Thursday, 22 December 2016

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

3 Days Until Christmas

Christmas is really such a lovely time. When I'm not stressing about buying presents or making the arrangements to balance three different families in a period of two days. But then I remember that some people do not even have one family to plan the holiday with and I am then overwhelmed with appreciation. 

My own home is not very festive. One of the things I look forward to when moving out is being able to decorate, have both friends and family over for drinks and food, and the all-round happy and positive vibes this occasion produces will make it less likely for arguments to break out. 
My nanna and pop are not big on the occasion though they celebrate it with family. There are no decorations. No Christmas related movies each night we reach one day closer to the 25th of December.

Unlike my boyfriend's house whose mother and brother has decorated with all sorts of christmas lights, hanging stars, a christmas tree, ornaments and a blow up santa in the front yard. 

I myself am not a very religious person. As I have mentioned before I am religious in my own way but do not conform to a particular religion so I don't see Christmas as a day that Jesus was born. Like my mother had said; would Jesus have wanted us to spoil our children with toys on his day of birth when the unfortunate kid down the road gets a gift from the two dollar shop? I don't think so.
But the idea of giving to one another is still quite lovely. And the getting together of families is lovelier. Seeing cousins and distant relatives you don't see very often but still share many younger memories with.

My boyfriend's aunty, uncle and two young cousins came from Canada for the holiday. The first time in seven years.
His mother had only gone on about it for a year - exceptionally excited to see her once baby sister again. And I only hope that when time passes and our lives become different and go down separate paths, that my siblings and I will remain close and use this holiday as an opportunity to be reunited again, no matter where our lives may lead us.

These ideologies and sudden feelings of gratification for my family and life weren't quite like this the last Christmas, or the Christmas before. 
I couldn't purchase presents and I rarely got along with my nanna and pop so why would I want to spend the holiday with them? But I am glad to say that maturity has slowly changed this, and although we may not see eye to eye, I appreciate them and their perspective nonetheless. 

But what I want to say is that I am truly so appreciative of my boyfriend's family. Especially his mother - who has provided me with mothering advice and mothered me when my own mother was an hour drive away and had younger children to deal with. Sitting around with their family, meeting my boyfriend's aunty and talking and making jokes with his uncle has given me the sensation that I belong. I don't feel out of place. Or like a distant relative. They have taken me in as one of their own. 

My sarcastic and often misunderstood humour is accepted and laughable with them. 
Boyfriend's uncle said whilst discussing back in the teenage years about alcohol being purchased from a weirdo outside the bottle shop: only problem about that nowadays is that weirdo makes porn and sells illegally...
Me: when did that start happening? About the same time you became a dad? 
That earned a few chuckles. 

And of course I am appreciative of my boyfriend too. I feel like home with him and he has brought me into a family I had always wanted. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

The Reality of Music Festivals

If you asked me a year ago not necessarily what I thought, but how I felt about Music Festivals, I would smile, butterflies would be released into my stomach, I would suddenly feel an overpowering nostalgia and excitement towards the topic and would reply with, "I love them".

I really did.

My first music festival was in the year 2014 at Groovin the Moo in Bunbury WA, when I was seventeen. Apart from photographs of the previous years, I didn't really know what to expect when the weekend came. My best friend and I packed our bags, got picked up by another friend and we began the roadtrip down south, playing music from a playlist dedicated to the acts playing. We were excited. I couldn't bloody wait.

The day came. We took shots in the car on the drive there. We were all tipsy by the time we arrived, hiding the pills we planned to take where security couldn't find them. We got inside and I was blown away. I guess the fact that we were quite far from home contributed to this feeling that I felt, resembling that of being far far away with so many possibilities but also a sense of freedom. 
The music festival held many alternative and Indie artists so the attendees consisted much of hippies and everyone had a smile on their face. 

Everyone was so nice that if you were alone for a moment you didn't feel that way at all. The first act we saw was Andy Bull. He was amazing. And shortly after we took the pills hidden that we had all probably only taken once in our still very young lives and so when it hit us, we were happy and excited and carefree and wanted to run around but also smile at everyone and my best friend and I shortly found ourselves lying on the grass, having a deep and meaningful conversation admitting our appreciation for each other.

