Keepin’ it casual: Casualization of the workforce

Casualization of the workforce. You may have heard of it. Permanent, full-time jobs are becoming increasingly hard to come by and are being replaced by insecure and uncertain jobs. Being a millennial and working casually kind of work hand in hand. Balancing study, a social life and a few days of work a week, well it just works. But what happens when it’s not quite working anymore? At the end of the day, casualization can make your work feel unvalued, make you feel unsure of your future and make it difficult to apply for permanent positions and credit cards. After five years of working casually, here’s my rant and here’s how I navigate the uncertain world of casual work.

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Expectations

When I’ve worked casually, it’s never been quite casual. I’ve had immense responsibility and been expected to work on certain projects on certain days and certain hours. Whilst I welcome EVERY opportunity with enthusiasm, excitement and a can-do attitude, it’s hard to not feel pressure when there are such high expectations of you.

Sick of no sick leave

I get that it’s kind of the whole deal with casual work. No leave, no sick days, nothing. So you go to work when you shouldn’t because you’re sick. You push yourself when you shouldn’t because you can’t afford to take a day off. And you run yourself to the ground with no bonus.

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Casual employment working against you

So you’re looking for a permanent job to have some sort of security in your life (crazy right?). It turns out that being a casual employee can work against you. Recently, I’ve been looking for jobs with a bit more security within my organisation. I came across a fixed-term position that was PERFECT! It was similar to the position I’m currently doing and would’ve been an exciting new opportunity. But no, you had to already be on a fixed-term or permanent contract. I just don’t understand how you’re immediately ineligible purely because you’ve only ever worked casually?! Again it’s the feeling like your work and your commitment is not valued by the institution. You’re ‘in’ when they want you in, but you’re out, you’re gone in an instant.

People treat you like milk, you’ve got an expiry date

I find that the most difficult thing about working casually is that people know and remind you that you have an expiry date. It stops you from reaching your full potential and taking complete ownership of projects. I totally understand because it would be pretty shit having someone come in, change and initiate projects, and then leave. But what if they don’t want to leave? What if they want to stick around and make a real difference? Unfortunately, it just feels like my talent and skills are wasted.

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Holidays whenever you want

Believe it or not, there’s a benefit to being employed casually and that is… holidays whenever you want*!!! Oh shit, right, I forgot that conditions apply. *Technically, you can holiday whenever you want. But you do so with the risk of not coming back to a job. Oh, and of course, it’s not paid because you don’t have leave. If you wish to have time off when it’s busy, it’s likely they won’t be happy.

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You might just think that I’m complaining. I want to be clear and say that I am incredibly grateful for the chance to work and earn an income. I’ve had it pretty damn good, I love my job, I love who I work for and I love who I work with. The reason I’m writing this post is because there are many people who aren’t so lucky. And one day, that could be me. My Dad always said that when you’re casual, your contract ends the minute you clock off and starts again the next morning (if there’s a next morning). The matter of fact is, that casuals are unfairly relied upon and that reliance is growing.

Sure this has short-term implications and leads to a bit of frustration. But it also has serious long-term consequences. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the University of Wollongong is comprised of 71% casual employees. That is INSANE! Call me crazy, but don’t you think that universities should be investing in the wellbeing, happiness and retention of hard-working, passionate employees to contribute back to a thriving, world-class institution?

The way I see it, one day, I’ll move on. I’ll be another number on their register that is no longer submitting fortnightly timesheets and they’ll replace me with another number. I’ll invest my passion, enthusiasm, skills and dedication to another employer. And if I can’t find one, then I’ll invest it back into myself. It’s a harsh but necessary reminder that in life, especially your working life, you have to look after yourself. You have to keep your best interests in mind and you have to be your own biggest supporter.

I’ve loved working casually and it’s opened some amazing opportunities for me. And I’m happy to keep working casually whilst I save my money, especially whilst I have my Gap Year 2.0. But I’m not sure about living my life with such uncertainty in employment. It doesn’t quite work for me.

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[A big thanks to all of the incredible colleagues who make me feel more than my employee type and make me feel valued, supported, encouraged and creative!]

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).

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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).

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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.

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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!’

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Why immigration is everyone’s business

Being able to live, work and travel overseas is seen by many Australians as a rite of passage. A gap year in London, a Contiki around Europe, a roadtrip around California, a ‘finding yourself’ backpacking trip across South America. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, us Aussies seem to find it.

