Happiness, a double-edged sword.

img_4781

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 🙂

img_0561

Goodness gracious May, where did you go?

img_4283

Can somebody please wind back the clock just a little, because it honestly feels like I haven’t even had time to shave my legs yet since 2017 and somehow we are now on the cusp of June! But seriously, at what point are they long enough to get waxed? One centimetre? (Asking for a friend)…

Winter has been suddenly thrust upon us and before I even had time to register what was happening, my life now resembles a mad dash between ugg boots, dressing gowns, puppy toilet training, cooking and cleaning (in between work of course, but nobody ever seems to mention that). HOW DO THEY DO IT? Beyoncé makes being a superwoman look so effortless, while the rest of us are back here just trying to fit in a morning coffee. Something I actually have managed to make time for this month is getting back into reading, in a big way (at the mediocre rate of 1 book a week). I say mediocre because I (embarrassingly so), managed to finish the entire Twilight series in a matter of 5 days when they first gained popularity a few years ago. Shame on me. So what have I been reading this month? I’ll give you a hint…

“What does he do, Clarice? What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing? He covets. How do we begin to covet? We begin by coveting what we see every day.”  

You guessed it, I’ve just finished the entire Hannibal Lector series (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising) by Thomas Harris. Brilliant books! Not at all as terrifying and gruesome as you’d think they would be (if you, like me, got the absolute fright of your life watching Anthony Hopkins in character). If you love a good mystery / suspense ride then this series is a must, in fact I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to jump on board. I’ve exhausted all the Patricia Cornwell and Michael Connelly options so thought the Hannibal series would be a nice detour (Fun fact, Hannibal grew up in Nazi-era Germany and his baby sister was eaten by captors to stay alive through a brutal winter, so I’ll let you make your own assumptions as to why he enjoyed liver with fava beans).

***  This blog post was not intended to be a book review ***

BUT, I also read a brilliant book by Australian journalist and author Eileen Ormsby called The Darkest Web, a fascinating insight into the underbelly of the internet. Cyber crime, illegal drug trade, hit men for hire, child exploitation, you name it – she covered it. I first heard about her book while listening to an episode of Hack on Triple J, and I honestly had no idea that this entire world existed. I’d heard the term ‘dark web’ thrown around before, but always assumed it just meant people using the internet for dodgy stuff. Little did I know that you actually needed to download a separate browser (in most cases people seem to use Tor), so that you can surf millions of websites anonymously that are not available on your usual search engines like Google. Awesome read if you are interested!

*** Okay can someone pay me to read books and write reviews, this is an actual request #dreamjob ***

Or just pay me to stay in bed, because life is really hard on cold mornings. Until next time 🙂

img_0360

Introversion and dinner parties; a recipe for disaster.

img_6289

As some of you may know I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and introversion before, but today I’d like to touch on the nightmare of the dinner party. Upon invitation to a meal out, most people would look forward to it with a normal level of interest and excitement. Who doesn’t love wine, food and good conversation? This week I had to attend a going away dinner party for a girl from work, which was all fine and good – I was actually looking forward to catching up with my colleagues after almost 3 weeks away. Of course, I didn’t bank on people from higher management coming along – disappointing to say the least. Now we have to watch what we say and be on our best behaviour! Nobody enjoys dining with the big bosses, let’s be honest.

As I walked in and spotted that I was the first person there not in a ‘management’ type role, I immediately crawled into my shell. Excusing myself to the bathroom, I cursed myself for always having to be early to EVERYTHING. See, being early means you have to make awkward small chat as you wait for all the people who clearly have better things to do than be on time. I’ve actually never been able to understand people who are late, don’t they feel stressed that others are waiting for them? I cannot stand running late, so it seems I’ve committed myself to a life of being early and hiding in the toilet waiting for others to arrive. First world problems hey?

So moving on to the dinner party, and I sit myself on the end corner where I (hopefully) won’t have to talk to management or be put on the spot. WRONG. It seems the only thing Mr ______ knows about me is that I have a blog, which he likes to ask me about at every possible opportunity. So why not ask me about it in front of the entire table? What people don’t understand is that I’m not writing this blog to become famous, and I definitely don’t want to explain what I write about to a group of people I only know on a work basis when my blog is something really, really personal to me. I mean if you’re that interested, ask me what it’s called and google it or better yet – look at my resume or LinkedIn profile and you’ll find it. So as I slowly die under the spotlight of people waiting to hear what I write about, I spit out some random shit like ‘Oh you know, just life and Bali Belly etc’. CRINGE. KILL ME NOW. Somebody please take the microphone and close the curtains.

