GIVEAWAY TIME

I used all capitals for the title of this because in real life I’d scream it at you. Real loud. FREE STUFF! 

I chose to give away candles from the Glow Co for simple reasons, really. I’ve loved these candles from day dot & there’s nothing quite like someone following their dreams. & achieving them, might I add.

If I was ever going to plug ANYTHING it has to be a brand/product/company I am genuinely passionate about, & love “in real life”. I’m not really down for giving something away purely because it’s been offered to me or is easy to flog. I have Glow Co candles around my house, & Hollywood is the best scent I have ever come across in my whole life. Even Glasshouse cannot touch this scent. BIG CLAIM, I KNOW. It’s true.

So, I am giving away FOUR Glow Co candles. TWO Hollywood & TWO Mermaid (which is my second favourite). All you have to do is repost the graphic on Instagram. Hashtag #ssxgc. Follow & tag me @courtseesquared. & then cross your fingers & wait until this time next week.

OR if Instagram isn’t your thing, you can subscribe to this blog (the button is at the VERY bottom of the page).

I love you all, I wish I could give away something for nothing. But I’m not that popular/rich/selfless yet. So plug me real good & you might win!

GOOD LUCK XXX

The C word

Do I even need to pre-warn anyone? DON’T read this if you are particularly offended by the C word. Because, well, it’s ALL about the C word. I’ve at least traded the U for an asterisk, for some poorly attempted “modesty”.

I remember the first time I ever heard it. I was around 8, sitting on the gutter of my driveway in the quiet court that I used to live in. All the kids who lived in the street were friends to various degrees, & so when another kid was trespassing on our territory it was pointedly noted. Quickly. This little turd was riding his bike up & down OUR street & I guess we decided to pick a fight. He called my friend a c*nt, & when I asked said friend what it meant (he was significantly older than my tiny, naive self) he told me it was “every swear word in the world mixed into one”. I think this echoes most people’s sentiments. Except mine.

Pretty.

Fast forward from the 8 year old me, to my 23 year old self last Sunday night. Somewhere between then & now, the C word & I became very fond of each other. Judge all you want, being vulgar is something I’m very good at. So I was watching the Real Housewives of Melbourne (I know, I know) & was pretty fucking offended, actually. Why? Because two grown women would NOT let it go that they had been called a c*nt. They couldn’t even come out & honestly say they didn’t like the c*nt dropper as a person, it was just HOW DARE YOU CALL ME THE C WORD. “WOMAN TO WOMAN”. HOW DISGUSTING!

Now, why on earth did it offend me, you’re asking? Why is it even any of my business what these women were carrying on like animals on heat about? Well, I’ll start with the notion that a c*nt is actually a slang term for a vulva. Women have a vulva. That’s what makes them women. The vuvla. The vagina. The c*nt. So the notion that women should NEVER, EVER use this word is ridiculous. If anyone has the right to use such a word, is it not the people wielding one? The vagina is an all-mighty thing. & I have one. & I think, of anyone that gives me the right to say the C word. More so than a man. Who has a dick. & funnily enough, if these women had’ve been called a dick I don’t think they would have been sitting there calling the c*ntee “vile”. If you can let dick roll off the tongue without so much as a blink, why are you not comfortable with c*nt? Same, same. Seriously.

A lot of people would argue it’s not a ‘womanly’ thing to do. Men can drink beer & call each other a c*nt down at the pub, but women shouldn’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say it. Not even when inebriated. Not even when angry. Never. This incites pure rage from the absolute core of me. We are lucky enough to not live in the 19 fucking 50′s where a woman couldn’t venture from the kitchen lest she become lost & need rescuing. Let’s not regress back to that, please? It’s just a word when you want to argue semantics. & it’s 2014. Everyone should be free to enjoy the pleasures of the C word. It’s naughty. It’s taboo. It’s satisfying.

I’m not saying to call your future mother in law & greet her with a “sup c*nt?”. I’m just saying, perhaps it’s no longer “every swear word mixed into one”. If you’re lucky, I’ll call you c*nt. If I’m really mad, I’ll call you mate. I think that nicely sums up where this word sits in modern vocabulary.

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The problem with blogging

I feel as though I’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Namely, about this long as fuck leave of absence that I’ve taken from this blog. If you’re after something funny or interesting you might be sorely disappointed. But if you’ve been wondering where I’ve gotten to, please keep reading. I’m about to write what will hopefully be cathartic for me & a bit of an insight for you.

When I started ‘See Squared’ I didn’t give a fuck. Literally. I just wanted to write because I liked writing. Simple, right? My blasé attitude towards people’s feelings about me in real life was ASSUMED to carry over into internet life. That’s where the problem began.

