I am me.  And she is alright. 

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When I was in my first two or three years of high school, I used to come home from school, crying, hating my pizza pimple face and orange mop hair. My dad, not used to dealing with teenage girl drama, was at a loss as to how to comfort me.
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He told me while I may not be beautiful, it really didn’t matter. The difference between me and the popular girls, wasn’t the designer shoes or backpacks. It wasn’t the fact they had grown up with the same friends for the past 13 years, or that they had better skin and nicer hair.

The difference was confidence.
They were confident in themselves and that was really what I was jealous of.

While I spent all this time trying to be a replica of these popular girls, forcing my dad to spend the last few dollars he had on the coolest school shoes and Dolly magazine to fit in, I was failing to create happiness.  In fact, I have very few memories of my first years in high school because I spent most of my time trying to be “good enough”, trying to be cooler, trying to fit in instead of focussing on what I did have, who I had in my life and making some incredible memories there and then.

In the end of Grade 10 or so I found my confidence and all of a sudden my world changed. I loved every moment of my last two years of school and spent little time comparing myself to others, received the second highest score in the school and left with some amazing memories and great friends.  In fact, one of the popular girls who I previously envied, asked me to write a statement for her School Captain nomination, to support her.  I left feeling on top of the world and as confident as ever.

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The end.

I wish. See while 13 year old me was busy comparing herself to those around her, those who seemed happier and seemed to have it together, she failed to realise it was her comparisons and assumptions alone that were making her life hell. 

You would think that once you learn a big life lesson, such as happiness comes from confidence in oneself, that it automatically sticks for the rest of your life. But unfortunately it doesn’t – or atleast not easily or automatically.

When we become adults, it’s a whole new terrain – and this changes depending on where you live, who you hang out with and who you look up to.

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18 Years Old

18 year old me wanted to be the illusive, misunderstood and complex emo girl. I died my hair black, got a fringe, wore blue contacts and hung out at underground screamo bars, pretending to like the scene.  I never felt like I fit in, but my housemates were into it and for fear of being left out – I tried my best to play the part.  I even created a fake ID, got busted, lied to my dad about it when I was almost summoned to court – and learnt the hard way that sometimes fitting in at whatever cost, is not worth it.  I soon moved out of the house and made different friends.

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My 21st – The Tan, The Hair..

Fast forward to 21 year old me. I had to be the party girl with a high paying job with an endless supply of fun, alcohol and men. I worked full time while most of my friends were still at uni, I studied law part time and spent any free time I had partying, chauffering friends around or falling in and out of love with boys and men who treated me poorly, trying to figure out why no one loved me.

I am 26 years old (going on 27 – ancient I know) and now I feel so in need of having my “shit sorted”. I need to have a stable career, a family, fiancée or husband, the best degree and endless energy to do yoga at 6am and drink champagne by 6pm.

 

Guess what? It’s fucking exhausting. The reality is, no one is putting the pressure on ourselves to be better than we are, more so than ourselves.

Image result for nothing screws us up more like the opinion of whoThe idea of who we are meant to be by a certain age, or what we are meant to have, what car we should drive, what size we should be, how many social media followers we should have, what length our hair should be, our marital or womb status… These are not things that justify our worth. They do not make us more or less worthy of self love or self appreciation.

While these ideals can assist us in driving us towards perhaps who we would like to be or what we would like to achieve, it doesn’t matter that we are not there yet or not the perfect person.  So much energy is spent on comparing ourselves or degrading ourselves, that we forget to celebrate the achievements and live in the here and now.  To appreciate what we have exactly as it is.

I just read Jesinta Campbells new book, and something that stood out to me is the mind frame for exercise.  The majority of people focus on the ‘end result’.  They focus on the weight loss, that they fail to focus on how exercising makes them feel – the endorphins released and the freedom and happiness it brings.  This is why so many people fail to keep the weight off because they think once they reach the destination, that’s it – rather than focussing on the journey and acknowledging what they feel or experience in the time being.

So instead of constantly feeling as though I need to be better – get better grades, get engaged, get a house, get a 6 digit salary, visit Paris and The Maldives while becoming a size 6 and driving a Mercedes…. I am going to say fuck it.

I need to take a step back, enjoy the journey and embrace the here and now.
I am confident in myself.
I am good enough for me right now.

My worth is not defined by what I have… It is defined by my heart, my intentions, my moral and my soul.

Starting today, it is time I learnt to get my confidence back.

To smile again and to enjoy life just as it is; all expectations aside.
I am me.  And that is all I need to be right now.
I am me.  And she is alright.

