Pros, cons, failure

Growing up is a weird thing; it just sort of happens without really thinking about it. I mean sure, most of the time I’m thinking to myself ‘I am definitely not adult enough to deal with this’, but then there are moments where I suddenly realise I am an adult, and I’m actually doing it just fine. How can I tell I’m adulting well? Firstly, I am incredibly particular about wine, babies no longer scare me (I’m still highly skeptical I should ever actually be allowed to bring one up), I am capable of looking after multiple small people at once, I know life does not stop and start with marriage, relationships, or even having children…but those things are cool too, I’ve come to appreciate money…by that I mean the fact that I turn up to a place each day and do stuff and they then give me money so I can live, I am learning how to think about and navigate the idea of a mortgage, a house, where I want to live… and I have learnt just how fragile life is, and I appreciate that fact. Oh and I’ve also come to learn and accept shit happens to all of us.

I don’t feel grown up, but to honest I don’t know if anyone ever feels ‘grown up’, I think it’s more a feeling of comfortable experience that leads you to have a little more faith each year that in most situations you will, regardless of how you may feel at the time, be ok. I was going to put ‘survive’, but there’s really no guarantee of that.

My little cat had his vaccinations today. In order to get him into the cat cage I coxed him with food first into a small space. He then quickly realised something was not right and quickly escaped. I came back five minutes later to see he had given into his desire for food (animal like its owner) and I swiftly blocked the cat door with various washing baskets. He then escaped from the other door as I tried to enter with the cat cage and my attempts at a human barricade failed miserably. I then spent 10 minutes chasing him up and down the house until he finally gave in to his desire for pats and I captured him once and for all. His poor defeated meows were heart breaking as I loaded him into the car for mum to take him with her to the clinic (she’s a vet nurse). Admittedly the only time I’ve ever put him in a cage prior was to move him from one place to another…so right now he’s sitting in a cage at the clinic thinking this is his new home and he’s been transported to some kind of jail for a crime in which he does not know. I will sweep in and rescue him and he shall love me forever…and hopefully forget all about this mornings antics.

I have two weeks until my psychology exam. I have finally accepted there is no possible way for me to learn everything I need to learn. So, I’ve decided I will simply learn five chapters REALLY well so ace that part of the exam. I’d love to say this is a strategy well thought through, however it’s really a last ditch effort not to fail this whole thing.

But I can always try again.

Really what I’m telling myself is it is not the end of the world, I have wasted $700 in worse ways, it will be fine, I have wine, and if I have to try again I’ll just try again. Simple, right?

Adulting at its finest right there.

What I’m coming to learn this year is to just chill out. That might seem strange to those in my life who understand I operate at a million miles an hour and every single weekend in June is booked…however, I am learning to stop putting on the pressure, stop trying to overachieve, to move a million miles an hour. Just take one step, as it comes. For me, there are often many steps that come all at once…so if I apply that statement to my life it looks like madness.

But on the days I feel frustrated I’m not going anywhere fast enough, I just remind myself how much I wanted this; to have a warm home close to family, to have my own cat, to have a job that keeps me busy and earns me money but doesn’t give me nightmares, so I have time to study and enjoy that study. This is what I wanted when I sat in that little home in France and pictured life. It just didn’t happen how I expected it to. But this is really lovely.

It’s raining. I love rain. I love studying when it’s raining. Soon I’ll have a gym with a spa and I can provide myself with motivation for the gym with that. It’s winter, it’s snuggly weather, it’s raining, I’m studying something I love, I have a cat, I have plans for a house, I want to live in the country, I have a good job. It’s all about perspective…

Because when I got on here I was going to complain how stressed and didn’t want to study, how my head hurts because I have a headache because it’s always so damn cold, how it’s raining so I don’t want to go outside or to the gym, and I have no money for my dream home or my dream travel.

