Some people don’t believe in them. Why wait until the new year to make a change? Do it today. I agree somewhat, but at the same time I subscribe to the “New year, new you” theory. It’s a cleansing thing. Wash off the 2014, and be shiny and clean for 2015. Trick 2015 into thinking you were always a good, healthy, go-getter. Most diets start on Monday. “I’ll just finish this tub of ice-cream today, to remove it from the house, and then we can get serious tomorrow”. I do like to set goals for each year, it gives me direction.

SMART. Umm, I know this. Specific. Measurable. A….ATTAINABLE? Realistic. T-t-t-tttttimeliness? I swear the topic of goal-setting has come up in every single unit/degree I’ve studied.

1. Read more books. I wanted to go for one a month, twelve a year. But then I remembered I have uni and tafe. Let’s say, a dismal five for the year. Do I include Gone Girl? I started it in late December, and finished it last night? Okay, no. Can I include that Cravatilicious by Matt Preston that I started in May 2014? I haven’t quite read half of it! Okay, no. Start and finish five books. The same five books. Text books not included.

2. Complete 50% of my Diploma of Human Resources. I’ve done 6% so far!

3. See my sister, in person, for the first time since 30th August 2013. Scheduled for late April.

4. Get a new job. Good god, I have been actively seeking a new job since May 2012. That is TWO-MONTHS after I started at my current job. I’m almost at my third anniversary. It is currently the longest I have stayed at the one place, in the same role. I’m not underpaid (thanks to some seriously good negotiations by myself in September last year) but I am so far under appreciated. They KNOW how good I am. But they’re also afraid of giving me control, because they’re afraid of change – “we’ve always done it like this?!” I need out. I need a job where I am NOT in a team. I’m such a vile person when I have to work in a team, a team of dragons and morons. See?!

Let’s pause for a story. I live alone, I pee with the door open. It goes without saying. Occasionally, while sitting on the couch, I kick my thongs off (NB: In Australia, thongs are footwear, flips flops, sandals, whatever). I’m sitting on the can. The dog strolls past. He stops. He looks at me. He has one of my thongs in his mouth. He is such a turd. The call from nature finally finishes. I think, he’s probably made the thong unwearable. Again. It culminates in a 15-minute sprint session around the backyard. Thong = undamaged. Me = tired. The dog = amused. He’s a whippet.

5. The ol’ weightloss resolution. By 31st December 2015 I will weigh 80kg. That means I have to lose 7kg from today (or 8kg from 1st January 2015). At this rate, doable. Plus a five-week trip to America in April/May, let’s re-evaluate then. I want to eat this thing called Crackpie. In New York. My old babysitter, also my God-sister (is that a thing? My Godparents’ daughter) recommended it, a specific place. Apparently you’re not allowed to ask or even think about how many eggs, sugar, butter is in it.

6. I want to do some obstacle event. The first that comes to mind is Tough Mudder. Yeah, maybe. It’s in Melbourne in October. I just need a buddy, or a group. I’m almost considering turning my Mum into an iron woman and taking her. “Hey Mum, watchya doing October 17/18? Nothing? Oh cool. Yeah, I’ve booked us in. For um… mud masks and pilates.” Actually, I think that would be great for her self-esteem, and something to train for. Done. Tough Mudder, with my Mum, in October. I’ll tell her in a few months. She’s 59, 155cm, pocket-rocket. It’s not beyond her. She came to the Big Day Out with me four years ago, was in the mosh pit for Rammstein. She’s proud of that, occasionally says “I was in the mosh… pit? Is that what they call it? For Rammstein.” She loved it. Probably because Rammstein are her age. I keep telling her, if she was 15 years younger, and 40kg lighter, she’d be Kylie Minogue.

7. Learn to cook something spectacular. Previously, it was a roast. I’ve nailed that. I’m a huge fan of desserts but this conflicts with resolution five. Who cares. I’ll take it to work and share it. I have friends, I’ll make them eat it. Cheesecake? Basically, I want to try something new that isn’t just a standard chicken parma, steak, cupcake, spaghetti, etc. A meal or dish I could be proud of. I made apricot jam last year, apricots from my trees! The reviews are very good. Yeah, this is a terrible resolution if we’re aiming for SMART. Shuddup.

8. Do I have anymore? OH GOD YES! I want to finish painting my kitchen. It has been almost a year. To be fair… it is not flat walls. It is wood panelled. Whose fucking idea was that? Not JUST wood panelled, but then lacquered with oil-based stuff. Ugh. So, it goes: Sand it down, wash it down, undercoat, first colour coat, second colour coat. Wait for Summer to see the wood panels shrink, touch up the gaps. Lather, rinse, repeat. And it’s a massive kitchen. Beautiful, massive kitchen. But massive. Then I am getting mate’s rates from the tiler, then granite overlay for the bench top. And then I move out. My plan is to rent this place out after five years. I have been here a few days short of two years. Fuck, it has flown by. The goal is to finish painting the kitchen by the end of this year.