Now imagine having a Honduran passport and having similar aspirations. To find a good job to support your family, to have a taste of the American dream, to explore what else life has to offer. You can’t get a visa to go to the US because you’re from Latin America and you don’t meet the eligibility criteria, that is if you could afford to get there. War-like violence explodes on the streets of Tegucigalpa (capital of Honduras). In 2012, Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world due to gang-related violence, so obviously it’s not the best neighbourhood to raise children. You’ve got an uncle in California and think you might just have a chance of providing a better life for your family if you make it the dangerous 3,700km. For some, the American dream will always be just that. A Dream. Funny how a passport can dictate more than your boozy South East Asian travel plans… 

With so many policy changes, executive orders and Tweets pumping out of the US, you’d be forgiven for being angry, confused and quite overwhelmed with the current immigration crisis unfolding. Things are changing everyday, every hour and it’s confronting to see so much pain and suffering simply because someone is trying to cross a border. Sometimes it’s a little easier to step back into your comfortable cocoon of Netflix and burritos and switch off. Immigration crisis’ happen all the time right? It’s easy to think that this doesn’t affect you and therefore it’s not your problem. But immigrant rights are human rights. And these human rights are being routinely violated right now along the 3000km US-Mexico border. Now more than ever, we need to remain focused and pay attention. Here’s why this immigration crisis is everyone’s business.  

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The US has the largest number of migrants on the planet. In 2017, there were 86.4 million migrants making up 27% of the total US population1. The US, much like Canada and Australia, is a nation of immigrants, of course acknowledging the first nations people in each of these countries. Yet since 1965, immigration policy in the US has become increasingly restrictive, especially towards people escaping poverty and violence. Isn’t it ironic that the Statue of Liberty says;  

‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’  

Much of the recent media attention has been centered on apprehensions at the border, including the separation of approximately 2,000 children from their parents between 18th April and 31st May 2018. The act of separating families at the border was implemented under Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy to ‘crackdown’ on ‘illegal’ migration. The idea is to punish people who have broken the law and act as a deterrence to thousands more considering crossing the border. But does border enforcement and these crackdowns mean we will see a reduction in the number of people attempting to cross the border? Think of our Honduran man with not many other viable options. It will not.  

In fact, ‘illegal’ migration to the US has continued to grow. In 1986, there was an ‘illegal’ population of 3 million. In 2016, there was 11.3 million, despite the fourfold increases in hours spent patrolling the border and a twenty fold increase in funding. And what about these 11.3 million ‘illegal’ people currently living in the US?  This population come from primarily Central America with 56% of them being of Mexican nationality, followed by 7% from Guatemala, 4% from El Salvador, 3% from Honduras and 2% from China. It is an assumption that if you are an ‘illegal’ immigrants, you have ‘illegally’ the border. Whilst this is a reality for some, the majority of ‘illegal’ migrants entered the US legally with appropriate documentation and authorization, yet overstay their visas or permits and vanish. But we all know that human beings do not simply vanish into thin air. Instead, the 11.3million people without the security of residency status, live in the shadows.  

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Despite all odds, a small proportion of migrants have been able to ‘come out of the shadows’ and fight for their rights as contributing members of American society. Under an immigration policy called DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals), approximately 800,000 ‘illegal’ migrants. These migrants are often referred to as ‘DREAMer,’ named after the failed DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). DREAMers receive protection against deportation and family separation, applying to those who entered the US ‘illegally’ when they were children. Whilst this temporary protection allows them access to healthcare, get a driver’s license and apply for a social security number, it most importantly gives them a sense of security in a country that they’ve called home nearly their whole life.  But their sense of security is threatened as Trump calls to terminate DACA and deport ‘illegal’ migrants from the US, whilst sending a clear message at the border that ‘illegal’ migrants, specifically from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, are not welcome.  

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Across the US, thousands of people are uniting for comprehensive immigration reform to drastically change the ways the US deal with ‘illegal’ migration. To put an end to children being separated from their parents, people dying from dehydration in the desert, people not able to obtain a driver’s license, people being prosecuted and deported, and families are torn apart. The immigrant rights movement is loud. These people may be undocumented, but they are unafraid. Other groups like the LGBTQI community, the Black Lives Matter movement and the Women’s movement, stand together in solidarity. Because immigrant’s rights are human rights. 

