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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  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).

Valentines Day? Newly Single? Take Yourself Out!

Valentine’s Day sucks. Especially if you’re newly single and trying to piece back together the fragments of your heart and remember who you are without a man in your life (woah dramatic right?). But this isn’t a depressing post. This is a fucking happy post. Life has been crazy recently and I’m sure yours has been too (I’m suspecting there’s something in the air). I feel like maybe it’s February, just as you’re getting settled into 2018, February comes to slap you in the face and say ‘wake up bitch, don’t you dare get comfortable!’

Well after my ‘Me Day’ I am wide awake and refreshed, in love with myself and proud of who I am.

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I thought there might be a few others out there who may be having a rough time at the moment, and I get it, it sucks. But it’s not going to last forever, and it certainly isn’t the end of the world. So I wanted to tell you about my day and hopefully inspire you to do the same, and love yourself that little bit harder in your time of need.

“Hi, you’ve reached Adelaide. Sorry I can’t take your call right now. It’s ADELAIDE DAY today and I’m out taking care of myself. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you whenever I feel like it.”

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Cancel Work

I work casually, however lately, work has consumed my life. It’s good though, with so much craziness in my life it’s been a great distraction. I love my work and my work mates. But my Adelaide Day meant not coming in to work. I emailed my boss and was completely honest. Hey, I know I’m supposed to work tomorrow, but my life has been a bit crazy lately and I really just need a day to gather my thoughts and look after myself. Do you mind if I have an Adelaide Day? Because I work with such amazing and supportive people, she said yes and just like that, my day was free.

Sleep In

I’ve recently been converted to a morning person which means that if I wake up after 7am I feel like I’ve wasted my day. I love waking up early, watching the sunrise and getting a head start on my day. But this is Adelaide Day, and Adelaide required a sleep in. I slept until 9:30am and honestly, felt so rested. It was simply glorious waking up without an alarm, with sunlight shining through my window.

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Beach & Sunshine

There’s nothing that says ‘I love you Adelaide’ like a dip in the ocean and a nap on the beach. I headed down to soak up some rays with Dylan. There’s something so medicating about the ocean that instantly washes away your problems and invigorates you with energy and life. I laid in the sun just a little longer than I normally would and felt so relaxed. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I felt like I’d been at a spa treatment all day. I felt sleepy, relaxed, smelled of coconut and my hair was a mess.

A Bite To Eat

I love going out for lunch and I love going out solo. I went to one of my favourite cafe’s, ordered my favourite meal, with my favourite coffee and wrote in my journal. You’ve gotta look after your taste-buds and caffeinate.

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Retail Therapy

Nothing says treat yourself like a new outfit or two. Even if it’s just trying on clothes to get some ideas, I love a little window shopping. And I love it even more when I find gorgeous clothes that make me feel like the Queen I am (or think I am – depends if you get me on a confident day or not). I bought some gorgeous flowy pants, some crop tops and some sparkly underwear for Mardi Gras (which I’m way too excited about). Sometimes you just have to tap your card and not look at the total – that’s future you’s problem.

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Cooking

A little known fact about me is that I absolutely love cooking, I just rarely find the time or inspiration. But on my Me Day, there was no excuse. I made some delicious burritos for Tiger and Chloe. Plus we had an extravagant cheese board with a few too many beers. Cutting, chopping and creating something delicious and nutritious for your body and tastebuds sure is rewarding.

Sex & The City Marathon

Did you know that Sex & The City can cure anything? Yep. Fact. By chance, a SATC marathon was on TV. Naturally, we stayed up til midnight watching it. One beer per episode. By the time it reached midnight, I was pretty tipsy and feeling pretty damn amazing.

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I know it’s not always possible to have an extraordinary Me Day. There’s work, prior commitments, homework…. the thing is that in our crazy lives, these things will always be there. Sometimes you just have to cancel your day and show yourself a little love. Maybe I just didn’t do this enough when I was in a relationship. Take some time for me. But hey, at least I won’t forget it any time soon. And I think it’s something we have to do every now and again. Plus, who doesn’t love a SATC marathon?!

Be strong. Be kind. Be kind to yourself. And have a break. You deserve it. 

2018 Plans & Dreams: PhD and a New Country?

2017 is wrapping up. How do I know that? Christmas carols are sneaking their way into our shopping centres and it’s not even December! Which means that 2018 will come around faster than I’m ready for it. So whilst I’ve found a moment to catch my breath after graduating (you can read about it here), I’ve turned my hungry eyes to 2018. What’s on the cards hey? Well you’re in for a treat and I’m excited as hell because I’ve got some real exciting and scary plans, plus some options and decisions I have to make. 2018… damn it makes me feel old….

