Tuesday, 30 April 2013

secret: f. scott fitzgerald

I'm happy to talk to anyone, but it's harder than you'd think for me to believe someone a friend. I make a quick judgement and I'm generally not wrong. I like the genuine, the easygoing and the friendly. I don't want anyone to try and impress me, I just want to be impressed. Then, we can be friends for a long time. But only then.

trashy treasure: motivational quotes

oh, they're so bad they're good. here are 3 motivational quotes that I've picked for you all for today.

as true now as when they were written.

you're welcome.

secret: you're a wizard, Harry

it's tough to know what to be when you grow up. or to even imagine what you might want to be, or do, or how you imagine things looking when you're sitting at 27. this is not a 'now I'm an old bastard and woe is me and where are my elastic-waisted pants?' type post, this is just me contemplating things as they stand. if you're reading this expecting some sort of conclusion, you'd best stop reading now, as *SPOILER ALERT* I don't figure it all out by the end of the post.

weirdly enough, it is hard to go back to work on the Monday after you've just spend a week in Melbourne and then at the beach. it gets one thinking, 'well why do I keep turning up to this office, when the prospect does not fill me with joy?'. after all, You Only Live Once, amiright?

sometimes I wish I lived in a world where I would have received an owl bearing a letter from Howgarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. there's no way I would have been a Muggle, if we lived in such a world. by 27, I would be highly proficient in some specific and valuable sort of magic that would give me a steady and enthralling job, plus probably some magical little children who managed to explode the cat's whiskers on a weekly basis. white picket wizard fences are probably slightly different, but all in all, I suspect I'd have been content.

alas, not a wizard, not even a little bit. even though JK Rowling definitely has some gaps in her stories, you can't help but feel slightly wistful about the ease with which magic helps you make up your mind about a career (once you've killed voldemort, of course... yep I'm not afraid to say his name, coz I'm a badass). the world in which we live, however, yields no such easy outs.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find the not-being-exactly-sure part causes me to shift between angst, apathy, and downright panic (not the lose-your-shit-in-a-public-place kind of panic, more the kind where you're quietly screaming inside while attending family events where each person feels entitled to ask you about your future). I wonder why I panic, but then I remember I'm a Taylor, and we're born into a strong sense of the necessity of Doing Something. Dammit. plus our family events are huge. hence the move to Canada for 3 years of snow, parties and potluck dinners... you don't even have to plan a whole meal when you have a potluck dinner. bliss.

I've mentioned travel plans and hopes for getting my shit together, and at 27 I feel it may well actually happen in ways it couldn't possibly before now. still, getting shit together is one thing, but knowing where you're headed with all your shit that you've gotten together (are ya diggin' my elegant prose here?) is another matter entirely.

I recently saw a stand-up comedian in Melbourne called Hannah Gadsby who spoke about how she measured being grown up by the ability to plan for things, and then actually make them happen. also, she noted that having a bedside table to put things like a glass of water and her seeing-eye glasses made her feel like some success had been achieved in the past year. I agree and also think she is a fucking genuis, for other reasons that I might even talk about in a future post.

at work I have been doing a lot of reciting the alphabet under my breath today, mainly so things go in the real alphabetic order and not some made-up alphabet I've put together. I have been known to excuse such alphabetical faux-pas in the past by saying in an overly defensive voice "well I have a degree in English so I'm allowed to make up my own alphabet". it's not true, folks. it's not even partially true.

anyways, back to the alphabet reciting. i've been doing that, right, and putting things in alphabetical order, and highlighting those things which ought to be highlighted (highlit?), and labelling things with a permanent marker. and here comes the best bit- the smell of marker. it's just so naughty and delicious. the forbidden marker smell. occupational hazards include wacky blog posts which traipse from thing to shiny thing without much tying them together, brain damage, judgement from your friends, jealousy from the highlighters and accidentally drawing on your nose with black permanent marker.

really, what I'm getting at here is I think it has to get better than this. I don't mean that there aren't good things about my job, because there are. I'm more getting at the fact that there will be more than this. eventually. because I plan to travel, and this job is good for the saving of travel funds, I'll be here a while yet. then, I'll travel, and get whatever sort of job I can, seeing as I don't speak swedish. Then after that, I presumably will be back in Australia with an almost-finished Masters. After that, yikes, I'd probably better get a real job. And maybe a bedside table. Hannah Gadsby is 35, so at least I have a little time up my sleeve.

this is me keeping calm. unfortunately I don't look this good when I'm having the anxiety about the future. and part of me wonders if it's ok to keep shifting the goal posts. there was a time not so long ago when I thought that I'd have in organised by the time I hit 28. that's in October. now it seems 35 is such an age, but then, I know what I'm like at making progress, so perhaps we'd better round it out at a nice even 40.

