A Word to My 16-Year-Old Self

Hey girl,

I bet things are feeling pretty fucking crazy right now, aren’t they? A lot is going on both inside and outside of your head, but brace yourself because you’re going to have one of your best years yet. 

Firstly, I just have to say how fucking proud of you I am. 2010 was a really shit year, but you hung in there. You reached out when you needed to. You hit the bag instead of hitting others. You tried to minimise the exterior damage as much as possible, even though in there you were falling to pieces. 

A few things: 

  1. Don’t worry about that psychologist, she was weird and didn’t really get what you were trying to achieve. You’re not crazy, and it’s perfectly okay not to be able to visualise the beach when you’re having a panic/anger attack. 
  2. That boy you’ve been in love with, the one you call your best friend? He’s been great, but he’s also been horrible. Considering it’s your first “big love” (you will refuse to admit this for a number of years, but it’s true), it’s been a really crappy one. One-sided affection BLOWS but you may or may not have learned that by now via the wise opening sequence in The Holiday. 
  3. You will feel better. You will also no longer feel the need to blast music in your headphones at lunch and be an antisocial little shit. But we’ll forgive that, because, depression. 

Okay, so new year, new you.

You’re going to dye your hair blonde over the holidays. Sorry, but it looks off. PLEASE buy some toner or at least beg for it as a Christmas present. But don’t freak out! You’ll spend the next 6 years experimenting with different shades and intensities until you honestly can’t be assed with the maintenance of it anymore (sad but true). 

You’re starting at a new school, which is pretty bloody scary at your age, so again I reiterate: I’m proud of you. Moving away from your family, friends, and hometown all in one hit is big, but this is going to be the most fun you’ve had in ages. 

You’ll make friends, I promise. The cool girls will be bitches, the guys will be funny, and your little gang will be Skins-worthy. Don’t get so hung up on not working or having any money at the moment – it’s actually going to be a blessing in disguise (let’s just say that you get creative when it comes to sourcing items). 

Stop freaking out about your body. You’re probably the slimmest you’ve ever been, but that doesn’t really matter either. Stop comparing yourself to those with differently DNA – and try to be nice to those you are actually related to. 

You might want to think twice before downloading all of those albums (mainly because you’ll only like 10% of them) and brace yourself for Grandma’s wrath when she finds out you’ve racked up a $300 internet bill. 

So you’re planning to have that epic party? Good on you, but TAKE THE DAMN EVENT OFF PUBLIC. Your carelessness has resulted in said party getting canceled hours before, and your friends all being sent home. It’s a real shame because it probably would’ve been the bomb. Moving on…

Stop freaking out about being the last 16-year-old to lose their virginity. It’s really not that big a deal, but I know you won’t take my word for it until you’ve experienced it yourself. Just be happy that the guy is very cute and nice and plays guitar and is definitely the best pick of the (available) bunch. You’ll see what I mean later. 

Also, your first kiss will NOT be what you dreamt of. It’s not romantic in the slightest, but it’s definitely not the worst. Does everyone hear about it at school the next week? Perhaps, but hey at least you’ve ticked it off your bucket list!

These six months in Malanda are going to teach you a lot. You’re going to experience a lot of firsts, including drinking, hitch-hiking, rotten hangovers and learning to look after yourself. It’s all good fun, but it does have to end. You’re going to be PISSED and I can totally see why, but just know that going back to Weipa is also going to be a lot of fun.

In other words, the worst has passed, but there’s plenty of more good stuff on the way. 

You will return home essentially a new person. Your soul is educated, refreshed, experienced, healed and happy. You’ve battled your demons and aren’t 100% in the clear, but you’ve made a fuckload of progress and that’s what counts. 

Don’t get too hung up about school. It’s school, you know that, and you’ll do great because you simply can’t bring yourself to hand in a shit assignment (tests on the other hand…). Keep talking to your teachers, and embrace the opportunity for multiple drafts (especially in English). Life is really bloody easy at the moment, even if it feels like a solid betrayal when your parents cook dinner in the slow cooker. 

You’re going to party a lot and experience your fair share of hangovers. You’re going to get a new job and get free hot chips and mushroom sauce, and you’re going to race home from work every weekend to hang out with your friends. You’ll sleep till late and watch a lot of Skins, and neglect your writing a little but that’s okay because you’re out there doing THINGS. 

I hope you’re excited because writing this right now has made me smile fondly and be genuinely grateful for that year. 