You could come up to me in real life & tell me you didn’t like me. I’d probably tell you I didn’t like you too, as I assume you wouldn’t like me for a reason & I probably harboured the same detest. I would sleep soundly that night not thinking about the aversion we had to each other. We would know each other somewhat well, & so we both had a right to come to the conclusions we had of each other.

When I write, it’s a little part of me. It manifests in my brain, shoots down my synapses, & materialises out of my fingers while I am typing. Even when I’m writing about ‘nothing’, it’s not nothing. It’s an hour or so of my time spent crafting something. Like an artist painting, I care about my words. They piss me off when I can’t get them right. They upset me when it’s about something dear to my heart. I smile when I’m trying to be funny.

The point is, when I surmise my two arguments above & they become one: my writing is personal & when someone doesn’t know me, & judges me for it, it can hurt. Like being called a slut when I wasn’t even discussing sex. You can call me an idiot in real life & I’ll shrug & probably call you one too. But on the internet? You don’t even know me. How can that even make sense? Why would you say that?

This revelation of sensitivity has shocked me. I’m perplexed by it & I hate it. What a sook I have become seemingly overnight. I keep telling myself if I can’t handle the heat, then WHY am I in the kitchen? Leave. It’s so simple. Stop doing it if it’s not making you happy. Life is that simple at times, I think.

But I don’t want to leave. I want to keep going. While I begrudgingly move forward I’m still working through this double-edged sword that has surprised me. It’s not laziness, I want you to know that. I kind of think about this brain-child of a blog every single day, & I want to make it better. Like it’s a digital appendage that I want to work & make stronger. It’s a representation of me, & I’ve neglected it shockingly.

I’m not saying don’t talk smack about me. That’s delusional. I’m sorry for having such weak resolve.

Onwards & upwards, I’m ready to move on.

Courtney xx

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‘Psycho’ women

Apparently, there was once a time when ‘bitch’ was actually offensive. I know, right? Archaic. People, more specifically women, seem to be resolved to the notion that being a bitch is way too common & way too cliché to actually balk at. If someone has a vagina, & offends you or irritates you for whatever reason, the easiest thing to call her is a bitch. Because you don’t even need to actually DO anything to be a bitch. It’s used that frequently & inefficiently. There is, however, a word that really bothers me. It bothers me most when it’s being applied to women. & that word is a “psycho”.

I don’t renounce my previous views on feminism. Feminism calls for equality, not special treatment. But given the oppressed status of women sometimes the rules need to be skewed to create a level playing field. Psychopathy is actually a diagnosable personality disorder, something that should not be belittled or stigmatised. Nay, here we are. Calling someone a psychopath may also refer to a state of ‘psychosis‘, & this is where shit starts to get overwhelmingly offensive & sexist when applied to a woman. Psychosis is typified by an inability to distinguish what is real & what is not. Fact & fiction become blurred, often resulting in delusions & hallucinations. Put simply, very serious shit.

I am no stranger to the ‘psycho’ line. If I were, I wouldn’t be writing this. I am a prime candidate for being labelled a female ‘psycho’. Psycho itself is not altogether that offensive on first consideration. I argue, it is the place it COMES from that is offensive & wrong. When being called a psycho, it arises in situations that are probably heated. Emotionally-charged. Perhaps a woman decided to finally say how she felt, in both resignation & exhaustion. For example, finally a woman decided to tell her partner she didn’t like that he kept all his passwords private (IE. under lock & key with a drop of blood & the sacrifice of a baby goat to unlock them). Her partner gawks at her, heckles raised, & calls her a PSYCHO for feeling as though she needs to have that kind of access to his private life. Is she confused about what is real & what is not? Is she DELUDED? No. She’s insecure & their relationship is experiencing some sort of turmoil. But, she is not psychotic. Perhaps the man is psychotic for believing he could keep so much from his partner while still keeping HER too. But we don’t call him the psycho, do we? The woman is psycho. There are no rights & wrongs in this scenario, mind you. I am merely trying to articulate how gendered this word is.

What may even be worse than a man calling a woman psycho (men are not evil. I love men. I date a man. Feminazi’s are feminists scorned in my opinion) is a woman calling a woman psycho. As if she herself has never been unfairly labelled mentally unstable, we women will still turn around & do the same thing to someone else. A woman calling `’women’ as a generalised-collective psychopaths makes me so sad. To watch females take such a gendered & unequal patriarchal myth & continually recycle & re-use it is horrible. Women are not psycho. Women have genuine feelings, & when they voice these feelings it is not because of some deluded whim. Women’s feelings are not hallucinatory. They are real & should be treated as such. Too many times women call other women psycho’s because of how they act when dealing with difficult emotions. Maybe they add every girl on Facebook that their ex adds. Psycho? Apparently. Imagine the consuming inadequacy that is driving that girl to do that, though. She’s not some crazed stalker who is going to burn down your house in the middle of the night, she’s probably looking at your pictures, picking out everything that is AMAZING about you, & crying about it to her best friend because she feels like you are leagues better than her. These are just feelings. Maybe you wouldn’t have done what she did, but understanding why she did it easily explains why she is not, in fact, a legitimate psychopath. Just hurt.