I can do this.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Saturday, 27 April 2013

treasure: all things #yolo

I'm the first one to admit I was pretty dismissive about the concept of #yolo.

Let me break it down for those of you who want to know what it's all about but are too afraid to ask (don't be afraid, it's one of those instances where not knowing about all that actually gives you the Street Cred):

Firstly, the hashtagging business- that's this guy '#' right here. It's a way of labeling a term, used for example on Twitter and instagram- so you can search tweets or pictures by label, for example, typing #unicorn or #nakedselfie will yield a certain thematic collection.

And yolo, well, it stands for "you only live once" and excuses all manner of bad behaviour. Used by douchebags all over the world, its classier cousin, or parent, great grandparent even, was "carpe diem". There's nothing wrong with enjoying life to the fullest, but yolo has turned this admirable sentiment dirty. it was a term eschewed by myself until recently, when my brother stu started rocking it.

There's this phenomenon with my brothers, where they start saying or doing something, and even if you think it's really really dumb, you end up saying it. It starts as a joke, but soon you're saying it for realsies. It makes you feel ridiculous but still you say it and even if you don't quite mean it, the damage is done.

I save it for times when they're around because they get it. You say it in a high pitched voice while shrugging your shoulders. You hope for the best, or at least a forgiving crowd.


secret: everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt

It's nearly the end of April. Our family beach holiday has set us down by the Pacific Ocean, a salty liquid body that laps up upon other shores far from here.

There's been sun and pleasant weather for days on end, an array of foods, coffees and beverages. Sometimes too many of the red wines, but their medicinal quality by way of sleep excuses me from having to justify them. Perhaps it doesn't, actually, but with incredible strength of character I might save that chestnut for another day.

Large expanses of water seem to make me rather pensive. I've been working the contemplative stare into the ocean in a big way this week. I like to think it makes me appear mysterious and beautiful, like I'm a girl in a movie. I've figured things out too, so it's not all for show.

For instance, it's a lie that everything is beautiful, and that nothing hurts. But it's a beautiful lie; a motivation, a goal. Sometimes I wonder if my little brothers have made it there. For my brothers, life is a series of selfies in amazing places, beers, beautiful women and adventures. I don't think I'm them, though. My abs are not anything like their abs.

I've been thinking today that I fancy myself as a romantic. I've been pissed off for months now about how sensibly my last relationship ended. I made a somewhat adult decision and now instead of trudging through an increasingly shitty deal, I get the chance to be free and happily single. It sounds good, and it probably will be, I just have to adjust my idea of myself from someone who believes in love above all else to someone who believes in myself above all else. And that's an idealistic love situation too.

Self motivation comes across as a bit hokey, but I think I'm sitting peering into the Moment of Truth, that precipice of adulthood that not even all adults get to, and I'm just trying to give myself the nudge to jump. Actually, that's a terrible metaphor, but that's all you're going to get.

I think I'm going to shoot for Sensible Romantic, a Romantic of the kind that can draw on an oversensitivity to melancholy to write and create, working in and allowing for some poetic staring into the night time ocean, hoping I get a chance at love that makes everything beautiful with nothing hurting.

The Sensible part is the part where I hold down a full time job while working towards a Masters, rid myself of the headaches and weak ankles, maybe pay a bill on time, be a friendly friend type, and save money for global adventuring.

All this staring at the ocean has set out these parts to myself in a comprehensible fashion, given me a deep breath in and a goal or five. If I breathe out a quiet "everything is beautiful and nothing hurts", then time by the beach has been time well spent.

Or something.

Friday, 26 April 2013

treasure: large bodies of water

Holidays. I'm relaxing into this one, that's for sure.

I've been thinking some deep thoughts, but also making sure to catchup on my YouTube time. It's been a pleasant mix, all nicely blurred in with swims and holiday daytime drinks.

