People and Places Starting with M.

By whatever sick joke the universe was playing that day, everything was M. Mostly. 


M & I blocked out The Whole Saturday for adventuring.


Maleny. I’ve decided that Maleny or the like will be where Shan retires to. Be it at 35, 50, or 80. I will spend my days in the countryside. Rolling hills. Hobby farm. Pitched roof. Gate and jungle garden leading to the cosy homely house. We entrusted our dreams, desires, imagined futures to each other.


Gardeners Falls – in a word: Magical. Pools and pools of fresh cold chilling sunlit sparkling water stepping down to bigger and bigger waterfalls. Kids, locals, visitors, swinging off ropes into the water, throwing themselves off the top of the edge to the deep below. We swam in the sunlight when it got cold, and paddled back to the shadows when that got too hot.


We drove through Monteville, stopped for Coffee & Chips in Mapleton. Drove around marvelling at the shingled-roofed cottages. An entirely different world to the city at the bottom of the mountains.


We stopped at Maroochydore Beach for a dip in the ocean, to wash the sweat off us from our hikes through the mountains. To feel the salt water in our eyes and sun on our backs, to rub sand into our skin, to dive under the waves and rise again, like seeing the sky for the first time ever.


The parts where we drove, mid-adventure, was the most adventurous. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who can read me so well and yet not fully understand me. Like an open book in a different language. And when I translate to him, it just makes sense – no judgement. No question. Just “oh, that’s what it said, of course.”


We learned a bit more about each other, from what we already knew. I can’t say how it will go. I don’t even know how I want this to go. But I’m happy to have M in my life. Before I moved to Brisbane, I struggled with being me. My oldest friend suggested I just needed to find my tribe. The people who love and accept me for just being. I have found them here, I’m still finding them in unexpected places. This one started with M.





I learned a while ago that when something good comes, let it come. If it stays, let it stay. If it goes, let it go. I’m not the master of the fucking universe, I can only appreciate the things around me whilst they’re there.


Photo reference: Pillars of Creation, learn more here


The Weekend That Brought Me Back To Life.

Back to adventuring. It’s been a while. Sitting in sullen silence isn’t going to happen anymore.

Read on for jam-packed recommendations for things to do and places to go in Brisbane, QLD.


Wednesday: date night/catch up drinks/hanging out with an previous work colleague. At my favourite new bar in Brisbane. The Osbourne. Different to what I usually like, which is intimate, darkly lit, scarcely packed places. But the Osbourne has a really nice vibe. I can’t explain it. Just go there and see for yourself ūüôā

Anyway, back to Wednesday night. We had some beers, caught up on our lives over the past 12 months. I ordered a Margarita, the bartender thought I meant the drink, I meant the pizza. So I got both. Needless to say really, the next day was a tough one.

Thursday: My best friends 14 year old daughter ran away from her dad’s place. We didn’t find her and get her home until midnight. 6+ hours gone.

Friday: Australia Day public holiday. S & I got breakfast at the cutest little cafe. Miss Jones (total instagram-worthy interior & lighting #excusememiss) and followed up with a beer at the Osbourne, again. Until 2am. Now, I am the person who sneaks out at 9pm to use the bathroom, at home, and sleep. So being anywhere until 2am is not my idea of fun. But this was different. The companionship made it great. Made me last. Like a good viagra for the soul. (ewww).

Saturday: Due to the very very very late/early bedtime, I wasn’t able to drag myself out of anywhere until well into the afternoon. S had to convince me to put on pants to get dinner. (I put on a dress instead, because I’m strong independent woman who don’t get told what to do). We went out for dinner to the Mill on Constance Street. Turns out! They have a ragtag band of merry folk, anyone is welcome to join and sing some ditties. We caught the last few acts of some amazing Irish folk covers of AC/DC, Queen and the like.

Sunday: (My personal favourite!) Breakfast with B & S at The Little Pantry. Followed by a day trip down to our new favourite place to get plants, Mazz & Co Nursery! If plants are what you want, visit Mazz. We have a green balcony now, which is lovely in the middle of the Valley. Our own sanctuary. And it will likely continue to grow! And of course, no potplant garden is complete without pots. A quick trip to Spotlight, Kmart, Big W, Tempt (we got distracted, went on a clothes shopping tangent..). We are set!