The ultimate paradox, tell a woman she is crazy & that's when she will become "crazy".

The ultimate paradox, tell a woman she is crazy & that’s when she will become “crazy”.

When a man gets called a psycho, he has to have done something pretty abhorrent to earn the title. Say, glass someone in the face over some sweet pussy in the club on the weekend. This is about 5,000 huge leaps above getting emotional over another woman or being insecure. Glassing someone in the face? Only JUST earns the ‘psycho’ tag (& probably jail time). Not letting your boyfriend speak to that other girl who calls him after midnight every weekend because ‘friends’? PSYCHOTIC, OH MY GOD, ADMIT YOURSELF FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT! HOW DARE YOU!

Don’t call a woman a psycho. Unless she burned your house down. & if she didn’t? Well, call her a psycho, & see what happens next I guess…

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Dating an AFL player part 2

I never envisioned my overt propensity to piss people off without even trying would rear its head after what I believed to be an honest, self deprecating & slightly sarcastic few paragraphs on dating someone who plays football. In all my efforts to tell people I’m just like everyone else (“well DUH why the fuck are you telling me this?!” a lot of people wrote, too many for me to remind that it was not them I was really targeting then), I was criticised as seeming ungrateful. Spoilt. Whiney. Okay, fair enough I guess. While I still stand by everything I said (another year of being just off stage left in the wings has begun), I thought I would bring you the flip side. The awesome shit that comes with dating an AFL player. In case you weren’t put off the first time, if you still want a professional ball kicking boyfriend for whatever reason then here’s the perks.

THEY WORK OUT FOR A LIVING

Let’s get the obvious out the way, these boys exercise as their job. I pay large sums of my skint money to work out daily; these boys enjoy the reverse. They are basically paid to be in peak physical condition. & who gets to enjoy that ‘peak physical condition’? That’s right, you. God bless you, Australian Football League. You have gathered together some of the best male bodies in Australia & provided women with a platform to watch them. A great body is just the metaphorical ‘abs’ on the overall aesthetic rig that is their talent & skill, don’t get me wrong. It’s good though. Also, have you seen those full length skin-tight skins that they wear? SANS shorts over the top? Lord.

HEAPS OF FOOTY

While most partners have what may be called THEIR OWN LIFE (read: I can’t watch your game I’m studying/working/maybe painting my nails because I deserve it etc) you can watch as much or as little football as you like. You can go every week if you wish. Or every second week, if you are seeing someone from a team in Western Australia. If you LOVE footy this is probably the most amicable of existences you could imagine. You don’t pay to go, but don’t be surprised at the seats if you’ve never been courtesy of a player before. You’re not given anything better than anyone else, contrary to popular misconceptions. I’d like to suggest you take well-earned breaks on a regular basis if you’re going to go every weekend though, as holding your breath for 2-3 hours more often than not results in severe migraines.

As little or as much of this as you like.

As little or as much of this as you like.

INVITATIONS TO THINGS BY DEFAULT

If you’re like me, you’re not really in with the social circles. Never fear, you AUTOMATICALLY now get included without even having to try! If your partner gets invites to cool shit, it’ll probably say “Your partner’s name + 1″. Your name mystically became “plus one” at an nondescript point in time but, who actually cares? Free drinks & food. Awkward-mingling-because-you-know-no one-aside, this is fun. Although I don’t get invites to exciting things all that often, the chance to put on makeup & wear something other than trackies or gym clothes is nice. Also, free drinks & food. 

Annual invite to the Best & Fairest is included.

Annual invite to the Best & Fairest is included. There’s wine.

GENETICS

If eugenics freaks you the fuck out but you want to ensure your children have the best chance in life, perhaps procreating with an AFL player with bless you with an abundance of athletically abled babies. The fact that your offspring will probably be given a ball as early as they are given a boob should help, too.

