Sunday, October 31, 2010

A post about facebook

'We expected more from the twenty-first 
century. Some direction, some push, some instruction
for living in the present continuous. 
A cure for boredom,
perhaps, self-annihilating or otherwise.
Instead we set the scene,
take the photo, update our status

as well as the shared sense of oblique geographies:

forcing us onto the side of the road,
somewhere near 
____. 

Aden Rolfe’s ‘Exchanges

I absolutely love this piece. And sadly, it is so true to life. 
People aren't living for themselves anymore. They are living lives that they think other people want to see. 
Everyone wants to feel special and important. They want to BE someone. And they want the world to watch.
So they upload a photo and update their status.

I am starting to hate facebook. And yes, I have one. I update my status. I upload photos, write on walls, click attending when events come up.

But it's not me. Nothing on there represents me. It may represent who I want to be. Or who I am when you first meet me. Snapshots of my life.

But not me. 

I hate feeling like I have something to prove. Like I am living my life through other's eyes. When really, the majority of 'facebook' friends I have don't care about me, and know nothing about my life. I am starting to hate the idea of people forming an opinion in their head of what I am like. When they barely know me. An idea that I foster. And work on. And change. 

But one that doesn't represent me in the slightest. 

So I think I am going to give facebook a rest for a while. No more pictures, no more updates. Some freedom to live as who I really am. That is not to say that people shouldn't have one. It's social in it's own way, it makes it easy to catch up with people who you wouldn't be able to keep in contact with otherwise. 

But maybe it's just not the thing for people like me. Who over think everything. I just...I guess I just want a fresh start to work on myself for a while.

Without an audience. 

People could (and will argue, even if it's not out loud) that a blog is the same thing. 

When I started this it was going to go in a completely different direction. It was going to be short. And full of colourful pictures and quotes.

Honesty never factored into it. And personal revelations? Don't even go there.

But somehow it turned into a mishmash of my innermost thoughts and feelings. I may not upload too many pictures or talk about my day to day activities. I don't let you know what is happening in my life every hour. Nor what is happening in my life every week. 

But this represents me more than a million status updates and pictures ever would. And I have nothing to prove. No one is on here to compare their life with mine, or see how many 'friends' I have. 

Maybe a blog is just another self-absorbed way of showing off to the world. And maybe this generation does all want an audience. Maybe I do.

All I know is that facebook makes me feel like I am not good enough; whereas this blog makes me feel happier and healthier than I have in years. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Everyone needs at emotional Heimlich now and then :)


My favourite quote from Pushing Daises: 
Chuck:
 I can’t even hug you? What if you need a hug? A hug can turn your day around.
Ned: I’m not a big fan of the hug.
Chuck: Then you haven’t been hugged properly. It’s like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety come shooting out of your mouth in a big wet wad and you can breath again.

http://www.thepiemaker.com/pushing-daisies-quotes/

ps. Apologies to my followers/people I'm following, I have been reading blogs (love them all!) but have had no time to comment because of professional experience :( One week to go!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why I want to live in France

Have a mentioned that I want to live in France? 

My dream has been Germany up until now. I fell in love with the country and the wonderful people when I went there three years ago. The cobblestone streets, the bikes and cafes, their love of Christmas that borders on obsession. 

Ahh, it's everything I ever wanted. Perfection. 

But..there is something very appealing about France to me right now. It's not the fact that most of favourite authors come from there. Nor that I'm in love with wine, bread and cheese (though I am). Neither is it the beautiful language, the fascinating history or the amazing architecture. 

It's that they don't take anything lying down. 

Politicians don't just blindly run the country, ignoring what is good for the people. Ignoring what the people want. If the government makes a decision that people don't like, you hear about it. 

Boy do you hear about it. 

While I'm not saying I support riots (as I have never been in one so I have no idea what one is really like), at least they're standing up for what they believe in. 

I have become so disillusioned with Australia. And the government. Our supposed left-wing government. People here aren't satisfied with the majority of the choices being made. But we'll be damned if we do anything about it.

Our retirement age got lifted to 67, the people went 'that sucks'. Recently our 'progressive left-wing' Prime Minister decided not to pull troops for Afghanistan. Again the people went 'that sucks'. Then we all went back to shopping, eating etc. and forgot all about it. 

