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Monday, 28 November 2016

To fall in love fast and recklessly or slowly and sensibly?

It's Tuesday, which means blog post day. I have decided to discuss a matter that is something I have been debating with myself and others for quite some time.

I don't have any lovely photographs of my own to add to the mood, so I have included a still image from one of my favorite music videos 'Blue Jeans' by Lana Del Rey just for the sake of it, but also because I kinda think its sort of relevant.





There are great perks to both kinds of falling in love, especially falling fast and recklessly, which is how most of us imagine being in love. 

Falling in love fast and recklessly is the kind of love that poetry and songs are written about. When you have no absolute control and are lifted up to Cloud Nine and everything is so utterly wonderful that it makes you believe in magic. 
It's passionate, and there is fighting and crying but there is also making-up, staying up late talking and their mere presence beside you is appreciated and losing it cannot be fathomed. 

I have found that when asking people this question, on which one they believe is better, it depended quite primarily on their age and experience.
For first time lovers, they'd choose the first one. What's the point in falling in love if it isn't with everything you've got? They'd ask. And that was a fair point.

But when I asked my mother, who had been in love both kinds she answered with, "slowly and sensibly. Passion does not last but unconditional love is permanent". 

I agree with my mother. It is with the fast and reckless love that the old saying, 'love is blind', derived from. You are so blinded by love that you look past the flaws, and when the excitement and passion begins to fade which are the two aspects that practically made the relationship, the flaws aren't so invisible anymore and as it turns out they're impact is much bigger than originally anticipated. If you love with all you've got, it gives the love potential to take everything that you have, after all.

Slowly and sensibly I'll admit sounds boring. But it is this kind of love that you see both sides, the good and the bad, and you fall in love honestly so that there will be no surprises down the line. It takes time.
It's the kind of love that not only shares all the affection and fun, but the living; like paying bills and mortgages and all that other boring stuff adults are forced to do.
It's the kind of love you can count on and don't have to worry about losing over a petty argument that exploded and got taken completely out of proportion.

I believe we must all experience both. Because the first one is the fast and reckless falling in love is the one we want. It will also teach us a great deal. Because if you do love with everything you've got, when it's lost, you'll lose everything you had. And you know what? That's okay! Because finding who you are and picking yourself up is a great learning experience. You'll also find pieces you didn't even know you had. And you might make something better with all that's collected.

And you'll probably find that in the end, a love that is slow and sensible is the one you need. And you might not want it any other way. 


Monday, 21 November 2016

Night Terrors

Sleep paralysis has become a popular topic these past few days. I guess that's due to Kendall Jenner coming out about the fact that she experiences this quite often and the media have been fussing about it quite a bit.
Although I think many media forms like Celebuzz and magazines have been overreacting about this, I will not deny that Sleep Paralysis is the most scariest bloody thing. Ever.

Many people who have experienced sleep paralysis know the trembling fear of not being able to move. They know of lying in their own bed awake, begging to sit up or clench their fingers. They may even think that it will never end. And for some reason, even if you are accustomed to this, you feel the terrifying fear that overcomes you as if your instincts are taking over and your instincts know that this is all wrong.

Some people however, like myself, have it even worse.

My first experience with sleep paralysis was shortly before my 18th birthday. I was having a nap in the mid afternoon. It was spring, the day was warm and light shined brightly through my curtains. It was a pleasant nap, until I woke up, readjusted my lying position and went back to sleep. I then heard someone twisting my door handle and entering my bedroom. I kept my eyes closed, assuming it was my grandmother, so that she wouldn't bother my slumber. Then I heard the sound of little footsteps running along my floor boards, a small hand tickle my neck, before running back out the door and leaving a giggle that sounded to come from a small girl, behind.

I had opened my eyes as the small girl touched my neck.
It was then that I realized I could not move. I stared at my curtain, urging my limbs to wiggle but failed as the small girl giggled and ran off, closing the door behind her.
The more I tried to move, the more my brain wanted to sleep. I tried to sit up, but it took every ounce of energy I had to move even an inch that I fell into deep unconsciousness.

I woke up perhaps several minutes later. I was confused and in a daze. I got up from my bed and walked out into the kitchen where my grandmother was standing. "Who's here?" I asked her.
"No one, why?" she asked me back.
"Is Tracy (my aunty) over?" I asked again, assuming that her very young niece was here and was the one who had come into my room.
My nanna shook her head. Odd.

I told my boyfriend of this experience. He had told me before that he has experienced sleep paralysis, particularly when he was twelve years old and he was terribly sick with pneumonia. Some nights when he couldn't sleep he wouldn't be able to move, and he would see the shadow of a witch hiding behind his cupboard, slowly coming out.
But it was only then that I actually understood what he was talking about.