THEY ARE WHO THEY ARE

At the end of the day, when I take this seriously for one second, the best part of dating an AFL player is who they are as a person. You don’t fall in love with a profession, & this goes for doctors, tradies, FIFO miners & footy players alike. Sure, maybe a job can be alluring in the early stages. “You kick a red ball while running on grass with a bunch of other men EVERY SINGLE DAY? Well, wow. What a time to be alive”. BUT, inevitably if you don’t like a person you simply don’t like them. You can’t force love. Or I don’t think you can anyway, as I haven’t really tried. I’m more of a love it or leave it type of person. These guys are great guys, with their own merits & talents off the field as well as on.

So now, I have at least presented both sides of the story. Balanced reporting. Or blogging, whatever. Take from it what you will, but I hope mainly it’s just a laugh.

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“#ZeroTrollerance”

I’ve previously stated that the dialogue about suicide needs to be started. That it’s taboo & shouldn’t be, & that we should find a way to eliminate the shame in talking about suicide. I still stand by this statement. Suicide, like anything else, is a symptom of illness. It says a lot about our society that we can openly discuss sores, snot & rashes as a result of an illness but we cannot fathom discussing suicide at the dinner table. I find it difficult to discuss. I really do, it’s something that has changed my life. Because of this, I am a supporter of anything that facilitates discussion about mental health & suicide. Previously, it has been something that is not to be mentioned.  A real no-no. You’d have people turning up their noses at you & whispering behind their hands about the audacity of such a subject of discussion. That’s changing, & it’s a very positive thing.

A couple of days ago the “#ZeroTrollerance” hashtag reared its head on Facebook. On further investigation, it seems Jules Lund did a radio special with some celebrities to discuss his approach to social media “trolls”. Lund’s advice to just block “trolls” online is probably one of the most logical & level headed responses I have seen lately. You can literally stop it with one button. But no doubt the passing of Charlotte Dawson has influenced this whole paradigm shift in the discussion of mental health. I do not wish to discuss her death, it’s been done enough. I also don’t have the right, I did not know her. I do not know anything about her life, & so am not able to draw intelligent conclusions about the topic. Her passing has magnified the role cyber bullying contributes to mental health issues. Magnified a great deal. Herein lies the problem.

We all should have respect for everyone. We are all human. Skin, flesh & bone. We are all one & the same, pardon the cliché. This is why it’s important to be respectful, kind, & tolerant as much as we possibly can. It’s something I struggle with daily, I am no Saint. I try to practice what I preach. Sometimes it’s fucking hard when someone is driving ridiculously slow & you’re late. But really, when you step outside of your own little universe where you are the sun & that dickhead is Uranus, it doesn’t matter. At all.

Rapid digitization of everything & the anonymity this facilitates, co-mingled with widespread human obsession with social media has borne a new type of bullying. ‘Cyber-bullying’. I cannot deny that respect is lacking on the internet. I’ve experienced it myself. Nor can I deny that it’s sad. It just seems to be a result of giving someone internet access & the ability to hide themselves. We have to expect it. It seems almost… Natural. Dare I say it. It was always going to happen. But the media has drawn a CAUSAL link between cyber-bullying & suicide. As a result, everyone is fighting cyber-bullying as though their lives depend on it. Seriously. As though if we don’t stop it thousands of people may lose their lives. Some may, but it’s melodramatic at best by the media to think that most suicides are a result of bullying.

This is simplistic. This demeans mental health, purely by ignoring the myriad of factors that contribute to it. This, I believe, is not a GENUINE way to prevent suicides. Should people rally against “trolls” (I hate that term). Yes. If they want to. If they feel passionate about trying to eradicate them. Will this reduce suicide statistics on the whole? I’m not sure. Mindframe, using statistics taken from the ABS, say that roughly 2,320 people die by suicide yearly in Australia. 76% of those deaths are male. The narrative told by the media would have us believe most are female, & victims of vitriolic online bullying. The statistics compared to media reporting is somewhat worrying, to say the least. To convince people that suicide is caused by nasty words ALONE is unfair. Suicide is complex. Trying to understand it is a daily burden on those left behind. Trying to understand ones own mental health problems is a metaphorical minefield of heavy shit. So simplifying either of these things seems to be quite offensive. I hope this doesn’t seem dramatic, but I am offended by it. Accepting & understanding the role mental illness plays in suicide is important. Simplifying it isn’t correct. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

The 'Biopsychosocial' model of health. A simplistic look at the varying contributing factors to mental health. There are many.

The ‘Biopsychosocial’ model of health. A simplistic look at the varying contributing factors to mental health. There are many.