It’s really easy to get stuck feeling like it’s falling apart or like something else would be better. Of course it would, because it always looks great when you’re not living it. You can’t have all the pros without the cons and you rarely see the cons when it’s not your life.

I’m wearing my favourite sweater today, it’s raining, and I’m going to go home and snuggle my cat and study with a hot cup of tea. I might even take an Instagram shot of it all so people think my life is amazeballs.

Sorry, this blog had potentially a little too much sarcasm in it.

 

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Happy-go-lucky

The count down to Canada has begun! It’s less than a week before I fly out of the country and I’m still yet to figure out what on earth I’m packing. Sickness has found me once again in the form of a cold and all sorts of average feelings. But I had it coming really, my body doesn’t love take aways, no sleep, and alcohol for over a week! Running around in the rain probably didn’t help either. Never the less I’m now taking the hint and sleeping as much as is humanly possible while still working and occasionally eating. Ugh, I must be getting old. I’m now adding ‘don’t drink vodka’ to my New Years resolution list. Lately I seem to swing between wanting to cuddle up in bed with a good book and my cat and wanting to go clubbing all night and never sleep. I’m some weird combination of grown up and someone trying to relive their teenage years.

When I began 2015 my only new years resolution was to be ‘unapologetically me’. At the time I wasn’t entirely sure what that looked like, all I knew is I was tired of trying to make people happy or impress them and either putting on or shutting down parts of who I was to achieve that. I’d actually forgotten about it when I made 2016’s resolutions, until the other night. I was sitting with one of my best friends when he turned to me after a moment of silence and said “I’ve never met anyone who is so good at being themselves as you are”. It’s funny because I rarely stop to think about what I come across to people as. I know from feedback on my blog that each person reads what I write differently, and I really enjoy that, but I haven’t often stopped to think about how my friends perceive me or my life for that matter.

Quite often I get so focused and just doing my thing I don’t get the chance to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come or pat myself on the back for things I’ve achieved.

I have indeed managed to become unapologetically me and I now know what that looks like: me being me without trying – the people who like who I am, stay and those who don’t, leave. I really like who I am as a result of it and while it’s meant losing a few major people in my life, I’ve made even better friends and become closer to the some of ones I already had.

Part of my being me plan was to live life large; start saying yes more and getting out of my comfort zone. After travelling like I did I thought comfort zones were a thing of the past and getting out of them was a piece of cake. I was wrong, like I usually am, and I’ve found being single one of the hardest things to get used to in terms of meeting guys and striking up conversation with people. I don’t think many people realise just how comforting it is to have that one ‘person’ there for them and how little you rely on other people when in a relationship. Suddenly now I’m single I rely on people like I never have before. I need my friends around me; I need people to laugh with, have nights out with, talk to about random things in my day, share exciting things with, all the little things I shared in a relationship I’ve found other people to share them with. But that, until now, was a very daunting thing. And it still is at times. My happiness is reliant on a lot of different people, I’m still feeling vulnerable, those people can and will move and change and carry on with their own lives just like I will with mine…and I have no say about that. It’s scary. The unknown is scary.

But it’s also exciting. I’m learning to just enjoy the now and the people I have right now. I never thought I’d care about people or want to help people the way I do now. I’ve found the more I go through and the more I see in life the more determined I am to get alongside other people; face life together.

I had another friend point out the other day that I “do so many cool exciting things all the time”. Again, I’d never stopped to think about it. But I suppose when I add up the travelling, the hobbies, the nights out, I am in fact living life large. I’m enjoying every moment of it and I’m grabbing it by the horns. Instead of thinking about it, I’m just doing it. And I think that’s the best way to approach it.

I’ve become a happy-go-lucky people person and that was never something I expected. I looked at people who loved life and frolicked in genuine happiness with a bunch of amazing friends as foreign objects. I honestly had no idea how people did that. Yet just like that, I’m one of those people. When I say just like that I don’t really mean I closed my eyes one night and woke a up different person. I think it’s more a case of the deeper the sadness and hurt you face and the more you see of the world, the more you make the most of the good times and the faster you recover in the bad. It’s not that you ever really stop being sad about the really sad things, you just carry them around in a different way. I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this, but hopefully you get the jist.

