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Dear 25 year-old Me

I don’t know exactly what inspired me to write a letter to my 25 year-old self mid-way through a Halloween makeup tutorial on YouTube (which serves absolutely no purpose to me as I won’t be doing anything for the holiday anyway) but I’m just gunna roll with it.

Today is the 29th of October, 2014 at 1.02pm. It’s probably important to note that I am 21, although I’m sure I could have figured that out by the date. Anyway. I am home sick from work (where I work as a Personal Assistant at a law firm and I trust you aren’t still there) with tonsillitis. I am feeling particularly sorry for myself today, more so than I have been this past week, for a multitude of reasons. Most paramount however, is probably the impending quarter-life/existential crisis I’m experiencing. Note: I say impending but it’s more like an ever-present, perpetual feeling. Like, it really is constant. Do you remember that? Do you remember how shitty and unhappy you were for so long in 2014? Please tell me it passed. The other reasons can be attributed to a weighty sensation of loneliness as a result of yet another one your famous epiphany’s. Loneliness is also fairly fucking constant these days. Please tell me you figured out how to make friends.

Do you remember… Harry (the ellipsis is to indicate me thinking of an alternative for his real name. I always liked the name Harry)? A guy who is even now, pretty insignificant, but somehow acted as a catalyst for all of these feelings. I ‘met’ him on Tinder (I wonder if it will still exist in four years) and we talked a bit through text, mostly Snap Chat though (same goes) and one Sunday he snapped me asking to pick him up from the Northern. I did. We went for a drive (which he hated but said to enjoy because I admitted to him that I love drives) and had some pretty good chats. Nothing too deep and meaningful, but some harmless flirtatious banter and general shit-yarning none-the-less. Anyway, post-drive we concluded that he should come up to the apartment to watch an episode of Suits and to snuggle. We did. But I was too self-conscious and insecure to actually undress myself, at least into something more snuggle-able, so the snuggling was a little sub-par. Long-story short, I dropped him off in the morning and that was kinda the end of it. And I was so confused for so long because I seriously thought we were such a match and quite honestly, would be good together (please tell me my judgement has improved and you haven’t allowed history to repeat itself. Or at least if you have, that you handle rejection better than you did at 21). However, much to my dismay, we weren’t.

Although I have just really been wanting an excuse to get that story off my chest, there is a point to it. To enlighten you as to why you were hit with such a weight of sadness, loneliness, self-doubt and insecurity. Or rather, the realisation that you had in fact been feeling this way for most of the year and had, up until that point, been suppressing those feelings. Rather than acknowledge and deal with them, you suppressed them only to make it worse when they inevitably surfaced.

And I can honestly say that it’s not the fact that a guy I liked didn’t like me back. I mean, shit happens right? Rather, it’s that he opened my eyes, if only for a few hours, to what my life could be, should be, and that my life is not that at all. My life isn’t what I want. It’s not late night texts with a cute guy. It’s not long drives listening to good music. It’s not snuggles and Netflix. It’s not spontaneous. It’s not road trips and camping. It’s not nights in with a few glasses of wine and good company. It’s not nights out with a few shots of vodka and good company. It’s not travelling the world. It’s not writing. It’s not laughing. It’s not smoking on rooftops talking about life. It’s not big city lights and an impressive skyline. It’s not going to gigs. It’s not inspiring. It’s not social. It’s not loving myself. It’s not a sunny disposition. It’s not connecting with people and sharing stories. It’s not cute coffee dates with friends talking about our fun-filled weekends. It’s not generally feeling really fucking happy all the time. It’s not living the life of my dreams. And it’s certainly not living the life I would be jealous of if I saw someone else living it.

It’s blinding myself with the light of my phone playing Bubble Witch while snuggling my cat at 11.00pm. It’s short drives to the supermarket and back to buy junk food, listening to whatever mainstream bullshit the radio blasts out. It’s my legs wrapped around my tri-pillow streaming American Horror Story in shitty quality from an illegitimate website. It’s boring. It’s camping out in my living room. It’s nights in drinking wine alone. It’s nights in drinking wine alone wishing I was out having a wild time with my friends. It’s staying in the confines and comfort of my depressing hometown. It’s feeling uninspired to write. It’s wishing there was someone here to laugh at that with. It’s smoking on my balcony alone, with nowhere to look but straight into my neighbour’s bathroom. It’s a small city where the lights are out at 9.00pm, where even if the buildings were tall enough, wouldn’t make a skyline worth looking at anyway. It’s going to a trashy bar adjacent to a trashy strip club to support my Mum’s partner with a turn out of approximately seven on a Sunday. It’s uninspiring. It’s anti-social, but not by some kind of introverted preference. It’s feeling insecure. It’s a constant uninviting expression of resting bitch face. It’s shutting people out and putting up walls. It’s coffee with my Mum on my lunch break complaining about how unfulfilling my job is. It’s generally feeling really fucking melancholy all the time. It’s living vicariously through other’s living their dreams. It’s being jealous of the lives of others.

