Rainy day reflections…

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As I sit here on a lazy Sunday morning sipping a hot coffee, listening to the comforting pitter patter of rain outside, I can’t help but sink into a bittersweet feeling of melancholy. Strangely enough, this feeling of melancholy also seems to be shared by my puppy today – so here we are; two sorry souls just snuggling each other on Nana’s handmade rug. To complement (or rather, enhance) this doom and gloom, I’ve got a fantastic (read: depressing) playlist on and I don’t plan on leaving the house today for anything. Sometimes, I often tell others, you just need a day to do nothing and feel the feels. It’s so rare to get an entire day to myself… a day where I can read or watch whatever I want, listen to forest music or even the sound of whales in the deep (by the way, I haven’t actually got a ‘whale sounds’ playlist but would totally be up for it).

Someone said to me recently how much they hate being alone – that time without others freaks them out to the point where they are actually uncomfortable. To me that’s a giant red flag, and I say that because I’ve been there before too. There was a period a few years ago where I was, shall we say, infatuated with someone who didn’t feel the same about me. Now everybody knows what unrequited love feels like… that ever-present kick in the guts. The nights wondering what they were doing, and the mornings waiting for their message. That complete waste of time, energy and dreams that we all must go through to become better versions of ourselves.

Okay they’re saying – we get it. 

Back to my point: you’ve just got to appreciate time spent alone. In my opinion, if you can spend a day by yourself with only your thoughts (and if you’re lucky, a fur baby), then you’re doing pretty well. There was a time when the thought of having no plans at all would terrify me. What was I going to do? What was my crush doing? Why don’t they want to hang out? I now of course realise, that they were doing the exact thing that I now relish doing – spending quality time doing the things they love, with nobody to distract them. It just took a bit of time for me to realise the true contentment that comes with spending an entire day reading, or going through recipes I can’t wait to try with my partner. Having the time to just look at my herb garden and appreciate how this much-needed rain is going to breathe life into my home. And most importantly, having the time to reflect on the things that really matter in life.

Now excuse me while I go make another cup of tea. Much to do 🙂

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When friendship becomes hardship.

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I’ve been feeling really down lately about a few friendships drifting apart, and although I know I’ve played a huge part in this situation I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness, and ultimately – finality. I’ve tried talking to a few people who I am still close to about it, hoping for advice and perhaps a similarity in circumstances. Everyone seems to be of the opinion that it’s totally normal – in fact, it’s just life. And while I know deep down that’s true, I just can’t quite accept it yet. Perhaps it’s the guilt of knowing I did not make an active effort to stay in touch with some people. But it’s also the hurt I feel knowing those same people didn’t really make an effort with me either. And just maybe, that’s okay.

I know that people drift apart. I know it, but it’s still a little disheartening. What you once had in common with someone becomes a faded memory, something you look back on with nostalgia and a hint of sadness. Sadness that you haven’t stayed in touch, and sadness knowing that you probably won’t find that common ground again. Your lives have now gone in completely different directions, and what values and interests you once shared have now become disjointed.

There’s a light at the end of this musing though, and that’s the knowledge that it’s going to be okay. I imagine myself writing back to 28-year old me and saying the following:

“You’ll embark on a new career opportunity and meet some wonderful, creative and welcoming people. Let them in. You’ll meet a loyal bunch of people through your partner, people who at first were apprehensive – accept that it’s because they were looking out for him. It’s normal. Let them in too. Ultimately, your family and close friends who’ve stayed in touch are who matter. Make the effort to check in with them regularly, and tell them how much they mean to you. Small gestures don’t go unseen.”

