It Is Ok

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I noticed since my break up, that I have been extremely optimistic and gotten over things pretty fast.

I put this down to years of beating myself up, putting myself down and then realising that I could only love someone as much as I could and not expect anything in return if I didn’t want to get hurt anymore.

Yes, I cried – I was so angry the night it happened, on my way to pickup my large supreme pizza, I screamed at the top of my lungs to the universe and the seemingly shit bad luck I’ve had recently, then ¬†bashed my steering wheel as hard as I could.

I asked, “Why me? Why can’t someone just love me?”

What did it achieve?

Nothing.

I picked myself up and moved on. I got back into my fitness regime, ¬†sprinted while listening to Katy Perry and Kanye West on repeat (don’t judge) and I fucking smiled! I smiled because I am allowed to be happy and¬†I know I deserve to be happy instead of being an emotional wreck.

I’ve learnt to love myself and to thrive when being single to the point that I actually get excited at the prospect of being able to watch whatever I want, cry at the corniest movies, drink red wine in my undies, while eating chinese on a Friday night, fart as loudly as I want, and not have to worry about preening myself or my nether regions for someone else’s enjoyment.

Being single is such a great time, if you let it be. However, a few of my friends have been waiting for a phone call. ¬†Waiting for me to break down, anxiously hoping my dad doesn’t call them from the hospital. ¬†My dad, my workmates and my friends have been prying me to break lose and to break down.

And I Haven’t.

The extent of my spiral was a drunken night the night after it happened, and I was upset more for the fact that I got kicked out of a club for being too drunk and ruining a perfectly good girls night, than I was that I had lost love.

While I might be doing extremely well, given the circumstances, I think society expects us to break down and fall apart. ¬†I had a workmate who basically was begging me to fall apart, she kept prying and asking questions and saying ‘You can cry – it’s ok’. ¬†I didn’t want to cry and I didn’t want to talk about it.

What I have learnt is that … it is ok.

It is ok to be honest and to feel raw emotion and to crave some kind of affection. It is ok to fall apart, to lose yourself in tears and sadness. ¬†It is ok to need a day off work and to get so drunk that you call and text your ex a million times. ¬†It’s ok to get nervous at the thought of the amount of weddings and engagement parties you have to attend SOLO. ¬†It is ok to want to throw your frozen coke on the teenage couple in front of you who won’t shut up because they need to tell each other one more time how in love they are. ¬†It is ok to want to punch your TV when¬†Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson fall in love in ten days when you’ve worked your arse off for months to end up getting nothing more than a ‘you’re a good person’.

All of these feelings, emotions and actions are OK – you’re not less of a person for feeling them.

Nor are you weak.

But the thing is, it is also ok to move on.

I’ve spent days and weeks crying about exes and dreaming that we were together again. ¬†I would go to sleep at night telling myself they loved me and they would wake up one day and run back to me and tell me how amazing I am and how stupid they were.¬†I went through phases where I honestly thought I was sleeping next to an ex still and woke up in tears when I realised they weren’t there and they never would be again.

What did this achieve?

Nothing.

When it is time to move on, allow yourself to move on. ¬†Don’t entertain these negative thoughts that will get you nowhere. ¬†You don’t need to be your own worst enemy – you should always be your own best friend.

You should always love yourself enough to know that as bad as your heart may break, you will always survive and that everything will be ok.

I have learnt, over the years, that I fall in love easily and deeply. I also learnt to never place any expectations on your love. Love is not supposed to be greedy.

Love is supposed to be freely given, without expectation, without compromise and without pressure. ¬†You can only love someone as much as you can and hope that they love themselves enough to appreciate that. ¬†When they do, you’ll usually find, the strength of your love is returned.

If they don’t, all you can do is embrace the fact that you were lucky enough to have loved – and to experience that emotion.

Many people go their whole lives without falling in love or ever appreciating another person purely.

If you can, if you do without expectation, then you are on your way to living a bullet proof existence.

You’ll never doubt your heart or regret your decision to love ever again.