9. Complete five units of Bachelor of Health Science degree. If I complete five units, it means I have three to complete in 2016 which means… I will have completed my university degree, finally. I cannot believe I am a third year student. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. Five units is doable. I think. It would be six, however, again, I am going to the United States for five weeks in April, so that could interfere. I used to say “No, I can’t travel during the uni semester” but then I also thought, “How many times does your sister move to America, marry someone who you’ve never met, doesn’t come home, and then you don’t see your best friend (aka sister, aww, who you used to see once a week, maybe more) for over 18-months?” The uni degree will always be there, as long as I finish it before I am 30. I’m currently 27. Done. Five units.

10. Find a goddamn Pilates class. I have only ever done Pilates once. I loved it. I want to find another one in the area. I want to learn stuff. I want to enjoy it. I don’t care if I don’t make friends, or if I am shit at it. I remember the one and only time I did pilates was when I worked at RMIT Uni, so therefore I got a discount on membership at the RMIT gym, and therefore free classes. I chose a spot at the back of the class. Good idea. My body was shaking like never before. It was fucking terrified. No, wait, it was out of form (I say that like it was ever IN form). Oh my god, hilarious, embarrassing and enjoyable all at the same time. I WANT MORE!

I think I am done. But before I go. Another story. A short one. I am watching the Big Bash League cricket. I love Adam Gilchrist. Such a savvy man. And that is my story. PS: I’m drunk and I am NOT proof-reading with twaddle! Goodnight.

Christmas is not the most wonderful time of year. If you’re like me. That is, I have been battling the highs and lows of depression for six years. Maybe six isn’t accurate. It started off as plain old anxiety, then it evolved.

Christmas is a time that highlights family. It’s at the end of a year and promotes reflection.

Unfortunately, my father took his life almost four years ago, and as much as I think I’ve dealt with it well and am at peace with it, gone is gone. My coping mechanism is to block it out. My sister has lived in America for over a year now – haven’t seen her since 30th August 2013 – I can handle that because she’s alive and happy. My Mum isn’t really ‘there'; I hate to say that because she is there in the sense that she cares for me and all that, but I recognise that at the current rate she will have noticeable dementia within five years. Mum won’t go to the family Christmas party, so I go alone, and it is lonely. Arriving alone, leaving alone. As much as I love my extended family, last year I barely spoke, and then left early.

I forgot to take my anti-depressant the other day, for the first time in years. Combine that with a few other struggles in my head, and on Sunday morning, for the first time in years, I feel suicidal. Prior to Sunday I can’t remember the last time I cried. Now two days later, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cried since.

It makes me think about suicide prevention campaigns and whether they’re working. My current state is, I don’t want to die, but I can’t be bothered living because I know there will be more times like this. What do I want? I just want everyone to know I am not okay. And maybe someone to hug me for a long time without saying anything, and not mention the snot I get on their clothes.

I went to work this morning and was delirious. Happy, dancey, maybe even manic. It doesn’t make sense because the thought of walking into the office pisses me off most mornings because most of my colleagues are dinosaurs, bitches or morons.

So, back to suicide prevention. I’m studying health promotion so I think about prevention and interventions a lot. I suspect the Free Hugs thing is onto something. I wonder just how effective RUOK? is, because I’ve only ever been asked it in jest, as if it was just Talk Like A Pirate Day. You can’t pick a suicidal person just by looking at them, not even if they’re climbing over a safety fence on the Westgate. And the majority of suicidal people won’t seek someone out. My biggest fear in telling someone how I feel is… making them feel awkward, or them not knowing what to say, and then me being my polite self and saying “Oh hey, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot, it’s cool, I’ll go ask someone else, or Google it.”

For the record, I am not going to end my life. I just feel sad, lonely, and alone. So I have plans to spend time with someone else everyday for the next 11 days – maybe even share something more than just the surface smiles and tomfoolery. And hope like hell that somewhere in there I find something even close to that feeling I had just over a month ago when I thought, it’s a beautiful day to be alive.

It’s half way through September so probably time I posted my August response; I’m not going to proof-read this, take it as it is.

1. Have a chat with a family member: I was actually going to make an effort to visit an aunty or uncle but instead I FaceTimed with my sister, who as of 30th August 2014, I have not seen in person for a year because she lives in America. I remember when I said goodbye to her at the airport I was a little bit shitty because she had three people at the airport to see her off on a five-week holiday, whereas when I go overseas, I drive myself, alone, put my car in airport parking, etc. And I thought, hell, you’ll see her in a month. I wasn’t unpleasant. Anyway, she didn’t come back, she got married instead. So we FaceTimed for probably the fourth time ever. It was good, funny, like old times. She’s very much Made for America. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I mentioned I would be coming to the US for about five weeks and we discussed when would be the best time, pending weather and university. It still feels like she came over to my place just last week.