Time like this is a good opportunity to take stock of where I'm at and where I want to be next. I've been scrawling reflective writings which I will share after clumsily cutting away the angst, all those feelings neat and shiny in a row.

Act III, in which Helen Attempts to Play It Cool.

Here is the view out the window of my holiday room. Don't hate me coz you ain't me.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

treasure: family holiday

We're on a family beach holiday. We arrived this afternoon, my brother and me, after an airport greeting and a stop for groceries and a drive north along the Pacific Highway that brought us to Seal Rocks.

We've not done this family holiday thing before, and the novelty itself is entertaining. The beach is below us, within walking distance, a pretty bay for swimming and sitting to look at from a deck with a table and chairs provided for putting feet up on, faded outside cushions for lounging on after morning swims.

I will be reading all the books, swimming at least 2 times a day (and maybe at night) and having naps. I will mend myself, the bits that make my brain sore and hold me back from the satisfaction I demand.

All the books.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

treasure: testing testing- mobile blogging

Because I love my iPhone, I've just downloaded mobile Blogger.

This means I can basically bother y'all from anywhere with phone reception, and I know you're nearly as excited as I am.

Here is a funny picture.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

treasure: my van, and travel

I was given a van to call my own last year when I arrived back in the country. I think this van was a bribery of sorts, to encourage me and my boyfriend at the time to stay in Australia, to adventure and explore. It spoke to my imagination, and so I started to make plans.

I stop to wonder now and then if it was the plan making which served to drive a wedge of sorts between myself and said ex. For I would guess there is nothing quite so truly terrifying as being confronted with a determined girl such as myself, full of ideas and plans, when you yourself have no idea what you want; where to go, what to do, who to be?

Planning for me is kind of a comfort. It means I am reassured that I will never be stuck, as it's always a flavour of escape I am planning. I planned for trips around Australia, across Great Deserts and to stop and rest quietly by beaches, to be nestled in bush or tucked in quietly among the families at a caravan park somewhere. The peace of sitting side by side with a loved one, listening to CD's (CD's! How retro!) and arguing good naturedly about what music to listen to next.

I feel a little sad to know my life in the van is not to happen quite this way- although we had some beautiful times on little camps around the place, we never journeyed far from home, never got to use the van to her full potential. Not together.

I've avoided the van for the past few months, a symbol of failed love and lost potential; much how I felt about the relationship with Aaron ending. Plus, I'd built up quite the mental block about driving a manual car, having never owned one or really driven one before. I wondered if I even wanted the van anymore. I realised that I did when a friend asked me one day what was going to happen with the van, in that tone which indicates a certain interest, to be followed fairly quickly by an offer to take the vehicle off my hands.

At that moment I realised I didn't want to let go of the chance for adventures, the kind you can only have in an awesome van such as she. And after camping a night in her for a party, I decided it was time to give her more of my love and attention. I had my first driving lesson the next day, and once I get over my fear of hill starts I'm confident I'll be fine.

I'll build up slowly to Going Somewhere. I'm not sure how I'll put out the awning at night time- I'm not really tall enough. There are some things I'll have to learn to do, like where to check the oil, how to park, how to pack things away safely so they don't come away going down windy hills, and more, I'm sure. I think she needs a name; currently I'm pretty fond of Maude the Mazda, as I plan to "renovate" her in the style of little old lady. I'm thinking floral seat covers, rose-patterned curtains with lace sewn on, patchwork quilt on the bed... (favourite ideas on display below).

As for where I'll go, I'm hoping to go down the coast to Melbourne, pop over to Tasmania, then maybe across as far as Adelaide if I haven't run out of enthusiasm by then. There's a place alongside me for a friend to come and share the driving and the cooking and the petrol money and the bed (very comfy, comfiest ever really) and the joys and the sorrows and the planning too. This person doesn't have to be a partner-type friend, unless I find myself amenable to sexy times in a van, but they have to be someone who likes to plan and adventure. No other sort need apply.

secret: things i hate

today, the things i hate the most include these:

1. the bad mood that makes me hate things i normally laugh about
2. waiting for the results of a brain scan
3. the way my mum makes me feel when she decides said brain scan will reveal tumours and aneurysms all over the place, my brain riddled with failures
4. not having someone in my life that will kiss me and tell me i don't have an aneurysm after my mum is off the phone
5. my headache that necessitated the brain scan
6. the way i put my back out last night by sleeping. SLEEPING. as Kate J very fairly pointed out, "It's meant to be relaxing! You're doing it wrong!".
7. appointments
8. a general lack of painkillers, besides the bottle of wine i fully intend to finish when i get home
9. the fact that the heater is broken in our office... by broken i mean permanently set to hot.
10. the need i felt to write this post. i'd like to be putting some positivity out there, but today is not the day for that hippy nonsense.