Dear Me,

I know you got it back. The spark and zest for life.

I just wish you could tell me how.

Because I am pretty fucking tired of trying to figure it out.

And if, by something depressing act of fate you haven’t got it back, you need to listen the fuck up. Quit your job, take out a loan, adopt the carefree, spontaneous, free spirited mentality you had when you were 20 and take the fuck off. If you haven’t been back to London yet, go there. Or New York. Wherever! I don’t really care where you go or what you do, but you always wanted to travel the world and meet exciting people with stories to share, you wanted to go to concerts and drink beer in the sun with a good people. So go do it. You wanted to go on adventures and not waste a second of your time here, because you know that in the vast scheme of things it is short. You wanted to feel good about yourself and radiate love and happiness. You wanted to write and inspire people. You wanted to live a life worth remembering. You wanted to document experiences. You wanted to help people. You wanted to make a mark. You wanted a love that consumed you with passion and excitement and to never settle for anything less. In fact, you didn’t want to settle for anything, period.

Actually you know what? This letter serves no purpose to my future self. I will have already done those things. I will already be living this life. If I read this in four years, I’m only going to be reminded and severely pissed off that I was foolish enough to let myself live in unhappiness and dissatisfaction for so long.

And there it is. The answer to the question I have been asking myself all year.

You can’t expect change if you don’t make one.

To me, from me -

Get off your ass, get out of those horrendously unflattering graphic fat-pants and unicorn printed crew neck sweater, have a shower, trim your split ends, get your nose pierced, clear your skin up, find your balls, quit your job, buy a ticket, say good-bye, pack your things and never fucking look back at the shit-hole town that squandered your dreams and dwindled your spirit.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined. And stop waiting for the right time, because there’s no such fucking thing.

And be sure to remind yourself often: the only difference between your life and the lives of those you wish you were living is that they stopped waiting, got off their asses, and started doing.

With love,
xxx

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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.

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25 Underrated Romantic Gestures That’ll Make Any Girl Swoon

There are many underrated things in life – some being romantic gestures. I took it upon myself to devise a list.

1. Rather than a perfunctory peck on the lips and followed by, “love you, see ya later” as you rush out the door, take the time to kiss her properly in the morning. In fact, take the time to kiss her properly all the time. For added brownie points, cup her face gently as you do.

2. Stand behind her and put your arms around her waist when you’re in public. Like waiting in line at the movies.

3. Forehead kisses. All the time.

4. Hold her hand, but don’t be fooled – hand holding isn’t strictly for walking down the street. Hold it when you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, driving, out for coffee and cuddling, too.

5. Pop into the restaurant that makes her favourite dessert and order it to go (get one for yourself, too) so that you can eat at home while you cuddle on the couch watching a movie.

6. Clean up. So simple, so meaningful and so sexy.

7. Offer to help with her weekend jobs like mowing the lawns, weeding the garden or going supermarket shopping.

8. Bake something for her. Preferably something that can be iced so that you can ice a sweet message on the top. Alternatively, bake something with her. Yes, it is still romantic if you’re doing it naked.

9. When you’re in public, put your arms around her affectionately, kiss her neck and whisper in her ear how much you love her/want her.

10. Give her back rubs for no reason. Similarly, lightly run your fingers over her back and shoulders as she’s drifting off to sleep. You know you love it when she does it to you, too.

11. Send her cute texts. Never underestimate the power of these. They can be good night texts she won’t read until the morning or sweet messages while she’s at work, out shopping or at her parents place just to let her know that you’re thinking about her.

12. Have her favourite takeaway and a bottle of wine ready for her when she gets home from a stressful day at work. Then listen to her talk about it (or at least pretend to).

13. Buy her underwear. Not necessarily in a sexual way, but because we often get too busy or wrapped up in other stuff to make the time to go and get it ourselves.