2. Think of one thing that you and your worst enemy have in common: We work at the same place and like to wear reddy orange nail polish.

3. Think of one person who really loves to see you. Why? My Mum. Because I’m a dag and it makes her laugh.

4. Thank someone and tell them what they mean to you: My housemate. I did his washing and put it away. He thanked me, and pointed out that I do a lot for him. I told him it was because he is special, means a lot to me, and that I can rely on him like no one ever before.

5. (big one) think of a person or people who you just don’t get. They make you shake your head when they speak: My supervisor at work.

6. Write a list of the stuff you don’t understand about them (how can they possibly say/believe that?!) She’s a dinosaur. Always puts up roadblocks (“the problem with that is…”), she thinks computers “just don’t like it” when you try to do something with them and it doesn’t work. Answers most questions with “I don’t know… I don’t know. Nah I dunno.” So resistant to change.

7. Now it’s time to stretch yourself – put yourself in their shoes, block out any thoughts that contradict the view, and feel what it’s like to think as they do. Don’t be scared, you can go back to being you and thinking your way in a sec, but for a bit, imagine what it’s like to be them. Try to find the reasons they have for thinking the way they do: I get it. I guess I know why. They don’t have that technical, logical mind. We’re from a different generation; she didn’t grow up with the technology I have.

8. Authority – what persons in authority do you have respect for? Why? Police. It’s a tough job, and they’re here to protect us and make us feel safe. The majority of them are good eggs, and I believe they get into the job for genuinely good reasons, like making the country a better place.

9. Authority – what persons in authority do you feel disdain for? Why? Like most, politicians. I don’t feel that they have our best interests at heart – maybe they do a little bit, but they’re mostly working for themselves, and THEN their people; we’re not a first priority.

10. What areas of your life do you have a position of authority/leadership/responsibility? Who do you authorise/lead? Is it hard or easy? I have leadership and responsibility at work, despite not being the team leader. It’s easy because they almost LET me do it because no one else is doing a very good job. It’s also difficult because I don’t really get along with or have a good, positive relationship with anyone in my team.

11. Is there such a thing as a totally evil person? Is there such a thing as an unredeemable person? Yes and yes. I think we’re talking psychopaths, criminals, etc. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on psychopaths and murderers lately. It is a topic that interests me, what is inside their heads. There are some people who are unredeemable. They don’t want to be redeemed, and that’s fine, however, I believe they need to be somewhere where they cannot hurt anyone or anything… which is basically dead.

14. Is there a culture or group of people that you don’t know much about? Time to get onto google! I am always doing this. Just last week I googled… ISIS. And then I was paranoid the cops would descend on my house. Okay, no. But I read about them, who they are, etc. On Wikipedia. Hmm, maybe not reliable. But I got the general idea.

16. Find a spot in public where lots of people pass by. Sit and watch them. Imagine what they are thinking. I do this all the time. I also wonder what their ‘story’ is, or what hardships they’re going through – especially if they have a negative expression.

19. What category of people do you have trouble interacting with – children, the elderly, men, women, big scary bikers, women with children, super-smart people who use big words? Find one and talk to them. Children scare me. They seem to like me but I struggle to interact with them. They probably don’t notice though, but I just feel awkward because it feels like acting or lying, and I’m not good at either.

20. Make small talk with the check out chick. I avoid going to supermarkets that don’t have self checkout. I know it’s bad but most days, if I can avoid unnecessary small talk, I do. I’m moody.

22. Do you believe that society can be harmonious if people are very diverse in their belief systems? Why? I’d love to hear your answers to this question. No. These very diverse belief systems are sometimes going to have strong opposing views, and some people will just refuse to compromise, because that might be interpreted as meaning they’re not as committed to their beliefs if they allow that to happen.

25. Are there people you believe should be eradicated, or do not deserve to live? The obvious answer is pedophiles, rapists. Beyond that, no.

29. War. What is the cause? Greed? Hatred? Lack of empathy? Do you have feelings that, if you were a world leader, could lead you towards war? Greed, power and control. I don’t think any of my feelings could lead towards war if I were in the right ‘job’. I’d be more likely to want to talk to leaders (country and radical group leaders), ask them why they feel that way, ask them what happened in their childhood, counsel them, probably leave them raw and broken. I try to find the REAL person behind all the bravado.

Admonsta has unknowingly encouraged me to participate in the Positivity Challenge, with inspiration from actionforhappiness.org. The month of July is all about Giving, a different task for each day of the month.

I didn’t complete them all, far from it in fact, but I’m here to share my successes.

1  Research charities and find out what appeals to you: I’ve been a blood donor since about 2009. I always had this idea of donating blood at every opportunity (quarterly), however, life gets in the way, the closest donor centre is almost an hour away, I go overseas, I get tattoos/piercings, etc. and therefore I have donated four times in almost five years. But the main reason is, I forget.