After the busiest of days, came the easiest of nights. Movies with M – Darkest Hour – WWII Winston Churchill political struggle. Good conversation points. M mentioned something about the use of lighting the film is shot with, to portray mood & effect. I don’t remember the name. But the way that he noticed and appreciated the cinematography of it was pretty cool.

Monday night: K’s birthday. My best friend is 40. And how I love thee. Dinner at Jamie’s Italian¬†. With her beautiful little family, beautiful children. We’ve been friends for 5, maybe 6 years? Funny to think of the passing of time. We’ve been there for a lot of heartbreaks and lovers, new jobs and losses.


Sigh. I’m exhausted just re-reading that. Needless to say, I¬†am looking¬†forward to a few quieter nights in.


Too busy to think. Too happy to be sad.




PS: For a gallery of these adventures, you can visit Instagram and the #adventuresofshan 

PPS: This is also a personal Instagram, so there’s a lot of vanity poured into some of these pictures. Welcome to my life. Enjoy!¬†


When the pain stops

Of not having the familiar

The comfortable

The safe space that you knew

Fear becomes your friend.

But when you’re alone it strikes.

In the darkest hours of midnight

When your body wakes and your mind conceives the ultimate outcome

When you realise the futility of love and loss, that it all means nothing

And there’s no warm soul to turn to.

Our world keeps turning with or without your petty heartbreak.

Our sun will still implode.

Our universe will still end and it all means the smallest of nothing’s.

Can you imagine the agony?

I dare say you can’t

Or you don’t

Or you simply won’t.

Life is just easier

to imagine infinite tomorrow’s without the dawning of the last tomorrow



My comet is gone. I was too much for him, and at the same time not enough.

I was too much in love with him, I wanted too much to be part of his world and future. And that terrified him.

I wasn’t enough. That part of a person that speaks to the others soul and makes it say “you’re worth it, everything. I can’t ever let this go.” That was missing in me for him. I saw that in him and he didn’t see it in me. That’s all.

And it sucks. Every way it sucks so damn much.

He is gone now, to find those pieces of himself that have been missing for so long. I don’t envy him that. He needs it. Everyone deserves to be whole. I’m just so sad that I won’t be there to see that journey and his outcome.

That’s all there is for this love story. This tragedy.

The end.



The obligatory, cathartic, cliched, look back into the year gone by as quick as a blink.

2017. What a year.

I’m sitting in my apartment, procrastinating from writing a uni assignment, scrolling through the photos of me on my phone from the year (I’m vain like that). How did I get here?

In the small sense, I’m looking for a nice photo of me to post to Instagram with a cute summary of how I’ve grown in the last year. The reason I want to do that is because I stupidly went stalking my partner’s ex’s profile, and saw all the little like’s he’s given some of her photos over the past weeks/months/years. It sucks you in. You’re just there to see their latest activity, and then it’s 2015 with their puppy and I’m dying. And now I need a great photo with a better caption that will be better than hers. (excuse me, your crazy is showing. I know, just back off OK?).

How did I get here in the larger sense? Well let’s take a trip down memory lane. Strap yourselves in guys, it’s a bumpy ride.

January. I had finally told my lover to leave if he wasn’t going to stay. I had started living again after all the tears had been cried and all the feelings had been felt. I went to the greatest music festival of my young life and had the best time with my best friends. I can’t really believe that was only a year ago. It feels like a lifetime but at the same time only yesterday. I smiled. I was happy again.

February. I quit my job. I’ve been in Brisbane for just less than one year, and I’d quit my job. Before that, I had been in my last job for more than 6 years. Quitting isn’t my nature. I stick shit out for the loooooooong term. But in less than 12 months, I’d moved on again.

March. I went to Bali! I did some crazy shit that I wouldn’t recommend and I also did some awesome stuff I would definitely recommend! (I haven’t been on a proper holiday for a while – 2018 savings goal)

April. My lover was gone. He packed his suitcase, he booked a one way ticket, and he left. For real. Perhaps for good. To run away from his life, responsibilities, the pain, from himself, from me. I also lost my job.