Handy hints re: boys

No brainer

Okay, so You Know Who is fun, but he’s also a total dick. Do NOT invite him to your party. 

Don’t lose hope

Soooo that bitch who regularly asks you for credit also asked him out first. It’s okay. Hang in there for another 4 or so years and he’ll be yours. Also great: soon you’ll no longer be sending people credit. Yay for technology!

Bad-but-true fortune

A boy is going to come into your life next year, and I can’t really tell you to avoid him like the plague (otherwise you might screw things up for current me), but be wary of his ass. Don’t take any bullshit, and try not to lose yourself in the relationship.

Okay, so spoiler: you totally will lose yourself during the 1.5 years you are together, and you’re going to be feeling more codependent and vulnerable than ever. Your life will start to revolve around him, and you’re gonna make some pretty big decisions for the sake of the relationship that again, aren’t really going to benefit you, but ultimately set the course for you to become me.

Be careful what you wish for

Once you make that choice, things are going to change. They’re going to be shitty between you two for a while, and then they’ll be okay. And then he’ll get a girlfriend and essentially shun you from your life. But guess what – YOU DON’T NEED HIM ANYMORE *throws environmentally friendly glitter everywhere*. That is an achievement in itself. 


Okay, I’ll shut up now. If you’ve learned one thing, it’s how much we both like to think/talk/write. God forbid I ever write a memoir – there’ll be more volumes than Encyclopedia Brittania. 

Lastly, stay strong, try to smile and please don’t perch your DSLR on that bookshelf. It falls. You break the shutter. I still haven’t gotten it repaired. 




Screen City

Over the past few months, I’ve become one of those people who are very much into “no screen time”. Ugh, if only 9-year-old me could look at what she’s become – she would be horrified haha. 

Being in a “long distance” relationship for over a year meant that I had become glued to my phone – even more so than I was before. Now, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I did find that when James and I visited each other we barely touched our phones because we finally didn’t need them. But there was[is] always the TV and the computer. We love each other and get along great, but we are surrounded by screens. 

I can’t remember exactly when/what triggered my big grumpy moment – you know the one, where someone suddenly realises JUST how sick of something they are and declare to completely change their ways, starting from NOW – but during one of those visits it just clicked. Our entire relationship was based on screens and that sucked.

If we weren’t texting or talking, we were binge-watching Game of Thrones (no regrets) or whatever else we could find that was remotely appealing on Netflix, and if we wanted a break from that, James would jump on his computer and I would either grab my laptop to do uni work or on the rare occasion – read. 

Sure, we did things. We went places. We had great conversations and laughed lots. But we had a relationship supported by technology. But hey, that’s normal in this day and age. It’s a statistical miracle that we didn’t meet online, for god’s sake! 

After my big realisation (I’m sure this was in correlation to a book I was reading at the time…The Happiness Project perhaps?) I was determined to make sure we did ‘things’. I drag James on drives and we visit waterfalls and we made plant shopping our #1 couple’s hobby/bonding time. I got back into reading and became comfortable enough to write with him around, and James began drawing and making terrariums. We went through an intense puzzling phase which I am partly still in (just waiting for a new puzzle tbh) and we usually spend a good half hour before I go to bed just chatting about whatever. Sometimes, we get to the beach and sit on the rocks with chips and calamari and just enjoy the salty air and lovely ocean sounds. 

One of my little resolutions for the year is to be more present. Similarly to the screen bubble, last year I started picking up on how much my mind wanders. Yeah, I know, everybody’s minds wander. But mine was going WAY out bush in moments that were supposed to be really special. My mind was wandering seeing my favourite bands. My mind was wandering when I was listening to a song for the first time (a big no-no in my books). My mind was wandering when I should’ve been listening to others speak. My mind was wandering when I should’ve been asleep.

I resorted to mediation, which helped a bit, but I got tragically slack and lost the resistance definition I had built in my mind. Soon, my mind was back to wandering what it would be like to live in a hut in Guatemala with some locals for 6 months when I was really supposed to be writing a summary for an assignment. 

I’m yet to find a magical cure or something that works other than me having to work really hard to BE in the moment. As soon as I start to notice the distracting thoughts, I literally have to think to myself “be present right now. Be present NOW” almost sternly. It seems to be doing the trick, but I know I have a long way to go. 