My Little Brother is Turning 18!!!

Speaking of feeling old, nothing will make you feel that way like knowing your little, baby, innocent brother is turning 18. Oh. My. God. Honestly – I cannot freakin wait! So Isaac, start preparing your liver. Haha just kidding Mum!

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PhD?

Ok not quite, but what I am doing is the quickest way to a PhD which is pretty cool. Next year (hopefully) I’ll be doing my Honours/Thesis/Dissertation/Whateverthehellyouwannacallit. Basically I’ll be writing 18000 words on a topic I’ve researched all year. At the moment, and this is subject to change, but I’m planning on exploring gender inequality amongst migrant women working in the United States. Skilled and unskilled workers who may or may not be documented and therefore impact their quality of life, jobs, education and services they can access. #nerdalert But seriously this is an area I’m super interested in, particularly after travelling to Central America in July (you can read about that here). A PhD isn’t entirely out of the question later on (what am I thinking?!), so this isn’t entirely clickbait. Maybe that’s a 2020 goal?

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Study study study

Moving

Woo another year another move! Fresh place means fresh start. Ideally somewhere near the beach where I plan to spend the rest of my 2018!

Learn Spanish

Just in case I won’t be studying enough, learning Spanish is on the cards! After travelling Central America I realised the importance of knowing the local language. I already speak French so hopefully (fingers crossed) it will be easyish. Learning languages are so underrated and one of the most valuable skills you can learn. We in the West have this naive belief that everyone speaks English. Well they don’t and we suck for only knowing one language. So, challenge accepted amigos!

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New Country….

I think I’ll go crazy with all of this study, work and serious business without a trip booked to motivate me through it. But where to go?! I’m open to suggestions so let me know in the comments where you’d recommend! I’ll probably only have the funds and time to be able to go away for 7-10 days. I’m thinking New Caledonia, Bali, Tahiti, Fiji vibes? Basically coconut trees and beaches.

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This list is obviously not exhaustive but there’s just some really exciting things I’ve got planned for 2018. Of course I’ll be writing my ‘2018 Things I Want To Achieve This Year’ but sometimes it’s just nice to put your goals, plans and dreams out into the Universe. Or in this case the blogosphere for the blog fairy godmother to make come true.

WTF is Leadership?

Leadership. It’s this complex buzz word that’s thrown around in business meetings, job applications and by motivational speakers. But what does it really mean? Surely it’s more than some confusing words on a resume?

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Yes Mr. Trump, “leadership” is a real thing, and it’s a really freakin awesome and empowering thing. Being a leader or having leadership qualities isn’t a finished product or end result. I guess that’s what I used to think. Growing up, I’d draw inspiration from people I admired and wanted to be like. Looking at their success as a polished, final piece of art. Motivational speakers will always talk about their ‘journey’ their ‘failures’ and ‘setbacks.’ Sure, these mistakes are all part of the journey, but they’ll always finish with a classic one liner of ‘and you can do this too.’ And I’d be sitting there thinking… how?! Tell me how!

I think the concept of being a leader needs to change. Being a leader doesn’t inherently mean you’ve ‘made it.’ But instead it means your figuring it out and making it work for you. There’s no secret formula, no ‘how to’, no road map… the best place to begin is way out of your comfort zone, without a road map.

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One thing I’m extremely passionate about is travel. Not only is it incredible to see the sites of the world, but I get such a buzz out of meeting new people from all walks of life with all kinds of incredibly unique experiences. I love trying new food, wandering new streets, learning new languages, listening to stories and relishing in history. I’m extremely lucky to have been able to travel quite extensively around the world. France, England, Poland, China, Italy, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Canada and America to name a few. But the place that challenged me the most was my recent trip to Mexico (you can read more about my trip to Mexico here).

It was the first time I’d ever been somewhere with such poverty and inequality. Mexico has the highs of the highs and the lowest of lows, which in itself is such a hard task being somewhere with such contrast and flavour. I was there studying immigration and had the incredible experience of meeting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from all over Central America. Listening to their stories was incredibly heart breaking. But instead of feeling pity for these people, I felt motivated. I had just formed a genuine connection with these people who opened up and shared with me some of the hardest struggles of their life. I was so inspired by what they had overcome, the immense strength they possessed and beautiful way they looked at life.

