Wokeness, Inequality and Awakening: All About Women Festival

Individually, we are one drop. Together we are the ocean.

On Sunday 10th March, I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do… attend an event about empowering, educating and inspiring badass women. All About Women is a festival celebrating women and our achievements whilst critically engaging in the global discussion surrounding gender inequality, and what it looks like for women around the world.

As I was on the train en route to Sydney, I firstly took some time to think about my experience as a woman in the world today. I am a proud feminist and feel relatively ‘woke’ about women’s issues in today’s society. But no matter your ‘wokeness’ level, if you’re a woman navigating today’s society, gender inequality affects each and every one of us in different ways. This is what gender inequality feels like in my everyday life;

  • I am terrified to walk home from the train station (5 minutes from home) at night.
  • I am scared of having my drink spiked when on a night out.
  • I feel ‘lucky’ for getting a job, rather than feeling I’ve ‘earned’ it.
  • I am labelled hysterical and psycho when I am angry or emotional.
  • I think twice about what I wear out, in case I attract unwanted attention.
  • I question my male friendships.
  • I get offended by trashy hip hop music videos.
  • I second guess when I hold hands with my girlfriend in public.
  • I’m constantly told my body is not sexy enough, slim enough or (insert health influencer buzzword here) enough.
  • I’m worried I won’t have enough superannuation when I retire.
  • I hold off disclosing my sexuality straight away.
  • My heart breaks every time I hear about a woman who has died at the hands of violence.

These are just some of the ways I do not feel equal in society. But being a white woman living in Australia, I know that my experiences are vastly different than those experiences of women of colour, transgender women, women with disabilities, women of faith and any woman who identifies as part of a minority.

This is why I wanted to attend this event. To hear, learn and grow from women whose experiences are different to mine, reflect and challenge my own knowledge, and think about what the future of feminism and gender equality looks like.

The Cut On Tuesdays featuring Clementine Ford

I attended a live recording of one of my favourite podcasts called ‘The Cut On Tuesdays.’ If you haven’t heard of it, and if you’re reading this blog, you will love it and I implore you to pause. go download. listen for the 40 minutes. come back. and say with me now. WOW!

I’ve never been to a live recording of a podcast, so I can truly say I had no idea what to expect. I attended with my friend Zina, and her Mum, which was a très cool duo to attend with. Under the beautiful arches of the Sydney Opera House, in the newly refurbished Utzon room, Molly Fischer brought the house down with her brilliant episode and presentation. With such a strong voice and even stronger ‘can do’ energy, I was immediately hooked. The fact that I could see Australian feminist icon, Clementine Ford, sitting in the front row, had me wriggling nearly off my seat!

Molly spoke about ‘women’s media.’ Everything from the sealed section in Cosmo, to the buzz word badass, to evolving from a fashion blog to a major political news company, now known as The Cut. When she invited Clementine Ford on stage to discuss gender and women’s rights here in Australia, I found myself nodding along to everything they were saying. As a young woman who recently graduated from a media and communications degree, it’s pretty inspiring to hear directly from the horses mouth, the experiences and challenges associated with being a woman in the media.

When the interview was wrapping up, Clementine Ford asked Molly what she thought of Australia and the way in which we treat women, after rather explicitly suggesting Australia is a rather sexist country. Her response was interesting. Whilst having only been in the country a few days, the first thing she mentioned was the luxury Australians have by having Medicare and universal health cover. Compared to the US, we are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful system where a doctors appointment doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars. It was also interesting to see them apply a feminist lens to healthcare. Women’s rights are human rights and society as a whole benefits when women are treated equally. It was pretty damn awesome to be in a room where I felt excited by the challenge of being a woman with a passion for the media and the critical ability to engage with it.

Wokeness and Radness: Ayishat Akanbi and Jan Fran

The next session I attended was titled the ‘The Problem With Wokeness,’ presented by Jan Fran and Ayishat Akanbi. My first question was, well what is wokeness? And is there a problem with it?

I think the first time I came across the term ‘woke,’ was Childish Gambino’s Redbone, with the line ‘Stay woke, n*ggers creepin. They gon’ find you. Gon’ catch you sleepin.’ Fast forward a few years and being woke is one of the trendiest things you can be. Upon doing some light research before this talk, I found that ‘woke’ or ‘staying woke’ originates from American people of colour about racial injustice in the US with regards to police brutality. Woke is the past tense of ‘to wake,’ implying that wokeness equates to waking up to yourself and the world around you. Seeing the world for what it really is in all its messiness. Now, wokeness equals being aware of various social injustices affecting our communities and livelihoods.

So… what’s the problem with it? Well I must admit, I was so completely absorbed by her conversation and what she had to say, that I stopped taking notes and decided to just take it in. But one of the biggest takeaways is that she argues that wokeness has stripped us of our compassion. At the end of the day, regardless of our identities, we are painfully similar and have a lot more in common that we could believe. Compassion is fundamental for creating empathy and real connections with people who are similar to use yet have experienced the world in a different way to us.

I learnt that you really can’t be woke about everything. At the end of the day, we will never truly understand everyone’s unique experiences of the world. Oppression and inequality affects people in many ways. It’s up to us to listen, learn, be allies and speak up. I learnt it’s also not worth your time or energy to argue with people who are less intelligent than you. And by less intelligent, I mean, stupid idiot internet trolls who have already made up their mind and will attack you to break you. I found this enlightening because it’s a reminder to not always take things personally. That people can be passionate about a situation, whilst being respectful to you. And when they’re not, they’re not worth your time.

Ayishat also recommended if you want to have real conversations and attempt to really debate ideas, then leave your DM’s open. It’s funny how reactionary people are in the comments section. They type first and think later. In the DM’s, it’s a whole other story. People are respectful, polite and articulate. Even when disagreeing on a topic. I honestly believe this is how you have meaningful conversations that lead towards long term change.

