Why It’s Important to Follow Your Heart

I know, I know. It’s more clichéd than a boy meets girls story, but like this classic Disney plot line, there’s a reason why they’re so popular and important. Because it’s true! If you’re anything like me, and care about others, are ambitious, like taking risks, go adventuring, meeting new people…. Then following your heart can take you further than you could imagine.

I think it’s important to do so because your heart is your emotional side whereas your brain is the logical side. Logic can only get you so far. But compassion, empathy, understanding and emotion are driven by those electric urges that pulsate from our hearts. And it is these qualities that can push our comfort zones, open you up to new and exciting experiences, all whilst having a great support network around you. So here are some of the reasons why it’s so important to follow your heart, and those gut instincts and little voices that keep speaking to us.

The magnificent 12 Apostles
Following my heart to the magnificent 12 Apostles

Logic doesn’t always make sense.

If logic tells you to go to university and study commerce, work 60 hours a week, save money for a house… all whilst you’re unhappy in these situations, you’re heart doesn’t understand. Why suffer through something that ‘seems’ right and is ‘supposed’ to be right, when you’re unsatisfied? Sounds like a pretty boring life to me. Instead, focus on doing things that satisfy your wants and needs. Do things that make you happy.

Your heart knows what you want.

I’m a big believer in having goals, dreams, ambitions and values. And they’re stored in your heart. By staying true to the above, this will keep you going through the harder or more stressful times.

Others are here to support you.

Friends and family can help you through those harder times by usually reminding you of your focus or dreams. It’s so reassuring sharing these with loved ones, because once they know and you come to them a bit stressed or overwhelmed, they can always offer a shoulder to lean on and advice to keep striving to achieve your dreams.

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My heart taking me to London

Your heart can rescue you

If you find yourself in an awkward, uncomfortable or unknown situation or cycle, take a step back and ask yourself if this is helping contribute the person you want to be and what you want to achieve. Ask yourself how you got yourself into this situation. Was it an accident? Was it unexpected? Was it a misunderstanding? By asking yourself these questions, it will hopefully help you avoid these situations in the future.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to be happy with you.

Throughout life, it’s important to stay true to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being selfish and doing something that you need to do. Whilst at the time you may feel awful or confused, if it’s something that will make you happier in the long run, you just need to bite the bullet and do it. Future you will thank you for your bravery.

Whilst I realize this all seems very cheesy, sometimes you really just need some cheesy words of advice to get you through. I know the past few weeks have been extremely stressful for not only myself but many of my friends and by listening to my heart, it helps reassure myself that I’m on track and happy underneath it all.

Flying High
My heart and adrenaline taking me to the edge of my comfort zone

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: August

The last month of Winter! Winter I love you, but I won’t miss you at all.

Running the City2Surf. Something I’d only been dreading for months finally happened and I couldn’t have been happier at the finish line! Just helps motivate me to push my comfort zone and never stop daring to achieve something great!

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Banks. Goddess. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this album is the real deal! Definitely helping me get through those study blues.

Sad airport trips. This month we had to say adieu to two of our favourite English exchange students. These boys know how much we’ll always love them, but it really does suck not seeing them every morning and every night. I look at the photo below and am so grateful for everyone’s unconditional friendship. You guys make me feel at home, safe and completely loved. Cheesy I know but deal with it.

Our beautiful little KB family
Our beautiful little KB family

Adventures with the family. Sadly I don’t get to see my family all that much. So when they come and visit for the weekend, we truly have the best time. We went out to the Sea Cliff Bridge which is an absolute must! Plus a lovely tour of Wollongong’s best restaurants and bars. Please come and visit more!

My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge
My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge

How to Be Parisian. One of the most beautiful little books that I own. For more reasons why I love it, read here.

My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.
My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.

Orange is the New Black. I have a problem. I’m addicted. Like seriously. I watched 2 seasons in just under two weeks. For anyone that’s been thinking about checking it out and has put it off (like I was) DO IT!!! Though it’s definitely not recommended during the middle of session when you have a million assignments due. But honestly, it’s such a quality show and I’m loving it!

So that’s about it from me. I’ve been ridiculously busy with work and uni so I’m glad I got to squeeze in this much excitement. September is looking even more scary with many assignments due but… just keep pushing on!

Why It’s OK to be a Bad Feminist

Feminism has copped a lot of slack lately. It is now a term of derision and many people say ‘I believe in equlality, but I don’t identify as a feminist.’  There’s such a big anti-feminist movement that when you google feminist, one of the first things that appear is the website ‘Women against Feminism.’ And when did it become a bad thing to be a feminist? Perhaps the following video could be fuelling the anti-feminist fire.