The ‘zero tolerance’ approach like ‘Charlotte’s Law’ irks me. It’s like a modern day, cyber witch hunt. “Throw them in jail”. “Let them rot”. “They are scum, they should get what they deserve”. Hello? Sound familiar at all? We’re fighting cyber bullying with cyber bullying, are we? The people who feel validated from hurting others are more than likely hurting too. So, we’re going to publicly shame them? Slander them? & try to pass legislation to make it actionable to punish these people? This is illogical. I’m not denying the seriousness of what they do, I argue that CONDEMNING them is too simplistic of a solution also. They are people with underlying causes & reasons as to why they do what they do. Perhaps they suffer from mental illness also. Perhaps they are clinically depressed. It’s all too complicated, intricate & intertwined for me to believe a zero tolerance approach & legislation is the solution.

Encouraging respect is important. Letting people know cyber bullying isn’t okay? Yeah, that’s important too. Simplifying suicide down to the general premise that “being mean might make someone take their life. Don’t do it EVER or we will PUBLICLY CONDEMN YOU” is worrying. Suicide is complex. It deserves respectful dialogue about the MANY underlying causes & factors. Perhaps cyber bullying & suicide have a relationship in some circumstances, but we would be better off separating the two & tackling them as issues in & of themselves. So many people take their lives for a great deal of other reasons. Shouldn’t we acknowledge this & address them too?

SANE Australia helpline
1800 18 SANE (7263) or www.sane.org

Lifeline Service Finder
lifeline.serviceseeker.com.au

beyondblue: the national depression initiative
1300 22 4636 (1300 bb info) or www.beyondblue.org.au

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Flying

This post was written 30,000 feet in American air space & published in retrospect. Flying to the other side of the world inspired this slightly bitter & exhaustion laden piece about air travel.

Right now I am sitting on a plane. By the time you read this I will have long ago disembarked my temporary jail cell of the sky, yet rest assured, as these words are being written I am very much submerged within the suffering inflicted on those needing to get to far away parts of the world.

Obviously made by a slightly racist, childless man. But nevertheless somewhat accurate.

Flying is shit. Let’s not roll a turd in sugar and try claim it will taste nice. It’s so bad. So very bad. I happen to have an intense phobia of flying, but that is neither here nor there right now. It is the most irrational part of my life. I’d like to kill some time (PLEASE GOD) exploring WHY flying is so shit. Please behold my musings from the sky:

 PEOPLE. People are everywhere, right? So why would people make flying shit? You are near people for the better part of everyday. Yes, true. But holy shit so many people. So many people in your personal space. STRANGERS, at that. So many people in your fucking grill for such a long god damn time. Oh, what true test of patience and tolerance does one ship of the sky bestow. Some dude putting his elbow on both rests. Quite an innocent gesture, on the ground. NOT IN THE SKY. IN THE SKY THIS MAKES YOU A FUCKING DEVIANT. HOW DARE YOU?! STICK TO YOUR MEAGRE PORTION OF PERSONAL SPACE YOU ASSHOLE. Please. Always fly with someone if you can, as even though you are sharing, this doubles personal space. And personal space is the currency of the sky.

SPACE. As previously mentioned, this shit could be a commodity in the air. Stake claim as you as you sit down. You weren’t the first to sit down? Oh. Suck shit. You will more than likely have less space than you were meant entitled to when you paid some humorous amount of money for your ticket. Like me right now. Elbows tucked in, personal belongings neatly on your lap, for five whole hours. Amazing.

One of my American Airlines flights. The plane was about 30 years old & much too likely to fall apart in the sky for my liking.

One of my American Airlines flights. The plane was about 30 years old & much too likely to fall apart in the sky for my liking.

PACKING. An anal retentive, organised person’s nightmare. Why? Because you’re fucking organised and that means packing something for every which situation that your over-active imagination could fathom. I really envy laid back people when it comes to flying. A long haul flight calls for a contingency for everything, and the kicker is it must all fit in your backpack. Currently I have a backpack with me that weighs as much as a five year old child who only eats chicken nuggets. I have something for everything in there. Including pyjamas. There is no pride when hauling your ass cross country.

PRIVACY. While we are on the topic of leaving your pride at the airplane door, it is worth noting that flying fucking sucks partly due to the lack of privacy. Someone is probably reading over my shoulder right now thinking “what a load of shit. What a loser. This bitch”. Such is the ways of flight. If you want 30 odd people to see you sleeping and drooling and in your rawest, ugliest state then flying is what you should do. But this matters not as I have a strict no-pride policy. It’s all about comfort. Because FLYING FUCKING SUCKS. Who cares. I would smear shit on myself if it somehow made flying an ounce more endurable. I would. Luckily human shit serves no foreseeable benefits so I won’t yet be pooping in my own hand and smothering it on my face. See what flying does to people? How did I even get to discussing wearing human faeces? I obviously hate flying a whole lot, as there is a running shit theme rearing it’s head.