My most recent donation was on Monday 7th July; about a week prior to that, I read an article about why Cristiano Ronaldo (I think it was him) doesn’t get tattoos… because he’s a blood donor.  I didn’t look into the rules about donating blood in his country, but Australians must wait six-months after a tattoo to donate blood. That article made me jump online to Australian Red Cross Blood Service and book an appointment on my next day off. As it turns out, the blood bus was due to be in my town the very next week! I did a lot of reading about blood, the components, how long it takes to create those components again in my body, etc. I talked about it endlessly at work, and the day after that, a colleague said “I booked in to donate blood on Friday”.

I’ve now started to look into becoming a bone marrow donor. I knew very little about this four weeks ago but now I’m keen, so at my next blood donation, I will be signing up. My work colleagues said, “You don’t want to do that, it’s not a very nice procedure.” To which I thought, attitudes like that are exactly the reason I do need to sign-up, because you know what else isn’t ‘nice’? Having a condition which requires a bone marrow donation.

2  Leave a note with an uplifting saying in a public place: I didn’t quite follow the brief on this. For the past month, another employee has been parking so close to my (and others’) cars that on four occasions I have had to crawl through the passenger side to get into my car. So I left a note on her windscreen asking her to be more mindful of the car to her left… and I put “thanks” and a smiley face at the end. So she will probably feel awful initially, but her spatial awareness is crap. And I know of six others who will be much happier for not having to perform yoga to get into their cars.

3  Do a job for someone to make their day easier: While waiting for a coffee at my workplace cafeteria, there was a physio dude in front of me. The woman behind the counter asked the physio if he had any exercises for carpal tunnel. He said “my wife is a physio who specialises in hands and arms, you should ask her.” I piped up and said “I can verify this, because I have carpal tunnel myself and am a patient of <Mr Physio’s> wife… I can give you a copy of the exercises and information she gave me.” Cafeteria lady was very pleased. Two days later when I saw her again, I gave her the information, demonstrated the exercises and she was excited and thankful.

6  Say something nice to someone: This month, I have complimented two colleagues on their nails (sparkly Cadbury purple, and a deep red), and also told another colleague that she looked really nice (because she did). I never used to give compliments, I’d just think to myself “she looks nice” or “her nails look cool” but now I just say it. I remember, I went to a Lorraine Lea Linen party (or something like that) and the woman who was hosting the party had her teenage daughter there, who had Down Syndrome. One of her ways of interacting and connecting with people was to compliment them. Throughout the party she kept saying to various people, “I like your dress”, “I like your hair”, and then finally she says to someone “I like your boobies”. Hilarious.

8  Clear out some of your old things and donate the decent stuff (be generous):  Tonnes of clothes and homewares. I’m a minimalist. I love chucking stuff out. But I hate waste. I always take my stuff to the local Salvos bin but I should probably mix it up and take it to the Vinnie’s bin next time. I live in a low-socioeconomic town, and it’s a very comfortable life for me, so donating to the local Salvation Army or St Vincents, I feel like I actually get to see the impact of my donations… when I see some dude wearing my old t-shirt! I used to try to sell a lot of my stuff that I no longer needed on eBay but 1) I can’t be bothered with postage, and 2) I feel so much better giving it away to someone who will appreciate it.

9  Give a flower to someone: I planted snowpeas in my veggie patch in May and the other day I noticed one had finally produced an edible pod! I left it and when my Mum came over the following day, I picked it and shared it with her because I know how much she likes them.

18  Write a positive online review for a business you have used: I have dined at two places in Maryborough VIC, recently and did a quick Yelp review of both – one had sensational coffee, the other did a great parma.

19  Make a warm drink for someone: I always make coffee for people. But that’s because I’m trying to push the Nespresso brand, because I love my Nespresso, and even after three years the novelty of coffee pods hasn’t worn off. Come on over, I’ll make you a coffee.

20  Call a friend to ask how they are: I called my sister, in America, for the first time in months. We FaceTimed. It was so fun. I just forget that I can call her. And I think she is probably disappointed by this. We had a great conversation and I will do it more often now because it’s so cheap. Mum reckons it probably made her day that I called. I feel warm and fuzzy.

25  Bake a cake for a friend: For the last month or so, I’ve been baking a banana cake on a weekly basis due to over ripe bananas; I don’t bake it for anyone specifically, but I always share it. My most recent cake was my first attempt at a carrot cake – I already had all the ingredients in the house which is a first for me. I have a colleague who likes carrot cake so I took a large slice of the cake to him – it wasn’t too bad.

10/31 – I could’ve worked harder at this, but I’m still happy with the effort.

This topic is broken down into two entries because I have commitment issues and a short attention span. Seven years of collecting snippets of text to live by, part two.

