Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't let grey clouds get you down

A tip for bringing sunshine into a dreary Wednesday morning?

Throw on a smile and the brightest tights you have. Just because the rest of the world is grey and mopey doesn't mean you have to be!

*Incidentally, the sun came out about a half hour later and it has turned into a glorious rainbow filled day

You're welcome Canberra.

What's your Wednesday pick-me-up?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

7 Favourite Movies

I have been nominated to tell you 7 things about myself by these two lovely blogs: Cap Ou Pas Cap and Lazy Girl’s Blog. I did a post like that a little while ago here, and can't really think of any more! So to borrow yet ANOTHER leaf out of Fill Your Well’s book, I will list my seven favourite movies instead (ok, so I cheated and put ten. But what’s a girl to do?). So here they are:

Top 7 movies

1. Rocket Science

This is the sweetest, most uplifting movie I have ever seen. The narrative sounds as if it is from a well-written novel, the characters are completely kooky but completely lovable, and it gets better and better each time you watch it.

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is THE most romantic movie I have ever seen, though the movie itself makes no attempt to be romantic. Basically the storyline is there is a company that can wipe out memories that people don’t want anymore. The main character's ex-girlfriend wipes out memories of him after their painful breakup. To get revenge he goes to get the procedure done too. Halfway through, he changes his mind, and has to hide in old memories with his memory of his ex-girlfriend so that they don’t erase her. Sounds confusing? It absolutely is, particularly as it jumps from the past to the present constantly. But once you get into the rhythm of it then it is easy to follow, and well worth it!

3. 500 Days of Summer/Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

This is another really sweet, funny movie. Again, very romantic in a completely un-romantic way. The main character is really likeable, you definitely feel for the guy. And this movie has hit home for so many people, as it is a really realistic portrayal of relationships, as opposed to the candy-covered Hollywood versions. However, the very very end sucks. So badly. Turn it off about two minutes before the finish, and you will absolutely love it.

Scott Pilgrim is hilarious, crazy, action-packed and brilliant!! It's basically about a guy who falls in love with a girl, but to date her needs to defeat her 7 evil ex's. A movie you can't help but love!

4. Amѐlie

Now THIS movie is uplifting. Sweet, charming, quirky and lovable, this movie is definitely one to watch when you’re feeling a bit down.

5. Up

I do not cry during movies, but I cried during this one. For a kid’s movie, it deals with a lot of adult themes (like love and loss- just to clarify!) and is all about letting things you have lost go.

6. Singin’ in the Rain

This movie makes me long for the days when talent was all you needed to break into the movie industry. They are seriously amazing dancers. I cannot stress that enough. Amazing. The actors are likeable, creative, funny and talented. The best part? The storyline rocks too.

7. The Dinner Game (The French version!!!)/City of God/The Royal Tenenbaums

Three completely different movies, but I couldn’t choose between them!! Sorry, I’m hopeless! The Dinner Game is an over-the-top, tacky, crazy, completely hilarious French movie that never fails to make me laugh.

City of God is a scarily realistic portrayal of drugs and gangs in Rio de Janeiro. The story follows two young boys; one who grows up to be a photographer, and one that grows up to be a drug dealer. It is stylish, and in some places funny; in others very intense. It was nominated for 4 Oscars, and it definitely deserved those nominations. Not for the faint hearted though.

Lastly, the Royal Tenenbaums is another quirky comedy that will make you laugh, smile, cry and wish you were nearly as cool as the characters.

Here’s what you do with the award:

· You link and thank the blogger who awarded you

· Copy-and-paste (or download and upload) the award into your own blog post–a teacup of roses!

· Share Seven Things about yourself

· Nominate up to fifteen other great bloggers

· Comment on their blogs to let them know to come pick up their prize

So here’s the bloggers I chose to get this award. I’m nominating seven, just to keep on with the theme :)

The Hummingbee

Not Your Average Ordinary

Live. Love. Laugh

Translucid Graffiti


Coffee, light and sweet

Cracks in the Pavement

Monday, March 28, 2011

Feeling cheerful on a Monday morning? Why yes, I am crazy

Thank you all for your comments, they were lovely! And definitely gave me a lot to think about. I realise now that it is possible to live off the things that you love; but also just as realistic to have a job you don’t love to support the hobbies that you do. Either way leads to happiness and fulfillment.