The government here can do anything. They can manufacture a story about refugees on a boat throwing their children overboard, admit to lying about it right after an election won solely because of the racism the story encouraged (Don't let anyone tell you Australia isn't racist. It's disgustingly so.)

..and no one does anything. 

The government blocked gay marriage in all States, though the State I live in are strongly for equal rights for everyone. No one says anything, no one does anything. We may have a peaceful little protest against these things, but without any real conviction. Without any real hope for change.

I want to live where the people fight for what they believe in. Where the government faces the consequences for their actions. Where they are accountable to the people. ALL of the people, not just a select few. 

And that's why I want to move to France. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This week has been crazy. and busy. and wonderful.

I don't remember the last time I have felt this exhausted. But in a good way. I feel like I'm really living in the moment. Throwing myself into everything headfirst. It's nice. Really nice.

So it will be a quick blog today, simply because anything I write will make little to no sense.

I just wanted to share the wedding dress I just bought.

I didn't ever want to go traditional. Ever. But it's rockabilly, and lace, and everything wonderful. So I swallowed my pride and got it.

What do you think?

ps. Dress (and pic!) from http://www.vivienofholloway.com/en/category/50s%20Halterneck%20Luxury%20Dress/1950s-halterneck-luxury-dress/96/

Sunday, October 17, 2010

when life starts to suck

I did not have a good week.

 I was going to blog about it too. I was going to get on here, vent, whinge and complain until I felt all better. A minute ago I logged on here with the exact intention of doing so. Because it's my blog and I'll damn well complain if I want. That's right. 

But you and I both know that rehashing life's little problems, after the first bout of complaining to loved ones, does not solve anything. It just makes you feel worse. If it's over it's over. And even thinking about posting it makes me feel that little bit worse.

So here are the positives from the week instead. More fun to read for you guys (I hope!), and a lot less soul crushing for me. (note that the soul crushing line is a wild exaggeration. My week wasn't all that bad. I am just dramatic. It's more fun that way)

But I did have a win. Oh and what a win. I got a HD on the 75 activities I made up for my language education class. This may not seem like a big deal but here's the thing:

I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CHILDREN.

In fact, I know nothing about teaching. Also children terrify me. They are not yet at the point where society has molded then into 'white-lie telling' individuals. If I wanted complete honesty I would...well I just don't want it. 

I am getting sidetracked- mostly because I am on professional experience starting tomorrow and once second week hits I have to teach. 

I am terrified. But less so now that I feel like my activities aren't totally horrible. Maybe, just maybe, they won't kill me and eat me or whatever kids like to do these days. 

But you know, I needed this little win. I really did. Give me an essay on a horribly boring political or social topic and I'll make you proud. Get me to do anything remotely abstract (lesson plans, reflective responses, anything involving being good at computers etc.) and I fall into a quivering mess on the floor. But maybe I might be getting the hang of it. And it feels good. This is what I have needed all along.

Also, when my weeks go a bit topsy turvy I tend to make matters worse by forgoing healthy tofu dinners in favour of chocolate and bread for dinner (seriously). I stop sleeping, stop going out and give up dancing, piano, writing, and anything else creative that might get me out of the slump.

So..once I realised that I was falling into the same trap I did something about it. 

This a big deal for me. Normally I just keep on existing until something happens that forces me to love life. 

But this time I made the effort. 

I cooked myself not only elaborate dinners but breakfasts as well (seriously, how can you have a bad day when it begins with a fantastic breakfast? That's right, you can't). I started exercising and dancing like a crazy person to my favourite 50's tunes. I forced myself to practice piano and it was..it was ok. I did sudoku and memory games in an attempt to get my memory back (I really think I am losing any semblance of memory I ever had, but that's a post for another day...). I meditated. I showered, wore a nice dress and put on makeup. I started War and Peace, which by the way is fantastic. And I kept mostly away from the tv (except to watch Mr Smith Goes to Washington, so good!), which I think is affecting my quality of life more than it should. 

After all of that I am feeling ok again. Not great, but better. Much better. 