So I’m going to stop there before I ramble on into oblivion. Bring on another 12 hour sleep night, healthy food, staying out of the rain, and having cuddles with my cat.

#Icanbeagrownupsometimes

Honesty

I really need to stop having these 11.30pm sudden brainwaves for blogs, they are highly disruptive to my sleep patterns! Never the less, since I went to all the effort of reaching over and turing my computer back on I better follow through with my potentially tragic blog post.

I began this blog three years ago because I wanted to be honest. You know that kind of refreshing yet cringe worthy honest you don’t find many places now? Yep, I wanted to be that. And I feel like I did that almost too well at some points. But lately I’ve been really dropping the ball. There are several things I usually leave off the table when it comes to blogging: my relationship, my family, my job.

Mainly because: I still want to be in a relationship, I actually enjoy talking to my family, and it is also necessary to continue being employed. Ok so the last one is a little bit of an over exaggeration. But I thought it was about time I started sharing some of the tough parts I tend to just avoid on here…because they’re life. It’s all part of life. And what point is there in having an honest blog if I’m never honest?

Long distance relationships suck…really suck. We only live an hour apart so it’s actually not that long distance. But after nearly four years there are some things I’ve come to love and come to hate about it.

It’s easy to end up with no social life because you spend most weekends at their place, or yours if they actually make it that far (stab stab, I promised myself this would not be a bitch session), you find yourself acting like a control freak because you don’t want to see their friends during the little time you have with them, sometimes it’s kind of nice having separate lives and not having to speak to anyone in the evening, ‘moving in’ is not as simple as just shifting to their apartment – it’s actually a rather large decision and requires up rooting your entire life, going out for a lunch date feels weird, you get to make the most of time spent together, when things go bad they’re not just around the corner, but you have two of everything so your over night bag doesn’t need repacking every weekend.

So after a chat with my homeopath tonight it was established I have a personality which tends to attract the whole ‘responsibility thing’…I like to be organised, I’m fairly reliable if you don’t want to get somewhere on time, so generally speaking I’m quite good in a ‘motherly’ roll. The problem with that is the other side of my personality imagines disappearing with no waring when I feel large amounts of pressure to act consistently like a grown up.

After a fight with my boyfriend over what’s important in our lives, bloody rugby, and feeling like I constantly mother my sister and also feeling like I’m stuck on this treadmill going faster than I can run at work…I kind of feel like I want to crawl under the covers and never come out.

Because part of me also knows it’s my fault!

I am that ‘person’ for some people, and I try to be that person so that people need me, and it’s not just limited to people, I never let anyone else ride my horse for six years for crying out loud! I like to be needed. But I often forget I need to let myself just be me. And just enjoy being me.

This year was about being unapologetically me…and I think I lose sight of that often trying to be everyone else’s person. I get lost trying to keep up. But I can’t. I never could. Sometimes life just has really good little reminders for me.

I need to let go, I need to let people stand on their own two feet, I need to allow myself to be angry when I’m not ok with things, I need to find who and what I want to be as a journalist.

I need me more than anyone else right now…and I think I’m slowly getting there.

So here is to honesty, and more of it to come!

Please fasten your seat belts and prepare for crash landing.

Be nice!

Do you ever have those days where you’re just like ‘I quit’ ‘I quit life today, I’ll be back tomorrow’?

I’ve had a few of those lately.

Thankfully I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing contacts who have given me some pretty cool stories. But a job where you’re dealing with people all the time can often be a little depressing. I know I’m born for this job, but there are days where you sit there and go, ‘why?’.

When you are dealing with at least 10 people a day, it’s easy to come across a few ass holes. And I really don’t like ass holes. We live in such a beautiful country, we have all this incredible luxury around us, and so many people still lack the ability to be kind.

