It’s a fine line.
Many a morning after a big night I wake up to iPhone notes, texts to myself (and others), half finished blog posts and unsaved word docs (dependent on where I was drinking the night before), of complete and utter dribble.
From time to time I am able to pull from this dribble some amazing insight into the world around me (and other pretentious bullshit) and turn it into something worthy of posting. This is a real rarity though.
“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), “On Reading and Writing”
So Saturday night saw me lying in a park swigging red wine straight from the bottle at 3am with a friend who shall remain nameless. Said friend had just got nude and ran through sprinklers and said park was barely a park, and more a strip of grass lying under a motorway bridge.
Said friend is on his back (fully clothed now) and I was struck by a sad thought. Me and him are almost one in the same person.
Tonight was the night I discovered that my ex-boyfriend, yes the same ex-boyfriend that is contained in all my rambles on here, has a new girlfriend. Did I cry.. no. Did I feel angry.. yes. Kind of a strange feeling and not one I was expecting. Some social media digging later (PS I WAITED ALMOST 3 DAYS TO DO THIS – this is progress!), and she shares my name. She was also a budding journalist, who comments things like “your funny”.
I hate her.
I also hate him.
But more in a “I can’t believe you’ve moved on before me” type way. And I hate her in the “you have my name but really bad grammar” type way. She’s pretty, but nothing amazing. I just keep picturing them doing things like sitting in the shower together like we did, and I bet they never fight. She’s probably all perfect and would never do anything like get drunk and chuck his clothes out of the second story window and then end up vomiting in the shower. Only classy girls such as myself embark on such endeavours.
Anyway. If he’s happy, I’m happy. Moving on has gotta be in the not so distant future for me now. Our love is dead and gone. He’s moved onto bigger and better things.
So that takes me to the question, how are you meant to act when you inadvertently run into them together at some point, probably in the not so distant future, considering he lives down the road.
a) run and hide behind a bush
b) smoothly and suavely say, “Hihowareyouthat’sgoodihavetogo,” and hightail it the fuck out of there, or
c) act like a normal human being, say hello and then walk on my merry way as if it’s the most normal thing in the world to meet your ex-boyfriend’s, who you’re still totally in love with and pine over, new girlfriend..
Once upon a time, upon hearing this sort of news, I probably would have turned around and sexed some random dude that night. Instead I yelled at said naked friend from earlier, stormed off and tried to walk two hours home in broken sandals with 10% battery on my phone and $3 to my name. Because that is so much more mature..
So back to the park, and we’re lying there in the grass, I’m swigging the red wine, we’re playing The Jezebels and, I’m not really sure if this actually happened at this stage of the night but the dramatic effect is better, all of a sudden I’m being told that my naked friend (who is now clothed) possibly has a thing for me. This friend who is not only my ex-boyfriend’s friend, but is also my best friend’s ex-boyfriend. In fact, we all used to hang out together in some sort of sick, double happy couple-type scenario.
I’ve always liked him, but never like that. We share a mutual respect for each other, born out of, what I always assumed, was an entirely platonic relationship.
My ex-boyfriend (who was my boyfriend at the time) once said to me, “You’re not going to move to London and hook up with *bleep* are you.”
Outraged and disgusted by the thought, I vehemently said NO. And feelings have not changed on that. Nevertheless the fact that my best friend once dated him.
Anyway he probably (hopefully) doesn’t remember any of this, and he probably (hopefully) is just feeling lonely. After all, his two best friends (who I used to date – did I forget to mention that one?) are all loved up now.
So, instead of dwelling on all this, I’ma drink a bottle of red and dance in the lounge.
“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart do not know how to laugh either.”
– Golda Meir
“I asked the Chinese girl at work for advice about which phone I should buy because they’re good at those sorts of things,” my mum told me in the car after she showed me her new phone. I promptly berated her for saying something so stereotypically racist and felt slightly embarrassed that she would even think about things like that, let alone speak it out loud.
It got me thinking about how our generation (Gen Y) differs from the other generations that came before us (as every generation differs from the last). We’ve been brought up in, what I’d like to think, a mostly anti-racist environment. I mean, I’m not so disillusioned that I believe we’re completely there yet, but we’re on the right track. And although it may just be from my sheltered pocket of middle-class and educated friends, on a whole (through my extensive reading of comment sections on the web) people who make typical stereotypically blatantly racist comments are severely berated by the majority.