I left the Festival feeling incredibly inspired yet apprehensive. It’s kinda crazy attending an event where everyone there is like minded, especially in the fight for gender equality, and then you leave the safety of your bubble and realise that there are some not so woke people out there. But the takeaway is that there are people out there. Fighting the hard fight, speaking out and standing up.

We’re not there yet, and we’ve got a long way to go, but in the meantime we can lift each other up and enjoy the ride.

Advertisements

10 Thoughts and Life Hacks After Commuting To Sydney (For A Month).

So I recently started a job working in Sydney’s CBD. Yep, the big smoke! The only catch is, I live in Wollongong, 90 minutes away. Whilst I really can’t complain as I’m only commuting 3 days a week, and yes I’ve only been doing it for a month, consider these my top 10 tips for your commute from a novice commuter.

1- Noise-cancelling headphones are a must
I recently invested in some Bose noise-cancelling headphones and this could possibly be the best investment of 2019! I can put these baby’s on and disappear into my own world. They are perfect for losing track of time listening to a new podcast, banging along to a new album or even the occasional snooze.

2- I will never be able to wear heels to work
How the hell do women wear heels to work? I see some wear sandals and change into heels on the train but then I see women get on the train with heels on! OMG how?! And not just heels, stilettos! Kudos to you business women. Kudos to you.

3- Get yourself a routine
My mornings look a little like this, I put on a podcast, I write in my journal and I have a little nap. On the way home I read my book until I get too tired and then play Suduko. I know, wild routine hey! But I find that it’s so easy to stare out the window, listen to albums you’ve listened to 50 times before, and waste this precious time. Your time is precious so it’s important that you make the most of it. Plus I get to tick off some self-care, me items for the day. It feels pretty damn good.

4- Run baby run
How do people go for lunchtime runs around the Opera House and go back to work an hour later cool calm and collected? Do these people have genetically modified genes? If that was me I would be red, hot, sweaty and unable to show my face in a professional setting again! I’m quite happy sipping my iced long blacks in the sunshine and watching these people run on by.

*accurate image of me after a run*

5- Coffee, coffee, coffee
There are so many incredible coffee shops right at your doorstep, don’t settle for just one! One of my favourite ways to make the commute fun is to plan where I’ll stop by for a coffee on the way to work. I’ve come across a few great gems and I’m excited to find more! It almost makes the overpriced coffee and sub-par service bearable.

6- On that note, why don’t more people use keep cups?
Perhaps living in environmentally friendly Wollongong has created a bit of a bubble with what I assume is normal, everyday practice. I am seriously shocked at how many people don’t use keep cups! I walk past hundreds of people on their way to and from work with coffee in their hand. These people, I’m assuming have worked in the CBD for some time now, and they go to their regular places and get their regular coffees, but don’t bring their own cup? Seriously it is the easiest thing in the world and the planet will thank you for it. Just when you think we’re getting somewhere, you realise that the challenge ahead is far greater than we anticipated.

If you want a cool reusable coffee cup and/or drink bottle, check out Frank Green!

7- Which book will I read next?
Probably my favourite thing about commuting is the dedicated reading time I give myself. In all seriousness, when did you last give yourself time to sit and read for a solid 90 minutes? I barely got to read for 30 minutes before bed and now I am flying through books. I’m currently reading Eggshell Skull, and not only is the book incredible but all of this thinking and completely losing myself in books makes the trip fly! It leaves me asking what’s next on the reading list?!

8- Lunch views never looked so good
Ok so I may have gone a little overboard with the Insta stories and my ‘lunch views’ tag. But seriously, when the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are literally on your front door, you can’t just turn your head and have lunch in your office! One thing I’ve committed to taking seriously is giving myself a break whilst at work. Last year I often found myself in the disgusting habit of eating my lunch at my desk. There is seriously nothing like taking a 30-45 minute lunch break, getting some fresh air, going for a stroll, reading a book or just watching people pass you by. It will honestly leave you feeling like a new person when you waltz on back into your office ready to get you through to 5pm.

Photo source

9- Sydney is so multicultural and I love it
I love people watching. It’s a great way to pass the time and I love conjuring up back stories for all of the faces passing me by. And something I love about working in the city is the diversity present in all of the people that pass me by. It’s so exciting and it’s a reminder of how cool diversity is. And I mean this in a genuine way. It’s awesome to live in a global city, to be influenced by other cultures, to learn about new ways of life and share insights into your way of life. It’s inspiring to know that so many people like to call Sydney, or Australia, home. I love feeling like I am a total stranger, yet completely at home in a city, where you can be the best or weirdest version of yourself and people accept you. It’s fucking awesome.

10- Sydney is a bloody beautiful place. 
Wow. We are so lucky to live so close and work in the heart of Sydney. Sydney really is gorgeous. There’s not many cities in the world that have so much natural beauty surrounding the hustle and bustle of the CBD. I know I may still be looking at this all with starry eyes, but I can’t shake it. It’s pretty incredible to look out our office windows and see the Harbour Bridge. It’s amazing to be able to have my lunch break overlooking the Opera House. And I feel pretty damn lucky to have the experience of working in the CBD. Commute and all.

Photo source


We didn’t get our bond back and I put up a fight

Everyone knows about the pain and struggle of renting and real estate agents. It’s stressful, you’re navigating a very foreign and ‘grown up’ world, and at the end of the day you just want somewhere to live. But never did I think that moving out was the hard part. Early this year when our lease came to an end, we went through the typical end of lease proceedings. Cleaned the house like a motherfucker! Unfortunately due to our naivety, the real estate’s attempt to exploit and abuse us and the system, we ended up in a 9 month case with the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). I didn’t want to do it, hell I wanted to cop the loss of our bond and be done with it. But we fought and we fought hard. Looking back I’m bloody glad we did.