14. Take her for road trips. The more spontaneous the better. They don’t even have to be for an entire weekend, just the day will do. If you do go away for a night or two, try sleeping in a tent or in the car (if room allows it). It’s a bit Nicholas Sparks-esque, but take blankets, light a fire and cuddle under the stars. That shit is cute as fuck.

15. Bring her coffee.

16. She might not be looking too hot, and sex will almost definitely be off the cards, but spend the day/night with her when she’s sick. Make her honey and lemon teas and refill her hot water bottle. You know you can’t resist the snuffly, red nose and flannelette pyjamas!

17. Start watching a TV show and make it so that you can only watch it when you’re together. It can be like your ‘thing’.

18. Put your arm around her and give her attention when you’re in the company of other women. She may not be insecure or feel threatened by them in any way, but there’s no denying that those gestures will make her feel good. And likely to make her want to rip your clothes off as soon as you get home. Don’t ask why.

19. Play fight with her. Similarly, challenge her to a game of (strip?) twister. It will escalate. You can thank me later.

20. Build a blanket fort, fill it with pillows and spend the night in it watching movies.

21. If she’s out of town for the weekend, fill up her cupboards with some of her favourite foods. Even better, be there when she gets home.

22. Come into her room through the window and make out with her, fully clothed, on her bed. She’ll feel like she’s living a teenage dream.

23. Cook her tea. You don’t have to be the next master chef or anything, something as simple as scrambled eggs will do. Not only will she fall more in love with you, she will find you increasingly sexy.

24. Dedicate a song to her then humiliate yourself singing it in a drunken state of incoherency at a karaoke bar.

25. Kiss her in the rain. Even if you’re settled down inside. Take her outside and do it just so you can say you have. It’s every girl’s dream.

Remember guys, it’s the little things in life that count.

Well…

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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.

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Valuable Life Lessons Learnt from My TV Show Addiction

As I promised myself I would start posting daily (perhaps that was too ambitious), I have been feeling guilty for not keeping said promise.

In my defence, it’s not a matter of not wanting to so much as it is a matter of not being able to.

By definition, an addiction is: 

the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.
dependency, dependence, craving, habit, weakness, compulsion, fixation, enslavement

You see, I am shamelessly addicted to The Vampire Diaries. And as addictions have a tendency to consume one’s life, mine has rendered me incapable of carrying out normal, day-to-day functions. That is, showering, eating, cleaning, writing and general productivity.

When my next episode didn’t load due to a Netflix network error, I took it as a sign to take a break and resume my life as per normal until the error fixed itself. Thus, plans to write ensued. When I couldn’t think of anything to write about (makes sense when one hasn’t left the confides of their apartment to source inspiration from) I thought, what better than to write about the cause of what has me so stumped.

And believe it or not, there are some (questionably) valuable lessons to be learnt from a supernatural pre-teen-esque drama about two vampire brothers’ and their eternal love for a mortal 17 year-old.

1. Blood is thicker – Fucked over by beautiful women and double-crossed by seemingly loyal friends for over 500 years, the Salvatore’s know that they can only trust each other. So although they’re never not fighting (usually over Elena which is always a turn-on so we’ll excuse it), when push comes to shove they always pull through for the other no matter how fucked off or preoccupied they are. To me, the Salvatore’s epitomise the meaning of family. After all, ‘Salvatore’ does mean ‘saviour’ in Italian. So not only is their relationship ridiculously sexy, it’s actually pretty touching. What can I say, I’m a sucker for brothers…

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2. Love prevails –  Stefan moved back to Mystic Falls for Elena and continues to do anything he can to protect her, on falling for her as well, Damon found his humanity and put an end to his crazy, casual killing sprees and partying antics,  and Elena repeatedly tries to sacrifice herself for the safety of her family and friends. Love is the driving force behind every decision these characters make. From this, something pretty profound can be said about the lengths people will go to for love. I don’t know about you, but that’s some pretty cute, tear-me-up, heartwarming shit right there. That is, for those of us who haven’t  been badly burnt into a life of perpetual cynicism.

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3. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover –  One thing I love about The Vampire Diaries in particular is the complexity of the characters. Guilty of judging books by their covers on the reg (I know, I’m an awful, shallow person) my preconceptions were challenged watching this show and I was left to wallow in the doubt of the quality of my character. Like the characters in the show, we are complex beings, so it is foolish to think we ever have anyone all figured out. Here’s my oath to stop making those assumptions.

