An afternoon date with myself

via Daily Prompt: Privacy

Working in an open office environment, having group lunches with my colleagues every day, coming home to a household where I am one of six people, spending as much time with my friends as possible and one of them has a large family who I also hang out with and consider them my second family – I am constantly surrounded by people approximately 17 hours a day.

I love my job, my co-workers and I’m grateful that I live with housemates that I’m close to and my second family who are so welcoming and caring. I enjoy socialising, talking, laughing, eating out and so on since whenever I’m by myself I always wish I was talking to someone or had someone to accompany me.

However, over the past couple of months I’ve noticed that something isn’t quite right…

My gut feeling is always the first to speak. It pipes up saying “something’s not right with you. You’re angry, anxious and negative most of the time” however it takes a while for my mind to catch up and understand why I’m feeling this way.

I’ve worked it out to be that I have very little time to sit down in a quiet place, analyse my thoughts and let go of the ones that are causing unnecessary angst. During shavasana in yoga when we had to do this I was never good at it, I couldn’t clear my mind since I’d end up thinking of something funny and start silently laughing to myself. Even though my eyes were shut I could feel the yogi’s face glaring at me thinking you’re not taking this seriously. Come to think of it, I guess I did do shavasana subconsciously throughout the day but without the corpse pose. I’d often stare into space, think about why I was angry at someone or something for example and then wondered if it was still relevant or if it had been resolved and let go of that thought or think of the next steps on how to add closure to it.

With the weekend now here and after a busy Saturday morning I thought, how am I going to spend the rest of the day? The answer was easy, spend the day on my own.

I went to a couple of one bedroom apartment open inspections, drove to my favourite cafe to sit and have brunch and a coffee while I filled in my tenant application forms.

Afterwards I walked around the street past the local shops, drove home and spent 4 hours on cleaning since our house was in dire need of it, went out to get some dinner and to the shops to buy more cleaning products and then back home for more cleaning until I finally decided to have a break and resume tomorrow.
Normally I’d cringe at the thought of going to a cafe and asking for “a table for one” and spending 5 hours on a Saturday cleaning however I had a great day just me, myself and my gangsta rap music.

At the age of 25, I’ve realised that it’s okay to be alone. I’ve lived in share houses for 5 years and although I am fortunate to have met many great housemates throughout the years who will remain great friends I believe that it’s time to move on and find my own place.
In terms of friendships, it has to go both ways and I’ve realised that it’s not selfish to say I don’t feel like going to that event/going out for a drink/going to the beach etc when I’m not feeling my best either mentally or physically – I need to look after number one.
In regards to the man I having been seeing (I used that term loosely) for 6 months, well lets just say that I’ve decided to cut him out of my life.

It has always been my dream to have a loving husband, two to three kids, own a three to four bedroom house and own a dog or two. However at 25 time is ticking and I may never have those things so I’ve made contingency plans and I’ve come to realise that that’s okay. If I don’t have the family and loving partner I’ve always wanted (I’ve had very bad luck with guys) then I’d rather be alone than with someone who is disrepectful and ungrateful, I’d rather have no kids than have kids when I’m not ready for them. I’ve watched my friends and people I know have children accidentally or they’ve become a single parent and watching them make sacrifices trying to provide the best life of their kid takes a lot of strength and hard work – I could never do what they do, I’m paranoid I’d fall in a heap if I ever experience a situation like theirs. As much as I love dogs and have been keen to get another dog after my dog passed away several years ago, I’m waiting to get a dog when my living situation and lifestyle is 100% suitable for one and if it never happens to be then that’s okay. I’ll just get a cactus or other low maintenance plant to look after 🙂

As for tomorrow, since I enjoyed my date with myself and should do this again sometime soon I’ll take myself out for another coffee date.

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15 Vintage Girl Problems

During my first year at uni I went through a vintage I Love Lucy phase. All of these summed up my daily rituals and not to mention refusing to wear boots because they are too modern no matter how much it was raining outside haha.

