Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hey roomie!

Well, its official - my sister has finally got her drivers licence and, come this Saturday, i will finally have a roommate. This is both exciting and kind of annoying. On the one hand i really enjoy my space; on the other, its all that space that does my head in when i have bad episodes.

If i admit to it, i'm actually looking forward to her moving in. I mean, she's my sister, i've known her her whole life ( i havent known her all mine, i'm the older one ) but i think its going to encourage us to learn more about each other, and grow closer. We have a good relationship now but being seven years older than she is, we havent always had the time for each other. That is, not the physical time but, for example, being 15 when your sister is 8 you dont exactly want to give her the time of day when there is other stuff you could be doing.

Being 17 years old, and having just got her licence, i think its going to be interesting being one the closest people to her when she starts" growing up ". I dont mean to sound either nostalgic nor naive - she isnt my child so i have no need to be all parental, and she's not exactly new to everything - but i think it will be nice to be in the front row as she starts earning her independence and becoming a fully functioning adult. I hope - and i think she will - that she will come to me for advise on stuff, like which shoes go with her outfit, or the best place to go out on a Saturday night or whether i think her new boyfriend is a douche bag. She said a few weeks ago, during an argument, that i'm apparently too old for her to go out with or hang out with much and, although it hurt quite bit at the time, i know she doesnt mean it. I hope not only will she ask me where to go out but that she will ask me to come with her, or ask if she can come with me and we can do all the fun stuff together. There are still 8 months until she's legal, so as we have it planned, i'll get to take her out for her first big night on the town.

So here's to the little sis moving in on Saturday, to impending and unavoidable arguments, but mostly to new adventures, even for an oldie like me...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I find it inspiring that once you have really admitted something to yourself, quite the weight is lifted. You feel so much lighter, so free of what had been weighing you down, even though you werent aware exactly what that weight was in the first place.

I dont want to delve too deeply into details here, but i have recently admitted something to myself - and to someone else - that i was only vaguely aware existed. For a long time i thought there was a possibility of something, but then dismissed any thoughts as fanciful and completely improbable. I talked myself into thinking i was ridiculous and concentrated my mind elsewhere. But when confronted with the question and knowing that i needed - that i wanted - to give a wholeheartedly honest answer, there it was. The truth.

Nothing has ever seemed sweeter rolling off my tongue..

Monday, February 25, 2008

Only irrational people go on like this...

I have just been called " ignorant ", " dismissive " and a " discredit to my business " aswell as being told i have a " disgraceful attitude ".

Apparently some people dont like being told they're wrong, however nicely you try and put it...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The wisdom of Ben Lee

It's not hard to see
The truth will set you free
So you take what you want
And I'll take what I need
What's the point in praying
If you don't mean what you're saying
Everything you've chased is here and now

Love is a reason to exist
So let it all go and just say yes
If it feels right then why resist
Throw down your arms and just say yes

And I was often told
To mine a heart of gold
To find a destiny
Waiting there for me
There's no point in demanding
Total understanding
When everything you've craved is here and now

Love is a reason to exist
So let it all go and just say yes
If it feels right then why resist
Throw down your arms and just say yes
Just say yes, Just say yes

There's nothing to be 'shamed of
If it's hurting you're afraid of
Everything you need is here and now

Love is a reason to exist
So let it all go and just say yes
If it feels right then why resist
Throw down your arms and just say yes
Just say yes, Just say yes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Until we walk in those shoes....

I have been reading the latest post on Richard Catto's blog and it has prompted me to share something with you. For those of you who havent read it, Richards writes about a story he read in the news of a young girl killed by a stray bullet in a suburban neighbourhood, an area which her mother did not leave even though she thought herself in enough danger to call Chubb security. It is not so much the story itself that has prompted me - sadly, violence has become an all too common occurence - but what Richard has written in his comments following :
I wonder if her marriage will survive this (assuming she’s married, that is)? I don’t think I could stay married to such a woman. I would blame her for the death of my child and never be able to get over it.