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These people are in no way close to the standard definition of successful, or the definition of a leader. And I’m sure they wouldn’t accept that title anyway. But that’s who true leaders are. They are people who are humble, determined, driven, considerate, thoughtful, have integrity, humility and courage. True leaders inspire others to self reflect and challenge them to make life better. After my encounter with these people, I’ve never felt more out of my comfort zone, lost and confused but I’ve also never felt more motivated to make a difference and pursue my goals and dreams.

To me, leadership means being unapologetically yourself. Possessing self confidence, backing yourself and being your own biggest fan. How can you expect others to believe in you if you don’t? Leadership means networking and teamwork. No great leader ever made it to where they were without the epic behind the scenes work of their network of people that believed in them and helped them out along the way. It means taking risks and learning from your mistakes when those risks don’t turn out. To me, leadership is about taking control of your life, what you want to get out of it and making a positive difference.

You shouldn’t aim to be a leader. Just aim to be yourself. You never know who you’ll inspire along the way.

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Talkin’ Shit

Important note: This post contains a huge amount of poo talk, shit loads of it actually. It’s not for the faint hearted. If you’re someone that dry retches at the thought of someone else taking a dump, or prefers to keep your poo stories between you and your loo, then now might be a good time to stop reading.  

When was the last time you had a good old chat about poo? Does the word ‘poo’ make you squirm? Does it make you giggle? Does it make your stomach churn? Or does it make you yearn for a nice long, peaceful poo? I’ve recently been in Mexico, so poo has been somewhat of a hot topic for me, as I’m sure you can imagine (don’t imagine too hard now). 

Getting gastro/food poisoning/a sombrero wearing, maraca shaking parasite in Mexico, sure helps you break down any reservations that you might have on the topic but it’s not always easy to, pardon the pun, talk shit, especially with new people that you’re meeting along your travels. 

As someone who’s lived to tell the tale (JUST), here’s my guide to talkin shit.   

Humour is essential   

Talking about shit is probably the most real and hilarious thing you could possibly talk about with another person (IMO), especially if you’ve had a bad experience with your bowels– ahem, Bali Belly anyone? Talkin’ shit shows that you’re the type of person that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, just make sure you pick you target wisely because there are a few humans out there that could be utterly offended by your potty humour.  

It’s an easy and fun way to get to know someone very quickly indeed. Get a load of this… 

I was sitting on the toilet in Mexico, my arse on fire, sweat rolling down my…everywhere, with knife stabbing stomach cramps twisting into my gut, thinking, ‘this is how I die.’ I don’t know why everyone doubted Elvis dying on the toilet because I definitely came within inches of my own death. I can confirm it would be the most horrific and smelly death possible. A combination of anti-diarrhoea pills, electrolytes, sleep, lemonade and plain white rice, and one week later I was finally strong enough to add veggies to that plain rice. 

What the doctor didn’t prescribe was a decent dose of laughter. At the end of the day, your body has been through unimaginable pain, all you really need is someone to talk to about your poo problems with and just laugh it out. At least it will cover the tears.   

See…after learning that about me we’re basically Hamish and Andy level best friends now. If you’re still in doubt, I present to you, exhibit B…  

 

   

Judgement Free Zone  

I had a conversation that changed my life. I met a girl, who had actually shit her pants and lived to tell the tale. I sat there mesmerized. I didn’t think that life after SYP (shitting your pants) existed. But there she was, in the flesh, alive and well to share her story with others desperately seeking hope. Now I wouldn’t go as far to say that she’s a saint, but she sure did save me from my toilet of despair.   

When discussing the deeply painful personal stories of poo tragedies, it’s important to understand that person is entrusting you with their deepest darkest shittiest secrets. So hold their hand, hold back that laugh and simply say ‘I’m sorry that happened to you.’ Then you can proceed to burst into laughter and write about them on the internet. 

 

Normalise it  

Have you ever woken up, hungover as hell and had the overwhelming need to take a good long shit? Of course you have, it’s called an after grog bog and we all know it’s an essential (and amazing) part of the hangover experience. But how many of you have endured this pain because you’ve got a stranger in the bed next to you, or your housemates are making brekky in the kitchen, devastatingly located next to the toilet, and the thought of the regrets echoing from the toilet bowel is just too cringe worthy to deal with?  

We know it’s in the natural order, so why do so many of us get scared shitless? Embrace it, announce it to the world! I’m hungover and I need to get rid of this grog bog! It’s all in the discussion, let it out, verbally and physically and we can free ourselves from this toilet shame.   