The Tootsie Rollers

1. You expect every kiss to be like this…

tiMES S KIss V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt

gone with the wind kiss Gone with the Wind

audrey kiss Breakfast at Tiffany’s

2. And every dance to be like this…

fred gif

3. You’re always overdressed.

pink dress

4. You’re still learning to master the art of sleeping in pin curls without being awoken by a stabbing pin.

IMG_8708

 

5. Kirbi-grips; you love them & your partner hates them. You buy a new pack at least once a week – where do they all go?!

bobby pins 2

6. You’re highly flammable. Hairspray is your daily companion.

hairspray

7. You spend a lot of time with your arms in the air. Who needs the gym when you have an arm toning vintage hairstyling regime?

8. You will never have enough storage space…

Courtesy of the amazing http://www.missvictoryviolet.com

9. You mourn the well dressed man everyday. They can keep ‘The Skinny Jean Wearing Metrosexual’ and ‘Mr Man Bun’…

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Update to show that I’m still alive and kicking :)

Good evening all,

My apologies for being absent on my blog as of late. But yes, I am still alive and kicking 🙂

The reason for my absence is due to my immense study load this semester and at one point I had six assignment due within one fortnight…

Anyway now that I have officially completed all of my assignments, exams and need somewhere to practice my writing skills I’ll be posting on here more often. So stay tuned!

Here is a snippet of what has happened since my last post:

1. I’m having a short break from hoop (on cue the “awwwww” – everyone in unison now).
I know I know, it almost defeats the purpose of this blog since the core purpose was on my aerial hoop journey but don’t worry, I’ll get back on the horse during the holidays.
I’ve chosen to take a break due to my priorities of having uni first, hoop second therefore I was unable to attend training four days a weeks nor stretch and work on strengthening on top of the enormous workload.

Work hard, play hard 😉

2. I participated in Frocktober and plan to be involved in it again next year too!
“Frocktober” is about wearing a dress each day for the duration of October to raise awareness for ovarian cancer and also help raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF). The OCRF will then use the funds in order to develop an early detection test for ovarian cancer since the vague symptoms make it difficult to detect. I didn’t reach my goal of $800 but I’m still happy and appreciate everyone contributing to the total donations of $312.03.

More details of Frocktober are on the website: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/frocktober

3. Since I was heartbroken that I wasn’t doing hoop anymore I decided to join a fit club that consists of circuit and boxing. It’s such a big change to what I do at hoop and oh my lord my cardio needs work!

4. My best friend is coming to visit me next week!
She’s been my best friend since we were 3-4 years young. Although we are as different as night is to day we share common interests in morals and humour.
When she visits me we always have breakfast at a restaurant nicknamed P.P.
At the PP my BFF always orders her favourite of pancakes with bavarian apples, however since I’m a meal sharer and she most definitely is not I still help myself to the apples on her plate regardless of being told off numerous times 😀

So no doubt this will happen next Tuesday:

(By the way, one of our common interests are Friends episodes 🙂 She’s definitely a Joseph “Joey Doesn’t Share Food” Tribbiani when we eat out at PP haha).

Bringing sensible back.

Alright, I admit that title above is quite bland but I couldn’t think of anything else. I need practice on playing on words and phrases…

Anyway, I apologise that I have been absent from blogging. However, my presence has been redeemed when today I read an issue I wanted to personally address.
What I’m referring to is an anonymous article written in regards to a segment on this morning’s Channel 7’s “Sunrise” where one of the co-hosts, Sam Armytage, made a comment during the entertainment report that the unknown journalist and Twitter users deemed as “sexist”.

All day I said to myself I wouldn’t make light of it but based on what has been circulating I decided to give my two cents worth:

I, personally, disagree with Sam’s remark. I disagree not in terms of context or her opinion it was just the projection and the way it was worded that were I disliked and it sat unfavourably with me.
I know I’m being very vague about the article this is in reference too but I’m refraining as much as possible from elaborating to avoid adding fuel to the fire, after all I can’t believe people would rather write an article like when there are major news stories emerging today. Definitely a #firstworldproblem.