There are many other things that have been ingrained in our generation from the get go; I still remember how shocked I was when I watched the Mad Men episode 0207: The Gold Violin and after Don’s family finished up their picnic they simply left all their dirty plates, utensils and rubbish on the ground. Immediately I googled it, and found out that widely spread TVCs and campaigns about littering only really started up in the 80′s. Of course there are still people today who litter, but again, idealistically, I’d like to think the majority knows this is wrong. I know I feel extremely guilty if I drop something, even going so far as to pick up other people’s rubbish when I see it on the ground.
Of course there would be many many many more things than this, I’m just touching the surface. The real purpose behind this blog post is to get down some of the values that we are semi accepting of as societal norms these days, which I think future generations will be shocked at.
Our unequal pay for men and women
Our lack of unisex toilets to accommodate transgendered and intersexed people (or other members of society that don’t fit in to the binaries of male/female)
Our celebration of Australia day
Australia day is not really a day to be celebrated, to Aboriginals, it’s known as ‘Invasion Day’ or (when the day was first started) ‘The Day of Mourning’. Ponder on that for awhile.
Our casual racism
I’m not sure why, but there are people who berate blatant racism, but have no problem saying things like, “I hate Indian cab drivers, they all try to rip you off/smell” or, “I bought a steak in the mid-west of the US and local people were cooking it. It was the worst steak I’ve ever had, it would be like if you went somewhere here and Aboriginals were cooking for you.” All sentences above shock me. Sure there are some Indian cab drivers who smell or try to rip you off, but there are also a lot of Australian cab drivers who are/do the same. Also a lot of these so called ‘Indians’ aren’t even Indian – they’re Shri Lankan, Pakistani etc. Good grief.
Our complete and utter lack of fairness and flexibility in the workplace towards women who take time off to have children
Hey! Guess what. People want to have babies. Unfortunately only women can do this. And because women HAVE to do this, they shouldn’t be penalised for it. Why is maternity pay so little? Why aren’t workplaces and work hours designed to be more young child friendly. Why aren’t we doing more to change our attitudes towards these things?
How the majority of Australians did not take the Greens seriously as having a major influence on our political beliefs
Rock on Adam Bandt.
Arguments against global warming
Climate change is a thing. The polar ice caps melting is a thing. Bees dying is a thing. Temperature rises are a thing. These are all things. Wake up Tony Abbott.
Our outdated view on privacy laws
Privacy? In the digital age.. what does it really mean? Our data is all over the show – Facebook knows mostly every facet of our lives. They sell this data to marketers (“big data”) so that marketers can sell targeted shit to you. It’s so clever. In the future I think they’ll laugh at how we tried to protect ourselves from this. How we actually thought that some things on the internet were private. We’re headed straight for a dystopian, big brother style future.
How we have to pay for the internet
Clearly this should be free in the future. Or at least stupidly stupidly cheap.
How we ever lived life before time travel
OK this is just a personal and silly one but FUCK I WISH WE COULD TIME TRAVEL. I love everything surrounding the theories of time travel. What would it really be like! Could it be at all possible? What would you do if you had the power?
Anyway, those are a few of the things that I think will change in the future, and I’m sure there’s many many out there that we haven’t even dreamt of yet. Who knows where the future is really going. It’s all so freaking exciting, I just wish I could live for thousands of years more so I could experience it all.
I would’ve really liked to have included poverty, homelessness, famine, unemployment. But I don’t think these things will ever be wiped out. We live in an unfair society, and we are not perfect beings. The whole of our nature as humans would have to be changed, and in the end we are just animals, with drives and needs, just like any other animal on earth.
PS I hope one day people will wear USBs around their necks as “retro” jewellery
Most people hark on about new year’s resolution, but I’ve never been one of those people. I think I stopped making them as soon as I hit high school and it was no longer one of those compulsory activities your teachers made you do just before summer holidays. I’ve never really been one to goal-set, much to the disappointment of every employer, and teacher, I’ve ever encountered. My only goal in life has been, and also will remain, to make sure I stay true to myself, my values, and to, above all, be happy.