11. “Liberate yourself from the idea that people are watching you” – Russell Brand. I read Russell Brand’s Booky Wook and then promptly sold it on eBay, it was not my cup of tea, and certainly not as controversial as I had hoped. This quote, however, resonates with me as I have a touch of social phobia/anxiety (at it’s worst in the past six months). I think I’m being judged by every step I take, every move I make, they’ll be watching me (okay, okay, that was The Police, but it works in this case). But most of the time I guess the reality is that people see me but they’re not watching me… unless they think I’m hot, or my skirt is tucked into my knickers, I was on the news, or they find out I shagged an entire football team at the weekend – I so did not. I’m so self-conscious because of the idea that people are watching me, and I need not be – work in progress.

12. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again” – Maya Angelou. This one came up quite recently, with the passing of Maya Angelou.  It’s just about facing things head-on, working through them, learning about yourself, and coming out the other side wiser and stronger. As soon as I read this quote I thought of my father’s tragic, sudden death three-and-a-half years ago. It’s something I have to live with every day, there’s more good days than bad days, and I think that’s because I dealt with it, explored my feelings and came to peace with it very early on; it still hurts but the pain has subsided a great deal. Plus, Dad would tell me to just get on with life.

13. “Be the calm in the storm” – author unknown, I saw this on a poster at the gym in 2008. I read it and had this vision of doing tai chi in a cyclone, with complete silence. I like chaos, and particularly when everyone else is going nuts, rushing around, drama-queening, I’ll be sipping my soy flat white going, “Mmm, coffee”, and everything still turns out okay, better than okay, and of a high standard too. Exhibit A: My current workplace.

14. “If you talk to god, you are praying. If god talks to you, you have schizophrenia” – Dr Thomas Szasz. I’ve just done a google on this one and the full quote continues as “…If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist. If you talk to the dead, you are a schizophrenic.” It was a little bit humourous the first time I read it, but now that I’ve looked into Dr Szasz’s work, I’m intrigued, he makes some very interesting statements, and I now endeavour to read more about him.

15. While listening to a lecture in early 2013, the lecturer was talking about his visit to the dentist where he asked, “Do I really have to floss my teeth?” And the dentist replied, “Only the ones you want to keep”. Now that is funny. Until a few years ago, I never thought flossing was important, in fact, I just thought it was this stupid, made-up thing, that made my gums bleed. So, four years ago, my dentist taught me how to floss properly. My world was turned upside-down. Dental floss rocks. Yeah, flossing your teeth is very important and I think it requires more widespread attention.

16. “Ride the wave knowing that it will eventually subside” – author unknown. It wont always be like this – whether ‘this’ refers to something good or bad, things change, for better, for worse. I’m not religious or spiritual or whatever else, but I do believe that we can learn something from everything that happens to us. LEARNING. I LOVE LEARNING!! Hmm, went off on a tangent there.

17. “Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s our decisions, your outcomes, your life” – author unknown. In the last few years I’ve started to develop this, “I’m strong, I don’t need anyone else, I know what I want, I do what I want, I am woman, hear me roar!” type of attitude. I’m not sure if it’s completely a good thing, maybe 99% good. This has developed due to a few reasons. My parents grew up in that era where there was men’s roles and women’s roles – and I didn’t like that Mum always cooked, Dad was the breadwinner, Mum cleaned the house, Dad mowed the lawns, etc. I also realised that on numerous occasions I have found myself doing, saying, liking things because it’s what I think someone else wants to hear. I have compromised my own plans and goals, for someone else who wouldn’t do the same for me. And one day I went “STOP!” (it wasn’t even hammertime!). I bought a house 18-months ago and for the first time ever, I wielded a lawnmower – mowing the lawns is so much fun and great exercise. I take the rubbish out, I clean the house, I cook, I fix things things when they break, I negotiate with tradesmen (no, I don’t use my breasts… not everytime), etc. You get the point. You’re also probably going “You live alone, who else would do these things?” Good point. IF I had a male living with me, I would barr him from the lawnmower. I’m also a control freak.

18. “Think positive. Life is good. Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting pure gold. Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to always happen, but accepting that whatever happens is the best for the moment. So keep smiling and keep staying true to your heart. Someday, the negative voice inside you will have nothing left to say” – author unknown. I’m the eternal optimist. Sort of. I’m a very positive person, and I see the good in most situations. I rarely expect things to be perfect. People always wish for great weather on their wedding day, but I think, if it pours down, my heels sink into the ground and my dress gets muddy, I’ll probably laugh, and still consider it a very memorable day. That said, there has never been any time where I’ve been engaged or even in a relationship that was heading for an engagement. It probably just says, I don’t take myself or life too seriously. As long as you’re with the people you love and you can laugh.

