The world is her oyster

She reflected back onto the days when she was a young girl. She hadn’t known anything, she hadn’t known the world was her oyster.

All she had was a dream, and she knew it like the back of her hand. She knew that she had a gift; but we all know that a gift is meaningless without practice to turn it into a skill.

She dreamt she would become a writer, she also dreamt she would become a traveller. How about combining both, she wondered- perhaps she could write about her travels! Would anyone read her writing? Well, why not, she could be engaging, she was sure she had it in her!

Somewhere along the way, she was told by the grown-ups that she hadn’t a clue what she would be getting herself into; who even wrote and published anymore in this digital day and age? She wishes now that she knew then just how wrong they were, and she wishes she had paid them no heed.

But she hadn’t known anything, she hadn’t known the world was her oyster.

She gave up on her dreams, and did as she was told. She got herself an education in a field so interesting, but she was not inspired. How do you get passionate about something that does not inspire you? Something that does not make you want to jump out of bed every morning and venture out into the world because there is so much to be learned from experiencing our common backyard, the World?

For years she dragged on, doing this and that, dabbling in this field then that, telling herself that what was once her biggest motivation was merely a phase of life. A seventeen year old knowing what she truly desired? Hah, what a joke.

She would ask herself, what good is a young girl’s ambition if it doesn’t involve owning a mansion or a walk-in wardrobe? How about a car, and while we’re there, let’s add a chunky bank account to the list of needs!

She still didn’t know anything, she still didn’t know the world could be her oyster.

Some years on, she started getting restless. She looked around herself and looked for inspiration. She saw many who pursued lives carved out for them by others, she also saw many who threw caution to the wind and did exactly what they wanted. And she saw the pride with which they carried themselves for following the path less taken, the journey of following dreams and true inspiration, and in that pride she saw the effect of absolute faith in one’s determination.

She wondered if it was too late to start speaking to her seventeen year old self; to dig deep and rekindle the passion she once had for her dreams. She found out it was never too late- that young girl was still within!

Now she’s older, and she has seen more of the world. She doesn’t know everything, yet she knows the world can be her oyster.

She has much work to do; she knew when she was a young girl that practice turns a common talent into a skill, but along the way of pursuing the path set out for her by another, her gift had grown rusty.

Now she’s aware, and she knows the only thing that has the power to stop a person who has her heart set on a dream is the person herself.

It’s time to put pen to paper, and begin the journey towards fulfilment.

The world is her oyster, she knows she will be unstoppable. She has the power to be unstoppable.


What does a woman look like?

I like to think that I don’t need make-up to look good. Heavens, most people don’t need to lather their faces in layers of make-up the way they say they do; often times it’s just a perfectly justified desire to put it on for whatever reason appeals to them. Most people do it for the confidence- there’s nothing a splash of red lipstick can’t fix, really. Then again, tonnes of women use their foundations and powders to hide what they’ve been led to believe are “flaws” with their skin.

Hang on, a juicy zit isn’t an indicator of perfectly healthy skin, but depending on whether it’s one pimple or many pimples, whether it’s a case of sheer vanity or a downright hormonal issue, oftentimes a bump or two is perfectly normal!

Most mothers help their daughters on the journey to discovering the whole new world of shades and colour palettes- my Mum never did. This doesn’t mean I never raided her vanity case a gazillion times from the time I was a pre-teen and knew where she stashed it, and tried on the myriad of lipstick colours she owned, or even her compact powder (remember those cuties?), but never to her knowledge.

When I left the country and settled into Australia, the best knowledge of any make-up usage I had was that of the precious, glorious lifesaver that is the eyeliner. Five years later, I also now know how to work different lipsticks.

And that’s about it.

Yesterday my self-confidence took a slight trampling when I was told that I don’t look like a woman, but a girl. No, definitely not the worst insult that has ever been thrown at anyone (my Mother would tell me to take it as a compliment), but at almost twenty-five and in an age where my Facebook feed is constantly filled with images of Margot Robbie’s flawless feminine grace and Michelle Obama’s unwavering confidence and as the epitome of womanly strength (in my eyes, at least), being likened to a “girl” was a complete scandal.