Perhaps this conversation, of knowing how much it could get worse from a small child tickling my neck, was what gave way to my next experiences.

For the following year I noticed a trend with these nightmares. They always seemed to occur at five in the morning, when the first light of day was entering and a blue haze was cast over my bedroom.
I am not sure why I woke up, but it is not uncommon for me to wake coming into the hours of when my alarm would go off. I opened my eyes and there, right in front of me on my bed, sat the outline of a demonic gargoyle. It was perched in a squat only inches away from me. I remember seeing it so clearly because the light outside the window was coming in and the figure was so dark compared and I could see its little horns.
I tried to scream, sit up and run away but I couldn't move and I could make no sound. After trying to squirm free and to escape, all I could do was close my eyes and hope it would go away. I could still think though and if my thoughts could have been heard they would have been terrified screams. 

After this I was convinced that this was way more than a mere nightmare. I was awake after all and saw my bedroom as clear as the light of day. I could think clearly as I would when I am up and about. And if you ask anyone who has had these experiences they will tell you that when it is occurring, it is the realest thing that you know.
I was terrified to sleep for a long time after this. I made my dog sleep with me quite often and sometimes I would not fall asleep until around two in the morning when I became so tired that I knew I would fall into deep unconscious and I would not awake until my alarm.

My worst experience of them all, and by all I mean from about 15-20 experiences so far in total, was when I felt my dog trying to jump into my bed during the early hours. I felt Millie try to curl next to my legs and I tried to adjust my position for Millie's comfort when I realized I could not move. It was then that I knew what was happening and as usual, fear erupted in every one of my cells and my heart began to pound. From my last experience I don't dare open my eyes anymore. I don't want to see what is waiting for me or what is sitting on my bed. I just try to scream, to call out to my grandparents to come and save me but I make no sound. I don't even bother trying to move free anymore. I just lie there, pretending to be asleep in the hopes that it will grow bored and leave.

What I had originally thought was my dog suddenly becomes larger. It crawls over my feet and creeps up to my face where it grabs hold of both my hands and holds me down to the bed. I can feel it breathing above me. I have never been so scared. In my mind I am praying to be rescued me from what I am sure is evil.
I am given enough strength to move my fingers, but that is all. I move my fingers, clutching on to the wrist of this thing and digging my nails into what feels like shedded snake skin. I dig my nails deep into its dry flesh and then suddenly I am out of bed, weak, but moving. I am using every single bit of my energy to open my bedroom door, run down the hallway and into my grandparents bedroom. They are asleep and I call out in a loud whisper for them to help me because that's all that I can manage. I cry for them to get up and go to my room and wake me.

I then wake up in my bed, confused. I was so sure I had been awake. I was so sure that me running into my grandparents bedroom and seeing their sleeping bodies really happened. But there I am and what I thought was me, had called out to them and asked for them to wake me. And despite that this was by far the scariest thing to ever happen to me, I realize now that it really is all a dream. A vivid one. A realistic one where the dreamworld is completely identical to the real one. But a dream nonetheless, and that helps.

I still have these experiences occasionally though not as often and not quite as scary. I did some research to have a better understanding of these dreams and it helps. They almost always occur when one is falling asleep or waking up. I have also begun to master the escape of it. I have had these so often that I can feel it coming now and I can feel my chest becoming heavy. I can feel my body slowly becoming paralyzed and I wiggle my fingers until I am completely awake again and can move.

My best advice for anyone who has this is to not open your eyes. It doesn't help. Trust me. Keep your eyes closed and think hard about something else. That's what I do now.
I don't focus on it, despite the fear that demands to be felt. I think hard about the beach and the shore and the sand and suddenly I dreaming of it and I am sound asleep.

Despite how these experiences feel, remember that they are not real; and that is coming from someone who even spoke to my mother about getting a possible exorcism; that's how sure I was that they were indeed real. They are dreams but you're mind is simply more awake than what it should be. 

Here is a renaissance painting depicting Sleep Paralyisis. I realize now that this is the gargoyle-like figure who had visited me in my dreams. I had seen this painting before from Twilight and it must have been stored in my subconscious. 





Sunday, 20 November 2016

Fern - A not-so short story by me (so far)

Chapter One


“You just moved in, huh?”
I was picking up the last of my bags from the back seat of my car. They were bloated and bursting with clothes. My hands full, I closed the car door with my hip and glanced to the neighbour’s house where a girl around the same age as me stood on the grass, observing.
Her hair was long, to her waist like my own, only blonde. She had large eyes and she was pretty. Prettier than me; which was saying something. But her face was still, tired, matching the monotone and lack of enthusiasm that she spoke in. She appeared bored, and her boredom has somehow resulted in sarcastically pointing out the obvious so I took her as somewhat snobby and not someone I wanted to associate with.  