Lessons in Friendships

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Recently, I was really hurt by the actions of a few people who I had considered friends, even good friends at one point in my life.
These are people who I constantly stood up for when others were putting down, constantly praised and let them know I cared about them and even let them stay in my place when they were traveling.

Their actions to talk about me behind my back profusely putting me down and then simply ‘delete’ me out of their lives, hurt immensely.

I wasn’t even given an explanation or a chance to understand the reasoning, which was the worst part – because obviously whatever had been said behind my back had been enough to make these people decide I was no longer worthy of their friendship.

This took a massive toll on my happiness and my life the weeks preceding.

It made me wonder how people can be so callous and just rid people of their lives when they no longer serve a purpose. More so, how a group of adults can ‘gang up’ on one person and leave them out and gossip about them in what resembles a high school ‘clique’.

My partner and several of my friends kept telling me that it is not worth the stress, that if they were decent enough people they would have given me an ‘explanation’ or at least had the decency to raise the issue instead of simply outing me without a word.

The little optimist in me is trying to figure out what I can learn from this experience, and I think I may have found out what it is.

Like any negative experience in life, it has changed my perspective and if anything, made my heart a bit stronger and my head a bit harder.

There are lessons that I have learnt that from here on in, will hopefully ensure that I am not hurt the way I have been recently, because I am better than that.

(1) Accept That People Change and Not Always For The Better
As we get older and different life events occur, our tastes and likes change.  This is also shaped by our career choices/jobs, hobbies and relationships.  Just think, who you chose as friends when you were maybe 5 or 6 would have been for completely different reasons than who you choose today. Sometimes we just have to move on and accept that a person we once loved and cared for dearly is just not the same person we see today – don’t try to hold on to someone who no longer exists; it will only cause pain.

Some relationships do have expiry dates, and you really need to just accept that sometimes that is the case.  Do the right thing first though and give that person the benefit of the doubt and raise the concerns you have with them – then make your decision from there.

But be honest and true to yourself – if that person is not someone you want in your life, let them go… don’t ignore the warning signs that this friendship is over.

(2) Ignorance is Not Bliss
If friends or loved ones start doing things that you personally don’t agree with or understand, and it’s not just a once off, maybe it’s time to consider if this friendship is all it’s fired up to be and if you really want that person in your life.

Don’t ignore warning signs – if you wouldn’t accept your brother or sister doing these things, or even your partner, than why should you accept a friend doing them?

A big thing I am aware of is how someone talks about other people behind their backs and how honest they are.  If someone constantly talks about other people behind their backs to you in demeaning and derogatory terms, there is a very good chance they’ll do the same to you as soon as possible.  If they do not understand the importance of honesty and respect to someone they consider a ‘friend’ then why should they treat you any different?

Don’t play ignorant to who someone really is – if they are sweet to others faces then malicious behind their backs, don’t let their sweetness to your face fool you.  Be very careful what you trust this person with and how much of yourself you give them – as they will probably only take it for granted.

(3) Learn Who Is Who – Soul Mate, Good Friend and Acquaintance
A big issue I always face is that I become blindsided to the things people do that I don’t agree with or don’t necessarily like.  I make excuses for people I like and I don’t re-asses that persons role in my life until they really cause me to – or they ‘break up’ with me first.  It hurts, because most people will rid others quite quickly and easily (as I’ve just been proven) and won’t even give a second thought to it.

For years I was defending this girl who I considered a good friend when really she was nothing more than an acquaintance. In the end I gave this girl too much power to hurt me, and that is what she did very well.

When I look back on it now – particularly now that this girl has shown her ‘true colours’ to me, I really had no reason to defend this girl or even consider her a friend.2b382e99ce017747e20febf6953f39d1

When I think about it, she really was the epitome of someone I would have utterly no respect for, yet I found myself defending her time and time again solely because she was a really sweet, nice girl … at least to my face.

There is nothing wrong with being friends with people who have different life goals or life experiences, but the biggest mistake I made was thinking that this person would understand and appreciate my friendship.  It turned out pretty nasty with her saying some horrible things behind my back and in turn whispering into ears of some other people I thought would be big enough to make their own mind up over situations, rather than solely taking her spin on it as gospel.

There are people in life that you can truly consider soul mates, people that you can consider good friends and people that are meant to be acquaintances.  It’s super important not to confuse these boundaries and not to let people in further than they are meant to be – because in turn, there will be a lot of confusion due to difference in opinions and this will only result in fights or heart break.