I had lost quite a lot in these weeks. A friend, A lover, myself.

I’d never been fired before. I was fired because I didn’t sit quietly, I didn’t just get on with it. Because I asked questions, because I pushed for better. I didn’t let trivial shit mean anything to me. Maybe it should have. I would like to say I’ve learnt better, but all I really learnt there was to play smarter.

May. Sat on the couch for 6 weeks. My best friend and roommate left for Canada. We had the biggest fight before she left about who-can-even-remember-now-anyway. And we resolved it, and we had a great going away party. And then she left. And I moved in with Steph.

June. New job, new beginning, new happiness perhaps?

July. My love came back. We decided to make it work.

August. Me and Steph moved apartments. We fought. We made up.

September, October. I learn that I don’t love my new job, let a lone like it, or anyone that even works there. My only comfort was a college from Mackay who started 2 weeks before me. They fired her for being outspoken, for wanting the right things, for being fair. Much like my last job, they just told her one morning that she was out, and pushed her out. And with her went my happiness. I mentally gave up. I was going through the motions. I still am. Just holding out till the holidays are over and I can start somewhere new again. What held me back? I just didn’t want to be that person with 3 jobs in 1 year, when all I’d known previously was 1 job in 6 years.

November. My life was blissful; family, friends, boyfriend. Everything aligned and I am the happiest I have ever been. And of course, the beauty that is Lorde and her live show at the Riverstage.

December. The test of wills. Holiday season. Family time. I think mine went quite well, but I learned afterwards that not one single person (apart from my 90 year old neighbour who met him just that one time) asked something about J. That made me furious. It still makes me mad. They were pleasant and nice. But was it really only on the surface? Do any of my family really give a damn about this boy if they can’t be bothered to ask him one single thing about his life? Fuming.

January. His family time. Harmless. Mostly Harmless. Except for his mother. I learned that his ex used to hide from her. And holy shit can I see why. That woman was RUDE to me. Me, an individual who has been invited into this family by HER SON which she loves so much, but has no respect for me at all. Please. I see why the ex would hide. I tell you now, if that ever happens again I won’t be hiding. I’m more than capable of standing up for myself. I can stand up to my mother, who means more than the world to me. I can stand up to his mother, who clearly thinks nothing of me.

His sister is also visiting. This has me torn. I really like her. On some level I wish she would go back to Canada so I can have my boyfriend back. She’s not here very often so they have spent a lot of time together catching up and going through their lives, reconnecting. But I’ve been disconnected. Or maybe she should stay, so I can have my boyfriend back. Then the urgency to be with each other whilst they can wouldn’t be as urgent. I just want my him to be my boyfriend again.

It was also the year that I learned to be strong. All the things that happened, I got through. For better or worse, love or loss. I am here. I have hard conversations with my boyfriend, my roommate/best friend, my mother. They are important to me, but I will not be walked over, and I’m learning how to be strong.

It’s okay to be a little crazy. Why should I hide what makes my heart twinge just because someone might say I’m being crazy/insecure/overreacting/selfish/silly? I am able to say “You need to block her from your life for a while.” “You can’t treat me like this.” “What are you really upset about?” “Dear Manager, I quit.”

You see, they/you don’t have to live in my skin. I do. I am responsible for my happiness so I won’t lie down and take shit anymore. I have to do everything I can.

2018 is the year that I am strong, not just for everyone around me, but for myself, too.


The F word.

It’s a hell of a lot easier to write about heartbreak than it is about love.

But hey, we’ve done the heartbreaks. Now for the mended outcome: I’m so very happy where we are right now. Locked in the celestial dance of moon and sun, both shining.

I’ve even been confident enough to broach that subject which I’ve been scared of. The Future. Yes. The Future. It has weighed heavily on my mind for a few weeks now.

First the big question: Will you get married again? Would you want to marry me?

Fairly innocent, but let’s be honest. I would happily spend my life with this guy. I will never be tired of his ramblings. Of his affection. Of his busy mind. Of his plans and goals.

But guys, this isn’t a proposal. Put you streamers and balloons away. It’s a dream. Just hopefully a shared dream. Time will tell.