Here’s some things I learned going through the shittest adult thing. EVER!

Take photos. Take photos. Take photos.

One thing I wish I did more of throughout this whole situation was to TAKE PHOTOS! Put a date stamp on them and photograph everything. Print them out so they’re ready. Make sure there’s a date stamp otherwise it can be argued it was taken at a different time or date. Take photos of things you didn’t even know you had to take photos of. You will never regret taking too many photos when moving out, especially if it comes to this point.

Be organised

Going through this kind of procedure is incredibly complex and quite demanding in regards to the evidence and paperwork you need to provide. Being organised it absolute key! Photocopy everything, print every photo, email, quote, invoice and text message and group them together. You need to allow the evidence to speak for itself and the only way to make sure you’re speaking clearly is to have your shit organised. So whatever it is you’re going through, being organised will put you on the path to speak like the eloquent millennial you are.

Know your rights and what you’re entitled to

This may sound obvious have you ever stopped to look up your rights as tenants? I hadn’t prior to this experience. So we familiarised ourselves with the NSW Fair Trading website and sought information from various sources. Being able to reference specific acts or policies to support your case is incredibly valuable. But it’s also incredibly important to make sure you are well informed so that you can take ownership of your dispute and feel empowered by your knowledge.

When times get tough, times will keep getting tougher

There will be moments where you want to give up. One thing adds to another and another and another and suddenly your’e on the brink of your midlife crisis because you’ve somehow aged 30 years due to the stress! The important thing to remember is to breathe, take a moment, seek support from your friends and know that you’re trying your best.

Fight for what is right

I think the only reason we ended up going through this whole process was because we felt we were treated unfairly. This big organisation that was trying to defame our character. I found the way they treated us entirely disrespectful and insulting which I was not going to tolerate. The way in which I was spoken to was appalling and it’s disgusting to this that there are people like this living alongside us in our society. And I wanted to stand up for myself, my friends and say that this is unnacceptable.

In the end, it wasn’t about the money. We’d committed hours of our time, sleep and energy into this. We would’ve been financially better off if we let them walk all over us with the amount of time we had to take off work. It was about sticking up for ourselves and saying that we will not be taken advantage off. And guess what? It paid off.

As much as this experience sucked, it was definitely an experience that has (unfortunately) taught me a lot. The world and the people in it are not always kind, and some people will try to take advantage of you. But your kindness, understanding, organisation, determination and strength will skyrocket you past those losers trying to take advantage of you. Kill them with kindness and show em who’s boss.

For more information you can refer to the NSW Fair Trading ‘Get Your Bond Back’ Kit 

Plus you may find the ABC’s article on getting your bond back very interesting (I sure did!). 

[I originally wrote this article for Twenty Something Humans]

Processed with VSCO with n1 preset

Uni’s over, now what? GAP year 2.0

Two years ago, I was on exchange in Montréal. Upon the depressing thought that I would be returning back to Australia, I had a lot of people ask me what I wanted to do with my life when I finished uni. And I reflected upon this so much that I even wrote a blog post about it. Fast forward to today and I am (again) finished uni forever! I have submitted my 17,777 word thesis (yes that’s really how many words it was) and I am hanging up my student hat (well at least for the time being).

IMG_7281.JPG

Upon the submission of my thesis, all I wanted to do was settle in, celebrate with a few beers (which I did), focus on my work and actually have no plans (for the first time in a long time). Well, that didn’t last too long before the classic, ‘so what’s next?’ 

Does there have to be a next? Can I just focus on the now? I’ve spent the last 5 years of my uni life thinking about my next assignment, next deadline, next date, next time I’ll see my family, next pay check, next next next, go go go…. I just needed to take a want to be grateful for what I have right now.

I’m sure anyone who’s recently graduated from uni knows the feeling – you submit your last project and you suddenly stand taller, feel lighter and see the world differently. There are endless possibilities. I genuinely can take my career path in any direction I please. Which is terrifying but bloody exciting. There’s only a limited window in your life where you get the opportunity to be selfish, to pack up and go, to work casually, take risks, backpack the world before you have commitments and other priorities.

I know people and have many friends who know what they want to do. Who aren’t even finished yet and have a full-time job lined up for them. Which is awesome because who knew there were permanent full-time jobs still available (#casualizationoftheworkforce). And it’s awesome because they’ve worked so hard and made so many sacrifices to get that job. But for me, right now, the only job in the world that would make me want to sacrifice so much would be a full-time travel blogger (which 1- sadly, people don’t apply for, you gotta make that happen yourself, and 2- now that I’m free I can commit more time to making that happen which I’ll jump into now).

IMG_5279.JPG

BLOG, VLOG AND CREATE

Speaking of making things happen, one thing I do generally respond to the what next question, is that I’m going to focus on my blog, YouTube channel, photography and editing skills. I love what I’ve created on this platform. I love that I can sit in my room and type what my brain thinks, and that other people take time out of their day to read it and connect with it. It’s incredibly powerful and I think I’ve somewhat forgotten the magic of blogging.

IMG_9093

TRAVEL

Another response to the what next question, and really, I think this answer is to be expected from me… is TRAVEL! As if I’m not going to galavant around the world?! I’m heading to Bali in November with my girlfriend, Soph and am so freakin excited! It’s a place I’ve never been and a place that I’ve recently become fascinated with. With beautiful hiking, volcanos, islands, beaches and cheap alcohol, I cannot wait.

Then, at the end of the year I’m heading to Japan with my Dad and family. Dad and I are flying out in December and will be on the ski slopes on Christmas Day. Then my brother Isaac and sister Elizabeth, will join us as we venture around Japan. It’s definitely going to be a spectacular Christmas and wonderful New Years Eve.

GAP YEAR 2019?!

