep and exhale. Five deep breathes a day, tell me you don’t feel better for it.

95. Know that the change you wish to see starts with you.

96. Go for a walk and clear your head.

97. Trust that when one door closes, it really is for a another (better) one to open.

98. Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of focussing on all the good and abundance you see in their life, focus on all the good and abundance in yours.

99. Know that your time is limited and that you shouldn’t waste it. Don’t be trapped by dogma. Pursue what you love and do things that make you happy. Life is too short to spend it trying to please others.

100. Above all, choose love and happiness.

Why Am I Still Single?

Because if I do say so myself, I’m a bit of a catch. I like sex, I can hold an intelligent conversation, I’m funny, I think dirty jokes are funny, I can cook, I actually enjoy cleaning, I’m super relaxed and parents love me.

According to a Buzzfeed quiz, it’s because I’m too attractive – cough -

In truth, I know the real reason why. And it’s not just because I have got myself into an inadvertent rut of dating my laptop and wine. Or because my standards are too high (I mean, really high). Or because I broke up with my first boyfriend over text on Valentines day and took advantage of his affections to use him for sex thereon after. Or because I would rather stay in on the weekend and watch movies than dress up and go out. Or because my life really does resemble that of Jess in my feature image (only, trade the ice-cream for a bowl of chips and the cute, messy, nerd-chic plaits for an even messier, not cute or nerd-chic top knot).

It’s because I just haven’t met the right person yet.

But because I like to think of myself as easy-going and generally unfazed, one who shamelessly promotes trusting the timing of one’s life by sharing ‘motivational Monday’ quotes to that effect on Instagram, my ego has stopped me from admitting to myself that I have been in denial over the fact I have been going against everything I hold to be true about myself by not trusting the timing of my life. Rather, I have been fighting against it in a perpetual state of frustration and impatience. Instead of living the wonderful life I do have, I have been pining after one that I don’t.

However, I have finally accepted the fact that I could walk into a cafe and engage in intense eye-fucking with the hot barista while ordering my trim flat white and still nothing come of it. That I could share in a mutual appreciation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with a cute guy at the book store and have a deep and insightful conversation about it and still nothing come of it. That I could dress up and go out to parties, bars and clubs every weekend hoping to meet the love of my life and still not meet him. And that I’m perfectly okay with it remaining that way until the timing is right, that I do in fact trust the timing of my life – breathes a sigh of utter liberation -

Deep down I know that the best things in life come when they’re least expected. So, I’m gonna stop expecting and start enjoying the freedom of single-dom while I can. Because there will come a time when I will meet someone and have to give up the luxury of going weeks without shaving, farting at will and not always brushing my teeth before bed.

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

09. August. 2014 – 9.21pm

I just checked my balance.

I’m broke.

Although it was inevitable, I had convinced myself that if I ignored it long enough, it would go away. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Now here I am, teary, vulnerable and premenstrual wallowing in self-pity. But in this state of sadness and worry, I can’t help but wonder… is ignorance really bliss? After all, I was happier before being hit with the reality of my finances. However, I would also be happier (as opposed to stressed the fuck out) had I got onto this dire affair earlier.

I remember being told by an old English teacher that the phrase was coined by Thomas Gray in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College. In it, he nostalgically reminisces on the carefree days and bliss of youth, unmarred by the dark realities of adult life.

As we grow up, it is inevitable that we will be faced with challenges. Challenges which will define us depending on how we approach them. Ignoring the challenges which cause us unhappiness, despondency, stress or hurt is obviously more pleasant than dealing with them, but are we better off ignoring them because it’s easier? I don’t think so.

Because when you think about it, it is often in the most shitty times in our lives that are the most defining. They are the times when we are taught the most profound lessons; invaluable lessons required for growth and progress.

Guilty of it myself, I overhear so many people say, “sometimes I wish I could go back to being a kid. So carefree… so happy.” But happiness isn’t found in adopting the naive ignorance of children when shit gets too much to handle. We don’t get anywhere in life running away from our problems, hoping they’ll be gone by the time we get back; that is, if they haven’t already followed us. I believe that in such instances, happiness is found when we make peace with our problems. Acknowledge them, deal with them, see the lessons to be learned, put down to experience and get on with life.

That’s what I’m taking from this anyway. And you know what, I feel better already.

Dear Diary

So, I recently got my teeth sunk into The Vampire Diaries (excuse my lame, although deliberate, attempt at a pun) and it got me thinking. As I want blogging to become more of a full time thing for me, I thought one way to achieve that would be to post honest, real and truthful “diary entries” every day, while sticking to more topical posts every other day.

It’s a bit pre-teen-esque but, whatever. I like the idea of documenting my daily occurrences, general happenings, experiences, ideas and thoughts so that I can look back on them in a state of dread and embarrassment in years to come.