It was one of the best days of my life.

The expectations my first ever GTM gave me has stuck with me. Although I really really want to see the acts I am going to the festival for, I still hope for an amazing day like this; running around with my best friend, dancing everywhere and going on rides and making new friends. 

But over the years the Music Festival scene has changed. 

Not everyone is smiling anymore. Majority of people are gurning. And people aren't smiling at you in a carefree manner, instead many are resisting the urge to start a fight. 

It is clear to see now that Music Festivals aren't all about the music and the vibe anymore, but revolves solely around taking as many pills as you can before you black out and seeing as many people that you know where you share a large hug, ask them how its going although not really caring for the answer, before quickly bidding farewell and carrying on. 

And I am not innocent from this either. I take pills. One doesn't cut it for me anymore so I take several and by the evening I feel like utter shit, want to go home and barely want to see the last act anymore. Then the next few days is followed by a come down where I feel sad, then okay, then tired, then angry. And I find myself asking whether the festival was worth it? 
I can barely remember majority of the day so did I even have a good time? The photographs on my phone say yes, but I don't remember for sure, not really. 

I have been hoping for a day to come just like my first time. And trust me there have been some for sure. For instance, Corona Sunsets in the summer of 2015 was an amazing day shared with my friend. Only thing is we are no longer friends. Come to think of it, neither are me and the girl I attended my first festival with either. 

I have attended two festivals so far in this still early festival season, and have been utterly disappointed by the both. It's not the same anymore. Whether its the vibe that has changed, the attitude, or me. I don't know. 

And I guess that means I should just let go and stop trying to recreate the days of those first few experiences otherwise I will just be disappointed and will start feeling bitter towards the idea of music festivals altogether. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Our Love Story

My boyfriend and I are celebrating our two year anniversary. It has actually been half a year more but we decided not to count the months that we were broken up and apart.
In celebration of this event, I have decided to share with you readers the story of us. I have mentioned my boyfriend in posts many times before. I have written about our outings and some of the things we do. But I have never actually told you our story.

Our love story isn't a passionate and romantic one. It wasn't exciting and completely heart throbbing. It was different; to me at least and to what I had seen in movies. It was different to all the expectations I had built up throughout my childhood and teenage years.

I wish I could say that the past two and half years have been amazing and great every moment. But that would be a lie. I have put him through hell.
And I am not proud of how I have handled things or for the things that I have done. I was not an easy person to love, and at times I am still not. And he is not proud of his attitude for a lot of the time, or the effort he has always put in. We have both made mistakes. But the least we can say is that we have learnt and we try harder.

Now, I will start from the beginning of our love story that took place in the year 2014 when we were both 17 years old.
We met at a gathering, and by met, I mean, we stared at each other for majority of the night, both too shy to make a move.
It sounds like any other love story, right?
But the truth is I didn't want to be at this gathering. I wanted to be nowhere. I wanted to crawl into a ball in my bedroom and sleep my life away. I was scared. I could barely utter a word to anyone. I tried to socialize and act like every thing was okay. For my friend. For myself. But I was not okay. I was very far from it.

And then I saw this boy, quiet, standing several meters away and not speaking whilst he stood with a group of boys.
Would it be lame if I said that when I saw him he almost looked familiar, but not quite? I had never seen him before. But I couldn't stop staring at him.
It was a connection to say the least. And my boyfriend, who is not sappy or rarely ever romantic later said the same thing.

Apart from a few mutters during a game of pool, we never said anything to each other for the entire evening. It wasn't until several months later that we saw each other again at a party. He left the girl he was talking to in the corner and came to me. I felt slightly more confident and tipsy enough that I was able to say more than a few words and the paralyzing shyness I used to feel, particularly during our first encounter, was starting to become a bit better to handle. 
We proceeded to spend the whole night together.