Now that I’ve overcome my ‘incident’, I feel that I’m a much stronger person, emotionally and physically. I may never be the same again, my stomach might and my butt is permanently haunted, but it’s something I’ve been able to overcome and grow from. I, and I hope you have too, have come to appreciate the fact that poo is a natural part of our lives that we should all be able to talk about. Not all the time, but just now and then. 

[This post was initially written for Twenty Something Humans]

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When Your Mum Reads Your X Rated Stories

My Mum rang me the other day. She’s usually the one who calls me, because I’m a horrible daughter and always forget to call home. I was filling her in on all my updates, telling her all about uni, work, my housemates, assuring her I’d been eating vegetables, and telling her about our quiet drinks on Monday night. I rather intentionally left out the part that I didn’t get home until 2am on Monday night being drunk af because saying you’re going for quiet drinks never stays quiet. So we were chatting away until she pauses awkwardly, and I could almost see her looking down the phone at me giving me that look. To avoid any more uncomfortable pauses, I ask what’s up. She very hesitantly brought up my blog and the writing I do for Twenty Something Humans.

“Do you have to swear so much?” she says. Oh dear, here we go, my mother has finally read my filthy words and knows I’m no longer perfect. I tried to explain that I only occasionally swear in my writing when it’s appropriate and when it’s #relatable. But it seems that wasn’t all she was concerned about. I recently wrote an article about First Loves and mentioned something along the lines of that special moment when you finally give your first blow job…. Well let’s just say I didn’t have my mother as my intended audience for that piece. And to make it even more interesting and awkward (just another day in the life of me), she mentioned how my Grand Parents have been reading it and are a little ‘confused’ with my changing writing style. Oh god, my poor Grandma holding her iPad, zooming into my blog to see the word in size 72 font “BLOWJOB.” (sorry Grandma)

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This got me thinking about the two sides to me. The side that wants to keep it professional and clean, write about world issues, gender inequality, poverty, trade deals, politics and education, whilst enjoying a nice glass of white wine. I’m passionate about all of these issues and do write about them frequently on my blog. However, there’s another side of me that wants to cover myself in tattoos and write about sex, blowjobs, awkward tinder dates, hook-ups and threesomes, whilst drinking the whole botte of white wine. And I’m equally as passionate and interested in these more ‘tabboo’ topics – especially the whole bottle of wine thing. Blowjobs deserve to be written about too. To leave this important topic out of my writing repertoire would be an enormous injustice. Whilst I’m open and comfortable talking about my writing to my friends, my family on the other hand is a different story. And I’m not sure how I’d feel about a potential employer reading these things either. OMGSTARTSPANICKINGABOUTFUTURE…..

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But then Mum’s wisdom kicked in. She told me that I guess I can be the girl who not only writes about trade and politics, but also tinder dates and sex. That I can’t ignore what I’m passionate about and that people will really be able to connect and relate to my content because it’s true and it’s from me.  She may not love it, but she accepts that it’s a part of who I am and that’s nothing to be ashamed of or hide. But instead of having a NSFW (Not Safe For Work) warning, perhaps I should introduce a NSFM (Not Safe For Mum’s) Warning, to give all the Mum’s out there a heads up that they’re about to read something about their daughter that they may not exactly want to know.

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Whatever your thing is, just embrace it. If you hold back, edit and censor yourself to please other people, you’re going to end up extremely unsatisfied with yourself. Ain’t no one got time for that when we’ve gotta get out there and change the world with our posts on gender inequality and what type of vibrator is best for you!

Why can’t you turn your life onto Aeroplane mode?

Your Facebook messenger is filled with notifications that you haven’t got around to replying to yet, your next three weekends are booked up with birthday, engagement and ‘any excuse’ parties, your alarm is going off persistently to remind you to get off your arse and go to the gym, you’re trying to secure a date, catch up on ‘Girlboss’ on Netflix, finish those assignments and get more than six hours of sleep, all whilst remembering that pasta and cheese is not an adequate diet….. HOLY SHIT! Apple, where’s the aeroplane mode for life?
Now I don’t consider myself to be overly popular; I know I ain’t Regina George. However for the past few months nearly every hour of every day has been completely planned out for me. I do enjoy being busy but I also enjoy not wearing pants, listening to 90’s music and just taking some serious me time. Not wearing pants is an essential part of life that, quite frankly, I’ve really been missing out on lately.