We live in a really bizarre world where technology is assisting us in literally everything we do, but we as a species are beginning to loathe certain aspects of it. Or rather, certain devices and/or apps that we’ve become addicted to and have made us become REALLY GREAT at using emojis but not so fab at chatting to a stranger whilst waiting in line. 

I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m glad that at 23, I’ve woken up and started really paying attention to my mind and all of its silly little habits. Yes, it’s a great ol’ thing that keeps me running, but it can also quickly become my demise if I don’t look after it properly. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on this whole screens thing. Are you too finding yourself retreating and looking for more tactile hobbies and pastimes, or have you fully embraced the digital age and never want to look back? 

Till next time,

Viv  xo 


Feature image by  Photo by  HealthyMond on Unsplash

A Snapshot of Now: At 22

I’ve been putting off writing this for quite a damn while. I wish I had some extravagant excuse, like I’ve been so BUSY or my calendar has been colour-coded beyond despair, or that I’ve got so many creative projects in the works.

I can’t say any of that because in reality, this year has been one of the best, but also really tough. I’m not sure if I’ve ever discussed this on here, but over the last couple of years I worked out that being in love means that I let my guard down. What a fucking discovery, right? Well, it was a realisation for me for a number of reasons, but basically it means this: despite feeling happy and in love and having a great boyfriend, the darkness can still get to me. In fact, it feeds off of this love, because I’ve tripped the alarms – I’ve shown that I’ve opened myself up to someone and a few shards of the bad shit slithered their way back in. I’m okay, I promise – but it’s still daunting to know that it’s there again. 

How are things going now?

Honestly, I’m in a bit of a rut. I’ve been feeling like quite the little grump over things that shouldn’t affect me. I switched jobs and jumped into what I thought was my dream position…only to realise that once again I was playing Tom in 500 Days of Summer reenacting the expectations|reality scene. 

I’ve been feeling a lot of self-doubt, which isn’t good for anyone, but I’ve also read more books this year than I have combined in the last 3 (stay tuned for a full round up at the end of the year!). 

I picked up my new glasses – today in fact! – and they are clear and super cool and are making me feel more and more like myself. I feel like I need to start wearing more red lipstick and oversized silhouettes and be the curator at a super cool gallery. 

My family has been good. I’ve been trying to see them a lot more regularly now that James has moved down – oh yeah, that happened. Hooray! Love hearts and rainbows and no more 1.5 hr drives for a hug! – so that’s been awesome. Harrison somehow turned 10 this year which is INSANE and Soren is a non-stop bloody chatterbox. I love being able to watch them grow up and I’m soaking it up as much as possible while I can.

So – living with a boyfriend again. This time has gone TREMENDOUSLY better than the last, partly because James isn’t an asshole but mostly because we have a really good relationship and have grown up a lot together. We’re still totally shit at cleaning and it’s a constant battle to see who hates doing the dishes more, but aside from the icky housework stuff we’re having a great time. 

We’re definitely homebodies and are currently working on trying to coordinate better so we can actually see our friends (was that not the most senior sentence you’ve ever read?)  but we’re making an effort to get our butts outside and enjoy all the pretty nature around us. I’ve taken it upon myself to start us epic boardgame, puzzle and vinyl collections, so if that isn’t proof that I was supposed to be raised in the 80’s then I don’t know what is. 

Speaking of the 80’s… Stranger Things has taken over my life. Is that dramatic? Nope. This is the show that I’ve been missing all of my life. I love every single inch of it and as a result, I’m trying to find the coolest ways to inject ALL of the fan art into our flat. Before I move on, let’s all just take a moment to appreciate Mom Steve ❤

I’ve bought a lot more furniture this year, partly because Ethan moved out and we have an extra room, and partly because we were running out of storage space. I’m a big believer of knick knacks, but also like them to be displayed beautifully and dusted regularly (preferably not by me). 

Oh yeah, I also went plant-based this year. Not a lot of people know about it (as if it really matters) so I’m still in that stage of having to explain to people why I’m not eating meat or dairy and can’t eat anything with cheese. I’m still eating seafood maybe once a week, and am strictly vegan at home and a little more flexible when eating out (i.e. I know there’s a good chance that there’s egg hidden in the veggie pattie). So far it’s been great and I don’t ever want to revert back. I haven’t had any major health changes, good or bad, but my skin has certainly cleared up and I get less bloated after eating (unless I gulp down too many hot chips). 

I was going to go on about the trips I took and gigs I went to, but I might save that for an end of year post, just to really extend this whole ‘me, me me!’ theme we’ve got going on here. 