I gestured to my bags and didn’t reply. The girl nodded while eying me.
I began for the house, feeling rude but also skeptical about our new neighbor and I wasn’t in much of a conversational mood.
My mother was in the kitchen, already beginning to unpack some of the boxes and place everything disorderly on the bench tops. I passed her with my bags and headed down the short hallway to my bedroom. The house was small but my new room was slightly bigger than my last so I didn’t complain.

I placed the bags in my hands with the boxes and other bags I had already brought in. I considered popping back outside and introducing myself to the neighbors’ properly and to procrastinate from unpacking. But I was in a shitty mood and had been for the past three hours.

Leaving my friends in the city was fine. Leaving the city itself was fine.
I didn’t mind small towns. Sucks we weren’t close to the beach anymore but sacrifices have to be made. I get that. Besides, it was nice driving down the road and having forest on either side of you and large trees growing freely in the backyard as opposed to just garden plants. 
My child self would have killed to have lived here and would have wandered around in her fairy wings, running under the branches and down trails, constantly in search for the fairy kingdom I believed dwelled in forests like these.
But my father didn’t come to say goodbye. I had expected him not to, but expecting is far different from it actually happening. There was still a smidge of hope there that only the event occurring could remove.
And I hated him. I did. He ruined this family. He left my mother and I like we were nothing. And even if he did come to say goodbye I would have only nodded, but he was still supposed to try.

It was beginning to darken when I had set up the main pieces of my room like my dressing table and bed. It was an old house. My window sill was wooden and the window itself had no fly wire. The view outside was of the forest behind us. Thick and dark green. My previous bedroom view had been of our pool and the small rock waterfall my father paid big money to be made. Now it was grass and trees. Just a shit load of green basically. But it was soothing and comforting and I think I liked this one better.

I could get used to it here. I really could. A fresh start was exactly what my mother and I needed.  Where no one knew what went on with our family. No one would give us sympathizing looks and where status didn’t mean everything to everyone.

I unpacked the primary boxes, making a mental note to do the bags tomorrow and walked out from my room and back to the kitchen to check on my mother’s progress. In the few hours that we had been here the boxes in the kitchen were emptied, the benches cleared and the cupboards filled. I smiled at my mother who kneeled on the floor in the lounge room, beginning to unpack another box who reciprocated my gesture. 

My mother was beautiful. Slim, tall, with flaws like everyone but she always told me it was often the flaws in people that encouraged their beauty all the more. After all, it is with the flaws that make people different, she would say, especially when I would point out something about my appearance I didn’t approve of. And then my mother would point out something in her own that I barely noticed and it would put my insecurities at ease; because even my perfect mother wasn’t perfect.

“Need a hand?” I asked my mother who shook her head in response.
“No honey”, she replied, opening the box and removing ornaments and framed photographs, placing them on the 70’s styled brown carpet beside her. Then she stopped, shot her head up at me and smiled. “You can put some jazz on for me though”.
I smiled. Jazz was a special occasion kind of music for my mother. She only played it when she was in a good mood, like one time on her birthday and she was on her fourth glass of red wine and the three of us sat in the lounge room and watched her drunkenly dance. Or on a Sunday morning after a night out with my father before everything turned to shit.
But I guess packing up everything and leaving everyone but your daughter behind to move to a small town in the hopes for another chance at things, was an occasion enough. 

“Okay”, I nodded.
“The stereo is in there”. My mother pointed to a box sitting on the floor beside the lounge. I headed for it, opened it and pulled out the stereo, resting it on the bench top for the time being before plugging the cord into the nearby socket. The iPod was conveniently in the same box.
It had taken some convincing on my behalf to get my mum to use it when my father and I had got it for her one Christmas, several years ago.
My mother wasn’t excited or interested in the new gadgets and technology and was more a woman with simple and what many people would consider an ‘old fashioned’ taste. For instance, we were not allowed televisions in our bedroom. We watched shows and movies together as a family. And Wednesday nights were game nights, where we would play board games or my mother would invite her sister and my cousins over and we would play charades. 
But I had convinced my mother that grabbing an iPod from a fire was far easier than trying to cart a hundred CD’s and records, so she allowed me to transfer all the music over to it and she has used it just about every day since.


I connected the iPod to the stereo and clicked on the playlist titled ‘Jazz’. I hit play, put the iPod down and watched my mother for some time as she hummed and removed more photographs from the box. I smiled at her though she didn’t see, glad to see her quite happy and content. She needed to getaway. She really deserved the best.

I then left her, creeping off back into my room and pulling out a packet of cigarettes that I had hidden in one of my backpacks.
Patting the back pocket of my jeans to make sure my lighter was still there, I crept out from my bedroom, walked down the hall and out the backdoor.
It was dark outside, almost a complete pitch black.
But the light coming through the backdoor allowed me to see the backyard faintly at least, but nothing from the where the line of the forest started and beyond. Only black abyss.
The backyard was large; long and wide. It was much bigger than our small, old alfresco sized yard with a plunge pool that was only suitable if you lived in the city. 