However, even though I don’t agree with her remark at the end of the day she is only human just like all of us and deserves the same respect. Just because I don’t agree with her does not mean I idolise her any less (she’s my inspiration for fashion styling and women empowerment). Just because I don’t agree with her doesn’t mean that I will label this as sexist. Just because I don’t agree with her does not mean I will taunt, bully or shame her through social media. Everyone is different and the right to agree to disagree should still be valued and practiced. Although, the unprecedented period of rapid change of the internet where an Youtube video can reach an audience of 1 billion people in a matter of seconds shows that faster communication channels now exist means most people more likely to respond critically (some classified as internet “trolls”) as opposed to when radio would take 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million people (Eye on the Future, 2014).

Just because I don’t agree with an individual does not mean I’m going to blow it out of proportion or convince her to publicly apologise. As my grandma and best friend taught me, the best way to approach a difference of opinions like this is to simply respectfully agree to disagree then nod and smile and move on. Not only is it a reflection of your character based on how you respond but also there are far more important and major issues to focus on. For example, even though I am guilty of being a moderate user of social media I would much log out and scroll through the latest news on my Bing News App, work on marketing plans or even just have some me time and go to additional aerial hoop classes.

Sam Armytage wearing the Oasis Floral Botanical Bird dress.

Sam Armytage wearing the Oasis Floral Botanical Bird dress.

I am less than a quarter of a decade young, 23 years old to be exact, working in the operational level/bottom level of the company yet it still surprises me that the some social media users who are a few more years above me and with more life experience do not have the same maturity and tact. This was especially evident this afternoon when I was scrolling through my Twitter feed…

On another note, here are some news stories from today that people should read instead, the links to these are at the very bottom of this blog post:

– Terrorist home raids in Sydney and Brisbane (Connery, B 2014).
– Scotland citizens are currently voting for or against an independence referendum (AFP, 2014).
– Ebola virus death toll reaches 2 622 in West Africa (Reuters, 2014).
– Bitcoin EFTPOS card commenced its trial in Australia (White, K 2014).
– AFL coach, Brenton Sanderson, sacked from the Adelaide Crows (ABC Grandstand, 2014).

References:
ABC Grandstand, 2014, Brenton Sanderson did not see his sacking as Adelaide Crows AFL coach coming, accessed 18th September 2014, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-18/sanderson-did-not-see-sacking-coming-adelaide-crows-afl/5754006&gt;

AFP, 2014, Stay or go – Scotland votes on Independence from Britain, accessed on 18th September 2014, <http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/25046764/stay-or-go-scotland-votes-on-independence-from-britain/&gt;

Connery, B 2014, Terrorism reality driven home by raids, accessed on 18th September 2014, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-18/connery-terrorism-reality-driven-home-by-raids/5753388&gt;

Eye on the Future, 2014, News, accessed on 18th September 2014, <http://businessfuturist.com/news/&gt;

Reuters, 2014, Death Toll in West Africa Ebola Epidemic Reaches 2,622, accessed on 18th September 2014, <http://au.news.yahoo.com/technology/a/25051723/death-toll-in-west-africa-ebola-epidemic-reaches-2-622-who/&gt;

White, K 2014, Coinjar Pioneer’s Australia’s First Bitcoin EFTPOS Card, accessed on 19th September 2014, <http://www.startupsmart.com.au/financing-a-business/coinjar-pioneers-australias-first-bitcoin-eftpos-card/2014091713234.html&gt;

On James Foley (and Freelancers as Humans)

On Empathy

Photo Credit: Nicole Tung http://www.nicoletung.com/ Photo Credit: Nicole Tung
http://www.nicoletung.com/

When I was in journalism school, I read and heard from a lot of  journalists with a hunger to chase the biggest, most important, and most dangerous stories around the world. They chose the reporter path to get them overseas and into war zones, natural disasters and extreme events with their camera and notebook as quickly and as often as possible. Few of them seemed to do it for fame; they enjoyed the chase, the adrenaline rush, the feeling that their work was really doing something, really having an impact, telling stories no one else could tell.