As I get older though, I’ve started to see the benefit in goals; watching other twenty-something’s my age with worthy careers, serious relationships and buying houses WITHOUT (and this is the most important point) sacrificing an education or travel. I mean, I took five freaking years just to graduate from my undergrad degree in Arts for god’s sake. And another three years to finally make it over to London. Procrastination is my number one strength, and what I battle with daily.
With all this in mind I have decided – for my first serious time – to make a list of resolutions for 2014:
1. Learn to love dudes again
OK, I admit it, this is pretty cheesy. But so important for me. Since this whole saga with my ex-boyfriend is finally behind me (I think I can happily now say I don’t feel the violent need to talk to him about every detail of my life anymore, although I will always miss him) what I want to try and focus on this year, is seeing the good things in men again. The past two years I have spent so much time shutting people down because they didn’t live up to him, and I would compare every little aspect of their personality with his. Inevitably this lead to me being thoroughly rude and mean to perfectly nice guys. Instead of seeing any positive aspects of their personality, all I could see was all the ways that they weren’t him.
I’ve also had a huge barrier up because I haven’t been ready to let him go. Enjoying time with someone else would always remind me of time spent with him, and so I avoided it. It’s time for me to man up – pun intended – and get myself back into a more positive headspace surrounding the opposite sex. After all, they can’t all be bad eggs, right?
2. Career shit
So so important, if I want to make it as a writer I need to be organised, self-motivated, and not afraid of rejection. I took the first steps mid last year towards this, but I’ve been tapering off over the summer. I am going to work super hard over 2014 to make this dream a reality.
3. Quit my boring ass job and never work in admin again
My soul is dying in my role, I’m not suited to the 9-5 workplace, in an office, without a friendly team of faces. Throw in repetitive work, and endless time for internet browsing, and you may as well dig my grave. This year, even if it means taking a pay cut, I will be getting the fuck out of my current profession.
4. Save for South America, ETA end of October
Eek, this is a daunting one, it involves fully paying off my huge credit card debt (~$8,000 in total) and living as a pauper. I’ve gotten too comfortable in my cushy lifestyle over 2013, and some things have gotta give for me to achieve this. Not so excited for this aspect of the year, but the reward will be so so worth it.
5. Read more books
Not much more to elaborate on this. Reading and writing are my passions, and I don’t do the former nearly enough. Which is what I need to elevate my vocabulary and writing. I’ll look at it as a backup goal to help me achieve number 2.
Superficial goals below:
- need to get at least one awesome tattoo (will probs have to wait for the americas
- keep my hair short, cuz it rocks
- dye my hair the fuck blonde for once – I’ve been itching to do this for years
- ride my bike more
- keep up going to the gym
- try and drink less (bah, this is never going to happen)
Sometimes it’s hard to realise how much you’ve achieved, or how far you’ve come, because we live our lives, second by second. Every little moment piling on top of one another to create our life experiences. It’s hard to step outside of our lives; to put it all in perspective. We are the stars of our own shows.
This year I’ve started working hard to recognise my achievements, to celebrate them, and to stop berating myself for the aspects of my life that make me feel like a failure. I’ve taken chances on shit that I was always too scared to do in the past. And it’s been freaking fabulous.
I’m not one who likes curating numbered lists, there is far too much of that style of writing out in the world wide web already, but meh. I’ve never been one to stick too hard to my guns, change is, after all, a vital part of life. So here’s my top 10 achievements for 2013:
10. I moved back to Australia after successfully surviving the UK
This was such a hard decision for me. I’m not one to quit on things, and once I’ve embarked on an experience, I find it hard to back down even if I’m miserable. And I was miserable in London. Whether it was because of the weather, or because of my ex-boyfriend, or because of my lack of friendship and support, I’m not sure. It was probably, if I’m honest, all of the above (and I’m sure much much more).
I came home drunk one night and I got into the shower bath. It was early January, and I just remember feeling the worst I’ve ever felt in my life (and there have been a lot of bad feelings). I just knew I was trying to make myself do something that I wasn’t happy doing. And it made no sense. I was staying in London, because I didn’t want my ex-boyfriend to think I was coming home because of him (I am so freaking stubborn). It sounds so stupid to write it out loud now, and looks even stupider on this screen as I type. But that was my reasoning behind not coming back to Melbourne before my visa was up.