There was pavement where I stood for a couple meters and after that was nothing but grass. Above me was an old wooden patio, with vines wrapping up the pillars and intertwining, creating an enclosed plant ceiling that I knew would only provide shelter to the sun and not the rain. Nevertheless, I knew this place had potential as I pulled out a cigarette and lit it up, taking a deep draw, before sighing contently.
I needed that.

I took another draw as I began to imagine the possibilities of the backyard that mother and I could do. I knew she would be up for it; anything to distract her and DIY projects was something we both had always wanted to do, but any remodeling or decorating of the house was frowned upon.
I began to imagine wrapping the trees with fairy lights. We could get an outdoor setting for beneath the vine patio. Maybe place some sun chairs on the grass and in the summer we could get a plastic above-ground pool and drink cocktails like we would at home.


I took another draw of my cigarette, looking around the backyard and feeling excited for all the things that we could do. 
I walked away from the backdoor and along the grass. I neared the edge of the forest, where pine trees lined the backyards of all the houses on the street that were separated by a small white fence in between that provided only slight privacy as opposed to security; easily able to take a shortcut through the forest in order to enter someone else’s backyard. 
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. There goes my hobby of sun tanning naked in the summer. Hell no was I going to risk someone taking a stroll through the trees seeing me. But at the same time, it must be a nice community for people to be so carefree and open with their homes. I liked that.

I stood between two tall pine trees so that I would no longer be classified to be standing on my own property anymore. I tried to peer through the dense forest, blowing a cloud of smoke into the darkness but it was too dense and not even the light of the moon above could get through the tree tops. I would explore it, I decided, taking a final draw of the cigarette before dropping to the floor and stepping on it with my sneaker. 

“You shouldn’t litter”, a voice stated.
I jumped, turning around and finding the next door neighbor leaning on a tree trunk, watching me curiously.
“Jesus Christ”, I yelped, grabbing my chest with my hand and taking a deep breath. “You scared the shit out of me”, I said unimpressed.
I kept my gaze on her, waiting for her to explain what she was doing but she only smirked, pulling her long blonde hair behind her ears before tucking her hands into the pockets of her grey hoodie.
“You just go around scaring people all the time or what?” I asked snappily.
“Sometimes. Depends what mood I’m in”, she replied, turning her gaze to my house.
“Well, next time you feel like spying on me, I’d rather you didn’t”.
“Aren’t you a bit young to be smoking? Does your mum know?” she asked, returning her gaze to me.
I looked down at my sneakers, tugging my hands into the pockets of my jeans uncomfortably. This girl did not understand basic etiquette and politeness, and also the fact that some things were not of her business and therefore required no comment from her. I wasn’t sure whether it frustrated me or the strangeness of her somewhat different behavior interested me. My automatic reaction was to roll my eyes and tell her to mind her own, but instead I remained standing. There was not much else to do inside anyway.

“I’m nineteen”, I stated. “It’s legal so no, according to the law I am not too young to be smoking and no, my mother does not know. And I would rather keep it that way”.  
The girl nodded. “I’m nineteen too”, she said with a slight smile. “Can I have one?”
I hesitantly reached for the packet in my back pocket before handing it to her. She pulled one out, as well as her own lighter that she had hidden on her body and lit the cigarette up, casting a bright orange glow across her face.
I watched her as she inhaled before slowly blowing out into the space above. The air was still and cold, so the smoke hung above us like a cloud.
“I’m Fern by the way”, the girl outstretched her cigarette-less hand. I shook it, her fingers feeling cold against my own and said, “Cameron. You live next door?”
She took another draw and nodded. 


I tried to peer around the fence to get a look at her house. Their backyard was the same as ours, big and empty and there didn’t seem to be any lights on inside.
“It’s more of a holiday house”, Fern said. “It’s my grandmothers. We just come here when we want to be alone”.
I nod and remember the holiday house we had down south on the beach that my mother gave up in the divorce. “That’s pretty cool. Anyone else with you?”
“Nah”, Fern replied. “Kind of defeats the purpose of being alone”.


I feel slightly uncomfortable. I consider asking why she is bothering me if she wanted to be alone so bad but decide against it. I don’t exactly want to make enemies my first day here.
I watch Fern as stares out into the forest for quite some time. I wonder what a girl as pretty as her would want to get away from. Perhaps it’s her tendency to come across as rude that makes her not very likeable. Strangely, I think I might like this girl. 