Unfortunately, this has been watched over 700 000 times broadcasting incorrect and damaging information about feminism. Feminism has nothing to do with giving entitlements to women or trying to make them superior to men as she suggests in her I’m not a feminist because… photo. And that’s why knowing what feminism is and what it stands for is so important. And this is the same woman who claims that ‘the west does not have a rape culture.’ She has been misled to believe that feminism is a women only movement, and by her spreading this message to such a large audience, can be detrimental for feminism and what it stands for.

Emma Watson delivering her speech at the launch of the He For She Campaign. Source
Emma Watson delivering her speech at the launch of the He For She Campaign. Source

If you weren’t living under a shell last year, you would have heard Emma Watson’s speech for the UN’s He For She Campaign, which addresses the crucial role that men play in the feminist movement. And this is the most important part, men and women should work together to overcome gender inequality because men suffer from being ‘imprisoned by gender stereotypes’ as well (Watson, 2014). So, to clear up some things;

Feminism is not: ‘laziness, bitching on Tumblr and policing other people’s free speech’ (1), demonizing men (2) or special treatment (3)’ (women against feminism)

Feminism is: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

Source.
Source.

Many people are under the impressions that ‘they don’t need feminism because gender inequality doesn’t exist in our society’ or as Kayley Cuoco said ‘I’m not a feminist because I’ve never experienced inequality(Jones, 2014). Just because you personally don’t experience inequality, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. The UN’s Millenium Development Goals 2015 Report highlights that gender inequality is still experienced world-wide.

Women continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making. Women are also more likely to live in poverty than men. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the ratio of women to men in poor households increased from 108 women for every 100 men in 1997 to 117 women for every 100 men in 2012, despite declining poverty rates for the whole region.’ (UN, 2015)

Germain Greer who is a leading Australian feminist, actually says that it is important that we don’t define feminism because by defining it, we are giving it limitations. ‘It’s important that feminism is allowed to evolve and change over time.’ (reference Q&A video) which can hopefully help overcome it’s exclusivity. However * argues that by having a more ‘dynamic definition it will enhance understanding and significance among men and women’ (Offen, 1988). This highlights the different ideas people associate with feminism and why it isn’t so simple to define or easily agreed upon.

Feminism is also generally associated with white, middle class women and excludes a person of colour or anyone else that doesn’t fit the criteria. Roxane Gay is what she calls a ‘Bad Feminist,’ because she does not fit the ‘traditional characteristics’ of a feminist of ‘being all, and having it all.’ Of course this raises many other questions regarding racism, however in the following TED talk, she discusses feminism and why she is a ‘Bad Feminist.’

The most significant part of her talk is where she proudly says ‘we can boldly claim our feminism. I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminism because feminism gave me a voice.’ So regardless of what we call it, this is why we need it.

Personally, I am a feminist because I believe that all children have a right to education. Because women deserve the right to make decisions regarding their own body. Because I don’t want to be objectified or sexualised. Because men and women should work together to achieve equality. Because I am a young women who should have the opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This is what a feminist looks like. Source
This is what a feminist looks like. Source

References

Jones, A 2014, ‘I’m not a feminist and I love feeling like a housewife’, Gawker, 12 December, http://gawker.com/kaley-cuoco-im-not-a-feminist-and-i-love-feeling-like-1676352429

Offen, K 1988, ‘Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach’, Signs, Chicago Journals, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 119-157

The United Nations Millenium Development Goals Report 2015, http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20(July%201).pdf

Further Information

Emma Watson’s speech

Q&A’s all women panel on How to be a Feminist

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: JUNE

June where did you go? Please come back because you were one amazing month. Despite the depression associated with exams and the end of session, there’s nothing quite like walking out of an exam hall hearing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ flood through your mind and you feel like an absolute champion (unless you did a linguistics exam like me). Either way, Autumn session is done and the holidays are here! June has quite frankly been fabulous and I’d like to share it with all of you.

Our end of session college formal. Open bar, DJ, dancefloor and 200 of your closest friends. You’re definitely in for a good night.

My awesome housemate dressed to the nines
My awesome housemate dressed to the nines

The Northern Beaches. If you’re looking for a nice little weekend away, then get on a bus from Sydney and head up towards the Northern Beaches. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was! We were treated to a gorgeous sunset and wandered the streets and beaches… it was absolutely spectacular!

Venturing up to the beauitufl Northern Beaches with my best friend
Venturing up to the beauitufl Northern Beaches with my best friend

A PepTalk. Need some inspiration to make the most of life? To value your individuality and pursue your passions.

Finishing EXAMS. Need I say more?

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And if you need some more inspiration… World of Wanderlust. I’m constantly inspired and motivated to make the most out of life and spend hours gazing at beautiful travel pictures on pinterest! WARNING: this particular video will challenge you to reconsider your life.