I also just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was in the UK. That was the goal I had been working towards for five years before I even got there (it was so long because I wanted to finish my degree first). Then I had done it. But what was next? I knew I needed to come home; I wanted to build a career and find out what I was really passionate about. And I missed my friends. I missed the warm weather. I missed my home.
9. I have cemented some of the best friendships I’ve ever had in my life, thanks to my ex boyfriend
If this isn’t the biggest cliché that I’ve ever written, I’m not sure what is. I was such a typical girl, I was in a relationship where I put my obsession and love for my boyfriend, way before my mental health, my friendships, and just about every single fucking thing in my life.
But hey. I was in love.
I have met some fabulous ladies through my life, and some have stayed, while others have gone. But now, being on the better side of 25 I actually know who I am and what I want, and I know that my friendships now reflect this. I may not have a huge group of friends, but those precious few I love, know all of me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And they still love me.
Three years ago, my ex-boyfriend was the only person I let in. The only person I was truly honest with. And he still loved me despite of it all. I guess I have him to thank for my stronger friendships now. If I hadn’t experienced the closeness with him that we shared, I wouldn’t’ve missed it, or known it, and I would have continued through life with superficial friendships, being miserable and convinced that if people really knew who I was, really knew me on the inside, they wouldn’t stick around.
He also encouraged my writing, and if he didn’t break my heart, half the shit I’ve written this year that’s helped me grow as an honest fucking writer would not even exist.
Ex-boyfriends get bad raps a lot of the time, and my friends and I have no issues in pointing out all his flaws when I’m having a down moment, but I have a lot to thank him for. Our relationship changed me for the better. And, woah, busting out even more clichés here, I would not be who I am today, had I never have had him in my life.
8. I was accepted into a post-grad Communications course at RMIT
This achievement I can attribute mostly to myself, but also to my ex for inspiring me, and for one of my best friends for encouraging me.
A lot of my adult life I spent as a “secret” writer. I wrote only for myself, I wrote things that I wouldn’t dare share on the internet (similar in vein to the shit I dribble on here every few weeks, but I’m now no longer terrified of being judged).
I don’t like to fail, but who does really? I never really tried to do the things I enjoyed, because, “Oh my god, what if I failed?! What would that say about me?” Before I got into my comms course, I was accepted to a post-grad multimedia technology course. For some reason I had it in my head that I wanted to be a front-end developer. I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHY. I guess because it was something I hadn’t tried yet, wasn’t something I was heavily invested in, and therefore if it didn’t work out MEH.
This was shortly before my catch up with my ex, I just remember telling him and he was like…. “What about your writing?” He had a weird face on. Like a: “Laura who are you kidding. Why are you choosing to do this?” I spoke to my friend after that, she told me I should change my course. I should be doing what I want to do. Doing something I would actually do for free. Hey presto, I want to write! AND STOP BEING SCARED.
7. I spent three weeks in Japan, despite being a struggling student with a mountain of debt
This was a fucking amazing trip. For anyone who goes on about being too poor to travel, I call BS. You can always find the money to do it if you truly want to. I saved $1000 a month for 3 months, while working part-time, paying bills, studying full-time, and keeping on top of my monthly commitments (phone, credit card etc).
6. I got over my ex-boyfriend, the one who I’ve been rambling about on this blog for the past year
OK maybe got over is a little premature. He’s always going to have a piece of my heart, and I can’t say with confidence that there isn’t a piece of me that misses him and wishes things had gone differently.
And OK there is the occasional drunk text message or call still from time to time when I’m so wasted that my brain isn’t functioning in a rational way.
But I’ve come a long way this year, and it has gotten easier. And like I said, I refuse to berate myself for these failures.
5. I finished my first semester of said MComm with really excellent marks
No more explanation really needed here. I rockz
4. I scored an internship at an online magazine publishing agency
My first foray into the writing world. Started off strong, but now I’ve become pretty disillusioned with the whole process. Writing things that aren’t fun hurts my brain. But it has helped me experiment with different tones, voices and styles of writing (writing content for three different online magazines, all with very different tone and structure). And working for free is the pits. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere.
3. I had my first article published online
The first article I ever actually wrote with the intention of having it published. Yep. It was published here (and therefore I rock again).
2. Said article was mentioned on talk back radio
YESTERDAY. This happened yesterday. And I was asked to talk on the radio station about it. But I had been severely ill for the day and brain wasn’t working. But I’m still claiming my five minutes of fame. Hopefully there’s more to come.