Just one simple act of kindness goes a long way. I have made it my personal mission in life to be as kind as possible to the people who seem like they really need it, and the ones who don’t. Everyone needs kindness at the end of the day.

You just have no idea how close someone might be to breaking point, and just one simple thought beyond your own life to extend a hand and lift someone else up may just be the one thing that keeps them going.

Life can be hard at the best of times, so why on earth do we go out of our way to make other peoples harder than it has to be?

Anyway, that’s my rant before I head off for the long weekend.

Be nice people!

It’s the next chapter

FOR THE BLOG

So last night, after I wrestled the bacon bone soup out of the freezer and the chicken drumsticks escaped and attacked my foot, I struggled to sleep.

The bacon bone soup was good, exactly what you need when you’re fighting the flu and unable to sleep.

I was thinking to myself ‘seriously dude, just close your eyes and sleep!’

It’s not my brain’s fault. Life has been what I would call a white water adventure as of late.

My grandfather is dying, I’m selling my horse – evidently that means no more horse riding for a while, my other horse is having a foal and I am seriously out of my depth, I’m moving house, I’ve been revisiting old wounds with an ex, and work is full on – but good.

So really, my brain doesn’t really have much of a shot at being ok lately.

To tell you the truth, I think it’s doing pretty damn well.

Stories for work this week have been some of the best since I started working, I have loved the research and the interviews. But one in particular about family violence has stirred up a few past hurts (NOT with my own family!). The problem with me, is I don’t really move on from things until I talk about it. I need to talk to figure it out. The other person doesn’t even have to say much, they just need to understand.

The problem with this particular time in my life, is there is only one person who actually can understand it. So it’s back to the past I go.

There is this whole folder in my brain reserved for ‘2010, when things fell apart in a rather impressive way’.

I got it together thank goodness.

But it doesn’t make it all go away. It just makes you pretend it’s not there.

That’s not healthy.

So I’m being brave and actually drawing lines and treading carefully on very broken glass. But with the mix of everything that’s going on at the moment, I choose to slip into a world of good drama TV shows.

This is definitely the start of another chapter for me.

But I have absolutely no idea where I am going. I have an idea of what I want and what will be there, but it’s making the sentences that scares the living daylights out of me. Because it is the first time in my life I’m not ignoring anything. I’m not trying to ‘escape’. I am facing my fears and I am doing what I know is best for not just me, but the people around me.

So, here is to the next step.

Sore foot from chicken fights, green juice because I hate chewing my greens, cups of tea to sooth the hurts, and good TV shows to take my mind off it all when I just need a break.

It might not seem like a lot from the outside, but it’s a huge amount to me. And I’m ok with saying that. Everyone fights their own battles in their own time, and this is my time and my battle.

But I’m going to win.

Because it’s my life, and I want better than what I’ve been giving myself.

Saving grace

Today, and yesterday, were the kind of days where I have to remind myself to breathe. One, because I need oxygen, two, because I need to relax. Along with a splitting headache and aching stomach, the clear indicator for stress was standing in the kitchen writing stories in my head. 

Stop it brain. Time to shut off. 

But I’ve done enough complaining lately. I actually enjoy working 8.30am to 7pm some days, in a weird way it means I can consume myself in work enough I can forget about all the other things I should be doing. 

Like making friends. Doing sport. Keeping fit. That sort of stuff. 

I realised though, these last few days, just how lucky I am. Today I have been trying really hard to be positive, so here is a list of things I am grateful for:

1) The guy who flashed his lights to warn me of a speed camera so I didn’t end up with another ticket. 

2) The fact it stopped raining when I went to feed my horse.

3) Fantastic people I have met during my interviews lately, these are amazing reminders of why I love my job.