And it's really rather nice. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I love the rain

I just love the rain. The smell, the sound, the feeling. The idea of it even. Nothing is better than being curled up in a warm room enjoying a cup of tea with a cozy sweater on. Listening to rain as it falls against the roof, creating a symphony all on it's own.

I used to hate the rain. It equated to frizzy hair and a day stuck inside.

However one day I had one of those moments. Those moments when everything feels exactly as it should. When you are exactly where you want to be.

This happened when I went to a festival in the middle of summer. And not only was there a severe thunderstorm, it was hailing. And freezing. I have been to Germany in the middle of winter and I don't think I have ever been so cold as on that day.

We decided to stay for half an hour. So we didn't feel like we had wasted our money. We were miserable. All we wanted to do was sit somewhere warm. But we forced ourselves to stay just for a little bit.

We ended up staying for 8 hours. Dancing in the rain. Moving with the music while lightening flashed overhead. My hair was dripping wet, mascara was running down my face, my clothes were soaked through.

And I have never felt more ok with myself. It didn't matter what I looked like, what I said, how I danced. I just was. I felt more alive than I ever had before. Everything in my life, all the insecurity and nervousness, seemed to wash away.

And you know, it's never really come back since. Maybe all it takes is a day of not caring about things that aren't important, of being who you are and not being ashamed of it, of enjoying life simply for what it is.

That is why I love the rain.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy birthday sir!




Happy birthday dad!!!!

Thank you for always being there for me and for being the best father anyone could ask for.

Oh, and thank you for passing your attractive genes on to me :p

Unconditional like cont...

I was going to write a completely different post today, but after listening to a recording from a lecture that I had missed, I decided to write a continuation from a post I wrote in August instead:
http://themanycoloursofhappiness.blogspot.com/2010/08/unconditional-like-isnt-always.html

Basically my stance was that the self-esteem movement in schools may be more harmful than helpful to students. And after listening to the lecture for my 'Promoting Positive Learning Environments' class (I am studying Primary Teaching for those that don't know), research is backing up my claim.

To go a little bit off track, I had started to become disheartened with my degree because everyone was so politically correct (both the lecturers and my fellow students). All of the classes were about making the children feel special, building self-esteem, making sure to eliminate any hint of competition in schools etc.

That's not to say that I don't agree with these things..to an extent. But I felt like I was the only one who wanted to explore other avenues. What about teaching them to be the best they can be, not just telling them they already are? What about teaching them to not be completely satisfied with every piece of work; rather, get them to aim higher? Teaching them to work towards being a better person? Teaching them to fight for change?

I don't think that the self-esteem movement is helping anybody. And neither does the research. In fact, self-esteem courses at school have been linked to lower test results. Because after all, if the students are praised for everything that they do and are told that they are the smartest, what do they have to aim for? They're already the best. There is no room for self-improvement, both academically and personally.

I'm not saying the people should not have high self-esteem. I think it's fantastic when people do. BUT there needs to be a reason for it. People need to work towards becoming a person who should be proud of themselves, rather than simply being proud of themselves because the teacher said so.

Now, to move onto something a little bit controversial (more controversial I should say!). I think that this whole self-esteem movement in schools can be linked to (one of many reasons) the increase in depression in children. Think about it. Children are constantly told how special they are, they never experience competition, and they never have the opportunities to amuse themselves (tv does it for them). Then the real world hits. All of sudden you don't get a reward just for competing. You realise that though you are special and unique, the whole world doesn't revolve around you. And it's a little bit disheartening. It makes sense that people are not as happy as they used to be

Another problem with this focus on self-esteem, happiness and well being, is that if a child does not feel happy all the time, or are not seen as 100% 'normal', they are immediately labeled.

I see labeling as one of the biggest problems of the self-esteem movement. The self-esteem movement (as I see it) isn't just focused on self-esteem, it is also focused on well being in general. And if a child isn't happy, or social, or is a late bloomer with maths or english, or has bundles of energy..they are given a diagnosis. Depression, ADD, Aspergers etc. There are pills and courses for all of these, the kids are diagnosed and 'fixed' (I'd love to see the statistics for how often any of these medications or interventions work) and the poor kids carry this label with them usually for the rest of their lives. It is the same with adults. From a young age we are taught not only to be introspective, but to be too introspective. Every mood swing is seen as a problem. Every down stage of our lives is called depression. So much focus is on the self, rather than on the world we live in and the other people who live in it.