Right, well… I guess I should start with today?

- clears throat -

Dear Diary
06. August. 2014 – 3.11pm

Today I woke up to the horrendously loud noise of Duplo being tipped all over the ground, screams of excitement from Jasper (my two and half year-old nephew), a heated conversation between my Mum and sister escalating into one I hoped wasn’t going to end in tears, and the washing machine finishing up it’s cycle on spin. In other words, general chaos. On the thumping of tiny fists on my door and the barely decipherable, repetitive yelling of “Aunty!”, I decided to haul my ass out of bed and seize the day with a coffee and a panadol.

After an hour or so of simultaneously building an entire Duplo community and getting myself dressed and ready for the day, my sister and nephew left and I made my way down to the studio where I could bask in unlimited internet access.

Studio – place of my Mum and her partner’s music business and the only source of internet until Friday. 

Alas, the job hunt began. Within 15 minutes I had found and applied for a job that I think will be perfect for me and that I will be perfect for, an International Travel Consultant (travel agent) at Flight Centre. Hello travel perks! Sitting here writing it down now, I actually really, really hope to get it. – sends positive vibes out to the universe -

For the next few hours I continued to job hunt and customise c.v’s to suit, although rather half-heartedly as my sights were (are) set on the Flight Centre role. And somewhere between scrolling back and forth between job seeker websites and Tumblr (you know how it is) I find myself here. Writing an online diary entry, pondering what to have for tea and fantasising about taking off my makeup, chucking my hair up into a bun, getting changed into my very unflattering, very comfortable fat pants and over-sized purple polka dot sweater and putting on the next episode of The Vampire Diaries. Ahh, abso-fuckin-lute bliss.

I’ve noticed my writing is slowly becoming more and more crude and if I’m being honest, will likely continue that way. It’s kind of like a first date in that way I guess, you put your best foot forward to begin with and as time goes on, accidental f-bomb slips become seemingly less accidental in which case there’s no point continuing to try hide the fact that you swear like a fucking sailor. Then I guess you just hope this realisation doesn’t change things between you. Because unfortunately, swearing can be a bit of a deal breaker, can’t it?

I mean, I understand why. Everyone has preferences and some people just prefer to be around people who don’t swear. But “swear words” are just arbitrary jumbles of letters so why are they such a big fuckin’ deal anyway? I do this a lot. In asking a question I end up answering it before I’ve finished writing it. Context, right? Or is it more a lack of independent thought process? By that I mean that anyone will think anything is offensive if they’re told it is offensive, such as with everything in life. They just repeat what they hear from friends, family, teachers, whomever. And there’s an unfair stigma against people who swear by people who don’t in that they consider “swearers” unintelligent. The only respect in which this judgement is reciprocated is when I say that they are the unintelligent ones. Were they smart, they would see that there is nothing inherently offensive about the words, but rather the particular illocutionary force chosen to utter them.

I think I’ll stop the swear word rant there and note to self to write a full post about it another time. Also, my stomach is rumbling and that is usually a sure sign that I should go and get food otherwise I’ll get hangry (angry as a result of hungry) and cut a bitch. Not really, I’ll just breakdown and cry in frustration if I fumble and drop my keys trying to unlock the apartment door.

The beauty of a diary entry style post is that there is no pressure to follow any particular, coherent structure. And I like that.

I have been sitting here, dumbfounded, for approximately six minutes with my fingers just hovering above my keyboard. All I’m thinking is, “how do I end this?”

Abruptly, apparently.

A Short Ramble of Pensive Musings

So there was a slight misunderstanding with our provider and now our internet connection has been disconnected indefinitely. Well, for the next five days. It’s been five hours and I’m already starting to feel withdrawals. In truth, I was actually feeling them after five fucking minutes. It’s weird, isn’t it, that when have internet access we’re really quite blasé about it. But the second it disconnects we repeatedly tap the refresh button in desperate hope it comes back on because in that moment we realise that almost nothing can be done without it. Thus, dysfunction and perpetual boredom ensues.

But, to make the best of a bad situation I pulled myself together and searched for other ways I could fill in my time until decent TV started playing. I,

•  cleaned the house

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•  took my brother for a driving lesson

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•  baked a cake

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•  ate majority of the mix

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•  napped off the food coma

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And now I find myself here. At the beach, writing?

Although I don’t particularly enjoy the coast (more of inland girl) the beach has long been a place of refuge for me. Any time I feel like something has been troubling me for too long I come to the beach to clear my head and get some perspective. Ya know, lost in awe at mesmerising spectacle of the sun setting into the horizon, its golden hue of daylight left behind turning into lingering shades of smudged blue and purple hinting at the forthcoming darkness of night, all of my troubles suddenly seem so fucking insignificant. To me, looking out into the horizon evokes the same feeling of boundless infinity and freedom as looking up into the sky on a still, starry night. And when I look into infinity, everything starts to make sense.