Her directness is almost a relief and a good change from the passive-aggressive girls I had grown accustomed to in the city.
I meet her gaze to try and see what has caught her attention but see only darkness. It’s beginning to feel awkward, I think; the strange silence between us that usually tells me it’s either time to fill it with mindless banter or to leave. I decide to leave.

“I’m going to go help my mum”, I tell Fern. She leans up from the tree and bends down, putting out her lit cigarette into the soil and picking up the one I had dropped.
She holds them both in her hand and says with a smile, “shouldn’t litter”.
“Noted”, I say.
Fern continues to stand still by the tree and I wait for several moments for a goodbye or something, but she only continues to stare back.
I turn away and walk back along the grass of my backyard when she calls out, “I’ll see you around?”
I stop and turn around to face her direction. “Yeah”, I smile with a nod, before heading back inside. Strangely I think that I’ll look forward to it.


My mother is still unpacking when I go back inside. She’s humming loudly, swaying slightly as she puts photographs from distant years on the mantelpiece above the fireplace that doesn’t appear to have been used in years.
She places a photograph down of me sitting on Santa’s lap from my 7th Christmas and then a photograph of me and her both on a swing at the park.
She turns around, sees me and beams. “Cam!” she says smiling while outstretching her hand to me. 

“What?” I asked.
“Dance with me”, she smiled, waving her hand around.
“Mum, no”, I groaned, despite that the sight of my mother being so happy filled me with a similar sensation.
She grabbed my hand anyway, lifting it up and forcing me to twirl around. I laughed and mimicked her, twirling her around and watching her spin gracefully.
I find myself laughing in a way that resembles more of a giggle of which belonged to the nine year old me and not actually the nineteen year old one. The dancing and the music brings feelings of nostalgia of a time I didn’t think I remembered or even missed. But I remember my mother always dancing when I was child, whether it be merely rocking side to side when she held me or breaking out into swing dancing with my father as if they were in a speakeasy club in the twenties and not actually in our lounge room.   
Everyone had been so much happier then. Especially my mother.
We’re lying on the carpet now, our heads side by side and our legs spread out in opposite directions. The carpet feels nice between my toes – a warm sensation as opposed to the marble tiles we used to have.
There’s a bag of Salt and Vinegar chips lying beside us that we had bought for the drive but never got around to eating until now. I’m staring at the ceiling that is an off-white colour from age and wear. I wonder how long until I will get used to staring up at a low ceiling with paint peeling in the corners, after being accustomed to high ceilings and chandeliers.
But there is something comforting about this place. Maybe it’s the isolation. Or the smallness of the house that makes me feel safe and connected. It’s hard to deceive people in such small spaces, I guess.


I wonder how my mother, who had gotten used to a life of luxury and being surrounded by large, expensive things way before I ever even came along will cope. But if I, Cameron, who has never known life any different, can lie on the carpet floor of a house I had never stepped foot inside until today, than my mother should be fine.

“Are you going to miss home?” I ask through a mouthful of chips.
I hear the sound of a chip crunching between her teeth and she replies, “this is home now, and not at all”.
I am not surprised with her response. It would be hard to miss a place that held so much pain. I only wish I was as strong. And despite it all, I find myself still sad that my father never said goodbye. But I am almost sadder that he never said goodbye to my mother.


“Honey?” my mother says. “I know this isn’t the best house and it’s a small town but this isn’t permanent, okay?”
I sit up, turning my neck so that I faced her with a smile and said, “mum, it’s okay. I actually kind of like it here. The house needs a bit of work”, I said, looking around at the old brown cabinets in the kitchen and the old carpet we lied on. “But I like it. And fixing it up could be fun. I always wanted to be on The Block”, I teased.
My mother smiled back at me. I noticed her eyes had begun to glisten and I only hoped they were happy tears, or tears of relief. And not actually the tears that belonged to someone who thinks that they have made a huge mistake.

“I love you, honey”, my mother smiled, peering up at me whilst sliding her hand and holding mine.
“I love you too, mum”. 


Chapter Two


I’m staring at an abundance of large orange pumpkins. There seem to be about six dozen stacked upon one another, taking up several large tables outside the front of the grocery store.
Further down the street at the front of other stores are Halloween decorations. What appears to be a surprisingly high end boutique, with a simple but metallic sign reading, ‘JENNY’S’ holds different Halloween costumes on display at the glass window. The store beside it supplies candles, hundreds, from all colors and sizes with a sign that reads, ‘Halloween Sale. 50% Off’.

“They really take Halloween quite seriously here”, I comment to my mother, unable to take my eyes off all the pumpkins.
“It’s a small town. People get bored”, my mother whispers before stepping inside and grabbing a basket.

We do our usual shopping that consists of primarily fruit and vegetables. I remind my mother to buy cleaning agents and I ask if we can look at the other stores on the small street of this town that is dedicated to shopping so that we can commence our redecorating and give the house some colour other than brown.