*Note: That is not to say that none of these conditions exist, that they don't affect a number of people and that they aren't serious. I was exaggerating for the purpose of this blog!

It has been shown that one of the best ways to raise self-esteem and to combat depression is to help someone else. Even little things can make a huge difference; not only to the person you are helping, but also to your overall happiness and well-being. Maybe it's the huge focus on 'Number 1' that is actually making so many people miserable. Not their lack of self-esteem.

So, if and when I become a teacher, I'm going to ignore all of those PC people yelling in my ear, and I'm going to teach the children to care for others. And I'm going to praise them for trying their best, not for simply existing.

Random blog I know, but these ideas were all running through my head and I just had to get them down! Do you agree? Or do you think there is lot more to it than that? I welcome all criticism because I still haven't fully formed my opinions on any of this yet!

xoxo

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What can I say? It's love!!


I believe that exclamation marks make every sentence better.



Example:

I believe that exclamation marks make every sentence better!!!!!!!!!!!


.....


Point proven.

Friday, October 8, 2010

thoughts about love

When I was kid I never wanted to get married. Ever. I was too busy thinking about how to take over the world (for the good of mankind of course... I learned later that it's called a dictatorship..) than to ever think seriously about the opposite sex. Don't get me wrong, I did plan on having a boyfriend one day. I  was going to meet some easy going guy who was madly in love with me and I would grace him with my presence maybe once a month. I was never going to be in love though. Not only was I completely against the idea of letting myself love someone, but I did not believe in it at all. I mean, divorce statistics speak for themselves. What was particularly perplexing to me was that not only can people fall in love, people can fall out of love. How can so much trust be placed on something that seems to come and go faster than the seasons change? And people just keep on going back for more. Not for me. No thanks. 

And when I met Joel I felt the same way. Here was a cool easy going guy, I wouldn't mind spending some weekends with him. We liked the same stuff. It could be cool to have someone to take to parties. But then it all backfired.

Weekends were suddenly not enough. I found myself wanting to see him as much as possible. I thought about him all the time. And everything changed.

Things that had never bothered me started to bother me. Emotions got in the way. Things become messy, and complicated. Wonderful, yes. But complicated. 

I started to get why people would tell me that being in a relationship was hard. People are always saying that. You always hear people talking about how they 'want to be single for a while, it's less complicated'. But then I thought about it. Being single was complicated too. Not only because of things relating to the opposite sex (why hasn't he called me? etc. etc.), But because of life. 

Life is complicated. 

It doesn't matter who you're with, if you're in love or not, there will always be some sort of complication. It may not be fair, but then, what is? I guess I had succumbed to the hollywood notion after all. That once you fall in love there will be fairy-tale ending. Everything is perfect from that moment on. And if you do fight you have silly fights, over things such as what to get at the grocery store. They will be cute fights, fights you look back on and laugh. But let me tell you, fights over what to get at the grocery store can suddenly mean the world to you. They can make or break a relationship. 

And now I find myself, the one who never wanted to get married, thinking about things like seating plans and hair appointments. And other horribly trivial things that I never wanted. I can just see 16 year old me shaking her head in disapproval. And fear. I am signing up to spend the rest of my life with someone. I am relying on love to keep us together when it is not something set in stone, it can disappear without warning, and so many times is not even enough in itself. 

But I guess, when you think about it, we're just a boy and a girl who like the same things, think the other just fascinating, and can't imagine a life apart. Out of all the complicated things in life, this doesn't really seem that complicated at all. In fact, I couldn't imagine anything more simple right now. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spring has Sprung! (yes I said it)




Oh my goodness, spring is FINALLY here!!!

I promise myself every year that my mood won't rely a good deal more than it should on the season. But every time the cherry blossoms come out and the jackets come off my spirit lifts immeasurably. And I know I'm not only one.

