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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Happiness, a double-edged sword.

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I’m so happy right now (well not literally right now – I’ve got a mild headache and would rather be in bed), but figuratively, in my life right now – I’m happy. Claps from the audience! You did it girl! Well yes, yes and thank you. But happiness is terrifying! It could all come undone at any moment, life could suddenly turn upside down and then what would I do?

Shhh girl, that’s just the anxiety talking.

This week though I was thrown a curveball by one of my Nana’s friends passing away, a lady who was only in her 60’s with a huge family, massive impact on the community and strong involvement in schools and the music scene in my hometown. It was just so sudden, shocking and final. Death is something I’ve been fairly fortunate to avoid thus far in my life, and I’m so thankful for that. I know I will have my fair share in the future, and it scares the shit out of me. How will I react? Where will I be? Who will I lean on for support? I play these questions out in my mind constantly, like I can somehow control the outcome if I think about it enough. How stupid. If anything, it’s given me a huge kick up the bum to stop worrying about the little things, and spend valuable time with my family.

On a lighter note, would you like to know why I’m happy? It’s because I’m done living in the shadows of fear and worry. I’m done working in a red-tape environment where I can’t be myself or let my talents shine. I feel like I’ve finally found my voice, and I’m so excited. In two weeks I’ll be starting a new role as Marketing and Communications Officer at redhotblue Creative Agency, a role which will allow me to do everything I enjoy – writing, events, brainstorming crazy ideas… the list goes on. I just can’t wait to get started and throw myself into creative projects, where I can finally channel all these wacky ideas in my head into something tangible. The past 12 months have gone so fast, in a series of fantastic holidays with my wonderful boyfriend (and even more fantastic nights in, cooking and drinking red wine). The birth of my beautiful dachshund Charlotte and the chaos of raising a puppy. Family, friends and laughter. I feel like now is my time, and I’ve never been more ready.

Cheers to that 🙂

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Bucket list overflow!

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All I can think about right now is Europe.

Italy, Spain, Turkey, Croatia and Greece to be exact.

I just want to be travelling the stunning coast line, sipping exquisite cocktails and musing over what a wonderful colour blue that water is. Instagram envy much? My social media feed is absolutely swamped with people I don’t even know, jumping off yachts into the Mediterranean, sporting their golden tans and claiming to be ‘Living my best life!”. UGH. Give me pasta and cheeses, olives and Italian herbs, wine, wine and more wine! I’m done with winter, done with socks and scarves, and DONE with travel envy. The time is now! I’m getting a whiteboard and making a plan, and one way or another I will make this happen #justwatchme

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European Summer here I come 🙂

On knowing when enough is enough.

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In the past few weeks I’ve developed, shall we say, a ‘backbone’ when it comes to standing up for myself in situations where I’ve felt my self-worth is being questioned, and damn it feels good. We’ve all encountered people who make us feel insignificant – whether that be by making us feel stupid, or not good enough, or easily replaceable. It’s a terrible feeling, thinking that everything you’ve worked for, all of your values and beliefs, and all of your personality traits are being questioned by someone else, someone who has made you feel inferior. But have they actually made you feel this way? 9 times out of 10, the reason we’re left feeling inferior as a reaction to somebody’s actions is because of pre-existing insecurities, which actually have nothing to do with this person at all.

Not to get too specific (because I don’t want to start World War 3), someone recently came into my personal space and it totally rattled me. The first few days were all rosy and sweet, with compliments being thrown and polite chit chat unfolding. And then all of a sudden, the cracks began to appear. Little things here and there were mentioned – nothing direct – and I started feeling completely unworthy of this person’s time. I started feeling like everything I said or did was being analysed, or that I was explaining myself terribly, and it came with the embarrassingly reactive behaviour of then trying to impress this person. Let me get one thing straight with you, it makes me sick to the stomach trying to impress people. I absolutely hate it. I find it awkward, totally unnatural and far from genuine. How people possess the ‘gift of the gab’ is beyond me, my attitude is you either like me or you don’t and I’m not going to work for it. So to find myself in a situation where I felt like I had to try and impress somebody was a total whack to my self-esteem, and I refuse to let that happen again.

Just this past weekend at work I had an irate guest, shouting at me and waving his hands (a full spectacle I assure you), which culminated in him telling me to shut up as I tried to calm him down and assist. Something in me clicked and I said to him (politely of course), that I was trying to help him and he needed to stop being so rude to me. BOOM. It was as if BeyoncĂ© herself had arrived, the curtains had risen and I was alive. Assertiveness is something that never came easily to me – I was always the one who caved to people’s requests, said yes to more than I could handle and let people walk all over me. But not anymore, and let me tell you it felt GOOOOD to assert myself. It felt even better when said guest came down and apologised to me for being so rude, which I accepted graciously of course.

So I’m telling you this – do not let anyone ‘make’ you feel less than you are worth, and have the courage to stand up for yourself. The only person you need to wow is the person standing in your shoes, and the only person you should be analysing is yourself – not to beat yourself down, but to continue to learn and grow from experiences, and be the best version of yourself.

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