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Awkwardly adulting

(I'm trying my best)

Nice to meet you *firm handshake*

The title of this post is how I greet new people that I meet. Many of them are a little taken aback by the formality of it especially if they are only my age. A hug or a friendly wave would be considered more appropriate in many cases. I didn’t get into the whole hugging people you’ve only just met thing, until I moved to New Zealand alone at age eighteen. It seems to be the done thing in this country. I feel people express their emotions more here than where I grew up in Ireland, in particular when it comes to how they feel about you. If they love your personality they will tell you, and if they seem annoyed by you it means they are.

When you move to the other side of the world the only people you meet are ‘new’. Since I’ve been living here for just over a year now, the people in my life are no longer new but have taken on a new meaning for me. They tell me I’m positive, outgoing, and crazy. Their support is the reason I continue to awkwardly adult on my own. If I ever doubt myself they will always remind me about the 18,628 kilometers I have traveled to be here. Thank you to all you wonderful people who have influenced my choices and experiences so far. It’s a privilege to have you all in my life!

My goal was not clear at the start. It was all a blur really, a gap year I had talked about taking for so long that people didn’t believe it was really going to happen. Suddenly I was sitting on a plane, traveling to Dubai with a man sitting next to me who was educating me on the mountains in the desert as you fly into Dubai. When I hit land again I was greeted by palm trees, stunning sea views, huge motorways, all manner of high rise buildings and SO MUCH TRAFFIC. I was alone, everything was new, a tad homesick; but overall I was happy.

Travelling, going to music festivals, and just meeting people on the street opened my eyes to a whole new adventure that was mine to take. So I did.

I do a lot of things on impulse and other people may call these decisions mistakes, but I don’t see them that way. I see these irrational experiences as part of me just like my smile or my eye colour. This blog is basically my attempt to share my funny/crazy experiences with anyone who is interested.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Under the deck and on the stars

It’s my fault that these people believe me,

It’s my fault they believe in me

I cause the busiest buzz

and they come expecting my love

But the truth is it’s tiring

Living for others, always inspiring

While still aspiring to be something great,

No.

Better than great

Something that no one can hate,

Well it’s too late.

Holding their opinion above my own

Wondering why it even mattered at all.

If I can just think for myself

Let my faults evaporate out of my breath

Take only the best of me and think that it’s true

Not just a lie made up from day one,

But that it’s within me sparking the fire, creating the hum, making me happen.

Living.

“Treat yourself”

There are certain times in my twenties when “Treat yourself” has been my motto for impulse purchases. Most of the reasoning behind my impulse purchasing stems from being disappointed by boys. I feel like I am most likely not alone in my thought process here.

My latest impulse purchase was a beautiful, sexy, auburn one-piece swimsuit for Summer. Yes, it was expensive. Do I regret it?

Absolutely not!

I did not need a swimsuit. Before I saw it, I had not even thought of purchasing a swimsuit. A very encouraging and persuasive friend told me to try it on, as she was trying on lingerie, and that was that. I pretended to be stubborn by not buying it straight away. Fooling myself into thinking I have any self-control, I asked the lovely lady to keep it aside for me for an hour. An hour later we returned and my next pay check disappeared.

Treating yourself is not a bad thing, but if you start compulsively buying food, alcohol, clothes, or make-up every time you have a bad day, you might want to find a cheaper way of consoling yourself. I am trying to find ways of cheering myself up without buying a bag of nuts, or a large sweet & sour pork. So far I’ve found that any physical activity helps: dancing, running, walking, yoga etc. it all makes me forget what I’m sad about.

Post swimsuit purchase I had a burst of happiness and excitement from the adrenaline rush that substantially depleting my bank account gives me. When I got home I was still feeling weighed down, especially because I hate letting my happiness depend on other people. I like my happiness to come from myself and the world around me, and not be tied to the expectations I have for people around me, but it’s a very hard balance to achieve. No matter how independent you are, it is impossible to never depend on anyone else. This was where the physical activity came in and boosted my serotonin. A best friend of mine took me on a random adventure playing football, climbing to secret spots, and rolling down hills. I was cured.