And then bam! Hello 2019! I think I’ve decided to call 2019 my GAP year. GAP year 2.0. Wow! I’m excited, filled with hope, options and possibilities, and I really can’t wait to jump into it all! I plan on filling it with weekends away, planning some overseas adventures, getting back into what I love and committing to making the most out of this special time. So, to anyone else out there thinking, ‘what next,’ take a deep breath and say ‘whatever the fuck I want!’

IMG_5361.JPG

My Sexuality

Gay, bi, lezzo, dyke, straight girl… let’s face it, sexuality is far from straightforward.

But up until this year I thought it was. If you’ve known me for a few years or been following my journey throughout life, you would know that I’ve been pretty boy crazy. My first ever crush was Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean which perhaps foreshadowed my questionable choices in men. Nonetheless, I identified as straight because I had only kissed and dated boys.

But this wasn’t to say that I wasn’t equally attracted to Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean. I thought she was super attractive (but then again it is Keira Knightley so who doesn’t?!) but this was different. I just never mentioned it out loud. There had always been a part of me that noticed girls in a romantic and sexual way but in this hetero dominated world I kind of just pushed it aside.

Why did I push it aside? You could analyse this until the world ends, but in my mind, it seemed a simpler choice to be with boys. Honestly – boys are predictable, they play games and I knew the rules. It also meant that I didn’t have to have another identity crisis or deal with confronting questions that I perhaps wasn’t quite ready to face. It was what everyone else was doing and I just wanted to fit in like them.

This isn’t to discount my previous partners or the relationships. They are what they are and I wouldn’t change anything. The experiences shared and memories created, both good and bad, are there to stay. I don’t regret anything and wouldn’t change a thing, because otherwise, I may not be where I am today. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and the moon or some other spiritual entity is guiding us through life for a very specific reason.

And I think I found it. I now find myself in an amazing relationship with the most incredible woman I’ve ever met. I feel like I’m the best version of myself when I’m with her. She’s intelligent, hilarious, has a wicked sense of fashion, she’s sexy, kind, considerate and humble. She’s like sunshine and makes me see the world in a new light. For that, I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to thank her enough.

Feeling these things in a relationship is pretty magical, and for me, gender really doesn’t play a big part in it. Whilst other people may look at us and see two women holding hands down the street, I see two souls intertwined.

So does this mean I’ve been turned off men forever?

I still think Miguel is HOT AF. But I also think there are an endless amount of women that I think are hot as well, ahem, Scarlett Johansen, Rihanna, Sophie Washington… there are some beautiful people in the world and I can appreciate a lot of them.

Does this mean I’m a lesbian now?

Call me what you will. The most important thing I’ve come to realise is that labels are just labels. They may help some but for me personally, they don’t add value to who I am and who I love. I think people can get really caught up in this label game (myself included) and you might just find that it’s more destructive than it is constructive. So why spend your time, energy and worry on whether you’re this or that, when you could just focus on what makes you happy. Call me what you will, but call me happy.

I’m pretty stoked I’ve been able to have this genuine experience and connection with someone but also with myself. It makes me sad to think that I could have easily gone my whole life suppressing this part of who I am. Completely rejecting something that is embedded in my heart. I feel so lucky and honoured to be able to freely express my love for someone and people across the world should feel safe and free to do the same.

I know there’s no need for me to write about this and address my sexuality publicly. But I wanted to. Firstly because I blog about nearly everything else in my life. And secondly, because I think it’s important for me to tell people my story from my point of view. Just as I would encourage others to tell their stories for themselves. We live in a wacky world and the only way forward is through human connection, understanding, and love. I know there’s a million other blog posts and videos about coming out and probably titled ‘My Sexuality,’ but this is my story which makes it special in its own way. I’m not doing this for attention, or likes, or validation. I’m doing this for myself.

I may be in love with a woman, but there’s a lot more to me than that. I’m also a red head, a student, a dancer (and a good one at that!), a blogger, a writer, a storyteller and fellow human being, and my story is for me and anyone who might find joy in it.

img_9423
Soaking up good vibes in Montreal’s gay village, 2016

*

I want to say that I acknowledge my immense privilege in being able to post this. I am extremely fortunate to have a supportive and understanding family and friend group. They have been so accepting along my journey and I know that not everyone has the same luxury. In addition, I am a white, university-educated, middle-class Australian woman and I realise that with these traits, I possess a lot more privilege than others. This is why I am motivated to share my story to inspire others to do the same.

Whilst feeling that I belong in the LGBTQI community in one way or another, this is not to say that my experiences are universal. Other people may intersect with this community and that itself has various associated challenges. Being a person of colour, Indigenous, transgender, undocumented, a migrant… all of these factor into someone’s experience of being queer and I acknowledge and want to learn more about these people’s journey.

Additionally, by referring to myself as gay, I completely acknowledge that it’s pretty easy for me to waltz on in and declare myself as gay or bi or whatever I want to call myself. I understand and respect the joys, obstacles, challenges, and celebrations of being gay and all that may come with that label. I in no way wish to appropriate decades of struggle for recognition and equality as my own. But I am a part of this group and I have and will continue to fight for equality because not only because it affects me, but it affects fellow human beings and that just ain’t right.

And finally, I acknowledge that even having the opportunity to write about this on a public platform and share it for the world to see is incredibly privileged. It was only last year that Australia legalized gay marriage. Being gay was illegal in Australia until 1997. Across the world today there are dozens of countries where being gay is criminalized and illegal. Whilst I am lucky I have the opportunity to share my experiences, I acknowledge that many others do not and cannot.

Whilst I am confident and proud of myself for putting this post out into the blogosphere, I can’t deny my anxiety about its reception. Whether it’s from friends, family, colleagues or acquaintances. It’s scary being vulnerable but I’d rather be true to who I am if people don’t understand then they can kindly move along.

*

IMG_2217
Happy being me!