We go to the checkout where a middle aged man with glasses stands reading the newspaper. “Good morning, folks”, he smiles when we place our basket on the counter.
I look at his name tag and reply, “good morning, Jeff”.
“Morning”, my mother says sweetly, unpacking the basket.
Jeff begins scanning the groceries and placing them into a paper bag. “You two here for a holiday or something?” he asks.
“We just moved in actually”, my mother replies.
“Oh”, Jeff says, looking up and eying both me and my mother. “Welcome to town then”.
“Thank you”, my mother replies.
We pay for our groceries and a last second Cherry Ripe before we begin out the door with our bags. 

“I almost forgot. Aren’t you going to get yourselves a pumpkin?” Jeff called out to us. “Halloween is just a week away and you’d be surprised how fast they all go”.
My mother turned around to face him. “Oh, we aren’t that big on Halloween”, she said, which despite my many protests was unfortunately true.
“Take one”, Jeff smiled. “It’s on the house”.
I stared at Jeff. Was this supposed to be some sort of house warming gift? And if so, why a pumpkin and not the designer make up they have selling for ten dollars more of what it would be in the city?
“That’s very kind of you”, my mother smiled sweetly before walking over to the enormous pile of pumpkins and picking the closest one to her up.
“And we have a jacko-lantern making class on Saturday morning at the town square”, Jeff added.   

I rolled my eyes in response, leading the way out through the door and back to the car parked meters away. 


“Sometimes I wonder how I created such a rude young person like you”, my mother said lightheartedly.
“You got lucky”, I teased, opening the back door of the car and placing the groceries on the backseat.
“Shall we keep looking?” I asked my mother, gesturing to the dozen shops lining the small street.
“Yeah sure”, my mother answered. “And because I am in a good mood, I’ll give you some funding money for your work on the house”.


To be continued...

Monday, 14 November 2016

15.11.16

The start of these warmer days has miraculously provided me with the energy to explore and get up and do more than just simply lie in bed on my days of leisure and binge watch Gilmore Girls. 

My boyfriend and I are making more of an effort to explore our much complained about city and find out what it really has to offer. We went on a hike and visited Ellis Brooke Valley Reserve that contained a quarry which I had intentions of swimming in but the lack of algae and the fact that the ducks nearby would rather swim in the dirty puddles than in that water made me change my mind. Nevertheless it was beautiful and has the potential to be a really great picnic spot. 



My boyfriend and I also saw Violent Soho. I would also like to take the time now to congratulate them on being nominated for the Australian Aria Award for best album of the year. 
I have literally been wanting to see them for years and my, did they not disappoint. Tired Lion also opened up the show who I hear a lot on Triple J and have taken a liking to.
Metal bands isn't really my thing but Violent Soho have really managed to capture my heart. The mosh pit was filled with people pushing and jumping around quite violently, something I despise, but I found myself jumping around and yelling along to the lyrics and it just really was just a great night. 



My sister and I have also decided to be Vegetarian. Now before you start rolling your eyes and calling us pathetic, hear me out.
Having a vegetarian diet is something I have contemplated for many years, but I wondered what I would do if I went over someone's house for dinner and they had to make something different for me and I would feel bad. But we decided that we have had enough with the treatment of animals that are bred only for their meat and if that meant we had to eat before going over anyone's house, than so be it. 

I know that the consumption of meat was necessary for humans to evolve, in fact, it was vital for this. I don't disagree one bit and people always argue this. 
BUT we have evolved now. We are smart and we have come up with so many substitutes and other ways that we don't have to rely on meat anymore, however our instincts still overpower our humanity. 
I don't hope for there one day to be a world with no meat eating. I just hope for a world who does it ethically and cruelty free. I hope for a world who doesn't eat meat every, but just enough to remain healthy. And for a world who doesn't waste animals or kill them inhumanely. 

Below is also a photograph of myself and some friends at the Ascot Racecourse that we attended for another of our friend's birthdays over the weekend. It was only approximately a half hour after this was taken that the alcoholic affects of the game of beer pong we played using champagne kicked in and I spent most of the day drinking large quantities of water and remaining seated. 



Outfits in order:
1. 
- denim vintage style shorts from Ally Fashion
- red top was snagged at an op shop for $4

2. 
- black, purple and white striped top from City Beach. One of my winter essentials

3. 
- Favorite midi red dress from Universal store. Absolutely love the flattering length and cross over neckline with tie
- black strappy heels are from Forever New, which were purchased with a gift card
- paired with purse from Colette that can also be worn with a long shoulder strap


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What do teenagers possibly go through to be upset about

If you're a teenager, or when you were, did you ever have adults undermining your feelings? 
Perhaps you were going through a down period and the adults you thought you could confide in snorted and asked, "what the hell do you have to be depressed about? You're only a teenager". 