I was so exhausted on Friday, from thinking about all of this over and over again. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling a little bit down about it all. But late Friday night I stopped. I looked at where I am now. And realised that I’m happy. I’m working part-time in an office, I may not be living off my dreams just yet, but I’m still happy exactly where I am.

I don’t want to be one of those people who goes around saying ‘I’ll be happy if this happens”, or “I’ll be happy when I do this”. It’s all well and good to have goals, but I forgot last week to focus on the now. To make the most of what I already have.

I mean, I’m only 23. I am not set to finish uni for another year and a half. I have options. And goals. And ideas. But I don’t need to rush them quite so quickly. Just because I’m not doing all of them now, right this second, doesn’t mean I never will. Things take time.

And when it comes down to it, I am doing many of the things I love already. I may not be able to devote my life to them and pay my bills with them quite yet; but I still have the opportunity right now to live my dreams. I am able to write, sing, play piano, dance, create and change people’s lives.

So I guess, after all of that, I am already living the life I want. I have a solid foundation. All I have to do now is to keep building onto that foundation.

In the meantime, I am going to focus on the little things in life that keep me smiling every day. Things that we forget to appreciate in lieu of the bigger picture. The picture that may be completely different in a year. The picture that we put too much time and effort into sometimes, when it doesn't need to be that hard.

So to take a leaf out of Kim’s blog, Fill Your Well, here are the things I am grateful for this past week:

-Canberra holding onto sunshine for just a little bit longer

-tights, scarves and flowery dresses

-poached eggs with fake bacon and baby spinach. That’s how I know that the weekend is here

-enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning air

-freshly brewed organic coffee in the morning

-waking up to sunshine streaming through the windows and children laughing

-holding hands, even after five years

-the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (and eating a big bowl of the dough!)

-tea parties with friends; complete with pass-the-parcel, trivia, balloon-pop, board games, and LOTS of tea and homemade goodies

-winning cupcake & rainbow homemade brooches from the talented birthday girl in pass-the-parcel

-drinking too much wine and watching crazy English comedies Sunday night (though not so great Monday morning!)

-learning new songs on the keyboard

-cuddles from my cats

What are you grateful for this Monday morning?

Ps. Things I am not so grateful for: sitting cross legged on my chair at work as I write this because there is a crazy hyperactive spider running around on the floor...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why does reality always get in my way?

Thank you guys for your nice comments! I might put up photos when I get them, I’m a bit embarrassed though! But seriously, you guys made my day :)

This past week has been a crazy, confusing one. I have been on top of the world one day, feeling like I can do anything I put my mind to; but then the next day seeing just how limited my options are and crashing all over again.

I don’t think that I am very good at this whole growing up thing. I see my friends; with their fancy office jobs, their new things, their stability and think: ‘why couldn’t I be satisfied with what they have?’

I feel like I missed out on the graduation ceremony. The one where all of my friends got promoted to the role of ‘adult’, and I’m stuck here in this in-between phase.

I just can’t be realistic. It’s not who I am. Or rather it WAS, a long time ago, but it’s not anymore.

We’re told when we are younger that we can do anything we put our minds to. But as soon as we pass the age of fifteen, we settle. Because that’s what we’re expected to do. I tried to. I really did. I went to uni like a good little girl, got my degree that could set me up in an office job for life; but then realised that I CANNOT WORK IN AN OFFICE and went back to do another degree. Put an adult life on hold for a while.

At Christmas I realised I only have one year left before that’s it. My CAREER would begin. In 12 months. So I went part-time to drag it out that one year longer.

I don’t know if I want to be a teacher. Some part of me really does of course. It’s great. It’s rewarding. But then another part of me wants more.

Sorry for harping on and on about the same subject. But this is what I have been thinking about constantly these last few weeks.

I don’t understand my friends at all. I wish I did, but I don’t. Where did the kids go that knew that they could do anything they dreamed? When was a grown-up job the only option?

They’re happy. They’re really happy actually.

But I can’t be happy that way.

I don’t want to ever have an office-based career. I don’t ever want to have a stable 9-5 job. I want excitement, passion, adventure. I want to travel the world. I want to create. I want to change lives. And yes, I’m pretty resigned to poverty as well.