I was a girl when I lived with my parents and never had to lift a finger to help around the house. A very spoiled girl.

I was a girl when I moved to Australia and expected the same treatment of the relatives who were kind enough to let me live with them rent-free. A very entitled and stupid girl.

I would like to believe that I stopped being a girl when I moved out of said home and started working my golden butt off to afford rent and food at the same time I was going through my university exams.

I would like to believe that I stopped being a girl when I decided to postpone my postgraduate studies for an uncertain amount of time because I could not afford it in Australia, and refused to allow my parents shoulder that responsibility.

I would like to believe that I became a woman when I ventured out there, put myself so far out of my comfort zone, met people I loved and didn’t quite love, got promotions through sheer grit and determination, learnt my strengths and weaknesses, and also when I met the man I’ve decided I would quite like to share the rest of my life with.

Which brings me to the question: What does it take for a person to look like a woman when they most certainly feel like one?

Perhaps that’s another factor I had never before considered as to why so many young women turn to make-up. To look more mature, to portray on the outside how they feel on the inside. To swap their little girl-like facial qualities for the dangerous contours of a woman’s cheekbones.

The thought is steeped in flaws, but I can’t help but wonder.

Perhaps that’s what I should consider doing for myself, if it helps me be taken a little bit more seriously as a woman… Actually, I’d rather not.

What is a friendship without a healthy dose of crisis?

I have spent many a day reflecting on one particular stormy relationship I have had for more than a year now.

Jono and I were, for the lack of a better word, forced into a work relationship a year and four months ago, which we embarked upon cordially enough. He was backpacking through the country before stumbling upon this work opportunity, and seemed to carry a pleasant European charm with him. Witty but cautious, friendly but mysterious. My sarcastic Sagittarian self instantly felt drawn to him, and felt like we would get along easily. I got along very well with everybody else, so why would this be any different, if not better?!

Within the space of two weeks, little arguments were making their way into our new alliance. Sporadic at first, they became much more frequent and exponentially more intense with time. Interestingly, these arguments only happened in the workplace, or relating to the work itself.

I have always been blunt, and in many unfortunate settings, hopelessly, tactlessly so. However, I have never been known to lose my temper to the extent that I find myself spitting venom at another person… for whatever reason. Except, I found, if the reason presented itself in the form of Jono.

Why, oh, why, did we shriek at each other the way we did? Why could we not seem to co-exist in the same business without wanting to shred the other to pieces? Who knows.

A beer usually acted as a Band-Aid, a quick fix, to the surface of our problem. Knowing that, it sometimes became difficult to even get either of us to sit to have that beer!

“Why would I want to try and “fix” this, when he’s being an insensitive nutcase?!”

“She’s freaking crazy, I hate when she speaks to me so rudely!”

Yeah, most times our mostly-senseless fights would stretch for days before we agreed to sit and talk it out. Over a couple of beers, of course.

We gradually came to realise that we each did not have the faintest idea of how to communicate with the other in a way that did not rub their feathers so violently. However, this problem only seemed to exist when work was the subject. Outside of work-related topics, we got along as well as peanut butter and jelly on toast. Which is pretty well, obviously.

Now, for a whole host of unrelated reasons, I ended up leaving the business after more than a year of having invested my time and effort into it. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, in the months following my exit from that workplace, my relationship with Jono seemed to improve. We caught up for drinks several times- mighty strong mojitos on one occassion- and I always walked away from those catch ups racking my brain for the tiniest inkling of a reason as to why we used to hold each other in so much disdain when we made a pretty terrific duo as friends! And each time, I struggled to find an answer other than the pure fact that, professionally, we never learned to communicate in a way that didn’t offend the other to huge degrees.

Jono has now left the country, and with him he has taken a little piece of my unsuspecting heart.

Two days before he left, we caught up for what I kept stressing to his laughing blond head was only our last meal together in this country this time. We spent the whole day after lunch together; if there was a way to make a day last three times its length, I would have done it then and still spent it the same way.

I was right after all. My sarcastic Sagittarian self still likes his witty and adventurous personality for what it is, and we definitely do get along easily. I do wonder how we managed to stay friends after so much turbulence for most of our acquaintance, but what is a great friendship without a little bit of crisis anyway?