This is not business as usual

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that ‘the disease that shall not be named’ is posing a much bigger threat to society than initially anticipated. COVID-19 has shown us how connected our world is and has shown that borders, policies or political leaders, cannot stop it.

And while we’ve been stumbling our way through it all, panic buying toilet paper and pasta, we’ve all been acting like business as usual, with a side of panic. The stats and data are there, this thing is dangerous and threatens the vulnerable. THIS IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL.

This means that we can’t keep doing what we’ve always done. We need to be critical, creative and caring. We need to think outside the box, make sacrifices and ultimately adopt a level of discomfort and uncertainty for the foreseeable future.

So I’m interrupting business as usual with some ideas and tips on how to navigate this difficult time without losing your mind, with realising there’s enough toilet paper for everyone, and holding on to what’s left of our humanity.

The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats it’s most vulnerable members

Gandhi

There are many people around the world who are doing it tough in this difficult time. Everyone is struggling to adjust and adapt to this new reality, no one was prepared.

Be kind and patient. Assume that everyone is doing their best. Talk to loved ones and reach out, even if they seem fine, remember, this is not business as usual.

It’s OK to turn off news notifications and block alerts from social media. This doesn’t mean you’re being ignorant, it means that you’re trying to preserve yourself. This is a marathon.

Take care of yourself and the people around you. Wash your hands. Drink plenty of water. Invent a new way to give your housemate a hug.

Practice gratitude for the things you do have. Internet, access to information, clear blue skies (for the first time in months), a community, clean water, Netflix.

Remember that your inconveniences and hurdles, could be saving lives. Though I must admit, stressing about toilet paper is extremely inconvenient, I’m reminding myself that the world will not fall apart without it. Yes it sucks that your travel plans are affected, that party, festival, wedding is cancelled, but it will come when the time is right.

It’s normal to be anxious and concerned. Whilst no one knows what the next few months will bring, we all need to realise that we’re in this together. We will figure it out, we will respond, we will learn and we will grow.

We will get through this, but let’s keep our kindness and humanity in tact.

How to push your comfort zone in your mid-twenties

By the time you reach your mid-twenties (yes, I’ve just turned 25 and I’ve reached the next life stage of mid-twenties), you’re in a good swing of things. In your early twenties you tried new things, failed, succeeded, you figured it out and now you’re steadily moving through life quietly killing in. Your comfort zone is well and truly formed and you’re living in it. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but I’m not one for stagnating.

Earlier this year, whilst intoxicated at the pub, I somehow got caught up in a conversation where I signed up to play touch football. To many people, this may seem like a pretty normal conversation. But for me, I was immediately riddled with doubt, anxiety and fear. I had never played touch football before, I didn’t know the rules, I didn’t know all the girls on the team, basically I didn’t know what I was doing.

I guess working in a full time job, you get in a bit of a monotonous routine. Plus I’d noticed myself becoming a bit lazy. So in that moment at the pub, I thought this was the perfect way to get fit, make some new friends, but most importantly, try something new.

The whole day before my second game I was riddled with anxiety

About 20 minutes before our first game, I was frantically watching YouTube videos of how to play touch footy, the rules and how it all works. The first game I spent most of my time jogging up and down the wings, seeing how the game worked and observing/participating/scratching my head/panting.

The whole day before my second game I was riddled with anxiety, thinking about the 7:15 kick off and how I was absolutely terrified to go. All of these negative thoughts flooded my head. ‘The other girls think you’re shit. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re too unfit to play. You don’t know the rules. The other team is targeting you because they know you suck. Why are you even trying.’ I somehow made it to half time before I started to freak out. I was on the sideline and was honestly on the verge of tears. Why was I putting myself through this?

As I ran back onto the field, trying to bottle up these feelings, my team mate threw me the ball and I ran. To my absolute surprise, I dodged the other team and ran through several players. I continued running, not quite knowing what had even happened. Before I knew it, I put the ball down on the ground (that’s called a try), I turned around, and my team mates were cheering for me. Holy shit, I just scored a try!