Thank god the cake arrives and we can stuff our faces, complain about how full we are and pay the bill. Home time!

img_6287

Photo credits – thepinkstagram & travelerspassion

Does creativity mostly stem from darkness?

IMG_5017

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I’m NOT writing anymore, and wondering why this is the case. When I first started this blog in January, I was writing around 3 – 4 blog posts a week. I simply couldn’t stop. I had so much bottled up inside of me that was flowing out – emotions, rage, guilt, regret, sadness. It was like someone had finally turned the tap on inside of me, and years of built up sewerage was spilling out so I channeled it the best way I knew how – through words. Everyone has their own way of expressing their inner thoughts. Some resort to alcohol, drugs and violence, while some turn to creative pursuits – art, dance, music, photography and writing to name a few. I’ve been wondering though, as I’ve noticed a significant decrease in my once torturous feelings of anxiety, why I don’t feel like writing as much anymore, and if anyone else can relate?

When you think about some of the famous artists and creatives of our time, there is usually a back story of hidden pain and secrets as well. Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent van Gogh, Charles Dickens and many others have been documented to have experienced mental health struggles. I can’t help but wonder if in a lot of cases, our most creative works come from a place of sadness and helplessness within? Many of the greatest musicians and song writers have referenced their ‘best sellers’ as having been recorded in some of their darkest times. There seems to be a pretty significant connection between common struggles (depression, anxiety, mood swings, relationship break downs, deaths and so on), where the person works through their feelings via creative expression.

I know for certain that when I’m feeling ‘normal’ – which in my case I would equate with getting through the day with a fairly consistent mood, and not being plagued by frequent periods of anxiety or nervousness, that I don’t particularly feel like writing. In fact I usually have to be experiencing a pretty ‘down’ day to sit down and let the words come pouring out, which is a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand I’m over the moon that my darkness seems to be lifting, but on the other hand I’m sad because I get a lot of enjoyment from writing. What am I meant to write about if I’m feeling normal, or even (dare I say it), happy? That seems like such a silly thing to worry about, I know. I think it’s stemmed from my unhealthy relationship with ‘morbid’ news stories in the media, where for some unknown reason I am drawn to read horrifying stories of murder, kidnapping and tragedies on a regular basis. Of course this is not an uncommon fascination – it has been well documented that as a society these days we are hungry for such stories, and that they both terrify and intrigue us.

I’ll wrap my musings up today with a quote from Jack Beal;

Keep painting your demons. 

IMG_4854

Photo credits – ourcolourdays & ourmoodydays

Writing; A cathartic release for my soul.

IMG_3459

Sometimes before actually looking at my blog I get asked by people what I write about or what inspires me, and I have to take a second to think about my answer because in all honesty – I don’t have a general theme or angle. I suppose if I had to blanket my articles under a category, it would be ‘life’ – but this is pretty broad and leads to the question ‘What is life?’… For me, blogging is about being able to channel all my thoughts and feelings into a neat, well flowing story. It’s not about impressing or attracting readers, or making money. It’s about a girl, letting the words flow from her mind and seeing what the finished product looks like.

My blogs are actually a work in progress, like a continuing cycle or a very large puzzle. Whenever I have a spare few minutes I browse through images online, looking for special moments that really capture something significant. I only choose images that have moved me, or reminded me of a memory / time / place… images that inspire me to write about things that have happened in my life, or a general topic and my views. Sometimes I might bookmark an image and not return to it for a few weeks, until I’m reminded of why I chose that particular story line or am feeling the same way again. Other times, I’ll find an image and simply can’t wait to write my story – the words literally come rushing out and I need to catch my breath at the end. It’s always an interesting process watching my story unfold – I never know what I’ll be discussing at the end until the time comes which is what I enjoy. It’s organic, authentic and from the heart.

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing from a young age. I suppose being an only child until I was 10 had something to do with it – I needed to find something to fill the time, so I turned to journalling and reading fantasy books. I’d get lost in the world of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter over and over again, escaping into a land full of magic, secrecy and intrigue. I loved English at school and went on to complete a degree in Journalism majoring in Communications, but I must admit during my university years I lost a lot of my passions. Since starting this blog 4 months ago I’ve felt a real sense of contentment and pride, as though something has finally fallen into place. Put simply, I think I’m meant to write.

I encourage everyone to keep following their curiosity in life, until they find something they can own, enjoy and be proud of. I may only get a few people reading this post, but if I can inspire one person or make them reflect on what it is that feeds their passions, I will be happy.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” (Maya Angelou). 

IMG_3131

Photo credits – twbloves & hubs_united