Why It’s Important to Follow Your Heart

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

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

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

Logic doesn’t always make sense.

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

Your heart knows what you want.

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

Others are here to support you.

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

cropped-cropped-1421451_743169615698056_1392527801_n1.jpg
My heart taking me to London

Your heart can rescue you

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

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

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

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

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

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: August

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

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

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

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

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

Our beautiful little KB family
Our beautiful little KB family

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why It’s OK to be a Bad Feminist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source.
Source.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

Further Information

Emma Watson’s speech

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

The City of Beauty, Fashion, Morals and Of Course… Sex

Sex & the City is the modern woman’s answer for a bible. It offers us guidance, reassurance, faith, the promise of redemption and stresses the importance of red wine. Whilst it was only last year that I watched the epic 6 season girls guide to life, I have since seen every episode about 3 or 4 times and each time it gets better and Big-ger (hehe get it?) So here is what the four women, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Miranda can teach each and every one of us, and yes boys, you included.

734de1c2781f1e6eb7d1185b66ddb019

Being single can be fabulous – For a long time, we were all told that the ultimate goal in life is to get married and have kids. Then we can live a fulfilled life baking cakes and picking our kids up from soccer practice. Well those ideals can f*ck off right back to the 1950’s. These days being single doesn’t mean you’re unattractive, unwanted or undesirable. It means you’re taking time for yourself. Giving yourself the time, love and attention you deserve. We’re allowed to explore ourselves, discover what we want and allowed to have standards and expectations. Being single gives us more time to ourselves, to be ourselves.

1b983728c311a99865058ef37449ec51

Love and relationships are difficult and confusing – even if we do happen to find someone, it’s bloody difficult. There’s unspoken social rules that need to be followed, expectations, thoughts, experiences, when to call when not to call, Facebook likes… these days there’s so many things that interfere, distract and can get in the way of relationships. There’s so many complex relationships; Carrie and Mr. Big, Carrie and Aidan, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Trey, Charlotte and Harry, Samantha and Smith, Samantha and everyone… but regardless of their relationships and connections, they kind of make you feel like any sort of relationship or ‘thing’ you have going on in your life, is kinda normal.

“They say nothing lasts forever …dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.” – Carrie Bradshaw

Friendship will overcome all things – True friends are friends for life. They’ll be with you through thick and thin. Regardless of time or distance, when you need someone to talk to and hold you, your best friends will be there. Through a break up, a bad life choice, a broken fingernail, they’re there for you. The best things about having girlfriends is that you can tell them anything and everything. They’ll never judge you and always be there to give you advice and paint your nails with.

sex-the-city-images

Fashion is everything darling! – Unfortunately guys, I’m not sure you’ll ever understand the age old struggle of having a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. Don’e judge us if we take 20minutes or 2hours to get ready, we just want our outfit to match our confidence and inner beauty!

There’s no such thing as a normal *insert noun here*- relationship, penis, date, face, vagina, man, woman, dress… All the different escapades the girls get up to kind of justifies anything you have going on in your life.

comedy-funny-quote-samantha-Favim.com-898839

Sex is sex – Sex is a natural part of life which for decades has been smothered by taboo and secrecy. But Sex & the City, true to its name, destroys all sexual stereotypes and taboo. We talk openly about love, life, friends and family, why not sex?

Every woman has a little bit of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in them- Samantha is a confident, strong, successful, sex crazed woman who sleeps with a new man every episode and always offers the blunt truth. Charlotte is an innocent and hopeless romantic woman who dreams of a fairytale happy ending. Miranda is a cynical strong lawyer who has questionable fashion choices but is a loyal friend. And Carrie, the slightly annoying pushover whose kryptonite is the man she keeps running back to. And me? Well I like to think I’m a bit of a Carrie and Samantha.

We’re all beautiful people who deserve the best and nothing less than butterflies!

xxx A

1 Year On: Returning ‘Home’ After A Year Abroad

Firstly, I’ll start by saying how extremely difficult it was for me to write this post. Not physically write it, but for me to actually accept the fact that this big journey that I’ve been living (my Eurotrip Gap Year) was a year ago and is officially over.