Privileged Australians like you and me will never understand the anxiety and distress experienced by millions of people without legal residency status, or fleeing political violence and persecution, or have our families separated due to mass deportations. But people like you and me can raise our voices in solidarity with these people and say this is inhumane, this is unjust, and this must stop. Whilst America is in the limelight, we must not overlook the immigration crisis’ happening all across the world and on our doorstep. Libyans drowning in the Mediterranean, Syrians escaping to refugee camps in Lebanon, Rohingya pleading for acceptance in Bangladesh, Hondurans running from violent gangs, and Afghani men, women and children detained on remote island prisons run by Australia. In our current state of immigration crisis, perhaps we need to look to those fighting in the US and DREAM of a better world.  

 I originally wrote this article for The Tertangala

 

 

 

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.

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

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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.

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Happy being me!

My 24th Birthday in Photos

My Birthday. 19th July

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My birthday party. 20th July

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My birthday weekend away. 21st July

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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?!

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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.

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

 

The Art of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is something that is not often talked about. Mainly because: A-  we like to avoid all confrontational situations and B – we don’t want anything bad to happen to us that requires forgiving. But as we all know, life is a bitch and sometimes you find yourself in situations you’d rather not be in. Whether someone has hurt you, lied, cheated, betrayed or fucked you over, at some stage in our lives, we will be confronted with the reality of ‘moving on’ and faced with the fear of forgiveness.

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Forgiveness does not equal weakness

Maybe a reason we don’t discuss forgiveness and aren’t always willing to forgive, is because we think it implies weakness or needing to apologise. But in fact, I believe the opposite. To forgive is to have the strength to acknowledge your true feelings and confront those feelings head on (which we know can be extremely difficult). It also doesn’t entail apologising. I feel like in today’s society we are always expected to apologise, it’s such a default position to fall to. Saying sorry is almost too easy. Meaning and showing it is much harder. Forgiveness is accepting and letting go of something that someone else is sorry about, it is releasing them, and yourself from the anguish.

An opportunity to let go

Forgiveness is a pathway to inner peace. With it, you let go of negative emotions and is your way of saying that I am OK and ready for a future of happiness.

Selflessness

Forgiveness means that you have the ability to put someone else’s thoughts and feelings front and centre. It’s wishing them the best for the future (and actually meaning it). This is probably the most difficult part of forgiveness. Why would you want the best for someone who has hurt you? Sometimes we secretly wish the absolute worst for that person. But we know that those negative thoughts aren’t going to get us very far in life. Before you know if you’re caught up in revenge and jealousy that you lose sight of what you really want. Being selfless in this way, and wishing the best for someone is probably the hardest part of forgiveness. But once you do, it reinforces your inner peace and reflects your consideration for others, whilst respecting yourself.

Forgiveness is a process

Forgiveness is a process and processes take time. You cannot simply decide to forgive someone nor can you force it to happen. Sometimes confronting these feelings is extremely challenging, particularly if someone has hurt you. There’s expiration or time limit on this, your heart will tell you when you’re ready. Because it’s only when you’re ready, are you then able to move on.

Moving on

At the end of the day, holding on to these feelings of anxiety, worry, hurt and pain are not going to benefit you in any way. You need to consider what you want and where you want to be in life and think if those feelings, thoughts and people are going to positively contribute to your life. If they’re going to hold you back, then it’s time to let go. Letting go can be difficult and so can moving on. But letting go of these horrible feelings that are holding you back, well damn just you wait until they’re lifted off of your shoulders. You’ll soon be a lighter, happier and more peaceful person.

 

Alanis Morissette said it best

Like Alanis Morissette said ‘you’re forgiven, not forgotten.’ Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to forget about it the hurt and pain, because let’s be honest, sometimes it’s pretty hard to forget. And it’s important not to, we live and we learn, and we learn and we grow. These moments test and challenge us to our core. So it’s important to remember what you’re able to overcome and achieve, because then you’ll be equipped for the next time. And if there’s a next time, you’ll know exactly how to get through it with grace.

 

At the end of the day, no one has time for such negativity. The art of forgiveness will vary with each situation, but I believe that forgiveness is truly an art.  It looks different to everyone and everyone has their opinion on it, but all that matters is that it looks beautiful and peaceful to you.  Mastering the art of forgiveness is not easy, but little by little, you’ll be able to let go of those feelings and put yourself back to where you want to be. 