Then something easier: Do you want to move in together next year? My lease comes up in August and I’d really like to consider that. We spend a lot of time together anyway.

The moving in thing though. There are some things to think about. We’re not both financially stable enough to support that yet. He is in a start-up, building an incredible company, but struggling to make money. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t have any reserve finances to lay out furnishings for an apartment. So August next year gives time to sort those things out.

Cue drunken conversations about our respective roommates, past roommates, ex-wives, emotional baggage still being unpacked. He’s a complex man. There are a lot of things he is working through internally to be a better human. To be a better partner. To resolve parts of his mind that have become dark. To learn how to live with shade and light and not be overcome. I love that. I respect the hell out of that. I support that.

Without being too heavy, it was a good conversation to have. It’s good for him to understand what I want out of life, and who I’d like to do it with. It’s good for me to understand where his limits are and where they move to. We can’t pretend that we are something else. We can’t expect the other person to just know. It’s good to be honest, it’s even better to know your honesty will be supported.

Coming to you live, from my happy place.




Where does it come from, where does it go? How do you get it, and why do people lose it?

Motivation is a fluid concept that ebs and flows through moments, minutes, days, or weeks. Sometimes it comes easily like rain in the summer. Sometimes it doesn’t happen no matter how hard you try (like that perfect risotto….).

To be perfectly honest, I’m really struggling with my motivations right now. Today was a battle¬†to get out of bed. I sat there for 30 minutes – already late – just arguing with myself about how¬†I could call in sick and work and just stay in bed.

Plot twist: I went to work. I stayed there all day too.

I’ve been experiencing anxiety-fueled nightmares (call me Freud..) about work. I sometimes go the day without even having breakfast or lunch because my stomach won’t stop churning.

But why? On Friday, in our one-on-one my manager questions my motivation to actually succeed here. “Is this what you actually want?” I lied and said yes when I should have said “No, but this is a stepping stone to what I really want, and as long as you allow me to step across to my goals, I will work really hard to get there with this company”.

I don’t see how that answer would have been supported. So I lied and said yes. Who wants an employee that isn’t 100% dedicated to a career with their company?

So now I’m floundering in my own shortcomings and failings to succeed here, at a job that I like but don’t love, pretending to be happy.





This past week I’ve taken some steps toward time for me, and bettering my mental health and general wellbeing.

I’ve found that I’m very time-poor (and financially poor!) in balancing extra activities outside of work lately. I believe it’s the type of work. In a past life, I was an insurance tele-consultant and could easily switch off my headset at the end of the day and go and do me-things.

Being a recruitment consultant is mentally exhausting. I get home at the end of the day and my brain is mush. I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t particularly feel like socializing, I certainly am not going to the gym. For the last 6 months, extracurricular things have been put on hold. Getting back in to uni has been delayed as well!

But, I’ve found a turning point. I’ve embraced my smart phone and now have mediation, yoga, and learning apps right at my fingertips. Being able to engage and align my mind, body and soul is important to me. Like a river will always find it’s way to the ocean, I’ve found my way back to peace.

Here are the list of apps that I’ve found useful. They are based on free trial with membership payments optional to unlock further features. Inexpensive, about $25-$30 for 1 Year subscription.

Curiosity Makes You Smarter

Daily Yoga

Meditation & Relaxation: Guided Meditation – Android Apps on Google Play


Political Bullshit.


What are your thoughts on dual/multiple citizenship and being able to serve in parliament?

We celebrate the fact that we’re a multicultural country to the rest of the world, but within our own boarders it’s seems to be not so.

“We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream, and sing with one voice – I am, You are, We are Australia (unless you have dual citizenship because than you’re not actually Australian and you can’t serve our country on the political front because that sh*ts just wrong)”

So because we have migrated to a country, do we have to give up our heritage entirely? Do we have to concede our ties to our ancestors? All of our history that makes us unique! Does that mean we also don’t love the country we live in equally?

Surely, a country of many flags and one uniting flag should accept it’s leaders coming from many flags and uniting under one flag.

If diversity really does encourage creativity/new perspective/innovation/new ideas, then why are we still insisting that our leaders should not be diverse at all?