I’m in the fledgling stages of a new relationship. Well, an “on-again” relationship. You could say that my comet has come back into orbit. And he was, on the weekend, ablaze with light. I needed to get it out there, into that black void between us, that I couldn’t enter into this again if it was going to be the same trajectory as last time. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I won’t. He agreed.
I can’t tell you the exact words of that interaction between us, but I can tell you I felt good. Really good. #warmandfuzzy
But somehow, on a Tuesday afternoon, I find my belly sinking when I think of him. Does he really mean those kind words? Does he think of me? Am I important in his life? Do I even, cosmically speaking, matter? You see, I don’t trust it. I need to be reassured that yes, everything is okay. Yes, we are on the same page. Yes, we both are standing on the ledge this time. Because last time I thought it was fine, I was fine, we were fine, EVERYTHING WAS DAMN FINE, and it wasn’t. Oh gods it totally wasn’t. I stood on that ledge alone, and fell without really knowing it. It wasn’t until those words “I really like you, but..” that the falling stopped feeling like flying and gravity turned it’s attention to me, the ground rushed up to smack me in the face. Is that just going to happen again?
These thoughts are a little insane. I realise that completely. I’m not normally needy and uncertain. I’m confident in myself and sure of what’s good for me. Perhaps the shift in gravitational pull has me a little loopy. Here I am, Frightened and Happy – contradictions that won’t reconcile themselves easily.
I want to trust that the days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, fear into happiness. But these things take time. Fortunately, Time is what I’m willing to give.
Why, Reader, is it all too easy for my fingertips to trust you with this?
I fear that the balance of love will always be uneven. I fear that I will wake up sometime 10 years from now and be alone in my bed. I fear that I am unlovable, and people waste their time with me until someone better comes along. I fear that I am not enough for those people. I fear that I am too much for others and if I allowed myself the freedom to not hold back, that it would scare them away. I fear letting myself be someone’s second choice and not being brave enough to find that person to whom I am the first choice. Because what if I never find that? I fear I won’t be able to stand it.
All of those #inspirationalquotes telling you that you deserve better, you should be treated like a queen, etc etc, they scare me. The pressure to be all that sits heavily on my chest and won’t let me breathe. I do love myself, I really do. But I was built as half of a whole and I fear being incomplete for my whole life.
My first job out of highschool was working for a bank. I was driven, determined and motivated to climb that corporate ladder. I remember the excitement and sense of accomplishment when I got my very own business cards. I had dreams to grow my empire. Unfortunately, that company wasn’t the right place to do it. My drive was halted, my determination was pushed back, my motivation was gone. So I moved cities to find something more. The first steps were tentative – I took the first job I was offered. But it didn’t have the same feeling. I was good at it, but there was no challenge. No opportunity to be more than a number. But it was a gateway to something more.
Now, after 18 months in this new city, after many an unexpected hurdle (both personally and professionally…), I got real lucky. I now work as a recruitment consultant in a smallish branch in Brisbane that’s part of a global brand. The international opportunities are something I’ve only dreamed of, but HELLO REALITY, I’m here for this! #corporateworld
I’ve had 7 years of practice selling other companies products that have given me the tools to sell my self – my skills, personality, and capability. With this, I can be my own brand. I can rely on myself for my success. I’m fostering relationships with existing clients, I’m creating relationships with new clients. I look after my own book. And the rewards for that work come back to me. I get out what I put in. Plain and simple. And I love it.
The little icing on this beautiful cake is of course the people I work with. It’s a small team, but so much change has happened (before I came in) to make it a great team. We have the right people, the right personalities, the right level of fun and competition. It’s makes for a great office to spend my days in.
I’m still learning (gosh there’s so much new stuff to learn!), and it’s challenging every day. But I’m up for it. I can do this.
I actually have a career now, not just a mindless job.
Since I’ve started my #newcorporatejob I’ve discovered I don’t have as many corporate clothes as I have “lazy day every day” clothes. And since I’ve been out of work and not yet been paid, I’m also a bit low on the fund$ to go out an revamp my wardrobe. When I moved apartments recently I threw away (donated) about half my clothes that didn’t fit, didn’t need, and didn’t want, to Vinnies & Salvo’s.
SO, whilst spending our house deposit money on smashed avo and coffee, we planned our attack on thrift shops in our vicinity. We had a list, we had a car, we had coffee in our veins, we were ready to go! (By this point in the story, it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon – we don’t move fast on weekends..)