My 24th Birthday in Photos

My Birthday. 19th July

IMG_51217516543808_IMG_44827516543616_IMG_4480IMG_5152IMG_5150

My birthday party. 20th July

IMG_5159

Capture.PNG

My birthday weekend away. 21st July

7592038688_IMG_47427589974848_IMG_46237526987040_IMG_46227592048720_IMG_47327526986656_IMG_47257592053568_IMG_47387583689536_IMG_46377529153168_IMG_47097592041616_IMG_47497529148128_IMG_46527592029760_IMG_46657591999184_IMG_46767529146688_IMG_46697529041232_IMG_46487591998512_IMG_47007529039888_IMG_46857529146544_IMG_4656

Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and helped me celebrate in style! I’m beyond lucky to have such incredibly inspiring, caring, kind, gorgeous and silly friends and family! Cheers to the next solar year!

 

What I’ve Learnt in 24 years

So it’s my birthday month which means I am queen and center of attention (as if it’s not like that every other month). So whilst I’m on my high horse feeling all wise and regal like Beyonce (one can only dream), I have done a serious amount of reflecting on my past 24 years on earth. I’m turning 24! 24!! What the heck?!

tenor.gif

Aren’t 24 year olds meant to have their life together? Aren’t they meant to have acne free skin and know what they want to do with their career? Aren’t they meant to be saving for a deposit on a house and know how to bake cakes from scratch? Well maybe I’m not your average 24 year old and I’m more concerned with where to find the best espresso martini, adding new stamps to my passport and spending an afternoon sinking beers. But believe it or not, I have come to learn some valuable lessons during my 8760 days on earth and I thought I’d share them with you.

✈️ Travel far and travel wide

I am SO incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to travel to 24 counties in 24 years (wow that’s a coincidence!). It’s something that I hope to always be able to do and cherish. Travel has taken me skiing in Austria to diving in Belize, I’ve immersed myself in French culture and became somewhat fluent in the language, I stayed with Mayans in Guatemala and learnt sewing, hiked a volcano in Iceland, partied in Prague, got a tattoo in Mexico, road tripped around California, called Canada home, sipped Sangria in Spain and survived toilet troubles in Thailand. These experiences have shaped me as a person. They’ve influenced my ideas, values and aspirations. They’ve taught me that the world is a beautiful place and has inspired me to learn as much as I can about it. They’ve confronted me with the harsh realities on inequality, poverty and political instability. And they’ve most importantly made me realise that I am a global citizen. I care about what’s happening in the world and I want to create a better one for us. Travel is the best education and I hope to keep on learning.

🔑 Honesty and Respect are key

For nearly as long as I can remember, there’s only been two things I’ve ever asked for from anyone; honesty and respect. And the two are interconnected. They’re the two basic things I try to show everyone in the hope that they return the favour and go about our lives peacefully. I’ve found that this has taken me far in life. It’s kept me grounded, kind, cautious and compassionate. I’ll always carry these values with me and maybe you might even try it out for yourself. Along the way you’ll find you’re more honest with yourself and in turn, have a new found respect and love for yourself.

👋 Don’t waste your time on people that don’t value you

How many hours, days, weeks have you spent worrying about texting someone, not getting a reply or tip toeing around a delicate situation? If you’ve ever played the dating game, then I’m sure you’ve experienced this situation before. I cannot tell you how liberating it is to simply reject this notion altogether! It’s pointless! If someone really won’t text you back, are they really worth your time? Hell no! You deserve to be with someone who wants to text you, see you, hang out with you, kiss you… not someone who is ‘too cool to text.’ Fuck that life is too damn short.

🍸Tequila shots are never a good idea

I thought maybe by now I would have realised that tequila is the devil hidden at the bottom of a shot glass. Alas, I continue to indulge in the devils games and wake up with a killer hangover. On that note, hangovers get WORSE! Worse I tell you! Does this mean I’ll stop drinking or doing shots of tequila? Nope. It just means the complaining will increase – I warned you!

On the topic of alcohol, espresso martinis are always a good idea and beers are your friend. Maybe I’ll learn one day!

💋 Being sexual doesn’t make you a slut

I remember growing up thinking that sex was an inherently shameful, dirty thing. That if you had sex you shouldn’t be proud of it or talk about it with people. Maybe that’s why I love talking about all things love, relationships and sex because I feel a little bit cheeky doing so. But in my 24 years, I’ve come to realise that sex, nudity and being sexual is a completely natural, beautiful thing. It’s a shame that we live in a society that still places so much pressure on people (especially girls) around these topics.

For me personally, I feel incredibly empowered by my naked body. I feel stronger as a woman once I’ve taken the time to understand and enjoy sex. And once I embraced my sexuality, I became an even better version of myself. Sex doesn’t make you a slut. Society gives people that label and I say fuck that label. There’s nothing more sexy than a woman who is confident in herself.

❤️ Look after yourself

Listening to yourself,  is an art form that we’re always trying to perfect. Listening to your gut instinct and following your heart is SOOO important and I wish I started doing it earlier. That way you can never let yourself down.

Looking after yourself means being brave enough to say, hey – I think I just need a night to myself. Or to cook a nice hearty meal for yourself, take yourself out for lunch, buy a new dress, something that is for you and no one else. It’s being selfish every now and again to reset, realign and remind yourself just how amazing you are.

👗 Yes, not all men but yes all women

As a woman I’m often painfully reminded of the inequality, discrimination, assault and fear experienced by all women at some point in our lives. Whether it’s walking home from work after dark, going for a girls night out, waiting for a bus, women experience sexual harassment on a daily occurrence. The sadder reality is the number of women who experience violence, assault, rape and abuse. Gender inequality is entrenched in our society.