4) Friends who bring me food. Like, there are no words for people like this. I love them more than I can explain. There is simply nothing better than a friend who offers to bring you food when you’ve had a really shitty day and forgot there was this thing called eating which you need to do.

5) Good music, the amount I have found lately has kept me afloat.

6) People to dream with. Even if it is something simple and far off, just having someone to discuss the future and the excitement of it makes me smile. 

7) Having a work car… because I am rather poor.

8) Managing to not crash it even though with this awful weather lately there have been several very close calls. 

9) Having a horse, because sometimes, you just need horse cuddles to make the world seem like a nice happy place.

10) A bed, a roof, a warm house, food, and a job. I don’t think I ever stop and appreciate these things enough. I am so lucky to live in a house, let alone the incredible house I live in, with good people, in a safe country.

So I have a life plan. I have a headache. I didn’t get a speeding ticket. I have managed to actually achieve nearly everything I need to by 10am tomorrow. I have fantastic friends. And my hottie bottle and cup of tea are perhaps some of the more reassuring things after a long day. 

Anyway, what I actually came on here to say was that I have become a far more vulnerable person. While that was very scary at first, it feels good to rely a little more on others and a little less on myself. Bad days are still unpleasant, but when you’re not shouldering the whole world, you feel much more equipped to cope. 

People rock. Good people, are really quite incredible. 

So folks, remember to ask for help when you can’t do it on your own anymore, and remember when to say no when you can’t take it anymore.

But don’t forget to say yes and to lend a hand when you can, because everyone has their turn at feeling like their my paddock in the rain with a horse running up and down it. 

 

Over it

Do you ever have those phases where people just start acting weird, and you don’t quite know if you’re losing the plot completely, or they are? Well, I’m having one of those I believe. I want to hibernate. Bears have it sussed. It gets cold, they eat, then they sleep for a long time. Why can’t humans do that? 

It is Monday. I am freezing my butt off. My horse is set about destroying his cover and I don’t have money to replace it. It’s cold, did I mention that? And I am at that point where I desperately need a good cup of something warm and delicious, and a good girl friend to bitch to. 

I want a dating site for friends, all my good ones seem to be living far away… or visiting nice places far away. 

I think the problem with my intolerance for strange or fake or demanding or just plain rude people has stemmed from journalism. I constantly ask people things, some things are quite personal, on first meeting them. It’s like that constant small talk and act we put on for others… all the time. Which is good, we need that, but when it comes to friends, sometimes you just need people you can talk to while in your underwear, or in your oldest comfiest clothes, with no make up, bitching till your heart desires, with no need to feel ‘chirpy’ or ‘together’ or ‘inspired’. 

All in all I think I need a holiday. And a hug. I really need a hug. And real. I really need real people. 

Anyway… that’s is enough of my emotional, cold, over Monday, whinge. 

Time to get tough. Out with the people who I’m over. Dealing with the people I don’t understand. Appreciating the people who make my days. And time to figure out how I’m going to get some much needed R&R in a warm place. But for now I think I’m just going to sleep. 

Sleep fixes everything.

 

Rare insight into the mind of a journalist

I have had the honour of meeting some pretty incredible people in my life. It’s the people you least expect that surprise you in the best ways. The best thing about being a journalist is getting to see people. I don’t mean with your eyes, but with your heart. You see people in a different way to most, you look at them from every angle, from each flaw to each strength. Not in every article, but when you take your time on something like a feature, you are taking that person, and you are restricting them to 500-3000 words. Your job is not just to describe them, but to get other people to see beyond those words because that is not all who they are, that is just what you have managed to capture with language.

I have walls made of steel I am told. I don’t mean to, and I don’t think every person who meets me makes that assumption. I think when you are so wrapped up in wanting to know the small and intimate details about a person, when you ask the kinds of questions that most people are not brave enough to, you often forget that you too have a story.

Being a journalist is an incredible job, you are blessed by people who open up and let you see them. You find all kinds of people, and you can take something from each and every one.