Four weeks before my 6th birthday, on Christmas Eve 1989, my brother died. He was not a victim of violence, but his was a child's life lost nonetheless. He was almost 2 years old, two weeks from this milestone, and being a small child he had fallen asleep on the way to my nan's house on the other side of town. Being so young myself, i do not remember the exact details of the day, but i do remember that when Eli woke up he did not appear to know who anybody was. He had already begun to talk, to communicate in small broken sentences, but he couldnt recognise my parents or myself, or my brother. Nobody. He was just crying, screaming, non-stop. He was also feverish, as far as i remember. My parenst took him to the local hospital, where he was diagnosed with meningitis, an illness that causes inflammation of the covers over the central nervous system area of the brain. It was decided that he needed to be rushed to a specialist childs hospital in Sydney, by helicopter, which would normally take around half an hour. On this particular Christmas Eve, their was fog covering the Blue Mounatins (hich serve as a gateway to Sydney from the west)and, whilst being transferred from the helicopter to a more suitable plane, my brother passed away.
He did not make it to the hospital for treatment, and was pronounced dead on arrival.

The point of sharing this story is to demonstrate my disagreeance with Richards idea that he could never forgive this particular woman her mistake, if he were the childs father. Perhaps disagreeance is not the right term, because i do see where those feelings come from, but i do not think things are so black and white as that.

I have never spoken to my parents candidly about how they felt when my brother died. Being a small child at the time, you understand that mummy and daddy are sad, you are sad, everybody is sad because Eli has gone away and cant ever come back. It's not until your late teens ( in my case ) that it occurs to you that there is more than just sadness involved. I would imagine that their would be a massive degree of guilt to be sorted through. I do not think my parents would have blamed each other, but blamed themselves. That is, they would not have blamed one another as seperate people, but rather themselves as a parenting unit - what if WE had taken him to the doctor at the first sign of fever ? What if WE had called an ambulance sooner ? What if WE had recognised his symptoms as signs of meningitis rather than just a simple cold, or earache? Surely they must have felt guilt at the actions they did not take but, rather than rip them apart, i think it may have brought them closer together.

I would like to think that my parents, or myself in their situation, would try and hold onto the love i had for my partner and for my remaining children, even admist the devastation of having lost someone. That i would cling to the to the love that drew me to my partner in teh first place, all the adoration and admiration i had for them before we become parents, and use that as my strength to pull me through my grief. I believe, without ever having confirmed it, that my parents, my father in particular, had quite a difficult time after my brothers death but here is the strange thing - my sister was conceived, and then born in October of 1990, approximately 10 months after my brothers death.

I do not mean to equate physical intimacy with love, but only to say that my parents must have been pulling together, perhaps in one of the best ways they knew how, if only to stop themselves from tearing apart.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Butterfly Effect

I found myself pondering today how the decisions we make alter the direction of our lives. How if we'd made this decision instead of that, perhaps our lives would different, and how much so ? How different would the decision have to be exactly ? As they say, a butterfly beats its wings and causes a tsunami halfway across the world - so do the tiniest of actions cause cataclysmic effects?

When i was in kindergarten, i sat next to a girl called Lauren. She was in and out of school because she suffered very badly from asthma and, after a 6 week absence, it was up to me, as a 5 yr old, to help her catch up. We became best friends pretty fast - you know how it is when your a little kid, you either love someone with everything you have, or hate them with a passion. Well i loved Lauren, she was my best friend ever, and we remained that way all the way up until the 5th Grade. At this point in my life, at 10 years old, it fell on me to make a pretty big decision. As i mentioned in my last post, i was Dux of my primary school, which meant i was a pretty intelligent kid.At a primary school across town they were putting together a class for " gifted " children, for kids whose intellect, whose intelligence, was considered to above average for their ages - a class that would take all those kids and put them together and nurture their intellects by teaching them more than just standard primary school Math and English. After taking an aptitude test, i was invited to join this class. My parents and spoke with my teachers and they encouraged me to go for it. Ultimately, my parents felt it best that i make the final decision and, being an impressionable 10 year old girl at the time, i decided i would learn just fine where i was and i didnt want to abandon my best friend in the whole wide world. I couldnt do that.