From a young age we are taught to believe that men are stronger, more powerful and more important. For decades women have been frightened into line. Until one badass realised just how strong, powerful and important women are and said that we have had enough. While we continue this important fight for equality, I have sadly heard far too many stories of women remaining silent, scared and afraid. I don’t want to live in a world where I see powerful women reduced to a statistic. I want my sisters of the world to be able to go to school, play sport, get paid the same as a man for the same job, travel safely on public transport, not be called ’emotional’ when calling someone out and be believed when she states someone has violated her body. But most importantly, I want a future where we can live without fear. Yes, not all men do this, but yes ALL WOMEN have experienced this and it’s time it changed. It’s a sad thing to learn, but it sure is powerfully motivating not to sit still.

😨 Do things that scare you

I think I’ve come to realise that this has an entirely different meaning to what I originally thought it meant. I thought it meant go skydiving, bungee jumping or backpacking around Europe. All of which are pretty awesome and pretty scary. But now I interpret this as everyday choices and decisions that challenge you to question yourself and your abilities.

This year I’m doing my Honours thesis in International Studies and damn am I scared. I’m scared I’m not smart enough, I’m not capable, scared I will let my supervisor down, let myself down, scared I have no original thoughts and scared that I know nothing.

This year I’ve also started a new relationship, which is hella scary. I was scared that people would think it was too soon, that I wasn’t serious, that I was lost.  I’m scared of getting hurt and betrayed again, I’m scared of loss and I’m scared of loving someone so much.

These things are scary and yes there is the possibility that I might get hurt or might not get the mark I want. But don’t you think it’s worth the risk if you instead produce a thesis you’re proud of, or end up falling in love? It’s hard, heck sometimes impossible to get those negative voices out of your head. But those negative voices aren’t going to get you that mark, or help you fall in love. It’s these everyday scary choices that allow us to find something pretty damn magical (and I’m not talking about my thesis here). Life is scary because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone. You have to listen to your heart, take that leap and hopefully you’ll fly.

🌊 The Ocean is nature’s medicine

If I’m ever feeling down, worried, sick, anxious… I go for a walk or a swim and nature has a magical power of taking it all away. It’s so reassuring to know that no matter what life throws at me, I have my own personal therapist right out my window. It’s something I’ve tried to make more and more time for lately. Being at one with the earth, taking a deep breath, feeling the sun on your face and realising your place in the world. Sometimes there’s not better feeling.

🌞 Happiness really is the most important thing

You light up the whole room when you’re happy. Your energy is contagious, your smile infectious and light unstoppable! It’s easy to get caught in the trap of work, study, work out… ticking things off your list to earn money. And whilst money is important, it’s true what they say, it really can’t buy happiness.

Happiness comes from real, unbreakable connections with people. It comes from sharing intimate moments, thoughts or emotions. It comes from taking the time to clear your mind, look up at the sky and smile. Whether it’s little or big things, investing in your happiness is the easiest way to guarantee your life is fucking amazing.

💪 Be fierce and unapologetically YOU

There’s only one of you on earth. Yep, just 1 in over 7 BILLION! You’ve been given this life, this body, this mind, and this chance for a reason. Make the most of it! Carpe fucking Diem! Live every day with as much energy and excitement as you can give it. Take risks, believe in people, believe in yourself! Do you really want to spend your precious s wanting, wishing, longing for something you don’t have or can’t have? If you can change it, go and grab it. And if you can’t change it, embrace it, flaunt it. Show the world what you’ve got and don’t hold back for anyone. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I am Adelaide, red hair and all, and I will live a purposeful, passionate life.

img_0151

I’d love to hear your thoughts…. let me know in the comments or on social media!
Until next time – Ciao

 

18 Things I Want To Achieve in 2018

It’s that time of year again… New Years Resolution time! Last year I must’ve been super pumped for 2017 because I set 52 goals for 2017. And after recently reflecting on my achievements (or lack thereof), I thought it might be a better idea to consolidate that number right back down and set some meaningful goals.