Being 23 is weird, and I feel like Blink hit the nail on the head when they sang “nobody likes you when you’re 23” because I feel like I’ve been a hermit/have hardly seen my friends this year. Okay, so I’ve seen them, but the catch ups have been few and far and it’s made me miss that sense of community and family that we had in school. We’re at the age now where people don’t feel as obliged to keep in contact and invite you to things, which is okay, but also kind of sad. I just to stop being such a big baby and make friends with the cool people that live in Cairns. 

On moving – I want to move. I’ve been in our unit for nearly 3 years and it’s time for a change. I need fresh walls and fresh inspiration and quieter neighbours. I crave the outdoors and the sound of waves and yes I know I’m dreaming thinking I can find a place like that here for under $300 a week. I think that feeling stagnant has contributed to my lack of motivation/creativity, so I’m going to be optimistic and say that we WILL find a place in the new year, and it will be everything I manifested and more. 

That’s probably enough waffling on. Big thank you to anyone who actually got to the end of this choppy diary entry, but it will be nice to look back on this guy and see how I’ve grown over the years.

P.S. Please appreciate how I wrote this entire post thinking I was 23😂😂😂I was going to take out the Blink reference, but it’s too damn funny. Clearly my math skills aren’t improving with age. 

Till next week,


A Word on Creativity

I’ve always thought of someone complementing me as ‘creative’ as the highest of honours. Like really – is there actually anything lovelier that can be said to a person?

In my eyes, the creatives are the soul of our earth. We’re the inventors, the innovators, the collaborators, the artists looking for a lucky break. We come in all shapes and sizes and often hide our true talents away better than the stealthiest of superheroes ever could. We seem normal and clever and funny and happy – but sometimes this ‘gift’ can get the better of us.

We’ve all heard how some artists create their best work when they’re depressed or medicated. That how some how to retreat into themselves and face their darkest of demons to produce the work that hangs in the world’s most memorable galleries. We all know that the arts isn’t always (or often) deemed as the practical path to pursue at a young age – or any age for that matter.

We aren’t always guaranteed a steady income, and rarely achieve the figures of those working on Wall St, but we know we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, and what fufills us.

I’m writing this at a little bit of a crossroads – I’m three-quarters through a design course, and feel okay about everything, but not fuelled. I’m intimidated, unsure and doubtful. I pass all of my subjects and recieve praise but I still don’t feel like I’m nailing it. It’s like there’s something missing – but what exactly? I have the ideas, I have the patience to learn the skills and programs, but I lack the confidence in my work. I often dream of cool little side projects but rarely start them up, due to lack of time and energy.

Self doubt is like a parasite – when you give it what it wants (aka, sucummbing to the negative thoughts) you feed it and it grows. It starts to infiltrate every area that you’ve ever enjoyed. It makes you question every creative project you’ve ever worked on and chastises you for every one you never started. It compares and insults and generally makes you feel inadequate. It’s a really shitty thing – and a really viscious cycle.

Yet, despite all of this – the creative path is all I dream of. There isn’t a day that goes by without me wondering how the hell I can make this a full time gig…whilst working for myself and not being dirt poor. It’s exciting to know that there’s so many awesome possibilities and ways for me to be successful without conforming, but in the meantime I have to learn how to be patient. 

One of the best things I’ve ever done is purchase Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. That book has become a bible for those seeking fufillment off the beaten path, and has so many gems in it discussing living a creative life without fear.

Liz taught me to create for the sake of creating. I knew that this was a thing, of course, but I didn’t realise how valuable it could be for a person until reading it from another’s point of view. I’d like to say I’ve embraced this notion wholeheartedly, but I haven’t. I jot as many ideas down as I can, but often fall short with the execution side of things. But at least I’m allowing myself to dream, which is more than others can say.

Having this blog has helped tremendously with unleasing the creative beast. I’ve always been one to read and watch other people’s work, but now I have a space where I can share my own, and it keeps me accountable to stick to my weekly uploads. I’d love to step up to posting 2 times a week, but my inspiration often comes at weird times (usually when I should be studying) so I don’t know how consistent that would be. Maybe in the future, eh?

I’d love to know what your tips and tricks are for boosting your creativity and sourcing inspiration. I personally love putting on a good playlist, making a cup of tea and reading my favourite magazines, repotting my house plants or travelling. Kind of a random mix, but afterwards I always feel invigorated and ready to create.