19. “Fear will suck the life right out of you if you let it. It will rule you. It will ruin you. Rise above it. Do whatever it takes to manage your fear. Most often, giving your fear words will reduce its power. You shine light on fear when you voice it. It can’t maintain a grip on you that way. Find someone you can talk to and share your fears. Don’t keep them hidden. They grow in the dark” – author unknown. Fear, crippling fear. It’s similar to “life beginning at the end of your comfort zone”. There are some things in life that are almost unavoidable, that most people hate, that I enjoy: needles, job interviews, exams, change, to name a few. This probably started when people made a huge deal out of them, then they actually happened and I went “Well, that wasn’t so bad”. The word “fear” makes me think of Harry Potter, and Voldemort. “Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself” says Hermione in reference to calling Voldemort, “He Who Must Not Be Named”. Talk about fears, shine the light on them, conquer them.

20. “On a clear day you can see forever” – author unknown, again, I saw this on a poster at the gym in 2008. I end this entry with something about the future. For me, this relates to those very rare days where your head is absolutely clear (no, not empty), you know what you want, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. You know what matters, who’s important, and that life needn’t be complicated.

This is (part one of) the culmination of almost seven years of gathering snippets of text that I enjoy, agree with or find worthwhile. Unfortunately, I didn’t always have the opportunity or headspace to learn the source of the text (feel free to enlighten me).

1. “The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea” – Isak Dinesen, aka Karen Blixen. The quote is from the book Seven Gothic Tales, which I have never read but am about to purchase from bookdepository.com. With the exception of a few things in life, many events, annoyances, negative times and errors can be overcome or dealt with by crying really hard, sweating it out at the gym, or throwing yourself into the ocean for that feeling of freedom and weightlessness, also the ocean exhausts me so I sleep well.

2. “Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters” – Isabel Allende, TED talk. In 2008, a very good friend showed me a TED talk by Isabel Allende; he probably doesn’t remember, and if he does, no doubt believes I took no notice of it because I was in a shit of a mood. Isabel mentioned this line when talking about writing, and it’s true – I loved the way she said it too, I can still remember it. You can’t have a character that does everything perfectly in life, that always makes logical, rational, moral decisions, because it’s just not interesting. It would be a boring story (and a boring life) if plain Jane (sorry to all the Janes) never made a mistake, or let emotions influence decisions, and was nice as pie to everyone and about everything. Boring. Ordinary. Dull.

3. “Who cares what anyone else thinks. Just look into your heart and do whatever the hell you want” – Dr Bob Kelso, Scrubs. This was a little bit funny because I thought Dr Kelso was finally going to say something soft and mushy but he put his own spin on it, and it’s exactly something I would say (or take credit for) if he hadn’t said it first.

4. “If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to do it differently” – author unknown. In many cases, there is always tomorrow. It’s easier said than done, as I find it is easier to wallow in self pity for a little while and then pick myself up again, if at all. Gotta work on this one.

5. “Don’t let history interfere with your destiny” – author unknown. I usually relate this one to relationships or nasty things that have been said to me. I know people who Facebook stalk their exes and talk about how ugly their ex’s new partner is, obsess over them moving on, getting engaged, etc. Enough said. As for nasty comments, or repetition of opinion, if you tell someone something often enough, they will begin to believe it, i.e.: “Tattoos and piercings are trashy, eww”. Once was fine, but after a while I began to believe it, and feel dirty.

6. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – author unknown. Oh hell yes! I travelled overseas alone, twice. I ran a 5km fun run. I asked a guy at the train station for his phone number (he gave me the number, and after a few days revealed he had a girlfriend). I got my motorbike licence. I was front row at a Rammstein gig. All these moments made my stomach do a somersault, and when behind closed doors, I did a little jig.

7. Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours” – author unknown. My mother always says things like, “Can you really be bothered?” (No, but if I listened to that part of my brain, nothing would ever happen) or “It’s so cold, wouldn’t you just rather stay in tonight?” (Absolutely, but I can’t let the weather, or laziness, dictate my activities all the time). Small examples, but I guess everything starts with one small step.

8. Sometimes giving someone a second chance is like giving them an extra bullet for their gun because they missed you the first time” – author unknown. No explanation necessary. It’s pretty deep, hey.

9. “Assumptions are the termites of relationships” – author unknown. I play arguments out in my head before they occur, and that is always bad news. It means I have an answer for everything they throw at me. Except, half my responses are based on assumptions. Think of the petty arguments you’ve had with a partner where you (verbally) throw something at them and they go “I never said that, how did you get that out of what I said?” I have to learn how to fight cleaner, with facts, no insults or putdowns, which increases the potential for the relationship to continue with minimal scarring.

10. “People aren’t against you, they are for themselves” – author unknown. Just when you think everyone is against, trying to make life difficult, and wanting to see you fail… you read this and realise it’s got nothing to do with you. Unless you’ve got a serious enemy.

I just had a read through all my previous blog entries; I haven’t changed a bit, and I think that’s an entirely good thing.

