Ginger Ocean – What’s in a name?

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Choosing the name of my blog wasn’t some drawn out process where I scrolled through words in the dictionary, trying to find something I identified with. In fact like most things in my life, I made a decision fairly quickly and easily. Ginger – because I have red hair, and Ocean – because that’s where I find my peace. And when I think of my blog and what it means to me, Ginger Ocean seemed perfect. It’s about my identity, my voice, and it’s my safe place – something I can call my own.

Growing up with red hair was, as you can imagine, a difficult childhood. Teased throughout my schooling years being called everything from ‘Ginger Ninja’, ‘Fanta Pants’, ‘Freckle-Faced Fart Machine’ and ‘Ranga’, was not fun. One can only be compared to an Orangutan and asked if the carpet matches the drapes so many times before wondering, ‘Am I hideous’? Of course I’d get a lot of nice comments too, from people telling me to never dye it and reminding me how lucky I am. I’m constantly asked by hairdressers if the colour is real as they remark over how thick it is (while embarking on the challenge of washing and pinning this monstrosity on my head). I smile and thank them, meanwhile thinking they have no idea how many headaches I get from having such thick, course hair. Now that I’m older, I absolutely love identifying as a red head. We all grow into our own skin eventually, and being a minority segment of the population is kind of cool right? Screw the bullies, love yourself and wear your hair with pride I say!

Matching the word Ginger with Ocean seemed to fit quite nicely as well for me, A) because it’s meaningful, and B) because it makes you stop and think for a second. Isn’t the ocean blue, not red? And that’s what I want my blog readers to do, to stop and think about the content and what it means to them. For me going to the beach as much as I can, wandering along the shore and listening to the soft crash of waves rolling in, is the most therapeutic indulgence there is. And it’s free! Who needs to dish out hundreds of dollars in sessions with a psychologist when they can simply head for the shore, breathe in the fresh air and contemplate things in peace? If I’m feeling even the slightest bit antsy or on edge, I know an afternoon stroll feeling the sand in my toes will do my mental state wonders. I’m fortunate enough to live in a town that is enclosed by over 30 beaches, but for the last 10 years I lived in the city where escaping to the ocean was something that only happened a couple of times a year. I hated it, and never again will I confine myself to the barriers of a concrete jungle existence.

So there you have it, for anyone actually wondering what Ginger Ocean means to me. Of course, it means so much more than what I’ve described here today – but those were the fundamental beginnings of something that’s given me great joy. Being able to express myself in the form of this blog has opened a door for me – writing in a creative, thoughtful space is something I really enjoy. And shouldn’t that be one of the things we strive towards in life, simply enjoying what we do?

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” (Ray Bradbury). 

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Photo credits – portraitvision & spacebypixel

 

 

When patting yourself on the back is well deserved.

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As you might know I’ve written about facing fears and overcoming anxiety in previous posts… well, today I’ve done just that so excuse me for taking a minute to feel proud as punch. It was a fairly small feat – I completed my first shift at work solo, fresh out of training and naturally worried that something would go wrong. And it did, of course. BUT – I didn’t panic, I handled the situation calmly with poise and professionalism, and that makes me feel bloody fantastic (excuse my language).

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the drive to work was incredibly dangerous – fallen trees and power lines, broken traffic lights and pelting rain. A few months ago this would have been enough to rattle me so badly I wouldn’t get in a car for days, but I powered through and arrived at work safely. Then the roller door for the hotel garage wasn’t working due to water damage, so I had a line of guests trying to drive out at 6:30am with no way of opening this door. Again, I handled the situation calmly and didn’t work myself into a ball of stress – something that would have left me literally shaking a couple of months ago, at a time when simple tasks like writing an email seemed like a huge obstacle.

After an extremely busy day of phone calls, room cancellations, new bookings and constant enquiries, I’m pretty exhausted but I’m not riddled with anxiety, and for that – I’m happy. Happy with the self-progress I’ve made so far, for facing my fears and for taking each day at a time. Last night I watched a fantastic video by Zoella, a British blogger who bravely describes her experiences in coping with years of panic attacks :

Her description of the physical symptoms of anxiety is incredibly accurate and (I think), easy to understand for loved ones struggling to comprehend what people like myself have gone through. For someone who often struggles with shyness and speaking out loud, having resources like this which break the feelings down into understandable, relatable symptoms is great. I’ve also used my own blog as a tool for managing my feelings and expressing myself, when talking to people is sometimes difficult and hard to articulate.

Hoping you have had a good day and thanks for reading my stories. Here’s a picture of a cute bunny to put a smile on your dial 🙂

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Photo credits – sistergoldenshop & babyanimalstagram