2018 I’m coming for you!

  1. Explore a new state. I’m thinking South Australia, Tasmania or Northern Territory. After such a great year of discovering different parts of Australia, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of exploring your own backyard. Australia is so diverse and freakin huge and I want to see as much of it as possible.
  2. City2Surf. You’ve heard it here first… I’m going to sign up for the City2Surf again! But this time, I want to actually train for it! Dicko – get your shoes ready…. it’s race time!
  3. Graduate with 1st Class Honours. Ah OK that’s a big, scary one. But you have to put these big and scary goals out in to the universe and truly believe you can do it. Honours (I’m sure) will be hectic, but I would absolutely love to make it to the end with 1st class. If I don’t, I’m sure I will have still worked hard and tried my best. But let’s dream big, and work hard for a 1st! (eek).
  4. YOGA. This was on my list for 2017 and I really didn’t do it anywhere near as much as I would have liked. Yoga always leaves me feeling recharged, re-centred, healthy and flexible so I just have to bring it into 2018 more. Under this goal also comes: healthy eating, meditation, taking time for myself and all that other basic yet important stuff!
  5. Try something new. When was the last time you did something for the first time? I’m thinking along the lines of a dance class, sailing… something a bit random and different to push myself out of my comfort zone.
  6. Discover a new country. Again, putting it out there, I don’t know how, when, with who, why but travel and adventure is so important to me and at the end of next year I want to be able to say I’ve been to another country. The real question is which one?
  7. Save some adult money. So I’m not going to say how much but I want to have some actual proper money behind me for all of those adult things that are sure to come my way sooner or later. Of course I want money to travel and see and do all of these wonderful things but I think it’s time for some serious saving!!
  8. Show gratitude. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people around me. My friends, family, colleagues, soul mate friends and boyfriend… are all so supportive and encouraging of me. Your support network, your squad, your gang, they’re the people who make and shape you and I can never express how grateful I am for these people. Whether it’s a note, a coffee date, a conversation, a check in, a movie date… it’s always important to say thank you to those people who are there to support you.
  9. Write write write. When I look back at my blog and diary, I’m so proud that I’ve written so much. Whether it’s advice, thoughts, opinions or ‘my favourite things’ (thanks Chantelle for keeping me on my toes with that one), I love expressing myself through writing. Along with my blog (of course) and Twenty Something Humans, I want to also submit my work elsewhere… a magazine, a site, a newspaper, a blog… Getting my work published is an absolute dream. But dreams don’t get handed to you, you gotta work for them.
  10. Spend less time on my phone. OK I know this is a pretty common goal, but I think it’s a pretty necessary one. Over the past few months I’ve felt glued to my phone, anxious when I don’t know where it is, when I don’t have reception or not checking my emails. And it’s absolutely draining. Sure, phones are extremely handy and I couldn’t live without it, but I should be able to live a few hours or even a few days without it.
  11. Twerk it. So maybe not actually twerk, but I definitely wanna get the heart pumping, sweat dripping and booty twerking. Whether it’s riding my bike, going for a run (haha what?), playing netball, going swimming… being fit and healthy is so important for your body and mind. Plus it’ll keep the booty in fine shape hehe.
  12. Podcast, video and content creation. If you’ve been following my blog for the past few months, you would know that I have been creating content for Twenty Something Humans. It’s an amazing website dedicated to us millennials. Writing for them has been amazing because it’s something I really believe in, relate to and find comes naturally (Kate – you’re absolutely killing it!). A few months ago I mentioned maybe making a video for them but I never got around to it. So this year I would love to get more involved and more creative with not only Twenty Something Humans, but also my blog!
  13. Attend a conference. To be honest, I have no idea what conference, where, when, how, but I feel like attending a big event where I can learn, network and be inspired would be super cool. Why not?!
  14. Volunteer and get involved. Volunteering and being involved in the local community is one of the things that keeps me going, fills my heart and makes me feel like I’m doing something meaningful. I often find that I learn more than I teach and grow more than I thought imaginable. It makes me feel a part of something bigger than my own little world and it feels amazing.
  15. Meet new people. I’m pretty proud to say that I am completely a people person. I love meeting new people, hearing about their lives, their stories and experiences. I feel that it’s very important to always keep on your toes and meet new people to challenge yourself and also make new friends. This means saying yes to events and putting myself out there to meet these people and expand that friendship group.
  16. Read read read. The past few months I’ve been smashing out the books and there is absolutely no better feeling than finishing a good book. I want to read fiction, non-fiction, about history, people, nature and science. So if you have any recommendations, throw them this way.
  17. Believe in myself as much as I believe in others. I generally think of myself as the best co-pilot around. I don’t really enjoy being the pilot, the one taking control and charging ahead. I prefer to be the co-pilot, the supportive, ready to go person who believes in the pilot’s ability to do the job. Whilst I don’t think this characteristic is going to change, I think it’s time I start believing in myself as much as I believe in others, and as much as others believe in me “She believed she could, so she did.” Part 1 is believe, part 2 is do.
  18. Be fierce. Yes this was a goal from last year, but it worked out pretty damn well. So 2018, I will be fierce again. I will be stronger, braver, kinder, unstoppable and unapologetically myself. Being fierce gives me strength, keeps me humble and keeps me motivated. Maybe if I’m fierce this year and next, and maybe the one after that, I will live a strongly fierce life with kindness, love and passion – all I could ever ask for.

What are your New Years resolutions? Let me know! I hope 2018 is wonderful and filled with love, peace and a lot of booty shaking!

Screenshot 2018-01-01 17.34.28

Did I Achieve My 2017 New Years Resolutions?

At the beginning of each year, I like to set out some goals that I’d like to achieve. I think they call them New Years resolutions… At the start of this year, damn I must’ve been incredibly ambitious because I wrote a list of 52 things I want to achieve in 2017 (you can read it here).

So before I write a list of things I want to achieve in 2018 (I definitely won’t be setting a goal of 52!! What was I thinking?) I want to look back at the year that was and assess whether I met my goals or not, and how I can maybe check them off next year and what I need to do to turn these goals into actions.