Till next time,


*Image by my cute friend @taylawebbxox

A Letter To An Old Friend

Hi there.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Is it sad that I can remember the exact day when we last spoke? I guess not because you’ve always made a habit of hanging around in my mind, even when you weren’t wanted.

I’ve been wanting to write this for such a fucking long time, you have no idea. Things were never the same after you told me about you and her. When you actually admitted that you had lied to me. When you promised that you were happy and nothing would change, and the opportunities were endless.

We had such a whirlwind friendship. So close, then so far apart, and in love, then out of love. Holding hands and touching toes, secrets mumbled in the dark. Discussing everything and anything that we knew no one else would really understand.

Sleeping in til 1pm and dragging ourselves out for hot chips and gravy. Sprawling on the grass discussing the meaning of happiness, and if we would ever get there.

Unanswered texts and ignored calls, making my heart sink a little more each time. It’s just a phase, I would tell myself, you do this, but soon enough, you’ll find your way back to me again. I spent so long convincing myself that you were a good friend, my best friend and that despite all your flaws we were soulmates. Not in that way, of course, but in the way that we always knew we belonged to each other, and would just be there.

There were signs before, of course there were. Like that time you didn’t want me to come over because you felt like having a quiet night (meanwhile I could hear your music blasting from across the suburb) and I had to beg you to let me visit, because dark thoughts were clouding my head.

We rarely had the answers the other needed, and often were lost for words when it counted the most, but that didn’t really matter. We had each other, no matter what, and that always kept me going.

I’ve thought about messaging you so many times, to let bygones be bygones and all that shit, just so I could have someone to seriously discuss music with. After all, we had simply drifted apart, there was no reason I couldn’t reach out and strengthen our bonds once again.

But I haven’t. I’ve been strong, and have held my ground and didn’t come begging this time, because if you really wanted to be my friend then you would be. It’s as simple as that. I can’t pretend I’m perfect, life gets busy and the weeks blur by, but I always made time for you. Because that’s what you do. You make time for the people you care for.

I don’t know if this is coming off as angry or just downright pathetic, but it feels good to let it out and know that you’ll probably never see it (unless of course, one of our charming mutual friends decides to spread it around). You were my life raft for so long, but slowly drifted out of sight, and now, out of the sheer need to survive, I can swim on my own.

Ah yes, there’s a lot of water metaphors going on here. But isn’t that one of the reasons we loved Youngbloods so much? They just got it. They got us. Damaged souls trying to navigate the world, dreaming of big things whilst being stranded in a small town.

At least you had your beachside escape. You were my escape, and when you were gone things became a little harder, but hey, I adapted.


Cover image by Joel Birch.

The Beauty of the Polaroid

Growing up, Polaroid cameras were something of the past. A token at every cool party in every cool 90’s movie, and those funny pictures you’d find online that had the white textured borders around them. 

The smartphone was up and running and somewhat affordable, so everyone who was anyone had one. Gone were the days of lugging around digital cameras and filling up memory cards with cheesy group photos (ala Friends) and action shots of just about anything. You no longer had to fight your siblings for a chance to use the computer, only to spend hours uploading and editing and posting and tagging and haphazardly filing them away into ‘My Pictures’.

Now, our phones, hell, even our iPods, had convenient little cameras which meant documenting was a whole lot easier and “in the moment”. However, somewhere along the way, we became obsessed with said documentation. We all remember the phase when instagramming your lunch was actually a thing, and hashtags and emojis became their own language. 

As the instant photography trend took off, the variety of editing apps not only tripled but became affordable (if they weren’t already free, that is). Suddenly, we were all amateur photographers, with all the tools we needed at our fingertips to create the perfectly contrasted snap. And of course, there was the magical benefit of taking multiple photos in one hit, for all of us who “didn’t like the angle of my face in that pic”. 

Suddenly, capturing moments was no longer about capturing moments and freezing time – it revolved around good lighting and effortless cool poses (you know the ones I’m talking about) and getting the most likes. Sure, we were sharing our lives more than ever, but only the curated version – the only that took 28 shots to be deemed worthy of sharing. 

In the midst of this chaos, in came the savior we all needed, but didn’t necessarily want, returned (think: Batman at the end of The Dark Knight). Slowly, these beautiful, vibrant pictures with the vaguely familiar white borders started popping up in my feeds. Sometimes the faces were too bright, or the scenery a little washed out, but man were they something. 