People start to smile more, seem to become more at peace with themselves and the world. Everything just seems to slow down and become that little bit more relaxed.

I love being outside when it's warm, with the sunshine dancing and the smell of spring wafting through the air. When work is over and nobody rushes home because the sun is still shining and the day isn't over. When long summer nights are spent with friends, rather than spending short winter nights curled up at home under a blanket.

Not to mention the dresses (oh, the dresses!), iced tea from cute cafes, reading books under trees, road trips,flowers, fresh fruit, festivals, bare feet, holidays and picnics.

Ahh Spring, I'm so glad you have arrived!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Diary, today I...







I don't normally write about the things that I have done, mostly because I don't want to sound too 'Dear diary, today I blah blah blah, boring boring boring'. But I have had such a fabulous few weekends that I just had to share! (the fact that both weekends were long weekends made them that little bit sweeter, I have to admit). I also have no idea how to put photos nicely into blogs so here are photos from my weekends just shoved haphazardly here, there and everywhere..

Last weekend I went to Nightfest at Floriade with Joel and my friend Mel. For those that don't know what Floriade is (basically anyone who doesn't have the same postcode as me), it's an annual flower festival in Canberra. It's really lovely. There are handmade markets, art displays, and an amazing tulip exhibition (the flowers are arranged to create pictures). We went on Sunday night (hence the term 'Nightfest'..lame I know) and it was so beautiful. The whole park is lit up and in one section they hung colourful umbrellas from all the trees and placed a lightbulb in each. It didn't really work in the photos, but it felt like we were walking through Wonderland. We spent the night browsing the markets, going on the Ferris Wheel,  having a picnic of brie, crackers, strawberries and grapes while watching the outdoor movie (Up), then watching a pretty terrible stand-up comic who made me laugh harder than if he had actually been funny. 

On Monday I had to do a belly dance performance at Floriade. Now, I am terrified of performing. I hate every second of it. But I did promise myself I would do more things that I was scared of and this was a perfect candidate. I was so scared of messing up in front of everyone. But I went on stage and guess what? 

I did. I completely messed up one of the dances. But..I survived and all that really happened was my pride got a little bruised. It turns out that it's really not that important. So I went back on stage, faced another fear and danced at the front. And I had a great time. It was still a pretty shameful effort on my part and I wish I'd spent more time practicing, but we all had fun. Life lesson learned.

As it was me and Joel's 4 year anniversary we spent the rest of the day walking among the flowers and eating ice cream, before going home to watch a documentary and eat Turkish bread and dip. It wasn't the fanciest anniversary we've ever had but it was definitely one of the nicest. Sometimes the simplest things can be perfect. 

On Friday night I went for drinks with a girl from college and her friend (who I went to high school with, Canberra is just too small!) . We never really talked at school but met again recently and got along really well. It was really fun, she's such an upbeat positive person. She was telling me about how she got a tattoo that says 'fearless' because she sometimes lets fear get the best of her. Now every time she is too scared to do something she remembers her tattoo and faces her fear because she has to live up to it. I thought that was really inspirational.

That night I also went to the Canberra short film festival, which was a really good experience. There were some really great films. And some really awful ones. But it was a good night. 

This weekend has been fantastic in that I have done almost nothing. I haven't had a weekend like this for.. well I can't remember the last time I had a weekend like this. I have just eaten junk food, read, and watched horribly trashy television that I am too ashamed to say the name of. But it was just so nice to have a break for a while and recharge. 

We managed to get out of the house briefly yesterday and go to out for tea. We stopped past the lolly shop, which is amazing. It has every kind of sweet you can imagine from every different country. I am a huge fan of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups so I was in heaven. Hence the ridiculous consumption of junk food both yesterday and today. The tea shop that we went to is probably the most wonderful place in the world. They have over 200 different kind of tea. 200! I had strawberries & champagne tea, which was the best tea I have ever had in my life. We also got homemade dutch pancakes. And there was a jazz band playing. If there was a heaven that would have been it. 

I have just realised how mind-numbingly dull this post was. I apologise. And it did get a bit 'dear diary', didn't it? But hey, nothing like a bit of self-absorbed ramblings about the humdrum aspects of my life every once in a while!