That is, when I am  hit with the vastness of the universe and the ultimate, greater scheme of things, I am reminded that there must be more than this. ‘This’ being an insignificant existence in an even more insignificant town. And there is more. More places to see, more experiences to be had, more memories to be made, more people to fall in love with and more friends to make, more inspiration, more fun and more opportunities. More of a life. More purpose.

To me, life isn’t to be lived working around limitations. It is meant to be lived making the most of the infinite possibilities, the infinite opportunities, and our infinite potential.

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(Talking on the topic of infinity, a Buzz Lightyear reference is inevitable, isn’t it?)

Post Road Trip Blues & Lessons Learned

So, I just got back from what was possibly the most life-changing experience I’ve had to date: a two-week road trip around the Mother Land with… my Mother.

But first I want to rewind back to the week or so prior to departure.

Tuesday, 23 June, 2014 – 2.03pm

Fed up with the shitty existence that is life in dreary, dead-beat Invercargill, I rocked into work (where I worked as an English tuition assistant) and found my boss adjusting the magnetic timetable in the very confined staffroom/kitchen/printing area. I thought to myself, “fuck it”, and  awkwardly blurted out without thought, “can I talk to you about something?” She knew. I explained to her that I was frustrated with life in Invercargill, or lack-thereof and that I needed to leave my job in pursuit of *more happiness (excuse the cheesy  Will Smith film/Kid Cudi song reference).

*I wasn’t inherently miserable and definitely was not chasing happiness thinking I would find it in another person, job, city or material experience. I was, and still am, happy in myself, with myself and all the aspects of me. I just wanted move to a place where things were happening and moving forward, where opportunity was ever-present, where people were happy, inspired and abundant, where the skies were blue, and where there was generally just more happiness.

Same day, roughly 7.47pm that evening.

I told my Mum what I had done over a $2 bag of Herbert Street chips and a butty. She was in full favour of my decision, agreeing that I wasn’t going to reach my full potential in any aspect of my life here. Mum, who had been going through a particularly challenging time re: her relationship and who was equally as fed up with life in Invers said, “should we take Blue (what we call our 1998 blue VW Golf) on a two-week road trip around New Zealand?” With a mouth full of bread, chips and sauce I nodded and managed a muttered, “shit yes!” It was a little unexpected, but the best things in life often are! Mum needed a holiday/break/to find herself and to be quite honest, I was the same.

Not much was said about it after that until the morning of my friend’s wedding when I reminded Mum to pick me up  in Queenstown the next day around 10.00am. And to bring water and panadol because I was going to be horrendously hungover.


Now that the story telling is out of the way, I just want to share some of the awfully cliched but positively invaluable lessons I learned over my two-weeks on the road. And also, some general road tripping tips.

NB: the following is not intended to sound like an excerpt from an amateur self-help book.

