Im not a massive reader myself but i would clasify myself as one in phases. These phases rely upon – 1: A book i cannot put down! 2: I have the energy and time to sit and read 3: my current mood (ofcourse). I love finding a great story that creates another world i can vision and emerse myself into. That to me yells out GREAT BOOK! I am however a little cautionary when branching into a new author. So far i havent found a bad read but i do know what genres of books i like to read. For instance i love biographies but i have found one that just bored me and only made two chapters in (i wont mention who’s it was).
I have been reading DIana gabaldons Outlander series. This series was written many years ago and i was introduced to them and only read first two books before having a long nonreading phase. THe outlander series then came out on tv and it reminded me to keep reading this series i have come to LOVE! I am hooked and am so facinated by the depth Diana has gone to in historical facts tied in with her characters. I am currently upto the sixth book – A breath of snow and ashes. I have read reviews it in one of the best books yet! They take me longer to read then most books only because all of the content and characters i try to take in and remember small details that may come up later. It has also sparked a longing to go and see Scotland in all its beauty, and look more into my family history/ancestors who are both from Scotland and Ireland origin.
I recommend the read for anyone wanting a great story 10/10 from me and the vision that the books create in your mind are exactly what i expected wth the tv series, which has been depicted beautifully. You will fall in love with James Fraser and Claire Beauchamp (Fraser) and their epic love story, and all the horrid treachery and turmoil the Scottish clans had to live through in the late 1700’s and ultimately the Battle of Culloden. I have not only learnt so much from this series but by reading more through other authors about this particular test in time for both the Scottish highlanders and the British soldiers is simply jaw dropping stuff.
Happy reading! I am going back to escape reality a little longer and get back to the 1700’s 🙂
Are you afraid of transforming into a better you ? Image by Twobee
The Monarch caterpillar has no choice. From the time it emerges out into the world to become an eating machine, it has but one destiny: it will transform into a Monarch Butterfly. It is a necessary part of its life cycle. It begins life in one form and will end it in an entirely different form. We consider this transformation to be an amazing feat of nature, and yet in viewing it with such awe, we forget that we ourselves often transform in even more dramatic and powerful ways.
There is a crucial difference though: We have a choice: To transform or not to transform?
I work with people who want something better for themselves, for their lives. They are not happy with where they are, and they desire to move into a place that they believe…
All of us experience the thrill and excitement in the lead up to holidays or going new places. The Great Escape can either be planned months in advance or a spontaneous get away. From both experiences either method is very therapeutic and you find yourself again-refreshed. Then it is time to go back to reality which if your anything like me, feels like it comes to soon, and your holidays in a flash are gone.
You return from your break and start work to discover you left your heart in holiday mode. You long for the next escape and try to find a way to it sooner rather than later. What’s stopping me from traveling the world? … Money!
They say money doesn’t but happiness, well it certainly does buy experiences that make you content and wiser. Travel is one of those experiences you need money for. Flights are not getting any cheaper these days. If your Australian it’s a struggle to fly anywhere thats remotely ancient or culturally rich.
We live in a beautiful country but being far away has its pros and cons. One of those cons is airfare to anywhere. Many may read and think what are you thinking, airfare is inexpensive. I have news for you in my world and my current post-University state is a whole month woth of saving away in a casual job just to FLY!
I cant afford to visit the other side of the world to see and support my other half due to the expensive exchange rate to pounds for our dollar let alone the flight to get there.
Its hard to wait 6 months. We are half way now and its exhausting some days are so hard to not have my bestfriend here to talk to. Skype is a great way to stay connected but its been hard to use it as you just miss the person on the other end so much.
My official countdown is on its 94 days today many might look at that and say thats not long. In my eyes and in my life at this time its a challenge its hard, I try my best everyday to be busy and just get through. No one understands how hard it is.
I’ve gone slightly afar from my point today but it is the travel bug that I have and it cannot be fuelled without money.
What truly makes us happy and complete? Many search their whole lives to feel this euphoria of being settled, and content with all aspects of life. For many of us we thought we found it at some point and in the balance we lost it. This time between happiness is a blur and sometimes may seem forever and dark. Its cruel to treat yourself as a stranger and feel empty…Emptiness is neither fun nor sad to feel, your just stuck in space. This space is your galaxy and what you explore and venture to is completely up to you. Yes, you may feel like your an abandoned astronaut stuck without your craft. You may feel like this astronaut in times of trouble and you have lost your way.
These times of overwhelming isolation overtakes all your feelings, cares, motivation and completely changes your perception on life itself. Depression and anxiety is exactly this.
You may question where did it start to go sour? Why me? Why cant I be ‘normal’ again.
You. Are. Not. Alone.