Some you can tell want to be hard, they want to shut you out, so you just wait. You wait until they trust you in a way that will let them talk with passion. Others love to talk, and they want to tell you everything, but you have to be able to direct that, keep them on track, the challenge with those people is finding out something someone else doesn’t already know. There are patient people too, those who simply wait until asked the question. They are the most challenging because they are the ones where you have to work for your answers, you have to be good at your job, but they are also the most rewarding because that is the time you get to be creative.

You hear and see some very sad things as a journalist. Even in my short career so far I have seen the pain life can cause. It opens your eyes to the realities that are easily forgotten. You learn to appreciate life, but to also take a step back and learn when you need to stop caring so much. As a journalist you are both caring and assertive. You want someone to tell you their story, but you also have to know when to stop putting up with the crap you get thrown at you, and just go get the story.

It is not easy, and when you’re dreaming of deadlines and punctuation, or typing so fast your fingers get cramp, or so you desperately want to sleep but the story comes first, you wonder why you do it. But then you have those moments when you realise, there is nothing else you’d rather do, it doesn’t matter how hard it can be, it is rewarding in ways I didn’t know were possible.

You get to know people, and that is a pretty cool job perk.

 

It’s one of those days again

Today has been the definition of ‘one of those days’. You know the ones where you are running up hill constantly and never really getting anywhere? Yeah, well I have successfully managed to create a WHOLE lot of work for myself tomorrow, which is just splendid, managed to lose more stories than I have gained, and been questioned by a big CEO dude as to why I didn’t want to talk to him. I nearly asked him if I’d hurt his poor little egotistical feelings, but I thought that might be a tad too condescending…instead I smiled through gritted teeth and slammed the phone down just a little bit harder than usual.

It has been a ‘drop everything I pick up, lose my voice at the wrong times, write the wrong words, stumble upon introduction, nearly arrive late to work, miss eating breakfast, leave a million and one voice messages because no one wants to pick up’ kind of days.

I even made sure I didn’t have a drop of alcohol when out with friends for a nice chat… I EVEN WENT TO BED ON TIME! This is no fair. I keep reminding myself I am alive, I have a job, I have money, I have food (well, not really, I will when I go shopping), I have a roof over my head and so on. But it isn’t making me feel much more productive and any less dumped on. But, it is clouding over and I am praying that we have more rain. 

 

Can I please just go back to bed world? I don’t feel like fighting you on this one!   

Needy

No matter who you are, where you are, what you’ve done, or where you’re from, you need friends. I think the most humbling experience for me over the last few years has been learning I need people. Good people, the kind of people you want to be like. I’ve never had dreams about having the ‘perfect’ prince charming (though I found my version of one) coming to sweep me off my feet on a white horse. I’ve always dreamt of having great friends, the kind you sit around and instagram about.

Now I’ve found an odd bunch, my instagram keeps telling me I need to update it before it can upload pictures. Of course I don’t have enough space on my phone #firstworldproblems. So, instead I just instagram in my head. 

Tough times are hard, everyone has them, it doesn’t matter how amazing or perfect your life is. Life does get tough. But when you’ve got people to make you laugh until you choke (though not actually choke choke, breathing eventually is good. You need to live to appreciate those friends), and to remind you of the little things that make you smile. 

We all need people to accept us, challenge us and pick us up. 

I have always stood on my own two feet. My sister said to me the other day “I think I need him too much” when talking about her new boy-friend (not actually going out so not quite sure how to describe them. a – seems to be appropriate here).

I looked at her and told her how wonderful it is to be able to need people. That having to learn that is quite simply a very painful process. Because you learn by dragging yourself up, and eventually not being able to any more because you’re just too tired. Then you have to need people. And yes, you get a crash course in what it’s like to be helpless.

Relying on the right people, when you need a hand, a smile, or just someone to be on the other side of the Facebook page, can change a situation from wallowing, to having just one bad day.