You will simply smile at the fact that you were presented a person who needed love more than you did and in one way or another, you made their life much better.  And you will know, that because you love yourself and value yourself so much Рit will be ok.

Expectations Will Kill You

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When I was much younger I would look at the future and place great expectations on myself.  I thought that by the age of 25 I would be married and on the way to having kids.

I just turned 24 and as each day goes by I realise more and more of how much of a silly expectation that was.

A couple of years ago, I had a massive break down with one of my exes because I told him I didn’t feel like he was putting enough effort in. ¬†That there was a lack of ‘romance’ and that this was his fault. ¬†At the time, he listened and then promptly left – leaving me shaking in shock, physically ill and in deep regret of what I had said. ¬† Part of me realised that this was my fault, moreso than his.¬† Within a few days, we had sorted through my insecurities and the relationship lasted for another 2 or so years until it reached it’s natural expiry date when we realised we didn’t have the strength as a couple to move on to the next phase of our relationship.

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When it comes to relationships and life in general, we are all swayed by media, comparisons to other people and Hollywood ideals that set unrealistic expectations.¬†I thought it was only women, but I’m beginning to realise more and more that males are also very much influenced by these outside forces as much as women in some circumstances.

Hollywood and global corporations have manufactured a lot of expectations, particularly in regards to our physical appearance and relationships, to make a few bucks here and there and thrive off our willingness to devour whatever they deliver.

 

Think of engagements, traditionally a diamond wasn’t the ‘rock’ of choice that men bought their fianc√©es. ¬†Engagement or betrothal dowries stem far back in time, and varied from livestock to pieces of clothing as well as jewellery. ¬†It wasn’t until the 1930s that De Beers used ‘diamond rings’ as the be all and end all when proposing to your future wife. ¬†A very effective advertising campaign and a strong focus in Hollywood movies has led to diamonds being the accepted minimum standard in todays society for proposals.

It seems there is more value placed on the size of the diamond and how pretty the ring is rather than the fact that two people have agreed to make a lifelong commitment together… which to me, holds just a tad more value.

Don’t even get me started on weddings! Couples these days are spending $30k on average on ‘one day’ of their lives before they even have a house deposit saved, because Hollywood and society have manufactured this extroadinarily expensive belief that this ‘one day’ is the most important day of your life and therefore it is ok to spend what could be money on a solid investment, on decorations and making guests ‘jealous’ of what you have conjured up.

I have always preferred the idea of eloping to be honest.

When it comes to relationships, it’s just perfectly normal to place expectations on what you hope to achieve out of it, but sometimes these expectations are completely unhealthy and will leave you more miserable than happy on a constant basis.

Hollywood also tells us there is meant to be ‘a spark’ or that we’re meant to ‘just know when you find the one’. ¬†I’m sorry but I really don’t buy into that bullshit. ¬†The amount of movies where men just fall in love with the woman within a week or two and are ready to have babies is so far from the truth. ¬† Or scenes where men are walking down the street, spot ‘the one’ and it’s true love from that point onwards.

Yes, sometimes this does happen in real life – but these days people on average are dating a lot longer than historically before they even make that decision.¬† The average time from dating to engagement used to be six to fourteen months; these days the average is 2.8 years.¬†¬† It’s not like these men just wake up one day and say, ‘hey she’s the one’… It is based on a relationship full of hard work and love, a mutual respect for each other and knowing that the other person’s happiness is just as important if not more important and tied directly to your own happiness. ¬†However, Hollywood would have us believe that their is no value in a long term ‘relationship’ unless you are married or engaged and even then, the longer you take before getting engaged or before getting married, is obviously BAD for the relationship and a sign of weakness in the relationship.