Its difficult for many to ask for help or let your guard down for anyone to realise something is not right. This is an opportunity for getting a step ahead of your black holes in the galaxy, and reach the stars for help. These stars may not know what to say or do to make you feel better but the relief of the pent up thoughts and emotions may help you breathe.
Many people find a way of letting go of stress and anxiety through various methods; eating, exercising, writing, listening to music, shopping etc. However a small feeling of greatness comes through not just helping yourself but others. What feelings do you get once you helped someone who really needed it, or going that extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face. The trick n peoples lives is most of us don’t stop to think twice about what a person may be dealing with in their lives behind their smile. I would like to show you an excerpt from a great book in regards to this message:
‘With the warrior commitment we gradually become a vehicle for connecting others with their unfettered mind, with their intrinsic goodness, so that they, too, can begin to embrace the groundlessness of being human as a source of inspiration and joy. Our wish for all beings, including ourselves, is to live fearlessly with uncertainty and change. The compassion and kindness required for this are limitless, but we start with whatever we have right now and build on that.’
Chodren, P, (2012). Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. 1st ed. USA: Shambhala Publications inc.
In an overview, I guess my message would be to treat all with kindness. Make a goal for each day, for instance, I would aim to make everyone smile and happy with my friendly demeanour at work and ultimately receive praise for making someone’s day. Yes it has worked many times. However there have been many days that I was ‘not ok’ felt like that astronaut in space whilst on my way to work and had to force a smile. These days do occur but when your in this environment you have to stick it out and it is no excuse to take it out on those who do not know how your feeling. Take a step back and breathe and focus on just getting through those hours. Yes, your body and mind will not agree and its ok to have some days off to recover. Life is still here the next day and you cant run every time, unfortunately, we all go through pain. Life is a test, for you and me to conquer in our own ways. Many believe our paths our chosen for us, personally I believe we are guided and ultimately we choose our own way. Its our attitude that helps us or deters us from decisions and opportunities, either way everything happens for a reason. Why cant you be the reason to change your life?
Many people you will meet have either battled with depression or will in some stage of their life. Its a scary prospect the alarming numbers of people facing difficulty in this world we live in. Be mindful of others and be someone’s reason to smile and live fully. If you cant then I only ask that you be the reason for your own happiness, find whatever will help you cope (in a healthy way). My new found helping form of medication is writing my feelings. Hence this blog. I hope I have shone some light onto a topic that is very much a grey matter in our lives. Depression and anxiety awareness is rising although there are still many people who are not supported or feel trapped by their circumstances with fear for asking for help. Together we can help others and ourselves by making this area turn into a widely open discussion.
There are many helplines and websites to help you in the right direction to a willing listener for your health. Below is a few links to different organisations (not all):
This time last year I took part in the Worlds greatest shave!
It was a last minute decision in November 2013 I was trying to think of a new way to raise money for a charity. Every year I have picked something different; for example 2012 I participated in my first half marathon and raised money for Starlight children’s foundation. This time round I was feeling bold and wanted to test myself and raise more funds then before.
I was very fortunate to have had a great group of friends and family who all donated and spread awareness of the day! I ended raising over $2000 for the Leukaemia foundation which was triple the amount I aimed for. I had planned to shave on a particular day but I just could not wait so did it a day earlier!
As a promise to my soccer team at Northbridge I was to get a mullet in the process of the shave! Here is my short version before the final buzz.
To say it was easy would be a lie. I had months of preparation mentally and I honestly thought ‘its just hair, itll grow back’. Its a nervous yet exciting process watching your hair fall from your shoulders onto the floor in 5 minutes. It also gave me perspective into the lives of those who have no choice but to lose their hair due to illness. Having such a great group of people around me made it more worthwhile.
I shaved my head to a number 3 on the clippers due to hairdresser recommendations and comfort. It was the first time since I was born that I had had my hair that short again. It was a great free feeling of euphoria that overwhelmed me in my first week and I walked around with the biggest smile and pride.
I have tried to take progress shots of my hair every month to look back and see the change. I did not have my hair cut until 11 months after the save when it was time for a tidy trim.
I had my messy hair days!!
The mullet was starting to make a come back eep.
I could finally put my hair into a little pony tail! woohoo! with plenty of bobby pins but it still works.
Starting to be very long at the back while my sides tried to catch up. It was time for a chop!
This is me pre-hair cut time!
One year shot! (after trim)
I was told my hair grows faster then most and I grew approximately 15-18cm in a year!
To say that this experience of growing back my hair has been… challenging would be the best word to describe it. I had my ups and low points. The low points were feeling self conscious when I started to have a ‘dudes’ look and not feeling feminine enough. Anyone that knows me would always find me in my sweats or any type of sports clothes and non revealing styles. I am your typical tom boy and although my hair empowered me it also became my weakness. I would have days where i did not want to look in the mirror and be reminded i had little to no hair. However It made me grateful that i was growing it back and not enduring rounds of chemotherapy, which snapped me back into reality very quick.
