Of Battles Between Shimmering Fairies and Sinister Pixies

“It’s time to roll our sleeves up and get to work.”

“No, let’s do it later. Tomorrow. Promise.”

“Okay… but we must.”

And in such a daily back-and-forth between the sweet glittering silver fairy on my right shoulder and the honey-voiced persuasion of the wicked pixie on my left, I have ultimately been cajoled into leaving my blog unattended for a very long time.

No prizes for guessing my major flaw: hooray if you correctly predicted it to be procrastination! Yay!

After my three month long hiatus from the blogosphere, I have, as of this morning, scolded myself into the habit of maintaining a consistent pattern of writing on this blog. How else would I practice the skill, especially after waxing lyrical about my great ambition of becoming a writer? Definitely not by picking up a pen and paper; I’m not entirely certain I even remember what they feel like in my hand anymore!

So here is my oath that I will henceforth contribute regularly to this space I have created on the Web. Unless I get taken away, handcuffed, and thrown into a shark-infested body of water, with no escape save the one to heaven (or hell, I suppose it depends on who’s waiting to give me my final judgement- wait, I’m Hindu, I get to be reborn!).

I’m back!

 

Reachin’ for fulfillment

A few weeks ago, a doubt niggled at the back of my mind. An idea formed.

A few days later, I was on my laptop, researching intently.

A few days ago, I made up my mind.

Yesterday, I gave my manager my notice of resignation.

Wait, wha-? Where did that come from?

What have I done?

YIKES.

Is it not remarkable how some of the bigger decisions in life are the ones most of us end up making on a whim? Although I wouldn’t classify this decision of mine as a “whim”, I cannot say I know what I will be doing for work after my last day at the office at the end of the month… but I also find it exciting not to be able to do so. Many people I know (read: my mother) would berate me for the sheer lack of certainty of future I seem to have signed myself up for, but I do know that the one thing I have definitely signed out of is a future of settling for job security instead of contentment.

If there is one thing my previous career in a 100%-commission industry taught me, it is that we are capable of so much, and that most of our audacious goals can be attainable if we broke them down and went about achieving little milestones gradually.

For example, I set myself the realistic goal of stopping at one serving of food at dinner. My milestone at the moment is two serves. It was, at one time, three. This therefore brings me closer to one day stopping at one! See, already closer to one goal- I got this!

Another example would be how I would love to perfect the Aussie fashion of slang words! Presently, my goal is to start incorporating the word “mate” into sentences- not an awful lot like the abundance of cliches will have you believe, but just a touch, enough to pass as a (classy) Sydney-sider, born and raised. My current milestones include successfully tossing around words such as “arvo” and “deadset”, so I know it’s only a matter of time until “mate” becomes a permanent fixture in my verbal vocabulary… Watch me celebrate every little success, right until I find myself chilling on a tree with a koala!

Not relevant. Sorry, I digress.

There is a lot I don’t know, but if there is one thing I do, it is that I am at an age and place in life where I am starting to feel the need to accomplish something that truly matters to me, which is why I have made the decision to leave my job although it does have some great perks attached to it. We each have our strengths and the arenas where we perform at our best, and that was probably not one of mine.

It’s back to the drawing board for me, and although it will feel like a long reach, I am aware that what I need right now is the clarity of mind to find out what exactly it is I would like to achieve, and the stomach/guts/balls to see it through.

After all, I’ve already had my first nightmare of Mum chastising me for being an indecisive nut. Please let that remain a nightmare, dear god, I do not want to face that horror in real life!

 

My Continual Craving

 

We bulldoze our way through a gargantuan pile of rice and home-made Thai Red Curry. It is 8.30 pm, though I really would not be able to tell you how that happened. I’ve never quite understood the logic of the little man who controls the science of time-keeping; why would he knowingly stretch out our dreadful hours at work, making eight of those feel like twelve, but allowing our four or five remaining waking hours at home and in the comfort of track-pants and wooly socks feel like… two meagre hours?