So I’ll leave this post here as a weight off my chest, something I simply needed to get in writing. And tonight, I’m going to call my best friend 🙂

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Ideas, inspiration and the written word…

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Aright, I admit it – I’ve been COMPLETELY slack in writing on my blog lately, and it’s not because I am lacking inspiration or creativity – in fact far from it. It’s because I now work in a ‘creative industry’ where every single day, I’m drawing on that well of inspiration to create written pieces in a variety of formats. So, at the end of the day or on the weekend, when I’m at home relaxing, tending to my herbs and listening to Elton John, I no longer have that DYING PASSION to get on the laptop and write. Sad, really. I miss that craving! I miss the hunger and thirst of simply NEEDING to sit down and get those thoughts onto paper before my brain implodes.

Is this how everyone feels when they fall into a job they love? Does an artist who gets a PAID job as an artist, no longer paint for pleasure? Does a musician who lands a recording contract and starts touring the world, continue to write melodies on the train or think of verses as they fall asleep? Maybe I’m just finding my feet, or maybe I’m just making excuses.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m strongly invested in reading – anything I can get my hands on really. A novel, the daily paper, the weekend paper, multiple magazines at a time and online news sources (terrible habit), but where else will I find out the latest Bachelor goss!? So I guess in that sense, by still immersing myself in writing, language and the written word, I am still getting my fill – just in a different context to what I was used to. For so long, working in the hotel industry where I had absolutely no job fulfilment or creative outlet, writing on my blog was a real source of pleasure. And don’t get me wrong – it still is. It’s just become something I don’t necessarily NEED to do anymore, but rather something I enjoy doing, when I can. I guess that’s okay. I think I’ll roll with it 🙂

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When your career stars align…

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I’ve finally done it. I’ve landed my dream job and although it’s only been 6 weeks since I started, I honestly feel like I haven’t worked a day since I walked in that door. I get it now. You know that thing people always say, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life’? I never thought that’s something I would experience in my life. I just didn’t think I would be so lucky. Yet here I am, living and breathing it, and counting my lucky stars.

So what is it that I actually do? Kind of hard to explain, but in a nutshell it’s a mixture of writing content for newsletters, press releases, social media, annual reports, brochures and blogs. It’s proofing, editing and brainstorming. It’s sourcing props and items for events, set designs and photo shoots. It’s being present online but understanding the value of old-fashioned print as well. It’s a wonderful mixture of creative activities and every single day is different. From sticking googly-eyes on our chins to film an upside down video, to modelling designer dresses for a client, rowing office chairs on the pavement and wearing pyjamas to work, I’ve loved every second of my new job and am so excited for the future.

I honestly don’t think I would have been ready for this career jump at any previous point in my life, it just happened to be right place – right time. Having studied journalism and event management at university but not being able to land my ‘dream job’ immediately (oh the naivety of being young and inexperienced), I went on to work in the hotel industry for five years before biting the bullet and launching this blog. And wow, what a change that made. I finally had a place to write in a semi-professional context, channel my creative thoughts into something a little more tangible, and have a project I could be proud of owning. Once I got a taste of the freedom of creative expression, it just didn’t make sense to be working in a corporate, red-tape office bogged down by systems and procedures. Seriously, fuck that.

So here I am, happy as bloody Larry and holding on for dear life. They say the best is yet to come, but I vote for the here and now. I finally feel like I belong somewhere and I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my all 🙂

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Life’s silly little hiccups…

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Friday night I got home from work, stepped on the scales and had a meltdown, which subsequently resulted in me screaming down the phone at my boyfriend (who was a few hundred kilometres away in a coal mining pit), ‘WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME I WAS FAT’, to which he of course replied that I looked beautiful to him. Flash back to last Wednesday night, when I put my 4-month old dachshund up onto the bed for cuddles, and she subsequently vomited a large chunk of undigested mince all over the nice new linen. Fast forward to this morning, when I’ve woken up with a gigantic volcano of a pimple on my neck, pulsating with disgusting lava and making me feel like a MONSTER.

What do all these things have in common?

They actually don’t matter, in the grand scheme of life. I repeat – THEY DO NOT MATTER.