Being thrifty is fantastic. It’s a great way to give back a little to your community whilst you and your gal pals going on a shopping spree that doesn’t break the bank. Win! And to be honest, if we’re going to spend a bunch of dough on breakfast, we can’t afford to buy off the runway outfits. It’s all about balance, am I right?
We hit up a lot of great places. The first was a quaint little church* with darling old sisters running the store. I’ve also come to the resolution that I in fact NEED a record player. If only to buy all the old classics and play them in my house all day long for background noise. I would then also need a long black cigarette holder, a chesterfield, and a few great hats. Classic.
I picked up a few amazing men’s t-shirts that will be re-purposed as some of my corporate day-to-day shirts. If I can look good the morning after in them, I can certainly make it work with a blazer and cropped black pants. #workappropriate. Steph picked up two pants, which needed a little nip/tuck to fit just right, but at $2.50, the threads were well worth the stitch.
Don’t get me started on getting out of that carpark. It’s a tiny little entry and I swear there was only a hairsbreadth between my car and some obnoxious SUV who swerved into the driveway.
We hit the next closest Salvo’s in Red Hill**. I’m certain the guys out the front had a bit of a laugh at the two chicks with some music banging out the car window. It’s OK, we had a giggle at you too.
I tell ya, if you move out of home or just need to get a piece of furniture or anything for your house, don’t go to K-Mart. As fabulous as it is, you will find everything you never knew you needed at a Salvo’s or Vinnies***. These are gold mines for anyone setting up house. Save a buck, be eclectic, have some fun history to that side-table.
For some truly amazing wardrobe pieces though, we found the independent thrift shops to be the best. They are also a WHOLE LOT CHEAPER than the bigger places. There’s a reason Macklemore won 2012 Triple J’s Hottest 100. SH*T, it was 99c! Everything we picked up was from two or three smaller shops. 10/10 would go again.
Yesterday**** offered up some great sundresses, excellent vintage pieces, and a small jewellery collection (a watch that I already seemed to have misplaced..). The ladies in there were amazing. They were just chatting away about a some quirks their beauty therapist has. The creaking floorboards tracked out steps through the old house. The faint smell of musk hung in the air.
What I love the most about thrift is they only stock things in good condition. When we were kids we used to go to the dump shop (second hand store, I think?). There was so much stuff! But a lot of it was useless or broken or stained and in no way “pre-loved”. Certainly “pre-worn” and trashed, but definitely no love went in to selecting these items for the racks.
We had the best day and are planning another attack in a few weeks. Steph’s mum and a few workmates want to come too. Share the love, I say. So that was our little weekend adventure. I highly suggest you all checking out what your locals have; it will be a good time, and a cheap time. Who doesn’t love shopping? Who loves shopping and not having to refinance their mortgage to pay off the credit card debt?!
This is a little list of the places we popped into.
Adlerian parental training programs have led to some suggestion that parent training should be a prerequisite for parenthood or that parenting should somehow be a ‘licensed activity’. Discuss this idea keeping in mind the following questions.
Should our society require a license for parenting?
If so, what prerequisites should there be? (education, training, financial, others?).
Who should have the power to set the licensing standards?
To what extent should licensing be sensitive to cultural diversity?
What type of corrective or punitive actions should be available to the authorities regarding parental licensing?
Parenthood should not be available to just anyone. It is a biological process, and our evolutionary purpose to reproduce. However, humans are more than animals. We have the capacity to make choices, analyse decisions, strive for the betterment of mankind. Why are we still breeding beyond our capability, and why are we fostering harmful environments for innocent children to be brought into unwillingly? Actually, let’s put it simply. Why is it still possible for a crack addict to produce children without pause, and pollute the population with defective humans, burdening the healthcare systems and the wider society with their poor life choices. Nice one, Gary.
Birth control is widely available. But it’s not free. What we are creating is an environment where people with a higher level of socio-economic status are breeding selectively, whilst those who are at the lower/lowest end of the ladder have little control over their choice to reproduce. To exaggerate, what I can imagine is one child who has the capacity to contribute positively to society against 10 kinds that cant. The scale will soon be so unbalanced, humanity will dissolve into Mad Max, Fury Road. Can’t wait…
License for parenting? Education, training, schools for would-be parents? Birth control? Submit an application to be a parent, have the right kind of income. Think about it. How does it make logical sense to go through a lengthy process to buy a home to make sure you can afford it, but you can just have kids no worries? Anyway, I digress. All of these measures and prerequisites need to be free for all to attend. Otherwise, what’s the point? Actually, why stop there. Re-write the whole school curriculum so that children have a better understanding of parenthood and how to raise a child. Actually get a handbook together and teach it to kids so they’re not so unprepared. Change the way our government supports parents and children so they’re better equipped and resourced to raise our future so humanity doesn’t go to shit. Just a thought.