It’s not that one person is right and the other is wrong – it’s simply that we are entitled to differences of opinion but the way one person construes your actions and words may in fact be entirely incorrect but that is based on their life experiences and what they would do/say in the same situation. It takes a lot of effort and patience to continuously clarify their interpretation of what you have said or done, and sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Instead – let them think what they want – they probably don’t deserve to be such a big part of your heart and life anyway if they consistently put a negative spin on everything you do or say and misconstrue this to make their actions seem saintly. These people should never pass the ‘acquaintance’ phase.

Your soul mates will have been through similar circumstances in life and therefore will see your soul and the good intention behind your actions.  They will understand you to your core and you will rarely ever find yourself apologizing or explaining your actions or words to them.

Good friends on the other hand are those people that maybe you’ve been friends with so long that you don’t remember how you met – but you have a mutual respect and love for each other.  Sometimes you might have disagreements due to misunderstanding but you both honestly know that your life would be much worse without that person in it.  That the person is a great asset to your life and you genuinely care about them understanding you if they have misunderstood something and taken it the wrong way.

To be honest, my best friends weren’t necessarily my ‘soul mates’ up until now and some friends I see more often than others don’t even hold that status.  But I know the need for boundaries and making clear my intentions behind my actions with these people so I don’t end up causing unnecessary hurt.

(4) Be Honest but Tactful
The biggest thing I have learnt this year is that there are a lot of people that live their lives with their heads in the sand and would rather avoid any conflict than be honest and truthful.

It is a heartbreaking lesson I have learnt as I end up being ‘the bad guy’ in many instances where I am the only one who is straight forward and honest with someone based on an issue many people are having.  Although it seems there are a lot of people who would prefer to gossip and talk about others behind their backs, you need to decide if you would be ok if someone was doing this to you.  If the answer is no, then don’t do it to someone else.

I am sometimes a bit too brutally honest and don’t hold back and this is where tact comes in.  You have to learn the right circumstances and right time to tell someone a truth which they may not want to hear – and in the meant time, don’t go an gossip or bitch to others or hold off until it boils and you let it out without any tact.

Take time to breathe and assess whether the perceived issue is a real issue, whether it is your issue or someones else’s and if it is your place to discuss this with the person.  Also, make sure that you’re not just relying on what others are saying because I can GUARANTEE this will result in you being blamed for others words being put in your ear.

You can’t be honest on behalf of everyone – only yourself.

(5) Know Who You Are
I know I drone on and on about this, but the truth is, when someone leaves your life for better or for worse, you need to know who you are without them in your life.  You need to be confident in yourself to know when you need to apologise or when you need to move on.  If you don’t know yourself, then you will let anyone who enters your life shape you and change you and it will be much easier to lose friends this way than any other way.

Know what you love, what makes you happy, who makes you happy and then continue living your life without that person.

I made the tough decision to move to Brisbane when I had just finished school and lost a lot of friends along the way.  I then made the harder decision of leaving Brisbane to come back to Mackay just before I turned 22 and in turn lost even more friends.

I didn’t notice this loss straight away but over the years, it seems that I am learning that it is hard to maintain any kind of long distance relationship – sooner or later you need to accept that you are no longer as close as you used to be to people who live 1000km away from you.

I constantly puf676ed79040540c759c0eb60170f29c0t in effort and time with my friends in Brisbane and it was only recently that someone brought up “how many times have your Brisbane friends visited you?” … it really got me thinking and I actually got quite upset and angry that while I would go down on spare weekends and in holidays and birthdays to visit some people I considered my ‘friends’, it was never reciprocated.

I’m not angry anymore, but having realised this, I’m more open with myself as to the strength of certain relationships and their commitment to me and from there have been able to decide how willing I am to open my heart to them.

I am a strong believer that everyone who enters your life, enters for a reason and if they leave – they leave for a reason too.

You can’t be friends with everyone but you can be friends with the right people who will only enhance your life if you just listen to yourself and your instincts.

So while I may have been shunned and ignored by a few people, I have learnt a great deal about who I really want and actually deserve in my life.  Hopefully, from here on in, I’m a bit more selective.
Last but not least, KNOW who you want in your life and who you don’t…

I want people who have a zest for life – not just living.  Who embrace the world and new found people in a way that celebrates them, not belittles them.  I want people who understand the importance of once in a lifetime events and cherish and treasure sentimentality over things of monetary value.  I want people who are hard working, willing to take risk, have passion and drive to do what they love and create things of beauty.  I want people who have traveled, if not the world at least their soul.