So i said no, i didnt want to be part of the gifted class, and i satyed where i was. This left a gap in the gifted class's numbers and guess who filled it ? My best friend Lauren. Thats right - the very person i had given up my opportunity for is the one who would be filling my shoes. I dont know if the final decision on whether she should go came down to her or her parents, but either way i could help feeling abandoned. Betrayed. Hurt.

If i had taken that opportunity, where would i be know ? Would i have been nurtured mentally, and made to feel that my intelligence wasnt something that should be hidden for the sake of appearing cool ? Surely i would have entirely different set of friends and, thusly, a completely different mindset. The girls that i know that ended up in that class have all been to university and have all travelled; they've now completed degrees and i am sure have far more interesting and stimulating jobs than mine. Would i be in their shoes if i'd made a different decision?

Conversely, what if Lauren had made a different decision ? What if she had stayed on at our school ? Would we still be best friends - currently we are not really in contact, she has had her own share of mental issues as far as i'm aware, and i'd love desperately to catch up with her - which means i would be best friends with Peta? Would we have gone through high school liking the same things, sharing, been joined at the hip> or would we still have drifted apart over time?

I dont like to dwell too much on these things, because rather than just be a fascinating subject on which to ponder, it becomes a source of frusturation, of depression even. Having sat and typed this out, having thought it over most of the afternoon, it is not hard to see where my intense social anxities came from. I always wanted everyone to like me and have never been able to put complete trust in any of my friends. Even know, on the eve of my best friends wedding when she trusts me implicitly with every detail of her life, i find it incredibly hard to open completely up to her, and only skim the surface of the truth.

Their are positives though - had i made a different decision it is likely i would not have the three close friends i have now, the three women i am eternally grateful for. I may not be as close to my family, as i may have gone of to uni, never to return. I may not appreciate the value of things i have, because i might not have had to work as hard for them.

So was my 10 year old's reasoning the beat of a butterfly's wings , and does that make what my life is now a tsunami, of sorts?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tag, you're it!

And so, i've been tagged. Thanks Ruby! As i understand it, i am supposed to tell you all seven random and/or unknown things about myself, and then tag seven other bloggers. However, seeing as i dont know seven other bloggers who havent already been tagged, i'll just complete the first half of the challenge. Here goes:

1. My favourite pair of shoes that i own are red, mock-croc skin stilettos. I bough them at Marshall's in Watchung, New Jersey. Whenever i wear them, i instantly feel sexier.

2. I was the dux of my primary school. For any of you who do not use the term " dux " it means roughly the same as valedictorian - basically, i had the highest test scores overall of my gradutaing primary school class. Yep, i was once a smart little cookie. My name is engraved on a plaque which still hangs in the administration office of my primary school.

3. My favourite film of all time is " The Crow ", starring Brandon Lee. I have a talking doll ( or action figure, if you prefer ) of the main character, Eric Draven, and its only once ever been taken out of the box. IT doesnt talk anymore, but it shares pride of place ontop of my bookcase next to my stuffed Jack Skellington from " The Nightmare Before Christmas ".

4. My short term life goal is to have visited at least one country on every continent before i turn 30. Not including Antarctica - i dont like the cold and i can see penguins on " Happy Feet ". I'm already half way to achieving my goal - i live in Australia, haved lived and worked in the USA, and have visited countires in both South America and Asia. Look out Africa and Europe - i'm headed your way in the next 6 years!

5. I only have six points of a possible 12 points left on my drivers licence. This shits me. I dont think i'm that bad of a driver, but you know, you get caught doing the wrong things ( not blatantly mind you ) and you get punished for it. Run a red light ( i was actually trying to beat the yellow - apparently i didnt quite make it ) and it will cost you $305 and 3 points; get caught doing 70km/h in a 50km/h zone ( quite by accident - i was 100m from where the speed zone changed to 80km/h and i guess i just geared up too early ) and it will cost you $79 and 3 points. Two more indescretions and i am a cooked goose - without a licence.