I won’t be treating myself or depending on anyone for a long time, but treating myself is something that I should probably do in response to positive feelings rather than negative ones.

 

 

Be alive

The moon shone golden against the shore.

Bold, confident, unable to be ignored.

The stars were my company that night, watching the splendour

as I gained the courage to let myself be.

Be still and silent with no hum or buzz of busyness,

Be without thought or feeling,

Be without myself.

Alive.

20 years old

You are 20 years old, probably the most free you will ever be in your whole life. The only obligation you have is to be good to yourself. Allow yourself to jump into whatever feels right at the time. Don’t hold back out of fear. Live dangerously and boldly, but try to see the consequences. Try it all and try it now, because now is the only time you have. Have fun, and be grateful about it. Tell people you love them when you feel it, don’t let it become an impossible lump in your throat. Create a flow of conversations connecting with those around you. You never know what or who they might know. Remember you can’t do it all alone. Allow yourself to rest, it’s part of the adventure too, don’t worry. Build yourself a strong support network. Be resilient. We are always going to be figuring it out, we’ll figure it out together. Don’t have your shit together, because there is no such thing and if there was it would be boring and predictable. Judge people only when you really know them, and even then try to understand why. Believe that you are beautiful, you never really see yourself anyways. Open up to every experience, so you are not craving more. Goodbyes are hard but sometimes you have to hurt. Laugh, dance, lose yourself amongst the stars. Try not to overthink, you can never feel the way you felt.

You don’t know if a world without you exists, so while you are here: Be here.

What’s left?

When I am not working, studying, partying, acting, writing, hanging out with friends, running, meeting people, cooking (the list goes on and on), what is left? Materialists find value in things, so they struggle to see what is left after their possessions are gone. Is there a word for someone like me who struggles to see what is left of themselves after they stop doing?

Although I am consistently checking off to-do lists and making plans, I am also a rather spontaneous person. Whether I live in the moment, I am not so sure. On the spontaneous trips away I make sure I am present in every moment, so these are always refreshing adventures for me. For some reason I struggle to do this if I am in an ordinary, every-day situation. I find it almost impossible to switch off, because there is always something to organise or do. This is the downfall of being a doer: You can not just think of an idea and let it sit with you; immediate action is required or you are not good enough.

Other people can probably see that there is a lot more to me than the things that I do, but I can’t. I will never understand their compliments or praise, because I will never see myself like they do. I do see myself as motivated, hard-working, and reliable as these qualities relate to getting stuff done. If I do not find value in myself in the other aspects of my personality I fear I will be perpetually busy. Unstoppable. If you have ever had the terrifying experience of a horse galloping away with you on it’s back, you will understand my feelings. For the first thirty seconds it is exhilarating. You feel like you are flying and the adrenaline rushes to your head. But the wire fence at the end of the field is approaching far too quickly. You know you need to stop, or you will be thrown out over it. You try pull back on the reins and say “Whoa”, calmly like you’ve been taught. No response. The horse thunders on like a freight train, and you are paralysed with panic.

Panicking about the inability to come off the Ferris-wheel, as my mum says.

I have always had this motto of living a full life, but it seems I have taken that to the extreme. I am very happy with everything I am doing and all the people I surround myself with, but I can not actually call this living if I am never happy just being.

Being is a complex simplicity that I am slowly learning.

 

Time

Time

Some people measure their life in time, probably the most common system. How many days, months, years, decades will you get to spend alive? Always counting towards something, or rather counting down. You can easily spend years doing the same thing, or in the same place, because as humans we are drawn to safety, habit and comfort. Those years spent doing the same thing still count. They add on to the measure of your life making it seem full. But it is just the same as whenever you gave up what it was that made you happy. Time is not a fair measurement for life because it cheats. It keeps moving forward, and you automatically think you are moving, growing and learning at the same time but actually you are stuck. Stuck in routine; stuck because things got too hard and you gave up. It was easier to stop really living than it was to change.