That was never what drew me to the field. In fact, I would say I’m on the other end of the same field, playing a different game. I’m more of a “stick close to home, make some calls, meet people in coffee shops, ruminate on words for long thoughtful…

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Don’t call me a fitness junkie.

Let’s pretend it’s #flashbackfriday, like we’re on Instagram, and take a look back on my life 7-8 months ago during summer (summer in the southern hemisphere that is).

In the summer season I envisioned myself to become the fittest I could be, despite being injured with a hip flexor strain I pushed through my aerial hoop classes and passed the test to move up to a higher level. I started taking extra hoop classes by going four days a week, did chin up bar circuits almost 5 days a week and did the occasional running and stretching to work on my flexibility seven times a week.
As well as that, I downloaded an app to discover what my recommended daily intake of calories was and completed food log diaries on the app on every food I ate, checked my macros, and my statistics on my sodium, fats, sugars etc.

I was at my peak, despite being a newbie in intermediate 2 of aerial hoop I was one of the strongest and achieved a difficult trick (the spinning straddle) during my first week of class. While undertaking a food plan designed for those who need refueling from strength training I had plenty of energy and saved all my favourite guilty foods, e.g. cupcakes and chicken pies, for my Saturday cheat days and eating high protein meats, small servings of carbs and a mixture of steamed vegetables all other days of the week.

It wasn’t until one day during a practice session before class time at hoop I noticed my right shoulder was in pain. I had to cut my trick combos short during practice time to stop and put my feet on the ground to stretch my shoulders and arms out assuming it was just tight muscles. However no matter how much I stretched the pain wouldn’t go away, even hanging under the hoop with both arms was too painful. For the rest of the session I sat on the ground underneath my hoop fighting the tears back, I knew from that point onwards that I really was broken and I could not hoop anymore.

I didn’t go to hoop for the rest of the week and took it easy on the chin up bars by taking more rest days and not practising when my rotator cuff was hurting. The following week was test week at hoop to see if we can go up to the next level, I started going back to practice sessions that week to go over my trick combos for the test but with plenty of breaks in between. When test day came I executed all the required tricks, despite a couple of fumbles like falling out of the “teacup spin” in the first round when I put accidentally put the wrong foot down in my landing haha, and my teacher said that I passed and can move up to intermediate 3. I was quite happy with the news, however, despite the motivation to push through I just had to put it on hold and have a break.
Pushing through during a hip flexor strain and solely relying on my arms most of the time wasn’t ideal but that vivid day when I realised my rotator cuff was overused and in pain it felt like a wake up call since I could no longer rely on the strength of my arms.

It is now winter here in the southern hemisphere which is no excuse to be lazy but I guess it’s my go-to excuse…
Ever since having a break from hoop I haven’t even been doing chin up bar workouts since it precipitates here approximately 90% of the time and basically when it rains it pours and when it pours it hails! Quite unpleasant to be gripping onto a slippery, cold chin up bar outside 😦
Another winter indulgent is my resurrected sweet tooth, which causes me to eat sweets more often compared to the one cheat meal day a week for sugary snacks.
My abs have now disappeared so has my strength which is taking a while to come back. After uni or work I head straight home most of the time and don’t daydream as much about aerial hoop, being fit or what workout I should do at the end of they day.