An Open Letter to My Friends

The past few months have been pretty challenging. A bit of a bumpy ride with some ups and downs and what can we say… such is life. I like to think I’m pretty strong and resilient, but I think I’ve come to realise that this strength is ignited by the people around me I’m lucky enough to call my friends. It’s funny when you move out of home, away from your family, that you strive to create a ‘family’ of your own. To surround yourself with people that push you, inspire you, lookout for you and cuddle you.

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You’re so passionate and interesting.

Like seriously, you guys are doing such incredibly awesome things! Whether it’s planning to work at a summer camp in Canada, babysit your niece, learn Spanish, learn to surf, experimenting with photography, rock climb, secretly talented at karaoke, volunteer with a community organisation, teach dancing, make rings from old spoons, volunteer in Nepal, know how to twerk, road trip around Australia in a van, doing your thesis, intern in the Netherlands… you are all involved in such interesting projects that continuously inspire me. I always want to hear about everything you’re doing because it pushes me to be a better person, to try new things and just get involved to make the most out of life!

You listen to me rant and preach.

Whether I’m happy or sad, angry or passionate, you nod your head and listen to my thoughts and feelings. I generally don’t filter anything I say, it goes straight from my brain to my mouth. Talking things through is how I try and make sense of my feelings and the world around me. The fact that you want to listen and make sense of this nonsense with me, makes me feel so accepted and wanted. It’s completely amazing!

You’re always down to get a coffee or a beer.

We all know that friendship is built on a foundation of coffee or beer (or tea, or juice, or cider, or vodka for my friends that don’t like coffee or beer – side note, you still cannot be trusted). There’s nothing like pressing pause on life and taking a few minutes to sit back and sit across from someone you care about to talk shit.

Time is unstoppable and so is true friendship.

Whether it’s been an hour or a year, you know that you can kick off right where you started. This is especially a shout out for those friends I only get to see a few times a year… or even once a year (Jess… why do you have to live the dream in Europe?!). It’s so crazy that throughout all of these years our friendship has not only survived but strengthened, and after everything we go through in a year, you still make time for me once a year to spend time together and catch up. Even the people I live around the corner from, you understand that I’m busy and have commitments and sometimes need to spend some time alone or focusing on some other priorities, and the fact that you are so supportive of that is so incredible.

You live in the coolest places (which I will one day come and visit).

Somehow some of my best friends live on the other side of the world. When I stop to think about where they all are I get so excited that I know people from the most incredible parts of the world; Canada, America, Mexico, England, France, Italy, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Brazil, Columbia, Albania, Nepal, Morocco, Hong Kong… honestly I love meeting people from all over the world and the fact that I get to call you my friend is so freakin aweseome.

Work friends understand each other on a next level.

This is a shout out to all of my work friends. The people I see every day and are there to complain to, talk to and grab coffee with. We problem solve, deal with workplace politics together and keep each other updated on one another’s lives. I never thought I’d be so lucky to work with such kind, caring and considerate people. The fact that these people make going to work exciting is pretty damn amazing and I want you to know what a positive impact you make on people’s work lives (which is really important).

You intervene and pull me up for my wrongdoings.

I know I’m not perfect and that I make mistakes. But having friends who love you so much and are brave enough to sit you down and have an honest, genuine discussion about things you’re doing that may not be quite right, is the definition of consideration and respect. It’s not an easy conversation but the fact that you’re putting my wellbeing above any awkward thoughts of feelings you may have is ridiculously generous. I can say that in these moments I’ve had overwhelming gratitude for these people and their words and kindness that I’ll never forget.

You stick your hands down my throat when I need to throw up.

OK so that’s only happened once, and that friend knows that she’s the ultimate human because I don’t know anyone else who would sacrifice a night of dancing for drunk, can’t navigate us home, Adelaide (thanks girl).

Bottom line is that I honestly don’t know where I would be without each and every one of you. I feel like that sentence doesn’t even begin to grasp just how much you all mean to me. I mean it in the sincerest way possible, that you have all helped shape me to be the person I am. It’s incredible to know such inspiring, positive, kick ass people from all around the world and I feel so honoured to have such beautiful relationships with each and every one of you. I want you to know that I am here for you, I love you and let’s take this world by storm.