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I only want people in my life, who want to be loved and treated like a friend.  Who are willing to hear the harsh truth rather than live life in a small rut with backstabbers and two faced, small minded people who are only ever ‘nice’ without any critiscm or truth in their words.  I only want people in my life who are TRUE to themselves and their desires – who don’t back down the minute someone enters their life that has a different opinion.  Who know what they want, who they want and where they want to be in life and are willing to get it.  I don’t want to sit there and question a friends continuously confusing choices because who they have told me they are is completely different to who they are – or maybe the don’t even know themselves.

I don’t want leeches… life suckers.. those that only know pessimism, negativity and mediocre.  I don’t want weaklings who have only survived thus far by relying on everyone else and have never had to stand on their own two feet.  I don’t want to be part of ‘The Plastics’ or the clique if it means backstabbing those who are closest to me and acting so two faced you can’t remember who you have lied to and who you haven’t.  I don’t want untrust-worthy. I don’t want deceit. I don’t want people who are simply ‘comfortable’ with their life, their choices, their job and their partner… those that take life for granted and believe they are simply owed this life.

I don’t want people who want recognition or reward without effort – and I mean real effort and work. I don’t want people who feel as though they are ‘experienced’ by association of someone else who has suffered hardships.  I don’t want ‘victims’ or ‘cry-babies’.  We all have hardships and we all choose how we deal with these and how we manage – we choose whether we simply survive or if we thrive.

Most of all.. I want to be able to look at my friends and say ‘WOW’.
Everyday I already feel so lucky and incredibly blessed to have met some amazing people in my life and to consider some of these people my friends.  From here on in, only those that inspire me, move me and mutually love and respect me will deserve a place in my life and in my heart.  People who can’t handle the truth, who want to constantly think negatively of me and paint me to be a monster I am not – you can quite frankly leave and never return.  I am done.

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Letter to My Inspiration

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When I first started writing this blog, I was inspired by one of my favourite authors and bloggers, Jenny Lawson.  I had just finished reading her book when I got out of hospital and thought that she deserved to know how she had touched me (not literally, but metaphorically).

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I wrote an email to her, which I have just re-read and thought – hell why not share it with everyone.  Also, she may have reported me to border patrol to make sure I am never allowed to enter the US.  Either way, here it is.

Hi Jenny

Firstly I have to address something that I thought was slightly amusing before I sent this email (and just in case you did in fact receive 5 empty emails prior to this).  Gmail decided to let me enter an address and subject but no body of text, and so while I was tabbing I kept tapping the ‘send’ button… I just thought it would be kinda confusing and a tad stalkerish if you received multiple emails with the title, ‘Greetings From Down Under’… I’d almost be checking what my vagina was getting up to.  No need to worry, your vagina hasn’t grown hands and there is no baby sticking out sending you emails, it’s just a fan from Australia sending you a bit of fan love.

Anyway, the purpose for my email was that I wanted to thank you for your wonderful book.  I’m not going to lie, I bought it for about $15 at a book sale solely for the fact that there was a Hamlet mouse on the front and well it sounded like the title of every Sunday morning for me.

Your book really inspired me to start writing again, and there were times where I almost felt as though you were my long lost Texan sister.  I have been dealing with depression, anxiety and border line personality disorder for quite some time and reading your book made me feel like there was at least 1 other person out there just as wonderfully insane as me.

No but seriously, it was a very refreshing honest take on the world and had me in fits of laughter at several occasions. I have read segments of the book to various friends and family members persuading them to read it.  It has been quite successful, apart from my stepmum – who after I read the section about the Harry Potter vagina scar (which I thought was a wise way to entice her to read it, since she’s a huge Harry Potter fan and a nurse…) gave me a roll of the eyes.  When this happened I stated that it’s a great funny book with some very serious and heart felt moments… Later that night she asked what the chapter I was reading was called… You know, at family dinner, it doesn’t sound so normal to say ‘My Vagina Is Fine … Thanks For Asking’.

I’m slowly convincing her to read it… but I think she’s still into that 50 Shades of Grey bullshit over factual stories.

Anyway…. totally off track.  But yes, the point of this email was to thank you for making it easier for me to accept my conditions and give me hope that I will one day find some one who will accept this is who I am and put up with all the crazies.I’ve been writing on and off for the last 6 years or so, and recently decided to start a blog instead of just abusing my facebook rights and to be honest, I can’t lose too many more friends.

I’d be so honored if you would have a look and give me some pointers if you can or any advice on how to get more involved in the writing world.

Kind regards,
Your Fan from down under.. (Australia… not your skirt)
Bek