People are just stoked you turned up

Whilst I didn’t score a try for the rest of the season, my anxiety reduced dramatically and by the end, I was actually looking forward to our touch games. And I’m so glad I pushed through the feelings of being uncomfortable and being filled with self-doubt.

Isn’t it funny how I tried something new and I immediately expected to be good at it? Like hello….. people train and learn rules of games for YEARS! It’s your first time ever playing, people are just stoked you turned up! And this is the part I’m trying to work on. The voice in my head doubting my ability and telling me to take a step back. I think back to all of the times I supported my friends trying new things, and how supportive, encouraging and patient I was. Why would I expect my friends to turn around and not reciprocate those thoughts?

At the end of the day, you can’t be good at everything, and you certainly can’t be good at something the first time you try it! I think in our twenties, we’re so used to being good that we’re so afraid to fail, we’re afraid to even try. That’s why I think it’s imperative that we try new things, we fail, we learn how to learn again, and be kind to ourselves.

You may even surprise yourself and score a try!

23 Things I’ve Learnt In 23 Years

Last week I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Mexico City – meaning tequila, tacos and some serious reflection. And this has got me thinking about all of the things I’ve learnt, and still have left to learn about love, life and how much beer I can actually drink. In the famous words of Blink 182 – “nobody likes you when you’re 23, my friends say I should act my age, what’s my age again?”

  1. You’re a Queen – girl you’re killing it, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Respect & Honesty – it’s what you should receive, but most importantly give to everyone.
  3. You won’t learn your limits – with each hangover I ask ‘when?! when will I learn?!’ The answer is yet to be determined.
  4. You will make the same mistakes twice – You’ll fuck up and fuck up again. Forgive yourself, learn and know that everyone fucks up and life goes on.
  5. Trust yourself – Trust your gut instinct and follow it. It somehow always knows what’s right for you.
  6. Friday nights in are just as good as – if not better than going out. Enough said.
  7. Travel is the best investment I’ve made – OK I may not have any other investments at the moment, but from all the travel I’ve done, it’s the thing that helps me grow, learn and understand this crazy world a little better.
  8. Adulting is a misconception and no one actually know how to do it. Not even your parents.
  9. Life is bumpy – Not everything goes according to plan. The route is a bit bumpier for some more than others. Just know that you’ll get through it.
  10. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it’s essential.
  11. Be excited about everything you do – have a positive attitude and get excited by life.
  12. I have to change the world before I settle down – I know that there’s so many things that I want to do and achieve before I settle down. And I’m not going to let anyone stand in the way of that. Watch out guys, I’ve got a world to change.
  13. The thought of having children is still the most terrifying thought imaginable. Sorry Mum.
  14. Trying new things is important – push your comfort zone, learn something new, make a fool of yourself and challenge yourself.
  15. Surround yourself with people who positively contribute to your life – Don’t let negative people pull you down or cast a shadow on your light. Surround yourself with people who push you, help you, are there for you and believe in you.
  16. Have mentors and people who inspire you.
  17. Be thankful and show it – Life is nothing but chance and luck. Some are much luckier than others. Be appreciative of what you have and acknowledge what others don’t have. Do something about it and show your gratitude.
  18. Family is actually so important – I’m so lucky that my family are so supportive of my decisions and accept me for who I am. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without them.
  19. Acknowledge your privilege 
  20. Give back to the community – commit to something, make connections, make a difference, offer your skills and experience and be apart of something bigger than yourself.
  21. Education is one of the most powerful weapons you can arm yourself with
  22. Happiness is the key – a smile can change your day
  23. Be proud – hold your head high, back yourself, be proud of your accomplishments, your ambitions, your hobbies, your passions and don’t let anyone ever try and take that away from you.

At the end of the day, turning 23 isn’t a big deal. But the things I’ve learnt along the way have shaped my very core. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited, the things I’ve learnt, the opportunities I’ve experienced, have challenged, inspired and motivated me to be the very best person I can be. And it’s my goal in life to spread happiness, encourage acceptance, make a difference and be a fucking queen!

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