Hollywood would have us believe that unless there is a ‘spark’ there is no¬† value in the relationship – that it is destined to end badly. There are too many expectations placed on ‘sparks’ or ‘sudden realisations’ rather then the feeling of joy and happiness someone gives you, the strength of your friendship, ¬†the passion in the bedroom, the physical attraction, the willingness of two people to work through difficult tasks, ¬†the respect and love your family and friends have for them, ¬†the laughter you share and the moments that make lifelong memories. ¬†I will always place more value on these important aspects of a relationship than I will on some Hollywood notion that I’m meant to feel ‘a spark’.

Sure when I was a teenager this ‘spark’ was something I believed in, but as I got older and experienced my fair share of heartbreak, I started to realise what I valued more and what actually made a strong relationship work.¬† A spark was important in the start, but beyond the first couple of dates there are far more important values that you need to look for.¬† A spark isn’t going to get you through the years, but deep commitment, mutual respect and friendship will.

When looking for a partner, you’re looking for much more than a notion that ‘they may be the one’ because to be honest, there may be more than just ‘one’ out there for you. ¬†It’s a stupid notion to think that there is only one person in the whole world that is made for you – that would be such a tiring task to find them and one that majority of the population would not be able to complete before they died.¬† Oh, and if Hollywood has taught us anything, it is that everyone falls in love in New York, even though just under 50% of men and women in New York have NEVER been married.

If you base your expectations on what you THINK a relationship, career or your position in life is MEANT to be rather than what  you want it to be, then you are always going to get a gut wrenching feeling of guilt and confusion because what you have, even if it may be great, will never be good enough in comparison to what you think you should have/what society/hollywood tells you, you should have.

Did anyone ever maybe think that divorce statistics are so damn high because we have relied on media for so long to dictate our relationships rather than making our own minds up? Relationships of our grandparents lasted much longer, and I can’t help but feel it is because they didn’t grow up with TV or movies on hand, telling them day in and day out what a successful relationship had to look like. ¬†They made their own minds up.

Trust me, the amount of times I’ve ended relationships or fought with exes because they weren’t putting ‘effort’ in was ridiculous. ¬†My notion of ‘effort’ was romantic dinners every Friday night, random presents during the week, and the most mind blowing sex on a daily basis. ¬†Instead of appreciating what effort the individual put in, in their own way, I was basing my expectation of ‘effort’ on what Hollywood had fed me since I can remember.

I still regret every fight I have had over this notion, and I wish I knew this much earlier because the amount of stress I put on past relationships when they didn’t live up to my Hollywood-ised expectations, was ridiculous. ¬†I have hurt alot of really decent guys based on this.

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Instead, these days I have just learnt to take everyday one step at a time – allow yourself to just enjoy whatever goodness is being made available to you. ¬†You deserve to be happy and deserve to have fun. ¬†You don’t deserve to miss out on amazing opportunities because of some bullshit expectation you have been brainwashed to believe is a societal norm.

 

If you are happy in a relationship… then allow yourself to be happy.

Hey Baby, I Think I Wanna Marry You…

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woah, calm your tits – no I’m ¬†not talking about you or anyone reading this

I’m sure you’re a lovely person, but it’s just not on my cards RIGHT now…

 

Seriously, I cringe EVERY single time I hear that song.  I never know if Bruno Mars was just taking the piss out of Britney Spears and other drunk Vegas weddings, or if he genuinely thinks the sanctity of marriage is that worthless that you can marry anyone you want, while drunk, just for fun, and if you regret it in the morning, can just get divorced..

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When I was a child, I remember thinking how amazing it would be to find ‘the one’ and get married for eternity and just be in love all day everyday…

Growing up, after watching my dads several failed relationships and marriages, I started to resent the thought of marriage and vowed I would NEVER get married myself because it was just a waste of time and money.