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4. Sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad – Like sun and moon, vampire and werewolf,  or life and death, good and bad are a binary and thus, one cannot exist without the other. Sometimes they just happen to ‘exist’ at the same time. For instance, the love of your life gets turned into a crazy, experimental vampire/werewolf hybrid and your best friend returns home safe and sound from a self-destructive suicide mission. Sometimes that’s just life (obviously not using the above example for reference now) – we can’t always have our cake and eat it too. But hey, at least in a good/bad situation there’s a ‘good’ to focus on – inserts thumbs up emoji -

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5. The Vampire fantasy – For years I never understood people’s kinky vampire fantasies. I apologise for my preconceived ignorance. There’s just something about the look of desire and temptation on Stefan’s face as he battles to resist his blood-lust for Elena mid-fuck and the euphoric moan as he succumbs and draws her blood that makes me “get it”. If you were a skeptic to the ‘vampire-kink-fantasy’ like me, tell me if you change your mind after watching it.

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6. Temptation – In keeping with the above, The Vampire Diaries has taught me a wee something about temptation. That is, although it’s usually not in one’s best interests (debatable), it’s okay to give into it. Every main character has battled temptation and succumbed every time. Perhaps this is a sign of weakness, or perhaps it’s just a matter of doing what they damn well want. In life, such as in the show, there is always going to be a voice of reason telling you not to do something seemingly ‘bad’ even though you really want to. I say, fuck the voice of reason. Whether you want to respond to your ex’s late night booty call text or eat that entire cheese pizza and side of fries in a sitting, you make the decision, you deal with the consequences. And who’s to say there will be ‘consequences’ of that kind anyway?

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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.

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Wild for the Night

So long story short, I have access to a Netflix account courtesy of my best friend’s/cousin’s flatmate. This is an incredibly big deal and a rather pivotal point in my life. You see, as far as New Zealand is concerned, there’s no such thing as Netflix. For years I have envied those who would never know the struggle of streaming TV shows and movies off of very suspicious, very illegitimate websites, forced to battle with pop-ups, virus anxiety and shitty quality. But that’s all behind me now – here’s to further deterioration of my social life.

On taking a break from The Vampire Diaries (I’m saving myself to give the best friend/cousin mentioned above time to catch up so we can watch it together) I couldn’t help but ponder the current state of my social life, or lack thereof in this instance. You would think that one must start to feel sad, lonely, cut-off or withdrawn when essentially all they do is spend their nights at home watching TV shows online, but it’s quite the opposite for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting drunk, socially chain smoking and dancing fully rehearsed routines to Grease Lightening and The Time Warp at the disco club. I’ve just gotten into the habit of spending more time in than out. And that’s just how I like it. Here are a few reasons why:

1. It’s cheaper – Depending on the specials, I can usually pick up two bags of chips (don’t judge me) for $3.00. Add another $3.00 for a block of chocolate, I get Cadbury’s Black Forest, and I have a grand total of $6.00 for a nights entertainment (the beauty of Netflix is that it’s free, at least in my instance it is). Of course, this is subjective. Everyone has different snack preferences so after a quick calculation of general snack “go-to’s”, I figured one isn’t likely to spend more than $15.00. Still, that’s a hell of a lot cheaper than what you’d spend on a night out on the piss. Alcohol alone is upwards of $15.00. Then there’s the impulsive “I’m drunk” round of shots and jägerbombs followed by an even more drunk Macca’s run. The way I see it is, I can have just as much fun for a fraction of the price, devoid of drama (show inflicted doesn’t count) from the comfort of my bed as opposed to the discomfort of my heels. It’s a no-brainer

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2. Less effort – It takes approximately 35 seconds to strip out of the confines of one’s day attire into pyjama pants, bed socks, and a hoody. It takes approximately 17 seconds to wash my makeup off with a hot flannel, moisturise and whip my hair up into a bun. It takes hours to do that in reverse for a night out. Who can be fucked? You’re likely to get drunk, cry your makeup off, trip over and soil your dress and ruin your hair before you even make it to a club, so why bother?