6. I cannot stand the smell of butter, or milk if i were forced to drink it. If you held a spoonful of butter, or a glass full of milk under my nose and made me inhale, i would gag and quite possiblt throw up. I dont eat either of those things unless they're mixed into something else.

7.I am listed in my sixth grade yearbook as wanting to be a paediatrican. What a noble idea. I guess it was nice in theory as an 11yr old but now? I still love kids, wouldnt mind helping people, but being sick is gross and i couldnt handle the blood and guts and icky stuff. As a kindergartener i wanted to be an author - i held onto that for a while. My school even had my write a story when i was 8yrs old which they bound and put in the school library. Now ? I have no idea what i want to be, even though i've just earned an optical dispensing qualification. I think i might like to try massage therapy, or be a personal shopper, or a buyer for a fashion chain, but who headspace could use some working on.

And there you are.... there are no tags for other people, no links to other blogs. Like i said, i'm not able to fulfill that part of the challenge so enjoy what you got people!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And just like that, i'm back on the horse

Actually, i'm back on the bike. The stationary bike at the gym that is.

Thats right, i kept the promise to myself and i went back to the gym this afternoon. I had an excuse not to go - my gym buddy has a bad back and it was acting up, so i could have said " Screw it, i'm not going either ", but i didnt - i came home, ate me a snack, got changed and went to the gym. I was actually really proud of myself for sticking it out. As we are all aware by now, i'm noty exactly a fan of being the centre of attention or being scrutinised, so the minute i walked in the door and found myself to be only the fourth woman there surrounded by big, burly, blokes i kind of got a little nervous. Not that i really had right to be i suppose, its just a little intimidating to be a gym newbie surrounded by men you know are probably there every day - or, on the other hand, are there partly so they can check out the chicks. I hate to generalise, but you know its based in truth. So i just found myself a little anxious plonking down on a machine next to a guy who could probably quite easily pick me up with one arm ( although, that thought is also kind of sexy...muscles are good ), not because i thought he was going to try and break me, just because i didnt want him to look at me and think i was puny or something. Which i suppose, in comparison, i am, but thats not the point.

The point is - i'm trying. I'm being pro-active. I'm taking my health - both physical, emotional and mental - into my own hands. I pushed myself to stay, and work, and do what i could without being put off by everyone else. I'm making an effort to be outside of my house in an area where there are other people, 99% of whom i do not know. Perhaps i will ask one of the burly hot guys to help me put those big heavy weights on one of the machines - that'll at least give one of us an opening to a conversation. But not just yet, that will come in time.

Let me work on my glutes and my triceps, and the rest will follow....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chin up, old chap

Quick note - i am ridiculously embarrassed and feel like a failure. Kind of.

I went to the gym yesterday morning, i rolled out of bed an hour and half earlier than i normally would, and kept an appointment with one of the trainers so that we could set up a program and she could show me how to use the equipment properly.We were going well - i showed i could handle an incline on the treadmill, and the reverse leg curl machine wasnt as scary as she made it sound and then what happens ? I go pale white, and have to run to the bathroom to throw up.

I am not one of the BIggest Losers - i do not have incredible amounts of weight to lose, nor am i being thrown into hard exercise for the first time. But, for some reason, my body decided to fail me, and make me feel like a failure aswell. The trainer was lovely about it - she took my blood pressure, which happened to be 100/40, which apparently is not good at all - but i am left wondering if she thinks me weak.

No matter - i went home, at some more breakfast, had a shower, and went to work - and got on with it. I thought " I can feel miserable and sick all day, or i can suck it up and carry on ". So i did - down a girl at work, i did everything on my own, efficiently, and i felt good for it. Tonight, i will go to the gym and i will push myself hard and i will prove that i CAN do it without fainting like some loverlorn Scarlett O'Hara.

And i will keep this positive veiwpoint up, as long as i can...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Curiousity almost killed me

For the last three days in a row, i have been able to see my neighbour, in his house, through one of my windows and into his. Each time, i have stopped briefly, 10 seconds here, 30 seconds there, and watched, wondering what he was doing.Its not that i'm a stalker, or a peeping Tom, but rather an observer by nature. And, of all in nature, i find human beings the most fascinating subject to observe.