Even though I have let myself go recently how I view myself now compared to my fitness fanatic days is not what you would think. Do I miss doing tricks I can’t do now at aerial hoop? Of course! Do I miss having abs? Yes. Do I regret having a break? No! Am I unhappy with my lifestyle now? No.
The reasons why can simply be summed up in this quote I found on social media (source unknown sorry!):

I am still happy now and I was happy 7-8 months ago. It’s just this time it’s a different kind of happy, I believe it’s a geniune personalised happy not an artificially modified sample of what the presumed ideal healthy lifestyle should according to the media and current socio-cultural trends.
While I was so busy setting up the right angle for iPhone camera to capture photos and videos for my Instagram I felt a sense of loneliness. I was declining offers for a coffee or dinner catch-up from my friends, housemates, co-workers and acquaintances I could have got to known better just because I wanted to exercise or I wanted to maintain my strict strength challenge food plan.

Most of the people in my circle aren’t avid gym rats or massive clean eaters and I respect that. They are a part of my life because they are nice people who even respected my crazy fitgirl ways such as negotiating a way to find food that I could eat :p I know I sounded ungrateful back then but thank you – thank you so very much for putting up with me and going through all that effort 🙂

When I have a bad day I like to eat a blueberry muffin or a Tim Tam just as comfort food, when I need to catch up on sleep or don’t want to risk getting sick from the cold weather it’s okay to go straight home after work or uni, when I would rather stay inside and work on my assignments that’s okay too and when my crossfitter of a housemate tells me that what I’m eating has “too many calories!” I should be more assertive and don’t let it upset me.

I am not a 100% clean eater and may or may never be and I’m okay with that 🙂 If I do cull out all “bad” foods one day in the future then I know I have done it when I’m ready and not because I am being forced. The same goes for everything else, if things do change then it’ll be because they fall into place not because I was forced by a third party as my main incentive for me is enjoyment.. At this point in time I believe that a “healthy lifestyle” for me is defined as: nourishing myself in the sense that I can eat foods that are indulging and food for fuel when I want to workout, spending time with loved ones and friends, finding a workout that I enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like a “workout” anymore, exercising regularly not excessively, smiling and laughing with friends or a friendly stranger, getting adequate sleep, taking guilt-free rest days and most importantly just being grateful, humble and respecting myself.

My version of a “healthy lifestyle” is different to your perception of what a healthy lifestyle should be, it’s different to everybody’s and I highly doubt that no two will be the same :p But to summarise: if you want to be a fitness junkie because you truly want to, go for it or if it’s only because there are sources pushing you then take a step back and look at what you want to achieve by setting some S.M.A.R.T. objectives (on cue marketing talk right there :p). Healthy and fitness is a personal journey not a public one 🙂

My "old" Instagram.

My “old” Instagram.

 

What made me decide to address this topic: “11 Reasons Why The Fitness Culture on Social Media needs to be stopped.”

Elite Daily, 2014, 11 Reasons Why The Fitness Culture on Social Media needs to be stopped, viewed on Friday 8th August 2014, <http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/reasons-why-the-fitness-culture-on-social-media-needs-to-be-stopped/>
[Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against the #Fitfam or anyone that classifies themselves as a fitness fanatic. I am not intentionally targeting any specific organisation, group or individual and I am aware that I have the right to unfollow or ignore anything that isn’t to my taste on Instagram. On the bright side I have found some of the images and videos inspiring and motivating].

Dance Moms Challenge Day #30

Day Thirty – Quote from the show to live by:

 

“You’re entitled to your wrong opinion”

– Holly Hatcher-Frazier.

I love how Holly is so well-spoken and retains composure when arguing rather than making a mountain out of a molehill unlike Abby and some of the moms.
During Season 3 and Episode 11 when Holly had a bone to pick with Jill on her seedy tactics to get Kendall ahead, Holly decided to let bygones be bygones and closed her argument with the now famous “you’re entitled to your wrong opinion” quote 🙂

Even though the moms and Abby are not role models on conflict management, if we had to take one thing from the show let it be that sentence from the educator herself; Holly Hatcher-Frazier.
I know I have certainly used that closer quite a few times when my crossfitting housemate decides to stir up a debate about aesthetics…

[N.B. I apologise about being 7 days behind in completing the challenge. I have had uni, work and aerial hoop commitments, therefore not much time to blog :(]