One thing I hate is this indecisiveness. This fear. Because it’s all well and good to say all of this; but what if I try and fail? What if I end up ears deep in debt, wishing I had settled for safe? So I’m talking, researching and slowly testing out the options. But I’m also finishing off my degree.

It doesn’t feel like the best of both worlds right now. It feels like a juggling act. Half-halfheartedly doing both and something has to give.

I wrote a list the other day. Of all the things that I’m good at. All of the things I would love to do with my life. And it didn’t help me at all.

It is the same list I would have written ten years ago.

It is completely unrealistic. Crazy, even.

I do NOT like not knowing where I am going. It is something I have always avoided. It is scary. Very, very scary.

Exciting as well, some days, because of all the opportunities stretching out before me. Suffocating at others, because those ‘opportunities’ may never be feasible.

So I ask you, dear readers. Do any of you have any advice? Is anyone else in the same boat? Have any of you given a big middle-finger salute to the world and just gone for it, realism be damned?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sink or Swim..maybe there's a happy medium?

A few months ago I decided that I was going to travel around Europe solo. I have always been a little lacking in the independence department, so what better way to solve that problem than by throwing myself head-first into another part of the world for a few weeks? Sort of a sink or swim approach.

However, my friends and family have not been so enthusiastic.

Not because they're horrible people that don't want me to follow my dreams. Nor because they love me so much that they can't bear to see me go away for a few months. No, sadly, it is because they know me.

I have been reassuring myself by telling myself I have changed. And it's true, I have changed a lot. I am no longer that shy, awkward, highschooler who was too scared to go to the canteen by herself. BUT, after blocking my fingers in my ears and singing 'lalalalala' for a while, I realised that they have a point. I may be perfectly happy to traipse around Canberra all by myself, but to be completely honest, Canberra is not big. As much as I love it, it is a sorry excuse for a city. It is more like a larger version of a suburb. A clean, safe, easy to navigate suburb.

And I still get lost even here. Always. Everywhere I go.

Maybe they were doubting me for a reason.

So, instead of just dumping myself in another country and praying for the best, I decided that I needed to go on a few solo expeditions first. Get used to being by myself.
Get lost a few times, sure, but then manage to find my way back without the help of other people.

So off to Sydney I went.

It was only for two days, which to other people seems like nothing. But I have never been anywhere by myself. The furthest I have ever been away is a twenty minute drive..and that is for university and work. So for me, this was a big step.

And I loved it. Every single second of it.

I caught the train up on Sunday morning then walked through the city to my hostel. And it was easier than I thought. To find places. To read maps. To explore.
It turns out I have a perfectly decent sense of direction. It has just never surfaced before. As sad as it is, I guess I have somewhat of a learned helplessness on my hands. I just drift along in a daydream, expecting other people to find things and lead the way. I have never thought to rely on myself before like that.

That feeling of independence, feeling that I am perfectly fine alone, that I don't always need someone holding my hand, was a huge revelation for me.

The rest of the day I spent chatting to the people in my hostel, then going for a walk by myself to find a nice cafe to write in. I gave up after a while and just went to Gloria Jeans. Quick observation: how is it that the biggest city in Australia has an appalling lack of good cafes? Not impressed.

I then went for a walk around Darling Harbour, which was beautiful. It was so lovely to do what I wanted. To feel free to stop and sit for an hour simply to people watch and dream. To taste the fresh air and just enjoy being. I have never really done that before.

Then the next day I did something else a little bit (a lot!!!) out of my comfort zone. I got some 1950s pin up photos done. I booked it a while back, though not really expecting to actually go through with it. However, I plucked up the courage (and it took all I had) and did it. And it was great!

I got my hair and makeup done, then spent the rest of the day in full skirts, petticoats, stockings and red lipstick, prancing around in kitchens and fake 1950s diners. I was of course, painfully awkward. I would not have expected anything else. But the photographer was so very lovely that I still had a great time, and even loosened up a little. Not much. But a little.

So yes, this weekend was definitely one of taking chances and trying things I wouldn’t have considered before I started this blog. Before I got to read your blogs, your inspiring stories. See you guys face your fears and follow your dreams every day.

I have always been so afraid of change, but after this weekend I realised that pushing myself out of my comfort zone may not be such a bad thing after all.

Oh, and the best part?

I didn’t get lost once.