A very small consolation. Breathtaking view of LA lights flying into LAX

A very small consolation. Breathtaking view of LA lights flying into LAX

 So what can you take from all of this? 

1. PEOPLE: they suck mostly. Avoid them as best as possible.

2. SPACE: take as much as you can. Would you rather be the selfish asshole or the stupid asshole? Just remember if you are the selfish asshole, you ARE going to hell (in moderate comfort). 

3. PACKING: try and be the disorganised, naive type who packs nothing yet gets by fine. Hippies.

4. PRIVACY: there is none. So don’t smear your poop on yourself. Everyone can see you. 

5. Cop it on the chin, and hope your destination is worth the hours of suffering. Which they usually are, or I wouldn’t be here right now. And I know I will always do it again, and illogically I cannot wait until next time. 

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“New Year, New You”

Firstly, hi. Remember me? I hope so. I remember you. I feel like I should explain. I feel like someone would when they take a person out on a date, & it went really well, but they left it too long to get in touch again & then just sort of drifted. The date was awesome. It wasn’t you. Laziness, perhaps.

The holidays sucked me in. & maybe zapped my creativity a little bit. I’d like to also confide the fact that I had a mini freak out. A mini freak out about my life being put on the internet. That anxiety ridden part of me hijacked the logical part of me like a mexican cartel hauls their squealing mule into the desert to bury them in a hole. I got over it now & I’m back. Hi guys.

It’s 2014 & I’m here to call bullshit on the silliest, but most widely accepted, self-improvement paradigm. The general premise is that once we have ticked over from ‘last year’ to the next, you get a clean slate. Start again. Like your character died in a video game & you’re respawning (is that the word? Gaming n00b right here guys). NEWSFLASH: THIS IS REAL LIFE. NOT A VIDEO GAME! I’m sorry to so harshly & wholly shit upon this notion. Perhaps I’m coming off as a bitch, but I’ll redeem myself I promise.

The worst concept ever. Did you feel different after midnight? No? No wonder

The worst concept ever. Did you feel different after midnight? No? No wonder

Time is a man-made concept. The universe is something so vast that it has, literally, brought me to tears. But it didn’t come to being with ‘time’ existing. Humans were the ones who invented time. Days, months, & the somewhat now controversial YEARS we use to keep track of this time. Man made. Made by people. A human concept. Got that? Good.

So WHY on earth do we believe that passing from one year to the next will erase all the shit in our lives magically, like some toxic fog lifting to reveal a cloudless, blue sky? When you enter a new year you are still you. With all your flaws, fears, anxieties, & your whole past too. These things are what make you, you. The BAD things count too. All your horrific experiences & your worries co-mingle existentially with all your best parts & the happiest times of your life to form the person you are today. You are of yesterday, of now, & of tomorrow.

It’s important to grasp this concept wholeheartedly. I have spoken before about being realistic. Embracing the good & the bad. There’s a reason why New Year’s Resolutions fail, & everyone posts the same Facebook status at the end of each year saying “THIS YEAR WAS SO SHIT. BRING ON 2012/2013/2014/2015″ (put any year you want in there. It doesn’t matter. It’s always the same). People seem to believe it must be ALL good to be a “good year”. This is never going to happen. Just like you didn’t check your emotional baggage at the door of 2014, bad things won’t stop happening because it’s a new year. That’s called life. It’s a continuum with YOUR idea of ‘good’ at one end, normalcy in the middle, & ‘bad’ at the other. You will experience the full spectrum this year, I promise you that.

So does this mean I think people who have made resolutions are stupid? No. No, not at all! I myself have a list of things I would like to do this year. But I KNOW I am still me. Same pitfalls, same flaws, same bullshit emotional baggage as before. I also know that perhaps I will stray enormously from this list. We cannot live our lives constrained by a predetermined list that society says we should write at the ticking over from one calendar to the next.

People take great meaning from everything that is symbolic in life. This is normal. Healthy, even. It’s absolutely necessary. Moving from one year to the next is PURELY SYMBOLIC. The fact that people use this symbolic shift in time to reaffirm their goals & feel as though they can start afresh is unsurprising. Imagine if we didn’t have years? Just one huge vortex of everything that encompasses life, unbroken & swirling, until death. Weird. That makes me feel gross.

Please don’t aspire to a “new you” this year. It’s not going to happen. A new year doesn’t erase much except the ’2013′ date on the top right of the page. Embrace your past. Concede that really bad things will probably happen this year, as well as good. Look at life like that yin & yang symbol: the good, the bad, the good in the bad & the bad in the good. All essential.

Make goals whenever the hell you want, & achieve them whenever the hell you want too. A “new you” is not necessary.