Our first date wasn't the usual dinner and a movie, or as it is most days, just a movie. He took me four-wheel driving in some dunes along the beach. It was his hobby, if not passion. And despite that I mostly just sat in the car, I was so happy that he had shared something about him on our first date, without actually directly telling me. 
We parked the car on top of a hill and from there we had a clear view of the ocean and the top of a ship wreck which we then proceeded to tell me the history about it and its reputation for crashing on every trip. 

A little secret about this first date however, is that I was so scared, contemplated bailing last minute and was so nervous that I downed a 'Cruizer' before stepping out the door in the hopes that it would give me the confidence I had several nights ago. 

After several more dates, we began to share how we felt. I told him I was suffering from depression without ever using the term. He shared with me his deep anxiety, without ever uttering the word.
We would stay up until the early hours of the morning, just talking. We told each other things we were not able to share with anyone else.

I let out a lot of the suppressed thoughts and feelings I had bottled up as I could not tell everyone how I felt for they would be disappointed. Everyone was counting on me to get better. So was I. But how do you make someone understand that the darkness that brings you down, takes your hope and fills you with unbearable fears of the present and future was not actually you? But instead felt to be something else in you and it wouldn't leave?
I didn't have to make my boyfriend understand. I could tell him everything and he listened and understood anyway.
He told me of the strange thoughts that didn't feel like his own. Of how he has contemplated ending it all. Of the medication that sat hidden away in his top drawer.

My boyfriend soon got better. He didn't need the medication anymore and he gives me a lot of contribution for this and that makes me happy.
However, I did not. I thought I was. I hoped I was. But I wasn't. And it would become clearer when I would break down. When I would lose it when I was drunk. When I would spend every weekend taking substances in order to hush it which only seemed to make it worse.

I never quite let him in. Perhaps I envied him for getting better whilst I still often felt extremely low and hopeless; like a waste of space that would only bring down everyone and everything in its path. And perhaps that's where it went wrong; because I didn't let him in. Instead I ignored it until it got worse. And when I finally did get better, there was still this gap between us and I could not bring myself to get closer; to fill it.

They say the second time around at relationships is just setting you up for a loss and will fill you with more disappointment than the first time around. I beg to differ that this is the inevitable outcome. Breaking up and being apart can lead to two things; you either realize that they were no good for you, or you realize that they really did make you better.

And he made me better. It took me a while to realize but I realized in the end. I realized where I went wrong. I realized that I pushed him away and numbed the feelings I had for him in fear that he would leave or hurt me. When in fact it was me hurting him all along as he never gave up hope that things would get better. That I would get better.

Perhaps what doomed us was the fact that I never quite let go of those first few months where we were in our own bubble of understanding and connected-ness because we were both broken. When he got better I felt betrayed and as if he no longer understood.
But the time apart reminded me that there was is much more to him than this brief terrible period in his life, because I often defined myself by my sickness and rarely ever saw myself as anything more.

I appreciate him for the person who he is now, which is so much. I have learnt to love his soul. And I have finally allowed him to love my own.

I'm proud of these past couple years and I am happy where we are today.

It's not a typical love story and at times it was very hard, but I wouldn't trade mine for the world. And my only advice to you readers, is to let them in. I was lucky to get a second chance. But many of us are not given this luxury.

P.S just noticed he is literally wearing sunglasses in all but one picture. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Next Post

Good morning,

I would just like to tell you readers that in celebration of mine and my partner's two year anniversary, I will be sharing the story of us on my next entry on Tuesday the 13th, for those who are interested.

This is quite a special post for me. These past two years haven't been easy, I can  tell you that.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Fern - Chapter Three

The third chapter of Fern is below. 

Chapter Three
My mother gave me a generous sum of money to help me redecorate.
I think it was due to the guilt she felt for never allowing me to do it in our old house. Even for my own bedroom my father had arranged for an interior designer to handle and purchase everything from the furniture to the frames that would hold the photographs hanging from my walls. He would never appreciate it when he walked in to find I had rearranged my furniture or made some sort of life-size cubby house.