 If you feel like joining me please tell me all about your weekend because I would love to hear about it :)
xoxo

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hugo's thoughts on love

As to the words they spoke, they were breaths and nothing more, but breaths that set all Nature stirring. They were a magic which would have little meaning were they to be set down on paper, those murmurs destined to be borne away like puffs of smoke under the leaves. If we rob the words of lovers of the melody from the heart that accompanies them like a lyre, what remains is but the shadow. Is that really all? - mere childishness, things said and said again, triteness, foolishness and reasonless laughter? Yes that is all, but there is nothing on earth more exquisite or more profound. Those are the only things that are really worth saying and worth hearing, and the man who has never heard or uttered them is a bad man and a fool. 

-Victor Hugo

Saturday, October 2, 2010

thoughts about failure

I have not been able to blog all week, mainly because I have had a major assignment due and procrastinating by writing a blog rather than simply sitting...well it just felt too productive so I didn't do it.

I have been thinking a lot about failure lately. About how there is so much pressure to do well. All the time. Not just at school, or work, but life in general. We all go around only doing the things that we are good at; or avoiding things just because we are scared we may not get it quite right. Scared of being a 'failure'. When really you need to fail to progress in life. To become the person you want to be. To experience life as it should be experienced, not simply through the little protective bubbles we put around ourselves. 

For a long time (as long as I can remember) I wanted to be perfect. At everything. In every way. Failure terrified me. But I did fail. All the time. 
I was so far from the perfection I craved that by the time I reached college my self-esteem was in shatters. But I had a life plan you see. Everything was going to change. I was going to reinvent myself at college, make millions of friends, get top marks, study law, graduate at 23, buy my own house and become somebody. 

Then college happened. And I realised that I wasn't going to get into law. I was just not good enough. And I hadn't reinvented myself at all. I was still the nervous neurotic self-deprecating self I always had been. My plan vanished. And I was left with nothing. I didn't know where I was going, I was so uncertain about the future..and I was still me. 

So I stopped eating. 

That was something I could do. It was something I wasn't failing at. All my self-esteem, every part of me was focused on this one thing. Every kilo lost was a win for me. It became my life. I didn't have to worry about the future any more. I didn't have to be terrified of change. Because when you stop eating nothing ever changes. Life just stops. 

Obviously my family didn't let that continue. I got shoved into an out-patient program, 3 days a week of intensive cognitive-behavioural therapy. It didn't do anything. I hated the place, I hated my family for putting me there. Most of all I hated myself. 

But one day, as I was arguing with the dietician for the millionth time about having to have an extra half cup of juice, she just looked at me and said 'Do you want to get better on not? Because it is up to you and only you'. And she was right. I hadn't realised it before. It was my choice. And so I did the most difficult thing I have ever done.

I decided to get better.

I would like to say I was out of there in a week, all smiles and roses, but it was a year of hard work.I remember on my last day of school I looked around and realised something. I did have friends. And they were amazing. I did like my teachers and the classes. I loved my home and my family. And I loved college too. I could have had an amazing time. I didn't have to reinvent myself or stop failing. If I had decided to just relax and give myself a break things would have been great. It wasn't the situation that had made me miserable at all. It was only me. All of it was my choice.

So I chose to life live and enjoy it. I didn't get into law.. and that was ok. I modified my plans and started a Social Work/Arts degree instead. And since then my plans have kept on changing. I make a mistake, learn from it, and try something new. It wasn't failing that had made me a failure. It was giving up and not trying. I would count my biggest failure (not eating) as one of my biggest successes too. It taught me more than I ever thought I would learn, and it has encouraged to make the most of life. To appreciate it. And to appreciate myself, warts and all (figuratively and literally!). 

(n.b. it also stopped me from being such a middle-class egotistic teenage drama queen. Mostly.. :p )

Besides, all the winners that I know aren't amazing at everything. They aren't the smartest people, or the most good looking, they don't have amazing jobs and stacks of money.. but they are the kindest. They are the people who hold doors open for someone, give money to homeless people, and make random strangers smile. If I can make someone's life a little bit better, then I guess I'll be a winner too. Failures and all.