Then at the sweet old age of 14 and 9 months I got swept off my feet and spent the next three years with someone who I thought I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with… three weeks of living together and we were ready to kill each other…

Most recently, my ex and I were thinking about going down that path.. and by thinking I mean there was a lot of pressure on us from family and friends because we had known each other for years, seemed happy enough and the fact that we tried to do the whole long distance thing would mean that we should at least just get engaged to prove that we were going to be faithful to each other. ¬†Hell I remember one night when I went down to Brisbane to visit him, I was crying and begging him to just hurry up and propose because I wasn’t going to sit around and wait forever in Mackay for him to make his mind up…

Yeah… like I said, he is my ‘ex’… and ‘example’ of who I definitely should not marry…

Being an adult, watching people around me get engaged and married all the time, has completely changed my perspective of marriage alllll together. ¬†The truth is, you can marry whoever the fuck you want.. but what makes them ‘the right’ person, is the question.

 

I’m not an expert in the matter, but I like to think that due to the ten million weddings and engagement parties that I have to attend this year, my own failed ‘pre-engagements’ and wedding plans, and just general relationship mistakes have made it pretty clear to me who you should marry or at least some key points to consider before walking down the aisle…

 

1.  You Should Be On The Same Page

Find the closest book, turn to page 45 and if your names are not on the same page then your relationship is doomed…

In all seriousness though, you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re forever explaining yourself because the other person doesn’t ‘get’ you or understand where you are coming from. ¬†You should be able to understand what they mean when they say something that has everyone else scratching their heads or saying¬†‘WTF’. ¬† ¬†Sometimes you sit there and cringe after what you said, because you know you’re going to have to explain yourself to everyone else, but your partner just laughs because they get you and know you just said the stupidest fucking thing.

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You should have the same future wants and needs to an extent because you shouldn’t really be marrying someone who wants to have kids in the next 6 months if you NEVER want to have kids. ¬†If you hate smoking and smokers, and they refuse to give up smoking, you should probably have a pretty big chat about that one too… Or if they like doing recreational drugs on the weekend and you’ve never touched drugs in your life and are pretty against them – consider that maybe JUST maybe, you should not be marrying this person. ¬†If they are talking about retiring at the age of 30 and you’re the most motivated person in the world and love working and would happily work until you’re a billionaire, then they probably are not the person you should consider spending the rest of your life with.

If you’re not on the same page BEFORE you’re married, then it’s only going to get worse after you get married. ¬†This will be pretty obvious planning the wedding though (I would imagine) as this task in itself requires a lot of team work and shared decision making. ¬†If you can’t even agree the specifics on the wedding, then how are you going to agree on any other specifics afterwards?

Remember, this is the person who you will be (or should be) ¬†making joint decisions with for the rest of your life, so you need to make sure before the hard decisions have to be made, that you’re on the same page. ¬†Or you could end up like my old school friend, divorced within 6 months of the wedding because he wanted to stay in his home town and have babies and she just didn’t really know what she wanted and felt like she was too young to ‘settle down’…

 

2.  Have They Got Their Shit Sorted?

In the words of TLC … “a scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly, he’s also known as a buster… always talkin bout what he wants and just sits on his broke ass… ”

Getting married should be an ‘adult’ decision and is like making an investment. ¬†You might buy a house that you plan to renovate, but you shouldn’t marry a person who you need to strip down and rebuild. ¬† If they are still struggling to manage their finances, health, well being, relationships, job and life then they probably don’t have their shit sorted.

This is a bit of a controversial topic though, because I don’t think you’re ever going to find anyone who has everything sorted out and things change and shit happens. ¬†Look at me, I lost my job just before I met my current partner and I would never think he would take me on board while I felt so disorganised and messed up. ¬†Because of me not having a job for a few months, I now have a lot of overdue bills and expenses that I have to work towards paying back. ¬†However, upon reflection this was not something I had a lot of control over and I was working my arse off trying to find a job and minimising all my costs and expenses while I was unemployed.

You have to figure out whether their life situation or their situation they are in right now, is one they will continue being in or if it’s one they have self ¬†built and don’t want to get out of. ¬†My ex and were a perfect example of this, he was quite happy being ‘unemployed’ and watching movies/playing PC games in his undies in bed all day while I worked… likewise, I was quite happy living pay cheque to pay cheque because even though I was working a very well paying job and had no assets to show for it, I couldn’t resist buying a new outfit or pair of shoes every week…

Both of us were prime examples of people who didn’t have their shit sorted, and were quite happy with it being that way.