I had already begun dabbling in film photography, but I was drawn to the Polaroid 300 instant camera for its user-friendly design and intriguing results. I adored how you couldn’t tell if a picture worked until after it was developed and until you’d used that precious piece of film. How film was not cheap, so it was important to cherish the photos you actually took.

At the beginning, I would get so disappointed if a Polaroid didn’t turn out. Even after doing everything right, sometimes they just wouldn’t develop how I imagined. But I made the rule to never throw a Polaroid out – even if the colours were distorted and the people next to unidentifiable. There was just something so dreamy about having that moment physically captured in my hands.

I used to have them arranged neatly on my bedroom wall, but soon the collection grew too vast for that, and I had to do something I’d dreaded from the start – hiding them away in an album. To me, photo albums were the photography equivalent of a rusty old filing cabinet, and my pictures were far too special to go in one of those! But, I reasoned, they would be protected and easier to transport and had a lesser chance of being chewed by a cat or small visitor. 

After 4 years I’ve filled 6 and a half albums (not to mention the ones I’ve got on display/given away) which work out to be a little over 400 Polaroids in my possession. I’ve never counted it before, so wow, that really is a lot. Over 400 physical reminders of the past, all gathered neatly into books small enough to fit into my handbag. 

I still can’t explain exactly why I’m so drawn to them, but it’s pretty cool that I’m still passionate about it after 4 years. I love teaching people how to use them (especially little kids) and continue to be stern with those who try to shake them or hold them face up whilst they’re developing (please don’t be that irresponsible!). I’ve seen a lot of people keep them in their wallets or on the fridge, and now that it’s become trendy again there is a whole range of official Instax accessories to complete your collection, so that’s neat. 

As for me, I’m still pretty old school. I treat them like they’re special, because they are. I use my camera for all sorts of occasions and events, and sometimes for no other reason than to get a cute pic with James, and I always make sure there’s a spare film pack stashed for such times. 

Polaroids will always remind me of fun and magical times, because it’s easy enough nowadays to whip out your phone and take a picture or video (hell, you don’t even have to unlock it anymore) but using the Polaroid, for me anyway, means it’s a time that I genuinely cherish and want to document. 

Sure, it’s not the cheapest hobby, but it’s one that will connect you to a physical object, and one that you can look to as often as you’d like. I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with this post and of course, I could try and convince you to test one out, but chances are you already have. And if you have, well, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

Home Is…

Curled up in your arms, watching something and trying not to fall asleep.

A trundle bed on my little brother’s floor.

A space filled with art prints and knick knacks and well preserved books.

A comfy chair in a lovely smelling bookstore.

A makeshift “bed” on the floor of my best mate’s hotel room.

A blow up mattress in a spare room in Brisbane.

A seat on a plane taking me to somewhere new.

A beach – any beach, any where, as long as I can smell the sea.

A slope on a hill at the most eastern point of Australia. 

Being in the front row of my favourite band.

Dancing in the rain with a friend I’ve just met.

Holding hands with you as we walk to get pizza.

Cuddling my baby brother, and watching as he experiences everything for the first time.

The driver’s seat on a long road trip.

The streets of New York – all of them.

Falling asleep listening to the rain at my parents’ house.

Sitting on a barstool as you make me a cup of tea.

The beach house.

Any gig that involves Amity.

Laying on the floor listening to a record for the first time.

Writing on a long bus commute.

In the crowd at a festival.

Pulling on my docs after not wearing them for months.

Jumpers that aren’t mine.

Sitting next to you as you try to teach me about computer games.

Being anywhere and watching 500 Days of Summer.

On top of a mountain filled with snow.

In an apartment overlooking a lake.

The back veranda of my grandparents’ place.

A mental bench on a barge heading to an island.

The sweet scent of a summer storm.


Home is wherever or whatever makes your heart full.



*This piece was inspired by one of my favourite songs “Home Is” by Trophy Eyes. It’s really quite beautiful and is one for all the wanderers. 

What Makes A Relationship “A Relationship”?

So you’re probably thinking: “Jeez, Vivienne, how the hell am I supposed to answer that?” 

Well friend, I don’t expect you to. Or at least not in the same way that I would, or your parents would, or a shrink would.  Hell, even googling the definition of the word relationship came up with multiple different meanings; my favourite being:

Relationship (noun): the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.

Which is quite sweet, when you put it that way, but also very practical, because relationships do in fact connect people. Human beings thrive on connection, we always have, and yet, after hundreds of thousands of years, we still struggle to define the relationships we share with certain people. 