Majority of what I had spent with my mother’s money was for items to be placed in the backyard. I’ve always quite preferred the outdoors so I intended to make a haven for myself and my mother, where we could sit, talk, relax, drink wine and watch the forest. After hours of laboring and putting together the flat-pack furniture whilst my mother treated the carpets and scrubbed every non-fabric surface in the house, I made a remark that if there were such things as bachelor pads then this must be a hens retreat.

It was getting dark when my mother and I decided to call it a day. Apart from the small things here and there to make the house more homely and more us, we were just about complete anyway. 

We had gone to a furniture store first where I spent majority of my funding. Apparently this town only knew old classic designs as opposed to minimal modern pieces but that was okay.
My mother arranged for the store to deliver it to us due to the lack of space in our BMW Sedan. We had just gotten home when we received the boxes for the two white wooden sun chairs, a day bed and an outdoor coffee table. I placed the sun chairs on the grass looking out to the forest, the day bed and table under the vine patio.
We also purchased a small four person dining room set in mahogany. I convinced my mother to purchase a bright orange sofa with wooden legs as well for the lounge room.

From another store I purchased pink and orange cushions that were made to be placed inside but I scattered them on the day bed instead with matching candles, to mimic the colour scheme of the sunset over the ocean which would now be difficult to see.
I twirled twinkling fairy lights around the border of the wooden pillars as well as the trees closest to us, lining the edge of the forest as I had imagined the night before. It wasn’t much but the forest provided a good enough backdrop that we didn’t need a whole lot.

I was lounging back on the sun chair staring at the forest. Mother had called it a day and a night, heading off to bed a little after seven o’clock to catch up on sleep. She insisted we had a bit of a day tomorrow but for what I didn’t know.
I could hear the calls of birds from high up in the branches. It was soothing being here. 

At our old house it wasn’t uncommon for people to constantly be over, whether they were for my dad or for me. And I liked the company of my friends, I really did. But the frequent discussions of other people, who was doing what since school ended and where we would take pills the coming weekend was boring and tiring. I felt as if sometimes I wasn’t allowed to be sad or to just be.
It was frowned upon to be unhappy if the entire neighborhood envied your house and paying bills was never an issue.  I understood that.  I was appreciative of what we had, and perhaps I am a pessimist to be disappointed of what I didn’t.

I wonder what my father, who was the most important man in my life, would think of this place. I imagine he would stick his nose up and shudder at the thought of sleeping in such a small and old home for even a night. 
But I imagine that our lives would have been much better if we had lived here and not in the upper class suburban area that we did. There wasn’t exactly much temptation here, after all.

“It’s looking good”, I hear a familiar voice. I stare out into the forest and see Fern appear through the trees with a smile, the twinkling fairy lights shining bright on her.
“Thanks”, I reply. “It’s quite cozy”.
Fern nods. “Mind if I sit with you?”
I shake my head.
I watch her as she walks over to me. She’s wearing a pale green sundress and a brown cardigan that hangs loosely around her pale shoulders. She’s barefoot I noticed, but she looks pretty; carefree and natural.
I am wearing tight black jeans, a red jumper with black ankle boots. I am amused by the contrast in our appearances.
Back home it wasn’t uncommon to dress almost identically to your friends, whether intended or not.

Fern sits on the sun chair beside me, outstretching her legs on the wood in front of her.
She stares at the forest and the glowing trees. We sit in silence for some time. I feel uncomfortable and the obligation from back home to entertain our guests has kicked in, but I do not know what to say.
Several minutes pass and eventually I say, “Halloween seems like a pretty big deal around here”. 
Fern giggles that tells me she is well aware. “Superstitious is a common trait amongst small town folks”, Fern agrees.
“Are you?” I ask, turning my head to look at her.
“You could say that”, she answers, going quiet.
I nod, not knowing what more to say.