How might Eastern psychotherapists handle the issue of diagnosing psychological problems differently from their Western counterparts? What are some potential advantages/disadvantages of each approach to diagnosis?
Western psychology looks at changed states of consciousness as an affliction that needs to be fixed. This avenue of psychology lives in a constant state of reactiveness. People seek help due to a perceived fault in themselves. For example, the idea that hallucinations are “wrong” is only because of a social construct that was created in our Western environment. It seems that a lot of what is right and wrong is not bred of moral ideologies, but of what is currently socially acceptable. Much like fashion, personality traits of the time seem to be #ontrend with any outliers being a serious faux pas.
The Eastern views of the consciousness focus on acceptance and learning to channel that reality effectively for the individual. Here, it is commonly acceptable to practice meditation, or yoga for the individuals own enlightenment and better state of being, throughout their whole life, seeking to alter the state of consciousness. This is a lifestyle, this is proactively seeking a healthier state of body and mind.
In regards to what is better or worse is really dependant on the point of view of the person considering that opinion. On one hand, ignorance is bliss. How do you know if there are different levels of consciousness and being if you don’t know about it? If you consider yourself happy in your day to day life, why seek to change it without a reason? On the other hand, seeking enlightenment is the only way to live. Is there a disadvantage to either the Easter or Western method of diagnosis? It depends on who you ask, and what you want the answer to be.
The eternal paradox of life and death tightens its grip on us, whilst at the same time being challenged by modern science. Centuries before our time, the cycle of life and death was readily accepted. The afterlife was worshipped to be everlasting, with many cultures investing a lot of their time and energy into ensuring a good afterlife (see, Egyptians, Myans, Vikings etc). Life was cyclical. It came and went as the seasons changed.
A fantastic marketing ploy in only the past 100 years has made time liner and fashioned it into a commodity to be earned and spent. A line stretching straight on into the void. This shift in scope has changed our current view of the passage of time. Instead of accepting death as a part of life, science and engineering has aspired to extend our normal cycles to be everlasting. The search for eternal life continues in earnest. Science fiction movies envision suspended hibernation, beings who live beyond our normal human stretch of years. New aged health care, medicines, lifestyles are marketed with the possibility of extending your life, at a price. We can exchange one currency for another. Money for time.
The dramatic events of recent history, Chernobyl, 9/11, the Boxing Day Tsunami, have made us even more keenly aware of how fragile life is, whilst at the same time still thinking “it won’t happen to me”. Many of us live in the ignorant bliss of our own mortality, whilst quickly passing judgement on others. It’s easier to not think about death. But right there, in really knowing you don’t get to live forever, that you only have this one shot, can we really transcend, can we really appreciate the gift of today and live the best of it. In the immortal words of Eminem, “if you only had one shot, would you take it?” Sure, your new behaviour might be seen as erratic, neurotic even, but only to the people who aren’t on your level.
Refusing to live in constraints given to you by society might be seen as crazy. It might seem enlightened. It might be the encouragement someone else needs to break free of their chains and truly live their best life today. Because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Here is a picture of my cat, Cora, who is free from the ravages of self-awareness and other crippling paradoxes. I think.
Live in fear of the end of your life, and find freedom in that.
I can’t pin down exactly what makes it good, it’s just a feeling. My soul feels lighter.
I took off my pyjamas, I put on a dress I’ve never worn. I felt the sunlight through the window. I went outside again. The cold air has given way to warmth today.
I talked about what inspired me, what I’m working on, what my goals are. In talking about them, I realised they are real and achievable. I forgot that. I got lost in the darkness that suddenly descended. I was overcome with fear of the future. But like a great fog, this too will lift.
These days have given me space to breath in a world where time is a commodity. It’s nice to let that go for a change.
I will not fear tomorrow, it hasn’t happened yet. I will make the best of today.
I find myself sitting on the couch after a long week of sitting on the couch. Yesterday I went for an interview, and I received the follow up call this morning. “We thank you for the time you’ve taken to come and meet with us, unfortunately on this occasion we won’t be proceeding to the next stage.” I can feel the tears welling behind my eyes. I can feel my throat tighten. Now as I sit here on the couch scrolling through Seek.com.au and any other job opportunities I’ve been referred, with The Lord Of The Rings playing in the background, I feel my heart aching for home again.