After forgetting about my blog for just over a year, I have returned for the following reason. I subscribe to my cousin Admonsta‘s blog. I get an email when she writes something new; it’s always interesting. Always. So after getting two emails in a week I was really pressuring myself to write something. Admonsta wrote an entry on quirks, and I loved it. I’m not going to restrict it to just my quirks, just five things that have been swimming around in my head recently:

  1. I love learning stuff, usually by trawling the internet (oh-so-reliable source) or getting some text books out. I want to cram so much information into my head. My favourite topics are health, psychology, illness, disease, cooking. There’s often no reason for me researching certain topics other than, “I just wanna know!” Sometimes the information comes in handy, but most of the time it’s just so I can blurt out at morning tea, “Did you known octopuses have three hearts!?”
  2. I often talk about sleep and how I believe it should work on an accrual basis. I had a three hour nap this afternoon, it means I have three hours in my sleep bank and I should be able to stay up to 2am on a work night this coming week to watch the World Cup, or infomercials. I figure it would be a great, but that’s because I can sleep anytime, anywhere, and I am generally never sleep-deprived. Insomniacs hate me for making the suggestion of sleep-accrual. It also brings me to another question: at what time-length does a “nap” stop being a nap, and just normal sleep? I say anything over an hour.
  3. If I could eradicate celebrities, I would. I don’t mean KILL them. I mean, if I could make the whole world all go, “You know what… I don’t care what handbag Kim Kardashian is carrying today”, “Who’s Miley Cyrus?” or “Did you say “Posh & Becks”? Zzzzzz…” I want the whole world to switch off from this celebrity circus. Kids are growing up thinking the celebrity life is a norm, something to aspire to, and that having a television show that follows your life is important. A colleague said to me recently, “I love watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It’s my time to switch off and just not think”. I suggested if she wanted to “switch off”, she should do nothing, read a book or walk the dog, because people who watch the Kardashians are getting dumbed down – that went over well. :)
  4. In the last 18-months I have developed into quite the feminist. I hate it when commentators at the Olympics say the team is “A great bunch of girls”, because they’re actually, “A great bunch of women”. I’m really disappointed that Australia went from having a strong female Prime Minister, to a dinosaur of a man who parades his daughters around like objects. I watch and enjoy most of the antics on The Footy Show (AFL) but when Sam Newman comes out on stage the camera always pans to a young, blonde female – it’s one thing that HE is the way he is when it comes to women and commenting on their appearance, but then the production crew support and reinforce it. On the topic of AFL, I’m very proud that Samantha Lane has worked hard in her journalism career and has been able to solidify her place in the AFL world, the boy’s club. Speaking of which, I moved to a new town 18-months ago and transferred to their Fire Brigade. I was told by someone external, “It’s a boy’s club, they’re a bit rough, you’ll be on the outer” and an unspoken implication that I wouldn’t last long. They’re a lovely, diverse, group of men and some women, some of them rough, most of them very caring and respectable. I’m not on the outer and it’s now been a year for me.
  5. Where the hell did the ‘d’ in ‘important’ come from? I hear it everywhere: IMPORDANT. The number one offender is Michelle Bridges. It’s a very common word in her vocabulary. I can’t name anyone else off the top of my head but I hear it a lot on TV, sometimes at work. Along the same lines is the ‘k’ on the end of ‘something’, ‘nothing’, ‘everything’, etc. I know in German, a word ending in ‘g’ can have a ‘k’ sound but… something tells me, the people saying ‘somethink’, known ‘nothink’ about German.

Maybe a Part 2 some other time.

 

I’m highly experienced on the topic of growing up. I’m 25 and I just signed up to get a rewards card at my local hardware store. I also have a fridge dedicated solely to wine. If that isn’t growing up, then… all I have is another rewards card and an additional fridge.

I notice a lot of behaviours in people who purport to be adults. Being over the age of 18 or somewhere in adulthood doesn’t necessarily mean you have grown up though, or maybe the word I’m looking for is “matured”.

I’m not going to pretend to be all-knowing (actually, I will pretend, I like pretending) and act as if I have conquered maturity, responsibility, etc. but because I like to analyse people, and watch and judge others, I feel I may have a headstart. I often sit back and think, “Can they hear themselves?!” but I don’t say anything because I like to avoid conflict. I also find that the behaviours in others that piss individual people off, are usually the behaviours that are strong in themselves.