I pull out the packet of cigarettes from my back pocket and light one up. I take a draw, blowing the smoke out above me before outstretching it to Fern.
She takes it with a smile, following suit.
I look at her, her large brown eyes and wavy blonde hair and think that she looks far too innocent to be smoking. The picture doesn’t look right.
But I have always liked people who don’t meet initial expectations. Everyone I used to know was nothing more than what I had first thought, and there is something about Fern that I find so mysterious and intriguing.
Perhaps it’s the fact that she has come to this small town that contains no more than eight stores or a large old room with broken chairs that they called their cinema. Or that she speaks so bluntly without revealing much of herself. Instead it just opens me up to wonder more. 

“What are you trying to get away-“I begin, but she speaks at the same time and asks, “why did you move here?”
I adjust my seating position and look back out to the forest.
“My mother and father are getting a divorce”, I answer in the most natural tone that I can manage.
“Oh”, Fern says, though I don’t look at her. 
Then there is silence for some time and I assume that Fern is waiting for the tears, the sobbing and the cries of how much my life sucks. That’s what everyone else had expected. 

“You must hate your life”, my friends would say. But I would never reply. I didn’t hate my life. Sure, I hated this awful but brief period of time where the pain is still fresh and painful, but I didn’t hate my life.
They would stare at me, waiting to hear how sad and broken I was as if they got something out of it. And the sad thing was that I am quite broken and hurt. My father didn’t just betray my mother afterall. but I never felt as if I was able to tell them that. Or anyone.

I turned back to Fern. She was reclining in the chair, one leg bent upwards while her head hung back. She is taking a draw of the cigarette and blowing out the smoke into the sky.
For once I have not been interrogated as to why my parents are getting a divorce or how much money my mother had gotten from it.
Fern doesn’t seem to care in the slightest and for some reason that bothers me.

“Is that it?” I ask.
Fern smiles, sits up and hands me the cigarette. I take it and watch her, waiting for her to say something while I take a draw.
“Divorces happen”, Fern shrugged.
I resist the urge to let my mouth drop in mild shock to her uncompassionate and inconsiderate response.
Instead I take another draw and rest my head back on the chair; allowing my automatic standoffish mode to take pilot.

I close my eyes, feeling the heat of the cigarette between my fingers that rests on the arm of the chair. I keep my eyes closed, feeling unfamiliar to these sorts of reactions of being offended and not knowing what to do or say. Usually I was the one to have the last word; to cause others to not know how to react to my bluntness but I have been out-blunted.

I can feel the cigarette burning to the tip so I sit up and open my eyes and find Fern sitting up on her own chair, leaning into me. “What’s wrong?” she asks.
I let the cigarette go and fall onto the ground. I step on it with my boot until the glowing ash dims out. 

“Nothing”, I reply, staring out to the trees.
“There’s an ocean under there”, Fern oddly states and I look at her in confusion.
“What are you talking about?” I ask, my eyes narrowing at her.
She shrugs coolly. “You present yourself like a puddle”.
Was she reading from an invisible book? I didn’t quite understand and the confusion makes me feel vulnerable, adding to the frustration that had already begun to build up over the last few minutes. I stare at her and her gaze doesn’t falter. I consider telling her to leave but she smirks.
“I thought so”, Fern says as if answering her own question.
I am silent. I have no idea what to say or what to make of what she had just said.
“You know, if you want to tell me something you just should”, she said as if seeing straight through me.
“I don’t”, I say I almost too quickly and she raises her eye brows in response.
“You just took me off guard. It’s not quite what I’m used to”, I argue.
Fern lies back on her chair, crossing her feet and lifting her hands behind her head. “Well, when you do, you know where I’ll be”, she closes her eyes.
Truth is I do want to talk about it. I just never felt that I could. Or more like, whether or not I should. 

I didn’t exactly trust Fern. I barely knew her. But it wasn’t the lack of trust that made me feel uneasy about sharing my life story with her. It was just that I was scared or didn’t know how. I wasn’t sure. After all these years of keeping things only to myself it had perhaps become a bit of both. But either way, not sharing was something I had become good at.