Of course they aren’t always so complicated. Sometimes a friend is just a friend, or you have that rare distant cousin that you actually like, or a partner that you have been married to forever. There are lots of relationships in our lives that are uncomplicated, and for the most part, shall remain so. You know the ones – like the cashier at your local post office, or the nice girl at your favourite takeaway shop. It’s easy, simple, straightforward. You say a quick hello and thank them before hauling your ass home to open your new clothing/highly anticipated chicken stir fry.

But, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, I’m not talking about those relationships. Those are easy. They don’t cause us to lay awake at night, obsessively going over every interaction you’ve had that past week, or questioning if they’re mad at you because they didn’t add a smiley face to the end of that text or if that girl in those tagged Facebook photos is really  just a friend of a friend. Yeah, we’ve all been there. It fucking sucks. We have all of this technology that’s supposed to help us feel “connected” and here we are, hiding behind screens too petrified to just march over and ask “what the hell is going on between us?!” 

It’s a strange concept, and one I’ve found myself pondering over quite often. I’m lucky enough now to be in a relationship where everything is completely transparent – we know how we feel about each other and what the other one wants, and that we make each other happy. Hell, sometimes I still pinch myself over how good I’ve got it. But it wasn’t always this way.

For a good 8 months, I was one of those people in limbo. I used to look for signs in everything – a text, a conversation, a look, a touch, a gesture. Anything that could potentially shine a bit of light as to how the heck he felt towards me.

Now, I’m not trying to group boys together here, but I do have a little bit of sympathy for them. The majority of the ones I know were raised by fathers who taught them not to be weak, and as helpful a trait as that may be, it also means that it makes it that much fucking harder for us girls to get a meaningful or personal answer out of them. Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I heard “I don’t know” I would be living in a trendy warehouse loft in Brooklyn by now. I can’t complain too much, because with a lot of prodding and patience we managed to talk things out, but boy was it exhausting.

I hate to be the one who pulls this card, but movies and books do NOT help you in these circumstances. All the good YA books most definitely are fiction, because things don’t happen like they do in those novels! My god, I wish they did. The genre should be changed to ‘Never Happening To You’ because that’s kind of how I felt reading them during that period of my life. Don’t get me wrong, they are dreamy and romantic and whimsical and oh so cool, but c’mon! They’re helping set our expectations stupidly high and putting a little voice in our heads that reminds us at every possible moment how our lover/partner could be being more romantic/spontaneous at that moment.

I’m not even going to get started on rom-com’s. It’s my own fault for liking them. I know what I’m getting myself into. And yet, I watch them over and over again, gaping at how sweet they are and chiding my inner voice that maybe there are people out there who still act like that. But there’s clearly none in Cairns.

I’m not writing this post to say that I’m unhappy – quite the opposite in fact. I’m scarily happy with James, but it took a long time for us to get to this point. And that long time involved a lot of texting and phone calls and scheduling around work rosters and late night conversations that finally led to me asking if we could just properly be together already. Lucky for me, the answer was yes. But I know for a lot of people it isn’t. And that’s what breaks my heart the most. When we go through all of this bullshit and chasing and deciphering and interpreting and crying and lying on the floor, not knowing how to handle these situations in this technology-shielded world. That although, yes, we are infinitely blessed with our lives and the access we have, but at the same time, how is has created a pixelated void that fate and chance meetings used to once fill.

As a girl in her 20’s, I am terrified of dating in this world; which again, only makes me that much more grateful that I reunited with someone instead of having to start all over again. I know it can be fun and exciting and interesting, but it’s also incredibly exhausting too. Especially when you think everything is going well and you have a really good connection and then you finally find the courage to ask “what are we doing?” or the real big one: “are we in a relationship?” and it turns out that you’re just not the right girl for them or they’re not looking for anything serious at the moment. Ugh. 

As usual, this post strayed from it’s original concept, but that’s just how the brain works, I suppose. It’s actually pretty fascinating how six words have sparked such a deep and opinionated piece from myself, but I stand by what I’ve written nonetheless. 

What brought all this on was initially wondering “how do we define a romantic relationship between two people? Like, what actually takes it from being ‘just a thing’ to a full blown relationship? Is it a question, or a verbal agreement, or an unspoken understanding that you are together and that’s that? Is there some sort of checklist we can tick off to ensure that a possible relationship meets the offical criteria?” Well, the short answer is: no, of course not, silly. But it’s a nice idea.