I ama people-watcher. I will find myself, at random points almost everyday, momentarily watching someone and wondering who they are, where they're going, what they are doing and even what are they thinking. I wonder if anyone is watching me and doing the same. It amuses me that as i take 30 seconds to watch someone climb out of a taxi, adjust her dress strap, and saunter off into the shopping centre, that someone else maybe 6 feet away is watching me brushing the hair back behind my ear, chewing on my lip and tilting my head ever so slightly. Its like a great big circle of human observance.

Like i said, i'm no stalker - i'm not obsessed with knowing the intimate details of peoples lives - but rather in imagining them, in taking in what i see and guessing at the rest. Its a form of fantasy i suppose, being able to invent a fairytale story for the life of any random person. I watch old women and wonder at what they were like when they were young - were they glamorous 1940's bombshells like Bette Davis, captivating men everywhere and ultimately leaving so many of them broken hearted ? Or was she more a decent, hard-working, girl-next-door type who stole the heart of some young soldier and then pined for him while he was at war ? How many children did she have ? Did she burn her bra in the 70's or subscribe to her mothers notion of womanhood ? None of it is particularly important to me, after all, i dont know them - but i love the notion that everyone, anyone, around me has their own made-for-tv movie life story.

I wonder about what stories people imagine for me, and how far removed from the truth they really are. Do they see me at the pub, like tonight for example, in a slinky dress, cleavage, hair straightened, and call me a slut ? Do they call me a try-hard and think i've put too much effort into trying to look good, just for the local pub/club ? Do they see that as being insecure, or do they imagine me to be supremely confident because i walk through the crowd with my shoulders back, chest out, perfect posture ? Do they think i have a boyfriend in there somewhere, or waiting at home, or do they imagine i'm out on the prowl ? Do the older people who see me at work with my hair pulled back, glasses on, running an optometry practice see me as studious and serious and professional, and do the young people just see me as nerdy or intimidating even ? I would love to be able to read people's mind and see the impressions i make on them.

I must admit to stealing glances of people, especially on public transport, and inventing entire scenarios for why they are there. Or sitting in a park in New York City, literally thousands of people streaming by, and imagining full and satisying lives for all of them. I think its normal to do that, curiosity is second nature to us all, but i dont think its entirely healthy. At some points during my life my curiousity and imagination have run away with me to the point where imagining other peoples lives, thoughts, opinions, view points and stories has become more important than living and telling my own.

I see that now - perhaps that is my most profound observation yet....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The rule of three

No, i'm not going to write a spiel on the rule of three as presented in " American Pie " - rather, i mean the rule that bad luck comes in three's. Yes, i am once again back to my hippie, mumbo-jumbo, claptrap, but this particular rule always proves true for me. I have had a run of bad luck over the course of the past 10 days, all based around my stupid car, and its happened in a multiple of three. The last sunday of january i missed a car in my blind spot and got scraped at a roundabout; this past saturday i got busted speeding only 200m from the area where the speed limit changed ( which would have meant i wasnt speeding at all - i was talking and knowing i wasnt far from town limits, i guess my foot slipped... ) and then last night my dad backed into my car, causing yet another paint scrape. I think my car may have been designated the family dodgem car from all the scrapes and scratches on it. But see... three things within a matter of days....

And over the past weekend, i went down to my best friends place for hair and make-up trials, and a dress fittings for her wedding. Try this on for size - Day One, our hair trial goes horrendously ( my hair looked absolutely ridiculous and the bride cried over hers ); Day Two, we cant find a single style of shoe, all matching, in the three different sizes needed for the bridesmaids; Day Three, the bridal boutique says we owe them more money on the dresses than we actually do. Again, all bad luck, all in three's.

I suppose it could be argued that its all just coincidence, or how long a limit do you give for the rule of three to apply - a week, a month, a third incident of bad luck a year from now - but you all know its happened to you before, and besides that, you like it when i rave on about hippie, mumbo-jumbo claptrap. It makes YOU feel normal....