The fact that you are/were a teenager I think is the entire point though. Teenagers are young and vulnerable. They haven't experienced much loss and much disappointment so they love hard and have high hopes. They think they know everything and have the world eating out of their hands.
They get hit harder with reality, with loss, heartbreak and disappointment, harder than anyone else. Adults have learnt through experience. Adults have walls and adults are tough. Teenagers don't have any walls yet. They're sitting ducks to the sharp arrows of reality. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Limit to Happiness

Recently I have been told that we have a limited lifetime supply of Happiness. This sparked my interest and inspiration for my next blog post.

Did you know that Happiness is a hormone? I guess on some level I was aware that every feeling and emotion is a chemical reaction, including love, but I never completely grasped the concept. I guess that it was almost intentional because I like to believe feelings like love etc. are close to being magic (yeah, I need to grow up). 

The Happy Hormone, or it's correct term, Serotonin, is one of our many hormones sending signals and messages throughout the body. Serotonin in particular when released, can create the feelings of relaxation, content and calmness.
A fact about Serotonin is that women produce lower levels of this hormone than men. Levels also drop as the menstrual cycle approaches due to their link with the female hormone Oestrogen that when it falls, so does Serotonin (which totally explains PMS and sudden changes in mood). 

Written in an article by Jacob Devaney, founder and director of Culture Collective, Serotonin apparently influences in some way, directly or indirectly, every single one of our 40 million brain cells and scientists believe that an imbalance in this chemical within your brain can lead to depression.

A friend's mother's was actually telling me that each one of us only have a certain amount of Serotonin stored within our brains to last our life time. Once you are out of supply, you are out of supply. And that scared the hell out of me because what if I accidentally use up all my happiness? What if in the next ten years so many amazing things happen that I am constantly releasing large amounts of Serotonin, leaving me with nothing for the rest of my life?

After doing some research drugs, in particular ecstacy and LSD, releases Serotonin in large amounts at once, causing one to feel extremely happy whilst under the influence for 3-4 hours. My belief is that this results in the infamous 'come down' that shortly follows like its shadow. I believe that if you have just used such a large amount of Serotonin in such a short amount of time, it may take hours if not days for the levels to become regular again and fall back into order. 

My friend's mother was not the first person to discuss this subject with me or make these claims. A year ago, during a phase where my friend and I went clubbing almost every weekend, my friend met a guy who took ecstacy pills, and large amounts of it, several times every weekend. He said that he had run out of happiness due to his consistent drug taking. He stated that he is no longer happy. 

In an article This is Your Brain on Serotonin, it claimed that you can increase your Serotonin levels by eating foods rich in Tryptophan (whatever that is) which included seeds, nuts, cheeses, oats, chicken and more.
Reading this article made me feel a lot better. Not only do we not 'run out' of Serotonin, but when levels are low, we can help to increase it. 
Yoga and exercise has also been proven to build up the production. 

Now, I am not an expert on the human anatomy and the hormones associated with it, but after my mild research on the matter, I have come to my own conclusion that we are not in a limited supply of happiness, however, our production levels are not suitable for constant substance taking that causes more than the usual amounts to be released at a time. This can cause you to use up, say, a week or two's supply (estimated) in just one night. 
I know many people who smoke/take substances weekly and use life enhancements frequently, yet show symptoms of depression and hopelessness. I do not doubt that this is due to the substances they are taking is putting their happy levels completely out of whack, and being sober makes it difficult for the chemical to be released.
Or, perhaps, by the time their levels are starting to become normal again, more substances are taken/smoked, putting it straight out of order again and their brain then has to start all over. I don't know. But it makes sense. 

I am not going to tell anyone how to live their life. But I find that people constantly wonder 'why me?' when they feel down in the dumps and take pills every weekend, and can't get back up. I used to be that person. Trust me, I know. 

Being sober, exercising and eating healthy when I can has made me feel more content that I ever did before.
So, I don't know about you but I am exceptionally glad that we do not have a certain amount of happiness and I have not used up majority of my lifetime supply BUT even Serotonin has limits and needs to be used in regular amounts unless something exceptionally wonderful happens or on the odd occasion. But forcing it to be released at the drop of a tablet quite frequently can surely not be good for your mental health. 




Sources:
Specialist Supplements. 2015. Serotonin | How's your happiness hormone? [ONLINE] Available at: https://www,specialistsupplements.com/blog/serotonin-hows-your-happiness-hormone.html. [Accessed 7 November 2016]. 

"This Is Your Brain On Serotonin". UPLIFT N.p., 2016 Web. 7 Nov. 2016.

IMAGE source unfound. The image provided is not my own but I felt it fit the theme. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Consistency

Good morning fellow readers :)

In order to makethings more consistent on this blog, I will now be posting every Tuesday of every week. 