 

 

 

Girl Code

Being a woman is freakin awesome! We are kind, intelligent, nurturing, we can grow humans inside of us … plus we have boobs! How fun is that?! But there’s a side to being a woman that is extremely difficult and is something I am sadly reminded of daily. Despite it being two thousand and freakin eighteen, we still live in a sexist, misogynistic, abusive and discriminatory society (if this is a surprise to you, then please take a moment to read about gender inequality within Australia). Us ladies put up with a lot of shit, particularly from the men. So us girls, we gotta band together and stick it to the man. And to do so, there’s a girl code. It’s kind of like the unwritten rules of sisterhood that I know you know what I’m talking about.

I admire all women. But over the past month, I’ve been exposed to the highs and lows of the girl code, and damn us females sure are interesting beautiful creatures.

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I was in a relationship not long ago. He got offered a sick job in another state, and like any supportive human, encouraged him to go. I think we were coming to the end of our relationship. Like milk you splash on your cereal a day or two after its expired, it’s risky business to keep using it. Maybe it’s my inner optimist, but I had faith that the milk would be fine to use. So we decided to stay together until he left and then we’d reassess the situation. Leading up to it, we decided to make the most of it, put our worries away and just enjoy each others company. Maybe a lot of pressure was removed by the fact that I knew he was moving away. Or maybe I was in denial that he could hurt me so badly.

I was driving home from a friends party when I received a message on Facebook from a friend.

“Hey Adelaide, are you still with your boyfriend?”

“Hey girl, yea I am. Haha. Why do you ask?”

Do you ever have those moments when you think you’re in a movie? Like this couldn’t possibly be real and you look around to see if there’s a camera. Or desperately look at your best friend in the drivers seat, looking for a sign that this is just some sick joke? I yearned for that sign, and in the absence of it, I knew that this was real.

It’s funny how guys are so captivated by their own dicks, that they think women want to hear about how much they want to shove it inside them. Tinder is a funny thing.

But this isn’t about my relationship. Because like any level-headed woman, I confronted him and said that I deserve better. He’s not deserving of my tears, heart ache or words. This is about girl code. 

My immediate concern was my friend that had unknowingly and unwillingly been dragged into this awkwardly horrible situation. What a brave bad ass bitch! Can you imagine being in that situation? I certainly can’t. How easy would it have been to dust off your hands and say ‘oh hell no, this is none of my dirty business?!’ Or how anxious she would have felt reaching out to me? Or how worried she would feel about how I would react? This woman is the definition of respect, strength, honesty and consideration. I was absolutely blown away by how much respect she showed me, but also that she showed herself. Sometimes the right thing to do is uncomfortable and it may seem like none of your business. But you can really change people’s lives when you’re guided by the mysterious wonders of girl code. 

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But then maybe there’s women out there that don’t get it. Or don’t care, or are too focused on doing them, that they kinda miss the essential nature of girl code. I’ve known a girl for a few years. I remember the first time I met her, I was mesmerized by her energy, intelligence, creativity and strength. She was a bad ass bitch! Over the years, she’s been someone in my life that I’ve looked up to and strived to be like.

I guess there’s really no right way to hook up with your friend’s ex-boyfriend…

But this time, it’s not just about girl code. It’s about the intersection of girl code and men’s place in it. Respect and honesty really will get you a long way in life. I received honesty, but was painfully disrespected by it.

I’m not angry or upset. In fact, I’m incredibly supportive of anyone who is pursuing their happiness. In this pursuit, we all have decisions to make. And if you make those decisions, knowing how they will affect you, and others around you, then you god damn stick by those decisions! This time, I was the one unknowingly and unwillingly brought back to that awkwardly horrible situation. At the end of the day, people will love whoever they love. But when you’re willing to sacrifice a friendship for that love, well that’s some Hollywood movie type shit there.

The bullshit is, this is all because of a man. I didn’t ask for this. These women didn’t ask for this. I don’t deserve this and neither do they. And even after all of this bullshit, you have the nerve to turn around and say that ‘this impacts me too.’ It’s shocking how some people simply cannot shock you any more.

It must be hard being a privileged, white male with a university education, a job that pays more money than some could ever dream of and the delusion that your life is so hard. Yes, you will never understand what it is like to be a woman. And it’s probably for the best because quite frankly, I don’t think you could handle it. But everyone on this earth is capable of understanding love. It’s just so sad that you choose not to.