I’ve honestly never been so happy. I’ve finally landed a kick-ass job which I absolutely love, I’ve got an amazingly supportive boyfriend, a gorgeous fur baby, and I’m surrounded by my family, the beach and good vibes. Sure, I’m terrified that something bad must be around the corner. I’ve never had so many positive things going on in the one year – there’s gotta be a catch. BUT, I’m trying to just enjoy the moment and go with the flow. Yes my clothes are a little tight and I’m going through a bad skin patch, but those things don’t define me. My quirky personality, random thought process, love for Thai cooking, reading, animals and a million other things are what makes me, me.

This pimple ain’t gonna ruin my day! An old friend once gave me a little book titled ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff’. It’s something I try and remember when I’m having mini-meltdowns, and it really works. If you pause for just a second, catch yourself in the mirror and put this worry into perspective, you will actually chuckle at the pointlessness of it 🙂

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The serenity of switching off.

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In what has felt like an absolute whirlwind of new people, information overload and home baked treats in the first 2 weeks of my new job, I’ve taken this weekend as a chance to unwind, disconnect and recharge. In my new role as Marketing and Communications Officer for an incredibly creative and inspiring company, I’m involved in everything from social media, events and marketing through to writing email newsletters, blog articles and content for websites. Don’t get me wrong – I am absolutely loving it and feel like I’ve found my place, but after 2 weeks of being so ‘plugged in’ I desperately needed a day off the grid.

Getting that work/life balance in healthy shape is incredibly important (in my opinion), to being a great employee, colleague and team player, as well as a present family member, partner and friend. Of course in my first 2 weeks you would expect me to be thinking about work every night, feeling like my brain was about to explode and not getting much sleep. Now that I’ve settled in though and found my groove, I’ll be making sure that nights and weekends are a much needed oasis, both mentally and physically, from work.

Today I took my darling dachshund Charlotte over to Nana and Pop’s house for a visit, which was simply delightful. There’s nothing quite like the comfort and warmth of being in your grandparents presence, having a cup of tea and sharing some biscuits. They absolutely love having family over to visit as well, and watching Pop play with my 4-month old puppy put a real smile on my face. These are the important moments in life, not the deadlines and check-lists. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a hard worker and pride myself on producing good results, but I’m also a huge believer in not missing out on the little things. Family, friends and pets provide us with so much love, something that is both special and unique. Those moments are simply priceless.

Life is what happens between the wifi signals. 

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Death, the community and life.

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Yesterday I took my Nana to a funeral, not only because I didn’t want her to attend alone, but because I wanted to do the right thing and pay my respects to both the fallen and her family. Not to compare anyone’s departure from this life as less significant than another’s, but this was a lady whose sudden passing sent shockwaves through the small community we call home. St Francis Xavier Church was packed to capacity in what could only be described as an outpouring of both grief and love, from everyone this woman had touched in her lifetime. From the immediate family and friends, to the students whom she had taught to respect the ivory keys of her first love – piano, to people like my Nana who simply knew her as a lady in her swimming class, the feeling in this house of God was palpable.

As I sat there listening to her children condense their mother’s life story into a heart warming yet brief tale, I felt oddly surreal. Standing before me were clearly devastated people, trying to come to terms with the completely unexpected exit of their mother. How do you go to sleep one day and wake up the next without your parent? How do you put aside all those dreams of introducing your own children one day to your mother? How do you suddenly go from being able to call her for advice from anything to cooking, washing and shitty colleagues, to having to pause for a second and wonder who you can call instead? These children of hers were incredible, having the strength to stand there in front of a packed Church and recount happy memories of times with their mother. Put aside their grief and try, try so hard to focus on the positives. It really made me stop and think about the uncertainty of life, and how important it is to cherish all those small insignificant moments. The nights spent inside cooking, laughing together and sharing a bottle of wine. The moments of frustration when you stub your toe, or your puppy chews another shoe. This is life, every single day that passes we are another step closer to our own exit from the world, and I sure as hell don’t want to miss a thing.

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