There was one occasion where i was mistaken to be unwell. I was at the bank only a week after the shave and i was wearing the pink bandana that my boyfriend had bought me from the cricket. The lady that served me had a very sympathetic approach and although i felt valued i also felt pitied…i felt very sad afterwards and thought to myself ‘ how would others feel everyday having to be viewed in that light, and im not even sick’. I, just like every other woman want to be seen as a strong and brave person and having someone make you feel less or weak is just not comprehendible. This is how i felt walking out of the bank, i did not have the words at the time to kindly tell her i did the Worlds greatest shave. Therefore after that day i wore a different bandana in the hopes of not being pitied again.
I tried my best to embrace all types of styles as i grew my hair back; spiked, slicked back, comb over, towel dry and leave look, the just got out of bed style, bobby pin central, mini ponytail, and many more weird and wonderful do’s. I would like to thank all that put up with me over this long year especially the ones i nagged about having ‘no hair’ when clearly i did. My view of having no hair was not having hair as long as i did. Even though having little to no hair had its positives especially the time i had to do other things then was, dry and style my locks. I however over time missed being able to wear a braid or have my hair curled for a special occasion, it felt like a missing part of who i am.
To end on a great note! If you are all inspired after reading this i hope you take the plunge and participate in the next Worlds greatest shave! If its not your style you can still do your part and jump onto World greatest shave and donate or sponsor someone doing the shave!!
Have you ever reached a point in your life where you feel you’ve reached a crossroads?
Most older generations would say ‘no’ they always had a path that was chosen for them through family heritage, or just sexual orientated jobs from their generation chosen for them. I am not saying that this was fair or just to have their lives planned by their elders or society just at times I envy the lack of decision making they needed.
This day and age an increasing amount of young adults reach this difficult choice at the crossroads. I myself found it straight after graduating from College, with what seemed at the time, a degree which would help me bloom and prosper into a career. Didn’t I get that all wrong!..
I am not alone when I say I have not found it easy getting a job in my chosen field that I have worked hard for the last 3 years, devoting time to study and racking up my HECS debt to the Government. A lot of college graduands have found themselves on the same sinking ship. I have had to move home back into the family nest which is all in good spirit however the lack of jobs in my field here is minimal..i have only acquired casual work as a check out chick which is fine to be doing something but after a while you start to question your purpose. Did I really just waste 3 years of university to work in a job I need no qualifications for, and yet still have a massive $60k debt over my head…
There seems to be three types of young adolescents in my eyes:
1. The early settlers
2. The free hippies
3. The grounded nerds
The early settlers are those who finish high school and find themselves in a good paying job or with a family at an early age. I am not trying to sound offensive but some people just don’t want to go anywhere and are happy to start the rest of their lives from day one. Well, I say good for you but not everyone knows that fresh out of high school and I was one of these.
The free hippies in my eyes are the ones who either; try go to college, don’t find it appealing, and end up packing and travelling the world in search of something or just to be free. Some are blessed with being able to just live and not calculate every step or worry about the future and a roof over their heads.
And last but not least are the grounded, not all are nerds. When I refer to the term nerd I refer to someone who chases knowledge to better themselves. I for one was classed a grounded nerd. Straight out of high school I wanted to make my family proud and go to university, and of course I enjoyed learning and wanted to create better opportunities for myself. I had little knowledge of university and the systems, level of degrees, types of careers or anything to do with them as I grew up in a family with no one that could tell me. I do not blame them I simply just wish I had someone at school to better guide me or prepare me before my HSC. Anyway after all was done and dusted I wounded up in a degree which has led me to now…no career.
I have now since realised my dream career would be in Occupational therapy which is both rewarding and high demand. However, it is a four year degree…another 4 years of no work and study? ill be 26 which by then I wish to have a home of my own and financially stable. This 4 year was not an option, I found a 2 year masters course which are very scarce and only found in major cities in Australia. This would mean moving away from home again which is a big financial burden on rural kids or anyone moving to go study. In the hope of also being accepted my degree is from a private college which is not fully accepted by public system…I have been assured any problems should be directed to the dean as my degree is viable and accredited. I should hope so as I will be paying it off the rest of my life and spent so long obtaining it.
For now I feel trapped most days in my job, loss of independence, and lack of knowledge I could be obtaining. Which brings me back to my point…do you ever feel you have lost direction? At what point in life was this?
For I know I don’t stand alone when I say graduating not only high school but university is a relief but also a nightmare for a lot of young souls. So please, next time you go and talk to someone of that circumstance please refrain from asking ‘ what are you going to do now?’ for we ask ourselves this question everyday and we still do not know. Although we are given so many opportunities and choices we are thankful to have but it is very difficult to choose.