Actually, I’d like to rephrase, this is all because of a boy. Because men that I know, love and respect, have the strength to take responsibility, to reach out, to be open and vulnerable with their emotions, and think about things other than their dicks and their ego.

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I understand if writing this post might sound accusing, though it is not my intention. I understand if this may be hurtful or confronting to read, yet I am simply expressing my feelings and experiences. I also understand that some may argue that it’s not all about me, and that I am being ignorant of other’s feelings and experiences. Yes, even privileged white men have their shit and I am well aware of that. But after giving so much of myself away, this is my way of reclaiming that and making a statement that it’s not good enough. Now is not your time.

It’s funny because I have well and truly moved on. The purpose of writing this post is to firstly, allow myself to process, understand and heal. Secondly, it is dedicated to all of the selfless women making a difference out there (yes, even the girl that hooked up with my ex is included in this list because she is an dedicated, hard working woman). Thirdly, it is to explore the intricacies of relationships and female relationships. And lastly, it is to reiterate that I will not tolerate being disrespected nor will I accept other women being treated in this manor. This is an ode to the girl code and to express how grateful I am for all of the supportive women and men in my life that are positively contributing to my life. I hope I can do the same for you.

Life’s good and it’s simple. Be kind, loving, honest, respectful, love your friends, love other women, love your boobs and love yourself enough to know that you are a fucking queen!!!

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50 Stupid Thoughts After A Break Up

Break ups are not easy. There’s no right way to break up and there’s certainly no ‘ideal’ break up situation. People’s feelings get hurt, there’s tears, anger, resentment, confusion and a lot of chocolate and alcohol involved after the fact. I consider myself a pretty intelligent human and if you’re reading this, then I absolutely know you’re an intelligent human (mainly because you decided to read my blog, and that my friend is a good choice). I think the hardest thing about breaking up for us intelligent people, is that we have fucking dumb thoughts. Like ridiculous, where did that even come from, thoughts. As I’m sure someone famous once said, writing eases the pain. And whilst I’m not in pain anymore, it’s a good reminder to myself and others that despite having these crazy thoughts, you’re doing your best at the time and that’s all that you can ask of yourself.

And I thought I would share with you 50 Stupid (and not so stupid) thoughts I had after my break up. 

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Source
  1. Oh no. Am I ugly crying or cute crying?
  2. I didn’t see it ending like this.
  3. Why do breakups end how they start? Stomach knotted with butterflies and repeatedly asking your friends what you should reply to their text.
  4. What should I change my profile picture to?
  5. Now I don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to spend my Friday night alone watching Sex and the City.
  6. OMG I’m going to spend every Friday night alone watching Sex and the City.
  7. When do I get back on Tinder?
  8. Yay Tinder!
  9. Uh TInder….
  10. I’ll never love again.
  11. Maybe I have all the love I need.
  12. Maybe the lump on my neck is too much to handle.
  13. Maybe I’m too much to handle.
  14. Wow my friends are amazing. I’m so lucky.
  15. Being single is the best thing ever!
  16. Who am I without a boyfriend?
  17. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.
  18. He’s obviously not the one for me.
  19. All I want in life is to be happy.
  20. What if I’m never happy again?
  21. I’m going to start running.
  22. Ooh look at me go, trying new things.
  23. Fuck this, I’m getting pizza.
  24. My friends tell me I deserve better… yea I do deserve better.
  25. Maybe I’m being too nice.
  26. Should I text them?
  27. Maybe I’ll just post an story on Instagram.
  28. OMG they sent me a snapchat!
  29. I shouldn’t reply.
  30. Fuck, I just replied.
  31. I’m just going to leave my phone at home and go for a run.
  32. Nah, I’ll just go and pick up some pizza.
  33. I’m going to focus on work.
  34. And study. I am a total boss.
  35. Wow my life is so great.
  36. *goes to bed at night* I have no one.
  37. I’m handling this so well.
  38. Come on heart, catch up.
  39. There’s a cute dog, they will appreciate a snap of this.
  40. Oh right, we broke up.
  41. They would look so good in – oh wait, yep, still broken up.
  42. We can still be friends, right?
  43. Why do people keep asking me about them?
  44. I’m angry, hurt, disappointed.
  45. But I don’t have hard feelings.
  46. I don’t have room in my life for negativity, hatred or unkindness.
  47. I miss you.
  48. It’s going to be OK.
  49. When am I going to have sex again?
  50. I am enough (not a stupid thought).