Also, as a side note for clarification purposes, “home-made” Thai Red Curry refers to the sort of “home-made” that comes straight out of a jar and into the pot. You know the sort where you mix in a can of coconut cream, half a cup of water, and a hearty amount of chicken into the contents of the aforementioned jar, and – VOILA! A serving of deliciously aromatic, taste-bud stimulating, drool-inducing curry to warm any cold soul’s heart is ready for the taking.

I keep my thoughts to myself as I determinedly make my way through my hefty dish; I glance over at my boyfriend’s plate and marvel at the fact that, here, at last, is a human specimen not too much bigger than me in size, with a similar metabolic rate (based on my very amateur predictions, i.e. by basing my conclusion on how soon after a meal he gets hungry… Isn’t that how it’s measured??), who can wipe a dish down quicker than I can. My little champion.

I never fail to admit that I may just have the appetite of whatever in this world has the biggest appetite- which might by default make me that very creature. I have always loved food, and if you and I were friends, you wouldn’t want to be caught dead with me anywhere near a buffet, for the sake of your dignity.

My boyfriend and I sit back in our chairs after our respective third servings of dinner… oh boy, do we sit back comfortably. A little bit of chatter ensues, discussions of the events that have made up our day, all the while allowing our digestive systems to do their thing. Unfortunately, dishes don’t wash themselves, and neither do the pots and chopping boards… so we reluctantly get off our behinds, and clean up.

By this point, it’s almost 9.45 pm.

“Oh boy, almost time for bed!”, I exclaim.

“Yes… yes. Early to bed, early to rise,” agrees my brain. “But you also have to give your stomach some time to digest the giant’s feed you just forced on it”.

And so I again seat my bottom down, this time on our comfortable sofa, and reach for my laptop to surf the internet mindlessly as anyone in a food coma would do. It’s all going well, I’m reading a crazy story about a crazy politician somewhere on Buzzfeed, when suddenly, my adventurous little heart speaks up.

“Hi sweetie… How about washing that delicious dinner down with some dessert?”

“Uh oh,” responds my brain. “Let’s not even go there. She hasn’t been to gym in so many days that I am clueless as to why she ignored my calls to refrain from signing up to one, practically throwing her money away on a weekly basis, but that’s another story! It’s 10.30 pm, she has just had a dinner befitting three kings, and having any dessert is out of the question.”

“That’s ridiculous, Madam, you want dessert as badly as she does! There is no need to play Devil’s Advocate just for the sake it. How would some gelato feel on her tongue… just imagine that for one second. Stop resissssting…” my bitter heart hisses back.

The internal argument goes on for a few minutes. My boyfriend has no idea of the turmoil that is going on inside me, for my face is the image of peace.

I decide to test the waters. “Amor, do you feel like having some dessert?”, I ask him. After all, he is my partner in crime, and almost as gluttonous as I am; I do enjoy sharing the sinful sensation of a rich chocolate mudcake or pretty much just anything else with this human.

He looks up at me quizzically and asks, “Are you hungry? We’ve just had so much to eat!”. “But we need something sweet to wash all those spices from dinner down! I’ll go get us some chocolate…?” I trail off, hoping for some positive validation. I do, after all, realise how high up on Santa’s naughty list I must be placing myself right now.

My boyfriend grins. “Sure, except we don’t have any in the house. Nor anything else you would call ‘dessert’…”.

And instantly my heart is crushed. Why, oh why, did I not stop by at the supermarket on my way home from work and grab a tub of ice cream, or a bar of cheap chocolate?! I should have known better! My heart has begun wailing at this point.

I console myself. Tomorrow will be a better day. I tell myself that I will remember to bring home a cheeky dessert, and just to satisfy my nagging brain, I will also pop into the gym on my way home from work to stare at my reflection as I lift 5 kg dumbbells.