Pessimism versus realism

We are the generation of optimism. Seriously, you cannot have a “successful” Instagram account without daily mantras, words of wisdom or some sort of prayer for prosperity or peace. It is guaranteed likes. We can be so detached from each other in real life, including ‘spiritually’ (if you believe in that stuff), that it’s really quite farcical. We preach Buddha online & call strangers ‘cunts’ at the shopping centre for taking our car spot at Christmas time. Our generation has come to believe that if you are positive, you can achieve ANYTHING. It is THE most important thing. You wanna be a rockstar? Cool. Think positive, work at it, & shit… You can do it. Want to be famous? Not hard these days. Tell yourself you CAN & you WILL! A scientist? Of course you can. Love yourself, & others will love you too. Etc.

How much of this is true, though? Why have we come to value optimism over anything else? Why are you akin to a modern day deviant for being truthful instead of positive? People like Miranda Kerr & Louise Hay have spearheaded the notion of positivity over EVERYTHING. But really, when you think about Kerr at least, all she is doing is telling you to treasure your body. Nourish your body. Women, it’s all about your body. Where is the honesty? Where is the truth in any of this?

Women have brains & can think, & are actually not really like flowers at all. Women are more than their beauty. But thanks, Miranda. You look smoking hot.

Women have brains & can think, & are actually not really like flowers at all. Women are more than their beauty. But thanks, Miranda. You look smoking hot.

I got here because I realise I am perceived as quite a negative person. A pessimist. A fucking wet blanket, if you will. I say, actually, you are wrong, dear optimist. I am a realist. My mantra is truth. I live by TRYING (it’s impossible all the time. We change hourly, depending on who we are with) to be who I am, speak what I really think, & just generally avoiding anything that might not rest easily with me upon deeper reflection (it’s easier to sleep at night). I say, let’s start to value realism. Let’s all be realists, not only optimists. Let’s be honest with ourselves & each other. It’s hard. It’s not the du jour persona to broadcast. I can honestly say, the people who dislike me probably do so because of my overt realist attitude at times. It can come off offensive. It can come off rude. Whiney & whingey, even. I know this. & that’s because I’m a REALIST: I’m even real with myself. Most of the time, anyway.

I'll take this quote & trade you this food for thought. Life is about balance: how about we be realists & embrace the good AND the bad?

I’ll take this inspirational quote & trade you this food for thought. Life is about balance: how about we be realists & embrace the good AND the bad thoughts? & learn from both?

Before you write me off as merely a pessimist, please understand sometimes optimism is crucial. Sometimes, the only way to get through something is to believe you will be okay, & allow yourself only happy thoughts. & it’s true, you WILL be okay. There are some certainties in life, & that includes inspirational quotes on Instagram by celebrities that didn’t ever say that shit, & that you will eventually be okay. Optimism is an amazing thing. The ability to both support & encourage yourself during trying times is one of the most important abilities one should learn to harness. BUT. Here is the big, heaping, OMNIPOTENT BUT… All the time? Really? You are happy your cat just got hit by a car? Did it teach you heaps, did it? Heaps about fucking HEARTBREAK. WHAT IS POSITIVE ABOUT THAT. WHY DOES IT NEED A POSITIVE SPIN!? Optimism, I believe, is not above everything. It is both powerful & important, but not always the best policy.

I’d like to put my theory into practice. Let’s take a look at this scenario, first with the optimist:
YOU: “Does my ass look huge in this?”***

OPTIMIST: “No. It looks bountiful. Always believe in your beauty, & you will always look beautiful”
Three days later, you’re untagging all the photos from the weekend on Facebook because actually, those positive thoughts didn’t fix the dress you wore that was perhaps too tight. Thanks.

Replay this scenario, but with me. The realist:
YOU: “Does my ass look huge in this?”
ME: “No I like your butt, but I don’t know about that dress, try on something else?”
Three days later, you can’t even decide which picture to use as your display picture because you are just so hot! That outfit was killer! YAY FOR REALISM!

So anyway, as you can see by my very scientific scenario I created in my mind where we are best friends & I am brutally honest with you, being truthful is good. It’s really good. Being honest should not be, and IS NOT, the same as being a pessimist. Please, let’s praise being honest. Even if it seems rude, or harsh, or shitty. & let’s be optimists sometimes, but not value it over everything else.

The truth isn’t always positive. But always being positive also isn’t always the truth (if you wanna make that your Facebook status please make sure to include my full name as the person who said it, in quotation marks. Cool, thank you).

***I love all asses so please, do not think I am some heinous bitch. Asses are beautiful & I’m sure yours is too. Purely for scientific purposes.