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3. No looming hangover – It’s assumed that one would normally spend the day after a night out in bed watching Netflix buuut staring into the light of a screen is a surefire way to worsen that pounding headache isn’t it. And no one likes to keep interrupting a show, right? Right. Especially not when it’s to go and hang your head over the toilet bowl, spewing your ring up. That smouldering, sexy vampire sex scene is never as sexy when you resume with an aftertaste of tequila in your mouth – shudders -. I’d rather my lazy day ailment free, thanks.

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4. Cuddle buddy vs fuck buddy – I’m passing no judgement, but bring someone home after a night out and it’s less likely to result in cute cuddles and far more likely to result in a pretty slopping, inevitably regrettable hook up. On the contrary, if you invite someone over to join you in your Netflix and ice-cream pursuits, you’re bound to get the best of both worlds. Granted, sometimes you just want cuddles and sometimes you just want fucks, but why not open yourself to the option to pick and choose. I don’t know, I’m just saying I’m not down to take the risk of cuddle-less post-drunk coitus.

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And on that note, my wild night resumes!

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I Didn’t Shower

Okay, so… The Vampire Diaries is kind of consuming my life at the moment. And as sad an excuse as it is, not only did I not get around to showering (see below), I also didn’t get around to posting my “diary” entry yesterday because by the time the internet finally connected, I made up for lost time by streaming episode after episode until 3.43am this morning. Although, in between loading up episodes, toilet and food breaks, I did manage to write a little something down from my day yesterday that I can post now.

07. August. 2014 – 9.49pm

I really should have showered before bed last night. My hair was pushing on three days without a wash and my legs were overdue for an exfoliation, but I ended up on my bed watching an episode of The Vampire Diaries instead. I had every intention of having a shower once the episode had finished, but one episode turned into seven (no exaggeration, it’s so fucking good) and being on top of my bed had turned into getting in my bed. Needless to say, I didn’t shower.

The fact that I didn’t shower last night isn’t the point here. The point is that I didn’t get to shower this morning either because someone had honed through all the hot water. Thus, my day wasn’t off to the greatest start. However, it improved immediately when Mum suggested we talk business over a Starbuck’s. Yes, I like Starbucks. Sue me.

But the “business” conversation strayed and we got onto talking about life. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a bit of a sucker for light-hearted and uplifting, yet deeply philosophical conversations. Anyway, we got on to talking about passion and purpose and how one’s passion is essentially one’s purpose. However, because I’m stretched for time/am just eagerly wanting to get back to TVD (yes, I’ve abbreviated it to an acronym, that’s how obsessed I am), I’ll just link you to a post I wrote about purpose a few weeks ago here.

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. I spent it pacing the living room, waiting patiently on hold as a stream of internet technicians tried to resolve our connection issue. Six or seven hours later the green light started flashing and I started crying with tears of happiness. Tea was cooked, social media was endlessly scrolled, and I was making a solid dent into season two of TVD. 

Side note: I’m not sure where one’s life is going when they manage to smash out an entire 22 episode series in three days. Yeah, I smashed out a 22 episode series in three days. Let’s just put it down to an addictive personality and not a total lack of direction or purpose in my life.

Anyway, before I end this so I can get back to it,  I just want to take a wee moment to talk about showers again. As I scrolled back up to correct a squiggly red line indicating an error, my thought process returned to showering and in my brain, I just started thinking about all the ways in which showers are fucking awesome. And I want to share that to serve as a reminder to myself next I time I consider choosing filth over cleanliness for the sake of a show.

1. Clean hair, smooth, shaved legs (shaved legs in this context also suggests the shaving of other body areas too -wink- ), exfoliated skin, washed face, pumiced heels and fresh sheets = absolute fuckin’ bliss.

2. It’s the place where not only my greatest life decisions are made, imagination entertained and fantasies created, but is also my place of intellectual, revolutionary discovery. Like the time I realised that when you say “forward” or “back”, your lips move in those directions. Mind fuck.

3. I associate a lot of things with freedom, wild horses, road trips, the beach… and belting out One Direction back-to-back in the shower in a naked state of total vulnerability should anyone come to my rescue, mistaking my singing for screams of my slaughter.

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4. This one might be pushing the G rating on my blog but, removable shower head anyone? I imagine the relationship equivalent to this is shower sex so I’m gunna throw that one in there too at #5, assuming it’s as awesome as all of my coupled friends make it out to be.

5. Shower sex.

I’m noticing that because of the lack of structure within these diary style posts, there’s not a lot of flow, thus they have a tendency to be rather abrupt. I’m going to think about how I can fix this for next time.

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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.

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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?)