On Monday it was my Grandad’s 80th birthday. Much like Bilbo Baggins was saying, we have a love of peace and quiet, and good tilled earth, a love of things that grow (I dunno, maybe we are Hobbits). When I’m feeling worn down, out of spoons, and out of luck, home is the place that fills me up again. I flew down on Friday night and back again on Sunday afternoon. How I wish I had known before the flights were booked, I would have spent the whole week there.
My brother called my on Friday afternoon, and said to get dressed ready to go out when I got there. My friend and roommate Steph had caught an earlier flight and was waiting for me to arrive. So I change out of my jeans and sweatshirt into something less “aeroplane attire” and more “party all night”. The rest of the passengers were all a little taken aback I can imagine. But, I’ve always said, better to be overdressed for any occasion. #OwnIt. “The eagle has landed,” a quick text to my brother and he was waiting to pick me up. So, out in town we go. I lived here for a few years before moving away. I remember why I left..
Early on Saturday morning I am up and ready to go. The drive back home is an hour down the highway, lined with bushland and canefarms. Everything is saturated green and blue. They’re the most vivid colours I’ve seen all year. I think to myself “this is the road home, every time, for my whole life, this is the road home.” This is the bridge I will cross every time. There is no way around it. This in the only crossing on this river unless you drive 6 hours inland to detour. This bridge means I’m 5 minutes from home. You can see my Grandad’s farm on the from the other side.
Turning into our driveway is one of the best feelings in the world. Walking across the yard, through the gate and into the house – retracing my own steps from a thousand times before. Grandad is already here with my older brother. Mum welcomes me at the door. Dad isn’t far off. We are all sitting out under the back roof, overlooking the backyard, the chicken pen beyond the fence, the canfields past that, and up into the blue horizon. Steph is already allergic to the place, covered in bites and rashes and dog scratches. You can take a girl out of the city..
There’s a 1945 resorted Jeep Willy in the shed that I’ve been telling Steph about. I’m pretty sure actually this is her main motivation for coming here in the first place. So we take it out for a ride around the farm. Crikey. The breaks aren’t good, and power steering didn’t exist in the 40’s. It’s a tough drive. We may have got it bogged in some mud on the headlands too, but the important thing is, we got it out. 3 dogs, 2 girls, 1 jeep. We did alright. We made it back to the farm with time to wash the mud off our legs and get ready for the night.
Soon the family starts arriving, coming in twos and threes, until I am encompassed by a feeling of love like a warm blanket in the cold night. Grandad is wandering around his party taking photos with his phone, I can already tell every single one of them will have his blurred finger shadow in the corner. Bless. He is capturing his legacy – a happy family. I wish I could say we are all here, but we’re not. There are 2 cousins missing. Sisters. They didn’t make the trip. I guess they are too young or too stubborn to appreciate the significance of tonight. I can see it in his eyes, if only they would have been here, they would have been forgiven. Love is all my grandad has to give, there is no capacity for malice in his kind heart.
It’s time for the speeches. My Dad gets up to say some kind words, my Aunty also does as well, the only daughter. My younger brother has nice things to say. Our youngest cousin says she loves her family. They all look to me. I’m drunk on Pimms and high on dopamine. I stand next to him in front of our whole family. I tell him that I love him, and between him and dad, you’ve shown me the measure of a good man. I don’t know if it was enough, but it was the truth. After the cake was eaten and the dessert was cleaned up, the celebrations for the night are over, but not the fun. Steph is sitting in her chair curled up on her knees, “Why don’t you go to bed if you’re tired honey? It’s been a big day,” my mother says. I know why she’s still here. We’ll be damned if we let any 80 year old party goers outlast us.
The next morning is something special. The family comes around for leftovers lunch today, and it’s much more relaxed. I soak in this time just listening and being near them. One uncle has flown in from Perth with his daughter, another from Brisbane with her husband and daughters. Even the ones that live just down the road from our farm, I hardly see them too. I look around and count the many ways I am happy to be here. But it’s over too soon. Steph and I have a plane to catch so we have to pack and leave much too prematurely. Saying goodbye is always the hard part. “When will you be back?” “You can always come and visit us in Perth” “Be sure to drop by whenever you like” “I look forward to seeing you here again”. Then all too soon, we are back in our apartment with our bags dropped on the floor thinking how quickly that weekend went.