Flying the nest

“I wish I could run away & just start again”.

You’ve seen this status on Facebook. If you haven’t, count your blessings because I see it OFTEN. I’m not afraid to place actual, real life money (which I don’t have much of) on the fact that these people probably partied really, really hard the weekend before. But that’s beside the point & a whole other issue. These people are more than likely still living at home, although this is a huge generalisation that I can’t prove. I actually have done the proverbial “running away & starting it all over”, although it’s not so much running away dramatically & never looking back. It’s more like months of planning & a horrendous upheaval of absolutely everything you’ve ever known. It’s not a fairy tale… Actually, it can be fucking shit. That’s without an ounce of hyperbole, promise.

I moved from Victoria to Western Australia three years ago. I was completely naive & totally unafraid, which I am now thankful for. Sometimes cliches are the most apt of things to say. Ignorance is bliss. Moving to the other side of the country & thinking it will all be perfectly fine was the best head space to be in, because you probably wouldn’t do it if you were aware of how hard it was going to be.

I packed up my things (basically my bedroom. Packing up a bedroom versus packing up a whole house is A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE). I put my shit in my car. I put my car on a big ass truck. Then I put myself on a plane. Sitting on the window seat & watching Melbourne lose all its features & turning into nothing but a nondescript chunk of earth was heart-wrenching. I cried. I was sitting next to a woman with a baby who was screaming, totally ruining my Hollywood movie moment. Head turned, looking out the window & tears running down my cheeks. But seriously, the surge of emotion I felt leaving my place of birth ‘for good’ was one of the strongest things I have ever felt. Like anyone, my home is a place full of painful memories & experiences (LIFE). But it is also where my blood is, my friends are, & where my heart will ultimately always reside.

Then I got to Perth. The first thing I noticed was sand. Heaps of sand. Where is the dirt? Holy fuck, I have moved to the Sahara desert. I’m sorry, when is the next flight back to Melbourne? 10 hour wait? That’s fine, I will sit right here & wait for it. I happened to be moving over for the love of my life, & seeing him again was nothing short of fucking awesome. I was shaking with anticipation.

I moved into a house with people I had never met before, & hid in my bedroom for at least a couple of days. My own house felt strange to me. It wasn’t really mine, I didn’t know this place at all.

I had no car. I had none of the things that were in my car. I didn’t know where the supermarket was. I didn’t know where anything was. I knew no one but my boyfriend. I KNEW NOTHING. In movies, this is liberating & beautiful & adventurous. So gloriously romantic & free-spirited. In real life, this is extremely trying. All that shit about getting out of your comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens, blah blah blah… I was there & it wasn’t fun. I’m not a cryer. Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t get sad, I get angry. I CRIED DAILY. “Oh boo, pathetic woman, the hardest thing she has ever done is move. What a blessed life”. No, it’s not the hardest thing I have ever done. But YES, IT IS HARD. Life is not a fairy tale, & these things are never how they appear romanticised in your mind.

When you ‘start again’, it is also tempting to believe you can be whoever you want to be. Oh, how beautiful. A clean slate to work with. A chance to build the life you never had before. Mmm… Not likely. You are still you. You are still carrying the same emotional baggage that once plagued you. If anything, all the shit in your life is placed under a magnifying glass because you are so hypersensitive & missing everything you ever knew. Every time I had too many drinks, it ended up in “I want to go homeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”, tears flowing, sometimes lying on the ground, fully reverted back to toddleresque forms of communication. Not very grown up or mature. I couldn’t help it. I yearned for everything that felt familiar. My mum. My grandparents. My friends. Those cliches are serving me well today, as you sure as shit don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

I left these two cuties behind also. I like to think this is how they spend their days, waiting for me.

I left these two cuties behind also. I like to think this is how they spend their days, waiting for me.

Very slowly, the crying would be every four days. Then every couple of weeks. Then one day it stopped altogether. Like a break up I guess. At first it hurts so bad while the synapses that have formed in your brain sit there familiar & unused. They fade though, & new ones are formed. That’s how it stops hurting so much. New pathways are formed, as you create something new. Eventually, you build a life around you again. Nothing like you envisioned. It’s sometimes shit. It’s sometimes beautiful. The same petty dramas, different location. You live not much differently to how you did before. Sometimes, home is all you want. Sometimes, your new home is all you need. You never stop loving everyone you left behind. Somehow you have enough love left to give the new people you meet. It’s not anything how you think it would be.

If you really do want to run away & start all over again, I wish you well. I hope you find strength when you need it, & comfort in strange places. I hope you find similar souls & create a life with no regret. It’s hard. Really, really hard. I’ll admit though, sometimes it works out.

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