1. I had my first PAID article published
OK so Mamamia haven’t published it YET. But it will be soon. And I will be paid for it.
So like I said at the start, I have taken risks in 2013, I’ve followed my heart, and I’ve vaguely worked my bum off (although I definitely could’ve worked a little bit harder – motivation is still not my strong suit), and it’s starting to pay off. I am so excited for 2014, and I am so so happy and proud of myself. My achievements may not seem grand or all that exciting, but to me, they are huge. As someone who has been in a pretty shitty head space for a lot of my life, these realisations, and being able to acknowledge my achievements, is such a massive fucking step for me.
What were your achievements of 2013? However big or small they are, take some time out. Think about them, create a list like I did, and then give yourself a little pat on the back. You deserve it.
One day you’ll make one tiny decision and your life will end up spiralling down a whole new path. The significance of that moment will be lost on you at the time, but once that life-changing person or that life-altering experience happens, you’ll probably be able to trace it back to one tiny turning point, and then that decision will hold a whole new significance. And you’ll realise that the consequences of your actions can be immense.
You’ll realise that life is made up of tiny little coincidences; or you’ll believe in huge, vast and inevitable life plans. No matter what philosophy you decide on, one thing will be clear. Those tiny decisions being made every day, with little or no thought, will all eventually add up into something much, much bigger.
It could be as simple as deciding where to go on Christmas day. Maybe you’ll decide at the last minute to go somewhere else. And maybe that tiny choice you made, maybe that one tiny and minute decision, will change the course of your life for the next three years.
And sometimes you’ll wish you hadn’t gone. You’ll wish you hadn’t gone and met that person there because it all hurts so much now. And you’ll look back at that fork you had, that turning point. And you’ll want to take path b instead of path a, because of all the mistakes that were made since that day. And it’s really hard to remember any of the good memories now. Because the bad memories are the ones that’ve burrowed deep under your skin. The bad memories are those ones that stain your psyche; they leave the scars on your heart. The type of scars that never really completely fade. And you’ll vaguely remember that once it wasn’t all so bad. Once upon a time you were both in love, and you were happy, and they were happy, but it’s so hard to think of those happy times now because they’ve all been drowned out by the sad.
And then you’ll realise that Christmas is ruined for you now, because you’ll get drunk and you’ll want to call them. You’ll be convinced that this drunken phone call, this particular drunken message, this one will be the one that’ll get them back.
Or maybe you’ll have a Christmas with someone new. You’ll recreate Christmas and that new person will tend those scars that the other left. They’ll rub ointment on them lovingly, caresses them and kiss them and tell you that they love them and they love you. They love you, scars on your heart and all.
And Christmas will come and go each year. And you’ll wait. You’ll wait to meet that person who will change the memory of the day for you. The person who’ll make that choice you made so long ago, at that fork in the road, not seem so bad. The person who you’ll know will make them and all those other memories fade. For you’ve faded them as far as they’ll go and you secretly know they won’t get any better alone.
And so you’ll sit and you’ll wait. And you’ll continue to dread December.
So someone told me I should put more photos on my blog, and since I’m always one to take helpful criticism on board, and for all you creepers out there, there’s some photos below from my recent two and a half week trip to Japan. I seriously fell in love with the country, the people, and the culture. Can’t say the same for the food.. although I’ve never really been a raw meat kinda gal.
Tokyo was by far my favourite place – it’s just as crazy and full on as I thought it would be. Lights flashing, loud noises, people dressed up in costumes in the middle of the day. From black guys hustling sex on the streets of Shinjuku, to guys in Harajuku walking around wearing two pairs of neon sunnies on their faces under the guise of “fashion”.
Osaka rated highest on the most awesome people we met scale. One total legend stands out, don’t know his name, age or where he was from, he spoke perhaps five english words. But we’d had a few drinks, and we randomly walked up to him outside a train station and asked where was good for dinner. He took us out somewhere, ordered us amazing authentic Japanese food, drunk beer with us, then came to karaoke and we partied until 1am. Freaking awesome. Oh and he tried to pay for everything. No questions asked. Of course we paid for him, purely for being the raddest person ever.
I can’t wait to go back, one day I will fullfill my life long dream of living in Tokyo.
All photos below are mine.