 

3. They Should Understand Respect

This is a massive one for me. ¬†A girlfriend once told me, ‘If he speaks badly of his ex then he will speak badly of you’. ¬†It is so true. ¬†While I don’t always speak very highly of my exes, I value each one of them for what they taught me and for the times that were good. ¬†You should rarely¬†look back on a past relationship and speak horribly of an ex day in and day out and particularly with your partner. ¬† The truth is, at one point, you were happy with that person and there was a reason you were dating them.

It is natural to go through a phase where you constantly want to tell the world how much of a shit head they are and how heart broken they left you, but you should reach a point where you just learn to accept and appreciate it for what it was. ¬†That being said, there are still some real assholes in the world that can’t be avoided.

If they talk about their family, their friends and their exes with respect, than they’re probably only saying respectful things about you. ¬†If they take every chance they can to bag out their friends behind their back – you need to question what the hell they say about you. ¬†Likewise, if you hear them talking in depth about this one time they did this to this girl and how funny it was, it’s probably time to put on the invisible cloak and run away as fast as you can.

There is a difference between criticising someone and being disrespectful… Make sure you understand when someone is just speaking their mind because they are frustrated or they disagree with the choices of someone and when they are downright being nasty, cruel and like a school yard bully.

 

4. ¬†You Shouldn’t Feel Pressured/In A Rush

There are two sides to this, but anyone in my opinion who gets married VERY quickly is either insecure about the strength of their relationship or opinions of others or hasn’t really thought it through.

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Think of my example before, I was crying and begging my ex to just hurry up and propose so I could prove that what we had was worth fighting and waiting for.

BIIIIGGG Indicator we weren’t meant to get married and I was literally just trying to mask the insecurities I had, because I knew waiting for him and making long distance work was basically pointless because something told me it wasn’t right.

You shouldn’t be marrying someone because all you’re friends are doing it, or because you’re getting ‘old’ and need to get married now because you could end up single for the rest of your life, or because the other person is threatening to leave you if you don’t.

Marriage and engagement should be some of the happiest times of your life. ¬†Not the times where you feel as though you’re walking on egg shells, about to make a huge mistake or are continuously questioning yourself and your decision.

One of my best friends has been engaged for close to two years now, and while I think they rushed in getting engaged (it was on their one year anniversary) they have spent the past two years happily engaged and just living life out together. ¬†Just because you’re engaged does not mean you need to make wedding plans ASAP. ¬†Engagement is your time to work through your future plans together as a couple and make sure that you are in fact making the right decision.

My cousin was engaged to her partner of several years, and a few months before their wedding they broke up.  Both of them are happily in other relationships now and there is no animosity.  This is due to the fact that they spent that time talking and discussing future plans about life after marriage, and came to the realisation that who they were now, and what they wanted in the future were completely different to who they were when they started dating.

The truth is, people change. ¬†Particularly when you’re young. ¬†It’s not a bad reflection on yourself or the person you’re dating or engaged to if you are no longer in tune with each other. ¬†It just means that you’re not meant to spend the rest of your life together. ¬†Our wants and needs change a lot in our teens and early twenties, and sometimes who we began dating is very different to the person we break up with.

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5.¬†¬†They Aren’t Afraid to Have Adult Conversations

If the person you are with can’t commit to having a conversation about weddings, babies and marriage then they are probably never going to be ready to have that conversation with you.

That doesn’t mean that you should start talking about it in the first week of dating or that you should be sitting there waiting for the right time to bring it up. ¬†You don’t want to scare the poor guy/girl away in the first couple of weeks of dating them by sounding like you’ve already planned out your whole lives together. ¬†I.e ‘I can’t believe they’re having 300 people at their wedding,¬†we’re¬†not going to…’

What I mean, is if people around you are having babies, getting married etc. ¬†you should naturally be able to discuss this with the other person in a non-committal sense. ¬†Figure out what their thoughts are on those around you who are getting married or having children – or if you’re watching a movie or TV show, just bring it up in conversation. ¬†This is all about being on the same page as each other – if you are talking about your best friends child who eats all the chocolate in the world and doesn’t exercise and lives on their Xbox ¬†and how much this disgusts you, and your partners sees nothing wrong with it – you’re definitely going to have issues later down the track.