  1. 9882969161cd668b97034817ddf10768It’s okay to not know Part of the reason I took you back to the week and a bit prior to leaving was because I wanted to put everything into context for you. I quit my job without the security of having another one to walk into. I had no idea what I was doing with my life, in fact I still don’t, but it’s so much more fun that way because when you don’t have any set plans, you’re far more likely to say ‘yes’, thus open to the endless possibilities and opportunities that will present themselves. What I’m saying is, if you want to travel, explore your options (of which you have infinite), try something new or move away, don’t be scared to take a risk. If you’ve got the right mindset, it always works out for the best anyway!
  2. You don’t need a plan – You don’t! Whatever needs organised or booked or reserved for a road trip, we hadn’t organised, booked, or reserved it. Trust the process of life and know that you will be taken care of. We did and we were. There will always be somewhere to stay and something to eat so stop looking at your timetable and watching the clock and fucking enjoy yourself. You spend enough time slaving away to meet deadlines at work. Go with the flow of life and keep on rolling under the stars. Embrace the freedom and do what you want whenever you want. You will feel so fucking liberated and refreshed you won’t want to go back to meeting deadlines at work. Note: this is a good thing in my opinion.
  3. Live in the moment – Simple as that. The past is history and the future isn’t here yet. Stop worrying about what has been or what may be and start enjoying what is. As soon as you find yourself thinking about anything that isn’t this moment, redirect your thoughts to where you are right now and what you’re doing and enjoy it.
  4. Don’t take life so seriously – Or yourself for that matter! No one gets out alive so you might as well just laugh that shit off. Whether your car gets towed or your haircut looks nothing like the photo you took in –  what’s done is done, you can’t change it so you might as well laugh at it. I’m pretty sure your life will be better for it.
  5. A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything –  Enough said really. Tell me a time you were angry, stressed, disappointed, hurt or worried when a good night’s sleep and/or a deep belly laugh so hard you cried didn’t make you feel better. Go on.
  6. Don’t settle – I should actually write a full blog post about this one but for now I will leave you with this: Don’t settle for anything less than the best. Believe you deserve it and believe you can have it and you will. It’s as simple as that. Remember: the only difference between you and the people you see who have everything they want is that they were bold enough to believe to they could have it.
  7. Life is meant to be FUN – What is the  fucking point of life if you’re nothing having fun with it!?!? Please, someone tell me! Because I’m even seeing people my age living their life like they’re just paying bills until they die. I’m going to write a full blog post about this too because there is nothing I am more passionate about than the belief that life is supposed to be fun. Keep coming back to keep an eye out for blog posts on 5 and 6!
  8. Love yourself first –  Fortunately, and without sounding conceited, I just do. Not in vanity or pride, but rather in that I have made peace with who I am, I accept everything there is about me and I just think I’m actually pretty awesome. However, it hasn’t always been that way. Nevertheless, self-love is integral to having a good life. And if you don’t like the term self-love, let’s call it confidence. When you love yourself, or are confident, you’re more open to opportunities, you’re more assertive in that you know exactly what you want and what you like, you will attract more loving and genuine friendships with other’s because you’re strong enough to tell anyone who’s mistreating you to get fucked because you know your worth, you’ll land yourself a babin’ BF, or GF if you’re that way inclined, who loves you to bits and with whom you build a strong relationship because rather than compensating for your lack, they compliment your whole.

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  1. Road trip playlist – Create one. There’s nothing like flying down the open road with the speakers blasting and you singing your ass off to your favourite anthem. I realise I just created the cheesiest, Crossroads-esque image in your mind but you know it’s true.
  2. Camera – iPhone cameras are okay, but if you can get your hands on a proper camera with all the bells and whistles, take it. A GoPro could actually be a really cool idea, too!
  3. Car charger – I hadn’t thought about one of these bad boys until I hit the road and I have no idea why I was so late on it! The car phone charger alone changed my life.
  4. Google Maps – Download it. When you’re struggling to navigate a new city, big or small, Siri will get you out of the stickiest situations and get you on the quickest route.
  5. Pack comfortable clothes – Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of driving. Apart from when we went shopping in the bigger cities, I lived in leggings, an oversized jumper of some description, a scarf, beanie and ugg boots. Something a lot like this, actually. NB: it is winter in New Zealand at the moment.
  6. Take a good book – Something I wish I had done. Internet was a bit scarce and when we didn’t have any or weren’t given much at our accommodation, a good book would have gone down a treat. I can’t read when driving or else I’ll get car-sick, but for those of you who can it would be a nice alternative to music, too.
  7. A notebook – Journal, diary, whatever! There’s nothing quite like the novelty of jotting down your thoughts overlooking the spectacle of the Southern Alps at sunrise. Or whatever pensive views you might come across on your travels.
  8. Stop off at viewing spots – I am guilty of flying past viewing spots because I didn’t want to stop off only to get stuck behind the line of heavy vehicles I just finished passing. Even if it is your home country, on a road trip you are a tourist too. So, if pulling over means you can get a Instagram worthy photo you can upload to show off how much you’re #lovinglife, pull the fuck over and take in the view.
  9. Check the weather - Check for weather warnings/road closes (you can do this on MetService.com if you’re in New Zealand) because you really don’t want to drive for three hours to find the highway you’re on has been closed off due to severe weather like floods or slips.
  10. Take it all in – The sights, the sounds, the smells, everything! This could be the last road trip you take for a while so e n j o y it. Even if you get to a town/city that wasn’t quite what you were hoping for, still try to make the most of it. Look at it this way, you weren’t going to know if you didn’t go, right?

A Fresh Start

As clichéd and obvious as it may sound, a fresh start is exactly that for me with where I am in my life right now, and thus the most fitting title I could think to give my introductory post.

After months of um-ing and ahh-ing, general laziness and overcoming my creative insecurities, I have decided to take this writing thing a bit more seriously. Although I’ve not long known that I do in fact want to be a “writer” (in whichever capacity that may be) I have, however, always had a passion, penchant, and partiality for all things English – be it reading, writing, etymology, linguistics, history, whatever! And so I thought, why not utilise a blogging platform such as WordPress to shed some light on how I see the world as an eager, excited and wandering twenty-something.

With all that being said, it’s time for me to get stuck in.  Let’s see what happens!

Cheers
Amber