So this time 2 years ago (January of 2013) I got on a plane and headed off to London (you can read about my Gap Year here). One year later (a year ago nearly to the day) I said goodbye to London and G’Day to Australia. And as the months flew by, I got stuck in to my new uni life (read about my adventures of 2014 here) as my London life slowly slipped away. So what are the biggest changes readjusting to life back ‘home?’ How do I define home? What’s the hardest part of it all? Here it is.

About to jet off to Iceland
About to jet off to Iceland

Home isn’t quite the same – you’re stuck somewhere in between. For a few months you mistakingly refer to home as in London (after all, it was home sweet home), then you start calling your parents house home, then where you’re living home and then you just get confused. I believe home truly is where the heart is, and my heart seems to be scattered around the world.

You have an identity crisis – you get on the plane all strong minded like ‘yea I know who I am and I’m not gonna let anyone change me.’ Then you land in Sydney, see all your friends and family and suddenly have an identity crisis. WHO AM I? It’s a terrifying experience, thinking that the old you is slipping away, making way for the new you that you’re not quite sure you like. The thought that got me through this ‘transformation’ is that I’m growing and learning from every experience (good or bad) and at the end of the day, it will help make me stronger.

Conquering a hike through a valley
Trying to be a strong independent woman

People see you as the same little you that left – Not the strong independent traveller you now are. School friends see you as the nerd that studied too much, or too things too seriously, or partied too much… but little do they know how much you’ve changed. You feel so empowered, accomplished and strong until someone says ‘aw, you haven’t changed one bit,’ then all that confidence disappears like packets of Tim Tam’s on sale.

You can no longer say ‘This time last year’- For some reason, this was such a comforting statement. Comparing my life now to my adventures last year. But now I can say this time next year… who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing!’ That is the most motivating thought I have. The thought of the unknown!

europeans adventures 1193
Welcoming new challenges and adventures

You can see people getting bored with your travelling stories but you’ll still tell them again – What do you mean you don’t want to hear about how I lost my purse in Rome and magically found it an hour later with all my money in it? Or the time I crashed the best house party in London? Or the time I got to march in the St. Pattys Day Parade in Dublin? Or the time… Ok I get it, you’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it a few more times yet so get comfortable.

You get a serious case of PTD (Post Travel Depression) – You have the highest high that travel offers and suddenly you stop and you’re back at home. Then you come crashing down with the realisation that it’s over. It’s real and it sucks.

You lose touch with your ‘lifelong friends’- At high school you have about 50 BFFL pink sparkly necklaces. And as soon as you jet off, the sparkles seem to magically disappear. This isn’t necessarily a sad part of leaving home, it’s just the inevitable change in life that takes some getting used to. Regardless of if you actually keep these friendships for life, you’ll always have the precious memories of friendships.

My (short) Christmas with my family 2014
You realise how important family is!

But you also find out who your real friends are – You might now have to message everyday. In fact, one of my best friends that was in Australia when I was overseas and I barely spoke. Not because we didn’t want to, but because we were so preoccupied with our busy lives. And the second one of us needed eachother, we’d be there. The minute I returned to Australia it was like I never left. It’s those sorts of friendships that will last for years and will be the most special. Best Friends For Life (for real).

You don’t settle for okay anymore – You’ve had a taste of the spicy, succulent, addictive flavours of the world and crave it everyday. Why would you then settle for a little salt and pepper seasoning? You won’t accept ordinary, or average, or okay… you try to make everything incredible!

You feel motivated to do it again – Was it all worth it? The love, the pain, the grief, homesickness, the ongoing identity crisis… (see image below)! So what am I doing about it now? I’m trying to live life to the fullest, to appreciate everything and everyone I have and bring on the adventures for 2015 and years to come!

x A

big8_zpsaf721088
If it’s on Sex and the City, it must be true