“Why don’t you tell me something?” I asked.
She opened her eyes and peered at me. “I will. But not now”.
“Why not?” I asked, sounding almost demanding.
“Same reason as you”.
“But how would-” I began but she interrupted me with a “shh”.

I met her gaze towards the forest. I could hear birds squawking from the far distance. 
 I didn’t notice the full moon hovering brightly just above the tree line. It was beautiful. Fern and I continued to sit there in silence just staring out and for once I didn’t feel the need to interrupt it. 
I was one who felt the need to listen to music during almost every moment of my day, as if to drain my thoughts out or something. But this quiet was nice. And maybe I listened to music far too often that it left a stain because it almost sounded as if there was music coming from deep within the forest. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Camping spot #2: Sandy Cape

My boyfriend and I like to go camping. We go every month or so, maintaining the ritual until the cold and wet season kicks in and I can barely get out bed let alone to the middle of nowhere.

But seeing as its warm, we have been taking advantage of the weather and have been going camping pretty often, checking out new places and trying to find different spots.

Dwellingup, aka Nanga Mill is our favorite. I guess this is because it is a forest which provides you with not only a shit tonne of space to go exploring and heaps of hidden places to find, but probably also due to the fact that there isn't sand in every possible direction and you aren't constantly finding sand in places that sand should not be.

But Sandy Cape was beautiful; located just past Jurien Bay, about 2 hours north of Perth that we also recommend. 

We have been here twice. The first time was just the two of us escaping from reality for a couple nights as it was a long weekend. We kept ourselves amused for the ride there by playing Eye Spy. On the roads that we traveled down however, meant there was literally only sky, the road and shrubs on either side of us with the occasional sign, so we got creative with the things that we 'spied' by coming up with words not commonly used for it or things not easily seen. Like, for instance 'condensation' for the clouds, or some sort of car part my boyfriend knew I wouldn't even know existed let alone could find on the car that drove in front of us.  

Sandy Cape. surrounded by gigantic white sand dunes and beautiful beaches, offers camping sites with public bathrooms and access to the beach. However when we got there it was far too busy for any additional campers and it was $15 a night which neither of us wanted to pay. So we headed down a sandy track that ran parallel to the beach in the hopes of finding a less crowded and much cheaper spot to stay. 
To go down this track (just right of the camping grounds) I recommended you have a 4WD as the track is very rocky and sandy and could probably do some damage to your vehicle. 
The track had a  clearing every 100m where a track ran from it towards the beach, leading to a secluded and private clearing perfect for camping. Majority were taken and it wasn't until we went down the 7th or so track that we finally found a free spot.

It was on a cliff, looking down at the ocean and was covered in rocks. It was a bit difficult trying to set up with the wind and hoping that the jaggered rocks wouldn't cut or damage the bottom of our brand new and expensive tent, but the view was beautiful. 
After we had set up and were watching the sun descend below the ocean, I wandered around the cliff edge, finding a small and steep path that lead down to our private beach. What more could you want?

The sand was so fine that in the morning we found the sand had somehow gotten into our tent and covered our sleeping bags and pillows but I had grown attached to this spot, despite how windy, and was reluctant to leave.

We spent the morning swimming in our beach before taking a drive to the dunes and passing an Eagle perched majestically on top of a tree. 

The second time we came here was with a group of friends. We didn't camp in the same spot, instead finding a free patch of sand directly on the beach for all of us to fit. It was quite late by the time we got there so we had some drinks, made dinner and chatted until bedtime.

The next morning however was another story. As all the boys had 4WD's, they tied a rope to the back of their tray, got the kneeboard out and everyone had a turn sliding down the beach and across the water.
Some of the boys who were more daring hopped onto a surfboard while the rest of us spectated and had the first aid ready or sat on the tray, holding on for our dear lives. 

On the way back home we stopped at the 'Desert of Rocks' or, 'The Pinnacles', whatever you want to call it.
It was about $12 a vehicle and there were so many huge rocks springing from the yellow ground in an impressive manner. 
Just don't get your hopes up because it literally is nothing more than a desert of rocks with gigantic stinger bugs stalking their pray (you).