If someone is grown up enough and ready to find that person, then they won’t mind talking about these things from time to time. ¬†They won’t mind expressing their opinion because chances are they’re sussing you out and what you would be like as a mother/wife before they make a massive mistake. ¬† If they are afraid to talk about these things or constantly shy away from the conversation, then they probably are just thinking this is a high school relationship and the future is not really important to them (or atleast their future with you isn’t important).

6.  You Are HAPPY and Are In Love

I cannot stress this enough! ¬†If you are not happy with the person you are engaged to or married to, then get the fuck out of there! ¬†It’s not always going to be sunshine and butterflies, but it should be at least 70% of the time. ¬†The amount of people I see getting engaged because they have been together forever and just think it’s the right thing to do, but are actually quite miserable is unbelievably high. ¬†Sure behind closed doors they might have the best sex and laugh all the time, but usually other people around you will know if you’re in a happy relationship.

Your parents will be happy when you’re partner is around because they know how happy they make you.

Your friends will smile when you bring them up in conversation because they know you’re in love.

Your heart should flutter when you see them every now and then because you realise how lucky you are and how amazing this person is.

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If you’re not happy while you’re engaged – then don’t solidify you’re wedding plans… work through it and see if you can make the relationship get back to that point where you were happiest and got butterflies and SMILED. ¬†If you can’t, then don’t be afraid to end it. ¬†Relationships do reach expiry dates. ¬†Don’t keep at something that is making you or the other person miserable – you’re much better off being single and enjoying life and one day, the right person might come along.

On my birthday weekend, we were sharing an apartment with one of my beautiful friends and her fiancee. ¬†I couldn’t help but smile like a little child when I woke up early and walked out to the lounge room and heard them giggling constantly in bed together. ¬†They have been together for 8 years or so and have definitely have had their fair share of ups and downs and criticism. ¬†But they are in love and they are happy. ¬†His words later that day were, “Fuck if I wasn’t attracted to her still she’d be long gone… sorry baby, but it’s the truth”. ¬†That is how it should be.

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Above all else, the one thing that has spoken the most to me about marriage and love is ‘Don’t marry someone you wouldn’t want your child to marry’. ¬†We often think of our future children and place more value on them then ourselves. ¬†So if you can’t see the person you’re marrying being a good role model or good mother/father, that’s a big sign that they are not the person you should be marrying, but beyond that – if you wouldn’t want your child to marry them – then don’t marry them yourself.

 

While this list isn’t exhaustive, these are some of the things that I value and that upon talking to several other people, are pretty darn important when making that big decision. ¬†The sad truth is, divorce rates are ridiculously high so most peoples weddings you attend will end up in a broken marriage. ¬†But if you yourself don’t want to make that mistake, heed the wisdom of those around you and most of all TRUST YOUR INSTINCT. ¬†We all know that we have those weird little gut feelings that churn when we’re in a situation we’re not comfortable with – so if you have that, sort it out and be honest with yourself. ¬†Because there is nothing worse than letting yourself down – than knowing that you KNEW something was wrong but you refused to acknowledge it.

 

Marriage is an investment and like any investment has risk. ¬†But you can curtail this risk by being honest with yourself and what your expectations are. ¬†Don’t get married just to become a divorce statistic.

 

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What’s it worth

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After all the time
And all the money I spend on other people
To make them realise how special they are
How much I adore them
And how much it means for mean to see them smile

I wonder what it’s all for

I don’t ever do it asking for anything in return

But I just wonder when that person will come along that will do anything they can to see me smile

To make me laugh

And to make me eternally grateful for the effort they put in