Something I have learnt pretty quickly over the last 9 months is that every relationship is different. Sounds cliched and completely obvious, I know, but it really is something we overlook when we start comparing milestones and behaviours. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of seeing a friend being really happy with their partner and subconsciously noting how your relationship sizes up to theirs. I’m sorry, but no matter how cute their situation may be – yours is never going to be the same. It’s just biologically impossible. We are all individual human beings, with unique thoughts and feelings and reactions, so how can we expect that any two relationships will be exactly the same? 

Once I stopped comparing I realised how much easier it was to be grateful for what I have, and stop worrying about what I didn’t have yet. The best thing I’ve learnt from being with James is to have faith and to have patience, and yes, they have absolutely paid off. 

So I guess if you take anything from this long and extremely rambly post, take that: have faith, and have patience, and if you don’t think it’s worth it, take a break and cut communication for a while. After a couple of weeks you’ll either start missing them like crazy or feel content with your choice.


Sending you good vibes in this crazy age,

Viv  x

The Power of You

An ode to all of those boys who’ve captured our hearts – and don’t quite realise what that means.


This post is a little different. The idea came to me approximately five minutes ago, in that weird state between being awake and having a nap where your brain is gliding between 17 different trains of thought. Honestly, now that I’m fully awake, I don’t  know where that track was taking me, but I knew I had to get the idea down before I lost it forever (an unfortunately regular occurrence).

So, “The Power of You” – a title we usually see on the cover of self-help or meditative books, promising that through self-love and being in touch with ourselves we will become happier people. Well, that’s the plan anyway. But this post is for the other ‘you’. The ‘you’ that we think of when we hear a cute song lyric, or read a Beau Taplin poem or wish to be spooning us at night. We’ve all got one of those ‘you’s. Some people are lucky enough to see theirs everyday; others occasionally, and some not at all. Some are torn apart by seas, or families or maybe their ‘you’ is a famous music producer (yes, Flume, I’m looking at YOU – I’m yours when you want me). Whatever the case, there’s always someone that drifts into your mind when you least expect it. Or maybe you’re purposely thinking of them. Or maybe you hear and feel these things and dream about a person you haven’t met yet.

What a wonderful thought, to know that your soul mate is still out there, dreaming you up in their fantasies.

I guess, the point of this is to say, to you, to be gentle with me. With all of us, if you know how we feel. It’s a tough world out there, and liking someone is anything from easy these days, so I think it’s important (incase we are someone’s ‘you’) to be kind and appreciate when someone does something nice for us. I feel like I am rambling, but it’s hard to get a feeling out and expressed via a laptop. I should be better at it since my brain never shuts up, but I’m not. Apparently, boys are even worse at communicating their feelings so good luck to us all!

I’m sure that half the people reading this will think it’s a load of whinging girl bullshit (you’re not far off there, dude) but to the others – you know what I’m talking about. It’s crazy how you can go from being completely content and satisfied with your life, to meeting someone who flips the whole universe upside down. Suddenly, everything can be looked at from a different angle. Songs appeal to you differently. Days seem brighter, or darker, depending on how things are between you both. You find yourself reminiscing on conversations had the night before, and secrets and memories shared in the early hours of a Tuesday morning.

It’s totally fine not having – or wanting – someone, but when you do… gee, there’s nothing quite like it. Every time I see the word ‘you’ now; in a poem, in a song or in a book; written by the author to their ‘you’, well, I think of you. Every. Single. Time. And then there are the times when I write with you in my mind. I paint with my water colours and dream up cute little phrases or search for lyrics to communicate all of these bubbling thoughts in my head. I wish I was a better writer so that I could fully capture how you make me feel. Yes, I love you. No, you don’t love me back. But we still see each other, and have a nice time. And that’s okay. Not everyone gets a perfect textbook relationship. This is the real world, after all. I’m just learning to practice my gratitude towards our situation.

Because there sure is a helluva lot to be grateful for.



This…. didn’t go where I was expecting it to. I wanted to write almost a letter, to all of those ‘you’s out there, but I kind of got caught up thinking about… you.

So maybe this post makes complete and perfect sense after all. Because when I planned to write something completely different and advice-like, I ended up writing about you. Go figure.


P.P.S. I wrote this post over two months ago, on a day quite like today. I was hesitant to publish it because it’s a lot more personal and a little more deep than my regular content, but I hope you enjoyed all the same. x