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When did we all get so busy? Trying to organise a simple lunch with a few friends turns into making a spreadsheet to find out everyone’s availabilities, only to find that you then can’t decide on a cafe because one of your friends is vegan, and you’re craving a double beef burrito. Even staying on top of all those Facebook messages becomes a tedious task (curse the handy yet exasperating advent of the ‘group chat’!) You think that you’re going to reply properly, with time and thought put into your response, only to wind up replying two weeks later with a shitty response like ‘hey sorry – was super busy! How’s life?‘ And if someone was to ask you ‘how’s life,‘ you’d probably roll your eyes at their attempt to make conversation and think to yourself ‘my life is too fucking hectic to deal with this small talk‘ but instead craft a tactful response of, ‘busy, but good thanks, how’s your cat?’

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 Part of me thinks that as young people trying to figure out this whole ‘adulting’ business, we have no idea what we’re doing. We look at our friends, colleagues and peers and immediately compare ourselves. We see them going to the gym, so we sign up to yoga classes. We see them learning how to use Excel, so we watch YouTube tutorials. We see them travel, so we open a savings account to book that ticket, only to remember that bills are due this week so there goes that idea.

 We’re constantly connected to others through our phones and when we get a life update from them it’s usually in the form of an Instagram post with a beautiful Valencia filter (the Valencia filter is bomb). It’s their little way of saying ‘omg my life is great and look at all the amazing things I’m doing,’ and even if we don’t realise it, we feel the pressure to do more and be more. What ever happened to just being who we are?

 So, can there be an aeroplane mode for life? To shut off that phone, turn off notifications, pick up that book, those pencils, and paints, get outside, get messy, get dirty, start a conversation, smile, eat and sing at the top of your lungs, make plans to not make plans and put your life on aeroplane mode, just for a weekend. Oh and absolutely take those bloody pants off as you tune out!

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I originally wrote this piece for TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS. You can check it out here. 

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First Love

Your first kiss, your first blowjob, your first fart, your first contraception scare, your first awkward utterance of ‘I think I kinda maybe love you.’ Yep, your first love. Sweet, awkward and something that we always hold onto (and all those love letters that you keep scattered throughout your diary). Us twenty something humans cherish these beautiful memories to get us through the cynical and sometimes desperate times of our twenties. What is it about our first love that makes it so special? Surely it’s not just the fact that they’re your first, because I remember the I farted in front of my first love and there was nothing special about that.

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Is it the fact that we’re young, naive and innocent af when we fall in love for the first time? Time and experience hasn’t ruined how we view relationships and sex (yet). We truly believe the person we’re with is our Prince Charming or Emma Watson (let’s be honest, she’s basically a princess) who will never hurt us, never let us go and all that other fairytale shit. When we get older, we start to realise that romance, dating and sex isn’t so innocent. You get fucked over, fucked up, get hurt and move on. Maybe there’s just something beautiful about that nauseating innocence of your first love that makes you want to hold onto it.

OK so you’re finally over them. You’ve stopped checking their socials, you feel relaxed when you go to your old date spot,  life is going great and you’re  moving onto bigger and better things. Hallelujaaaah. And then you see them at a party, practically radiating a halo their ass and they’ve magically become everything you always wanted from them. Oh so now you’re wearing a button up shirt? Now you like that band I loved? Now you have a proper adult job? Oh now you love giving head?! Over the course of a few short months and years, they’ve got their shit together and flying high whilst you’re idea of success is being able to afford burritos two nights a week, pay your energy bill on time and keep your succulents alive.

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Or maybe our first loves are so special because it reminds us of every rom com ever. The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, The Little Mermaid and even the saddest of them all, My Girl. As a young hopeless romantic growing up in a media saturated society, we are immersed into the rom com world at a very young age. And we grow up thinking that Patrick Swayze will notice us across the room and ask us to dance, or that we’ll finally be ‘apart of his world’ and give up our voice to be with our Prince Charming. When we’re with our first love, our heads are in the cloud and we’re riding that love high. And when that love end, we crash back down to reality where a girl gotta look after herself and a boy gotta work on those Swayze moves.

Maybe we never really get over our first love. Maybe they will always have a piece of our hearts with their name branded across it. But without them, would we even believe in love? Would we even bother with the Tinder, Grindr and blind dates? Despite the heartbreak, mid life crisis’ and awkward sexual experiences we have with our first love, we need them to know that love does exist and it’s out there. It may have taken a twisted form, but it’s there, and that’s what we’re searching for at the end of it all. And if we can’t find it, then at least we’re happy with our burritos.

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*This post originally appeared on TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS*

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