  1. My year 12 maths teacher said to the class, “The biggest part of growing up is accepting blame where it is due, and not pushing it onto someone else”. I was 17 when he said this and I thought, “Hmm… yeah, okay, I’m not sure that will come up often.” It’s everywhere. I now cannot stand people who blame their fucked-up situations on their employer, their parents, an ex, etc. Yet, when you delve back to the very beginning of their problem, there was a decision or action made by the individual, and many more along the way. At work, when I stuff up, I’ll be there owning my mistake, apologise, learn from it, move on. My supervisor on the other hand, will make a mistake, have it brought to her attention, and say “Oh, whoops, doesn’t really matter, ahahaha.”
  2. Mistakes. We all make them. They’re good things. Learn from them.
  3. Smiling will get you so much further in life. Especially if you’re female, but that’s usually a combination of smiling and breasts.
  4. Don’t act like you’re too good or above anyone. I’ve encountered so many people at work who assume because I’m young and have the desk closest to the door, I’m the receptionist, therefore, don’t know anything, and then they also request to speak to my supervisor or the HR manager because I couldn’t possibly be able to answer their question. I actually have the best technical knowledge in the office and appear to be the only one with my finger on the pulse, who doesn’t answer “I don’t know, naah, dunno”. I’m also the nicest to deal with even if I’m in a shit mood.
  5. Finally, don’t take yourself too serious. Being important/a lady = if you have to tell someone you are, then you’re not.

I’m not a teenager, so naturally I don’t know EVERYTHING, but I’m in the twenties, so I know MOST things. ;)

I’m better at Twitter than blogging because I have commitment issues. And it’s near impossible to get bored or have a mood swing during 140 characters.

Today I’ve taken a sickie from work. My head isn’t quite right. People talk about mental health days, and then have a giggle about it because we all know it’s just a “can’t be fucked going to work”. My mental health days are because I’m fucked-up in the head. Lately I’ve spent too much time thinking and analysing everything, and I go “Ah, it’s all too much, I’m going to stay in bed and do nothing instead”. Motivation is hard to come by.

I’ve been THIS close to booking a trip to Thailand in June/July. I was looking at a 15 day trip that covers Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, and then remembered that my ten day trip in Vietnam made me crazy; I was pretty weird when I came home, and for a good few weeks afterwards. I kept saying “It was good but I’d never go back” and “I don’t think I ever want to leave the country again”, in fact, the notion of leaving the house was difficult to comprehend. Culture-shock + depression.

Not quite 18-months later and I want to go somewhere again. I’d love to go to Vietnam. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s right, I’d love to go back there, but I also don’t “believe in” going to the same place twice when there’s so many other places to visit.

I’ve been looking at Thailand trips through Intrepid, Peregrine and G Adventures. On the 15 day trip I noticed there was a TEN HOUR BUS TRIP, and immediately put that on my “fuck-that” list. There’s a ten day trip with no day trips over two hours, except for the 13-hour sleeper train which is okay by me (I think). So I’ll probably book that. Again with the commitment issues, I’m so so close… but not. When I booked my Vietnam trip I didn’t read much about it, just went “Oh yeah, looks good” *book* *pay* “Hey Mum, I’m going to Vietnam at Christmas!” I like being spontaneous, it usually works out well for me, but a lot has changed in the last 18-months… I have a mortgage and a dog now.

I think my spontaneity gets lost in my mood swings. I open the search for the Thailand trip, then I get distracted by something else, when I come back to the window I think “fuck that, I’m not interested”. I need to work faster on it.

I do like that the internet enables and encourages spontaneity. I remember how excited I was the day I discovered I could purchase stuff online with my debit card. I bought tickets to see Roger Waters’ Dark Side of the Moon tour in 2007 – it was awwwwwesome.

I’m a people-watcher. I call it ‘people-watching’ to make it sound like it’s an actual thing, and not just something creepy. But recently, I’ve found I’ve been more attentive to what people are saying; not really the content, but the words they say.

Everyone has their way of talking, and then they have their way of filling the silence, and the further I go with this post, the more paranoid I get.

My family knows this guy who finishes most sentences with “and stuff like that”. A guy I used to work with told me of woman who tacks on “and things like that” to the end of her sentences. I worked with a woman who, when discussing any topic, she’d start her rebuttal with “well, that’s the whole point…” even if it didn’t make sense.

I know several people who finish every sentence with “right?” and therefore turning every statement into a condescending question.

There’s the standard, “well”, “like”, “you know” fillers. And my favourite is when you trail off with “and so yeah”, when it would have been perfectly okay to finish your sentence without it. I am guilty of this… and uh, yeah.

I work with a woman who is really good at public speaking and getting her point across but her favourite filler word is “essentially”. One “essentially” in a sentence is good, two is weird, and three just makes me wonder, “how the hell did she get away with that?” I have a lot of meetings with her and I find myself listening to the words but not the meaning anymore.

My sister was attending a meeting with a colleague who said “We’re just waiting for “And-so-on-and-so-forth” to get here”. She looks at him, “And so on and so forth?” He explains that, the person they’re waiting on, finishes many sentences with “And so on and so forth”. These type of observations challenge ones ability to keep a straight face during meetings and seemingly unfunny conversations.

I don’t know what my ‘thing’ is. For a while I was a “like” person, and I mentally kicked myself everytime I said it.

So, what’s your ‘thing’? Or any observations you’ve made about the way other people talk without realising it?

And stuff like that.

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