I have had people tell me that at times when they visit my blog nothing new has been added, and the next time they check, suddenly there's been quite a lot. 
I am not a very consistent person; just ask my emotions (haha). But I will now refrain from posting too often within one week, and then nothing the next, so that when you visit, you'll know there will be something to read.

HOWEVER, some Thursdays, I may post an additional entry. SOME Thursdays - depending on whether I have something a little extra to say. 

Here's a photograph of the Pinnacles, or also referred to the desert of rocks, 
Beware of gigantic stinger bugs who hunt and stalk their prey 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

That Unfortunate Age

We are at that age where we have begun the first steps of gaining complete independence and are laying down the ground work for our 'bright' futures. However, the  light in this so called future may be starting to dim.

At the beginning of our journey after leaving High School, our dreams were only a short few years away. With enough hard work they would be definite.
But we are coming to that age where we realize it is all much harder than we originally anticipated. The courses we are studying suddenly don't connect with us anymore. My great job that I have is starting to seem difficult to keep and the more I try to move up and forward the harder it becomes. 

One of my good friends has just had a slight breakdown. She has been studying a course at university for two years and she feels that her heart is no longer in it, nor has her heart been in it for a long time. But she has stayed put, stressing over upcoming exams and trying to find time for her massive workloads whilst battling her anxiety because she has already invested so much time in it.
But now she is beginning to wonder what happens if she does finish her course? And does get a job within that field? Will she be unhappy and stay put in her job that she hates because so much time and effort has already gone into it?

I worked with a girl who was 25 years old - 6 years older than me. She was smart, excelled in school but never went to university because she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. 
She instead worked full time, earning money, and perhaps it was the unfortunate events that happened in her life that opened her up to the world of nursing, that she finally found what she wanted to do.
She went to university at 22 years old, which in society's eyes is quite old to further her education. She completed her degree whilst continuing to work full time. She dedicated herself to the hard times and much effort it took because she knew what she wanted to do, and her heart was in it the entire time.
She's very happy now, with a job she loves and a degree in her pocket that she is extremely proud of and enjoyed the journey trying to achieve it. 

It is sad that society has made us believe we must choose and study straight after high school in the hopes to get a good paying job that will allow us to buy a house and pay for a mortgage until the day we die. Yet apart from perhaps seeing that job on television or from word of mouth, we have very little understanding of what exactly is expected of us when we pursue it. 

I chose to take the job road in order to gain experience and earn money. Sometimes I really hate my job and quite frankly, I don't see myself staying in this industry forever. It's stressful and I get pushed around by those older than me. But I will gain experience and knowledge and money to travel the world, until I finally know how I want to make a living and will do anything I can to achieve it. 

I told my friend not to stress. Take time off. A year maybe. Do mini courses consisting of six classes of a random subject. Find her hobbies and find her talents. There is absolutely no rush. And it will be far worse to be stuck in a job you hate than to have lived and had experiences and finally find the job for you five or ten years later than others. It's not about the destination, after all.
And maybe after that time away from the stress she may find that she was in the right place after all, but perhaps she wasn't in the right time. 

We have our entire lives to find what makes us happy. I know that some lives are shorter than others But if I were to die today, I would at least like to know that I didn't push myself past the limit to do something I hated in order to get to the place that I should be for a future that never came. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Twenty

I am now twenty years old and my first thought is that I can no longer justify my strange thoughts, overreactions and dramatic outlook on the fact that I am a naive and often pessimistic, melodramatic teenager.
But if you think that reaching a mature age that comes with a lot of expectations is going to change me, think again. Because trust me, I've tried. But being rational and sensible just does not work for me.

It has been an eventful weekend of celebrations. Friday night was my sister's 19th birthday. Despite my fear of getting old, it is good to know that those close to me will be going through the exact same thing. And when I am sad because my skin hangs loosely in places skin did not once hang loose, my memory fades and a walk in the park may become a struggle, I can tease my sister for getting old too.

We went out Friday night for drinks with my sister's friends for her birthday. The night began well and was a lot of fun but concluded with me losing my bloody phone (if anyone has seen a rather smashed iphone 6 lying around in Northbridge, please let me know).

My boyfriend surprised me with not only 24 roses being delivered to me at work, but also took me to the Rendezvous hotel aka. Observation City, Saturday night where we stayed on the top floor with amazing views of the ocean. We spent the night watching movies and ordering room service.

Sunday, we decided to extend our stay for another night. After having breakfast in the Club Lounge (yes very fancy) we wandered about before getting ready for more birthday celebrations at Matisse Beach Club. A few of my closest friends came to celebrate by getting me rather intoxicated. I booked a Cabana from 3pm-7pm and we were given a bottle of Moet Champagne and a small bar tab which was very well worth the money I paid for.