Ah! Woe is the life of a woman prone to late night sweet desires… to appease the cravings, or not to appease the cravings, that is the question!

 

The Apology Hug

According to the world’s beloved Merriam-Webster, an apology can be defined as:

  1. a statement saying that you are sorry about something
  2. an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong

…which is generally what most of us rational adults have come to understand the word to mean, right?

Right!

Especially with regard to point 2, it is usually rather clear when an apology is not meant sincerely or “with regret” as per the above definition- and THIS is the sort of apology I am going to write about tonight!

Back when I was a teeny tot, I was pretty much the Queen of the family; not just to my Mum and Dad, for whom I was the first child, but also to the entire of Mum’s side of our extended family… I was also first grandchild!

I must say, hearing the stories of how I would constantly find myself in the limelight, subject to a free-flow of “Oooh”s and “Aaah”s and delighted squeals of “She’s so chubby!”, absolutely loving the attention and basking in it, almost makes me wish one of the most significant events to happen in my toddler years didn’t take place and subsequently rob me of the pleasures of the centre stage.

The birth of my sister.

Once she popped into this world, all the attention which I had previously commanded was immediately shifted onto her beautiful, smiling, wide-eyed, angelic face. She was such a beauty! Where I was a grumpy baby (according to my parents, I cracked my first legitimate smile at 6 months and it was a cause for huge celebration), she was cheerful in contrast. Where I was heavy, earning myself the nickname of “Mike Tyson” when I was still a BABY (!!) by my gleeful but loving aunts, my sister was tiny. And lastly, where I was born as bald as a badger, she had the most perfect head of tight luscious curls!

Geez Louise, don’t I sound bitter? I swear I am not, or have at least long outgrown such feelings, but it is safe to say that growing up, the relationship between my sister and I were akin to that of the fiercest cat and dog in the neighbourhood! We fought over everything, and any silly excuse was grabbed viciously to engage in torrentuous fits of screams as best as any three- and five- year old humans’ bodies could!

And that would be when our glorious Mum would step in; Dad was no match for his little daughters’ surges of emotion, he was too playful! With Mum, on the other hand, we learned that the easiest thing to do was to just give up.

Why?

Because our little minds had come to learn that amongst Mum’s many embarrassing strategies to force my sister and I to co-operate again was the dreadful “I’m sorry, I love you” hug.

It would suffice to say that we never let Mum get her way easily in her attempt to get us within a centimetre of each other. However, Mum also is the Master of the Withering Glower; merely throwing one such expression in our general direction usually had us obey her command pretty damn instantly.

So my sister and I would throw our arms around each other very awkwardly, mutter an indecipherable apology, and quickly withdraw our arms from the body of the other lest we infected ourselves with the other’s bacteria. Mum would then block our crack at a hurried escape, tell us she was unsatisfied with the lack of “sincerity” with which the whole transaction had occurred, and make us do it again! Can you believe her cheek?!

And so my poor sister and I would have to face each other again (upon Mum’s prod for us to look each other in the eyes), say “sorry” by somewhat feigning true remorse, and join in another quick embrace. However, by this point, our childish resolve to be as angry as possible would have wavered somewhat significantly, and we would be fighting back fits of gigg- ARGH WHY IS IT SO HARD TO KEEP UP AN ENRAGED FACADE!

Going back to the definition of an apology, our three- and five-year old selves never truly regretted getting ourselves into the fight, but the effect of the hugs served to remind us that we were sisters and any argument could be solved with a little gesture of love, even if it was forced initially!

Twenty years down the road, my sister and I have the best relationship with each other. I can safely say that she is my best friend. Every now and then when we do find ourselves getting into a bit of a quarrel, we joke that we might need to perform the Apology Hug before the argument got any worse. We haven’t actually needed to because the magic would have already been created by the mere thought of it.

Mum was definitely on to something!

 

 

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?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/crisis/