Monday, 15 April 2013

treasure: the good times, the better times

Can I just offer up a little "yikes, sorry!" for the months of silence? I've been reading back to myself the type of writing I was doing this time last year, and for the year before that, and I feel a little wistful and disappointed in myself for dropping the blog-ball (it's not really a bouncy ball, more a slightly slippery one with a mind of its own).

I'm quite proud of the various bits of nonsense I posted here while I was in Whistler last year and for the years before that. I guess Life As Vacation lent itself a lot more easily to blogging, but perhaps that's not an excuse. I'd like to think I still have some things to say, but sadly just now I do not know what they might be. I have a few more hurdles to jump, like the not being incredibly angry that things didn't work out how I wanted hurdle (I seem to have to battle with this hurdle once every year or so), as well as the make peace with the situation and be patient while you set yourself up for something more exciting hurdle.

Patience is a virtue I hear, (or a vulture, depending on what your subconscious makes your fingers type) which is a struggle for the not-particularly-virtuous (that would be me). I just want to go somewhere, and soon. Honestly I really would be running to escape my head, and the funny thing about the head is, it's attached to the body (traditionally, anyway) and so no matter where I go, or how I get there, there my head will be when I arrive.

So I'll bide my time, save my pennies and hope that by the time I do hit the road, I'm not so caught up in myself that I miss the view, the people sitting next to me, the myriad of funny things that make for good travel writing. This is the goal.

More to come on plans and wishes. And just generally, more to come.

secret: Autumn wishes

there's heaps of things i like about autumn. i might write some kind of pretty words at a later date, but for now, here's some pictures which are worth some words.

treasure: Pinterest

I have to admit, I'm pretty into many of the popular social media platforms on offer, with the exception of Twitter. I can't figure out why I don't use Twitter, as I have tried to get into it several times with very little success. I can't keep the momentum of Twitter going, whereas staying active on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is a slice of cake, a walk in the park.

Actually to be fair, Blogger has been neglected recently. But I'm working to redeem that.

I wanted to write about my obession with Pinterest. I think one of my favourite bloggers Pip Lincolne says it best in her blog when she notes "[Pinterest] is like a little holiday for the heart and mind". I use it almost daily and just never really get sick of it.

If you're not on Pinterest already, the extolling if its virtues that I'm doing here comes with a warning. It's addictive. It basically works like a digital pinboard, where you collect and 'pin' pictures that you like. You can have many many pinboards, all dedicated to different areas. You can pin from Pinterest only (a huge collection of images that are added to daily by Pinterest's users and can be searched as an image database), you can add your own images, or you can install a little 'Pin It' button that sits on your browser toolbar and means if you see something on a website you like, you can take an image from it to put on your pinboard.

It's being used quite effectively by a lot of businesses, who I follow on Pinterest (you can follow in the same way you follow your friends movements on Facebook, or "Like" and follow celebrities and businesses too). When an image is 'pinned' from a website, you can simply click on the image to be taken directly to the website it comes from. This is a clever way to gain more traffic to your website, and it doesn't stop there.

But to be honest I'm not really talking about building your business here. I'm talking about the wonderful joy of Pinterest, as a source of ideas and inspiration. My favourite boards at the moment are my 'style inspiration' board, my 'laughter in my face' board, and my 'when i live in europe' board.

Laughing, dressing up and dreaming of travel are the things that are keeping me happy at the moment. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite pins I've discovered of late, and if you're curious to see just how deep this obsession runs, you can check out my collection of boards here.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

a promise- something, somewhere, sometime soon

yep, there's been some silence around here. but i'm pretty much ready to tell you about my plans.

stay tuned. bait your breath but do not hold it.