And on that note… The day I got to meet Brooke Saward and have morning tea wanderlusting about the world. 

Brooke and some very inspiring readers
Brooke and some very inspiring readers

THIS SONG! 

Going home for the weekend. I don’t get home much lately because of uni and work, but whenever I do go home it’s always lovely. I’m constantly in awe of how beautiful nature is and how much I love just taking some time to unwind and relax. Oh, and it’s always great to have a roast dinner with my family.

Beautiful Port Stephens
Beautiful Port Stephens
And just another because it's just THAT pretty
And just another because it’s just THAT pretty

And finally, I joined the gym! After recently re-reading my post about all the things I’ve been hoping to achieve this year, it’s about time I did something on it and re-joining the gym was the easiest (and at the same time hardest) thing to do. Watch out City2Surf.

I hope you’ve all had a lovley month and hope that July is equally as awesome.

Peace and love

xxx A

Mardi Gras ~ The Happiest Place On Earth

Happy Mardi Gras! And what a happy occasion it was! It was my first ever proper Mardi Gras celebration, and it wouldn’t have been complete without a tonne of glitter! This day is about equality and celebration of people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex Community.I enjoyed this magical day with my two good friends  Tishia and Dylan and these are some of my observations/conclusions from one of the biggest Mardi Gras Festivals in the world!

I felt incredibly happy. I’m not sure if it was the glitter or the ecstatic energy from the buzzing crowd but I felt so HAPPY! In fact, I felt like a real life fairy, skipping around everywhere and sprinkling glitter on everyone. This euphoric state got me questioning, ‘why can’t I feel this good everyday?’ And I guess I have no legitimate reason at all! And everyone seemed happy and thus everyone was absolutely beautiful. Whether you were wearing hot pants, leather, sequins, had glitter on your eyebrows, lips or breasts, jeans and a t-shirt or basically nothing at all, everyone looked absolutely FABULOUS! And not only were they fabulous but also lovely people. Walking up and down the parade, we talked to and met some incredible people.

All this colour and happiness and loving acceptance got me thinking about everyday life. When we’re not covered in glitter or listening to doof doof music, what happens then? I honestly believe if we lived everyday of our lives like we were at Mardi Gras (yes, glitter included), the world would be a much better and much more peaceful place. Wearing what we want to express ourselves and not being slut shamed. Talking and accepting our own and others sexuality and not be labelled as a derogatory name with associated stereotypes. Meeting new people without fear of being judged. Dancing in the street and listening to great music. And most importantly. BE OURSELVES! Why is it that for only one day we let our guard down and flaunt what we’ve got? And every other day we embody prejudice, we discriminate subconsciously, or judge others? Equality is for everyone! But unfortunately for some, they wipe their glitter off with a conservative and close minded wet blanket. We all have the right to be our own unique being on this planet, some of us just prefer a little more glitter in our lives.

Here are some photos of my night and all the sparkles!

Tishia, Me and Dylan
Tishia, Me and Dylan
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Eyebrow game on point!
Clothes are definitely optional at Mardi Gras. Glitter is compulsory!
Clothes are definitely optional at Mardi Gras. Glitter is compulsory!
We are FIERCE
We are FIERCE
Celebrating with a view
Celebrating with a view
Street Parties should happen every weekend
Street Parties should happen every weekend
Dancing all night with my best friends
Dancing all night with my best friends

xxx A

2014 ~ My Year in Numbers and Pictures

As we jump into 2015 with lifted spirits, high hopes and a bit of a headache from one too many beers last night, it’s important that we look back on the year that has come and gone. As I watched some fireworks from a beach, under the stars… I thought about everything 2014 threw at me, so here’s my year in summary.

14 000. The number of feet I fell through the sky after jumping out of a plane.

Flying High
Flying High

1000. Number of drinks had in Prague before getting alcohol poisoning. OK so it wasn’t 1000 but it sure felt like it.

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59. The number of countries A Worldly Addiction has been viewed in! Thank you to each and every one of you!

59 countries and counting!
59 countries and counting!

20. Number of years I’ve been lucky enough to be on this Earth.

Celebrating my 20th in Sydney
Celebrating my 20th in Sydney

18. Number of years I’ve had my sister around.

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10. Number of months I lived in Wollongong

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9. Number of the house on Clarendon Road I had to say goodbye to

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8. Number of times I went exploring in Sydney

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

4. The hours of sunlight in one winters day in Iceland.

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3. Number of concerts attended. Violent Soho, The 1975 and BASTILLE

The 1975
The 1975

1. My one and only family that is AMAZING!

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But the most special thing of all, are all the incredible friendships I’ve made and kept. So thank you to all of you for making 2014 such an awesome year!

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