  1. Play netball
  2. Do yoga – every week –  I need to bring yoga into 2018 for sure!
  3. Meditate – outside in fresh air for replenishment
  4. Get flexible – being flexible makes you sexible (Thanks Logan Paul)
  5. Don’t eat shit – steer clear of fried food, fast food and cakes (birthday cakes and pizza are allowed) (birthday pizza is allowed and also encouraged) – yes if home made pizza is acceptable
  6. Eat mostly vegetarian – buy and cook vegetarian, if you see something tasty on the menu like some chicken, treat yo self
  7. Compost
  8. Learn how to compost- fail
  9. Buy an awesome coffee mug and bring it everywhere (no more takeaway cups)
  10. Buy an awesome French Press coffee maker to put awesome coffee in my awesome coffee mug
  11. Make my lunch the night before
  12. Make an entire meal for my friends and family
  13. Learn how to cook an impressive meal. E.g bake a fish, lasagne, brownies, pad thai
  14. Go to a new country  – went to 4 (Thailand, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala)
  15. Learn Spanish – on the list for 2018 for sure!
  16. Visit Tasmania – points for a camper van, extra points for hitch hiking or bike riding – no but I did camper van explore around Western Australia so I’ll count this on. Tasmania I’m coming for you next year!
  17. Visit home more often – sorry mum. I’ll make that a goal for 2018
  18. Have coffee and cake with my Grandma & Grandad, Nan & Pop – 2018 is going to be very family oriented!
  19. Send letters
  20. FaceTime my friends overseas – yes but I need to do this more
  21. Experiment with video styles
  22. Make a video once a week
  23. Blog once a week – it hasn’t been once a week but between writing for Twenty Something Humans, making videos and doing uni work, I think I’ve been going pretty well.
  24. Make some money from said videos and blogs
  25. Graduate (with distinction) WOOOOOO
  26. Watch 12 sunrises (once a month)
  27. Learn to surf
  28. Try Bollywood/Pole Dancing
  29. Volunteer at uni
  30. Make a killer CV #employable
  31. Go on a roadtrip Hello Byron Bay
  32. Have lunch at the grounds of Alexandria
  33. Work hard at uni. HD’s come at me.
  34. Enquire about honours/masters (overseas)
  35. Go to careers central and plan my future career path
  36. Go to a trampoline park and learn how to do a back flip
  37. Read, read, read – bulk books have been read this year!
  38. Go in the City2Surf
  39. Work hard at work
  40. Practice my French by watching French films, French YouTubers and as part of the French Society – Salut French Major!
  41. Don’t buy things for the sake of it. How many more clothes do you really need?
  42. Complete the waste challenge
  43. Have at least 1 make up free day a week – Fuck make up! I’ve started going fresh face every where and my skin is loving it!
  44. Make people birthday gifts
  45. Make a vision board and decorate it with fairy lights – did the vision board (turned into being a vision wall) but no lights.
  46. Learn how to edit videos – I think I’m getting better but I’d love to upgrade from iMovie to Adobe or Premier Pro. 
  47. Make a snapchat filter
  48. Meet new people and put myself out there
  49. Go to a festival/concert I’ve been to so many gigs this year I wish I could cross this one out twice!
  50. Stress less
  51. Promote peace and understanding. Try not to be as critical of others and myself. Believe in myself, my values, decisions and choices. Don’t drink as much as I did in Montreal (sorry liver). Look for the joy in life. Be accepting of others.
  52. Be FIERCEYAS QUEEN!

I guess the thing to take away from this is that it’s OK not to achieve all of the things you set out to do (especially if you set 52 goals!). New Years Resolutions are about setting a list of goals and dreaming big. About trying, failing and trying again. They act as a reminder to what you want, what you wanted and may even help reassess where you’re at. I may not have achieved all of my goals for 2017, but I’m pretty damn proud of what I have achieved!

Stay tuned for my 2018 goals! Coming soon….

IMG_0920

Share House Survival Guide 

Are you really a millennial if you haven’t lived in a share house? Living in an overpriced, slightly run down, house/apartment/garage/box, with a few of your mates is a rite of passage. It’s the first time we taste freedom and test our limits after flying the nest. Most people will be able to tell you of rosy, lovely times they had back in their day in their shared house. But for every one of these people, there’s 10 others just waiting to tell you a horror story or go on a 20 minute rant about their share house experience.  

So to avoid this tension and bring a little peace back into our tumultuous lives, here is my survival guide to living in a share house.  

 Establish House Rules 

OK so you’re supposed to be adults now with all this new freedom. But little did you know that the bubble you’ve been living in (your family home), is a bubble and it is about to be burst. People live very different lifestyles with different expectations and realities of cleanliness, what can and can’t be shared, how loud you can listen to your music, when people need to pee and you’ve been in the bathroom for 40minutes. You want to get off on the right foot and taking an hour at the beginning of your lease to talk about these things will save you a lot of frustration, confusion and bursting bladders.  

c5ec49acb308590d77a93ae2f81f6822
Source

Have a joint account  

If you’re that sort of household that smokes a lot of weed, then a joint account is a good idea (haha get it) . And if you’re not, a joint account is still a good idea. It makes the complex adult world of ‘paying bills,’ much less stressful and much easier to handle. Transfer your rent plus a little extra every week to go towards bills, cleaning products and beer. A house that drinks and/or smokes together, stays together. 

The Facebook Chat is the DEVIL – try a real conversation 

You may be tempted to create a Facebook chat with a catchy, punny title dedicated to house updates. Whilst it’s a good idea for little things like yo we’re out of toilet paper,’ it is not the place for ‘ok so our gas got cut off and we have no hot water’ crisis’. No joke – our gas got cut off and it truly did test our friendship (and strength to have cold showers in winter). We all know that sarcasm and Facebook rarely works, so why would we think that talking about serious house issues in the group chat would be any different. Call a house meeting or give them a call and talk about it. Talking about any issues is the best way to resolve it.  

ba831661e2fa010ea4e151c65ad3b6e6

Don’t be a tight ass, share your milk, bread, oil….  

Living in a share house implies sharing things. So don’t be that person who writes their name on the milk bottle… it’s just milk. Sharing is caring, plus there’s no point crying over shared milk.  

However… label your hummus. That shits precious. 

Sharing is caring, but sharing your hummus is for your soul mate.  

dbf7f2c63ccd9bb5bcdcf1730d377b7f
Source

The kitchen….. 

I wish I had the answer to keeping a kitchen tidy. I really wish I did. What I find most effective is if you pile up all their dirty dishes into a neat corner of the kitchen and clean around it. I think the communal kitchen is a global unsolvable problem.  Just like the chicken or the egg… whose dirty dish came first? (not mine).

Play music when having that special friend over 

Most share houses that us twenty something humans can afford are pretty shit (I call it character building). But that means that they have pretty thin walls. One of the perks of living in a share house is that you can bring whoever you want back to your place without sneaking around. But living in a share house is all about respect, so if you like to get your groove on, um, loudly… play some music.  

 

Living in a share house really is the epitome of being a twenty something human. As dirty, stressful, drunk or noisy it may be, your housemates become your family and your share house a home. Over the years you’ll live with good housemate, bad housemates, terrible housemates, and housemates that turn into your best friends. No matter what happens, at least you’ll get some good stories and character building out of it.  

1544e0_2a7319ccfff74458ae0856253d3495fd-mv2_d_2480_3508_s_4_2

[This post was written for Twenty Something Humans]