I think life should be measured in stories. You can see yourself in stories, but you can’t see yourself in numbers. Stories make you feel the extremities of love and loss, happiness and sorrow. Stories are told from experience, and experience creates memories. Our lives are a memory, a passing phenomenon. No one can tell our stories better than ourselves. Whereas anyone can say how much time we have spent here. Start by making plans, and never stop writing stories.

 

Get Lost

Get lost in the enchanting mysteries held in their eyes,

Be taken by a heavenly scent to a world outside your own,

Experience hypnosis from the quavering tones of a voice you’ve always wanted to know.

Follow a touch until you can’t find your way back, but you feel at home;

Let the taste linger on your lips, because you are always craving more,

Get lost in love, just because you can.

Groceries…

Today I learned what an apricot is, because I picked up a peach thinking it was an apricot, but it was not. That was my dumb blonde moment of today. However I must not be too hard on myself, because I grew up in a house where we rarely ate fruits other than bananas, apples and oranges (I’m guessing these are the top three fruits that come to mind when everyone thinks of fruit). Mum and Dad didn’t buy exotic fruits because when they did no one would eat them, perhaps we were frightened by the foreign colours and textures and the bother of the pip in the middle.

As a kid I would race my sister down the grocery aisles dodging people and trolleys on the way, it was like a massive playground for me. Now I am either slouched due to the weight of the shopping basket (I don’t buy enough to warrant a trolley) dragging my  feet while debating whether I need to pay $2 more for 2 litres of milk, and cursing the cold fridge section. Or I might just happen to be hopping around like a kid on Christmas morning because I have enough money to buy some kind of alcohol (preferably the 4 pack of Bulmers apple cider over the cheapest pinot gris with highest percentage of alcohol available).

Being a successful grocery shopper is not easy. You can try so hard to avoid the gut wrenching feeling of getting home and realising you forgot a necessity such as bread or tampons; but more often than not it is inevitable. And then you will check the list and can almost forgive yourself if the item was not on the list, but if it was this could be the breaking point of your long adult day. Time to slide down the wall and cry. Cry until you laugh at yourself for crying because you failed at grocery shopping. (This is by no means a true story).

Labels are supposed to be read, and so I advise everyone to read them accordingly. My first ever grocery shop alone I thought I had done so well (stayed under budget and everything), until I got home and tried to make a cup of tea. Opening the box of tea, I did not find tea bags but tea leaves. Something I thought was only in movies or China. My new flatmates laughed at me and said I needed a tea strainer. We did not have one, or else we did but it was broken. I drank that entire box of tea leaves over a two month period using a miniature sieve, like for sieving flour but only tiny amounts. Since that experience I’ve been with tea bags all the way.

When mum did all the grocery shopping for the family it was only natural that everyone got to pick out one treat. One impulse purchase. If it wasn’t chocolate or sweets, occasionally it could be something slightly more expensive like a notebook or new markers. It meant that mum held the power while shopping, if any of us started “causing a scene” she could take away our special treat far quicker than she had reluctantly handed it out. My impulse purchases today kind of depress me. They are never chocolate or ice cream or any sort of comfort food. My impulse purchase is always one red capsicum/pepper (I grew up saying pepper, people here say capsicum so both are appropriate I think). Sometimes I put it in a curry, other times I will stir fry it. If I was feeling wild I might have the balls to eat it raw. Whatever way I eat it I always enjoy it and know that it wasn’t on the list on purpose, so that I could “impulse buy” it and have it as a treat. Which really contradicts the whole meaning of impulse buying, but we won’t loose sleep over that.

Maybe there will come a day when I am less awkwardly adulting and can get the groceries right every time and be happy to do them, but maybe not, and that’s okay too.

Happy grocery shopping!

 

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